Pudsey Branch Labour Party

Serving the communities of Pudsey in west Leeds,
from Swinnow to Fulneck and Tyersal.

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Pudsey Labour - For The Many

Pudsey Branch Labour Party work particularly closely with Calverley & Farsley Labour Party and their excellent Labour Councillor Peter Carlill.

Pudsey Branch combine together with Calverley & Farsley, Horsforth and Guiseley & Rawdon to form Pudsey Constituency Labour Party who can be found here on Facebook and Twitter.

Pudsey Branch Labour Party on Facebook Pudsey Branch Labour Party on Twitter

Tributes Paid to Richard Lewis's Outstanding Service to Pudsey After Election Loss

Richard Lewis Richard Lewis's thirty three years as a councillor in Pudsey sadly came to an end at this year's Council elections as Pudsey ward was gained by the Tories. Fortunately for the many people of Pudsey, Labour have retained control of Leeds council.

A Valued Councillor

Richard told the West Leeds Dispatch:

Peter Carlill "I've had a good innings, and I've been in politics long enough to know that I don't have a God-given right to continually be elected. I have to accept the decision made by the people of Pudsey, it's been a privilege to be their councillor."

The West Leeds Dispatch also spoke to Leeds Labour leader Councillor Judith Blake who said:

"Losing someone with the experience of Richard, who lives and breathes Labour values, is not easy. There will be people who are very upset that he has lost his seat - he has been a tower of strength through decisions that we have been forced to take though austerity. It's always the hardest thing to lose valued councillors who have worked so hard for the constituents they represent.

Peter Carlill Wins in Calverley & Farsley

There was good news for Peter Carlill in Calverley & Farsley as he held onto his seat by just 27 votes after two recounts. Speaking to the West Leeds Dispatch, Peter said:

"I knew the result was going to be close. It is a diverse community which needed a diverse set of candidates and luckily people have seen that we have worked hard since being elected last year. They've now asked me to work even harder over the next four years and that's what I intend to do."

6th May 2019

Achievements of your Pudsey Labour Councillors - part 6

Richard Lewis Sometimes we're asked what Pudsey's Labour Councillors have done for Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal. The answer is wide and varied. So as we approach the Leeds City Council elections in May, here are some more of our proudest achievements.

20 Miles Per Hour Zones

Over the last few years, Councillor Richard Lewis has worked to introduce 20 miles per hour zones in most of the residential areas across Leeds, and 90% of the residential areas of Pudsey have already had these introduced. These have helped reduce the number of road accidents and injuries.

Leeds City Council's Executive Board have now approved a report to make all the remaining residential areas of the city 20mph zones over the next year. This will include the area around Smalewell Road and Occupation Lane. A 20mph zone is currently being introduced across the Harleys in Swinnow as part of the road improvements associated with the expansion of Park Spring Primary - another example of Labour in action.

Improving School Environments and Children's Safety

Pudsey's Labour Councillors have worked with the highways department to introduce No Stopping parking restrictions around many of the schools, including Southroyd, Waterloo and Lowtown to improve safety for children arriving at or leaving school by ensuring that the areas around the school gates are clear of traffic.

To prevent traffic problems around schools, parents need good alternatives to driving their children to and from school, so Labour have brought in a Sustainable Education Travel Strategy. This will encourage more children to cycle, walk or use public transport. This includes schemes such as walking buses, where a group of children accompanied by appointed adults walk a set route, allowing parents to drop their children off and know that they're safe without having to travel to the school.

Reducing the number of children being driven to school won't just reduce traffic congestion around schools, it will reduce pollution and also help children become more active, helping to prevent obesity.

Queens Park Playground Investing in Playgrounds and Playing Fields

Parents know the importance of having areas for our children to play in safely. Pudsey's Labour Councillors have invested in major revamps of play areas in Pudsey Park, Tyersal and Queen's Park. The latter is probably the best play area in the city. They were instrumental in getting the first new play area created in the area for many years, at Swinnow Moor. Pudsey got its first MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) on Queen's Park to cater for older kids.

Playing fields are also important for the community. Our Labour team has invested in new fencing to protect the pitches on Hough Top, got Leeds City Council to acquire Woodhall playing fields to increase the number of football pitches for local teams, and has invested in a long-term improvement plan for Queen's Park to sort out drainage problems.

Making Our Roads Safer

No Lorries Pudsey's Labour Councillors have worked hard to make local roads safer and better. Residents of Lumby Lane had major concerns about lorries using the road as a shortcut, causing safety issues and damage to the road; the Councillors got a measure introduced to ban lorries from using it. Residents expressed concerns about the road crossing at the top of Greenside and problems being caused by cars parked near the corner of the junction with Chapeltown; the Councillors worked to get an island to assist residents to cross the junction and double-yellow lines on the corner to reduce dangerous parking.

