Cash crisis: Raft of council money-saving measures including shutting Dewsbury's and Batley's sports centres for good move to next stage

Drastic plans to save Kirklees Council cash – including shutting Batley’s and Dewsbury’s sports centres – have taken a step forward.
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The council’s cabinet today (Tuesday) approved consultations over a raft of cuts aimed at saving the £47.8m it needs to in order to avoid bankruptcy.

They include a six-week consultation on plans for the district leisure centres which would see Dewsbury Sports Centre and Batley Sports and Tennis Centre permanently closed.

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Councillor Graham Turner, cabinet member for Finance and Regeneration, said: “Where many councils have closed pools and sports centres gradually over many years, we have remained committed to protecting leisure services as much as possible.

Councillor Graham TurnerCouncillor Graham Turner
Councillor Graham Turner

"However, the economic situation facing the UK is having a significant impact on everyone including local councils.

“This has left us having to make very difficult decisions on the ongoing provision of other services, such as sport and leisure.

“We are consulting on the proposals, so that we can understand the impact they will have on local people.”

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The consultation will be live on the council’s website from Friday (September 29). A final decision will be made in December.

Batley Sports and Tennis CentreBatley Sports and Tennis Centre
Batley Sports and Tennis Centre

Today’s cabinet meeting also saw a review of the council’s buildings approved which could mean Batley and Dewsbury libraries would move.

Batley Town Hall would become home to a library in a refurbished building. The current library building, which the council says is in need of extensive refurbishment, would no longer be needed.

The Walsh Building in Dewsbury town centre could be used as a hub for services including the customer service centre and library.

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The condition of Cleckheaton Town Hall – where the main hall is currently closed due to significant condition and health and safety concerns – would also be assessed and the whole building could be mothballed.

In addition, there will be a consultation over the council’s supported living provision for adults for learning disabilities and its plans to pull out of the services it currently provides at The Mews in Mirfield as the building lease has ended.

There are also proposals to “redesign” the service offer at Brighton Court in Heckmondwike and Wilton Terrace in Cleckheaton.

And there will be a consultation over the future of the council- run dementia home Claremont House in Heckmondwike.