by David Spereall, local democracy reporter
Vandals have hurled stones at buses in west Leeds, a council committee has been told today, amid calls for a crack down on rising anti-social behaviour.
The number 15 bus, which runs from Farnley to Logic Business Park in east Leeds, via the city centre, has been targeted with missiles, local councillor David Blackburn said.
The service is run by First, who’ve been contacted for comment about the claims. WLD reported in March that First remained committed to continuing both the 15 and 42 services, despite attacks by vandals.
Conservative councillor Amanda Carter added the incidents were a symptom of a wider problem with youth crime in west Leeds, which she claimed has “gone beyond a joke” and is intimidating residents.
Teens from affluent areas as well as deprived ones are responsible for the troubles, a meeting of the council’s outer west community committee heard.
Speaking during a debate about CCTV, Councillor Blackburn, who represents Farnley and Wortley ward for the Green Party told the committee: “We’ve had some problems recently with the number 15, with people chucking stones at it on an evening.”
The committee chair, Councillor Carter, who represents Calverley and Farsley for the Conservatives, said she and others were “really unhappy with the amount of anti-social behaviour in our wards.”
She said: “We are taking the police to task about this.
“It’s not good enough. Especially with the summer holidays coming up, we must make sure that kids are distracted. If they’re not distracted, there must be a clampdown because they can’t be allowed to throw stones at buses.
“It’s beyond a joke and people are so frightened they’re not able to leave their homes sometimes.”
Councillor Carter later said there were “two groups” of youths responsible for causing trouble, one of which she said came from “affluent homes”.
She added: “They’re just bored and they think it’s fine to go and smoke cannabis and annoy neighbours and that kind of thing.
“There’s another group of kids who are from another part of our ward who are under-privileged. These are kids that I really worry about, because some of them won’t be in education. If they’re not in education then they can be lost.
“This is where youth services comes in. We’ve got to try to reach those kids first.”
The Outer West Community Committee is made up of nine councillors, three each from Calverley & Farsley, Farnley & Wortley and Pudsey wards. Today’s meeting was held at Farnley Hall.