Your Leeds local election 2018 A to Z: Wetherby

THE CANDIDATES

Egan, Jan - Labour Party

Harrington, Norma Agnes - Conservative Party

Hopps, David Kenneth - Liberal Democrats

Lamb, Alan James - Conservative Party

Lynch, John - Labour Party

Pearce, Martin - Green Party

Ratcliffe, Paul David - Labour Party

Wilkinson, Gerald - Conservative Party

WETHERBY - KEY ISSUES AND NUMBERS

WONDERFUL WETHERBY:      Picture: Google/Phil Barker

WONDERFUL WETHERBY: Picture: Google/Phil Barker

Wetherby sits in the outer north-east area of Leeds and includes Bramham, Boston Spa and Thorp Arch in its boundaries.

It’s the second largest ward in the area and the sixth least populated in Leeds.

Planning issues - and efforts to protect the area’s precious green belt - have dominated the local agenda for many years.

The YEP reported last year that Leeds City Council had been forced into a legal battle after claims it was delaying its decision on controversial plans for 874 homes on a former munitions factory site at Thorp Arch Estate in Wetherby.

Wetherby is the most affluent ward in the council’s boundaries. Average house prices are £303,000, the average age is 45 and life expectancy is 85. Almost half of residents own their houses outright. Unemployment is among the lowest in the city although the percentage of young people classed as not in employment, education or training is only slightly lower than the city average of 5.3 per cent. Educational achievement is above average.

Other talking points in recent times have included the proposed Boston Spa Academy/Wetherby High School merger, an ongoing issue.

In February, a row broke out between the local MP and the headteacher at Boston Spa over the issue. Locals have been critical of plans to demolish the Academy school and merge it with nearby Wetherby High School despite it being in the process of applying to join The Gorse Academies Trust (TGAT). Tensions have eased since then, however the issue still leads the local agenda.

Road safety is another major concern in the ward. Campaigners say Boston Spa has experienced a rapid increase in house building over the past few years, and “each time a new house is built it puts two more cars on our High Street”.

Examples include the Church Fields development. Locals have been lobbying the council to put in better traffic mitigation measures funded from money contributed by the developer.

>What are the issues that matter in Wetherby and could be vote winners or swayers? Email aisha.iqbal@ypn.co.uk.