I went along to St Matthew’s Community Centre on Wednesday night for what turned out to be a very interesting meeting of the Council’s Inner South Area Committee. This is a formal Council Committee made up of the nine Councillors who represent Beeston & Holbeck, City & Hunslet and Middleton Park wards. However it’s chaired by Cllr Angela Gabriel who encourages members of the public to contribute and ask questions.
First up was the Open Forum where residents can raise any issue that they feel is important. We had Splash asking about the future of South Leeds Sports Centre – Cllr Ogilvie is still pursuing two possible options to reopen it, Cllr Blake pointed out that the facilities at John Charles are open to local people and we should use them. Mick Wood from the Fire Service offered to speak to any community group about fire safety – contact him by email. In answer to a question about lack of facilities in Holbeck, Cllr Gabriel confirmed that she had taken Tesco round several sites in Holbeck and they are actively considering them.
On the main agenda we had a presentation from St Luke’s Cares about the Youth Bus that they take around the area to engage with young people. We heard about a review of Elderly day care and there was discussion about whether day centres are the best way help people and whether you need to provide separate activities for people suffering from dementia. The review is out for consultation until April, I’m not sure how you can see the papers or register your views (I can’t find it on the Council’s web site) – perhaps one of our Councillors could help?
Middleton – where the streets have no name
There was a progress report about the very good work going on in Middleton by the Regeneration Partnership. My ears pricked up when a resident asked why the new housing behind the St George’s Centre didn’t link up with Throstle Road. Cllr Driver (no pun intended) explained that the developer – Cofton – had gone bust before finishing the roads. Apparently people have been living in the houses for three years with no street names, no street lights and possibly driving on roads not covered by public liability insurance.
- Do you live on a street with no name? What are the problems that you face? Please tell us about it in the Comments section below.
The meeting went on to hear about the performance of Children’s Services which from April will include Education as well as Early Years (Children Centres) and Child Protection (Social Services). Then we heard how the Area Committee are also soon to take responsibility for street scene services. These are things like street sweeping, litter bins and dumping, but NOT refuse collection and recycling. It’s hoped to make the service more responsive to local conditions and local issues. There was a discussion about how we can encourage more residents to take more responsibility for their own rubbish and instill more community pride. The work happening on the Cardinal estate was mentioned where Councillors, Police, Housing and Street Scene carry out a joint inspection of the estate.
Finally we were invited to the next meeting which will be at the new Youth Hub in Belle Isle on Thursday 24th March at 6:30pm – but if you come along early you can have a tour around this great new facility for young people.
Please note: This has been my account of what happened, not necessarily a full and certainly not a proper set of minutes. Formal minutes will be published in due course on the Council’s website.