Hard questions - but we need a solution

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I attended the last Ward Forum meeting that was held in Walsden recently. My aim was to learn something about Calderdale Council’s plans for the derelict bandstand in Centre Vale Park.

The current state of the bandstand is upsetting for everyone who visits the park. This of course includes the “out of town” visitors. They must get a very bad impression of Todmorden when they catch sight of the broken fencing, and the rotting, vandalised wreck of a building in our fine park.

Last autumn I learned from the council that the fencing is there at least as much to protect the public from bits falling off the rotting roof, as it is to prevent people climbing on to the structure.

I know there have been discussions with the council for over a year to see if there are any possibilities for repair to the structure. This would be very expensive, and we learned at the Ward Forum that there is no council funding available.

When this replica bandstand was built to replace the original it was built from very poor materials.

A complete rebuild would probably be needed, and of course there is a fear that, even if a lot of money is spent, it might be vandalised all over again.

The current Mayoress Nikki Gill has also discussed security measures with the police and the council to try to prevent more vandalism, but the building is now in such a bad state it isn’t worth spending more to protect it unless money could be found to bring it back into use.

It always comes back to money. I understand that the council’s cupboard, while not completely bare, does not hold nearly enough for bandstand restoration.

A few hard questions have to be asked and answered. Things certainly cannot be left as they are.

People in Todmorden should be asked if they think there is still a need for a bandstand in the park. Who would want to use it? How much does the town value this copy of a fine building from the town’s past that is now no longer usable?

I’m sure the above questions are not quite the questions that Calderdale would ask, but ask they must.

We all want a solution to this embarrassing eyesore in the park.

Mrs Sarah Pennie