There is a lot going on in Wetherby at the moment and as ward councillors we are looking to keep on top of it.
We are trying to deliver highways solutions in Boston Spa, fighting proposals for unwanted housing development in Thorp Arch, trying to deal with the aftermath of the MINT Festival and also looking to tackle Leeds City Council’s inflated housing targets.
Firstly, we would like to deal with the MINT Festival. It is clear that the Stockeld Estate is not a suitable venue for such an event and we fully support the residents who have been affected by the festival over the weekend.
Festival goers behaved in a totally unacceptable manner and we all should expect a better response from the Police, the festival organisers and Harrogate Council who were the licensing authority for this event.
As ward councillors we submitted objections during the licensing process and we did the same as members of Wetherby Town Council. We are totally opposed to this event and will continue to do our best to object to it.
On the planning front, as we mentioned in our last article, there are a number of key events on the agenda, the Rudgate Village appeal is ongoing and we will soon be fighting the Site Allocations Plan Examination in the hope that sense will prevail and the numbers for the Leeds District can be reduced. We have all been at the Rudgate Village appeal and we are hopeful that the arguments presented can prevent this site from being developed.
Housing numbers continue to be a major issue. Coun Procter led a White Paper motion at the Full Council meeting in Leeds that called for a more sensible approach to housing numbers from Leeds City Council.
There has also been some positive news from Government. They launched a consultation entitled ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’ this looks to establish a standard method for calculating local authorities’ housing need. Under this method the Leeds annual housing target would potentially drop from 4,375 as is the case now under the Council’s Core Strategy to 2,649.
Clearly this could have a major impact on housing in the Wetherby Ward and the wider Outer North East of Leeds. We will be pursuing this issue further in the hope that a more realistic approach to housing development can be developed for our ward.
Residents in Boston Spa have been concerned for some time about highways safety and it has been one of our top priorities to find solutions for this.
We have overseen the installation of a pedestrian crossing at the Deepdale Children’s Centre and two SIDs (speed indicator devices) have recently been installed. The latter was not without difficulty and Coun Wilkinson raised a question at the Full Council meeting to find out why there was such a delay in getting them installed. We await the response to that with interest.
The three of us have been working with Boston Spa residents and the Parish Council to develop a masterplan for the village that will hopefully lead to more improvements to slow vehicles down, improve access to junctions and introduce more safety measures for pedestrians. We have had two community meetings on this issue and will continue to work on this over the coming months.
It is a busy period with lots of competing priorities but we are working hard.