Letter -Reasons to be cheerful

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IN his letter last week Mr Milburn makes some interesting points.

He implies the council built and paid for Trinity Walk – we didn’t. We did stop it being left half-finished. I fully accept that the centre is occupied by national companies but it means local people don’t have to travel to Leeds or Sheffield and the majority of jobs created were taken by local people, many of them previously unemployed. The management of the Ridings have made it clear that they are up for the challenge of Trinity Walk and I believe both can prosper.

The Hepworth will have had 500,000 visitors in its first year bringing some £10m into the local economy. Funnily enough the morning I read Mr Millburn’s letter I was at Kirkgate Station talking to six women who’d come from Dinnington to see the Hepworth because they had heard so much about Wakefield recently.

As your readers know thanks to the campaign by the Express, the council and others, Kirkgate is to have a facelift, and a new station is also being built at Westgate. Of course we do consult but I accept that it can be difficult if we eventually make a decision that is not universally popular. However the possibility of the land referred to by Mr Milburn being used as a site for the travelling community was changed following discussion and consultation.

I believe the new market is doing well and thanks to Trinity Walk and its proximity to the bus station I hope it will continue to do so.

Mr Milburn yearns for the days when he was a kid and we were “exporting goods”. We were also employing hundreds of people in the mining industry and who was responsible for that being wiped out? Certainly not the council.

The roadworks aren’t badly planned at all. Of course they cause inconvenience and I’ve had to add an extra 10 minutes to the time it takes me to get to Wakefield. The fact is there’s no way to make improvements without causing some disruption and I believe people will welcome the finished scheme.

And don’t forget that one of the new buildings under construction is Wakefield’s new swimming pool. Your readers will be aware that there are many towns who would love to see so much building taking place during the recession. And we’ve hopefully got a luxury hotel coming to the district in the near future.

The fact is that nowadays most people don’t vote the way their mums and dads did – I think it’s patronising to suggest they do.

The independent Audit Commission has assessed Wakefield as an excellent four star authority and we still have the second lowest council tax in the county so we must be doing something right.

Coun Peter Box CBE

Leader

Wakefield MDC