Monday, June 27, 2022
HomecommentRachel Reeves MP: Back in the swim at Bramley Baths

Rachel Reeves MP: Back in the swim at Bramley Baths

Words: Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves

I know we are all looking forward to different things when the world re-opens more widely. For some it will be a visit to the pub, for others it’s the chance to stay overnight somewhere and catch up with family or friends.

Close to the top of my list is a swim in Bramley Baths. I love swimming in such a beautiful building and was so glad to be able to play my part in bringing it back into use. Whenever I am able, I start my day with an early morning swim there.

At my recent visit the pool was still closed to the public, but it was great to hear about how the Baths are re-starting school swimming lessons, and their plans for reopening to the public when the Government’s roadmap allows.

As soon as that happens, I’ll be booking my slot! Bramley Baths are also asking users to fill in this survey so you can guide how they develop their services after lockdown. Please do fill it in. 

Meeting our Covid heroes

We owe such a debt of gratitude to so many people who have worked throughout the pandemic to keep us safe. I was lucky enough to say thank you in person to a few of the people involved.

Firstly, the staff at the mobile testing unit located at Armley Leisure Centre. They do a fantastic job to ensure anyone with symptoms can be tested. The process is extremely straightforward and if you have symptoms, please make use of this service to keep yourself and everyone around you safe. 

Rachel with Barca-Leeds CEO Mark Law.

I also met with staff at BARCA (Bramley and Rodley Community Action) who have recently begun to try and trace those people locally that Serco track and trace have been unable to contact.

This involves going round to people’s houses, physically knocking on their doors to give advice and offer support – all from a safe distance of course. Local knowledge among our public health experts has proved so successful in rolling out the vaccine and I think it is a real shame that this has only just started happening for test and trace.  

A whole year after the first lockdown – so many deaths could have been avoided. 

Harold Wilson – and how we need to support each other

Last week, I gave the fourth annual Harold Wilson Lecture at the University of Bradford. I spoke on how in a time of global insecurity and turbulent change, we can provide greater security for our families and communities.

The difference we can make locally is huge and I have seen so many examples of community support in the last 12 months as people have tried to deal with the impact of Covid-19. I was honoured to be able to outline my ideas and speak at the event. 

Jobs boost at Kirkstall Forge 

Developers CEG have been building at Kirkstall Forge for several years, and like all of us, they have had to rethink how they do things in light of the pandemic.

In spite of everything, they have still managed to run their Forging Futures programme, which offers opportunities to young people not in education, employment or training, and aims to bridge the skills shortage in the construction industry.

Trainees have the opportunity to be part of the £400 million sustainable development of homes, offices, retail and leisure space, which is bringing life back to the historic Kirkstall Forge site. Since 2017, the majority of graduates have gone into full-time employment or further training which is great news. 

I was delighted to be invited once again to Forging Futures’ graduation event, albeit this time via Zoom. It was lovely also to see representatives from Leeds Mind and the Social Mobility Business Partnership, as well as Bramley’s own Jamie Jones Buchanan, who gave a very impassioned speech. 

Congratulations to all of the trainees for graduating and for persevering with your training virtually under such unprecedented circumstances. 

The magic of Bramley Fall Fairy Doors

Despite the recent cold and rainy weather, a short break in the rain last week meant I was able to pay a quick visit to Bramley Fall Woods to finally see the fairy doors that have been installed by Newlay and Whitecotes Residents Association (N.A.W.R.A).

Decorating the doors at home with my two young children was a great activity to share – and seeing them in place, along with many more, was lovely.

Even better was seeing the excitement from several young children and families upon discovering them. If you want to see the doors for yourself (all forty of them) they are in the area of Bramley Fall close to the children’s play area. 

Back to School

I have really missed visiting our local schools. They are such uplifting environments and a complete contrast to the political cynicism that can sometimes, unfortunately, dominate the working day.

Rachel at Holy Family Primary School with Pete McQuillen-Strong and Charlie Pyatt.

Now schools are fully open, I took the earliest possible opportunity to visit one – Holy Family Primary in Armley.  PE lessons are proving to be a huge hit, according to headteacher Pete McQuillen-Strong.

I know my children were incredibly keen to get back to their normal school routine and see friends in person. This is clearly the case at Holy Family too – and I suspect across the whole country.

Teaching staff have worked incredibly hard throughout the pandemic providing learning for children in school alongside remote learning for those who were still at home. We owe them a debt of gratitude and after my own experience of home schooling, I appreciate them even more.

Contact details 

The pandemic is far from over, and we are still feeling its impact.  I appreciate that people’s circumstances will also continue to change.

If you find yourself in need of any help, please contact my office on 0113 2552311 or e-mail me at rachel.reeves.mp@parliament.uk.

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