Kim Leadbeater MP: Fighting for the future of Batley Sports and Tennis Centre
Kim Leadbeater MP writes: Having visited the Occupied Palestinian Territories myself earlier this year, I was already extremely frustrated at the failure of the international community to do more to revive the stalled peace process.
Now, with the acute humanitarian crisis worsening every day, I have added my voice to those calling for a halt to the killing, the release of all hostages and an immediate large-scale aid operation to get help to the innocent civilians in Gaza.
It is easy to feel helpless, but I am not the sort of person to give up hope. I believe in standing up for what you believe in, and I try to show that in my work as an MP.
Closer to home, I believe passionately in the importance of sport and exercise for people’s physical, mental and social health. So I am continuing to fight for the future of Batley Sports and Tennis Centre.
My public meeting was attended by nearly 300 people and I was pleased that the leadership at the Council and Kirklees Active Leisure were both there to take questions.
Everybody was united in wanting the save this vital facility and I’m grateful for the many positive suggestions for how this might be done from so many individuals and groups who use it regularly.
The Council’s financial situation, after so many years of government cuts to its budget, is serious. We have to have open and difficult conversations about this and I’m glad that Councillor Graham Turner, the Kirklees cabinet member for Finance and Regeneration, also joined me at my public meeting about Cleckheaton Town Hall. The building is very expensive to maintain but we need to look at all options.
A big win this month was seeing the Spen Shed group (formerly Gomersal Men’s Sheds) move into a new home. They feared they might have to close, so I was pleased to connect them with local businessman Adam Cook to find them new premises at Ponderosa in Heckmondwike.
My third annual Jobs Fair in Batley attracted more local businesses and training agencies than ever before. Over 400 members of the public attended and were connected with potential employers and firms offering apprenticeships as well as education and training providers.
It was a hive of activity throughout the day with a wide cross-section of people taking part, from students looking for a first job to older people seeking new challenges. The feedback has been really positive and it has now established itself as an important annual event.
I have hosted roundtables on two other important issues, the financial pressures on pubs, and drug and alcohol addiction. These and many of the other problems our area faces, including crime and anti-social behaviour, are deep seated and won’t be solved easily, but I will do everything I can to make progress for the good of everybody who lives and works locally.
Thanks for reading.
As always, you can contact me and my team on [email protected] or on 01924 975758.