Wednesday, 23 December 2009

'Best wishes to the brave' letter to the paper

The following letter appeared in today's Morley Observer and Advertiser:

Best wishes to the brave
Dear Sir/Madam,

We would like to wish all your readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous New Year.

We would also like to take this opportunity to send our best wishes to our brave servicemen and women serving in war zones overseas, as well as to their families back home.

Especially in light of the terrible news of the last week we would also like to send our deepest sympathies to the families of those whose loved ones will not be returning.

We believe it is important that they know we are thinking of them, particularly at this time of the year.

Councillor Chris Beverley
Morley South

Friday, 18 December 2009

My letter regarding work on Glen Estate

The following letter appeared in the Morley paper this week:

Dear editor,

I would like to thank, if I may, the Aire Valley Homes Housing Manager and council officers for the work that has been done to improve the footpaths in a number of locations along Glen Road.

This is something that I have been requesting for some time now, as a number of tree roots were coming through the pavement and making the footpaths unsafe.

There are still a number of other locations on the estate where this is happening, however, so I will continue to do what I can to get the necessary work carried out in every location where it is needed as quickly as possible.

This is also something that the Glen Estate Tenants and Residents Association continue to campaign for and have highlighted at residents meetings and during the estate walkabouts that are carried out regularly with the housing manager.

It is clear that the constraints on public spending that are already evident and that will become even more pronounced following the general election, regardless of which party is in power, mean that councillors like myself will be forced to work twice as hard to make sure that money is spent by the council on improvements such as those described here.

Good pro-active residents groups such as the Glen residents association and a number of others in Morley and Tingley play a vital role in helping to get things done, and I believe their importance in this regard will increase in the days of relative austerity to come.

With that in mind I would like to conclude by congratulating the Glen residents association for the good work carried out during its first year of existence and I look forward to working with them and other residents groups in the coming years to help improve our local community for all local residents.

Councillor Chris Beverley
Morley South, Leeds City Council

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Elmfield Infants School Article

Pic: Elmfield Infants School in better days

The following article appeared in the 9th December 2009 issue of the Morley Observer and Advertiser

The decision to prosecute those responsible for the "disgraceful demolition of a much-loved Morley building has been welcomed by a local councillor.

However, Coun Chris Beverley has slammed the fines handed down to the firm which knocked down Elmfield Infants School as "pathetic".

The former school, on Bridge Street, was razed by developers in February this year, to the outrage of many.

After the school closed in 2005 the building was sold by Leeds City Council to developers for housing but stipulated that the original Victorian frontage must be retained.

Planning permission was granted on that basis but the developers later forfeited that permission by demolishing the building completely.

Its new owners, developers Heritage Holdings Ltd, were subsequently prosecuted by Leeds City Council for non-compliance with section 80 of the Building Act 1984.

They were fined £250 with a victim surcharge of £15 and ordered to pay costs of £1,375.60.

Coun Beverley, a former pupil of Elmfield Infants School, said he was pleased the council had pursued the matter but was disappointed in the result, calling it "a joke".

He said he was also disappointed that the contractors responsible for the demolition, James Gill (Leeds) Ltd, had avoided prosecution as the company went into liquidation earlier this year.

"Unfortunately the Leeds City Council officers pursuing the case checked the Building Act 1984 and had to conclude that there is no provision within the act to go against directors individually," he said.

"This aspect of the legislation needs to change in my opinion as I feel that it is wholly wrong that the contractors have effectively got away with doing what they did.

"I am nevertheless grateful to council officers for the action they took in this case and I do not believe there is anything else that they could have done following the demolition within the legislation governing this area to achieve any better results than what was achieved with this prosecution.

"This case shows that we must be ever vigilant to threats to our historic buildings from unscrupulous developers and profiteers."