Politically Speaking by Kim Leadbeater MP: No evidence of levelling up seen in our towns

Kim Leadbeater MP talks about safer streets and roads, and the need for investment.

Thursday, 4th November 2021, 11:30 am
BATLEY’S COMMERCIAL STREET: Investment is needed in our high streets

It’s been another very busy month, marked above all by the horrific killing of the Conservative MP, Sir David Amess.

I still think of his family, friends and colleagues every day.

Once again, just as after my sister’s murder, we have found ourselves discussing the need to take the hatred out of our politics.

It can take time to resolve difficult issues like ensuring the safety of people in public life – not just MPs – without cutting us off from the public.

We can’t wait any longer, however, and I’m having talks with the police, security experts and the parliamentary authorities to see what immediate steps can be taken.

I know people in Batley and Spen get frustrated when serious issues that affect their daily lives aren’t sorted out quickly.

I know because they tell me – and I feel the same way.

Top of the list in recent months are the ongoing problems of speeding traffic and inappropriate and dangerous parking across the constituency, but particularly in Batley town centre.

I share those frustrations, and I recently wrote to both West Yorkshire Police and Kirklees Council to say that while things seemed to improve following the meetings I coordinated this summer, sadly over the last couple of weeks they have deteriorated again.

Responsibility for this wholly inappropriate, disrespectful and downright dangerous behaviour rests ultimately with the perpetrators, but residents and business owners are understandably at the end of their tethers.

Travelling around the area myself, I have experienced a number of near-misses as a result of drivers going at ridiculously dangerous speeds.

When so many of us are working hard to develop our town centres and create a sense of pride in the local area, it is sickening that some individuals continue to act so selfishly.

For my part, I am pushing to ensure that money from the Government’s “Towns Fund” is used in ways that can make our streets safer.

I know that won’t be enough, which is why I’m calling for the next round of levelling up funds to provide more much-needed investment.

I am having conversations with the council and others about the changes we could make with the right sort of funding.

Ministers boast about levelling up all the time, but as I said in the Commons this week, so far we’ve seen no evidence of it around here.

When I’m down at Westminster I speak and vote on a whole range of issues that make a huge difference to the everyday lives of people here.

This week it was the need for investment in our high streets, funds to fix the potholes in our roads, the inequality in provision for youth clubs, and mental health issues.

It’s my job to raise the things that matter to you.

So, please do keep in touch and don’t forget you can keep up-to-date with my work on your behalf by visiting my website: http://www.kim4batleyandspen.com