Serious claims about fish farm as council pours in more cash

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A Kirklees councillor spoke about “serious allegations” of theft during a debate about how council cash was ploughed into an ailing environmental project.

Work on the Able2 project in Heckmondwike started in 2011, with councillors claiming it would include a sturgeon farm and other facilities – but it has since been scaled back due to funding problems and currently comprises just a fishing lake. Further plans released in 2013 included a state-of-the-art floating cafe in the lake, which would sit on stilts .

Organisations such as Swiss chemicals company Sika and researchers at Sheffield University got involved in the ambitious project, but many of the planned developments were scrapped when outside funding was withdrawn.

During a Kirklees cabinet meeting on Tuesday Coun Martyn Bolt (con, Mirfield), said he had been contacted by someone who worked on the Able2 site.

“There are some very serious allegations flying around about that site,” he said.

“I was emailed by someone saying £2m of scrap metal was missing.”

He went on to call for an investigation. Coun David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) said: “This does not change the nature of the decision we are making today.”

A decision was made to give £50,000 towards the fishing lake’s completion.

The Reporter Series contacted West Yorkshire Police about the allegations but has yet to get a response.