Fierce backlash over closure of golfing facilities

Pontefract pay and play golf course is to be scrapped.
Pontefract pay and play golf course is to be scrapped.

Plans to close Pontefract Park’s golf course have been with a backlash, with residents outraged at the decision.

Wakefield Council announced last week that as part of its shrinking budget, the decision has been made to scrap the golf and other pay to play sporting facilities in Pontefract Park, Springmill in Ossett, and Wakefield’s Thornes Park.

All three will close within weeks, and many of our readers took to social media to give their opinions.

Nicola Goldspink said: “Disgusting, we pay our council tax to provide for things like this. It’s a disgrace.”

Philip Parkinson added: “It’s going too far, there will be nothing left soon, it’s about time everyone stood up to this before it’s too late.”

Archy Tha Noz said: “The council are trustees, they work for us.

“We are asleep at the wheel and we’re heading for a cliff.”

Some questioned the proposed new £15 million leisure centre at Pontefract Park, which will eventually replace the existing swimming pools in Pontefract, Castleford and Knottingley.

Alan Rosebuck said: “This does not make sense, the new Pontefract leisure centre should be an attraction for the park so why close facilities already there?”

With the facilities to shut on April 1, people will still be able to access the areas but they will no longer be looked after to the standard needed for sport.

Wakefield Council says it is working with a partner to set up a fishing and environment school in Pontefract Park.

The council is now considering the options for each of the areas affected.

The council said ‘difficult decisions’ had to be made in order to slash a further £15 million from its bill, on top of the £144 million it has already had to find since 2011.

Yvette Cooper MP for Pontefract, Castleford and Knottingley is unhappy about the decision.

She said: “Conservative Ministers talk about a Northern Powerhouse but the reality is that our local services across the North are being cut back.

“This is hitting our schools, social care and swimming pools too.

“It’s deeply damaging and will end up costing more in the long run.”