Across the ward, road safety measures have been introduced to discourage dangerous parking, making it easier for residents to drive down the roads they live on, to park near their own houses, and for children to play outside their houses. Work on a number of schemes is due to start imminently.

Working With the Police to Improve Safety and Security

When the Conservatives came to power in 2010, council budgets weren't all that they slashed. Public services across the country were cut back. In 2010, Teresa May agreed to cut police budgets by 18%. The result was that the number of police officers was cut by over 20,000 over the following six years. Pudsey was left with a downgraded Neighbourhood Policing Team, with no Inspector. Not surprisingly, crime is on the increase again after the Labour Government oversaw the longest-recorded fall since records began.

Pudsey's Labour Councillors have worked hard to improve safety in the local area and worked closely with the police when anti-social behaviour was causing major problems last summer. They also pressed for a reversal of the cuts to local policing structures, making the case that the security of towns such as Pudsey had suffered as a result of the cuts. Pudsey now has an Inspector again for the first time in several years.

As well as working with the police, the Councillors have helped improve security by identifying locations where small improvements can make a big difference. When the rate of anti-social behaviour and burglaries increased around the Claremonts and Crimbles, they arranged for £10,500 to be allocated for the replacement of existing CCTV cameras and additional cameras to improve coverage in conjunction with the local Housing Advisory Panel.

Tong Valley Opposing Development in Tong Valley

Recently, people have asked about our Councillors' and candidate's position on Bradford City Council's plans for housing development in the Tong Valley.

Pudsey's green 'lung' which separates the Leeds and Bradford urban areas is a huge asset to the community. Wefre acutely aware that this part of the Leeds-Bradford boundary lies very close to the Leeds built-up area and thus ensures that Pudsey will suffer the impact of any decisions by Bradford MDC which allow significant housing growth.

We have met both local and senior Bradford councillors on a number of occasions to express our opposition to Bradford's current plans and our position on this remains unchanged.

We would wish to place on record our view that the Governmentfs planning laws as reflected in the National Planning Policy Framework put all local planning authorities in an invidious position where they have to meet the bloated demands of volume house builders rather than the needs of communities, and we look forward to the root and branch reform of planning law under a Labour government.

Supporting a Real Living Wage for our Public Servants

Living Wage When the Conservatives came to power in 2010, they introduced a pay freeze for our nurses, teachers, police and other public servants, who have now seen a significant fall in their wages in real terms over the last eight years.

The Labour Group on Leeds City Council, supported by Pudsey's Labour Councillors, made the decision to pay all Council workers the hourly rate set by the independent Living Wage Foundation. This rate is 92p an hour more than the minimum wage that the Conservative Government pretends is a 'living' wage.

Labour brought this in, despite huge cuts imposed on the Council budget by the Government, because we believe in paying our workers a fair wage, but also because it would bring economic benefits to the area. As lower paid workers spend a higher proportion of their earnings, when they earn more, they spend more, which puts more money back into the local economy and benefits local businesses.

Naturally the Conservatives on the Council opposed this. In fact, one of their budget proposals this year was to cut overtime payments for Council workers. Obviously, this was just a crowd-pleaser for the Tory faithful, as you can't just impose wage cuts on staff. Youfd have to go through a lot of difficult negotiations and you might find yourselves in the same kind of mess the Tories and Lib Dems got in with the bin workers last time they ran the council. And what sort of person out there really begrudges overtime payments to people like our gritters who've been keeping the city moving through the hardest winter in thirty years?

30th April 2018

Achievements of your Pudsey Labour Councillors - part 5

First Bus 4 Sometimes we're asked what Pudsey's Labour Councillors have done for Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal. The answer is wide and varied. So as we approach the Leeds City Council elections in May, we're going to tell you about some more of our proudest achievements.

Improving Pudsey Bus Services

For thirty years Pudsey has had ever-worsening bus services. The reason? The Tories' disastrous bus deregulation, one of many examples of the Tories' destructiveness when it comes to public services. Pudsey has seen a remorseless attack on its bus network which severed public transport links to surrounding communities.

The last straw was when bus operator First decided on yet another reorganisation of Pudsey services. Fartown and Kent Road were worst affected, as the relatively fast service into Leeds was replaced by a magical mystery tour of West Leeds. Councillor Josie Jarosz stepped in as chair of the Pudsey Forum, inviting First to explain themselves to the long-suffering bus users of Pudsey. Local residents packed into meetings at Café Lux to express their views of First's proposals and treatment of Pudsey commuters. The outcome was actually that First got the message and came back with a much-improved offer, including additional X14 journeys at peak time, a much-improved X11 Leeds-Pudsey-Bradford service and additional journeys by the number 4 service between Thornbury and Pudsey. Pudsey even got an evening service to Bradford for the first time in a decade.

