Pitt Street Social Centre, Hebden Bridge

Residents of Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire have opened a temporary "Pitt Street Social Centre", offering tea, cake, videos, workshops, a Free Shop, and a chance for residents to discuss how to stop council sell-offs and the "gentrification" of the former mill-town.

When the Pitt St building became the most recent of public buildings to be put on the market, frustrated locals asked Calderdale Council for time to put forward an alternative plan to keep it as a community resource. However, in their rush to make a quick buck, the Council steam-rollered opposition, and went ahead with the sale.

"Where has the money gone and who are the new owners? We’ve been asking questions but no-one seems willing to tell us anything. How dare our representatives continue to completely ignore our needs and views? It’s just more council corruption." said Katrina, a local involved in the occupation.

This is the second occupation of a public building that has been sold off by the council, in the last year. For five days in April 2004, hundreds of local people were involved in the occupation of the old Hebden Bridge Tourist Information Centre, turning it into the People’s Information Centre. And residents are well aware that other buildings are in line for possible sell-off, including the library and the council offices.

See  http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2005/02/305191.html for the full article.

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