Labour councillors persist with Wood Lane parking issues

For some time now, local people in Rothwell have been fed up with the double parking at the top of Wood Lane and IMG_9236David and I have been pushing for action on this situation. We earlier reported on our meeting with Cllr Richard Lewis, the executive board member responsible for highways and Gary Bartlett, the director of highways on site when we showed them the problems. We believe it’s wrong that Rothwell is having to shoulder so much parking from business parks and for travel into Leeds. IMG_9235We had also invited the business park manager from Valley Park, and so were disappointed when no-one from the business park attended. We kept on pushing for the business park to listen to residents and our travel plan officers and the notes below are from the meeting that was eventually held. I have also expressed concern that the notes have taken some time to come through to us from this meeting.

We believe that the Stourton park and ride site, which officers are already working on, could help with the situation and we’re hoping it will be ready as soon as next year, this could be one of the long term solutions.

Highways have been working on a revised scheme which will be available shortly, this may include further parking restrictions to try to reduce or eliminate the stretch of double parking and markings at junctions. It is important though to try to get the balance right as we don’t want even more cars to then try to park on the streets off Wood Lane instead, but David and I feel that without more restrictions  double parking will continue regardless of other measures taken.

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There is not going to be one action which can solve the whole problems. We have made it clear at the meeting that we will persist until Rothwell sees some improvement on the situation.

There are now also further problems with HGVs reverse turning into the St George’s estate entrance and the situation is getting out of hand and is just not good enough.

Briefing Note:

Leeds Valley Park – Travel Plan meeting 16th February 2017 (at LCC Leonardo Building)

Attendance: (CBRE – LVP, park management)

(Capita) – by phone.

(Influencing Travel Behaviour, H&T, LCC)

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the LVP Travel Plan, measures and progress, and associated parking issues. The attendees were all aware of the ongoing problems with reports of overspill parking into the residential areas off Wood Lane, Rothwell.

A number of actions for each party were agreed at the meeting and these are summarised below.

Actions for CBRE;

1. As the principal park managers CBRE are responsible for coordinating the delivery of the LVP travel plan by working with the various occupiers.

2. CBRE will prepare and send LCC a LVP travel plan update with details of LVP occupiers, and describing the travel plan measures deployed by each.

3. CBRE will continue to investigate the proposal for an LVP shuttle bus service, including Arla if possible, and LCC to provide First Direct (Stourton) contact details in due course if appropriate.

4. CBRE agreed to encourage LVP occupiers to complete the WY Travel Plan Network survey on an annual basis, starting with the 2017 survey in a few weeks. LCC will invite LVP occupiers directly, to complete the WY annual travel survey.

5. CBRE to contact Caddick Estates to investigate the possibility of providing a temporary car park on adjacent Caddick Estates land.

6. CBRE to provide a list of LVP occupiers, which buildings they occupy, number of staff, number of parking spaces allocated, and occupier travel plan coordinator contact details. This list was partially completed at the meeting, but has unfortunately been misplaced at present.

7. As LVP travel plan coordinators, CBRE will reform the ‘LVP Travel Plan Forum’ inviting all occupiers and the Council to attend meetings.

Actions for Capita;

1. Capita expressed their willingness to work with LCC on travel issues to ensure they are accepted as good neighbours.

2. Capita agreed to send LCC a travel plan update with details of the measures being implemented and their success.

3. Capita agreed to complete the 2017 WY travel survey (and consider completing the longer staff travel survey to get additional information). LCC will send details of both survey options to Ricky in the first instance. Sent 22/02/17.

4. Capita agreed to check their Liftshare database to ensure registered budi groups are true car sharers (live in the same area, and not just picking up people for the last mile to LVP).

5. Capita will provide details of how their LVP parking spaces are allocated.

6. Re White Rose Office Park (briefly discussed) Capita confirmed they are promoting their national Lift share scheme, and will provide data on this.

Actions for LCC;

1. LCC will review the travel plan updates received for LVP and provide further advice as necessary.

2. LCC will send Capita details of the travel plan Planning obligations for the LVP site (sent 15th Feb, CBRE copied in).

3. LCC will send details of the two travel survey options to Capita, and invite (in March) all occupiers to complete the annual travel survey as appropriate. Web links sent 22/02/17.