The Young at Hearts Club

The Young at Hearts Club, based at the Tyersal Residents' Association, is a fine example of the vital role that volunteer groups play in the community. The group meets every fortnight on a Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm; through its provision of activities to reach out to the elderly who may otherwise enjoy little social contact, the centre plays a vital role in combatting social isolation in the community.

Young at Hearts Club From a small membership twelve years ago, the club has grown and now has over seventy members who attend on a regular basis. Popular activities include recreational games such as bingo, games, dominoes, washed down with tea and cake, and also include guest speakers; for example, the police regularly give talks on home security. The group has also organised day trips and short breaks lasting a few days.

During his time as councillor, Mick Coulson secured a £500 grant for the centre's post-Christmas dinner which he and Lou Cunningham presented to the group during a visit in December 2017. He is currently working on a similar grant to improve the accessibility of the centre by providing disabled toilet facilities.

The photo shows Mick Coulson, Margaret Cording and Lou Cunningham at the centre.

Investing in Pudsey's Schools

The priorities of the last Labour government were 'education, education, education' and this really had an impact on investment in Pudsey's schools. Pudsey's Labour councillors were involved in projects to build state-of-the-art schools at Grangefield and at Waterloo, the latter bringing together juniors and infants together on one site, while Crawshaw was extensively re-built before and after the devastating fire there.

2010 saw a return to the bad old days of reduced spend when the increase in primary numbers cried out for major investment. Despite austerity, Pudsey's Labour team has worked with Leeds City Council to provide additional places so all Pudsey children can go to a Pudsey school. Not all schools had the physical space to take more children, but the council has partnered with local schools to plan and fund expansion projects. The latest schools involved are Park Spring Primary, where a new entrance on Swinnow Lane will ease traffic and parking problems on Wellstone Avenue, and Greenside.

Under the Conservative government, our schools have suffered major cuts in funding. Between 2015 and 2020 Pudsey's schools will have had their budgets cut by over half a million pounds. There would certainly have been more money for our kids if the Government hadn't been obsessed by Michael Gove's 'free school' vanity project, which has led to new schools in Leeds being opened by special interest groups which are attended by very small numbers of children while other schools are bulging at the Rycroft Towers seams. Even worse, the Government seized a school building in North Leeds from the council for one of these minority interest schools. The result? There are too few places and the Tories are now saying a school should be built on greenspace in Roundhay Park!

Improving Council Housing Stock and Surroundings

Your Councillors are always looking at how they can update the council's housing stock and improve the surroundings of the estates. On visits to local sheltered housing and council housing and flats, they identified a number of improvements that could be made. These included improving gardens and flower beds, decoration and re-surfacing tarmac on garage sites. Many of these improvements have been made in partnership with local tenant representatives. Improvements have been made in the following areas: Greenside, Clifton Court, New Street Grove, Swinnow Lane, Wellstone Avenue, Claremont Grove and all around the Rycroft tower blocks.

Protecting Our Roads and Filling Potholes

Despite the massive cuts in council budgets that the Tories have introduced, Labour has protected spending on highways and moved to get better value out of the annual maintenance programme through prolonging the life of roads through 'surface dressing' and packaging up works in bigger lots to save money. Pudsey's councillors have pushed for the emphasis to be on the busy routes in and out of the town and it's been possible to do the whole of Troydale Lane and Valley Road over two years. Kent Road and the town centre crossroads have been re-surfaced recently and Swinnow Road between Swinnow Lane and Lowtown is next in line.

Shock! Horror! Lots of potholes after the harshest winter in decades.

Some of our Conservative friends have opportunistically criticised our councillors because there are potholes on some of Pudsey's roads and damage to pavements and paths. It's only right at this point to say that Highways staff have been working at full stretch for months to keep the roads clear - and that means a lot of preventative grittings night after night when the temperature is expected to hit freezing point, spreading just short of 25,000 tons of salt over the winter. The number of teams working on filling potholes has been doubled and within a matter of weeks Highways will be in a position to move from this reactive work to extensive patching works to improve the road quality.

If you think there's a pothole that needs attention - and the council checks the condition of all roads every month - the council have made it easy for people to report problems on their website.

