striving to restore sovereignty to the United Kingdom and trust into politics!
Primary School Crisis:
The YEP reported that Leeds faces a shortfall of 4,000 early years' slots within three years as education bosses try to tackle a booming population increase fuelled by immigration.
Councillor Judith Blake the Leeds Education spokesperson told the YEP, "we are acutely aware of the pressures on primary school places and have been working hard to mitigate the impact of rising pupil numbers across the city".
The history of Leeds City Council and Education is lamentable. The latest shortages are just another failure in a list of the past failures identified in a series of poor Ofsted reports. The Labour controlled Council were aware of this "ticking time bomb" in 2010 when local maternity wards reported massive increases in new births.
The Council not only failed to plan for a corresponding increase in the City's infrastructure including School Places, Doctors, and Road Congestion etc. but they added to their poor planning record with an outrageous proposal to build a further 70,000 houses.
How ironic that some builders advertise in their sales brochures the availability of "good" schools in the area of their housing development when in fact the schools are full and cannot take any further additions.
The Council & Public Transport:
Once upon a time Leeds had one of the finest tram systems in the country. It was blessed with a large proportion of separated tram track on which trams could run unhindered by other traffic.
Along came a Labour Council who spent a fortune getting rid of the trams and replacing them with buses, despite forward thinking people at the time recommending their retention and modernisation as had happened elsewhere on the continent of Europe.
Then from the 1970's onwards, the Council looked at various proposals for reinstating the trams or alternative light railway systems in Leeds, all wasting the ratepayers' money on consultant and development costs.
By the 90's, firm plans were drawn up for the Super Tram System at a projected cost of £500 million. Successive bids were turned down by the Government and by 2004, costs had escalated to £1.0 billion for a much reduced proposal. The plan was finally scrapped, but not before £40 million of ratepayers' money was wasted in development costs.
Leeds City Council refused to be downhearted. Lets have a trolley bus if we can't have a tram! Plans have now been drawn up for a £250 million scheme for a limited provision linking North Leeds with Stourton, the more extensive original plan having been scaled back as costs once again began to rise.
After an enquiry costing £3.5 million, and a perceived borrowing requirement by the Council of some £77 million, to be added to the Council's already astronomical debt mountain, the results will hopefully be known next year.
The proposal has been met by considerable public opposition. Not that this Council have ever been put off by ratepayers' objections.
After spending some £3.9 million on consultancy fees and £900,000 on promoters' salaries, the inauguration of the first trolley bus still remains in some doubt The total cost will most certainly rise further.
Green Belt Housing:
The Labour run Leeds City Council have come up with a cynical and savage attack on green belt land. Their housing development proposal is the largest outside London, and would result in the building of 70,000 houses, and 62 Gypsy and Travellers pitches over the next 15 years.
Labour Councillor Gruen said in the Yorkshire Post" that this number of houses was required to meet the needs of the City's changing population". It is part of the Core Strategy and is detailed in the Site Allocation plans.
No doubt he meant the burgeoning increase in population resulting from unfettered immigration under the last Labour government and its continuation under subsequent weak and ineffective governments.
A prolonged and costly consultation process was undertaken though it proved to be nothing more than a sham. One Senior Planning Officer admitted that a developer making a planning application to build on any greenbelt area identified on the plan could not be refused whatever the level of local objection as all appeals would fail.
In effect the Council's Local Development Plan is a developers' blue print for the unbridled rape of ever diminishing greenbelt land.
Ruthless and grasping developers are hoarding land and, having obtained planning permission to build, they then sit on the site whilst its value increases and then offload it at a profit The Council admit they are helpless.
When faced with considerable proof that their figures are wrong, and have been based on incorrect projections, the council refuse to budge. The real need will actually be around 50,000 houses but Councillor Gruen says he would rather be on the high side just in case.
More Council Snippets:
The taxpayers' Alliance published figures that show 13 senior officers in Leeds City Council earn more than £100,000 per year.
Leeds City Council has an overall long term debt of £1.95 billion (LCC published Accounts 2014).
