In case you missed it this is Labour’s Made by the Many video for the local elections that are happening in many parts of the country. We don’t have any in Elmet and Rothwell as there are no elections to Leeds City Council this year, but neighbouring North Yorkshire does have elections.
Councillor Gerry Harper is the latest senior Leeds Labour Party member to back Karen’s bid to be selected as Labour’s candidate for Elmet and Rothwell. Gerry is the Deputy Executive Board Member for Development and Parliamentary Chief of Staff to Fabian Hamilton MP, MP for Leeds North East. Gerry said:
“I just heard that Karen Bruce is seeking selection as the parliamentary candidate to represent Labour at the next General Election. As a working mum and campaigner for our party Karen has a wealth of experience and understanding to offer the people of this constituency. She knows and understands the problems faced by hard working families in our country and I have no hesitation in supporting her nomination as the parliamentary candidate to represent Labour at the next general election.”
Karen Bruce and Esme campaigning for Gerry in Hyde Park and Woodhouse by-election.
Rothwell was the first ward in Leeds to benefit from weekly collections of food waste, but because of how the collection routes are worked out it didn’t benefit the whole ward. While about 8,500 homes were included in the pilot scheme there were about 300 homes in Carlton and on Leadwell Lane that missed out.
The good news is that those homes will very soon start to get a weekly food waste collection.
It’s something that I’ve been asking to happen since even before I became a councillor, so I’m delighted it is finally going to.
Lots of local people have told told me that they like to do their bit for the environment and are keen recyclers, but I’ve always had complaints that not everyone could recycle their food waste and it had to go into landfill.
Initially some people might find the new collection cycles to be confusing, but the council is trying to make it as easy as possible for people by making the collections on the same day every week. Black waste bins will be emptied one week with the green recycling bins emptied on the alternative week and the food bins every week. So all you need to do is know what day of the week to put your bins out and then to make sure it is the right colour one.
The new food waste bins and information packs will be delivered to homes over the next few weeks and the new collection scheme will start in April. You’ll get two bins, one for inside your house and one for outside.
The Leeds City Council website has lots of information about bins and rubbish collection including what goes in your food bin and what goes in your green recycling bin. It’s not always easy to know what goes in the green bin as lots of things that can be recycled can’t be put in the recycling bin! One of the odd ones is tetrapaks (juice cartons) which can be recycled, but can’t be put in the recycling bin and have to be taken to a recycling centre along with glass bottles. The brown bins are for garden waste such as grass cuttings, hedge clippings and leaves. The brown bin collection service will start again in March and happens every two weeks.
It’s been a very busy couple of weeks as not only have I been dealing with all of the normal duties of a councillor, but both David Nagle and me have been inundated by people contacting us about the proposal that the new HS2 high speed railway line should come through Woodlesford.
The news came as a bolt out of the blue both for residents and councillors – I found out about when I saw local people talking about it on Twitter and Facebook. Understandably some Woodlesford residents have been absolutely devastated to find out that their quiet, picturesque and peaceful canal side community will potentially be fundamentally changed with a viaduct to carry a high speed train.
Tory transport minister shows staggering contempt for local people
The news came as a shock to us all, but I’m also angry about the way it has been handled so far. As an elected councillor I’m shocked at the incompetence of the so called consultation as there has been no attempt by the government or HS2 Ltd to contact us directly, simply leaving us to find things out for ourselves and hindering our ability to help and support local residents. Neither have local residents been contacted directly. It shows a staggering contempt for the views and needs of local people and makes me question just how genuine the consultation actually is.
I’d like to praise those residents who have already started to work together and I think that it is essential that myself and Councillor David Nagle, Rothwell’s two Labour councillors, and Liberal Democrat councillor Stewart Golton work together to support local people. All three of us attended the Woodlesford and Oulton Action Group meeting on Wednesday Tuesday which was packed with worried local people. David and me met Andrew Hall, from the Leeds City council transport department on Tuesday Monday for our first briefing on HS2 and despite the short notice I persuaded Andrew to come to the action group meeting the following evening.
So far I haven’t heard anything directly from Alec Shelbrooke our local Elmet and Rothwell Tory MP. If we are to get the best result for local people then it’s important that local politicians put aside their political differences and work together.
I am writing to HS2 Limited and Patrick McLoughlin, the Conservative secretary of state for transport, to ask that they come to Woodlesford to see and hear for themselves how local people will be effected. We’ve had far too little information about the consultation process and we especially need to know far more about proposals to provide compensation to those affected. One of my concerns is that people living just outside the 60m distance from the centre of the track will lose out.
UPDATE: There is a Facebook group for SO WHAT (Swillington, Oulton and Woodlesford HS2 Action Group).
