Some of the members of the Forum had spent the morning on a visit to Chapeltown and the first part of the meeting saw a discussion on lessons to learn from that area.
A common view was that The big “C” for Chapeltown that you see on entering and the physical changes that have taken place in recent years have helped to strengthen the identity of the area. “You really do know you have entered Chapeltown” said one. This has been helped by the fact that being a conservation area has given it extra powers and access to additional funding and it was thought Holbeck should look closely at this. Members also thought we should be learning lessons from the Methley’s, an area of back to backs and terraces that have been made green and people friendly – a “Homezone”, as well as the Inkwell Community Café.
Ian Mackay from Leeds City Council told the Forum that Holbeck needs to formally be designated a Neighbourhood Plan area and that the application to do this should be submitted to the Council by the end of July. He also said that we are getting some external help to get local businesses engaged with the Plan.
Next there was an update on what the plan will encompass and the work that has taken place to make sure it is about actions not just words. The main elements of the plan will be:
- Community Vision
- Heritage and Identity
- Traffic, Movement and Connectivity
- Environment and Design
- Community Facilities and Services
- Business and Employment
and then a Delivery Plan with short term ”quick wins” and long term projects.
Mention was then given to the long awaited PFI housing scheme and a reminder that it is over 7 years that Holbeck has been waiting for this to happen. I think it is fair to say that there was understandable scepticism in the room that any progress with this was imminent. Well let’s watch this space! There were more positive vibes for the Unity Housing scheme proposed for Brown Lane East, which is still, it was reported, on track to start later this year.
The Forum was updated on Holbeck Working Men’s Club including a BBQ taking place there from 5pm on 29th June and bands playing there on the eve of Holbeck Gala on the 5th July.
Information was provided on the new Live Well Project which aims to bring health and physical activity to Holbeck and the possibility of a bid to the Olympic Legacy Fund for a project supported by the Forum which would encompass sport, arts and education in Holbeck. Any potential partners interested in this should contact Live Well Project.
The next meeting of the Forum will be in September when hopefully the Council will have formally recognised Holbeck as a Neighbourhood Plan Area.
This article was written by Adam Ogilvie using our Community Reporters website