Agenda item

City Plan Engagement

To receive a presentation by the Intelligence and Policy Manager which provides an update on the development of a City Plan for Leeds and to seek input from Elected Members and residents to feed into the Plan.






The Chair introduced and welcomed Councillor Jane Dowson, Deputy Executive Member (Strategy & Policy) together with Mike Eakins, Intelligence and Policy Manager.


Addressing the Committee, Councillor Dowson said it had been 10 years since the last City Plan had been undertaken. During that period a lot of significant events had taken place: Brexit, Devolution, the Climate Emergency and most recently the Covid-19 Pandemic. It was suggested that Local Authorities could  no longer do everything for themselves, Councillor Dowson said we require the support of the private sector who need to step up and become more involved at a local level.


Members were informed that the new City Plan would draw upon the many on-going consultations: The Strategic Needs Assessment, Planning Consultation and the Highways and Transportation Consultation, but we need to hear from local people. Councillor Dowson said Leeds had a population of 800,000, what happens in Leeds effects the whole of the north of England in terms of: employment, financial services, digital infrastructure, Leeds also has a large student population. Issues such as climate change and the pandemic had taught us that we need to communicate with each other (external parties) to share the vision in order to move ideas forward.


The Intelligence and Policy Manager spoke further about “A new City Plan for Leeds” and explained: why now for a City Plan, what will the City Plan aim to do and how will the City Plan be developed.


Members were requested to provide feedback on the following discussion questions:


·  What are the big issues for Leeds now, and over the next ten years?

·  What are the big issues for the Outer North East now, and over the next ten years?

·  How can local communities play their part? What strengths can they draw upon?

·  Does “Best City” still resonate? If not, what could it be replaced with?


In responding Members said:


HS2, the expansion of Leeds/Bradford airport, flood alleviation and a mass transport system were all important issues for the City which required progressing.


At a local level public transport, in the outer areas was a major concern, also there was a vast amount of housing development taking place in Wetherby, in the near future would there be sufficient school places, GP practices and could the local road network cope with increased traffic generation. The local refuse collection service in the Outer North East area was unreliable and inefficient. In education the key stage 2 results for the area were very poor, many parents choosing to send their children to schools in North Yorkshire as a consequence.


Responding to the question, how could local Communities play their part – Members said that the Outer North East area had a large number of Parish and Town Councils and it was important to engage and hear from these organisations if you wanted to understand what was the need at a local level. On the issue of local strengths, it was reported that the Boston Spa Academy had been identified as an outstanding school and that it may be possible for the school to share its management strategies with other schools across the city.


In terms of does “Best City” still resonate? – Members were of the view that for those residents living in the outer areas i.e Wetherby, identity was an issue, many did not associate themselves as Leeds residents and considered they were very much removed from those residents living south of the ring road, where in their view the majority of the LCC resources appeared to be concentrated.


The Chair reported that a “Big Leeds Chat” event was taking place in Wetherby on 20th October 2021 where similar issues would be discussed, it was therefore very important that “decision makers” should attend.


Councillor Dowson thanked Members for their feedback, commenting that it was important to hear from all parts of the city which had different challenges.


The Chair thanked Councillor Dowson for her attendance and participation.


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