Summer is drawing to an end – or at least the wet Bank Holiday Monday made it seem that way. Many of you will have been away in July and August – we hope you’ve all had a good break.
Alex Sobel – our Parliamentary candidate – has certainly had one. But he’s also been out and about in the Leeds North West – meeting people and campaigning on the things that matter to them.
This last weekend he was on the People’s March for the NHS as it arrived in Leeds NW. LibDem/Tory cuts and privatisations to the NHS are very important to us here in Leeds NW – last year 14% of patients in the constituency had to wait a week or more for a GP appointment. So campaigning on the NHS is a high priority for him.
When rail fares were hiked in mid August, he was campaigning at Leeds City Station against rail fare rises with Action for Rail – People before Profits. He’s convinced we need to stop the re-privatisation of East Coast Main Line.
And, of course, he’s been at numerous events in the Constituency – like the Yeadon Cricket Club Family Fun Day, and the Hyde Park Unity Day. Hope you’ve had a chance to meet and talk with him on some of them.
With the Police Commissioner in Yeadon
Some of you certainly met Alex – and the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson – when they were out recently meeting residents in the Henshaw and Coppice Wood areas of Yeadon.
Alex had already talked to quite a few Yeadon residents who were concerned about speeding, anti-social behaviour and a lack of activities for young people in this part of Yeadon. So he asked the Police and Crime Commissioner to come and hear the issues first hand during West Yorkshire Police’s Tackling Anti-Social Behaviour Week.
Mark and Alex talked to Yeadon residents on the doorstep about the lack of summer activities for young people and the rise in anti-social behaviour over the summer months. Alex undertook to work with Mark Burns-Williamson to bring new youth activities to Yeadon and apply for funding from the Safer Communities Fund.
New Neighbourhood Watch areas in Yeadon
Alex will also be working with West Yorkshire Police who are relaunching Neighbourhood Watch in the area. Setting up more Neighbourhood Watch groups helps residents and police gather better local intelligence, and increases the chances of successful prosecutions of crime.
Labour Leeds says no cuts in PCSOs for outer areas of North West Leeds
People in Yeadon – as in other areas of the constituency – have been concerned about proposed cuts to Police Community Support Officers. PCSOs play a vital role in community safety. They were brought in by the Labour Government in 2002 to improve community policing. They are the local faces in the neighbourhood policing team who are very visible and easy for local people to contact.
LibDem/Tory Coalition squeezes the local authority budget for PCSOs
PCSOs are funded jointly by Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and other public bodies.
In the face of continuing Coalition cuts to councils’ budgets across the country, one option the City Council had to consider was reducing the number of PCSOs in each ward to four, and using the remaining numbers flexibly as needed in different areas, such as the inner city wards.
But Labour Leeds has agreed the funding of PCSOs is a priority. So to protect communities in outer areas such as Otley, Yeadon, Guiseley and Rawdon from cuts in their PCSO service, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Mark Burns-Williamson worked with Leeds City Council to ensure that all 294 PCSOs could be retained.
The current level of five PCSOs will stay the same in Otley and Yeadon, Guiseley , Rawdon and Adel and Wharfedale wards.
Alex said “PCSOs do a great job in dealing with things like low level antisocial behaviour, spotting suspicious activity and visiting victims of crime to reassure them.
“It is excellent news that, despite another year of unprecedented government cuts to council budgets across England, the Labour Executive of Leeds City Council is standing up for local communities and has decided to keep all 28 of our PCSOs who work in the outer areas of North West Leeds.”
You can read the Report to the Executive Board of LCC here: