Future of Welfare Centre is secured

Councillors Ann Westmorland and Sandra Pickin outside Fitzwilliam Community Centre. (h604a245)
Councillors Ann Westmorland and Sandra Pickin outside Fitzwilliam Community Centre. (h604a245)

THE FUTURE of a centre that stands at the heart of a community has been secured by a town council.

Hemsworth Town Council agreed to take on the running of Fitzwilliam Welfare Centre from Wakefield Council at a meeting held last week.

The town council will take over the Wakefield Road centre, which is also known as the Old People’s Centre, next month and will become the sole trustee - at a cost of approximately £12,000 a year.

Town councillor Ann Westmorland, who runs Fitzwilliam Youth Club at the centre two days a week, said: “It’s very important to the community because it was the miners who actually paid for it to be built many years ago.

“We definitely needed to keep it. It’s essential for the children not only in Fitzwilliam but in Kinsley too because kids come from there as well.”

The centre is currently used by the youth club, which runs on a Monday and Thursday, Darby and Joan club, a luncheon club and the Old Folk’s Treat group.

And the council hopes that more people and community groups will come forward to use the facility.

Coun Westmorland added: “It needs a lot more people to use it but it feels a lot more secure now and we, as councillors, can work to get more people to use it.

“We are going to get some leaflets made to let as many people as possible know about the building.”

Wakefield Council ran the centre at a cost of approximately £12,000 per year and district councillor for Hemsworth Sandra Pickin said the centre serves an important purpose in the community of Fitzwilliam and Kinsley.

Coun Pickin, who is also a town councillor, said: “It needs to be there because we have not got a lot going off in Fitzwilliam and Kinsley and the youth club use it.

“The youth club is absolutely essential because it gives them something to do and it keeps them off the streets especially with the dark nights drawing in.”

Councillors voted unanimously in favour of the recommendation to take over the centre at last Tuesday’s special town council meeting.

And subject to all the legal documents being completed, Hemsworth Town Council will become the sole trustees of the centre from Monday, December 3.

To get in touch with Hemsworth Town Council about the centre 01977 617617.