Morley Train Station

Morley Train Station

The 12 weeks of improvement works at Morley train station has now been completed. The works, that includes under ground water storage tanks to prevent flooding, a reed bed and wild flower area, new and more efficient lighting, extending and resurfacing the car-park and access road and a new wall and fencing,
The increasing popularity of rail travel, nationally passenger numbers have roughly doubled in the last decade, but passenger numbers at Morley station have increased much, much more. Back in 2003 54,591 passengers used Morley station, the same figures show that in 2012 that number now stands at 347,610; a massive rise. Undoubtedly the reason for this rise is the speed, punctuality and low cost of rail travel when compared to the buses in this area. Local rail travel can be around 40% cheaper than travelling by bus.
So the increasing passenger numbers has brought better facilities. CCTV was added in early 2011, even back then the station was a bare place. But this year the platforms have been brightened up with flowers instead of weeds and the platforms and the surrounding areas are a much cleaner and brighter, thanks to the ‘Friends of Morley Station’ group, that was formed in 2012.

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Blank Display?

Blank window?

Since all our political parties now put money making over the interests of of the people, I was pleased that at least in Australia the Government put the people first. In Australia the Government have past a law forcing cigarette manufacturers to pack their cigarettes in a plain pack. No more advertising or brand loyalty, because there is nothing to promote. If only our coalition Government could put people before profit. We could follow Australia, and reduce smoking even further. We could turn back the clock, and have zero promotion in bookmakers shop windows. Now they offer free £50 bets, to tempt in the young and vulnerable. At least all of the bookmakers used to pay full corporation tax. But now they avoid tax by having their head office in tax haven.

More Cars, But Decreasing Parking Spaces

In my childhood I attended Peel Street Junior school, it has recently been sold to developers, its transformation into apartments is looking amazing. I recently walked passed the old 1960s timber prefabricated classroom in the Melbourne Street car park, that was my first classroom after nursery school. The car park is used by local businesses and shoppers. So I was surprised to see a planning application pinned to a telegraph pole for eight houses with gardens. I have read that the Council enjoys rights over the car park, but it has decided in its wisdom to forgo those rights. Leeds City Council informed local councillors, but they raised no objections to losing valuable town center parking. Melbourne Street and Peel Street is busy already with parked cars. The vehicles that once used the college car park and Melbourne Street for parking, will now be forced to use the already well used Annie Street car park and the neighbouring Peel Street and Acroyd Street. One of Morleys best attractions is its ample and free parking. Since the car park has already been sold, perhaps its too late to save it from development?

I think its marvellous that we have more houses being built, both the Conservatives and the Labour Party have made big pledges in regard to house building before the last election. There have been various large scale housing developments through-out Leeds.

Disqualified from Standing for Election

In the UK over 5.5 million people work in central and local Government. Many of those workers are disqualified from standing for election. As a local authority worker for Leeds City Council, myself and all my 14,632 colleagues are disqualified from standing for election to our city council. Disqualifying almost 15,000 people from standing for election seems quite bizarre to me, not many people are interested in politics, the bigger the pool to choose from, the better. The turnout in my electoral ward in 2016, in Leeds was just under 31%, a sad reflection on how people feel about politics. In the English local elections of 2016, in some areas fewer than one in five eligible voters went to their local polling station to cast a vote. We have a broken system, that people see as a negative. But the Scottish system seems much better, the turnout in the 2012 Scottish local elections was 39.6%, and in 2017 local elections turnout was 46.9%

In Scotland the rules were changed in 2005 so that an employee of a local authority could stand for election to that authority, and would only have to resign their employment if they were elected. The Electoral Commission carried out a report for the government in 2015, the report recommended that England should adopt the same qualifying rules for elections as Scotland, and local authority workers should be allowed to stand, but they would have to resign their job with the local authority if elected. The report has not been acted upon yet.

“The Electoral Commission recommend that the law in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is changed to make a clear distinction between offices or employment which would prevent someone standing for election, and those which would prevent someone from holding office if elected

<30.8% A Very Poor Democracy

‘Clueless And Deluded’

Some think that because multi-millionaires in the UK are getting richer, and the Brexit vote hasn’t had much of an impact. But the average wage is being outstripped by rising prices, and peoples living standards are declining.
There have been changes to the NHS, resulting in more serious operations not being done within the 18 week target and people waiting in corridors in A+E. In 2015 the Conservatives put in their election manifesto a promise about making GP appointments easier. The promise has now been dropped, another broken promise. Theresa May wants the General Election to be about Brexit, lets hope that the facts about our poorly performing NHS and ailing social care do not get forgotten.

