Campaigning to get local bus back

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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.

Update on Dolphin Manor care home, Rothwell

Dolphin Manor RothwellThe news that we had saved Dolphin Manor from imminent closure was reported in last month’s edition of Rothwell Record. As a result of local people’s hard work a new proposal was developed to create a new social enterprise company that could become responsible for running Dolphin Manor in the future. This was as a result of me lobbying both the leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Keith Wakefield and Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, Executive Board Member responsible for adult social care to persuade them to back the social enterprise plan and we have gained the support of the council in our bid to be allowed to put together a plan to run the care home locally.

Making sure the momentum is kept up at Leeds City Council level myself and James Normington, the local Labour Party member who is taking a lead the social enterprise plan, went again this month to see Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the executive member for adult social care, to explain how the plan will now develop. It was agreed that enough time should be allowed to enable a full plan to be developed and that this will be more than a year until the practical proposals would be ready to be put into place. A local steering group has now been set up to put the plan together for the council to approve and it is hoped to have it in a position to run in April 2013.

I’m delighted that local people are being given the chance to save Dolphin Manor by setting up the social enterprise. I have every faith that the commitment and hard work of local people can make this plan work. The hard work has already started to create a practical social enterprise that will keep Dolphin Manor open for residents and for future generations in Rothwell.

Rothwell local election campaign gains momentum

Campaigning Karen and John Healey

Another fantastic day on the campaign trail in Rothwell, we’re getting a fantastic response! It’s been a busy week campaigning, including with John Healey. the shadow health minister, door knocking in Rothwell on a beautiful sunny day! The campaign is very positive and upbeat. Time and again people are telling us that they want to send the Lib Dems a message as they feel totally let down by their blatant betrayal of the very people that voted for them. On so many issues from VAT to EMA and tuition fees and of course the NHS and even cutting winter fuel allowance for the older people who need it most. People on the doorsteps of Rothwell are telling us loud and clear that they won’t stand for such double standards.

One example is  a guy who I remember speaking to before in a recent election who had told me in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t voting Labour, but he was voting for the Lib Dems. He is now very angry at the Lib Dems and told me that he thought they were nothing more than ‘opportunist’. He also told me that he has so far been impressed with Ed Miliband and he thought that I would make a great hard working councillor for Rothwell and he would definitely be voting for me on May 5.

I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has chipped in to help with the campaign so far – I really appreciate it!

Thanks to Leonie Mathers for the great photo of some of the team with John Healey.