Woody school students help us make Woodlesford roads safer


Cllr Karen Bruce and residents at road near Woodlesford schoolI’ve long pushed for 20mph zones and when the Woodlesford 20 mph zone was given the go-ahead I asked Leeds City Council Highways if children from Woodlesford Primary School could design the sign. As a result council officers have worked with Woodlesford Primary head teacher Robin Scott to organise a competition for pupils to design the new sign.

Robin then organised the competition in school. The school shortlisted the top 10 pictures from each year group and gave them to Leeds City Council for judging. I was delighted to be asked to be on the judging panel and really enjoyed going to have a look at the pictures. There were some amazing drawings. We weren’t just looking for the best pictures though, we had to think what would be effective with drivers and we viewed them from a long distance as well. Bold designs seemed to work the best. The winning six drawings will then be made into signs by the council’s sign workshop.

I’m really looking forward attending a special school assembly on road safety day on Wednesday, February 25 and awarding the prizes to the winners.

The road safety day will also see safety rangers and police at the school to help teach the children about road safety, pedestrian safety and HGV awareness, as well as using SID (the speed indication device) to show how fast cars are travelling.

The Woodlesford 20mph zone follows a successful zone in Carlton where the signs were also designed by a pupil from Carlton School. A further 20mph zone has also been put in near Haigh Road School and there is also an advisory 20mph speed limit near Royds School at school start and finish times.

It’s fantastic we can get the children to design the signs as this helps to teach them about road safety and really gets the local community involved in supporting the 20mph zones. Now we’ve got three in the ward I’m lobbying the council to see if we can get more 20mph zones on roads near to more of our schools. I want further ones introduced in more of our schools this year.

Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton under attack from developers

Cllr Karen Bruce and Cllr David NagleOur villages and green fields are under attack from predatory developers exploiting relaxed planning laws, according to Country Life magazine, which says that rural communities are being ruined by house builders ‘let off the leash’ by the Tories and Liberal Democrat government through its National Planning Policy Framework introduced two years ago to boost development and tackle the housing crisis by cutting red tape.

As a result, developers want to build large estates on the outskirts of our villages, leaving our schools and GP surgeries overcrowded. When we try to defend ourselves from poorly conceived housing sprawl we’re considered Nimbys.

We’re fighting a war to protect our green fields, we all need to stand together. We’ll win battles and lose battles, but we’ve got to win the war to protect Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton.

I welcome the fact that we now have three Neighbourhood Planning Forums in Rothwell, Oulton and Woodlesford, and Carlton all of which David Nagle and me are actively involved with. If development does happen in the next 15 years, it should be where local people decide it should be, not where a government inspector decides it should be. Neighbourhood planning should insist on infrastructure being in place to cope with any development. All those involved with our Neighbourhood planning forums are doing a wonderful job, if you’d like to get involved in your area forum please contact me and I’ll pass on your details to your local forum.



New Rothwell playground arrives for Wood Lane children

Cllr Karen Bruce at new childrens playground on Wood Lane estate

The playground has now arrived at the Wood Lane estate and the children are eager to try it out.


David Nagle and me recently wrote to residents on the estate to say that we’d worked to get a small children’s playground to be installed on the recreation ground on Manor Crescent. This followed a consultation event at Rose Farm last year, working with the Rothwell Tenants and Residents Association, which residents on the estate were invited to.  Following feedback received, and having since secured funding, several pieces of play equipment were ordered.


Having secured £20,000 of funding for the play equipment for children on the estate, with £9,000 from Housing Leeds and the remaining £11,000 funds from Rothwell councillors through the Community Committee and the Rothwell Labour councillors’ MICE money. We were pleased to be able to secure funding for this project in the current climate where council funding is being cut by the government.


The playground equipment is a set of two flat swings, a set of two cradle swings, a roundabout, a slide, a spinning pirouette, a see saw, a picnic table and a bin. The play equipment has been put onto grass matting. At the time of writing, there is still part of the safety surfacing to be laid and it is important that the surfacing is left to set properly to make sure it doesn’t loosen.


Since starting campaigning on the Wood Lane Estate (Manor Estate), before being elected in Rothwell, I was determined once elected to make it a priority to provide more things to do for young people and children on the estate and I’ve made sure I worked hard on this.


I hope that families on the estate will enjoy the benefit of the new playground, I’m really pleased that we’ve made this playground happen for the younger children, it’s only right they should have some play equipment. Playing outside is not just about letting off steam. It is a vital part of childhood that helps children develop physical strength, coordination and balance. It can also provide opportunities for children to learn and develop. It is essential in my view that children have access to safe outside play.

Rothwell library saved help keep it that way

Rothwell LibraryWhilst councils up and down the country, including neighbouring councils, are being forced to close many or all of their libraries because of cuts from government, in contrast Leeds has worked with frontline library staff and local councillors to negotiate solutions that keep our libraries open.

Proposals have been brought forward to re-organise library hours to enable Rothwell library to stay open in the face of massive cuts in its budget from central government.  The library service is now giving residents the chance to have their say on when they would like to use the library and have laid down two options to library users which they would like library users to respond to in order to best serve the needs of the community.

The busiest period of library use is usually through the daytime, although both the options put forward for consideration keep some evening hours as well daytime ones and weekend hours.

Rothwell library is a great asset to our community  and I’m very pleased that despite cuts to funding Leeds City Council has recognised the importance of our libraries and are not considering closure like many other local authorities but instead are looking at re-organising hours to when more people want to use the library. I would urge local people who love our library to respond to the consultation and comment on their preferred option of opening hours.

I’d also urge you to use Rothwell library if you haven’t done for a while as it can only stay viable with healthy usage by local people.  It has computers with internet access and staff to help you use them, it also has a community room which people and local groups can hire, it has a great childrens’ book section and even does a story time and sticker club to encourage children to use their library. Our daughter has been enjoying it since she was a toddler.

Because of government cuts more than 200 libraries have closed, which is why saving Rothwell is so important. We love our library in Rothwell, we’re pleased it’s not going to be closed and want to keep it that way!

Click here to respond to see the two options put forward for response by library users and to do your own response to the consultation.

If you haven’t got around to joining the library yet, you can do it here now.

Oulton governor Trish Bromilow endorses Karen

Oulton Primary School governor and Labour Party activist Trish Bromilow is the latest local member to endorse Karen:

Karen Bruce and Trish Bromilow

“I’m delighted to hear that Karen is seeking selection as the parliamentary candidate for Elmet and Rothwell.  We need more women MPs both locally and on the national stage and Karen, who knows the constituency well, will make a fantastic MP.  Good luck and I look forward to supporting you on the campaign!”