Spotlight on:  Pontefract Civic Society - the ‘voice of Pontefract’

Pontefract Civic Society’s vision is for a bright future in Pontefract, as a thriving town which engages its community and visitors through regular events, a diverse independent retail offering and unique experiences.

Thursday, 13th May 2021, 2:35 pm
The 2019 Design Awards Ceremony held at Pontefract Town Hall in Jan 2020

Whether that has been via the small army of street decorators in partner organisations and individual residents, or businesses, schools and families becoming more aware of what the charity stands for and what it can achieve for Pontefract by working together.

Worthy projects are praised each year where certificates are presented in the town hall at its annual Design Awards ceremony.

Paul Cartwright, civic society chair said: “Our constitution focuses on high standards of planning and architecture, informing the public on local heritage, while expressing concern for conservation and unwanted development, balanced with welcoming the right regeneration.”

Carleton Park School pupils in 2016 reading the Magna Carta story in their own words at the unveiling of the Magna Carta monument.

Phil Cook, civic society vice chair and citizenship group coordinator added: “We embedded the community spirit from the Tour de Yorkshire legacy.

“This increased public awareness for what the civic society can achieve by working with, as opposed to against, other organisations.

“We’ve now got more schools, community groups and businesses into membership, delivered online and offline projects, such as the Community Showcase, heritage and environment resource packs for schools and families, guided walks for schools and visitors, and we’ve more local heritage books and a new Pontefract mug available to purchase from our website.”

Paul added: “With our local knowledge, energy and enthusiasm to create new solutions, we are the voice of Pontefract, having built positive relationships with local and regional councillors and officers, plus rail stakeholders.

“We will actively work with Wakefield Council if it benefits Pontefract, and we will be critical, offering alternative solutions where we disagree on proposed changes.

“Pontefract is unique with three railway stations though we are ill-served, yet our successful campaigning has delivered two services per hour to Leeds, the direct Grand Central London service, and at Monkhill the modest car park extension and lighting.

“Furthermore the new footbridge and lifts are coming in 2022; it’s changes such as these that have resulted from our influence with the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, which now has an elected mayor.

Anyone wishing to get involved in Pontefract Civic Society can contact Paul Cartwright and Phil Cook via email at [email protected], social media @PontefractCivic, or www.pontefractcivicsociety.org.uk.