Sunday, 28 March 2010

Scheme for Offenders letter

An edited-down version of the following letter appeared in this week's Morley paper:

Dear Editor,

I am working to have a scheme that sees young offenders carrying out work to improve the local environment rolled out in the Morley area.

I read about this scheme - known as the Criminal Damage Offender Reparation Programme - recently, and noted that it was being carried out in other areas but not Morley.

I have heard it said many times on the doorsteps that we should get young offenders doing something that benefits the local community, such as picking up litter or clearing up graffiti, and I thought it would be of benefit to this area to bring this scheme to Morley.

The programme is provided by Groundwork Leeds and managed and delivered by experienced Youth Justice practitioners.

Staff managing and delivering the programmes have a wide range of experience and skills and are particularly experienced in working with young people who are difficult to engage and have behavioural difficulties.

Examples of the types of reparation activities that the scheme can offer are: environmental improvement work (graffiti removal, improvements to street furniture and play areas, community clean-ups), horticultural work, allotment project work, and much more.

I am in the process of drawing up a list of possible projects that could be carried out as part of such a programme, so that they can be considered for implementation and I would very much welcome suggestions from individual residents as to what sort of projects could be carried out.

The above list should act as a guide to the type of activity that would be considered.

I can be contacted with suggestions and general comments by phone on 01924 820 946, by email at, or by post at Civic Hall, Leeds LS1 1UR.

Councillor Chris Beverley
Morley South, Leeds City Council

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Letter regarding Glen Estate Improvements

The following letter appeared in this week's Morley paper.

Pictured: Some of the new fencing that has been constructed along Glen Road.

Dear editor,

I would like to give the thanks to Aire Valley Homes and their housing manager for the Glen Estate for the work done to provide new fencing along Glen Road. Not only has this vastly improved the look of the estate, it will also help to ensure that the grassed areas between the houses remain out of bounds for vehicles (with the exception of emergency vehicles and grass cutters), which will help maintain the safety of pedestrians walking through the estate.

I requested new fencing some years ago after a number of residents contacting me about this, and I am very pleased that this work has now been carried out.

My thanks also go to the Highways Department for the work they are carrying out in relation to highways issues on the Glen Estate. A number of measures have been requested by the residents association and counts have been undertaken as a first step towards assessing what can be done with regard to restricting HGV access to the estate, introducing a number of new pedestrian crossings, and other issues.

The Glen Estate Tenants and Residents Association have worked hard to push forward the above improvements, as well as working on many other projects, and I would like to conclude by commending them on the hard work they are carrying out on behalf of the estate.

Coun Chris Beverley
Morley South, Leeds City Council

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Volunteer Support Fair in Tingley

Here is a pic from today's Volunteer Support Fair held at Tingley Youth and Community Centre on Smithy Lane in Tingley, which I attended this morning.

The event was intended to 'showcase and inform people of the many and varied voluntary organisations working in the Outer South.'

Despite the awful weather, the event was well attended and I congratulate the many volunteers who attended, and Area Management staff, for making the event a success.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Area Committee Meeting in Rothwell

This afternoon I attended my Outer South Area Committee meeting held in the Civic Chamber at Rothwell One Stop Shop (pictured).

Today's meeting was longer than usual and ended with a highly confidential discussion regarding Leeds City Credit Union, during which the few members of the public in attendance were asked to leave.

There were various matters of interest on today's agenda. I spoke regarding enforcement action against people who litter, and I also discussed the matter of missed bin collections. A Labour councillor for Ardsley and Robin Hood complained that once a bin collection is missed then that is it until the next collection. In my experience this is certainly not the case, and speaking personally, I can say that I have had a very good result rate from complaints I have received and passed on concerning missed bin collection. I find that in the vast majority of cases a special collection is arranged within 48 hours of my request.

I acknowledged this at the meeting, as I believe in giving praise where it is due, however I also pointed out that I thought that there are still far too many collections being missed, and this needed addressing. As I have said before, collecting its residents' refuse is one of the most fundamental and visible services that a council provides, and this means that it is even more important that it gets done correctly.

