Further calls for the Managed Approach to be ended

Students from Ruth Gorse Academy will speak about their experiences walking to school through the Managed Approach area on BBC’s Look North programme tonight (10 November 2020) ahead of a debate on the Managed Approach at the full Council meeting tomorrow.

Ben Mallinson, Principal at Ruth Gorse, has written to parents explaining the link up with the BBC and praising his students for speaking out, saying:

“The Ruth Gorse Academy stands firmly with them and will continue to offer support to all our students, as well as continuing to express our concerns to all appropriate bodies and channels over the coming weeks and months until the Managed Approach comes to an end.”

Tomorrow Councillors will debate a ‘white paper’ that condemns what it calls a lack of input from residents into the Independent Review published in July and calls for regular reports to the Council’s Executive Board including an exit strategy from the Managed Approach policy. The White Paper states:

“Crucially, Council remains concerned that no action appears to have been taken to address child safeguarding concerns raised by schools in the area.”

The paper has been put forward by Cllr Amanda Carter (Conservative, Calverley & Farsley), but will be countered by an amendment from Cllr Debra Coupar (Labour, Executive Board member for Communities). The amendment states:

“Council further notes the Managed Approach is not a permanent solution to on street sex work and continues to evolve to ensure any impact on local residents is reduced and sex workers are kept as safe as possible.”

You can find the full White Paper and amendment on the Council website here.

As well as the Independent Review seeking residents opinions, the Voice of Holbeck held a series of Listening Well events where residents were able to talk about their experiences of the Managed Approach. The sessions ran between February 2019 and March 2020 and were attended by over 500 people of all ages.

Dennis Kitchen from the Voice of Holbeck group told South Leeds Life:

“The report is now in a draft state and will be forwarded in the first instance to Strategic Leads, Councillor Debra Coupar, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Communities and our Ward Councillors for their comments and deliberations. It expected that this report will be ratified and made public in November.”


3 Replies to “Further calls for the Managed Approach to be ended”

  1. I’m astonished that Leeds City Council along with other organisations seem to be prioritising the cares of adults who support this so called managed zone for sex workers.
    Irrespective of any adults circumstances or difficulties the protection of children must come first.
    Have the lessons of Savile and Bradford not been learnt whatsoever by those we pay to govern our city.
    I have no affiliation with anyone in this matter, I simply switched on my TV and listened in horror to the fear the children of the area live with each day.
    It takes a lot for children to speak up against adults . It’s up to all adults to do their most important job in the world heed and protect them.

  2. I agree with Margaret , put the safety of these school children first , why should this so called managed approach continue ? It seems to cause nothing but problems for local residents and businesses . Would council members like it if their school children were approached by men looking for prostitutes ? Don’t think so.

  3. I have no affiliation with any groups pertaining to this issue but write this piece after watching the local Calendar news article and listening to the concerns of the Headmaster of Ruth Gorse school.
    Children from his school and those who live within or near the the area describe the fear they live with everyday. It is hard for children to ever speak out about adult wrong-doing but when they do history has taught us that we must listen. No matter what an adults circumstances are, we must at all times prioritise the safeguarding of children against physical and sexual abuse and in all instances. To prioritise anything else is a horror beyond belief.
    I make no apologies for my emotional language in this situation as I believe that in circumstances like this we must all start to speak out.
    The response of Leeds City Council to these children’s fears is appalling and unforgivable and needs community action now. This article is the first I have written about this issue but it won’t be the last.

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