With Holbeck residents and sex work support agencies outside the Civic Hall and then joining the public gallery, Councillors debated how to tackle the issue of the ‘Managed Approach’ to street sex work in Holbeck during a meeting of the full Council at Leeds Civic Hall yesterday (14 November 2018).
As previously reported the ‘white paper’ motion was brought by the Conservative group who had worked with campaigners from the Save Our Eyes group to get the issue debated.
Cllr Amanda Carter (Calverly & Farsley) opened the debate by acknowledging that the problem of prostitution in Holbeck predated the introduction of the Managed Approach. She said that the situation was “beyond acceptable” as pledges had not been lived up to.
“Residents and businesses should not have to put up with this current situation – it’s absolutely appalling.” She said.
Councillor Debra Coupar, Executive Board member for communities, moved the Labour amendment.
“We did not create the red light zone” she said. “Rather we have invested money and resources to better manage the problem of street prostitution.”
She went on to said that the Council’s commitment to an independent review was not new and that they would work with the reference group (which includes Save Our Eyes) in shaping that review. But she warned that withdrawing the Managed Approach would only make matters worse.
Both Andrew Scopes and Angela Gabriel (Beeston & Holbeck ward Councillors) spoke in the debate. In what was Cllr Scopes maiden (first) speech to Council he reminded the meeting that:
“The women who work in the zone are one of the most vulnerable and marginialised sections of society.”
He pointed to the success in raising the numbers of reported crimes against them and of individuals that had been supported out of prostitution by charities such as Basis Yorkshire. He also said the Police were due to roll out a new approach to “punters” – men looking to buy sex – in the next month.
Cllr Dan Cohen (Alwoodly) commented that “The Managed Approach has become unmanageable.”
There was an impassioned speech from Cllr Sarah Field (Garforth & Swillington):
“Buying and selling women and children for sex is unacceptable and we need criminal sanctions to stop men from doing it.”
She argued against the use of the term sex worker saying that it normalised work that could never be made safe.
“The inside of a woman’s body should never be viewed as a workplace” she said.
Cllr Angela Gabriel went back over the history starting in 2004 when boundary changes brought Holbeck into her ward. She was appalled to discover 127 women working on the streets of Holbeck at that time. Whilst she and colleagues supported the approach, she described the introduction of the Managed Approach “with no extra resources” being carried out by Safer Leeds without ward councillors knowledge.
She reminded Councillors that a door-to-door consultation of Holbeck residents found 30% in favour of the approach, 30% against and 30% had no opinion. She said that West Yorkshire Police had failed to live up to early promises as Community Inspectors for the area had come and gone, priorities had changed and resources diminished.
“But we are now at a point where it (the Managed Approach) is working” said Cllr Gabriel. “Now is the wrong time to say let’s stop it because if anyone’s got a Plan B please let us know.”
At the end of the debate Labour’s amendment was carried. The full wording of the approved motion was:
“This Council acknowledges it is important to continuously work closely with both sex workers and the community on the Managed Approach to reduce the negative impacts of their work on residents and businesses, ensuring that Holbeck is a safe area to reside and work in.
“Council is aware that since the introduction of the Managed Approach, sex workers are engaging with specialist organisations and professionals, creating a safer environment and arrangements for them to operate in. Safeguarding vulnerable women involved in street-based activity is a high priority and working in partnership with third sector organisations ensures this support is being delivered, resulting in a positive impact.
“Council notes the commitment of the work Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and Safer Leeds are undertaking with the Managed Approach. The programme of enhanced activity and intensive partnership work is providing the opportunity to tackle the significant issues that are experienced as a result of the Managed Approach by those living and working in Holbeck.
“Council notes the commitment by Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and Safer Leeds to undertake an Independent Review of the Managed Approach once the enhanced activity has been given time to take effect.”
You can watch a video of the full debate here as part of the webcast of the whole full Council meeting. The debate is item 13 and starts at 4:09:00 into the video.
