Your Leeds local election 2018 A to Z: Gipton and Harehills

Artist  Ian Kirkpatrick, next to the Harehills sign which he helped to design. Pic: James Hardisty
Artist Ian Kirkpatrick, next to the Harehills sign which he helped to design. Pic: James Hardisty
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THE CANDIDATES

Arif, Salma - Labour Party

Dalton, Iain - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

Farrar, Heidi Michelle - Liberal Democrats

Harris, Robert Daniel Winston - Conservative Party

Hussain, Arif - Labour Party

Labbee, Matthew Jaycob Rowe - Conservative Party

Maqsood, Kamila - Labour Party

Noble, Colin Lindsay - Green Party

Sheikh, Shaff - Independent

Singh, Vajinder - Conservative Party

GIPTON AND HAREHILLS - KEY ISSUES AND NUMBERS

Gipton and Harehills is one of the most diverse wards in Leeds, with 64 per cent of the current population coming from a minority ethnic background.

It is also one of the most economically deprived.

Unemployment rates are twice the city average. Average house prices are among the lowest in the city, and crime rates among the highest.

The ward itself is the third smallest by area, but the fourth most densely populated of the 33 electoral wards in Leeds.

Jabbar Karim, station manager at Fever FM, a community radio station based in Roundhay Road, says crime remains an issue, but he also worries that a lack activities and training opportunities for young people is a major factor.

On an everyday level, he says congestion on Roundhay Road and the surrounding streets like Bayswater Road is a real annoyance. Recent road layout changes have actually added to the problems of congestion, he says.

Environmental concerns are a big talking point locally too.

The Keep Harehills Tidy campaign has done some amazing work, but more needs to be done to educate people, especially some of the newer communities moving in, says Mr Karim.

“There are people chucking mattresses in back streets and not going to the skips,” he says. “Some awareness work will work wonders.”

Mr Karim believes crime and anti social behaviour levels are not helped by the prevalence of late opening off licences, and he believes restrictions should be put in place.

“I see people at 8am in the morning when I come into work with a can of beer in their hands”, he says.

Despite the issues, great efforts have been made in recent years to promote grass roots community initiatives in the ward. Examples include local artist Ian Kirkpatrick (pictured) who helped create a ‘Harehills’ sign using artwork made by pupils at three local primary schools.

What will win your votes in Gipton and Harehills? Email aisha.iqbal@ypn.co.uk.