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.


<30.8% A Very Poor Democracy

Social Housing

Leeds City Council wants to change the way they let their homes; they want to reduce the number of houses that they give those that have waited the longest. They currently give 25% of their housing stock to people with a local connection, that have been on the waiting list the longest. Local people presently wait year, after year, after year, for a council house, why is their wait so long? And now the council want to increase this wait.

If you roll up at Heathrow or Dover from somewhere such as Poland, Lithuania, Slovakia, India and Pakistan, then a kind-heart somewhere will almost certainly declare you need urgent help and will rubber- stamp your priority application for a roof over your head. In Ealing 45 per cent and in Haringey it is 43 per cent of their council houses are occupied by immigrants. Leeds has fewer immigrants, but what if the figure is just half of that? Over 1.7 million households are currently waiting for social housing. The people that get subsidised housing should be the people that have contributed towards it.

Wealthy beneficiaries, do they still exist?

It was very interesting to read about Councillor Judith Elliot, and her planning row with Morrisons. Morrisons have extended their Plants and flowers section into their trolley store, without gaining planning permission from Leeds City Council. Which means that the trolleys will have be stored elsewhere. The car park next to Morrisons is owned by Leeds City Council. Will they be storing these trolleys on Leeds City Council property?

Morrisons opened in 1972, perhaps, in this year of the Queens Diamond jubilee, Morrisons will be donating some of their expertise to put something back into its local community? One can always wish, but it was once the case. Just over the road from Morrisons there is Scatcherd Park and Morley Hall, which were both given to the people of Morley by wealthy beneficiaries, Oliver Scatcherd and Charles Scarth.

In 1967 Morrisons became a public limited company listed on the London Stock Exchange, perhaps on its celebration of its 50th year, it will give a little something back? The planning regulations are there for the interests of all, perhaps others traders in Morley will close down in the light of this extra competition, or perhaps they would like notice of expansion so that they could buckle down and compete harder?

Community spirit?

Store should pay for festive lights

LAST week Morley town councillors were due to consider if they wanted to spend the £12,000 needed to fund Morley’s Christmas lights.

I certainly hope that Christmas is not cancelled, but Christmas can go ahead without our taxes funding Christmas lights and Christmas trees.

Morrisons supermarket has been trading in Morley since 1972; it is one of the Morrisons stores that earns more than £1 million every year.

In 2010 Morrisons was awarded fresh produce retailer of the year and meat retailer of the year. The entire Morrisons group made £632 million after tax, in the year up to 2011.

Morrisons is a very good supermarket that is well used by many of Morley’s residents, including myself; the store does very well, being Morley’s number one supermarket. It employs many local people and it is at the heart of our community, it benefits from a council-owned and run car park.

But now it is time for Morrisons to put some of our money back into Morley.

Morrisons can afford, at the very least, to brighten up Windsor Court with a Christmas tree and lights, but the funding for Morley’s entire Christmas lights would only cost £12,000 – not a great deal of money when the Morrisons in Morley makes more than £1 million every year.

And then Morley will show its appreciation by continuing to shop at Morrisons, week in, week out.

Tax payers’ money should be spent helping to keep open essential services such as Knowle Manor, and not funding Christmas lights.

Knowle Manor, old peoples care home

In these times of cuts it does seem bizarre that money is being spent on some frivolous things whilst the old and needy suffer. It has just been announced that Party in the Park, will be held on Sunday 31 July, hosted and funded by Leeds City Council, there is expected to be an audience of 70,000 at Temple Newsam Park, Leeds. All paid for by the Leeds tax payer. What other things come before caring for the elderly? The Leeds Lord Major costs the tax payer around a third of a million pounds every year. When Judith Elliot was Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2009/10, the official figures show that two official cars cost £11,650 and £5,547 for the clothing allowance for the Mayor and her partner. Here in Morley the Town Council spends on average more than half of our taxes on admin and pomp. The very people that are campaigning to save Knowle Manor old peoples home, seem to be spending money as if no one cared. It does seem that people spend other peoples money more freely than they would their own.

Morley South 2011

Now the dust has settled following the recent local elections on the 5th May, my explanation of Labours Neil Dawson’s win is that there was a 10% swing to Labour nationally, and an extra push by Labour meant that the turnout increased and got more voters to the polling station. There was also no independent standing, as there was in 2007, the late Albert Slingsby. Labours gain in Morley South resulted in the ousting of Terry Grayshon, who has been the City Councillor for Morley South since 2007, when he won with 35% of the vote. With Michael Mee(BNP) coming second with 28%. Now in this year’s election the BNP’s Chris Beverley changed allegiances to the English Democrats, but in doing so, he failed to gain any more support, in fact his share of the votes slipped back to less than 20%. Very difficult for a new Party to gain enough support on their first effort.

And in the Town Council election, the same swing and push by individual candidates helped Labour to get a total of five Councillors elected to the Town Council. Myself standing as an independent putting out news about the poor performance of the Town Council, may have also had a negative effect on the MBIs. So the Morley Borough Independent voters, voted for the high profile candidate in the Central ward, Terry Grayshon; with the other MBIs languishing some distance behind. The MBI voters do just vote for the party, just as some Labour and Conservative voters do. So Terry Grayshon, who is better known because of his role as the Town Mayor and anything in connection with the Armed Forces; was elected to the Town Council with 415 votes, second to be elected was Neil Dawson with 408 votes and Louise Bentley with 360 votes. In the Town Council election, I stood, my first time, as an independent for Morley Central. I got 172 votes, which worked out at 7.9% of the votes. Which as I found out, was more than two other independents that stood for the first time. So thanks to everyone that voted for me, and hopefully we can do it again in four years time. The two Labour Councillors in the Central ward will be joined on the Town Council by three more Labour Councillors, having taken advantage of the national swing to Labour. A sad fact that national swings elect and de-select councillors, but for no other reason.

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