On 2 May 2019 I’m standing for election to Leeds City Council as the Green Party candidate for Beeston and Holbeck.
For the avoidance of confusion: in 2018 I stood alongside the amazing Ed Carlisle for the next-door ward, Hunslet and Riverside. This year, Ed’s standing there on his own and I’m standing for Beeston and Holbeck. I live right on the border between the two areas, so I’m equally committed to both! For example, I’m currently the secretary of the St Lukes Tenants and Residents Association, lobbying our councillors and working closely with Council officers to improve this patch of Beeston and Holbeck.
I’ll update this post as we get closer to the election, but for now, here’s the Green position on a few of the key issues in our area…
- Holbeck’s ‘managed zone’ for sex-work. Outdoor sex-work has been a long-standing problem here. Labour’s ‘managed zone’ approach was bold, but was introduced without proper consultation or resources, and it has blighted residents’ lives. Through the St Luke’s TARA I’ve been involved in the reference group that’s been co-ordinating some of the grassroots challenges to the Zone. I can take very little credit for the group’s achievements, but it’s given me a good understanding of the issues and the ways in which we can push the Council to seek solutions with the community rather than bypassing us or ignoring us. The Greens in South Leeds have always argued that the Council needs to get far better at working with people here. If elected, we’d step up our current work seeking better solutions from within the community, especially tackling drug abuse.
- Clean air. We have some of the UK’s worst air pollution, which is shortening the lives of people in South Leeds. Leeds’s air pollution levels have reached illegal levels under a Labour council fixated on accommodating cars rather than providing good alternatives, and South Leeds has been excluded from the new Clean Air Zone. Leeds Greens are central to the Clean Air South Leeds campaign. Progress here is a win-win — for our health and our children’s health right now, and, in the bigger picture, for Leeds to play its part in staving off catastrophic global climate change.
- Community cohesion. We need robust political debate in Beeston and Holbeck. But the tone of discussions online is often vitriolic, and this is doing no-one any favours. Everyone in this election needs to be working to encourage thoughtful and fair-minded discussion. At the same time, we all need to do more to build up community ties from the grassroots. Whether it’s community gardening, kids’ fundays, or litterpicks, I and the Leeds Green Party are active in bringing people together for the greater good.
Our Labour councillors in Beeston and Holbeck are good, hard-working people. But they’re expected to toe the line set by the Labour council. Beeston and Holbeck has been a one-party ward for far too long, and we need independent, alternative voices. The Green Party are ready to offer that voice.
For more about me and my views, see:
- Why am I standing to represent Hunslet and Riverside? (from 2018)
- Fuller thoughts on the Managed Zone
- Me on Facebook
- Leeds Green Party policies (and 2019 manifesto)
Promoted by Alaric Hall, at 514 Greenhouse, Beeston, Leeds LS11 6AP, on behalf of Leeds Green Party.