Town council plans to freeze Mirfield precept

FLYING HIGH: The Royal Artillery parachute team at last year's Mirfield Show, which should now get automatic support from the town council. (d22081051)

FLYING HIGH: The Royal Artillery parachute team at last year's Mirfield Show, which should now get automatic support from the town council. (d22081051)

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MIRFIELD Town Council has delivered a standstill budget in terms of what it takes from local households.

At a meeting on Tuesday, councillors voted for a £46,000 precept – equal to around £5 per house – the same as last year and one of the lowest in Kirklees.

But in an overall budget of £70,000, the council is also boosting its support for a number of initiatives.

In the budget presented by Coun Mark Hamilton, key areas were marked out, notably, transport and regeneration, a ‘cold calling’ ban and backing for Mirfield Show.

Some £14,000 is to be spent on feasibility studies for improving parking in the centre and around the rail station.

There is also a focus on partnership working with rail operators to bring about a Mirfield stop on the proposed Kirklees-London train service.

Coun Martyn Bolt said: “In allocating a substantial amount of money for this, we are putting our money where our mouth is.”

Operator Grand Central has applied for permission to run a direct service - six a day - from the town to the capital. Journey time would be around three hours.

The meeting also heard that the town’s Area Committee group will be asked to designate the whole of Mirfield as a ‘no cold calling’ zone. Coun Vivien Lees-Hamilton proposed a 50–50 partnership in the £12,000 scheme.

Coun Bolt said: “We hope this will keep bogus callers away from Mirfield and so keep our residents safer.”

Funding for the Christmas lights is being increased to £7,500.

And it was agreed to provide £3,000 to pay for the main marquee at Mirfield Show. “We have honoured a commitment on this,” said Coun Bolt. “From now on, hopefully, the show committee won’t have to apply for a grant, it will be made automatically.”

Money for hanging baskets is going up to £1,500 and the initiative is to cover the whole town, not just the centre.

“It was a good, positive meeting,” said Coun Bolt. “Questions were asked but that’s as it should be.

“We don’t want things just going through on the nod.

“And we are not cutting services. If anything, we are expanding local schemes.”