Booming and Vibrant Leeds Under Labour Leeds

Leeds is one of the fastest growing cities in the UK, and employment has been booming with the highest rate of private sector job creation in the country in recent years. Labour-run Leeds City Council sees the creation of a wide variety of jobs in the city as a key priority to ensure the city's long-term prosperity. Leeds beat off competition from neighbouring authorities as the site of the Local Enterprise Zone (EZ). Business confidence was at rock bottom when the EZ got going and it would not have flourished if the council had not been prepared to underwrite new industrial units. That initial support paid off as the units were quickly occupied by businesses that would not have had the confidence without council backing. We've recently seen Farnell start work on a site which will enable them to expand within Leeds and HS2 has announced that it is going to locate its depot in the EZ, bringing hundreds of high tech jobs to the city. Amazon and John Lewis have already established distribution centres and the council has cemented this success with a thousand car capacity Park & Ride facility.

The other huge area of jobs growth has been the city centre and the South Bank, which have had a phenomenal growth in what are known as 'Knowledge Intensive Businesses' - jobs which will guarantee a decent standard of living for Leeds residents for many years to come. Again, the council has had a strategy of boosting the retail and tourism/hospitality sectors and Leeds is one of the UK's top destinations for weekend breaks - ten years ago this would have been a pipe dream. This matters for Pudsey because many people in the town commute to work.

22nd April 2018

Achievements of your Pudsey Labour Councillors - part 4

Robin Lane Zebra Crossing Sometimes we're asked what Pudsey's Labour Councillors have done for Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal. The answer is wide and varied. So as we approach the Leeds City Council elections in May, we're going to tell you about some more of our proudest achievements.

New Pedestrian Crossings

Pudsey's Labour Councillors have worked hard to improve road safety in the area and recently arranged for the installation of a new Zebra crossing on Robin Lane opposite Manor House Street, the busiest pedestrian crossing point in the town.

This has been part of an ongoing series of improvements for pedestrians which includes two Zebra crossings because of road safety concerns near Crawshaw School, a crossing at the major junction between Swinnow Road and Swinnow Lane, and a crossing near Morrisons in Swinnow - to enable residents and bus users to cross to the Supermarket safely.

Footpaths and Bridleways

Part of Pudsey's heritage as a small town is a historic network of footpaths and bridleways, all of which also require maintenance and upkeep.

Pudsey Beck One such example is the footpath between Troydale and Roker Lane, which is part of a larger circular footpath from the Hough End Pudsey boundary, following Pudsey Beck and leading to Windmill Hill. Dangerous in parts, it had long been a concern for local councillors.

The Pudsey Labour councillors were able to acquire section 106 funding - money given to the planning department by developers to pay for improvements in the community infrastructure - for the upgrade of the footpath. As a result, it was out of action for a few months but on re-opening brought improvement to the residents of the area.

The long term aim is to invest more in the whole footpath so that it is usable all year round.

Funding Pudsey's Christmas Lights Despite Government Cuts

When the Conservative-led government slashed Leeds City Council's funding, the Council had to make massive savings and the amount of money available for Christmas lights and switch-on ceremonies outside the city centre was heavily reduced.

Pudsey's Labour Councillors know how important the Christmas lights are in providing some festive cheer, and the switch-on ceremony is always an important event for the community. Every year, we have to make up the loss of funding so Mick Coulson engages with local businesses to provide sponsorship for Pudsey's Christmas lights, as well as contributing around £9,000 from the Outer West Community Committee and his Councillor's discretionary spending, and works with volunteers from the community to organise the annual Christmas Lights switch-on and fireworks display.

Brownfield Housing a Priority

Brownfield Housing a Priority Labour in Pudsey have prioritised, encouraged and supported new housebuilding on brownfield sites. Sites that have been developed include the old crane works at Uppermoor, Bell Brothers off Smalewell Road, the site at the junction of New Street and Carlisle Road, Waterloo, Pudsey Road and Fartown - and a few more besides. We've also encouraged the conversion of redundant industrial buildings to residential use as a way of meeting housing need and preserving Pudsey's heritage. We've even got shop owners to put empty space above their premises to use as residential flats.

Naturally we're not resting here. As children leave home, they might want to stay within the community they grew up in, near their friends and family, but find that they can't afford to do so. Pudsey's Labour councillors will continue to push for affordable housing to buy and to rent to meet local housing need through the building of reasonably-priced housing on brownfield sites.

Building New Council Houses

The Government's Right to Buy scheme - both for council houses from the 1980s onwards, and more recently for Housing Associations - has drastically cut the amount of council housing available. Councils lost money to this scheme through houses being sold below their market values. Many of the former council houses were sold to private landlords and the tenants often pay higher rent. A recent example was that of a pair of semis where one had remained owned by the council and the other sold to a private landlord. Both tenants were receiving housing benefit; the tenant in the council-owned property was claiming £80 a week but the private tenant was claiming £150.

