Mark Eastwood MP: We must protect our community assets

​​We are very lucky to be surrounded by some fantastic facilities in our local area including libraries, sports facilities and outdoor pursuit centres. These valuable assets provide people with the opportunity to improve their health, connect with others and access vital services.
Kirklees College was a finalist for the Beacon Award in Mental Health and Wellbeing.Kirklees College was a finalist for the Beacon Award in Mental Health and Wellbeing.
Kirklees College was a finalist for the Beacon Award in Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Mark Eastwood MP writes: Unfortunately, we have seen many of these come under threat of closure in recent months.

Dewsbury Sports Centre remains closed, despite requests for dry side facilities to be reopened.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Dewsbury Registry Office is included in the proposal to move to Huddersfield, leaving residents with no option but to travel several miles to register a birth or death and Mirfield Library has been identified as one of the libraries to be moved into community management, affecting the library’s ability to offer a full service.

I recently met with the Friends of Mirfield Library to discuss the proposals and hear their concerns; it is clear the library is a vital part of the community, offering far more than a book to lend, including coffee mornings, chair yoga and the friendship café. It was great to hear how valuable the library is to so many people, but this makes it even more important to protect such a key asset to our community. A petition to protect our libraries has been started and I encourage you to read and sign.

Nearby, is Little Deer Wood, a woodland setting hidden in the middle of Kirklees where many young people can come and participate in activities that challenge them in a safe environment. Developed to fit the needs of young people, sports and team-building activities are run in a way that is accessible to everyone. Because it isn’t run for profit, Little Deer Wood ensures that its activities are affordable like canoeing, archery and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions.

This week, it was a pleasure to visit the site to see the work they do first-hand and to discuss some of their concerns about how these facilities will be funded in the future. It is reassuring that Kirklees Council have now confirmed that they will continue to provide funding to Little Deer Wood.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

This week, I joined staff from Kirklees College at the Association of Colleges Beacon Awards. The college was a finalist for the Beacon Award in Mental Health and Wellbeing. The awards aim to demonstrate the far-reaching impact of colleges on people, communities, and both economic and social development and it was amazing to see our local college shortlisted.

It is my annual Skills and Apprenticeship Fair this week, in partnership with Kirklees College and held at Pioneer House. We are looking forward to welcoming several schools to the college to meet local employers and explore the opportunities which are available when they leave full-time education.

This year we are expanding the event to offer students the opportunity to develop their talents in interviewing and writing a CV, vital skills when applying for a job or university.

My team and I continue to be available to help you on any matter, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch by email or phone - [email protected] or 01924 939 007.

Thank you for reading.