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.

IMG_9251

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.

Aldi backs down on late night opening

Aldi

Good news for many residents living close to the proposed new Aldi site.

Following our strong opposition with the community to Aldi’s attempt to opening hours until late at night, me and my Labour ward colleague Cllr David Nagle and nearby residents are pleased that the pressure we brought to bear has caused Aldi to withdraw its application to open later.

When Aldi got planning permission to build a store in Rothwell hours were restricted to 9pm as we as your councillors and nearby residents objected to late night opening as young children and older people in sheltered housing would be sleeping nearby.

Aldi went for another bite at the cherry as it didn’t like the original decision at plans panel but soon realised that permission would not be given and that we are still as opposed to late nights. Aldi seem to be more interested in tinkering with the opening hours than with actually getting on with building the store which should be its priority now. Residents want to know why it has stalled and we are calling for Aldi to get on with the job.

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 Wood Lane double parking action needed now

People throughout Rothwell are up in arms about the double parking at the top of Wood Lane and IMG_9236David and I want to see action on this as soon as possible. We at last were able to get Cllr Richard Lewis, the executive board member responsible for highways and Gary Bartlett, the director of highways both available for a site meeting with us this week. It was good to be able to show them Rothwell is currently having to shoulder such a volume of cars which are double parked along the top part of Wood Lane causing numerous problems, although this wasn’t the busiest day I’ve seen for cars parked there, it was enough to show what the problem is.

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 are again writing to the business park manager to express our disappointment and re-iterating that the business park needs to be part of the solution to the parking problems.

IMG_9240We believe that the cars parking on Wood Lane are a mix of staff from the business park and people leaving their cars and travelling into Leeds.

At the site meeting I stressed that it is unfair that Rothwell should shoulder this amount of parking, and that the double parking is dangerous.for sight lines and people crossing the road. It is also unsafe when two vehicles try to pass at the same time when there isn’t enough room to do so safely. Often it isn’t possible for two vehicles to pass at the same time and this leads to traffic waiting and queues at busy times.

David and I are pushing for a park and ride site at Stourton which we think would help IMG_9245alleviate some of the parking problems on Wood Lane, this could be one of the long term solutions.

Actions to follow the meeting – highways to draw up a revised scheme which 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 the 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.

IMG_9251Highways are going to try to liaise with the business park as well as David and I again trying to get them to engage on this issue.

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.

Support for ground breaking Rothwell Dementia Friendly garden

P1000321 EditJMA ground breaking project to create a ‘dementia friendly’ garden in Springhead Park Rothwell moved a step closer to becoming a reality after the Outer South community committee gave £10,000 worth of funding towards the special garden.

As Rothwell councillor and chair of the council’s committee of Outer South councillors which approved the funding, I’m really pleased to have been able to help to provide much needed funding to transform an area of Rothwell’s Springhead Park into a safe, secure, open space for people with dementia to become more active.

A further £5,000 was agreed by the council’s housing advisory panel to fund the project. However, more is still needed in order to reach the total project cost of just under £34,000. Donations for this fantastic local project have been flooding through from local people and local businesses and local people have held fundraising events to help move funding closer to the amount needed.

I would urge any local businesses who are interested in supporting the initiative to contact me, Peter Smith or Rothwell and District Live at Home Scheme, where Brian is administering the project.

The idea is the brainchild of local Rothwell resident Peter Smith, who also created and runs Rothwell’s Tea Cosy cafe and is responsible for helping to make Rothwell Dementia Friendly. Me and David have worked closely with Peter on these from the early days and are pleased to have been able to have worked with Peter from the beginning to help him get this idea off the ground.

Peter and aIMG_9232 group of volunteers run the popular Tea Cosy Memory Café that sees more than a hundred people every month. The aim of the café is to provide a place where people with dementia and their families and friends can socialise and relax.

A partnership between Dementia Friendly Rothwell, Rothwell Live at Home Scheme and Leeds City Council Parks and Countryside Service was formed to take action to make the idea a reality.

I’m really looking forward to seeing a part of our Springhead Park turned into a special, sensory, safe and secure outdoor space for people living with dementia to visit and enjoy with their family, friends and carers. It will also create another great part of the park which everyone is able to enjoy.  It would be great if the remainder of the funds fall into place to have the new garden enjoyed by many next summer.

Visit Rothwell’s Dementia Friendly Garden Facebook page.