As usual, not all the Morley Borough Independent councillors on the committee managed to drag themselves along, with Judith Elliott not bothering to turn up today. It is hard to imagine how this party thinks it can justify the money it claims from the public purse.

The agenda documents for today's meeting can be found here.

Friday, 12 March 2010

Morley Summit

Following an exceptionally frantic day at the office today, I attended the 3rd Morley Summit, which this year was held in the Moreleian Room in Morley Town Hall.

This event is intended as a forum to facilitate the discussion of ideas for our town, in particular with regard to the local economy.

I have attended both previous summits and this had by far the lowest attendance of all 3. I counted 5 or 6 people there who I judged to be there primarily as members of the public, as opposed to councillors, council officers, police etc.

Town Centre Manager Peter Mudge gave a progress report regarding his ongoing work in the town, and we also received an update regarding Morley Leisure Centre, which is due to open on Tuesday 22nd June.

This presentation was followed by a question and answer session, which took the meeting to its conclusion.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

St Mary's and Glen Estate meetings

I sometimes find that I could do with being in two (or more) places at the same time, and this happened tonight.

First I attended the public meeting in Morley Town Hall regarding the plans for St Mary's church. The meeting was well attended as clearly this is an issue that concerns a considerable number of people in Morley.

Having looked into this in some detail, I find it very unlikely that this application will be approved by the planning department, but I will update this blog with the outcome either way once this has been decided. Should it look like it will be approved, I have asked for it to be sent to the Plans Panel for further discussion, which will give local residents an opportunity to speak at the meeting and put forward their case directly to the panel.

I left this meeting before the end in order to attend the Glen Estate Tenants and Residents Association AGM. The majority of the existing committee was re-elected by those present (with one person standing down and being replaced with a new person) and the meeting was very positive and productive as always.

The Aire Valley Homes officers present praised the group for their hard word and said that in their opinion the Glen residents association is one of the best groups they deal with, and I have no doubt that this is indeed the case.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Arena Plans discussed

Pictured: Sheffield Arena. Despite the best efforts at sabotage by assorted Labour MPs, Leeds will soon have an arena too.

This morning I attended my Scrutiny Board (City Development) meeting in Leeds Civic Hall.

A wide variery of topics were discussed, including such diverse issues as the plans for the new Leeds Arena, through to the way in which planning applications are dealt with.

I spoke in relation to my indirect experience of the way in which Leeds City Council consults parish and town councils, which I gained through my wife's time on the Plannning Committee of Morley Town Council during her first year as a town councillor. Bullies from the Morley Borough Independent Party (who control 23 out of the 24 seats) have since conspired to keep her off every single committee since then of course, but the experience gained on this committee was nevertheless of some considerable use.

On the subject of the Morley Borough Independents Party, it is worthy of note that Morley South councillor Terry Grayshon once again didn't bother to attend today's meeting, despite being a member of this committee.

Despite the lavish allowances they claim from the taxpayer, the attendance record of Morley Borough Independent councillors on Leeds City Council truly is a disgrace, and is a reflection of the contempt that they clearly have for the people of Morley.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Yorkshire Rhubarb letter

The following letter was printed in today's Morley paper:

Dear editor,

I am sure many of your readers will join me in welcoming the awarding of Yorkshire forced rhubarb with Protected Designation of Origin status, making it the 41st product from Britain to receive this label, following such products as Melton Mowbray pork pies and Swaledale cheese.

I believe in promoting local food production and consumption, and, living as we do in the 'Rhubarb Triangle', I welcome anything that helps to raise the profile of this local food.

What's more, as this newspaper reported recently, this comes on the back of research carried out at Sheffield University that appears to prove that rhubarb can help to combat cancer. Not only is this potentially a very significant medical breakthrough in itself, but it is unlikely to do local rhubarb sales any harm either!

Councillor Chris Beverley
Morley South, Leeds City Council