4 Replies to “Council commits to review of ‘Managed Approach’”
I was at the Civic Hall last night as a white paper had been put through regarding the Managed Approach in Holbeck.I was absolutely appalled at the lies From Angela Gabriel.According to her the MA is doing well which is a lie,it would be interesting to know where she heard that rubbish.I will be honest I shouted from the gallery Liar Liar to her.She also mentioned did anyone have a plan B if it closed,my plan B would be to move the Red Light where all the Labour Cllr live spread it around so they can have a share each.They wouldn’t want to see Used Condoms Used Needles Used Tampax and every other sort of litter on their doorsteps.I am absolutely disgusted that the Labour Councillors don’t want it closing when they know damn well that children in school uniform or not are being approached by dirty perverts and paedophils,one asked a grandmother if he could have her 3 month old grandson for an hour and he would bring him back to her.If Leeds Labour Councillors can let this happen to children and have no conscience about it especially the women Cllr then they have no place on the Council.Is Angela Gabriel waiting for a catastrophe to happen before they close it.Nobody has controled sex workers for thousands of years but Arch Angel Gabriel must have a magic wand.The MA attracts punters perverts,drug dealers and any other sort of creep from miles around did they not think that this would happen.Now the councillors are letting all these lowest of the low to do as they please on our streets.The residents in Holbeck are in a living Hell nobody knows unless they live here,but the Labour Councillors seem to think they know more than us.Please don’t vote for labour in the next local elections as when building starts in the Red Light it will have to be moved and You could be next on their list.
Angela Gabriel is one big liar in a speech she says she as knocked on doors explain Y do did not knock my door and the residents round balm walk she only knock on doors ho support her pull your finger out Gabriel and support the residents of holbeck WE DO NOT NOT WANT SEXWORKERS IN HOWE COMMUNITY
Angela Gabriel certainly didn’t knock on my door nor did any of the other Muppets from Leeds Labour Counil.Cllr Mark Dobson who was one of the councillors initially responsible for implementing the Managed approach in 2014 says its time the labour councillors admit it hasn’t worked.I was at the meeting on 14/11/18 in the Civic Hall sat in the gallery with other anti Red Light protesters,so I heard everything that was said and I am still outraged about Angela Gabriel telling bare faced lies saying that the Residents say the Managed Approach is working.Who have you been talking to Angela,Minnie Mouse.Myself and a few others shouted out Liar to her when she said this and we were told to be quiet by security,I thought we had freedom of speech in England?You cannot control sex workers paedophiles perverts pimps and every other form of filthy Scum,but Labour Councillors have given them a free hand to do as they please,not a second thought for the children that have to live amongst all this on a daily basis.Leeds is supposed to be a Child Friendly City so why are the children in Holbeck being forced to live in these appalling conditions!!!! because Labour Councillors wanted the first Red Light Area in England and they won’t admit that its a complete failure,and whatever plans they have to Try and improve things for the area will not stop the men approaching school children asking them for sex,and Paedophiles asking if they can have a baby for an hour.These Labour Councillors wouldn’t like their children or grandchildren living in these appalling conditions or seeing them stepping over filthy Sex litter,but the children in Holbeck have to.At the meeting Cllr Amanda Carter Tory was brilliant and was concerned about the children but Labour never mentioned them,they were more concerned about the sex workers and wanting to help them.Did these Labour muppets watch Sex Drugs & Murder on BBC tv some of the woman started taking Heroin to give them Dutch courage to earn as much money as they could,no one forced them to do this,one woman said she had three children who were with her mother,and that she puts Heroin before them.all the dogooders say that they are forced by pimps to use drugs,maybe some are but in the tv programme one said she wouldn’t give no man her money,that she can earn between £450-£1000 a night Tax free,and claim benefits that doesn’t say much for hard working tax payers.She described in detail what her clients ask her to do to them and you wonder why we are protesting against the zone.There are no toilets in the Red Light area that’s why they are using anywhere including park,church cemetery, school areas you name it they do it.the sex workers aren’t worried where they leave their used condoms and needles just as long as they get their money,and labour councillors say they want to help them get off drugs to get jobs and get their children back.From what I have read and watched they won’t give it up because they like all the money they earn.They are even given free condoms all different colours by some charity in the Zone,so they are helping the sex workers to sell their bodies.The labour councillors should never have opened a Red Light so close to a residential area,they should have known it would spread to the residential streets.All the Red Light so called rules are broken 24/7 they are not allowed to solicit outside the zone they do,can’t take drugs they do,they have not to be abusive they are,they also walk around the local shops and streets half dressed,which children see.We are forced to live like this because labour councillors have made are lives horrendous,they probably go home and not have to think like we do,wondering who is going to be around the next corner,I think they are Liars,Disgusting,immoral,and have no conscience about what they have done to Holbeck.I hope any parents who read this will understand what we are protesting about,our main concern are the children,but the councillors think differently,Shame on them.
Plan B – Lock people up who brake the law.
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