Wakefield Council taken to task over developments

Minsthorpe Swimming Pool protest.
Minsthorpe Swimming Pool protest.

Residents accused council bosses of neglecting the South East at a meeting of the council’s cabinet in South Elmsall on Tuesday.

Wakefield Council’s ‘cabinet on tour’ meeting took place at the Westfield Centre, on Westfield Lane, to discuss housing needs across the district.

When the meeting was opened up to public questions, councillors faced criticism over planning decisions.

Residents were concerned about the closure of Minsthorpe Swimming Pool, the decline of West End Estate and the new recycling centre at South Kirkby.

Independent town councillor Jim Kenyon said: “The South East is the most deprived area in Wakefield, the council is neglecting this area. You just have to look at West End.

“The council was given a £2.2m grant to regenerate Hemsworth but Wakefield will get the money.”

Coun Denise Jeffery, cabinet member for economic growth and skills, said the site had not been developed due to a lack of interest.

She said: “In December we decided to put it out to market and hopefully that will help develop the site in the future.”

Residents hit out at the council’s plans to close Minsthorpe Swimming Pool and build a new pool at Minsthorpe Community College.

One man asked why the council did not sell the existing building and reinvest the money.

But Coun Les Shaw, cabinet member for culture, leisure the condition of the building made it difficult to sell.

He added: “It would not generate enough cash. When the building is demolished then we can look at the land.”

South Elmsall councillor Steve Tulley also called on the cabinet to make sure jobs at the new recycling centre went to local people.

Coun Maureen Cummings, cabinet member for environment and communities, said: “There will be lots of new jobs.

“Around 40 people have already been employed with many from South Kirkby.”