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Residents step up fight to save sheltered housing scheme

Defiant residents and members of Beacon House independant living scheme in Upton are angry at the announcement by Wakefield District Housing (WDH) that the scheme will close, as well as Chiltern Court in Ackworth.
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Defiant residents and members of Beacon House independant living scheme in Upton are angry at the announcement by Wakefield District Housing (WDH) that the scheme will close, as well as Chiltern Court in Ackworth. h309a423

Angry residents have stepped up a campaign to save their sheltered housing scheme in Upton from closure.

Twenty elderly residents at Beacon House were given the closure news by Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) earlier this month.

Now their families have launched a petition and a Facebook page in a bid to save the independent living scheme from the axe.

Kath Till, whose 91-year-old mum, Rena Stancliffe has lived at Beacon House for 28 years, said: “We don’t want it to close and we will fight it all the way.”

Another independent living scheme, Chiltern Court in Ackworth, - where there are nine residents - is also due to close.

Upton and Ackworth Coun Jean Askew said: “I am shocked and dismayed to learn that WDH have listed both Chiltern Court and Beacon House for closure.

“We have requested that WDH carry out an advertising campaign for the spare flats at Beacon House.”

Karen Else, whose 68-year-old mother-in-law, Jennifer Dempsey lives in Chiltern Court, said: “We want to know where the money which was promised for a rebuild has gone. We’re fighting to keep Chiltern Court open.”

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett said: “More people are receiving care in their own homes but Beacon House residents tell me they believe not enough effort has been made to advertise the vacant flats.

“I will now be raising this point with WDH.”

Steve Rawson, WDH’s managing director for operations, said: “There has been a historical problem with demand for accommodation at Beacon House.

“It is with huge regret that we will have to close Beacon House at some point in the future.

“We fully appreciate residents’ concerns, and will offer them our full support to find new accommodation.

“Chiltern Court is bedsit accommodation which is either no longer suitable or is not to the standard WDH want to let its properties to.

“In 2012 when we met with tenants we had to inform them that the scheme did not qualify for further government funding. This situation remains the same today.

“We are supporting tenants to find new accommodation.”

 

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