Friday, 20 October 2017

Dartmouth Park Plan Welcomed

Plans for a new play area and multi-use gym area for young people were unveiled to a meeting of the Friends of Dartmouth Park Group this week. The plans – funded by Housing Developer contributions – will see a new children’s play area introduced along with a teen zone for young people on the space of a disused tennis court.

Cllr Judith Elliott said “This regeneration plan has been a long time coming but we are delighted it is now to be implemented. We have campaigned for many years – along with the Friends of Dartmouth Park Group – for these improvements to be introduced and the plan will be implemented over the autumn and winter months."

Over £200,000 has been found to support the regeneration project with footpaths also to be improved.

Cllr Wyn Kidger, who attended the meeting said “Dartmouth Park is one of the jewels in Morley’s Parks crown and this improvement plan will be welcomed by young and old alike. The Friends Group deserve a lot of credit for battling with us to bring these improvements and I am pleased we are going to finally get the work undertaken.”

Friday, 13 October 2017

Morley Mayors Charity Channel Challenge

Morley Mayor Cllr Robert Finnigan has been delighted at the response from local groups following his call to take on the Mayor Charity Channel Challenge. The challenge – to be held at Morley Sports Centre on Saturday 21st October at 2pm at Morley Sports Centre, will involve teams rowing the equivalent distance of crossing the Channel - 33,300 metres - on rowing machines as they compete against each other to be the first “boat” to make the crossing. The event is raising funds to support West Yorkshires two Children’s Hospices, Martin House in Leeds and the Forget Me Not Fund based in Huddersfield who deal with children from across the region suffering from life shortening conditions.

 Cllr Finnigan said “The response from groups taking up the challenge has been fabulous. We have a team from the Leeds Rhinos Foundation taking part along with teams from Morley Sports Centre, Morley Firefighters, the Different Gravy Wine Bar, the Yorkshire Teachers Rugby League team and of course the Mayors own team. It’s a long and sweaty physical challenge which will take around 3 hours but the support with sponsorship has been brilliant.”

 The event at Morley Sports Centre will also include a bun sale with bottled water for the competitors being provided free by Morley Morrison’s.

 Cllr Finnigan said “Both hospices do an excellent job with supporting families who are facing exceptionally challenging circumstances. We are hoping to raise over £1000 to support the work they do and I would encourage Morley Folk to attend, support the rowers and give generously to both these excellent charities.”

Friday, 29 September 2017

Visit to the Army Cadets

I joined Army Cadets from across North and West Yorkshire at an awards and information day at Strensall near York last Sunday.

The day, organised by Yorkshire based groups of Army Cadets, was attended by Mayors from Towns and Cities across Yorkshire including Morley, Bradford, Wakefield, Wetherby and Richmond.

It was a fabulous day where we all gained a valuable insight into the work the Army Cadets undertake and the opportunities they offer for young people.

Councillors were shown the different skills cadets were developing include First Aid, wall climbing, communication skills and camouflage techniques. Cadets were also given certificates for their achievements over the last year.

The Army Cadets offer many opportunities for local young people, both girls and boys. They develop skills such as resilience and self-motivation along with teamwork and practical skills that they can use later in life. It was a pleasure and a delight to attend and to meet so many well motivated youngsters. We are exploring what options are available to bring an Army Cadet Corp to the Morley area.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

CCTV schemes to be expanded

CCTV scheme expanded in Churwell Park
Morley Borough Independent Town Councillors have backed proposals to improve CCTV schemes at both Morley Sports Centre and Churwell Park. The finance, from the Community Infrastructure Levy - often called CIL - that developers of new housing developments around Morley have to pay, will contribute towards expanding the CCTV schemes at both locations.

Cllr Robert Finnigan said “We were happy to support the proposals at Morley Sports Centre and Churwell Park. Morley Sports Centre is presently suffering from increased vandalism and this means money that could be used to increased opportunities for Morley residents is being used to repair the damage to the Sports Centre. The new CCTV stay will help reduce this burden and offer more opportunities for everyone.”

The Morley Sports Centre expanded system will overlook the outside of the Kirkness Room which is popular with Sports Centre users but has been subjected to increased vandalism. The Churwell Park CCTV system will overlook the newly refurbished Children’s Play area and has shown to reduce vandalism previously.

Cllr Judith Elliott, who sat on the committee that agreed the funding said “The Town Council has a fund which can be used to support local projects and to improve the quality of life of local residents. We believe this is what we have achieved by supporting both applications.”


Monday, 18 September 2017

Morley gets two defibrillators for Town Centre

Morley Town Centre now has two defibrillator following work by Morley Town Centre Management Board and money raised by the former Mayor of Morley Cllr Simon Kimberley.

 The two defibrillators – based in former BT phone boxes – were delivered after Cllr Kimberley raised funds during his year as Mayor to cover the costs. The new units were also sponsored by local Estate Agents – Onwards and Upwards – and were fitted free of charge by Morley Town Council Andy Hutchison.

