Ombudsman calls for new public meeting on Whitcliffe Mount

Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre

Spen MP Jo Cox has reacted to the news that the Local Government Ombudsman has found fault with the decision to close Whitcliffe Mount Sports Centre.

Kirklees Cabinet approved the plan two years ago, which was meant to coincide with a rebuild for Whitcliffe Mount Business and Enterprise College. The school and the sports centre are located next door to each other, on Turnsteads Avenue in Cleckheaton. Mrs Cox said:

“The council’s processes have not been up to scratch in this case and I certainly support the right of the Ombudsman to make the determination it has. More generally, it is right that the council should be scrutinised on the decisions it takes, I support that process.”

“I have put pressure on the leadership to hold the new public meeting, as required by the Ombudsman, at Whitcliffe Mount. I am pleased that the leader, Cllr David Sheard, has agreed to this. It is right that the cabinet look at this again.”

Mrs Cox is also standing by her commitment to hold a public meeting, with council and Kirklees Active Leisure (KAL) leadership, for former and current sports groups and users of the facility. It will be the third public meeting Mrs Cox has hosted at Whitcliffe Mount. She said:

“I had planned to have this meeting much earlier, but these developments have delayed it. It is right that this process draws to a close and whatever the outcome I look forward to meeting again with local people to make sure they get the provision they deserve.”

The Batley & Spen MP, elected in May this year, was also critical of the pressures placed on Kirklees council by the government.

“Kirklees have faced disproportionate and unfair cuts from the government and this will impact on all services. Councillors face very difficult, almost impossible decisions. I remain pleased that despite this, the Cabinet are making plans for a large capital investment in a new pool and fitness complex at the site of the current Spenborough Swimming Pool. This is a commitment from a Labour led council which their political counterparts in Kirklees do not seem to want to get behind. I for one believe that people in Batley & Spen deserve top class sports facilities, comparable with those in Huddersfield. That has been and will continue to be the focus of my campaigning.”

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