First Batley and Spen District Committee meeting gets off to a rocky start

Batley Town Hall, market place
Batley Town Hall, market place

The new Batley and Spen District Committee got off to a rocky start during its first meeting last night (Tuesday).

The committee is one of four in the district, including Dewsbury and Mirfield, which has replaced the seven area committees.

It is made up of ward councillors from Batley East, Batley West, Birstall and Birkenshaw, Cleckheaton, Heckmondwike and Liversedge and Gomersal.

But a third of the councillors, including Cabinet member Coun Jean Calvert who is also allocated to the committee, sent their apologies and did not attend.

The district committees have the same powers as the previous area committees, which include allocation of revenue and capital funding for community working.

But during the course of the meeting at Batley Town Hall it became apparent its role was yet to be defined as it was still under consultation.

Chairman of Batley and Spen District Committee Coun Simon Alvy (Lab, Liversedge and Gomersal) described it as an “interim period”.

Coun Peter O’Neill (Lab, Batley West), cabinet member for communities, said: “By the end of October the working parties will take their ideas to the policy committee and then a model will be presented to the full council in December.”

“The meeting was about gathering ideas that people have and how the district committee should work.”

Coun O’Neill also said the committee was considering other working models.

The first consultation period will take place from Monday September 8 to Friday October 17.

It will be followed by another consultation from Monday October 27 to Friday December 5.