Festive plans could be sunk by Leeds bar closure

Pensioners fear they may have to cancel Christmas if bosses of their retirement home go ahead with plans to close their bar.

More than 100 residents of the Woodview independent living complex in Swarcliffe, Leeds, have been told that the popular bar would close this week as it was attracting unruly customers from outside the building.

If closure goes ahead it means residents will have to scrap plans for Christmas parties and raffle and bingo nights.

They are already furious with managers at the Bradford-based Anchor Trust following the closure of the complex's gym six months ago. Now nearly 60 residents - many using wheelchairs - and more than 100 neighbours who live near the complex in Eastwood Drive are petitioning

Anchor Trust for a re-think.

Joyce Cole, 77, who has lived in her 657-a-month flat for the last four years, said: "They have closed the gym. If they take away the bar we have got nothing.

"I among others would have nowhere to go to meet friends and family. The nights are drawing in now which makes it difficult to get out."

She said the bar, which opens daily from 3.30pm to up to 11pm was a much loved focal point for residents.

Her friend Brenda Duffy, 75, has lived at Woodview for the last eight years.

She said: "It's awful. When we first came here we had loads of facilities. It was a flagship. We had a hairdressers, a sauna and steamroom, a gym and the bar. I have rheumatoid arthritis and I used to use the gym."

She added that an Anchor Trust area manager had met them two weeks ago and told them the bar was shutting because people from outside were coming in and causing trouble.

Resident Graham Stoyles, 56, whose parents also live at Woodview, said his room was near the bar and he has never heard any trouble.

Engineering manager Mark Ackroyd, who lives in nearby York Road and who has friends among the residents, has already highlighted their plight in a letter to the Yorkshire Evening Post.

He said: "It's a very Scrooge-like attitude. If the weather we had a couple of weeks ago returns, the wheelchair users here will be literally housebound."

The Anchor Trust was contacted but was unavailable for comment.

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