 Cllr Robert Finnigan – Chairman of Morley Town Centre Management Board said “I would like to pass on my thanks to Onwards and Upwards and pay tribute to my colleagues Cllr Kimberley and Cllr Hutchison who have made this project a reality. It has made excellent use of former phone boxes and will make Morley Town Centre safer by offering lifesaving equipment on those hopefully rare occasions they are needed.”

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Mayors Charity Channel Challenge

Cllr Robert Finnigan - Mayor of Morley - takes on Ronnie the Rhino!

The Mayor races across the channel for Charity
The Mayor of Morley will race against Leeds Rhinos Foundation and other local business for Martin House and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice

 The Mayor is bringing the Olympics to Morley with an exciting charity rowing race in aid of Martin House and Forget Me Not Children’s Hospice; two fantastic charities that provide care for children and young people with life-limiting conditions across West Yorkshire.

 With the Mayor of Morley heading up his team, he is asking others to row the Channel alongside him in the heart of town using Morley Sports Centre rowing machines. As well as cheering on your team; there will be a host, music, stalls, a bouncy castle, face painting, a raffle and a qualifying prize draw making this an event not to be missed!

 Where is the race?

 This great day out for the family is at Morley Sports Centre on Saturday 21 October, and kicks off with the boat race at 2pm.

 How can you be involved?

      1.     Be a team and see if you have a chance beating the Mayor! The teams must be made up of five people and there is a £20per person minimum sponsorship required. Teams already confirmed from Leeds Rhinos Foundation, a team including ex marines, Morley Police Officers and Sports Centre staff.

2.     Sponsor the event!

3.     Do some fundraising for your business

4.     Donate something towards the day or the auction; this can be an item, food or vouchers!

5.     Volunteer your skills or talents for entertainment on the day!

6.     Like our Facebook page at The Mayors Charity Channel Challenge.

7.     Attend the event and help cheer on the teams!
The Charities

Martin House supports families from across West, North and East Yorkshire, both at their hospice and in the community.

“Our families are at the heart of everything we do and we value each member as an individual with their own needs. The hospice itself is a place of love and understanding, a peaceful place but one that can also have a lively, friendly atmosphere full of fun and laughter”

Forget Me Not supports families in West Yorkshire.

“We help hundreds of wonderful children, and their equally wonderful families, through our Hospice at Home service and at our fantastic hospice building at Russell House in Huddersfield. We provide superb nursing care, days out, listening, respite care, therapy and anything the family wants us to do, we are here to say yes and help in any way we can.”

 Morley Mayor Cllr Robert Finnigan said “I am encouraging as many people as possible to get involved in the charity fundraising event. Both the Martin House and Forget Me Not Find hospices undertake excellent work with families with children with life shortening illnesses. The day will be a real opportunity for people to have fun, out row the Mayor and his team and raise funds for these excellent charities!”

For any more information on the above please contact 0781 3322737.

You can support this event and both charities by donating to

Monday, 7 August 2017

Labour back Developer against Drighlington Community

Pitty Close Farm in Drighlington also know as Spring Gardens

Campaigners in Drighlington have pledged to battle on after Leeds City Councils Plans Panel agreed a housing application for 200 houses on Pitty Close Farm in Drighlington. The decision to grant planning permission follows a long campaign of opposition with Drighlington Parish Council, Morley North City Councillors and local MP Andrea Jenkyns all backing residents who opposed the plan.

 Cllr Robert Finnigan said “There was wide scale opposition to these plans from residents and all elected representatives who cover the Drighlington area. Figures from Education Chiefs confirmed that Drighlington Primary School had no room to accommodate the additional 60 children that will come from this site in the primary sector and also confirmed no spare capacity at Birchfield and Gildersome Primary’s to take these additional students. The Planners report also confirmed the site breached Council Highways guidance on access roads and the Councils own accessibility standards for secondary schools. However Labour Plans Panel members voted it through despite opposition from Independent, Lib Dem and Conservative Councillors.”

 The site, off King Street in Drighlington, was allocated as a phase 3 site in the Local Development Plan which should have left it undeveloped until after 2028 but Leeds City Council failed to prove it had a 5 year land supply after Labour Councillors backed a 74,000 new homes housing target.

 Cllr Finnigan said “Leeds City Council is now having to review its unrealistic housing target to reduce the number to prevent Developers ripping up Greenfield sites across Leeds. Despite this review Leeds City Council continues to back Developers instead of communities opposing unsustainable development.”

 Cllr Finnigan has contacted local MP Andrea Jenkyns to request that the application is called in by the Secretary of State for planning  because the application breaches guidance in Central Governments National Planning Policy Framework.

 Cllr Andy Hutchison from Drighlington Parish Council said “I can unreservedly confirm that the support for the application to be ‘called in’ is supported by Drighlington Parish Council.”

 Leeds City Councils Plan Panel has already agreed to housing development on Low Moor Farm, Owlers Farm, Bruntcliffe Road, Scott Lane, Laneside Farm and Churwell New Village with around 1600 new housing units granted planning permission. No additional school places at primary or secondary schools across Morley have been agreed nor any  highways improvements to deal with additional traffic.