One month in

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Christmas is now just a distant memory and I’m well into my first month proper as a Leeds City Councillor, writes Wetherby Ward Councillor Linda Richards.

And what a month it is turning out to be. I’ll be honest – there’s been an awful lot to learn in a very short space of time!

Wetherby Town Hall Picture by Gerard Binks.

Wetherby Town Hall Picture by Gerard Binks.

Residents of Wetherby Ward are now starting to put their trust in me and are coming forward with a variety of issues that have been troubling them.

There does seem to be a number of common themes – please be assured that I will be working to get to the bottom of these to prevent further occurrences in the future. I have meetings planned with Senior Council Officers on addressing what you are raising with me.

Missed bin collections seem to cause particular inconvenience to residents, myself included.

It is not good enough when we are told to have our bins out ready for collection and then nobody comes.

Please do let us know if your collection is missed – that way we can ensure the service react to the problem and get it corrected as soon as possible. We can then also see if there are any common problems across the Ward.

Aligned to the refuse issues, I have also been arranging the collection and tidy-ups of recycling points in our villages.

It is good that we are recycling, but it is of no use if the bottle banks are full and litter gets strewn around. It is unsightly and a danger to any local wildlife that might go foraging in the glass – not to mention our tyres.

To my mind the contractors who collect from our recycling sites should take all waste particularly at busy times such as the festive period.

Village crime is another sensitive issue I am engaging with. The long, dark winter nights can give burglars more opportunities to break into houses, so it often follows there is more crime at this time of year.

Thankfully, we do live in an area that has relatively low levels of crime when compared to others, but that is not to diminish the feeling of anger and frustration if you have been a victim.

I have been working with the police to increase overnight patrols in our villages as well as a number of other preventative measures – I hope to be able to announce more on those over the next few weeks.

Hopefully people the referendum day on the Wetherby Neighbourhood Plan on Thursday January 30.

It was good to see so many people recently went to the drop-in session at the Town Hall to see what it was all about.

Finally, I’d like to thank my ward colleagues – Councillors Alan Lamb and Norma Harrington – for their support over these first few weeks while I have been getting to know what’s what.

It is a real honour to be elected to serve as your councillor for Wetherby Ward and I am grateful that you have put your faith in me.

As ever, you can contact one or all of us at the council for help with any issues you might have and we will do what we can to help.