A packed meeting heard that despite assurances at the previous meeting that Asda would “fully consult with the forum in future”, a further planning application has been submitted. The application covers illuminated signage for the new store, described by one resident as making “Old Lane look like Blackpool illuminations.”
Bill Birch also raised the issue of mud on the road from vehicles leaving the building site. There is a planning condition that Asda must agree measures with the council to minimise such nuisance, but on contacting the council planning department, he found that no such agreement was in place.
The Forum agreed to write to Asda about both the mud and the lack of consultation. It was further agreed to write to the council about the lack of enforcement from planning officers.
Police and crime
Answering a question about resources, Mr Burns-Williamson explained that whilst they were putting up the Council Tax precept by 1.99%, their government grant which covered 80% of their budget in 2010 had been cut by 40%. West Yorkshire has lost about 2,000 officers in that time, but will be recruiting 82 officers next year. The number of Specials has risen to 800 and the force has a target of 1,500.
Insp Bowen reported that overall crime in Beeston & Holbeck ward appeared to have risen over the last year, until they realised that 344 incidents related to the new police station at Elland Road. The underlying trend remains downwards. He addressed the issue of burnt out cars in Beeston describing the problem as a “family disagreement over business issues.” He reassured residents that the attacks were very targeted and not random, arrests had been made, but the cases have not come to court yet.
The meeting heard that Unity Housing has secured funding to build new affordable housing on the Parkwoods. James Kilroy has been invited to the April meeting to explain the plans. Greg Turton reported that the Beeston Neighbourhood Forum (which is working on the Neighbourhood Plan) has objected because they feel such decisions should await strategic decisions coming out of the plan.
The next meeting of Beeston Community Forum will be on Thursday 2 April at 7:30pm at Beeston Village Community Centre.