‘Listen To Our Voice’ Protest, 12th April 2015 – In Pictures.

The weather was as awful as it could possibly be; driving rain and wind; but this only lent a greater sense of solidarity to the occasion, as people gathered at either end of Aireborough to demand that Leeds and Bradford Local Authorities ‘Listen to the People’s Voice On Planning’, and not build on the green belt that separates communities so creating urban sprawl. 

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Residents gather at Mire Beck on A65 Menston/Guisley boundary (source Janet Hall)

The marches were part of a national campaign organized by Community Voice on Planning, and run by different local action groups; the Rawdon/Horsforth march was organized by Rawdon Green Belt Action Group, with the theme of ‘Listen to Us, Leeds City Council’, and the Menston/Guiseley one was organized by Menston & Guiseley Green Belt Protection Group with the theme of ‘Joined up thinking, not joined up communities’.

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Sign up at Mire Beck, Guiseley/Menston (source Graham Booth)

However, many other groups also joined in;  for example, the Rawdon March was joined by 5 action groups from Bradford, and the Guiseley march had people from Menston Action Group, and other Wharfedale Groups eg Ilkley. The marches showed that even if Local Councils fail in their ‘Duty to Co-Operate’ across boundaries, local people are increasingly joining forces.

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Rupy Hayre and Mike DeGreasley from Greengates (source Jennifer Kirkby)

Marchers carried messages about the dire state of the area’s infrastructure, due to past over-development; which people have told Leeds Council about at every public consultation.

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The Rawdon march leaves Jubilee Hall (source Jennifer Kirkby)

And protested over individual sites and villages

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Standing on the Guiseley side of Mire Beck (source Roger Livesey)

But it was the home-made signs that gave the best indication of how strongly people feel about what is being planned: which was just as well given the number of Councillors and political candidates that attended the Rawdon March.

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Action Groups from Rawdon, Horsforth and Bradford come together in Rawdon; along with a number of political candidates and current representatives (national and local)

On the Guiseley, Menston boundary,  motorists in the Sunday traffic were encouraged to ‘honk’; and did in large numbers; White Cross was an even noiser place than usual

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The Menston side of Mire Beck (source Jennifer Kirkby)

Whilst Layton Lane, suddenly got very busy

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The rain gets heavier as the crowds file down to A65 towards Knott Lane (source Julia Briggs)

And the paths around Ings Lane very muddy

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Rain, and mud but not dampened spirits on Ings Lane (source Philip Kirkpatrick)

The youngest participants to march were less than 1 and the oldest 92 with every age in between.  Everyone young and old will be affected by the over-development in Aireborough.  A key point of what is being done if for the young people; yes they will need houses, but they also need an environment that is good for their wellbeing; (great signs girls).

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Girls from Nether Yeadon, who’ve done a lot on trying to get conservation status for that area. (source Jennifer Kirkby)

So the messages today to Leeds and Bradford Councillors and National Politicians  were

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Well done to all the organizers, and participants, and especially Briony Sloan of the Rawdon Green Belt Action Group, and Liz Kirkpatrick of the Menston & Guiseley Green Belt Protection Group.

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