Halifax woman left stumped by Ovenden and Illingworth address saga

An address mix-up is causing frustration in part of Halifax.

By sarah fitton
Monday, 6th December 2021, 12:49 pm
Updated Monday, 6th December 2021, 12:50 pm
Maureen Fitzgerald outside the Kwai Hing on Ovenden Road
Maureen Fitzgerald outside the Kwai Hing on Ovenden Road

Maureen Fitzgerald says she was “born and bred” in Ovenden and has lived in her home on Keighley Road since 1985, which has deeds showing the sale of the land “at Ovenden Cross”.

So she has become increasingly annoyed that her house is getting classed as Illingworth.

She first noticed the error when she reported a missed bin collection a few years ago. When she entered her address, it was coming up as Illingworth.

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Then when she went to log a street lamp out outside her house, the same thing happened.

“In early 2020, I received an electoral registration form with the address as Illingworth. I raised the issue of the wrong address because I was concerned it could lead to me losing the right to cast my vote in the Ovenden ward,” said Maureen.

“I had, by then, very easily discovered that all those properties that front the north side of Keighley Road, starting from the first cottage after Sod House Green to Moorside School, including Beechwood Medical Centre and the attached Ovenden Pharmacy, have been relocated by the council address system to Illingworth.

“I engaged in emails with the Chief Executive and Electoral Registration Services, where I was told that if I wanted to list my house as in Ovenden, I could ask the council to use an ‘unofficial’ address for my house!

“All my NHS and GP letters are correctly addressed as Ovenden and, looking on the NHS website, Beechwood Medical Centre is still listed as Ovenden.

“There is a ludicrous situation where a customer leaving the Kwai Hing steps outside, their left leg on Jubilee Street North is in Ovenden and their right leg in Illingworth.

“There is clearly zero recognition of the historic significance of an area or pride that someone may have in living here.”