An analysis of Town Hall Spending shows LCC lost £500,000 in overpayments i.e. paying suppliers twice or even three times for the same work (Experion).
You just couldn't make it up!
Primary School Crisis:
In our first Council Watch pamphlet we referred to a YEP report that Leeds faces a shortfall of 4,000 early years' slots in primary schools within three years.
We reported that Councillor Judith Blake, the Leeds Education spokesperson told the YEP, "we are acutely aware of the pressures on primary school places and have been working hard to mitigate the impact of rising pupil numbers across the city".
Pity she forgot to mention the problem is self-
You would think it relatively simple to assess and include the additional effect from even further increases caused by their house building policy. After all, it's their policy and their numbers.
There is currently no spare capacity in primary schools places in Ardsley and Robin Hood yet 2224 houses are to be built in the Ward. Almost a 25% increase on the existing number.
Inevitably, the pressure on primary school places needed will increase significantly. Parents looking for places will not be too happy to realise Leeds City Council already have the highest level in Yorkshire of parents missing out on their first choice of school.
The Council can also boast that in the North of England, they have the joint highest number of parents who failed to get any of their chosen schools.
Adding insult to injury, the latest forecast given to education chiefs is a massive shortfall in secondary school places in the next few years.
The Council & Public Transport:
In the last "Council Watch" we described the sad failures of successive Leeds Councils to deal with public transport Notwithstanding a Labour Council got rid of one of the best tram systems in the country, from the 1970's onwards, the Council looked at various proposals for reinstating those same tram or alternative light railway systems in Leeds.
The most significant feature in all their plans, was the wasting of ratepayers' money on consultant and development costs.
By the 90's, firm plans were drawn up for a Super Tram System at a projected cost of £500 million. By 2004, costs had escalated to £1.0 billion for a much reduced proposal and the plan was finally scrapped, but not before £40 million of ratepayers' money was wasted.
Unable to learn from past mistakes, plans have now been drawn up for a £250 million scheme for a limited trolley bus provision linking North Leeds with Stourton. The more extensive original plan has been scaled back as costs once again began to rocket
Some £3.9 million has already been spent on consultancy fees and a further £900,000 on promoters' salaries. A public enquiry costing £3.5 million has now been added and not one trolley bus has run.
The perceived borrowing requirement by the Council excluding these costs, is £77 million to fund this white elephant Experts believe the final cost will be much, much, more, all to be added to the Council's current astronomical debt mountain of £1.9 billion.
Meanwhile, public transport in Ardsley and Robin Hood has deteriorated as budgets are cut back. Not a fashionable University Ward or inner city regeneration project, Ardsley and Robin Hood rates poorly in the overall transport strategy.
Green Belt Housing:
With its large quantities of green belt land, Ardsley and Robin Hood is a rich source to plunder for new housing development Scant respect is paid to any damage to local infrastructure.
The Council's housing development proposal is the largest outside London, and will result in the building of 70,000 houses, and 62 Gypsy and Travellers pitches across Leeds over the next 15 years. Labour Councillor Gruen said in the Yorkshire Post," that this number of houses was required to meet the needs of the City's changing population". It is part of the Core Strategy and detailed in the Site Allocation plans approved by Labour. He actually means the burgeoning increase in population resulting from unfettered immigration under the last
Labour government, and its continuation under subsequent weak, and ineffective successor governments.
When faced with considerable proof that their figures are wrong, and have been based on incorrect projections, the council refuse to budge. The real need will actually be around 50,000 houses. Bad enough you might say, but with his usual aplomb, Councillor Gruen says he would rather be on the high side just in case.
2,224 houses are planned for the Ardsley and Robin Hood Ward. Already short of primary school places and medical centres, residents will pay dearly for the proposed 25% increase in housing stock and population.
At least the need for a new primary school has been recognised in the plans. Pity no actual date is stated for the new build and the funding will be dependent on contributions from builders as their plans are approved. Here's hoping. No provision for any secondary school places are identified.
Building on such a scale can only have detrimental effects on already heavily congested main roads.
