A community group set up to help turn around the fortunes of struggling Armley Town Street has folded after two years due to a lack of members.
All Together Armley (ATA) was set up two years ago in response to a public consultation on problems facing Armley Town Street – including anti-social behaviour. The consultation was conducted by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves and local councillors.
ATA’s chair, Gudrun Shemilt, resigned at the AGM in October, saying the level of engagement by partner organisations had been disappointing, that there had been a lack of volunteers and that the group had been sidetracked by taking on projects outside its initial remit.
Vice chair Glenn Broadbent stood down for personal reasons.
A statement issued by the group said no viable candidates came forward to take over the group. A spokesperson hailed the group as a success, saying problems with anti-social behaviour had decreased, and added:
“Members of All Together Armley are proud of what we have achieved in the past two years, including two hugely successful summer festivals, the installation of planters and ‘Keep Armley Tidy’ litter bins on Town Street and increased police presence and reduction in street drinking and anti-social behaviour.
“Art projects have been delivered with community involvement, the mural and phone boxes being examples.
“While All Together Armley will not continue in its current form, our members are not going anywhere. Members of the group will continue to get stuck in with the local community and continue challenging perceptions and spreading a positive message about Armley.
“We hope the progress made on Town Street will continue in the future and the local people will come forward to continue some of the group’s positive initiatives such as the festivals, the business forum and the community litter picks.”
ATA has also supported some local projects financially with the remainder of its group funds, including funding a mini-bus for Armley Helping Hands, helping the Meeting Point project which supports refugees at Christ Church continue, funding a series of events in Armley and Gotts Park and making a sizeable donation to the St George’s Crypt food bank.
Other groups we will support include Armley Common Right Trust, Swallow Hill Community College welfare fund. Interplay will be supported in their efforts to work with 13-19 year olds.
The Armley Business Forum, facilitated by ATA, has also been wound up.
Cllr Alice Smart (Lab, Armley) said:
“Over the past two years, All Together Armley have made a tremendous difference to people’s attitudes towards Armley Town Street.
“They’ve introduced countless positive initiatives and made real progress in tackling the longstanding issues of street drinking and anti social behaviour. The Armley councillors will keep the pressure on until these issues are resolved and we’ll work with local residents and businesses to try and continue All Together Armley’s positive work.
“I know the group will have a lasting legacy on Armley and it’s fitting that their funds have been shared between different community projects that aim to improve the lives of people in Armley.”
Sad on many levels, they achieved so much and we have a lot to thank them for. Unfortunately they’ve only got themselves to blame. I know they featured heavily on The Dispatch but I never really got a grasp of what the group actually was. It didn’t come across as a community group, it was too close to the politicians for comfort and seemed to conduct itself like a mini agency in itself. I genuinely think people didn’t understand it – it smacked of our three local councullors all over – unable to communicate effectively and, with particular reference to the Town Street benches, it was unable to effectively consult with the community it claimed to be a part of.
that said I hope a way is found to continue the festivals, Christmas events and business forum.
Back to the drawing board for Rachel reeves now, eh?
not surprised to hear of the group folding as said in another comment I agree that people in armley weren’t really sure what it was for or represented.I think the increased crackdown on public street drinking was a big plus for them but the multi color benches, murals and way too big planters are too be honest a bit tacky and not an improvement in there present form.