West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin attended a public meeting in Belle Isle on Monday (25 September 2023) answering residents’ questions about crime, anti-social behaviour and transport issues.
About 25 people attended the meeting, organised by Cllr Sharon Burke (Labour, Middleton Park) at St John & St Barnabas church’s Welcome Centre in Belle Isle.
In answer to questions about quadbikes and off-road motorbikes, Mayor Brabin told the meeting West Yorkshire had been given £1m for a pilot scheme to ensure that perpetrators of anti-social behaviour “have community payback” she continued:
“It feels like they can do it with any repercussions. So, we are working with the Police to try and make sure when they are caught, they’re not going to do it again.”
She also reported that £500,000 had been funded again for the Police’s off-road bike team.
Inspector Mark Lund told the meeting he was passionate about resolving anti-social behaviour in the area, having previously served as the local Sergeant, but there was no simple fix.
“The off-road bike team has grown and we have new tactics” he said.
“I need to know where (the bikes) are. Residents know, but they’re not telling us for whatever reason. The more we know, the more we can do. If you report it, I’ll be able to dedicate more resources to it. We have seized seven quads and bikes in the last month.”
The issue of Kasa’s 24-hour alcohol licence was also raised. Cllr Sharon Burke said that the Council’s Licensing Committee had granted the extension despite all three Ward Councillors raising objections. Inspector Lund confirmed that the Police were looking into having the licence reviewed, he added that the recent stabbing incident that took place outside the shop occurred when the shop was shut.
A number of issues around transport, including poor access to the city centre for people with disabilities and unreliable bus services were raised. Mayor Brabin said that as a bus user herself, she shared residents’ frustrations, but she was making progress towards gaining control over bus services through franchising, like Manchester.
“It is a tortuous Governmental process (but) by March 2024 I will decide whether we go to franchising” she said.
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