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Month: May 2012

Planning permission given for police move

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for the police to move into premises on the university campus at 153
Leeds City City Council’s planning department today gave planning permission for the police to move into premises on the university campus at 153 Woodhouse Lane.

They dismiss the objections of local residents in a report which brushes under the carpet the fact that the move will exacerbate parking congestion in the Hyde Park and Woodhouse area.

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Post-script

The police had claimed that the move had been made necessary by the need for costly repairs to their Belle Vue Road depot. Today, Wednesday the 30th May, they finally responded to a request under the Freedom of Information Act for copies of estimates showing how much the repairs would cost. They have admitted that no such estimates exist.

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Sue Buckle presents the community’s concerns about the police move to MP Hilary Benn

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The police want to move from their Belle Vue Road depot to a new location on The police want to move from their Belle Vue Road depot to a new location on the university campus. They say the move has been made necessary by the need for costly repairs to the depot, and the opportunity to reduce annual overheads from £130,000 to £20,000 per annum. This afternoon, Sue Buckle, chair of South Headingley Community Association, presented MP Hilary Benn with a list of the community’s concerns:

  1. Why has it suddenly come about that all these repairs are necessary?
  2. Why haven’t the police been maintaining their estate?
  3. Why are they refusing to produce a copy of any report showing what repairs are necessary and copies of estimates showing the cost of carrying them out?
  4. Why have the police only considered premises on the university campus?
  5. Why is there no report with cost benefit analysis showing the evaluation of a number of alternatives?
  6. Why are they rushing into signing an agreement they’ll be tied into for years?
  7. Why was Commander Oldroyd telling us on the 9th May that it’s a “done deal” when the deadline for objections to their planning application 12/01402/FU is today the 18th May? Surely they’ve not signed a tenancy agreement with the university in advance of obtaining planning permission.
  8. Given that Norman Bettison is so keen on co-location with the community, why didn’t they consider Swarthmore or Royal Park School?
  9. How will the police deal with complaints against the university, when the university is their landlord? Haven’t the police learnt any lessons from the phone hacking scandal?
  10. Why were elected members not consulted?
  11. Why has the local community not been consulted?
  12. Why are police of the North West Division moving to a site that’s on the boundary with the police’s City and Holbeck Division? How can it be efficient to base police officers belonging to the North West Division immediately adjacent to the City and Holbeck Division?
  13. How can it be efficient to base the police within the university campus, a site which already has its own security staff? This must be the safest location in the city. It will take PCSOs 10 minutes walking through the campus before they reach the residential areas to the north.
  14. Commander Oldroyd says the annual overheads at the Belle Vue Road depot are £130,000. He says the rent at the university campus site will be £20,000 and that there will be savings of over £100,000. How can the savings be so great, when the police own the Belle Vue Road depot and pay no rent for it?
  15. Why is the council’s Highways department accepting that there will be no parking implications when 170 police get transferred to the university campus, most of whom use cars? It’s true the university say they will allocate 22 spaces to the police. But the university doesn’t even have sufficient spaces for its own staff. In fact, the situation is so bad in and around the university that university staff park their cars on residential streets in Hyde Park.

Mr Benn promised to take these issues up with Commander Oldroyd.

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For an account of a recent meeting between the police and the community called specifically to discuss this issue, please see this article.

And for further information relating to the move, please see this article.

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Launch of New Conservation Area and NHPNA AGM

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At this evening’s launch of theses new Headingley, Hyde Park and Woodhouse At this evening’s launch of the new Headingley, Hyde Park and Woodhouse Moor Conservation Area, guests heard talks from the architects of the new area, Phil Ward, Tony Ray and Pam Bone. Phil is Leeds City Council’s Chief Conservation Officer, Tony is a town planning consultant, and Pam is the local resident who brought everyone together and made it happen.

Amongst the invited guests were Councillor Gerry Harper, Councillor Neil Walshaw, newly elected Councillor Janette Walker, and Yorkshire Evening Post reporter Suzanne McTaggart.

After everyone had had an opportunity to ask questions, the next item on the agenda was the North Hyde Park Neighbourhood Association Annual General Meeting. Chairman Tony Green began by explaining that there was a need to increase the annual subscription, which had remained at £3 per household for as long as anyone could remember. It was agreed by all present that it should be increased to £3 per adult member. Tony went on to say he would be grateful for volunteers to assist with events on Dagmar so that these popular occasions can continue. Finally, three new members were voted onto the committee.

It was an extremely enjoyable evening, and I am sure everyone present would wish to join me in thanking Josie Green for arranging the magnificently presented and delicious refreshments.

This is the new Headingley Hill, Hyde Park and Woodhouse Moor Conservation Area Appraisal.

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Council offers sheltered housing residents £4,000 each to quit Kendal Carr

Kendal Carr is a long established sheltered housing complex in the heart of Kendal Carr is a long established sheltered housing complex in the heart of Little Woodhouse. It is owned and run by Leeds City Council

I learnt recently that the council has offered each resident £4,000 to quit. A lady I spoke to who know several of the residents of Kendal Carr, told me she thinks that if they have to move, it will kill some of them.

No doubt the majority of the residents had planned on living out their days at Kendal Carr. £4,000 is a lot of money, especially to someone who may not have any. It’s to be hoped that no resident is persuaded by this cash inducement to act against their own best interests.

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Introducing Councillor Christine Towler

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Newly elected Hyde Park and Woodhouse councillor Christine Towler, pictured here attending this evening’s special meeting of the Hyde Park and Woodhouse Forum. The meeting was called to discuss the proposed move by the police from their depot on Belle Vue Road to a site on the university campus.

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