Holbeck issues discussed at meeting

Holbeck library
Holbeck library

Community issues in Holbeck were discussed at a meeting of  the Voice of Holbeck community group last night.

Here are some notes on what happened…

* There are still plans to get a library into part of St Matthew’s Community Centre – a bid for money is currently being put together. The original Domestic Street library recently closed due to council cutbacks and was replaced by mobile libraries. Councillor Angela Gabriel said the mobile libraries were proving more popular than the permanent one. There’s talk of the post office taking over the old Domestic Street building.

* Frustration was expressed over delays to the PFI initiative which is due to regenerate large parts of Holbeck. The meeting heard that the delays – caused as the bid goes through Whitehall – were costing the council £1 million a month in lost rents. The future of the Malvern maisonettes – emptied in anticipation of work starting in January this year – is yet to be decided as the government has said it will no longer find that part of the scheme. The meeting said work should start as soon as possible as lack of progress was causing the area to stagnate’.

* Holbeck Gala was a wash-out earlier this summer – but it was noted that the people of Holbeck still turned out in force and broke even – the tea tent took £500 alone.

* The success of the Holbeck in Bloom initiative – which won a silver award in the Yorkshire in Bloom competition – was hailed. Very good for a first-time entrant!

* There are plans for a Holbeck Arts Hub, which will see part of the railway viaduct used to create a new arts centre. Leeds city council are putting together a European funding bid together to help finance the proposal.

* Letters will be going out to residents in the Crosby’s and parts of the Recreations offering landlords the chance to have their bin yards – some of which are blighted by dumped rubbish – demolished.

* Events for your diary – A celebration of older people is due to be held at St Matthew’s next Wednesday, 1.30-4pm. People can also get the flu jab there;

A games night will be held on October 7 at Holbeck Community Centre, Elland Road, from 7pm. Run by Holbeck Christian Fellowship, the event includes ludo, dominos, snakes and ladders – and there’s pie and peas! Cost £1.50;

The Holbeck Christmas Market will be held at St Matthew’s on December 3; A carol service organised by the Mosaic Church will be at the same venue on Sunday December 18.

* Ongoing issues with prostitutes on Domestic Street were discussed. Police present said they were putting a lot of effort into tackling the issue – concern was expressed that local residents were being hassled by punters. Cllr Gabriel said there needed to be a city-wide strategy to tackle the problems and that she was trying to push the issue higher up the political agenda.

Sadly last night’s meeting wasn’t that well attended – there were only five residents there. Groups like this give you a chance to have your say on important community issues, so make sure you use them – put the next meeting – on November 24, at 7pm, at Cleveley Court Community Room – in your diary.