Moves start to make pubs, club and children's centre community assets

Clayton library and Information Centre

The Malt Shovel in Menston

Garages behind the Scout Hut in Menston

The Fairfax Club, Menston

Menston cemetery

The King's Arms pub in Heaton

First published in News

A CHILDREN'S centre, three pubs and a social club could all be officially recognised as community assets under new plans.

They are among a raft of buildings which community groups are hoping to protect against being closed and sold off under their noses in the future.

Listing a building as an 'asset of community value' does not give community groups first refusal if it comes up for sale, but it does give them the time they need to prepare a bid to buy it.

A singing club is hoping to list the Council-owned Silsden Youth Centre, where it is based, and an adjoining children's centre.

The Daisy Chain Children's Centre had been at risk of being downgraded to an unstaffed 'outreach centre' by Bradford Council in a cost-cutting plan that has now been put on ice.

In their application, the Silsden Singers say Silsden's old library building is already being sold off, and if the youth centre were to be threatened with closure as well, "it would provide a local community organisation or Silsden Town Council with the opportunity to buy the building and keep it open for community benefit".

Meanwhile, Menston Parish Council hopes to list three drinking establishments in the village - the Fairfax Club, the Malt Shovel and the Menston Arms.

Councillor Dale Smith, who sits on the parish council, said while they had no concerns about the running of the pubs and club, there was a national trend of such places closing down and being lost to communities.

He said: "It's a changing world, from the days of the local pub when people used to congregate. Lots of us, and Bradford is as guilty as the rest, don't make the time to go and socialise quite so much."

He said listing them in this way would give the Parish Council, or any other community group, the chance to try to take over if any were threatened with closure, and turn them into community-run establishments.

The parish council is also hoping to list a garage site, in Low Hall Road, and a parcel of land near the cemetery, in Buckle Lane.

Other applications in the pipeline include bids to list Clayton Library, the King's Arms pub in Highgate, Bradford, and the Manor House museum in Ilkley.

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