Save Our Beeston letter alleges extremism

The Save Our Beeston (SOB) Campaign has published an open letter to their local councillors raising further concerns with the proposed development of the Ice Pak site by Aspiring Communities.

Ice Pak Barkly Road 2The letter, written by SOB’s honorary secretary Sean Sturman, argues that the group’s current plans will not meet their stated objectives and goes on to make allegations  that people associated with Aspiring Communities hold extremist views.

“We believe that this group have been lying to the local community concerning the primary use of this proposal and also that they are as peaceful as they make out.”

The letter quotes disturbing Pro jihadi and anti-Semitic comments made by someone who is alleged to be an Aspiring Communities volunteer and says the information has been passed to the police.

SOB point out that the balance of the development has changed between the first planning application and the revised current application. Amongst the spaces withdrawn from the plans is a large community room. SOB query the separate entrances to the sports hall and “Islamic Centre” and suggest that the sports will be used for religious events and prayers.

Responding to the letter, Ash Mahmood of Aspiring Communities said:

““We have hundreds of people who have supported us with the project and we are not in any position to comment on any individuals. We are responsible for the content on our Facebook page, but if any individual decides to promote or like something on their page we cannot control this.

“We work closely with the Police and have received Prevent training to help us identify people who may be becoming radicalised.

“We have no involvement in extremism or any form of terrorism.

“With regards to the entrances to the site and building, these have been designed and discussed in detail with the Local Authority. The proposed dual means of vehicular entrance and egress has been requested by Leeds Highways in order to ease the flow of vehicles and particularly large refuse and service vehicles to and from the site. This also enhances pedestrian and driver safety to stop vehicles from reversing on to Barkly Road.

“The proposed pedestrian main and sports entrances to the building are required to permit access the building for all persons. These are supported by a requisite number of fire exits that have been discussed and agreed with the planning authority.”

Cllr Adam Ogilvie commented:

“We haven’t received it formally, but I’ve seen it on their Facebook page. I’ve requested to join the Facebook group so I can comment there. We will issue a statement once we receive it and are able to answer all the questions.”

You can read the open letter in full on Save Our Beeston’s Facebook group here:

Aspiring Communities’ planning application is still under consideration by Leeds City Council. You can view the application on the council’s planning website here:, simply enter the reference: 14/06007/FU. A decision will be made by councillors on the South & West Plans Panel, but no date has been set yet.

23 Replies to “Save Our Beeston letter alleges extremism”

  1. Cllr Adam Ogilvie the group is open can you please stop making excuses and get involved for C*****’s sake.

    1. Ian I’ve just been on and you have to request to join…I can like comments but can’t post anything. This isn’t a dig just FYI … It makes for interesting reading I’m in LS11

    2. You do have to ask to join…I did and was accepted .. Thank you. Just an observation not a slight on you

  2. Hi Jeremy ,

    You didn’t take long getting a statement from AC . You was also at the Beeston Forum meeting tonight that I also attended and you avoided me like a plague . If you want an interview please feel free and as long as you post everything I say , lets get it on .Please can you post my full letter on your site too !


    Sean Sturman (SOB)

  3. The SOB letter claims Uthman Nawaz’s Facebook comments referencing the Queen are “Not the statement of a peaceful person who wants integration in our eyes!” But the SOB letter fails to mention that Uthman’s comments are in response to a post from (faintly ridiculous but still concerning) far-right fascist group Britain First – they are not addressed at the general public as the letter implies. Uthman says (this bit not quoted by the SOB letter) “Give us a break [Britain First] and stay away from our Mosques!” Uthman appears to actually be seeking constructive dialogue with fascists. And he is factually correct in his points about empire and migration over the centuries.

    It’s difficult to come to a conclusion on the man firing a missile at a tank. I got the impression no-one was in the tank. The context does look to be the Israeli assault against Gaza which horrified the world recently, so the SOB claim that “this could quite easily be any engagement in the Middle East, including the possibility of it being British Soldiers that are killed” has no foundation.

    The SOB claims about comments about Hitler and Jews are concerning, but there wasn’t anything on Uthman’s profile of this nature that I could see, and no other sources were referenced.

    ISIS/ISIL flags? A national Sufi Naqshbandi centre (of which the SOB has “absolutely no doubt”)? Based on SOBs interpretation of the evidence I have seen myself I’m sceptical at this point. I’m glad the concerns have been reported to the police so they can be properly assessed, but the article suggests officers have already assessed the evidence and agreed it is as SOB suggest when what has actually happened is that WYP have said they agree with the general statement “we don’t want extremists in our community”. That’s correct isn’t it?

    1. “I got the impression no-one was in the tank.”
      Sorry John, I was reading and following your point until I got to this apologist statement…

      1. Indeed. The post went pear shaped after that.

        Though why anyone would bother engaging in dialogue with Britain First is beyond me.

        You’ve more chance of getting an intelligent reply out of a traffic cone.

  4. Hi John , would you like to enlighten me on all the other aspects raised about this idiotic application and twist them around to your way of thinking .

  5. Sean,

    Apart from yourself as Honorary Secretary, who else is on the SOB committee and in what capacity? Do you have regular meetings, can the public attend etc?

    Can you advise on what basis you ‘represent 2,000 local people’ as you state in the Aspiring Communities letter?


  6. I’ve had the pleasure of living in Beeston for about 37 years Sean.

    Which of the 311 documents on the planning site explains SOBs governance arrangements please?

  7. On his facebook page he is John Cockburn from South Africa . This is no doubt a bit of a laugh but our campaign is about the people it effects in Beeston Village and I just want to know if he lives in our area

  8. Ah, good, I thought some people might find it a bit worrying or threatening that if they took an opposing view to your own you would look them up on social media and try to discern where they lived. Glad to hear that’s not the case.

  9. Sean

    If you search SLL you’ll find a number of articles I’ve written, including one on the ‘Beeston Campaign for Affordable Homes’. My Facebook profile is filled with nonsense because I don’t trust FBs privacy settings and I don’t like the idea of random people seeing my details.

    With respect, I’m still waiting for an answer to my questions. I just want to know more about your campaign: who is on the committee and in what role, and what process do you have in place to ensure the 660 people you claim are backing you on your FB page understand exactly what it is you are doing and saying?

  10. So you don’t live in the Beeston village area ? Maybe the 2000 plus objection signatures on the planning portal might sway your mind . 100 % of which back our campaign . Glad our site is giving you some interest .

  11. ‘With respect, I’m still waiting for an answer to my questions. I just want to know more about your campaign: who is on the committee and in what role, and what process do you have in place to ensure the 660 people you claim are backing you on your FB page understand exactly what it is you are doing and saying?’

    After reading this thread, I think the above question asked by John is a perfectly reasonable request. Transparency is requested please.

  12. Sean, it’s all well and good for you to take the moral high ground but you to are avoiding John’s question’s like the plague!

    If you are a man of truth and actually practice transparency then come forth a spit it out, if there’s an ounce of truth n logic in what you say I’ll stand by your side…..

    Ready and waiting!


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