Understand why your vote is so important this year!
With an all out election and a council leadership that is willing to destroy Woodlesford and surrounding areas with HS2 and NPR, this is our chance to hit them where it hurts and force them to reconsider their actions. Read on to understand how LCC has actively brought about the proposed devastation of LS25 and LS26 to fuel their own vanity project in the South Bank area of Leeds.
We invited all election candidates for our area to provide a written statement with respect to their position on HS2 Ltd’s proposed route through Swillington, Woodlesford, Oulton and neighbouring areas. Before you consider their views, continue reading to understand what’s happened and what you can do about it.
How LCC Sacrificed LS26
In January 2013, HS2 Ltd announced plans to build HS2 through our area. It transpired that they had shortlisted two routes prior to publication, one aligned with the existing Leeds station with trains arriving from the west (via White Rose), the other arriving at a terminus on the South Bank with trains via Woodlesford. With the costs and complexity of the two options being much the same, HS2 favoured the first which impacted less homes and had the potential for through services to the North.
LCC, however, expressed a determined preference for the station to be located on the South Bank in Leeds, which dictated the route and directly resulted in the massive blight in the LS25 and LS26 areas of Oulton, Woodlesford, Swillington and Garforth. Leeds Chamber of Commerce, Leeds Civic Trust and other local councils opposed this view but were eventually pressured into agreement by the Labour led executive.
Despite many platitudes from LCC’s leadership, the route remains, the blight has increased, compensation is woefully inadequate and residents are massively out of pocket financially. What’s more, if that weren’t enough, in collaboration with Northern Powerhouse Rail there are now plans to introduce more blight to our area with additional tracks (and even more trains) to connect HS2 with the existing station in Leeds to allow through services… that could have been achieved with the original HS2 option, and NO disruption to our area.
What You Can Do
This election is your opportunity to fight back. Support those that have spoken out against LCC’s leadership with regard to HS2’s impact on our area. We need to empower those that may be able to improve our future. Remember that nationally the Conservative, LibDem and Labour parties all voted for HS2. Locally there is opposition from all, however, our Labour led council have much to answer for and have achieved little, if anything, for us.
Have Your Say
Views received by SOWHAT from local residents that make some excellent points:
As far as I can remember Stewart Golton has always voted against HS2. Alec Shelbrooke opposed the chosen route through Oulton, Woodlesford and Swillington and did suggest alternative routes. The Labour MPs and Councillors did not want to risk Leeds being left off the eastern route and did bugger all to help us.
If additional connecting links and supporting facilities are now required to facilitate east/west connections and if these will result in additional costs and increase the impact on communities and the environment, then I would suggest that the whole route to and through Leeds should be reviewed. Leeds City Councillors should now not be worried that Leeds will be by-passed and support a full review or risk not being voted in in the affected areas.
The envisaged effect on the South Bank that the current proposed location for the new station (i.e. the “T” junction with the existing station) provides, would not be reduced if the new station was re-aligned parallel with the existing. The “T” junction does little if anything to help the redevelopment of the South Bank.
There is no reason now why the less damaging and less costly route via White Rose cannot be resurrected and re-costed. It was after all the route supported by everyone but the Council.
The responses received from candidates are grouped by electoral ward and listed in alphabetic order sorted by last name. Some responses are still awaited – candidates should send their submission as soon as possible. Follow the links below to view the information relevant to your ward.