4. Provide CBRE and Capita with details of the West Yorkshire Travel Plan Network (WYTPN) and encourage CBRE and occupiers to join this free membership organisation. See website http://www.wytpn.com/

5. Attend a LVP Travel Forum meetings.

Following the meeting, the above points were emailed to CBRE and Capita.

These actions were to be chased up by the end of March.

However, just as the notes took too long to come through, we haven’t yet had a progress update. David and I are hoping to have the new plans with options from Highways very soon, we are told they are on their way to us.

Rothwell to get brand new leisure centre built

Rothwell sports

Fantastic news for Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton, Carlton and surrounding villages as it is announced that Rothwell is to get a new state of the art leisure centre

At the recent meeting of the Executive Board, as part of a wider report on the vision for leisure centres in the city, proposals will see a brand new facility built on land adjacent to the existing site in Rothwell.

Me and my Labour ward colleague Cllr David Nagle have been campaigning for improvement and significant investment to overhaul Rothwell Leisure Centre and have had meetings with the senior officers and the executive board member responsible.

We really welcome the new proposals, which will see a number of integrated services housed alongside gym facilities and full size and small swimming pool,with lido splash pool, along with new gym and sports facilities. Extra facilities not currently offered under the existing leisure centre model will also be included. Pending the outcome of a detailed feasibility study, it is estimated that the new leisure and wellbeing facility would cost in the region of £10-14m, forming part of the Council’s wider ‘invest to grow’ focused commercial strategy.

This is even better than we hoped for as we have been pushing for investment in our leisure centre for a long time. To get a new build is absolutely fantastic news. It’s wonderful to see this significant investment into our local communities despite continuing pressures to our budgets. It shows a continued commitment to giving all residents the opportunity to either remain or become active, and will contribute greatly towards the health and well-being of local people.

Rothwell Leisure centre is one of the most well used sports centres in the city and is well loved in Rothwell and our villages by many people and families, including my own. But the current centre was built in the 1970’s and needs more than a little TLC. We need our leisure centre to be fit for the 21st century and people’s expectations and experiences change. With a brand new modern, high quality leisure and wellbeing centre, I know that the people of Rothwell will greatly welcome access to affordable, top class classes and facilities.

Rothwell Labour opposes fracking as licences are issued

nofrackingway graphic

The government has granted licenses to energy companies to launch exploratory drilling for fracking throughout the north. One of the license blocks due to be issued includes the Rothwell ward including around Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton and other areas in south east Leeds like Kippax and Methley and in the adjoining Wakefield areas.

The Conservative government has promised to ‘deliver’ on shale gas and expedite its extraction despite growing opposition to fracking. While the government is braced for a row with environmental campaigners, local government leaders and some MPs over the plans, ministers have become frustrated at the failure to get the UK fracking industry off the ground.

Fracking applications are to be fast-tracked through the planning system under new rules intended to kick-start the shale gas revolution. The guidance, will strengthen the power of ministers to step in and wrest decisions from local authorities if planners are perceived to be obstructive.

Who’s promised to oppose fracking near Rothwell?

This link shows which candidates for Elmet and Rothwell and for the rest of the country opposed fracking at the general election in May. Cllr Stewart Golton, the Lib Dem parliamentary candidate (and local Rothwell councillor) and Alec Shelbrooke MP did not give a pledge to oppose fracking, whilst Veronica King, the Labour Party candidate, and Dave Brooks, the Green party candidate, both gave their pledges to oppose fracking. https://secure.greenpeace.org.uk/page/content/fracking-map/

Labour’s policy is that it wants tougher conditions – including 12 months’ monitoring of conditions before drilling to ensure there is a robust baseline against which to check whether any seismic activity or methane in groundwater is the result of fracking.

CllrDavid Nagle speaking on fracking in full council photoRothwell councillor David Nagle recently poke in full council expressing concerns over possible fracking locally. Local people are contacting me and David expressing their concerns.

We’re calling for all local fracking exploration licenses to be withdrawn immediately and that there should be a complete halt on fracking and exploratory drilling and preparation work until environmental and public health concerns have been addressed.”

