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Help needed to get youth scheme going

Reporting on the latest issues under discussion at Denholme Town Council

Supporters of a proposed £100,000 youth cafe in Denholme are appealing for helpers to ensure the scheme gets off the ground.

Limited funding means the centre, set to be based in Foster Park, is due to be open on only two nights a week.

However, a steering group, comprising town and district councillors, as well as representatives of Bradford Council's asset management and parks and landscape services, is keen to ensure the site is used to its full potential.

The scheme is also facing a race against time. A condition of the £100,000 grant to Bradford Council's youth services department is that the detailed plans and initial work must be in place by March 2007.

The centre would offer a place to meet and a range of services, including computers, training, benefits and health advice.

It may also open during the day for younger children.

Cllr Anne Jay said at the latest Denholme Town Council meeting: "We must make sure that everything is in place. Because the weather in Denholme may stop us going ahead, what we are hoping is that we have basic approval and the money is designated to be spent by that time.

"The £100,000 is a capital grant to put the building in place and get it furnished."

Cllr Jay urged Denholme residents to get involved in the scheme.

She said: "We have to get adult helpers to keep it going and also to get it established. The youth service only has funding to open two nights a week.

"We want the caf to be for all the children of Denholme and they are going to get frustrated if it is not open.

"If it takes off, it will be absolutely fabulous." Mayor of Denholme Cllr Maxine Brotherton backed the scheme.

"It has always been one of my pet projects to get this up and running," she said.

The scheme would have to receive planning permission.

Questionnaires have been sent to all residents for their views.

  • The town council is to investigate whether or not it can apply for community funds after a district councillor revealed thousands of pounds may be available.

Bradford Council can force developers to provide community facilities as a condition of planning permission.

District councillor Mike Ellis said that the way Section 106 agreements are dealt with is currently being reviewed by the corporate improvement committee.

Cllr Ellis, a member of the committee, said: "As I understand it, there are thousands of pounds sat in a bank account somewhere.

"The whole process is currently under review."

Under Section 106 planning agreements, councils can agree a legal obligation with developers to provide benefits such as a play area.

Council clerk Sharon Mason said: "The first port of call is to find out how much 106 money is available to the area."

  • The town council has followed the trend of opposing plans for a quarry extension on Harden Moor.

Last month Cullingworth Parish Council sent a letter to Bradford Council objecting to proposals by Midgeham Cliffe End quarry to carry out exploratory drilling.

Denholme Town Council is now set to also pen a letter.

Cllr Jay said: "I have been approached by at least one resident who is very upset to think she would not be able to use it for recreation."

Cllr Brotherton said: "We should send a letter to Bradford Council stating that we would like the moor to remain as it is."

The matter was due to be discussed by Shipley Area Committee yesterday evening.

  • Councillors have recommended for refusal plans to build a two-storey extension in Main Road, Denholme.

Cllr Brotherton said: "Overall, it's too big and it is going to block out light, It is over-development of the property."

However, they backed proposals to erect a bedroom extension at Brow Cottage on Whalley Lane and an extension on Foster Park Road, Denholme.

  • Councillors have hit out at the pungent smell coming from vehicles travelling to and from a rendering plant.

However, they have been told that they are unable to do anything about it.

Council clerk Sharon Mason has written to the Environment Agency about the smell from vehicles going to Erling Works, in Half Acre Road.

However, district councillor Mike Ellis said: "Even if a vehicle stinks to high heaven, there's nothing that can happen."

  • The town's contact point is struggling for volunteers, according to a town councillor.

Cllr Nora Haldenby said: "We're just plodding on."

One volunteer, Ted Cheek, has volunteered to come out of retirement, but only on a part time basis.

An appeal for extra helpers will be made at the town's neighbourhood forum on November 14.

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