Thursday, 30 September 2010


As you know COVEN has been campaigning hard over the last couple of years to force someone to take responsibility for the state of dereliction the Old York Road Library has been allowed to fall into.

The Library besides being almost totally destroyed inside, having its roof removed and the fabric being allowed to decay dangerously, has also become the focus for anti social behaviour, the building itself being regularly broken into and, from the drug paraphernalia strewn around, a haven for local drug addicts.

In the latest act of criminality the derelict land behind the building has become a site for fly tipping. Dangerous and unsightly piles of rubbish and abandoned furniture have been dumped behind the building which, together with the overgrown bushes and heavy vegetation around the building itself, is causing a serious fire hazard.

The manhole covers have also been stolen leaving very dangerous open holes in an area where children are attending both local school and, when it is open, the library. The risk of serious injury is obvious especially since nights are drawing in. This area is a magnet for graffiti and vandalism.

COVEN have passed these pictures and details of the address from which the rubbish is believed to have come from to the police and council officials as well as the Councillors for this ward.

The apparent abandonment of this building and surrounding area is promoting crime and anti social behaviour and now, more than ever, it is posing a genuine threat of physical harm to local people, especially children. The costs of repeatedly securing the building, the costs of this and previous clean ups are increasing year by year and they fall on the Council Tax payers of Leeds. It is time that substantial and effective action is taken against the building owner to make the building safe, to see that it is properly patrolled and to start the process of bringing the building back into use, as the only way of ensure that this situation is resolved long term.


  1. Well Inspector Jackie Hawkes responded to our email in less than 5 mins and has promised to ensure the library is checked regularly. This is a start.

    Lets see how long it takes environmental action to clear it up and hopefully prosecute the person who dumped it.

  2. As of 9am this morning nothing has been done.

  3. I was shocked to see the sheer amount of Junk dumped behind the old York road library. I was even more shocked to find the man hole covers have been stolen.
    The building owner needs to pull his finger out and start to take responsibility for the building.
    At the moment the building needs the following:
    1: Temporary roof fitting
    2: access fully securing
    3: All vegetation at the rear of the building needs removing as this will eventually disturb the structure of the building and currently acts as camouflage to anybody wanting to get inside the building.
    4: CCTV Cameras could do with installing to actively monitor the building
    5: A barrier could do with putting up to prevent vehicles other than authority related vehicles from driving down to the building.
    6: Blown lamppost bulb needs replacing at the rear of the library.

  4. I am sorry to say that despite our best efforts to date the owner ignores all attempts to stop the building from falling down. He has, as we know to our cost, experience of just how ineffectual the enforcement services of Leeds City Council are and probably thinks if he ignores them long enough they will simply give up and go away. Sadly he may not be wrong, we however WE will not give up and go away.

  5. Sorry to have to report that though the manhole covers have been cemented over the (by now stinking) rubbish is still there.

    This area is very dangerous due to a lot of broken glass spread around, and this in an area next to a primary school.

    Why is there no sense of urgency about this situation? Do we have to wait until a child falls on the broken glass and severs an artery!

  6. Unfortunately this is not all! The area is plagued by rubbish and hidden danger: the former Slip Inn pub is such an example. Now some of the boards have been removed from the windows and they are all broken as a concequence, but more importantly there is a huge gap on the side of the pub on Temple View Grove, by the wall, going down to more than one meter. There was a cover there but has apparently been broken. Believe me, this is a great danger!

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