It’s alarming that just as with planning for new housing the national government wants to ride rough shod over the views of local people by introducing new rules that let government ministers force local councils into allowing development and planning that local people oppose.

The local Labour party has set up an online petition which is quickly gaining momentum. We also have a paper petition and we gathered signatures at our Labour councillors’ stall at the Woodlesford Park Fun Day recently. Please add your name to the online petition if you want to register your opposition to fracking coming to Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton.

New council leader meets with HS2 Woodlesford residents

Cllr Karen Bruce and Cllr David Nagle supporting local people campaigning against HS2 in Woodlesford

Cllr Karen Bruce and Cllr David Nagle supporting local people campaigning against the HS2 route in Woodlesford.

My Rothwell Labour ward colleague David Nagle and I arranged for the new leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Judith Blake, and Keith Wakefield, the former council leader and now chair of the combined transport authority, to come and meet the local campaigning group of residents HS2SoWhat. The meeting took place on Saturday 12 September. This was Keith’s third meeting with the group at the request of us councillors and group members. We attended along with MP Alec Shelbrooke.

Cllr Blake sympathised with the plight of local people, her sister is in exactly the same position in another part of the country with the HS2 line proposed to run at the bottom of her garden.

Cllr Blake and Cllr Wakefield stressed throughout the meeting, they understood the frustrations of local people, but that this is a national government project and the decision on both the route and compensation will be made by government.

They confirmed that the council’s position is:

  • Not happy with the government and HS2’s preferred route coming through Woodlesford
  • The compensation package offered to residents is not good enough
  • The HS2 station should be as close and as integrated as possible to the existing station as engineering will allow

Cllr Blake asked Alec Shelbrooke if he had heard anything about either the re-route or his alternative plans for tunnelling, Alec said he had not.

Cllr Blake said it was the responsibility of local MP Alec Shelbrooke, along with other partners and the council to continue to push for a better deal for Woodlesford residents, including better compensation for local people, however ultimately it was the decision of the government.

It is hoped that there will be an announcement at the end of October regarding the route and compensation in the autumn spending review.

David and I really sympathise with residents, it is appalling how those impacted the most on the government’s preferred route have been treated by HS2 from the start. We put in our own submission on the route and the compensation demanding a better deal for residents in the consultation period, but with it being a government project it’s frustrating not being able to do more.

It’s terrible how residents continue to be in limbo and we hope that there will be an announcement soon as residents need to know where they stand. We are dearly hoping that the government has listened and will act on the needs and concerns of local residents.

Why I’m backing Yvette–she’s a proper Labour lass

Yvette Cooper MP and Cllr Karen Bruce campaigning in RothwellMy impression of Yvette Cooper is from what I know of her over a long period of time.

She has shown over many years that she supports us in Elmet and Rothwell. She’s regularly campaigned with us – year in, year out.

I’ve known Yvette a long time, but that’s not a good enough reason to vote for her.

I remember with gratitude Yvette encouraging me to speak at Labour Party conference some years ago, which really gave me the boost I needed.

I remember first hearing about Yvette after her selection in our neighbouring constituency, the then Pontefract and Castleford constituency and hearing how she’d wowed the members there and outflanked the great local candidate.

I remember Yvette was here in May to help us win the constituency (we didn’t) and help get me re-elected as a councillor after Labour’s defeat the year before (We won!) Andy Burnham has also put his money where his mouth is and worked with us here.

I’m voting for Yvette as my first preference though because I feel I can trust her to be at the helm of the party and also at the helm of the country.

I feel I could trust her to unite the party and that the economy would be in a safe, capable and caring pair of hands.

She’s a proper Labour lass who cares passionately about those in our country who need the Labour Party to win for them and be in a position to make a real difference.

The five year olds of today need us to vote for Yvette so they don’t languish under a continuous Tory government.

She is capable of being Prime Minister and she actually wants the job. She knew she was applying for the job of being future PM when she entered the contest. I’m also voting for Yvette because she is cautious, I see that as a positive.

 

Because she’s the best candidate I’m excited at the prospect of our first woman leader and Labour’s first female Prime Minister. Labour should not be run in this day and age by two white men, not when we have Yvette who outperforms them all!