End in sight for Forum

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A FORUM set up to champion community issues in Mirfield is on the brink of closure.

Desperate for volunteers, hard-pressed Old Bank Forum chairman Mike Shucksmith is struggling to handle four vacant committee roles.

And he blames people who take the group’s services and then disappear for much of the problem.

He also said: “Volunteering is not really seen as cool these days. But together we can make a massive impact. We can be strong.”

Now, unless more volunteers come forward, Mr Shucksmith, chairman for two years, will propose dissolution of the forum at its annual meeting in September.

The situation has deteriorated since the start of the year.

Mr Shucksmith said: “We were doing well with a lot of volunteers. Aspirations were excellent. So much so we had to move to a bigger meeting hall.

“Now there are vacancies on the committee and no-one prepared to come forward. I have to cover these functions and we can’t provide the service people expect.

“People have been coming to meetings, wanting us to help them overcome difficulties and then they leave the forum until the next time. This is not our way of doing things. Once we created a solution and support was provided these people disappear.”

Mr Shucksmith said Kirklees Council used to send delegates to meetings and help with administration. But that has stopped due to council cuts.

“We can stand on our own though,” said Mr Shucksmith. “We have money from grants to spend on community-based projects, but ideas are not coming from residents.”

Formed more than three years ago, the forum helped start the Mirfield in Bloom scheme and has also tackled problems such as parking along Old Bank Road.

“We need people willing to put time into this, fill the vacant roles and to come forward with ideas to use more funding or raise even more money for bigger schemes,” said Mr Shucksmith. “I will be asking for dissolution at the agm. It will be a big disappointment to many people. Regular members have seen the benefits of what we can achieve.

“There is also a junior forum which is in its infancy and is the first in the area. We are working hard to keep momentum going.”

Mr Shucksmith said he has enjoyed working with the forum and ‘some wonderful people’.

The annual meeting is at St Andrew’s church hall on September 28 at 6.30pm.

Anyone interested in volunteering should turn up for this session or contact Mr Shucksmith before then

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