Councillors Briefing: April 2021

Beeston & Holbeck Ward Update:

While restrictions on our daily lives due to the Covid-19 pandemic are being lifted, we encourage everyone to remain careful and do everything possible to prevent the spread of the disease. We were pleased to see so many people have signed up for a postal vote, with at least 4,500 postal votes now registered in the Beeston and Holbeck ward, which is a great thing for democracy. With the new Mayor for West Yorkshire, this could be one of the biggest local elections we’ve seen.

The month has had its challenges with flooding in some parts of the Southleighs and water shortages in Cottingley Heights. If you want to speak to someone for advice you can call the Floodline on 0345 988 1188 (lines open 24 hours).

Cottingley Heights and Cottingley Towers

The month has also had some wins, with work continuing on the roof of the Cottingley shopping centre, where leaking is a long standing issue, an excellent litter pick thanks to Beeston In Bloom on Beggars Hill and progress with the so-called snooker hall on Dewsbury Road.

Due to number of organisations and individuals leaving the Voice of Holbeck due a breakdown of trust, we could not leave the residents of Holbeck voiceless and so we have launched an engagement group with local residents, businesses and organisations of all views. It is in a fledgling stage and is still working out its terms of reference, but we’re keen to look at the recommendations of both the Independent Review and the Listening Well project. Lots of work to do, but are now moving together in the right direction.

Hunslet & Riverside Ward Update:

It has been over a year since the first lockdown. Every person lost before their time is tragic, as too are the dashed futures of so many due to the scale of measures need to be to protect lives. The post pandemic world must be fairer than before. We are proud of the huge effort made by Council staff during this period. They, with other keyworkers across all sectors, kept the city moving. Thank you.

This month has seen a focus on fly tipping. Rates have gone up during the pandemic driven partly by DIY and home renovations as people remained at home. At the same time, sadly, getting rid of bulky waste become harder due to a reduction in access to the Household Waste Sites and delays in the Council’s bulky waste collections service due to staff shielding.

This has led to more fly tipping but the main driver has been the creation of new unlicensed waste firms. They offer a quicker service than the Council and cheaper prices than the licensed companies. They then dump the waste they collect.

A previous incident of fly tipping in Hunslet

To help tackle this, the hours at the tips have now been extended, enforcement ramped up and as shielding ends, and staff numbers improve, the backlog of collections and fly tipping will be cleared.

It has also been good to see a number of projects progress or complete such as the securing of the Old Vale Playground on Tunstall Road, more work on the Hunslet Edible Estate, metal gates ordered to secure more bin yards on Beeston Hill, progress on City Connect on Dewsbury Road, and new trees and planters ordered for Hunslet Carr and more.

Middleton Park Ward Update:

We are collaborating with the NHS and local agencies regarding action on the higher than average Covid infection rates in Middleton and Belle Isle. We would urge everyone to continue to observe Covid guidance and to take up their vaccine offer so that we can move out of the restrictions safely.

Delays in court action on some local issues are causing increased frustration. This is a result of past cuts to the judicial system and the impact of the pandemic on court hearings. A good example is the individuals charged some time ago with offences relating to quad bike ride outs, who will not be appearing in court until November.

Local people are also concerned about travellers’ encampments. Only the police have the power to move travellers on immediately. If the police do not exercise these powers, the Council is legally required to go to court for an eviction notice. As it has no control over the courts, the hearing can be delayed for a number of weeks.

We are working with the police and other agencies to tackle concerns regarding antisocial behaviour, and to identify potential sites for using CCTV.

Our community computer recycling scheme has been a great success, we are grateful to everyone who has contributed. Unwanted laptops can be dropped off at Middleton Asda.

The second phase of consultation about the Plantations off Sharp Lane has been launched, based on feedback from a large number of residents.

Plans are being worked up with Leeds Urban Bike Park and Friends of Middleton Park regarding future community use of the former South Leeds Golf Club course and clubhouse. A public consultation will be launched soon.

Consultation: former South Leeds Golf Club land


This post was written by the Councillors representing Beeston & Holbeck, Hunslet & Riverside and Middleton Park wards.

Main photo: Beeston & Holbeck Councillors join Beeston In Bloom and others to litterpick on Beggar’s Hill