Roadworks hamper Leeds residents from shopping local - YEP letters
"I fear a losing battle to keep the Leeds pound in the Leeds pocket."
Coun Andrew Carter, Conservative Group leader, Leeds City Council, writes:
In a moment of consensus breaking out, I find myself in agreement with the sentiment from council leader Coun James Lewis regarding shopping locally this Christmas.
Throughout this pandemic, I have said that business will be critical in getting both the national and local economies moving once again.
In Leeds, we are lucky to have excellent local high streets and district centres, not to mention a vibrant city centre that I believe is second to none.
However, I am somewhat mystified and disappointed in that case, as to the lack of a holistic approach by the council to ensure we keep the Leeds pound in our local economy.
To give a couple of examples, the amount of roadworks in the city, combined with an underwhelming transport strategy, means that residents across the city are hampered from gridlocked traffic exacerbated by roadworks before they set foot in a shop.
Even the council’s own consultation on the transport strategy revealed that residents of Leeds thought there was a gulf between ambition and reality and I echo that.
Earlier this year, Leeds City Council chose to curtail the Local Centres Programme funding.
This would have funded community projects, devised by ward members and those at the centre of the community who knew exactly what is needed in that locality.
Not necessarily grand schemes, but ones that would make a difference, even simple things like extra seating would mean the high street is more open to visitors.
I want our businesses to thrive and be the lifeblood of the community, at least give them half a chance and make it so that we can travel around the city unhindered and enhance our district centres to make them more attractive to visitors.
Otherwise, I fear a losing battle to keep the Leeds pound in the Leeds pocket.
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