Last year we distributed two UKIP Leeds leaflets (Council Watch 1 & 2) in which we described several ways Leeds City Council needlessly squander our money.
One example was on the unrealistic Site Allocation Plan in which LCC proposed building 70,000 houses. The figure (seemingly plucked out of thin air) is well in excess of the governments calculations and threatens our much cherished green-
The government released their own assessment of housing needs for Local Authorities across England and for Leeds they calculated that 42,000 new houses need to be built (up to 2028) – less than two thirds of the Council’s target of 70,000.
We shall be watching with interest as will many local protest groups and equally important -
We take a look at how Leeds City Council squanders our money.
What your UKIP Councillors will work to achieve:
Reduce the pressure on housing by ending open door immigration.
Oppose the bedroom tax, but provide incentives to re-
Local People and
UKIP will ensure that local people and veterans are prioritised first for social housing
Improve access to quality local education and create more grammar schools and technical skills colleges, encourage vocational apprenticeships, give parents the right to choose where their children go to school, protect rural schools and support home schooling.
Introduce binding local planning referendums on major decisions, such as out-
Economy and Enterprise:
Reduce tax and business costs to stimulate the local economy. Make it easier for smaller and local businesses to tender for local authority contracts.
Public Health & Social Care:
Put local communities at the heart of health care. Oppose health tourism and cuts to front-
Transport and Roads:
Improve road maintenance as a priority. Mending potholes should take priority over council vanity schemes. Upgrade public transport, especially maintaining and reinstating rural bus routes that many communities depend on and which feed town -
Being a good Local Councillor
requires hard work,
dedication and common sense.
If you feel you could fulfil these requirements and agree with the UKIP manifesto and UKIP principals and would like to stand in the next local elections as a UKIP Councillor then contact our
For more information.
I don’t suppose we will ever know just how much of Leeds Council Tax Payers money went in to pursuing a housing scheme that was destined to fail from the start.
Leeds City Council chose to support a scheme that would have seen up to five thousand houses (yes 5000) built on greenbelt land in the countryside east of the city. Acre upon acre of ancient much loved woodland and productive farmland lost forever!
These homes were not be much needed starter homes. No! This was going to be a quite grand affair aimed mainly at the ‘well healed’ members of society, those willing and able to pay the sort of Council Tax L.C.C. loves to collect and squander on other madcap ideas.
This project included shops, a school, medical facilities and a whole raft of other goodies. It wasn’t just a housing development, it was a new village, and their intention was to slip it in under the radar.
Oblivious to the fact that 5000 homes built in this unique countryside would mean at least 10,000 cars a day spewing out onto relatively narrow, winding country roads connecting a number of small villages and a small town with a Main Street already a tangle of cars, busses and shoppers at the best of times and a manic bottleneck as the rush hour gets underway into Leeds itself. Worse to come is late afternoon as the local Academy ends its day and around 2000 students spill out -
Of course our bungling Council contented itself with reassurances from the developers that the majority of vehicles would slip away quietly onto the nearby motorway and have very little effect on the local environment. How on earth did they work that out.
It was only when a group of determined local people -
The whole episode has cost residents many thousands of pounds not to mention monies and assistance from sympathetic and highly principled benefactors.
The cost of fighting authoritarian regimes sympathetic to ruthless developers does not come cheap. If developers are content to waste investors money on feckless housing projects then that’s their business but any sensible Council should be more careful when spending taxpayers money.
But isn’t that Labour-
UKIP policy is clear and simple.
There will be no development of green-
To avoid any confusion.
All communications from UKIP Leeds via email will end with our domain name @ukipleeds.org.uk Any communication from any other source purporting to be from UKIP Leeds must be disregarded.
You may of course continue to receive communications from UKIP H.Q. These are not to be confused with emails relating to the business of UKIP Leeds.
Local elections in our region are not far off and we could well be fighting a general election this June. If you are interested in standing as a candidate for either of these elections or would simply like to find out what’s involved without making a commitment then please contact me direct on email@example.com