Councillors split over how to hand out Show support

SPLITTING OPINION Councillors disagreed over a grant for Mirfield Show, which they have delayed giving over concerns about the possible cost of running the town's toilets. (d521a316)

SPLITTING OPINION Councillors disagreed over a grant for Mirfield Show, which they have delayed giving over concerns about the possible cost of running the town's toilets. (d521a316)

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Public toilets are continuing to be a sticking point among councillors when it comes to funding for Mirfield Show.

Mirfield Town Council has already agreed that it will help pay for a marquee for this year’s Show.

But how much money they will be able to give remains up in the air, just over two months before the event takes place.

At a meeting on Tuesday, town councillors urged their colleagues to give the organisers of the Show a final figure.

But they were outvoted by members who were still concerned about how much the council will have to spend on Mirfield’s public toilets.

Coun Mark Hamilton said: “Our money is not going to stop them having their marquee.”

But Coun Alan Burton replied: “It’s principle.”

Earlier, he said: “This is Mirfield. It’s Mirfield Show. It’s our big event for the year. It’s for the people of Mirfield and I really feel we should make an agreement and not put it off.”

Coun Elizabeth Armitage agreed and reminded councillors that £5,000 for Mirfield Show had already been set aside in the council’s budget.

“Everything can’t stop for the toilets,” she said.

At its last meeting, the town council said it would not make a decision on a grant for the Show until it knew how much it would need to maintain the toilets, which it took responsibility for in March.

Earlier in the meeting, Coun David Pinder said Kirklees Council had put the cost of cleaning the toilets at £3,968.12 for the year – far less than the £10,000 councillors had set aside for the toilets from the council’s reserves.

But councillors did not sign off on Kirklees’ figures as they needed some issues clarifying, meaning they still do not know what the final cost will be.

Coun James Taylor said: “If we had known this last year we would not have lowered the precept by 6.4 per cent.

“Maybe we should have put it up last year but hindsight is a wonderful thing.”

Coun Kath Taylor agreed, and said that Mirfield Show only started asking for council grants after it had a bad year. The Show now has enough money its reserves to see it through two years.

“I don’t think that we owe Mirfield Show anything until we get our own housekeeping sorted out,” Coun Taylor said.

One toilet issue was resolved at Tuesday’s meeting however – Kirklees Council has agreed to supply the Station Road loos with toilet paper for six months, from this week.