LETTER: Residents of Upton’s Beacon House set to lose their homes

As Don Crossley wrote, (June 19, Letters), the residents of Beacon House are set to lose their homes, not just temporary places of accommodation.

These are local people, wanting to live out the rest of their days in their own village. Moving is stressful under the best of circumstances. Forced relocation can be devastating.

Mr Crossley’s letter brings to mind a question I’ve been considering for a long while now: is our district council run for its people or in spite of them? We know it claims to be the former; but most often and in practice it is the latter.

Recent events bear this out in spades: Minsthorpe Baths was shut with no consultation and a flimsy, tongue-in-cheek assurance of a replacement some time in the future; Beacon House, the local home for local people in Upton, is now to be closed, once again in denial of the public’s wishes; and an apparent ‘people’s victory’ in the fight over a pig farm in the same village has been overturned in favour of commercial interests.

The people of South Kirkby have a recycling plant that over a thousand signed a petition against; and right next to it in absolute disregard of the health of its attendees, is a training school.

Were it not so serious, you’d laugh.

With the recycling plant at one end, the pig farm the other and the Langthwaite glass mountain in the middle, the people of this area will be breathing an increasingly polluted atmosphere for decades to come, and if they reach retirement age and need to live in sheltered accommodation, they will be shipped off elsewhere.

Is this the future the people of this area want? It’s what they’re getting.

Upton has three Labour district councillors currently representing them; were they not able to influence the decision on Beacon House? It would be instructive to discover if they ever had a say in the closure, or voted for it in the cause of party unity, as Couns Tulley, Harrison and Collins did over Minsthorpe Baths.

Future voters might like to know, but whatever the reason, it’s plenty obvious that voting Labour, as many (including myself) have done for all these years, does not quite bring the fair representation people have every right to expect.

Are the wants and needs of their constituents an inconvenience to local government and party uniformity? Are Wakefield MDC’s interests in direct conflict with ours?

I’d say they are; and that it’s time to stop voting for people who are too attached to party and expenses to stand up for what is right.

John Heyes

Beaumont Avenue

South Elmsall