Election coverage on South Leeds Life

Vote 2015 portraitWith the general election and local election less than eight weeks away, South Leeds Life is asking for your help with our election coverage.

Last year we gave each candidate the chance to publish 200 words about themselves. We thought we could do better this year by asking them some specific questions. That’s where you come in – we’d like you to help us choose the questions.

Please send your question to us by email at info@sllife.leeds11.com and tell us which ward you live in. If you’re not sure you can find out using the Where I Live box on the Leeds City Council website home page: www.leeds.gov.uk. Please tell us whether the question ids for council candidates or parliamentary candidates (or both).

We will put the same questions to each candidate so please frame your question in a way that’s relevant to all candidates, rather than just one candidate.

We will put the five best, most relevant and popular questions to each candidate. There will be a set of questions for each ward and for the parliamentary constituency.


We have a policy of no party political comments on this website. Given the level of interest in these elections we are relaxing that rule in the run up to 7 May.

Please remember that whilst disagreement and debate on the issues are welcome, we do not approve of personal insults. All comments are checked before publishing and we reserve the right not to publish comments that are offensive, defamatory or breach equality legislation.

6 Replies to “Election coverage on South Leeds Life”

  1. “We have a policy of no party political comments on this website. Given the level of interest in these elections we are relaxing that rule in the run up to 7 May.”

    Is this a change to your constitution?
    I tried to find your constitution document, but the link from your about page does not work.

    If South Leeds Life is now going to be used to chase votes for a particular party then I think you should say who made such a decision and where their political affiliations lay.

    1. Hi Rich, thanks for your comment.

      We weren’t expecting this to be a contentious decision. We had noticed comments moving to be more political and referring to the election. If someone says they don’t like a councillor and people should vote them out in May, it seems reasonable to let them say who they think people should vote for. We think that will open up the political debate.

      The decision was made by me as Editor in consultation with two committee members (not Ed Carlisle) on our way back from a conference where we had been discussing election coverage with other hyperlocal sites. I don’t know what John and Lucy’s political affiliations are, I tend to vote Labour.

      Thanks for pointing out the broken link on our About Us page – I’ve corrected it now.

      It’s not a change to our constitution, just an idea to allow to full debate in the run up to the election. We will keep candidates posts to the election pages as we did last year, this change is about what we allow in comments. After the election we intend to go back to our usual policy.

      I would be very interested to know what you and other readers think. Is this a mistake? Do you not want this sort of debate on the website?

      1. I think it about how people comment. It’s easy to make a comment and have no facts to back it up. I think as long as people our honest and have substance to the comment and as long aspeople disagree (if they do) politely then discussion should be welcomed

  2. Hi Jeremy
    I believe the reason you are seeing more “political” comments is due to a small number of local issues in Beeston where a very significant proportion of local residents no longer believe their elected representatives have their best interests in mind.

    That said, the issue I see for South Leeds Life as platform for political debate is one of impartiality. I’m not clear where funding for South Leeds life comes from, but seem to recall that Health for All makes a significant contribution, if this is wrong, please correct me.
    Health for All gets significant financial support from Leeds City Council and many of our Labour councilors are on various trustee boards and committees for Health for All.

    You can see where I’m going with this…

    The fear is that despite the efforts you and your colleagues make, perception will be that South Leeds Life is a voice for our local Labour party.

    1. Just to be clear, South Leeds Life has never had any funding from Health For All. For a time they produced a quarterly magazine, also called South Leeds Life. We shared some content with them and they plugged our website, but they had editorial control. I believe the magazine was funded via the Inner South Area Committee.

      We have received several grants from Community First, one from Aspire and one from the Yorkshire Venture Philanthropy Fund. We also receive funds from supporters through our Friends scheme and from advertising.

      We are not a voice for the Labour Party, but we do report on the activities of our elected representatives – all of whom happen to be Labour. That’s democracy for you.

      1. Hi Jeremy – thanks for clearing up the misunderstanding.
        We’ve had a debate on here previously about how facts and perception can sometimes be quite divergent. This being a good example.

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