I was able to update members of the Carlton Residents Association (CVRA) last night but this is for those that weren’t able to attend. There are currently a couple of issues which many Carlton residents are concerned about.
The latest news on the traveller site development at Castle Gate, just within Wakefield, and bordering onto Leeds is that this was discussed at the recent plans panel meeting and a submission has been made to Wakefield council in objection to the planning application. My objections, and those from local residents are included in the objection from Leeds City Council. Wakefield council will be making the decision on this.
Just to update on the proposed development of 14 houses on an area of land off Shayfield Lane, in Carlton, which has been nurtured through farming for decades. The land lies between the houses on Queens Drive and the children’s play area and fields.
Many Carlton residents, some of whom have lived in the area for decades, fear the plans could spoil the character of our rural village and traffic could endanger children as the playground is next to the proposed development,
There have been around 45 letters of objection (including my objection as a local councillor on behalf of local resdients) received up to the deadline of 29 March, but the planning department often try to accept any comments up to the decision date, so it still isn’t too late to make a representation. Hisorically, an application was refused in 2000 for 16 detached and two semi-detached houses for the site not being previously developed under then national planning housing guidance PPG3. A further application for 18 houses was also withdrawn in 2000.
The houses overlooking the green fields are faced with having somebody else’s house at the end of their garden blocking their light and outlook. Not all residents can drive and their pleasure comes from their own gardens. We have one village shop and public transport isn’t good enough that people don’t need to use cars so this would increase traffic on rural village roads.
This application to build on one of our green fields makes no provision for affordable housing or improvements to the local infrastructure which I believe makes it unsustainable.
The fight to save the Victoria and Reservoir allotments rages on despite their sale by the private landowner to two new landowners. The new owner has already served the council with a year’s notice on the Reservoir site. I’m meeting regularly with the council leader to explore every option for saving the allotments, including a compulsory purchase order. The two allotment sites in Rothwell have been used as allotments for decades .
Please sign the online petition here to help to save Victoria Pitts and Reservoir allotment sites!
The purpose of this petition is to prevent the new owners from changing the use of the land and evicting the allotment holders. Given the current financial climate and the government’s encouragement for people to grow their own produce we need to keep this valuable resource in the community.
The allotment holders are holding another public meeting this evening at 7pm at Haigh Road Community Centre, David Nagle and I will be attending in support of the allotment holders.
It’s great to see the village of Carlton looking great thanks to the efforts of the newly formed in 2011 Carlton in Bloom and the on-going good work of Carlton Village Residents Association. It’s evident for all of us who live in or visit Carlton the amount of hard work and time that local people have invested in the village and I was pleased to be able to help and support Carlton In Bloom to put in a successful bid to get a grant for £500 last year from Aire Valley Homes Outer South Area Panel to help them to get off to a cracking start.
I have been impressed with the events which CVRA has organised for the village last year including the successful gala in the summer and ‘Carols around the tree’ on 16 December which many villagers turned out for. It was a cold crisp evening full of community spirit as the sound of Garforth Brass Band rang out through Carlton together with the festive singing of carols and warmed by mulled wine and minced pies. As if that wasn’t enough, everyone then went onto Carlton Social Club for the rest of the carols and to warm up. There was a children’s entertainer and a special visit from Santa, which my daughter loved.
I’m looking forward to the next meeting of Carlton Village Residents Association (AGM) which is to be held on Wednesday, January 25 at Carlton Social Club at 8.30pm and I know that new people wanting to get involved will be very much welcomed.
Finally, to give people plenty of notice the Carlton Gala is a week or two earlier this year and will take place on June 30. Make sure you put it in your diary now as it’s sure to be another great day.
I’m sure that everyone in Carlton will want to join me in congratulating Nora Walton, the village postmistress, on reaching the Yorkshire Regional Finals of the Countryside Alliance Village Awards. Nora was nominated by a resident for services to the community and I know many locals voted for her. Good luck Nora, you’ve already done well to get this far!
I’d like to start by wishing everyone in Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton a very happy New Year!
So 2011 was a fantastic year for the local Rothwell Labour Party team. On Thursday, May 5 I was proud to help to make history for the local party by becoming the first Labour councillor to be elected in Rothwell in the 21st century, defeating Steve Smith, the sitting Liberal Democrat who had represented Rothwell for the last eight years. The results were Labour Party 2889, Liberal Democrats 2365 and Conservatives 1018.
People of Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton put their faith in me and I pledged to do my best for local people. It’s been hard, being the only Labour councillor when there are two opposition councillors, but local people tell me they think I’ve got off to a great start working hard on their behalf. Some of the biggest issues have been successfully lobbying the council and working with the Labour team to save Dolphin Manor and fighting to keep the Victoria and Reservoir allotments in Rothwell.
I’ve been contacted by many individuals and community groups and have been able to take up local issues on their behalf, as well as holding my popular advice sessions in Morrisons (at 10:30 every third Saturday in the month) and attend many residents and community meetings throughout the ward. The first six months provided me with the opportunity to forge even stronger local links between the Labour Party and the community.
It has been great to be involved in so many great community initiatives such as launching the Woodlesford Park Fun Day organised by the Woodlesford and Oulton Action Group, working the local Rothwell neighbourhood police team, taking part in the Rothwell bible readathon, lighting the Rothwell bonfire, attending the Remembrance Sunday service, helping to save the Rothwell Christmas lights . And it is a good job I had an early summer holiday as August was also busy.
I’m also busy with lots of official council meetings and committees such representing Rothwell on the Leeds City Council outer south area committee.
It was also a big year personally with my little girl starting at Carlton school. I was a very proud mum taking her to school on her first day – she’s loving it and it’s great to see her coming on wonderfully with her reading, writing and sums already. My husband Stuart has changed direction with a more independent career concentrating on some really interesting projects which means he is spending more time at home with our daughter. It has been an excellent Christmas with a little help from Santa of course and the school who helped to make it special for the children.
Pam Clarkson and her wonderful team of helpers once again put on a wonderful Christmas Dinner on Christmas Day at Blackburn Hall to make sure no local person missed out on Christmas day celebrations and I was pleased to give a MICE contribution towards the event. I was delighted that Pam was honoured on ITV’s Text Santa at Blackburn Hall and that ITV helped make the occasion even more special. I really enjoyed going on Christmas Day with my husband and daughter to chat with everyone who came for their Christmas dinner, which looked great, along with carols from Rothwell Temperance Band.
I look forward to working even more closely with local community campaigner David Nagle as he fights to win a second seat for the local Labour Party this May in the local elections. David is a hard worker and has already been busy taking up issues on behalf of local people.
If you’d like to help me, David and the local Labour team work for our local area then please get in touch.
For any residents of Woodlesford and Oulton who have not yet heard of Woodlesford and Oulton Action Group, this is to let you know about this fantastic local group that only started last year and has already achieved a lot. It has a great new website to give you the latest news from Woodlesford and Oulton and what the group is involved with.
If you would like to get involved or to see what is happening to improve your area WOAG would like to see you at its next meeting which is on Tuesday 6 December at 7pm at Midland House, Midland Street, Woodlesford.
Woodlesford and Oulton Action Group were responsible for organising the first ever Woodlesford Park fun day which I was delighted to open in September – it was a great success and we’re all looking forward to an even bigger and better event next year!
As a Rothwell councillor (representing Woodlesford, Oulton, Carlton and Rothwell) I sit on the Outer South area committee of Leeds City Council and at our last meeting we granted £8,000 to be spent on improving Woodlesford Park. The local area committee is made up of all the local councillors in outer south Leeds – that’s five Labour councillors, five Morley Borough Independents and two Liberal Democrats.
Woodlesford and Oulton Action Group, together with the local residents, identified improvements they would like to see as their top priority and the area committee funding will go towards these improvements. The improvements will include fencing to form a seven-a-side court, goal end, surface, sports markings, seats and bins, improved access by the bowling green, entrance sign and bulbs. Rothwell councillors supported the application which then went on to be approved by the full area committee last month.
I fully support the Woodlesford and Oulton Action Group and have been impressed with the work I’ve seen them do since being elected in May and am delighted to have helped with providing funding to make sure the required improvements go ahead, I’m really looking forward to seeing the work completed and working on many future projects with the group for Woodlesford and Oulton.
As the massive cuts imposed by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat government begin to bite one of the things that had to be cut was the central funding that Leeds City Council used to give to provide local communities right around Leeds with money for Christmas trees and lights.
The good news is that in Rothwell we have managed to save the Christmas trees and lights by using some of the money from the local area committee budget. The local area committee is made up of all the local councillors in outer south Leeds – that’s five Labour councillors, five Morley Borough Independents and a couple of Liberal Democrats. The councillors are funding all the Christmas lights and trees across the council wards of Rothwell, Ardsley and Robin Hood, Morley South and Morley North.
“I’m delighted that we are investing almost £4,500 to pay for Christmas trees and lights for the Rothwell ward. We made sure that we will have our Christmas lights on Commercial Street and local Christmas trees and ensured that there would still be “Carols Round the Tree” in Woodlesford, Carlton and outside Rothwell One Stop Shop to bring the traditional Christmas cheer and encourage people to use our excellent local shops and businesses leading up to Christmas.
It’s been a hard year for many and Christmas is a time for all of us to come together and celebrate.