A right Royal mess….
A poll for yesterdays Yorkshire Evening Post found that 15% thought that Leeds City Council came out as the ‘winning’ side in the bin strike compared to 23% who thought the bin men had and 64% who thought neither had. Meanwhile, the letters page was full of correspondence supporting ‘squatters’ at Royal Park School which is located in Hyde Park. Although the council clearly views these people as squatters they are in fact, frustrated residents who have taken matters into their own hands after the school has been left derelict. The school has been closed since 2004 and ever since that point the Royal Park Consortium has been looking to buy the building but its attempts have been frustrated by the council.
They claim the council promised them that the school would stay in the community and as a community have spent over £16,000 on repairing the roof, painting, cleaning up and making the building safe. They rightly claim (as can be clearly seen in the picture above) that the council as legal owner have let the building fall into disrepair. So, what do you think the councils response was (lest we forget under the leadership of this party)? It was to send in bailiffs and seek a possession order. However, in the course of seeking this the Judge praised the ‘squatters’;
“(The community] have tried – and very commendably no doubt – to prevent it from falling into further disrepair,” Judge Grenfell told the packed hearing room.
“They have tried to negotiate with Leeds City Council to get some proper basis for community use.
So, how does this square with the alleged Liberal Democrat agenda of a local focus and wanting to empower local communities? In coalition with the Conservatives the party has lost sight of it’s principles and the actual content of a Liberal Democrat agenda. Nick Clegg should take note before he hitches the Liberal Democrat wagon to David Cameron’s Downing Street parade.