PENSIONERS are being treated “scandalously”, according to a politician.
Dewsbury MP Shahid Malik is angry the Thornhill Senior Citizens group has been forced to leave the Walker Welfare Centre.
The Kirklees Council-owned building needs £100,000 worth of repairs and had to close temporarily in January on health and safety grounds.
Mr Malik said: “Our pensioners have contributed so much to society and in their retirement they deserve all the support we can give them.
“For many in Thornhill, the Walker Welfare has been at the heart of the community for decades and I’m extremely disappointed that the council has chosen to drag its feet.
“If they fail to respond positively then Kirklees will be guilty of indifference towards our pensioners.
“Surely some of the £15m underspend in the council budget from last year could and should have been used to repair and improve Walker Welfare Centre.”
Betty Blakeley, a member of Thornhill Senior Citizens, agrees.
She said: “We’re allowed to meet at Sure Start until December, but after that we may be left with no option but to fold the group unless there is an outcome over the Walker Welfare.
“There’s nowhere else for us to meet.”
Mrs Blakeley added that the group, which has been meeting at the Walker Welfare since 1965, plays a valuable role.
She said: “For some of our members, the group provides them with the only chance they get to leave the house.”
A Kirklees Council spokeswoman said: “Thornhill Senior Citizens have not been given notice to leave their current building and the council is already actively working with local representatives to resolve the problem faced by this highly-valued group.
“A Cabinet report is being prepared to address the issues and we are arranging for the lead manager for older people to meet with representatives to discuss the support in the local area for organisations such as this.”