By Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves
As always, it was an honour to pay my respects in memory of those who lost their lives in conflict.
This year I attended the Remembrance Service at Leeds War Memorial. Thank you also to those who laid wreaths at the Leeds West memorials on my behalf.
Fabian Northern Conference
I was honoured to be invited as a keynote speaker at the Fabian Society’s Northern Conference held at the Queens Hall in Leeds at the weekend.
There were several speakers throughout the day, including West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin. As you might expect, my speech was about the economy. For this particular speech I had plenty of notice, unlike my response to the Budget.
You may have read that Keir Starmer tested positive for Covid on Budget day so I had to step in to give the Opposition response to the Budget with only 45 minutes notice!
West Leeds voluntary organisations
I was pleased to catch up with Lee and Toby from Bramley Elderly Action earlier this month to hear about upcoming projects and their mission to support local older people.
I am proud to be a trustee of the organisation and I look forward to working together to help expand their remit as we emerge from the pandemic.
I also managed a very quick drop in to the new headquarters of Kirkstall Valley Development Trust, which is a fabulous resource for people living in Burley and Kirkstall. A big thank you to Adele Rae who dropped everything to meet me there at very short notice.
Local businesses and enterprises
I really enjoyed last week’s visit to Giggles, the new nursery in Bramley. The former Yorkshire Bank building opposite Bramley Shopping Centre has been repurposed into a space for children to learn and play.
The Bramley Councillors and I had a tour of the premises with the nursery’s manager Laura Birch and director Katie Gill, and heard about the activities they provide to local children, from gardening and cooking, to rugby and yoga. The nursery is a family-run business.
They have over thirty years experience and a number of other premises across Leeds. It is wonderful to see that small businesses like Giggles are choosing to locate in Bramley.
Another example is Ecotopia, a new shop in Bramley Shopping Centre.
Ecotopia is an eco-friendly business – you can take an empty container (which they weigh when you enter the shop) and fill it with the product of your choice.
They stock a whole range of products including pulses, spices and toiletries.
Your container is then re-weighed and you are only charged for the product inside – this saves plastic being sent to landfill. The shop also sells eco-friendly books and gifts. It’s well worth a visit and a great addition to the shopping centre.
A Place to Sit
The “Place to Sit” weekly protests at Bramley Shopping Centre (Saturdays at 10am) continue to be a fantastic example of community led, good-natured protest.
The campaign group is calling for the reinstatement of the 22 benches removed by LCP, the owners of the shopping centre.
Along with local councillors, I will continue to support this group and work towards getting the benches back!
Rossefield day of action
A day of action involving a range of local agencies including housing, environment, local councillors, staff from my office in Leeds West, the police and voluntary organisations, including Bramley Elderly Action and BARCA, took place on the Rossefields this week.
Councillors and volunteers spoke to residents about concerns, picked up casework and helped clear litter into skips provided for the day. Thank you to everyone involved.