Tuesday, 12 July 2011

The NPT PACT meeting 11 July 2011

Picture from NPT website
 Last night's PACT meeting at the Richmond Hill Community Centre was somewhat shorter than usual as the first half of the meeting was entirely taken  up with the Incinerator project due to the unexpected appearance at the meeting of Andrew Lingham from the Waste Management team.

However when the police meeting proper did get underway the subject of the Travellers who have arrived once again at Cross Green came up.  Insp Jackie Hawkes informed the meeting that the travellers have hired an excellent lawyer who has challenged the possible eviction notices by using the Leeds City Council Scrutiny Board Document which drew attention to the lack of provision of Traveller and Gypsy sites around the city.  Cllr Ralph Pryke (Lib Dem) drew attention to the fact that Cllr Ron Grahame (Labour) sits on that committee but omitted to mention that Conservatives and Lib Dems also sit on the committee too.

This is a recurring problem in this area and indeed across the city, it was when the council was Lib Dem/Conservative and it is now that its Labour so if anyone has any magic solutions for solving this difficult problem we, the residents, would be really pleased if they would share them with us now as both the residents and the travellers are very unhappy with the present situation.

Insp Hawkes issued a warning to the residents about sneak thieves breaking into homes through unlocked doors and also said that in this warm weather it was particularly important to lock doors and windows as it only takes a moment's inattention and you could have a thief in your home.

She gave a general run down on crime in the area and the actions that she and her officers and PCSO's are taking to counteract that.  She also appealed for people to report every incident of crime or anti social behaviour to the police and/or the Anti Social Behaviour Unit because it gives a better and more accurate picture of crime in the area and would help to keep the resources we have at present here where we need them.

One resident raised the problem of a neighbour given to loud parties and was given advice on how to proceed as is was not actually a police matter.

The meeting broke up a little later than planned but it was a good meeting and helped to maintain the good relations between residents and the police.

The next PACT meeting is to be at 7.00pm  Monday 15 September 2011 at the Richmond Hill Community Centre.


  1. Well after downloading a copy of the report that Cllr Pryke blamed for the travellers legal challenge it seems a fair document and gives both sides of the case. Travellers do have rights - and if we erode those rights we are not doing anybody any favours in the long run. Leeds desperatley needs short stay sites, thats for sure. Cllr Pryke always seems to jump on the bandwaggon of the underclasss (as long as they arent parked in his ward).

  2. I don't think that Ralph was making the point that Ron Grahame was a Labour Councillor on the committee - but rather that he was a local ward Councillor on the committee. I think that most people would take it as read that there was all-party representation on that committee - as on all major council committees. Isn't it just the case that you couldn't resist having yet another dig at Ralph who was, in fact, the only local Councillor at the PACT meeting? Oh - of course you forgot to mention that the Labour Councillors didn't turn up!

    By the way, it shouldn't have been a surprise that Waste Management turned up as Jackie Hawkes said very clearly at the last Richmond Hill Community Forum that she would be inviting them to the PACT meeting - or weren't you listening at that point?

  3. Anonymous - if you read the post above, it was actually Inspector Jackie Hawkes who drew attention to the use of the report by the Travellers' lawyers, rather than Ralph Pryke. And the report makes a fair point. The current situation is far from ideal for all concerned. This issue has, to my memory, been the subject of hot debate since the 1970's or earlier. All the three main political parties have been involved in running the council since then - but none have solved it. The Tories are perhaps the most honest - they don't want to do anything but the bare minimum. The 'problem' will only go away when adequate sites are provided - and at locations that are decided after consulting the travellers themselves. There's no point 'shoving them all up North Leeds' as some Councillors call for as sites would not be used if they were in locations where the travellers didn't want to go. Perhaps if the travellers were properly consulted - as well as local residents - then we wouldn't have the problems we have at present.

  4. It is true that I thought then and still do that Cllr Pryke was scoring cheap political points on this very emotive subject. I understand that the 2 Labour councillors were at another meeting that night, it happens sometimes to councillors of all parties I assume.

    At the end of the day this difficult and so far intractable problem will only be solved by the co-operation of all of the councillors, regardless of party, residents and Travellers working together but I think it would be solved quickly and more satisfactorily if party politics are left out of it.

  5. What, both of them? Nice to know where their priorities lie!

  6. Again more cheap political point scoring.

    Does anyone have a sensible suggestion to solve this very difficult problem?

  7. An election :-)

  8. Yes - leave the politics to the politicians and concentrate on the important community issues instead of having cheap political digs yourselves hoping that no-one will respond. I promise you that I won't try to score political points if you don't! Personally, I'm not impressed by any of the national political parties at the moment, but I get annoyed when I see cheap political digs on this site.