Agenda item

Open Forum

In accordance with Paragraphs 4.16 and 4.17 of the Community Committee Procedure Rules, at the discretion of the Chair a period of up to 10 minutes may be allocated at each ordinary meeting for members of the public to make representations or to ask questions on matters within the terms of reference of the Community Committee.  This period of time may be extended at the discretion of the Chair. No member of the public shall speak for more than three minutes in the Open Forum, except by permission of the Chair.


In order to facilitate the Open Forum whilst Community Committee meetings were being held remotely, the process had been adapted so that members of the public were able to submit written representations in advance of the meeting on any matter which fell within the Committee’s terms of reference.


The following submission had been made from Crossgates residents:


Serious attack in Crossgates Saturday 27th February 2021

There is widespread concern in our community about the recent escalation in antisocial behaviour by groups of young men that resulted in the serious attack that took place in Manston Gardens on Saturday 27th February. Following the independently organised community meeting in January 2020 to discuss antisocial behaviour in our area there were hopes that the situation would gradually improve. These hopes were not met.  Please do not underestimate the strength of feeling on these issues.  We note from the minutes of the Dec 8th Outer East Community Committee that Crossgates was the only one of the four wards in which antisocial behaviour concerns were minuted.  There seemed to be no related action points for Crossgates. However there was mention that Temple Newsam ward were “looking to recruit a group of young people to engage in the Violence Reduction Unit Programme”.


We request the following:


1. A report on the promised additional police officers to be recruited in Leeds Outer East and resulting impact on police capacity and resources.

2. A summary of 2021 statistics on reports of numbers and types of antisocial behaviour incidents by ward.

3. An explanation of what new measures are being taken to address the escalation of antisocial behaviour, arson and violence in Crossgates, including your Violence Reduction Unit Programme.

4. Involvement of local people in sharing and discussing ideas and suggestions of measures with a carry over of our ward’s underspend on the Wellbeing budget to implement them.

5. Your plan for reinstating Community Forum meetings for the remainder of 2021.


The following were invited to respond:


-  Paul Money – Chief Officer, Safer Leeds

-  Heather Ashby – Anti-Social Behaviour Team Manager

-  Inspector Jodie Scatcherd – West Yorkshire Police

-  Kris Nenadic – Parks Operations Manager

-  Deeta Tren-Humphries – Youth Service


The following was highlighted:


·  Local activity with Police and the Anti-Social Behaviour Team.

·  There was a live investigation into the incident on 27th February and the police were actively pursuing lines of inquiry.

·  Neighbourhood Policing Team arrangements for the area.

·  The area had actually seen a decline in Anti-Social Behaviour.

·  Breaking up groups under regulations relating to the Covid pandemic.

·  Targeting of hotspot areas.

·  Youth Service involvement.

·  The need to be evidence led before deploying resources.

·  The need to work with Members and communities to get a better understanding of local issues.

·  The process and legislative issues relating to CCTV provision in Parks.

·  Problems with people from outside the area travelling in and being involved in crime or anti-social behaviour.


Members thanked all those involved in tackling the problems relating to anti-social behaviour and crime in the area particular with the challenges of working during the pandemic.  With regards to information circulating on social media, it was recognised that this was not always accurate and there was a need for communication.  Community Forums were due to re-commence.  Previous consultation had shown that there was not a public desire for lighting or CCTV in Manston Park.


Further issues highlighted included the following:


·  Concerns from a local shopkeeper regarding unsetllement and the need to work together.

·  Community Forums in Crossgates & Whinmoor; Garforth & Swillington would soon be re-commencing.  Temple Newsam had been holding remote forums throughout the pandemic.  Kippax & Methley no longer held forums due to poor attendance but Members had regular meetings with Parish Councils and other community groups.

·  With regards to funding and use of underspending from the wellbeing budget, it was reported that this year was unusual due to the pandemic and funds not being able to be spent as projects could not be delivered.  Funding would be returned to the wellbeing and youth activities pots and was expected to be reallocated later.  The process for allocating wellbeing funds was also explained.


A submission had also been made by the Tribe Youth Group who wished to thank their local Councillors and the Community Committee for supporting their activities throughout the past year.