While the law limits the amount of new council housing that councils can build, Pudsey Labour Councillors persuaded the council to build new council houses as part of the housing scheme on Marsh.

New Energy-Efficient Homes

Energy-Efficient Homes Leeds Labour council is encouraging the development of energy-efficient homes across the city. In Swinnow, this includes the development of eight new homes on Harley Green. Energy-efficiency makes the homes more environmentally friendly, but also ensures that residents save money.

Some council-owned bedsits on Littlemoor Crescent and Tofts House Close were proving hard to let, and the Councillors considered how they could be made more attractive to tenants. Their answer was to ask the Council if they could be converted into family homes. This was done, and the buildings were successfully let.

Fact Check

From time to time we look at our opponents' literature to see how many 'inaccuracies' and misleading statements we can find. A quick scan of one Tory leaflet revealed some shockers.

'An eye sore of a bus station'
Pudsey bus station was built by the Tories and Liberal Democrats when they were in control of Leeds City Council and Metro. Perhaps our local Tories should be campaigning against Tory leader Andrew Carter on this one!

'...now there are city plans to build a lighthouse'
This is one of those statements that suggests something without actually saying it. Is Leeds City Council really planning to build a lighthouse? Of course not. A wealthy businessperson (we don't know if it's a man or a woman) wants to build a lighthouse as some kind of artistic statement - certainly not an idea from the council and not even discussed by the council!

'The £200m government grant for transport...will be spent on some more busses and upgrading a roundabout'
It would be ILLEGAL for Leeds City Council or any other public body to spend money on buying buses (that's how you spell it). It goes back to when the Tories privatised the bus companies in 1985 which started a massive decline in the quality of public transport across the country. Labour has encouraged the bus companies to invest in better buses and Transdev, First and Arriva are all spending their money.

If our Tories really believe this nonsense they need to hurry along to Elland Road Police HQ and demand the arrest of Judith Blake, Keith Wakefield and Richard Lewis for misusing public funds. Of course, they might find themselves in hot water for wasting police time.

From all the above it's clear that our local Tories are either very careless about their public statements or are deliberately trying to mislead the electorate. Either way, it doesn't look good, does it?.

14th April 2018

Achievements of your Pudsey Labour Councillors - part 3

Pudsey Town Hall Sometimes we're asked what Pudsey's Labour Councillors have done for Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal. The answer is wide and varied. So as we approach the Leeds City Council elections in May, we're going to tell you about some more of our proudest achievements.

Pudsey Town Hall and Library

A couple of years ago, people had to go to the Town Hall to use Council services, such as the registrar's and housing offices. The Councillors were aware that the opening hours were too limited, and some people had difficulty accessing the Town Hall. Councillors wanted to have have Council services all in the same place, 'on the High Street', and were also very concerned that Pudsey Library (and every other library!) was under threat from Government cuts if it stayed as a 'single purpose' building. The Library is in the heart of the Town centre and conveniently placed for the bus station. By moving services to a one-stop-shop based in the Library, it is now easier for residents to access a full range of services in one place. As well as improved accessibility within the Library, these changes have provided additional computers and wifi availability for all residents, and secured the futures of both the Library and the Town Hall.

The Town Hall is a great part of Pudsey's heritage and was already a home to council staff working for the Social Services department. Moving the Community Hub into the Library freed up the Town Hall to become a major centre for Social Services, and 95% of the offices are now in use. A major refurbishment of the Town Hall is scheduled, with the windows being replaced soon and a full redecoration of the interior later this year.

The replacement of the windows was delayed for several years thanks to the Tory government's spending freeze, but is now is scheduled to start in June. The work should go out to tender in the middle of April, with returned tenders assessed by the middle of May.

Thornbury Barracks roundabout and beyond

Thornbury Barracks roundabout Getting in and out of Pudsey from the Thornbury Barracks roundabout used to be hard work. Queues would build up in all directions and there were long delays. Additionally, crossing the road involved a poorly-lit subway. Labour arranged for the roundabout to be removed and replaced by a modern, signal-controlled junction that has significantly improved traffic flow and added level pedestrian crossings. Major improvements are now being planned for the Dawsonfs Corner roundabout.

Pudsey's Labour team are now pressing for top priority to be given to proposals to expand car parking places at New Pudsey station to provide an improved 'park and ride' offer for Outer West Leeds, tying in with the improved rail service which will be introduced next year. Pudsey Labour has also welcomed the Labour Council's commitment to upgrade Dawson's Corner junction, completing the major roundabout improvements that have already improved traffic flow at Rodley, Thornbury and Horsforth.

