Council leisure venues to temporarily close
Wakefield Council has today confirmed the temporary closure of a number of leisure venues, along with the Manygates Centre, as it responds to the latest guidance from the Government to manage the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The following venues will not open from tomorrow (Wednesday 18 March 2020):
- Leisure centres - Sun Lane, Normanton, Featherstone, Pontefract, Minsthorpe and Thornes Park
- Wakefield City Golf Course and changing rooms
- Museums – Wakefield, Castleford and Pontefract
Libraries – Wakefield, Pontefract, Castleford, Ossett, Normanton,
Airedale, Featherstone, Hemsworth, Horbury, Sandal, South Elmsall
and Stanley, along with the mobile library service
- Country parks – access will be available to Pugneys and Anglers Country parks and toilets, but the café facilities will be closed
- Pontefract Castle, however the grounds will remain open
- The Manygates Centre (closed from today)
Currently, public buildings at Wakefield One, Wakefield County Hall, Wakefield Town Hall and Pontefract Town Hall will remain open.
Council markets at Wakefield, Castleford, South Elmsall, Pontefract, Normanton and Ossett will also remain open.
All public Council-run events are postponed until further notice.
Wakefield Council's Acting Chief Executive, Andrew Balchin, said: "This was not a decision we have taken lightly as we fully understand the impact this will have on many of our residents.
"This is part of the national effort to help manage the spread of the coronavirus and we will always put the safety, health and wellbeing of our residents at the heart of what we need to do.
"We appreciate that this may affect groups and individuals who use our facilities, especially vulnerable people and those who may support them, if this is the case I urge you to talk to us if you have any concerns. We are actively planning to expand our service offer to the most vulnerable groups including book delivery and the reuse of our library facilities as community hubs, and will announce details of these over the coming days.
"You have our assurance that we will continue to closely monitor and act on the latest Government advice and will re-open the venues as soon as it is safe to do so."
Wakefield Council is now working hard to make customers aware and also contact those who have booked to use any of the facilities.
For customers who have paid in advance, arrangements will be made to provide refunds or credit notes. These arrangement will be confirmed direct with customers once the process has been agreed.
From Wednesday, Aspire memberships for Council leisure facilities will be frozen and all fines on overdue library books will be removed.
Andrew Balchin added: "This is a fast changing situation and it is highly likely that more facilities or services may have to temporarily change or close. We will keep you updated on any changes following any changes to national Government guidance.
"In the meantime, please let's all look out for each other - our neighbours, friends and family. We will get through this if we pull together and show the calm, caring, resilient community spirit we have right across this district.
"The Council is extending our support to people who are stepping up to help vulnerable, older people and those who may need extra assistance. More information on this will be shared very soon. We will be here for you."
If you represent a community group or wish to volunteer to support in your local area please let us know via the Council's contact centre on 0345 8 506 506.
The current Government guidance is for people to stay at home if they have the following symptoms:
- a high temperature
- a new, continuous cough
Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Those with symptoms that live alone are asked to stay at home for 7 days. Those that live with other people, should stay at home, along with everyone that lives in the household, for 14 days.
Good hygiene remains the best thing everyone can do to help the delay of the spread of the virus.
The latest advice is available on the NHS website at www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19