By Rachel Reeves MP
We’ve had a busy few months in West Leeds and Pudsey, from wonderful Coronation celebrations, to a summer filled with activities from Yorkshire Day festivities to all the local galas and festivals.
The local businesses that help drive these events give us so much to be proud of. Brilliant shops and innovative entrepreneurs across West Leeds and Pudsey are leading the way for our city.
From Truman Books in Farsley to Carol’s Confectioners in Bramley, our local businesses don’t just create jobs, they boost growth and make our economy stronger.
There are so many examples of enterprise and hard work like this across our city, but too often people are being held back. We need to unlock that potential locally – and nationally too. It’s the only way to get our economy on a better path.
That’s one of the reasons why I will be standing in the newly redrawn Leeds West and Pudsey constituency at the next General Election.
It is a part of the world I have been privileged to serve for over 13 years, but always from the opposition benches. I see the next General Election as a chance to speak up for residents in Leeds West and Pudsey from the heart of government.
I know that the new constituency has enormous potential and will benefit from the fresh start promised by Labour.
And through my role as Shadow Chancellor, I see how much it reflects a national picture where too many people are being held back instead of being able to grab hold of the opportunities they deserve.
There is so much that could be done now to tackle some of the immediate crises that families face in the area.
Take rising crime and anti-social behaviour. This is a trend that isn’t unique to Pudsey and West Leeds, but I see first-hand the detrimental impact it has on people across my current constituency.
After more than a decade of dereliction on law and order by the Tories, more than 90% of crimes now go unsolved. These numbers are reflected in the lived experiences of residents in our area every day.
With a Labour government and me as your Labour MP, we will cut down on crime on the streets of West Leeds and Pudsey.
Our fully costed plan will recruit more than 13,000 neighbourhood police officers. Through those additional neighbourhood police and PCSOs on our streets, Labour will deliver on our mission to halve knife crime and violence against women, and keep our communities safe.
Alongside crime, we’ll also face head on the housing crisis engulfing Britain.
The Tory mortgage bombshell is hitting families hard with mortgages and rents through the roof every month. England has missed out on 212,000 new homes since the last election because of the Conservatives’ failure to meet their manifesto housebuilding target. I know how much this is directly hitting families in Armley, Bramley, Calverley, Farsley and Pudsey, and I know too that we need to see improvements in our infrastructure to facilitate the new homes our country so desperately needs.
The next Labour government will take the tough decisions to build the homes we need. We will reform the planning system, restore local housebuilding targets and support first-time buyers with a mortgage insurance scheme. We’ll protect renters, introducing a powerful new Renters’ Charter to make renting fairer, more secure and more affordable. Labour will back the builders, not the blockers.
Crucially, a Labour government would tackle the cost-of-living crisis once and for all, making sure right now that banks provide support to mortgage holders who are struggling with repayments, and bringing in a proper windfall tax on the huge profits the oil and gas giants to help families in West Leeds and Pudsey with the cost of living.
And most importantly, we’ll put in place a long-term plan to secure and grow our economy. That includes investing in Britain’s clean and renewable industries to cut energy bills, create good jobs and strengthen our energy independence from the actions of dictators like Putin.
By addressing crime, the housing crisis and the cost of living in Pudsey and across West Leeds, a Labour government will put family and businesses finances on a more steady footing, so that we can move forward into a brighter future.
One where working people are better off, where our high streets can thrive, and where the industries of the future and the opportunities for future generations are built right here in Pudsey and West Leeds.
We have the skills, businesses and ideas to rebuild. With me as your Labour MP in Leeds West and Pudsey and with a Labour government across the country, I know we can deliver the change that people want to see.
Editor’s note: Leeds West and Pudsey
Leeds West and Pudsey is a proposed parliamentary constituency.
Further to the completion of the 2023 Periodic Review of Westminster constituencies, it will first be contested at the next general election, which is likely to be held in 2024.
The constituency will comprise Armley, Bramley and Stanningley from the current Leeds West constituency, which will be abolished. It will also include Calverley, Farsley and Pudsey, representing about half of the electorate of the current constituency of Pudsey, which will also be abolished.
WLD reported last week that sitting Pudsey Conservative MP Stuart Andrew will not stand for election in the constituency. A Conservative candidate has yet to be appointed.