Leeds City Council has started consultation with the public about proposals to improve major bus corridors into the city, including the A647 (Leeds-Bradford).

Decent affordable housing

It has been a difficult few years for renters. Government policies had already led to a loss of many of our council houses and the Conservative Government's expansion of the right to buy scheme has led to housing associations losing more of their available housing stock. As children leave home, they might want to stay within the community they grew up in, near their friends and family, but find that they can't afford to do so. It has become very difficult for younger people to buy homes. Pudsey Waterloo Housing

Labour have been very aware of the need to provide affordable housing around the city and the Council has ensured that when developers have been building new developments, they have been required to provide some affordable housing alongside the more expensive and profitable housing that the developers prefer. Over the last few years over 300 affordable homes have been built in the Pudsey ward, for example on the old Waterloo Infant School site, on Waterloo Grove and Mount, and Chaucer Avenue, to name a few. These have primarily been homes to rent, and have helped keep rents down to reasonable rates.

Rycroft Towers fencing

The Councillors were aware that the fencing between all four Rycroft tower blocks and the busy by-pass was broken down. They arranged for it to be replaced and they also had new fencing installed for the first time on the Swinnow Lane boundary to give residents their 'own' space. This was the latest of a number of environmental initiatives round the tower blocks, complementing the internal upgrades funded by Housing Leeds.

Pudsey War Memorial full restoration

Pudsey War Memorial restoration Pudseyfs War Memorial had gradually fallen into a bad state of repair and needed a significant amount of money for a full restoration. The Councillors worked with the Bereavement Services department at the Council to appoint specialists to do the refurbishment and provided £17,000 from the Ward Based Initiative fund. The Pudsey and Farsley Branch of the Royal British Legion raised £10,000 to support the renovation. The Cenotaph was cleaned from top to bottom, the stonework and the steps at the back were replaced, and the brass plaques and the statue at the top were restored. The work was planned to coincide with the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War.

Residential 20mph speed limits

Pudsey Labour Councillor Richard Lewis took a report through the recent Executive Board meeting to introduce a 20mph speed limit in the remaining residential areas of Leeds which are currently 30mph.

Most of Pudsey's residential areas are already 20mph thanks to the recommendations of your Labour Councillors.

The benefits to all communities are the reduction in the number of people who are killed and injured, and the huge impact on victims, their families and friends. There are also economic benefits to the NHS and other public services thanks to the reduction in calls for emergency services, and to the public purse as a whole, so it makes sense on both compassionate and monetary grounds.

Supporting local facilities and voluntary groups Mick, Lou and Richard

We've already told you about a few of the wonderful voluntary groups in the area that Pudsey's Labour Councillors have provided financial and practical support to. Here are a few more examples of groups that we aid financially:

Pudsey councillors have supported Claremont, Crimble and Greenside sheltered housing facilities over many years with grants for residentsf Christmas meals and funding of buses/coaches for day trips.

Pudsey councillors' grants support two local swimming clubs - for learning to swim and synchronised swimming, as well as the Flower Club.

At the leisure centre Councillors have paid £5000 for recarpeting and also funded a new floor in the cycling room.

At Swinnow Community Centre, Pudsey councillors have funded the refurbishment of the kitchen including a new cooker and dishwasher. Next project will be to refurbish the toilets.

The Councillors are continuing to work with many different groups and are always open to requests for funding and assistance.

7th April 2018

Achievements of your Pudsey Labour Councillors - part 2

Post Hill Country Park Sometimes we're asked what Pudsey's Labour Councillors have done for Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal. The answer is wide and varied. So as we approach the Leeds City Council elections in May, we're going to tell you about some more of our proudest achievements.

Post Hill Country Park

The councillors arranged funding of £14,000 from the Parks and Countryside department to develop Post Hill Country Park after its acquisition by Leeds City Council, preserving for the local community an area of outstanding natural beauty and historical interest as the local Prisoner of War camp. They have now agreed to provide the funding to provide pedestrian access from Pudsey Road, work which will be starting soon.

Extending Pudsey Cemetery: The Council's life time care - and beyond?

Pudsey residents will remember the old Public Works Depot on Lower Tofts Road, which was demolished some years ago. Knowing that the Pudsey Cemetery was rapidly running out of space, Councillor Lewis suggested that the land should be used to extend it, to let Pudsey residents continue to be buried in their own community.

