Petition launched to save Welfare Centre

Petition launched to save Welfare Centre

A CAMPAIGN has been launched to save a former community centre in Thornhill from demolition.

Ex-Dewsbury South councillor Khizar Iqbal started a petition after plans to bulldoze the Walker Welfare Centre were revealed last week.

Mr Iqbal acted after getting calls from residents angry at Kirklees Council’s claims that the building is beyond repair.

Tory MP Simon Reevell also demanded the authority think again before doing anything “rash”.

The backbencher said: “There’s clearly a lot of strong feeling in Thornhill. The news also came as a surprise to many people.

“I therefore encourage the council to take some time to look again. Once the building’s gone, it’s gone.”

Mr Iqbal, meanwhile, highlighted how the building on Edge Lane was gifted to the community by a philanthropist.

He addded: “Kirklees Council identified £100,000 of funding in the capital plan in 2008 specifically to bring the building back into use.

“Since then they have dragged their feet and provided false promise after false promise of funding and support.

“Now we learn the money has been withdrawn from the capital plan and Kirklees intend to spend it on demolishing the centre.

“This is unacceptable. It’s a huge kick in the teeth for both residents and the heritage of Thornhill.”

Mr Iqbal said he is also concerned about the reaction from some people to the news in the internet.

“Some comments suggest if the centre was in a Muslim area of Dewsbury the building would’ve been saved,” Mr Iqbal said.

“There’s also been suggestions that Muslims are to blame for the loss of the Walker Welfare Centre. These perceptions don’t reflect reality.

“What they do do though is perpetuate divisions in our community. The blame for this lies squarely with the decision makers at Kirklees Council.”

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