YEP Says, October 20: This is our chance to make Leeds even better – together

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THERE is one quality above all others that makes Leeds such a great city – its people.

And often it is they who know better than anyone how it can be made even greater.

That is why, in an unprecedented move, the YEP asked Leeds residents for their views on life in the city. We asked the questions – you provided the answers.

The results of the first ever Voice of Leeds survey make for compelling reading and we will be exploring them in detail all this week.

Some findings immediately leap out.

An alarming four out of five respondents admitted to avoiding certain areas for fear or being a victim of crime, although most say the city is safer than it was.

Finances were also of great concern, with 60 per cent of the more than 2,000 people who took part saying that they had gone without a pay rise this year.

Half said that they have thought about using a food bank and a not inconsiderable number have used a pay day lender in the past year.

Unsurprisingly, however, it was the city’s shortcomings in its transport system that emerged as the biggest issue. Three-quarters of respondents said traffic was getting worse and just one in four were in favour of trolleybus.

But as important as it is to highlight these issues, it is another thing to actually do something about them.

So this week we will be building a picture of each area of concern and speaking to those in positions of authority to ask them how they are planning to tackle them.

On November 13 there will ba a public debate to discuss these issues in greater depth.

Then, in the new year, there will be 10 summits addressing key issues on life in the city held in conjunction with the Leeds Community Foundation.

Featuring representatives from the public, private and voluntary sectors, there will be key speakers and a chance for YEP readers to quiz those in a position to make the changes you want to see.

Leeds is a fantastic city and one of which we are all rightly proud. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t areas where there is a clear need for action to improve life for all those lucky enough to call it home.

That is why we felt it was important to get the views of the people who really matter – you. We hope you will join us in striving to make a great city even better.

PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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