Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Missing in Action!

At the recent vote by Leeds City Council to confirm the building of a PFI funded municipal incinerator on the site of the old Wholesale Market at Cross Green the Labour Councillors for Burmantofts & Richmond Hill and Temple Newsam went missing in action!  The 4 councillors representing the 2 most affected wards left the council chamber in advance of the vote and did not return until after the vote had been taken, this cynical action was totally unacceptable and a clear dereliction of their duty to their constituents.  They may not have been able to alter the result of the debate but they should have had the courage of their convictions and their their manifestos.

These councillors had campaigned against the incinerator vociferously whilst in opposition and to a large extent had been elected because of their clearly expressed opposition to the project in this area and in failing to reflect the express wishes of their constituents have failed in their duty to their own electorate in a way that would, in any other walk of life, be a resigning matter but resigning on principle is no longer a concept understood by politicians of any party it seems.
NO2Incinerator has worked all along with anyone who shared our opposition to the building of this incinerator in Leeds. Together with No Incinerator Leeds, Friends of the Earth, UKWIN and Palestine Solidarity Campaign we have provided very good soundly based opposition to this project on the grounds of cost, location, technology and the dubious record, both here and abroad, of the final bidder and we have worked with both Lib Dems and Labour who have both at times expressed their opposition to this project.

It appears that the main bones of this project were decided in 2006 by the then Lib Dem/Conservative administration and that the Labour Administration is unwilling or unable to alter the course of this project despite the radically different circumstances now.  

This situation seems to leave the residents of this ward with only one option left; the  voters of Burmantofts & Richmond Hill need to elect a candidate who is willing to stand on an Independent ticket and actually reflect the wishes of their electorate.  Party politics is clearly not working for the vast majority of the people of this area who are constantly ignored, and sidelined by all parties, witness the almost total annihilation of the infrastructure of this area and the lack of any investment in the quality of life or future of the residents.

The time has come to serve notice on ALL the politicians in this city that we, the electorate, want proper representation which puts our needs and wishes ahead of national policy or local party in-fighting and we think now is indisputably the time for a genuine LOCAL, INDEPENDENT candidate to be put forward to stand for the people who elect them and not themselves or their ‘party’ whatever party they represent, that is genuine localism!



  1. we need somebody with a brain - not the usual political sheep.

  2. Well said No2 - we need to stand up for ourselves - nobody else is going to do it for us

    Jason C

  3. I would personally support a local independent candidate. What is the point of bringing yet another new face in the area, with limited undestanding and knowledge of local issues?

    I can't help than to feel deeply disappointed with our councillors after reading the post above. I suppose, most of us don't really know how local politics really works- thanks for shedding some light on it!

    Maria Herlingshaw

  4. I genuinely think that party politics is now starting to ruin lives in this country. You only have to watch the behaviour at Prime minister's Questions to see how standards of behaviour in politics have sunk to an embarrassing low, I would be furious if my grandchildren behaved in such a fashion yet the leaders of our country, from all parties, display their juvenile antics as a badge of honour scoring cheap points off each other and refusing to work together for the common good, even on things on which they do agree. They set a very bad example which it seems other more local politicians are very happy to follow. Just a look at the letters page of the YEP will show you what I mean, letters from councillors of all parties picking at the opposition for things that they may or may not have done, grow up for heavens sake, you have the privilege of representing your ward and your community so please try to do so with fairness and dignity.

    How can we expect to get out of the very difficult situation we are in when the politicians in charge are more interested in scoring points off each other than in doing what they were elected to do which is put the interests of the country and their constituents first!

    Ordinary people are disengaging from the political process though a combination of disgust, distrust and a feeling of alienation and that is dangerous for the country as a whole. I worry that lacking what is seen as a legitimate route to have their concerns properly addressed they will be tempted by seemingly simplistic solutions offered by extreme people of both left and right.

    I have what I know to be a touching faith in the political process in this country and I am loathed to see it destroyed by cynical career politicians on the make or party apparatchiks without convictions.

    Titchy Witchy

  5. Seen that 3 people are against an Independent Candidate standing in the next local election and am very puzzled by this, do they mean that only accredited party candidates should stand - that does not seem very democratic or do they mean they like things just the way they are - in which case do you think the 3 who voted no are the existing councillors:)

  6. More than likely - or it could be the area management team. They like things just the way they are. We have proof they consider the richmond hill forum - disruptive and want rid of it. to replace it with an invite only community leadership team. They have already got several very compliant people on board.

    Sarah C

  7. Hi
    Well I can guarantee the greens will be against incineration. Unfortunately the Veolia bid will soon go to planning, this may mean the council has less say in a decision. However a highly critical councillor would still be good. and it certainly is not over. No Incineration Leeds have plans for January.


    What time and where exactly is the November 5th meeting?

  8. The Richmond Hill Forum is at 6.00pm on Monday 5 December 2011 at the Richmond Hill Primary School see attached
    RH Forum Agenda Pack 05-12-11

  9. It was interesting to see how our Labour Councillors tried to 'spin' their abstentions at the Community Forum last night. Asghar Khan claimed that he had 'walked out' of the council meeting to protest against the incinerator! I think we would have much preferred him to have stayed in to argue against it and vote against it!

    After the meeting, Ron Grahame was heard making an even weaker excuse when challenged by a local resident. He claimed that he couldn't stay in the meeting because he was on the East Leeds Plans Committee which will make the decision on the planning application. He omitted to mention that most of the other members of that committee felt able to stay in the Council Chamber and take part in the vote as they, correctly, felt that the motion under debate was a separate issue to the planning application. In any case, when there is a genuine conflict of interest - Councillors usually declare it in the meeting rather than walk out!

    The real truth is that they have no excuse for the way that they let us down.

  10. Spin - ha ha thats the under estimate of the year.

    Let us down is too! But they continue to claim their tax free expenses for "representing us" - time to reclaim the community. Cos i am not voting labour again thats for sure or liberal - there was a green candidate last year i think but they are just as bad really. That woman green who came to your anti incinerator meeting was actually for it !!!!!!!!

    Revolution anybody ?

  11. The Green Party candidate in Burmantofts & Richmond Hill, Peter Exley, is very much anti-incinerator.