Recently, an adjacent piece of land had become a haunt of poorly behaved teenagers. The councillors arranged for a large overgrown hedge to be cut down, and for the rampant undergrowth to be cleared. This land too will be used to provide extra space for the cemetery. Queen's Park Improvements

Queen's Park Improvements

Pudsey's Labour Councillors felt that Queen's Park was desperately in need of improvements to keep it as one of the jewels in Pudsey's crown for leisure activities. As the Council's budget has been cut so heavily by the government, they applied for grant funding from Sports England, and worked in partnership with them. Together with the Parks department in the Council, they put together a master plan to remodel the park, which involved demolishing the old changing rooms, building a new play area and multi-use games area. Their work is not finished, and the next stages will involve improving the drainage and re-siting of the pitches.

The Councillors also saved the avenue of trees which run between Meadowhurst Gardens and the Royal Gardens estate. A few were found to be diseased and dying some years back and the Parks & Countryside department decided they wanted to fell the lot. The Councillors stepped in to prevent this municipal vandalism and new saplings have been planted to fill the gaps.

Pudsey Wellbeing Centre

Pudsey Wellbeing Centre Pudsey's councillors have been heavily involved in supporting the creation and running of the excellent Wellbeing Centre and the linked Love Pudsey charity that were set up by Robin Lane Medical Centre which have become major assets for the community. Mick worked with the centre management to help acquire the building and has been a trustee of the centre since it was created. The councillors have continued to work closely with the charity and arranged ongoing funding for the Youth Café at Café Lux.

Pudsey Leisure Centre

Pudsey's Leisure Centre is a major asset to the community and provides a variety of activities to appeal to different interests and needs. As well as the obvious sport and leisure activities, it provides homes to youth and community groups. Having served the community for a long time, it was in need of refurbishment and modernisation of its facilities. Pudsey's Labour councillors have worked to obtain continuing council investment.

The Gym was refurbished last year with a new floor, equipment and decoration. An underused room was converted into a Spinning room with new bikes. The Dry Side changing rooms were refurbished in 2015 and new air-con units installed in the Spinning studio, fitness studio and the gym over the last couple of years. Last year, external painting was completed, and in the last week or two a new roof was completed on one side of the building.

We're not resting on our laurels though. Over the Easter weekend, the pool area is being improved through the provision of new circulation pumps and replacement pipework, and redecoration of the poolside and wet side corridor with new flooring.

Tidying Recreational Ground The Vision for Leisure Centres in December 2016 identified the need to complete the wet side changing refurbishment, modernise the reception area and bring it closer to the front of the building and convert the old sunbed room in to a dedicated room with motorised fitness equipment which is designed to help older people and people with mobility issues. It also suggested exploring the option to recommission the front of the building overlooking the bus station and convert into a café area. We have completed a condition survey for the building and we are now currently working with NPS and our Leisure Specific partner Alliance Leisure to explore the options further and ensure that the business case for doing the changes will help fund the work.

Tidying Recreational Ground

Pudsey councillor Mick Coulson organised the tidying up of land between Waterloo Mount and Waterloo Grove for recreational use by residents. This was part funded by the housing department and by Pudsey Labour Councillors. The councillors consulted with the local community who decided that they wanted the land to be an open play area. The councillors arranged for council staff to help, along with volunteers from the community who provided their time and energy. The Gables Medical Surgery

The Gables Medical Surgery

The Gables Medical Surgery wanted to expand the services they offered, but were limited by being in small premises with very little parking. Pudsey's Labour Councillors provided support to the surgery team with their bid to build a new surgery, helping them to acquire the land on the other side of the road, including the site of the bus turning circle. This enabled the new surgery to be built with modern facilities, an on-site pharmacy and plenty of parking space.

31st March 2018

Achievements of your Pudsey Labour Councillors - part 1

Mick and Richard at Swinnow Centre Sometimes we're asked what Pudsey's Labour Councillors have done for Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal. The answer is wide and varied. So as we approach the Leeds City Council elections in May, we're going to tell you about some of our proudest achievements.

Swinnow Community Centre

In his role as Councillor, Mick Coulson has secured funding for Swinnow Community Centre and led a team of volunteers in developing the role of the centre into an active and successful hub for the community. Mick is chair of the Centre's Management committee, and has encouraged everyone who works at the centre. The centre is open seven days a week and provides a wide range of activities, from educational services to keep-fit activities; from support groups for Mums & Tots to a Luncheon club for the elderly; from a Garden club to bingo sessions.

As a result of this work, the centre won last year's award for the best Community Organisation at Leeds City Council's Compassionate City Awards. Mick is now working to ensure the Centre's independence through Community Asset status, making it the property of the community rather than the Council.

