Team Leeds is the informal name for a key group of people working to progress vital initiatives for the prosperity of our city and region. It comprises Leeds MPs, members of the Chamber of Commerce and the Leader of Leeds City Council. As a member of this group Fabian seeks to do what he can to progress decisions ant Westminster representing the interests of the city and his constituents.
Recent deliberations have covered the following important projects.
Growth and Infrastructure Bill: This measure has its second reading on the 30th October in the House of Commons and has important implications for Leeds. It is summarised as follows -
To make provision in connection with facilitating or controlling the following, namely, the provision or use of infrastructure, the carrying-out of development, and the compulsory acquisition of land; to make provision about when rating lists are to be compiled; to make provision about the rights of employees of companies who agree to be employee owners; and for connected purposes.
The full text of the bill can be downloaded from the Parliament Web Site - Click here
Fabian has flagged up areas of great concern:
- It potentially deprives Leeds of significant planning responsibilities and centralises them in Whitehall. The measure would be enacted if it was perceived that Leeds Council were slow inefficient in their administration of the planning process. Difficult planning decisions can require much time and consultation but if due process is circumvented by powers in London, local people would no longer have the same right to be represented by elected Councillors over planning.
- The proposals water down Section 106 agreements between developers and the Council. Section 106 is the process where developers who stand to make profits agree to give up some of them carrying out work or providing money for investment in community infrastructure. It is through this process that development such as that for children's playgrounds has been funded or for road improvements needed in communities affected by the development. Less receipt from the Section 106 arrangements will see vital and sensible improvements to the general environment for communities starved of some the funds needed.
- It offers companies the option of giving workers shares in their employers business in exchange for some of their employment rights. This smacks of potential exploitation with workers possibly being tempted to give up some vital protection in exchange for a benefit that might lose value and be worth much less than the employments rights protection being sacrificed.
|Back le Bid: This is a project that is seeking to bring the start of the Tour de France Cycle Race to Leeds next year. The scale of this annual race and the sheer numbers of people who physically follow the action: back up teams, TV, journalists has to be seen to be believed. If the bid can be won the visit of the Tour de France could bring some £100 Million of business to the Leeds and Yorkshire Community within the space of just a few days of action. The Leader and the Chief Executive of Leeds City Council have been to Paris to make the case to the deciding authority. The hope is that two stages can be held on routes in North, West and South Yorkshire taking in the Dales, the North York Moors and the Cities of Leeds, York and Sheffield.
If you would like to add your voice to the campaign, please register your support on the 'Welcome to Yorkshire Web Site - Click here
Photograph from Wikipedia of the Otley Cycle Race
New Generation Trolley Bus (NGT): After years of waiting and disappointment over the hoped for tram network, the government has decided that Leeds can benefit from a reintroduction of trolley buses, tyred vehicles operating from overhead wires. The implementation of this project has now been delegated to the Council and it is hoped construction work can begin on the £250 Million Scheme that should modernise key transport links in the city and create an estimated 4000 jobs. Included in the Leeds NGT plan is the creation of additional vehicle paths exclusive to the electric buses so the scheme is more than a simple substitution for existing vehicles. This will add capacity as well as being environmentally friendly.
For further details of the Trolley Bus project and details of the route to be constructed - Click here