A Mayor has been left incandescent over the mystery disappearance of a chandelier from boarded-up council offices.
Mayor of Mirfield Clr Vivien Lees-Hamilton called into the Mirfield council offices to check on security and was furious that the brass-coloured light fitting had gone.
All that was left were wires dangling from the ceiling in the council chamber. Also missing were a pair of tall step ladders used to reach the high ceilings.
The building in Huddersfield Road was shut down by Kirklees Council on health and safety grounds in February. It has since been secured with metal shutters.
Clr Lees-Hamilton, also a Kirklees councillor, said she did a double take when she went into the council chamber.
“Furious isn’t the word for it,” she said. “I assume someone from Kirklees has removed the chandelier but I can’t think of any reason why they would do that.
“The building is empty and secure so it can’t be any kind of danger.”
Clr Lees-Hamilton has contacted Kirklees chief executive Adrian Lythgo to ask for an explanation.
In February last year Clr Lees-Hamilton, assisted by town councillors Kath Taylor and son James, was forced to change bulbs in the chandelier after waiting months for Kirklees to come out.
Clr Lees-Hamilton said: “Kirklees said last time that it was a waste of staff time to send someone out to change a lightbulb, which in the current climate I can’t disagree with. But why is it a good use of time to open up a secure, empty building and remove a chandelier?
“I don’t think the chandelier is particularly old or valuable. The step ladders are probably worth as much as the chandelier. I am more bothered about them in a way because they are extra tall step ladders which we need to reach the high ceilings. And they belong to us and not Kirklees.”
Clr Lees-Hamilton accused Kirklees of “wanton vandalism” and said she intended to go back to check that nothing else was missing.
There is a walk-in safe with a heavy door and hefty floor safes from when the council cash office was open.
Clr Lees-Hamilton quipped: “I need to make sure Kirklees haven’t weighed them in!”
Kirklees Council claimed the building needed a new roof and repairs totalling £360,000 and may look to sell it off.
Mirfield Town Council wants to take over the building under an “asset transfer” and Clr Lees-Hamilton is keen to make sure it doesn’t deteriorate while empty.
A council spokesman said: “The Mirfield council offices have been secured to prevent vandalism and theft.
“This included moving the chandelier from the building to a place of safety. We will investigate the location of the step ladders.”