Letter - Don’t leave us to fight the battles

May I correct something said by John Roberts in his letter in last week’s Wakefield Express

Referring to the demolition of the former Stanley Royd Hospital Church, Mr Roberts said that there had been ‘No words from Wakefield Civic Society’. This is far from the case!

The Society had written letters of objection to the council about the proposed demolition and then was alone (amongst a rather limited number of objectors) in turning up at the hearing of the council’s planning and highways committee in December to voice our concerns afresh.

The Society regularly reviews and comments on planning applications – something we have been doing now for 50 years (2014 being our 50th year). However, the Society is a volunteer-led charity; we are just one voice, albeit, we hope, a sometimes influential one given our experience and wealth of local knowledge.

Yes, it is disappointing when planning decisions go against what we would have hoped for, but we have to take it on the chin and move on. Equally discouraging, however, is when members of the public – especially when they are not members of the Society – come out to criticise us without a full appreciation of the facts: more useful would be for members of the public who feel strongly about the city’s built heritage to write their own letters of objection, lobby their councillors and turn up at the council’s planning meetings.

Don’t just leave it to us to fight the battles for you! Sometimes, weight of numbers is more important.

Of course, one way of finding out what is going on in the city is to take out membership of the Civic Society and we are always keen to welcome new members!

Kevin Trickett