Barwick and Scholes News

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Barwick and Scholes

Ron Miller

07717 150625

Bus service changes: major changes to Scholes bus services, which some concerned residents have been predicting, are now being proposed, though it could be July before they take effect. If they go ahead – and they are yet to be approved - then the biggest change would see the current 64A service discontinued and an end to the controversial practice of buses travelling along residential streets within Scholes. Service 64, linking Barwick and some Scholes residents directly to Leeds city centre at half hourly intervals, will continue via the Coronation Tree. However, villagers would lose service 63 completely. This would be replaced by current service 11, extended to provide an hourly service from Scholes to Leeds via Gipton, with journey times increased to 44 minutes from the present 38 minutes. This service would also link Scholes with Cross Gates via Penda’s Fields and would operate during the evenings and on Sundays. Before any changes are made West Yorkshire Metro, which provides funding to support village bus services, is to ask local people for their views, with a drop-in consultation taking place on Friday, January 18, at the Tesco store in Seacroft. Villagers with internet access at home or who go on line at the library can view the proposals and express their opinions by visiting the Metro website: Members of Barwick and Scholes Parish Council have already been given information about the proposed changes and were expected to discuss them at their January meeting, which took place on Monday. Early warning of the proposals came from Scholes resident George Hall, who led a five year campaign to improve bus services to and from the village, with support from Elmet MP Alec Shelbrooke when he was a member of Leeds City Council.Mr Hall received an e-mail from Dave Pearson, an assistant director at Metro, advising him of the proposed changes. Mr Hall told parish councillors: “It should be realised that bus services in our community are subsidised by Metro and with economies having to be made this cannot continue; we will not be the only community to be affected by changes.”

Parish Council: the future use of new public open space at Scholes Lodge Farm was among topics on the agenda for Monday’s meeting of Barwick and Scholes Parish Council, which will be reported in more detail next week. As well as footpaths, seating and information about the land’s archaeological history, more controversial proposals include the provision of facilities for young people to use, such as a multi-use games area and a skateboard park. Other agenda items included problems with dog fouling and trespass at Jack Heap’s Field, Barwick and fencing issues at Barwick’s sports ground.

Co-option queries raised: also being considered at Monday’s meeting was a formal request for information from the Save Our Scholes residents’ group about the process of co-opting new members to the parish council without the need for a by-election. Co-option was recently used to fill two vacancies for Scholes representatives on the parish council. Several candidates who expressed interest in the voluntary post were interviewed by current councillors and Dr Stella Walsh, a Scholes resident for 35 years and Tom Crosfill, aged 18, were invited to become parish councillors. The request from Save Our Scholes, made under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act, asked which parish councillors attended each candidate interview, whether exactly the same questions were put in exactly the same way to each candidate and what role the clerk to the parish council played in the interview process. The group also requested a copy of the questions and enquired how it was decided who should be offered co-option, asking if this was by a vote or through discussion? A copy of the minutes recording the co-option process was also requested.

Poppy Appeal: Barwick and Scholes villagers donated £23,000 to the Royal British Legion during the most recent Poppy Appeal. This was co-ordinated by the local branch of the Legion, recently saved from imminent closure after local people, led by Coun Matt Baker and his wife Gillian, stepped forward to strengthen the committee.The new president of the branch is a serving army officer, Lt Col Amanda Hassell, whose parents live in Barwick.