Reprieve for elderly residents

Residents of Beacon House in Upton have been told that it will now be staying open indefinitely.'h304b435
Residents of Beacon House in Upton have been told that it will now be staying open indefinitely.'h304b435

Elderly residents at a sheltered housing scheme that is under threat of closure are celebrating this week after being told the site has been given a temporary reprieve.

Residents at Beacon House in Upton were told by Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) in June that the independent living scheme would have to close because of low demand and the high cost of refurbishment.

But, following a campaign by relatives, residents were given the good news this week that the scheme would be staying open temporarily.

WDH says it plans to use Beacon House’s spare rooms as temporary accommodation for tenants from other independent living schemes which are being refurbished.

Kath Till, whose 91-year-old mum, Rena Stancliffe, has lived at Beacon House for 28 years, said: “I am pleased that a decision has been made to postpone the closure, however we will continue to fight to save Beacon House in the future.

“I would like to thank Coun Jean Askew, MP Jon Trickett and all the local councillors for their support.”

More than 800 people signed a petition, launched by relatives, to stop the closure.

Margaret Keeley, 78, who has lived in Beacon House for 10 years, said: “This decision means the world to me.

“Moving into here was the best thing I ever did, we’re like a family.”

Kevin Dodd, WDH chief executive, said: “We are pleased that we have reached a satisfactory compromise with the tenants of Beacon House, who wanted their scheme to be used for temporary accommodation for other tenants who are having their homes improved.”

WDH has told residents that the situation will be reviewed once the refurbishment at the other independent living schemes has been completed .

Upton Coun Jean Askew, who has campaigned to save the scheme, said: “I am happy with the outcome.

“WDH has listened to residents’ views and done what they asked.

“However, at the end of this process, which could take years, I can assure residents that my colleagues and I will be keeping a close eye on things and we will take part in any further discussions regarding the future of Beacon House.”

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett said: “I am very pleased that this suggestion, which came directly from the residents, has been agreed to by WDH.

“I know in the years ahead the residents of Beacon House will certainly make people feel welcome as they move in temporarily whilst their own scheme is being refurbished.”