The Armley Councillors, Alice Smart, Jim McKenna and Lou Cunningham, and Rachel Reeves MP take the issues affecting Armley Town Street very seriously. We want Armley Town Street to be a safe, clean, thriving local centre.
Before the lockdown, we were seeing some inroads being made on Town Street. Thanks to a concerted effort by police, councillors and other agencies and the implementation of public service protection orders (PSPOs), street drinking and anti-social behavior had reduced. Armley Festival has gone from strength to strength. We have seen a growing number of independent shops opening their doors and we’ve been working closely with the Armley Action Team, Armley in Bloom and other local groups to tackle some of Town Street’s problems.
Leeds City Council is doing what it can to address these challenges despite the colossal cuts in funding from central government both to the council and the police. Armley has also been hit by cuts to universal credit and a ten year programme of austerity, making life harder for local people. These impacts are felt much more than in leafy areas on the outskirts of the city.
As we emerge from the current crisis, the Council will have to make a huge number of difficult decisions given the government’s failure to address the funding challenges facing Leeds.
We are working with police and other agencies to address the recent concerns about crime, rough sleeping and anti-social behaviour. We are also very concerned about the imminent closures of Boots and Card Factory and the recent closure of Wilsons, and are having discussions about how we can bring empty shop units into community use and encourage more independent businesses to open in Armley.
In order to secure a positive future for Armley Town Street, we are having ongoing discussions with the police and senior council officers. We are also continuing to work towards Armley Town Street becoming a Business Improvement District (BID) and are looking at other ways to bring urgent funding into the area to fund necessary improvements.
The Armley Councillors and Rachel Reeves MP work as a team. We will not stop working until Armley Town Street is a safe and welcoming environment for everyone.