Sunday, 3 February 2013

Local Councillor Lays Down Battle Lines

Twitter - @jamesAgrayson

Highlighting a successful battle against Government budget cuts will be a key part of Labour local election strategy in Headlingley in 2014, says a leading local councillor.

Councillor Neil Walshaw, Headlingley, claims that his area have survived cuts in the environmental budget which has enabled improvements in services.

While there are no elections this year in Headlingley, Liberal Democrat councillor
Martin Hamilton will be up for re-election next year and Walshaw says the environment will be a major campaigning issue.

He said: “In Headingley, there will be a number of areas we will focus on.

“We started to make a lot of progress with the environment, in a time of shrinking budgets, myself and councillor Walker have successfully lobbied the North West Inner Area committee which covers Headlingley and Hyde Park, big student areas.

“Students bring plenty of positives, but also negatives and one of the negatives is a lot of litter and bins left out.

“We do put a lot of resources out to keep on top of that.

“We have put a lot of effort into how we do things over the last 18 months so are making improvements and also keeping Headlingley and Hyde Park’s share of resources.

“That’s something we will keen to talk about next year.”

One issue also on the minds of Headlingley residents, according to Walshaw, will be student fees which are now at a rate of £9,000.

He said: “Headingley is home to a significant student population, about 55 to 60% of the population of Headlingley are students.

“Because of student fees we have seen a drop in applications to Leeds University and Leeds Met University…and I would say it wholly down to £9,000 tuition fees.
“I think in 2011 there was a significant feeling of betrayal.

“It dipped in 2012, but I suspect the students in Leeds when I’m knocking on doors in 2014 in Headingley to students paying those fees, I think the sense of betrayal will come back.”

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