Dozens of local residents attended the latest Arnley Forum community meeting in Armley Library last night.
Here are five things we learned from the meeting:
1. Nine arrests in hate race incident
Police revealed nine arrests have now been made in connection with the race hate incident involving an attack on a 28-year-old Polish man in Armley on Friday, September 9. The ages of those arrested range from 13 to 16 years old.
Police say the investigation is a particularly complex one involving CCTV footage and forensics. More arrests are likely as investigations continue.
2. Plans for a police forum
Officers suggested a new forum to give Armley people easier access to the police could be set up.
It’s not known how the forum would work, but the aim would be to provide closer links between the police and the community and make it easier for people to express their views. More on this as it develops.
3. Police take hard line on Town Street benches
Should the benches on Armley Town Street be taken away? Police said they were a magnet for street drinkers and anti-social behaviour and were campaigning for them to be removed.
We conducted a quick (and unscientific) survey on Twitter last night. Here are the results so far:
Police pushing for removal of benches on Town Street as they're a magnet for trouble #armleyforum Good idea?
— West Leeds Dispatch (@WLDispatch) 20 September 2016
Looks like those benches have a lot of friends!
4. A new car park in Armley is ‘unlikely’
One Armley resident said Armley was in need of a new car park to cater for people driving to Town Street to do their shopping.
Forum chair Cllr Jim McKenna (Lab, Armley) said the council wouldn’t be in a position to build a new car park, it’d have to come through a private developer. Either way, people are now being encouraged to use their cars less.
A representative from the council’s Highways department also attended to update residents on any traffic concerns they may have.
5. Friends of Armley Park is go!
Armley resident Emma Bearman provided an update on the new Friends of Armley Park group.
She urged residents to have a say on the future of the park at a first formal meeting on Thursday 22nd September at the golf club (8pm). Ideas to improve the park are welcome. She said:
“We’d love people to come and put their ideas forward and maybe join the committee. We’re only a small group currently and need people’s support.”
Cllr McKenna said the new group was an excellent idea for a ‘wonderful’ park and urged people to give up their time to support it.