Pudsey in Bloom Pudsey in Bloom

Pudsey in Bloom consists of a small number of brilliant volunteers who make a huge difference to the town centre. In 2016, Pudsey in Bloom won a Silver award from the annual Yorkshire in Bloom competition. An area that was highlighted for improvement were the flower beds around Lidget Hill and the lampposts around the old Grangefield building. The councillors have done a lot of work with Pudsey in Bloom and Mick Coulson persuaded the Highways Department to replace the raised beds with flagging (concrete was ultimately used instead, for stability reasons), and put money in from the councillors' budget to pay for new planters. The efforts were rewarded with a Gold award from Yorkshire in Bloom, and the judges said:

"The judges were stopped by enthusiastic members of the public who wanted to say how much the work of the group is appreciated! This strong community support is obviously matched by that from local businesses and councillors."

Mick, Lou and Richard want to continue this work after the election. Pudsey's Labour councillors have worked with many different partners around Pudsey, Swinnow and Tyersal to improve all aspects of the life of the area and are keen to work with any residents who have an ambition to change their neighbourhood.

Woodhall Playing Fields

Woodhall Playing Fields provide a vital green space around the Leeds-Bradford border and their existence was protected by their planning status and the fact that they were owned by Bradford University. Labour councillors for Pudsey were very concerned when the university put them up for sale, fearing that they could fall into the hands of an unscrupulous developer who might pose a threat to the area's continued use by the public and the impact on the number of football pitches available for Pudsey and West Leeds teams.

Helping the Community Pudsey's Richard Lewis got Leeds City Council's Executive Board to agree in principle to negotiating with the University to purchase the area. After long and protracted negotiations the sale was agreed last December, thus guaranteeing that this vital green space, along with Woodhall Lake and its surroundings, will continue to be enjoyed by the community for sport and leisure for generations to come.

Helping the Community

A lot of a councillor's day to day work involves dealing with problems that an individual or wider group might be having, from housing needs to a problem with the local environment. For example, when a resident on School Street spoke to Richard Lewis about a disused toilet block that was an eyesore on the street, Richard was able to make arrangements for the demolition of the toilet block.

The councillors' work to help the community when the unexpected happens. When workmen damaged a major water pipe at the end of Littlemoor Road, the councillors worked with Yorkshire Water to ensure that the repair work was prioritised and completed as quickly as possible, while agreeing that noisy work would only take place at times that minimised disturbance to residents. At the same time, as a result of the closure of Littlemoor Road, the buses that normally serve Fartown were being terminated at the bus station. The councillors persuaded Metro and First to run alternative routes for these buses so that people could get as close as possible to home. Horses in Park

Marauding Tyersal horses fenced out!

A couple of years ago, residents were plagued by horses from a nearby stables repeatedly escaping into the Tyersal Park and children's play area. The worst incident involved more than 50 animals.

Cllr Jarosz commented at the time: "This is Pudsey in the 21st century, not the Wild West in the 19th century. Residents should not find their park full of horses. It has happened too often before... we need to have concerted action to sort out the horse problem in this area."

The ward councillors found funding to put up sturdy fencing around the park to solve the problem.

Preserving Pudsey Green Belt Sites

Our Councillors fought to preserve Green Belt sites - Hough Side Road and Acres Hall Avenue sites now safe!

Preserving Pudsey Green Belt Sites A few years ago the Home Builders' Federation persuaded the Conservative-led government that they would love to solve the country's housing crisis, but local councils were stopping them by not allocating enough development sites. This led to the National Planning Policy Framework, described by many as a developers' charter. Local authorities now had to base their housing targets on an Objective Assessment of Need, but had to follow government guidance to come up with that target figure. Then Tory minister Eric Pickles decreed that Leeds could not have a 'brownfield first' policy, thus guaranteeing that more sites in the Green Belt would have to go for housing.

The Campaign for the Protection of Rural England produced a report which made it quite clear that it was Government policy that forced Councils across the country to set higher housing targets than needed.

Richard Lewis believed that the target needed to be reduced and took a number of policy changes through the Council which led to a much-reduced housing target (down from 70,000 to less than 52,000). This meant that the number of Green Belt sites earmarked for housing could be drastically reduced - overall, a massive 55% of Green Belt land previously scheduled for future development were saved.

The two big Green Belt sites in Pudsey - around Hough Side Road and Acres Hall Avenue - are no longer allocated for housing. Pudsey's Labour team has always supported building on brownfield sites, including Wilkinson Warburton, the craneworks on Uppermoor, Lane End and Waterloo.

The amended Site Allocations Plan has been submitted today to the government for examination.

23rd March 2018

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