VALLEY councillors have stepped in to plug a £30,000 funding gap after a village revamp project was hit by Government cuts.
Councillors on The Valleys Area Committee used their budget to pay for the remaining work on a £100,000 scheme to brighten up Milnsbridge after Kirklees Council slashed their funding.
The project, aimed at promoting local history and enhancing the character of the conservation area, was launched in 2009, but large portions of work are still to be completed.
This includes work on a £15,000 seating area near the light sculpture on Market Street and £10,000 worth of ornate lighting for Armitage Road.
The decision to cough up the cash means more than a eighth of the committee’s £236,000 capital budget has been spent on the scheme.
Golcar Lib Dem, Clr Robert Iredale, who chaired the meeting last week in the absence of the usual chairman Clr Nicola Turner, said the decision had been “unanimously agreed”.
Clr Iredale, said: “We don’t like to have the plug the gap, but we thought it was necessary.
“Golcar has had a £½m scheme and similar schemes have happened in Honley and Slaithwaite.
“Unfortunately Milnsbridge was at the wrong place and the wrong time.
“The economic climate that we were left as coalition means the Government hasn’t had the money to put into local government.
“But Milnsbridge needs lifting and we didn’t believe that project should be downgraded or the village be left as the poor relation.
“Because of that we have worked with Milnsbridge Enhancement Group and the village hall group and the council and shaped this scheme.”
Clr Nicola Turner, who ran for the Colne Valley parliamentary seat at the last election, said it was unfortunate that they had been forced to put their hands in their pockets.
She said: “I’m not keen on having to do it, but Milnsbridge is a little bit run down and needs action.
“This is something we were prepared to support as it’s something we’ve worked closely with the council on and didn’t want to see it going by the way.
“It’s a shame we’ve had to do it, but these cuts are coming down from the Government as they attempt to deal with the massive debts that we were left by the last government.”
The facelift to the Market Street area around Aldi will see natural stone flags and high quality seating, railings and lighting installed in a bid to restore a more traditional village look to the area.
And local children are set to be involved in designing some of the railings
It is hoped that the scheme can be completed this summer.