2014 has been our first full year on this website – and a hugely successful one. Visits to the site are now numbering in tens of thousands. On our reckoning – based on the website’s own statistics – the faithful readership we established in 2013 has been growing rapidly all through 2014. It looks as if you’ve been coming, reading – and returning for more. We’re delighted.
What undoubtedly interests you most is our parliamentary candidate, Alex Sobel.
Alex outside Ireland Wood pharmacy
But you’ve read widely and avidly.

So, as last December 31, we thought we’d remind our established fans out there about what you’ve been reading – and give new ones a flavour of what we’ve been offering.
We’ve published 323 posts this year – so it’s been difficult to choose among them.
But here’s a brief selection of your favourites.

As last year, some posts proved a surprise hit.

Our fears on the effects of proposed Deregulation of taxis was one such – an important topic, we felt, and you clearly agreed.

Another up there among the most read was the reaction of a very long-standing Leeds North West resident to the ‘Strange questions’ someone is asking in Leeds NW about Alex Sobel. Lots of you clearly wanted to know the answers.

Justice for firefighters and their pensions and the failure of our local MP to turn up and vote for them was another winner

Alex Sobel and members of Leeds NW Labour supporting the Firefighters
Alex Sobel and members of Leeds NW Labour supporting the Firefighters

One of our most exciting events this year was the visit of Owen Jones to the Constituency and his endorsement of Alex Sobel as the sort of ‘independent-minded’ Labour MP we need. Our detailed report on his speech and message ‘Have hope, Give hope, Be optimistic, Unite’ was a hit with many of you.

For International Women’s Day this year we published a series of posts by women about women. That spoke to large numbers of you: among them Headingley’s Councillor Janette Walker on the inspirations of her politics, especially the women who have inspired her; Leeds Uni student Freya Potter on student feminist activism and its local links, and Otley Trade Unionist Leonie Sharp on austerity and its impact women.

We post regularly on national issues and on Labour’s policies.

So this year, for exam
ple, we have had a number of posts on devolution – Hilary Benn’s statement and Labour’s proposal for a minister for Yorkshire – were only two on what proved a very popular topic.

Inevitably the NHS was something you came back to read about over and over again. You followed our support for the People’s March for the NHS – marching with them through Leeds. We backed Clive Efford’s Bill to halt privatisation– and campaigned for it here in Leeds NW. http://wp.me/p3nrSW-7rm

Alex Sobel with the People's March for NHS as it came through Leeds NW
Alex Sobel with the People’s March for NHS as it came through Leeds NW

You were very interested in our efforts to keep you abreast of what was happening to the NHS and about Labour’s plans.

One issue which concerns you all, judging by views of posts, is a European-wide one – TTIP, or the EU/US Trade Agreement. We published a great deal on this – indeed we’ve been publishing on it since mid 2013 , long before it was hitting any headlines. So when our candidate, Alex Sobel, announced his minimum conditions for support of TTIP , it was no surprise that you all wanted to know about them.

Education should, perhaps, have featured more on the site – if our post on Tories, Academies and Really, Really big money was anything to go by. It was up there with the star attractions.

But what brings you back over and over again are the local issues.
Our series on Leeds City Council budgets proved enormously popular. The cuts to Leeds budgets concern many of you – we’ll link to the ‘Good News’ post, on what Leeds Labour Council is managing to salvage. But you read all four of our Budget posts avidly.

Neil, Jonathan and Janette on the doorstep in Headingley
Neil, Jonathan and Janette on the doorstep in Headingley
You’ve wanted to be kept informed about what Labour Councillors are doing here in Leeds NW: tackling noise nuisance, for example, or campaigning on the future of the Elinor Lupton Centre in Headingley. We updated you on what the Labour Town Council has been up to in Otley – including going for Gold with award-winning public toilets! And we gave you a taste of what Labour COULD do for the rest of the constituency – with e.g. our community clean-ups in Ireland Wood and Alex’s work pursuing community safety in Yeadon .B0OXn-XCYAAPbpj

It’s been all go, in fact.
And though some of us have been out there picking up the litter, we certainly haven’t been sticking-in-the-mud back here on the website.
We’ve launched a new Vlog channel, which promises to create a whole new galaxy of stars. Lots of you caught Headingley’s Cllr Walshaw, e.g.,talking about bins around Ash Road. Probably wise, since the major networks will soon have him in their sights.

All in all – a tremendous year.
And 2015 will be an even better one.
Our candidate, Alex Sobel, is working hard to win in Leeds NW. He’s already making clear what kind of an MP he would be. http://wp.me/p3nrSW-196 And we have every confidence he’ll be in Westminster after May 2015 – and, judging from their ‘Strange questions’, the LibDems agree!

If you want to keep in touch with what Alex is saying and doing – follow him on Facebook – Alex Sobel For Leeds North West, and visit his own website.

And keep on visiting us, too.
We’ve really enjoyed keeping you up-to-date in 2014.
We wish you all the very best for the New Year.

Keep on coming in 2015. We may not be able to do better. But we promise you more.

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