Local elections for Leeds City Council

Next Thursday 7 May it’s both the general election and the local elections for Leeds City Council. After serving the people of Rothwell, Woodlesford, Oulton and Carlton for the last four years I’m up for re-election this year.

This is a copy of the Rothwell News leaflet that local Labour Party and community volunteers are delivering to every house in Rothwell – almost 9,000. In the last four years I’ve met many of you at community events, when doing my roving advice sessions on your street or when knocking on doors, but with 16,000 voters it’s inevitable I’ve missed meeting some of you!

I’ve deliberately kept it up beat and positive instead of criticising other parties as that’s what politics should be like in 2015, sadly the local Liberal Democrats don’t agree and have made most of their leaflet negative and nasty.

Rothwell News local election 2015

Aldi sets its sights on Rothwell

Me and my ward colleague Cllr David Nagle have been approached as Rothwell ward councillors by Claire Temple of Planning Potential Ltd to have a meeting with her and her client, the supermarket Aldi, ahead of a public consultation event they are holding on 10 June.

I  had a chat with Ashleigh Signs about the possibility of their expansion in Rothwell some months ago.

We are meeting with Aldi and Planning Potential Ltd next Friday 6th June to hear what they have to say about their plans and we’re interested in hearing what you think about Aldi’s plans in Rothwell.

In her email Claire says:

The site we’re looking at is the Ashleigh Signs site, my client is Aldi; I know there are various rumours flying around so we look to be getting our newsletter out inviting people to the consultation early next week.  I have attached a copy of the newsletter that will be posted to 1500 addresses with a freepost feedback card.I look forward to meeting you on Friday 6th.



Campaigning to get local bus back


Residents on Styebank Lane and streets in the area received a letter from me and my Rothwell Labour councillor ward colleague David Nagle in October telling them that we’re campaigning for a bus to be re-instated for them that will run into Leeds. We let them know that we had written to Arriva and Metro on their behalf.

Thank you to everyone who got in touch with us, we got a very positive response from residents who welcomed that we had taken up the issue on their behalf.

We have now received a response from Arriva, which informs us that following our lobbying, it will carry out a review of the bus services that serve our area and have said that they will consider the possibility of re-instating a service linking Leeds with Styebank Lane.

The Labour team took up the issue after knocking on lots of doors around the Styebank Lane area chatting to local residents on the doorstep and being told what a big issue it is for people in that part of Rothwell.

Rothwell Labour Party campaigner Angela Kellett  lives nearby in Sandyacres, Rothwell and knows lots of people in this area, so this is an issue she feels very strongly about.

Angela told me: “I’m especially keen to see the Leeds bus brought back to the Styebank Lane area as I know first hand how it has been badly missed. Local people who want the bus back should let Arriva know or contact me, Karen or David Nagle so we can pass it on to Arriva. As vice chair of the Rothwell Tenants and Residents Association I know that local people have been telling me they want the Leeds bus and I’ll be making sure that Arriva know this.”

Although me and David had raised this before with Metro and the bus company it become clearer through speaking to  lots of people in the area just how many people this issue affects and we felt the matter needed to be raised again on behalf of residents so we were determined to try again.  To re-introduce this service would be giving back a lifeline to many locals.

We know there are many people, especially those who are elderly or with a disability, who find it a struggle to walk either to Haigh Road or into Rothwell, and this struggle is increased by the fact that Styebank Lane and the surrounding area is on quite a steep hill.  The Park Lane and Styebank Lane area is served by an hourly service, number nine to Rothwell, but this is an orbital service (Seacroft – White Rose – Pudsey) which does not go to Leeds.

We’re delighted that we have been able to help residents get the unsatisfactory situation with the bus service on Styebank Lane reviewed and will continue to try to make sure this results in the bus service being re-instated.

The review will be carried out in the spring and summer with a view to any changes taking place in October 2014.

NHS 65th Birthday Gala in Leeds

The big event this weekend is the BIG NHS Birthday Gala to celebrate the 65th anniversary of the NHS. While the Tories and Liberal Democrat chums slash their way through public services lets not forget what a Labour government achieved in austere times. We created the NHS, embarked on a massive house building programme and founded the modern welfare state.

Tomorrow (Saturday, June 29) there is a massive gala in Millennium Square, Leeds from 11am to 3pm. The gala is supported by the TUC, Unison and host of other organisations.

Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton is speaking and the guest compere is well-known Labour supporter John Middleton (better known as Ashley from Emmerdale). It’s a fun, family event with a steel orchestra, circus skills and face painting amongst the attractions.

NHS birthday gala, Leeds

Stop the bedroom tax rally in Leeds

What better way to spend a glorious spring day than to join Labour Party and trade union colleagues at a rally in Leeds city centre against the bedroom tax? This is an ill-thought out policy that victimises some of the most vulnerable people in the community and will have a devastating effect on many people throughout Elmet and Rothwell.

Karen Bruce walking behind the Unite banner at the Leeds against the bedroom tax rally

Karen Bruce walking behind the Unite banner.

Karen Bruce with the GMB bed at the Leeds against the bedroom tax rally

Karen Bruce with the GMB bed.

Councillor Alex Sobel and Councillor Karen Bruce at the Leeds against the bedroom tax rally

Councillor Alex Sobel and Councillor Karen Bruce.

Karen Bruce and Elmet and Rothwell GMB member Bob Dyson at the Leeds aganist the bedroom tax rally

Karen Bruce and Elmet and Rothwell GMB member Bob Dyson.

Former Leeds councillor and Pudsey Labour Party member John Garvarni unveils the Unite the Union banner.

Former Leeds councillor and Pudsey Labour Party member John Garvarni unveils the Unite the Union banner.

Musical light relief at the Leeds against the bedroom tax rally

Musical light relief at the Leeds against the bedroom tax rally.