The police recorded a total of 4.8 million offences in the year ending December 2016, an annual rise of 9%. Knife crime rose 11 per cent and gun crime by 7% in the last year alone.

The cost of National debt payment paid by the Government in 2011/12 was £48 billion, in 2016/17 it was £62 billion, next year the same debt payments will amount to £68 billion. Theresa May thinks her leadership qualities are ‘Strong and Stable’, I would say ‘Clueless And Deluded’.

I am not sure if people would attribute any of these facts to Brexit, perhaps its as a result of Conservative policies? I am sure Theresa May and her wealthy family will not suffer due to reduced police and NHS funding, unlike us ordinary folk.

 

A Deceitful Government.

The Crown Prosecution Service is expected to announce before the General election in June whether around 30 Tory MPs will be criminally charged over the alleged 2015 election expenses scandal.

The Conservative Government has also broken a legal deadline to announce any changes to the state pension age, leaving millions of older voters in the dark about their future pensions. The Government is legally mandated to review the state pension age by May 7th, as set out in the 2014 Pensions Act.

The Cridland review recommended scrapping the triple-lock pension, which guarantees a minimum annual rise to the state pension by 2.5 per cent. It also recommended raising the state pension age from 67 to 68 between 2037 and 2039, which would affect almost 6 million people. For people who are younger than 30, they might find themselves working until the age of 70. Our Conservative Government are a bunch of self-serving crooks. They tell the electorate as little as possible; retiring at 70 will not be in the Conservative manifesto, not a chance, but it will happen.

The campaign group Transparency International, whose head of UK advocacy and research Rachel Davies has said: “It’s absolutely true that the UK is one of the leading financial centres for the laundering of corrupt money from overseas, whether through the property market, luxury goods or other sectors”.

The Year That Could Change Everything

The year 2016 will be remembered as one that changed all our lives, for better or worse. The UK voted narrowly to leave the European Union. We don’t yet know what that means, although it was 6 months ago. The effects of that vote is now being noticed by rising inflation and higher holidays costs. The fall of Sterling and the downward pressure on the London stock market are still having an effect on the prices in our High Streets and our pensions. The people that voted to leave the EU still feel it was justified. Those that voted to remain in the EU feel very strongly that the vote has divided everyone and has led to an increase in the fear of others.

We have seen the terrible images from Syria, and terrorist killings around the world. The terrorist acts have come from people born into that country, and also from people around the world.

Some of the weapons used in the middle east come from the UK, the UK has participated in bombings in that area that have led to millions of people fleeing for their safety.

The UK has had record numbers of inward immigration, which has fueled the UKs growing economy, but it has not helped to increase peoples living standards. It has exacerbated our housing crisis, with many young people excluded from the housing market.

So whilst we have some issues made worse by immigration, in 2017 our decisions need to be made in the interests of making the UK a safe and prosperous place to live. We must campaign to fix the issues caused by immigration, that is what our MPs are elected to do, but they are failing.

In the last three Westminster by-elections the Liberal Democrats have been the only party rising in popularity, although they only gained one parliamentary seat. The values of the Liberals Democrats are ones which will help to make the UK a better place to live. The old two party system seems to be waning. Vote for the wrong party and the result could be the election of the divisive right wing, or a wasted vote for the left.

Kind regards ..  Nigel

N Bywater

3 Oak Grove

Morley

A&E Attendances Are Up 4.1%

It was interesting that my MP, asked the Secretary of State for Health, what the average employer pension contribution is for a junior doctor. The written answer that she received was that junior doctors are at the bottom of the pile, when it comes to employer contributions. I am not sure if her intension was to highlight the plight of junior doctors under this Government. Our NHS seems to be out of the media spotlight, now that Brexit and Grammar schools are under the media spotlight.

The performance of our local NHS trusts is well below standard. The long-term trend is one of missed targets, with emergency admissions up 3.8%, diagnostic tests up 6.1% and consultant-led treatment up 4.2%. A&E attendances are up 4.1%. The NHS is a wonderful organisation, but it seems that we are getting more emergency treatment. Is this because we are less healthy and general practitioners are failing to respond due to lower budgets?

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