Young Voices sound off about life in Leeds

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A crackdown on littering, more parks and safer places for children to cross the roads.

These are just some of the things youngsters would like to change about life in Leeds.

Members of the Yorkshire Evening Post's Children's Panel

Members of the Yorkshire Evening Post's Children's Panel

The Yorkshire Evening Post’s Children’s Panel have shared their thoughts about the city as part of our Voice of Leeds 2014 Survey.

Nearly 2,000 people took part in the unprecedented survey by this newspaper to help create a snapshot of life in Leeds.

Young reporter Mia Sudbury said: “The streets could be a bit cleaner and there are not always bins to put your rubbish in.

“There is a lot of chewing gum on the floor.”

And young reporter James Hills said there should be more places for children to play.

He added: “There is a green space near my house and they have decided to build houses on there. They could easily turn it into a park.

“It is just a waste of land and there are not enough parks for children in Leeds.”

Sophie Poole said: “It is sometimes not very safe for children crossing the roads.”

And Kaycee Barwell said she would like to see the number of cars on the city’s roads reduced to help make it easier for children to cross the roads safely.

Brothers Laurie and Alvie O’Brien called for more green space in the city centre. Alvie added: “I would like to change the city centre - it is dirty and there is chewing gum on the floor.”

Jayden Yeardley said there are a number of open spaces that don’t get used in the city centre.

He said: “I think there should be more things going on in places like outside the Cathedral.”

The YEP will host a public debate in our office next week to talk about some of the issues that were highlighted as part of our survey.

Three-quarters of respondents have told us that traffic is a major problem in Leeds - and they believe it is an issue that is only getting WORSE.

Nearly 70 per cent of people who took part said council chiefs made the wrong decision to charge for weekend and evening parking in the city centre.

More than half of respondents said they were not in favour of the controversial Trolleybus scheme with just 24 per cent of readers backing the plans to transform the city’s transport network.

Despite their concerns about crime more than half of the YEP’s readers have said they think Leeds is safer than many other cities in the country.

The YEP has also teamed up with the Leeds Community Foundation to run a series of summits next year to highlight and debate the key issues that need to be addressed in the city.

JOIN THE DEBATE

The Yorkshire Evening Post will be hosting a special public debate next month.

The event, which will take place on November 13 at 6pm, will give readers the chance to submit questions to authorities in Leeds.

To book a free ticket email jayne.lownsbrough@jpress.co.uk with Voice of Leeds in the subject.

Or you can apply for a ticket by post to Jayne Lownsbrough at YEP, No 1 Leeds, 26 Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS12 1BE.

Please include a question in your submission for tickets.

The deadline for requests is Friday, November 7.

The debate will be chaired by five leading figures from the Leeds community.

Mark Burns-Williamson

Mark Burns-Williamson was elected the first Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire on in November 2012.

He is accountable for policing and community safety across West Yorkshire.

Councillor Mark Dobson

Councillor Mark Dobson is Leeds City Council’s executive member for cleaner, stronger and safer communities.

He is also a local councillor representing the Garforth and Swillington ward.

Councillor James Lewis

Councillor James Lewis is the chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority’s transport committee.

He is also a local councillor representing Kippax and Methley wards.

Sally-Anne Greenfield

Sally-Anne Greenfield is the chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation. The Foundation was launched in 2004 and brings together local philanthropists with organisations who need funding and other resources.

John Battle

The former MP represented West Leeds for more than 23 years. He was the national director of Church Action on Poverty and works closely with the West Leeds Debt Forum. He is also the chair of Bramley Baths.

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