LETTER: Wakefield’s priorities have been lost

It is good to see that Wakefield Council is trying to do its best to save money and promote Wakefield as a place to invest in business and new housing, but its priorities seem to have been lost.

Wakefield is a small city, almost devoid of decent sporting facilities, with a town centre littered with rubbish, pavements splattered with chewing gum, uneven block paving and scores of empty shops. It is no longer the clean, pleasant and vibrant city that it used to be. Even the fountain is turned off more often than it is on.

Empty shops, which have dirty windows and piles of rubbish and uncollected mail behind the door, do nothing to help promote this city. Surely if some landlords can present their properties attractively, they can all do it. Wakefield is surrounded by some wonderful attractions, Nostell Priory, Anglers Country Park, Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Pugneys, Thornes Park and Sandal Castle to name but a few.

Yet despite these attractions the council now wants to close the Tourist Information Office, adding to the closure of the centre at Sandal Castle. It was only because of a public backlash that the café at Anglers Country Park was saved from closure. Why waste money on countless pedestrian, cyclist and pavement signs - many of which are not maintained, are unnecessary and generally ignored?

Looking at short-term solutions to solve the money shortage does not help. This council should be looking long term, particularly at what the city needs to make it a pleasant place to visit, and spend time and money there.

First impressions count, and visitors are currently met with grass being allowed to grow in our parks, rubbish all over the place, particularly around the backs of shops and outside fast food restaurants, dirty pavements and nothing in particular to create a welcome to anyone visiting the town centre.

Peter Clarke

Woodhall Close, Durkar