Victory for Save Fearnville Fields as council set to retreat

After over 2000 signatures on a petition, 4000 leaflets delivered, 69% opposition to the consultation Labour run Leeds City Council appear to have finally retreated in the face of mass community opposition to the the plans to build on Fearnville playing fields..

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Save Fearnville Fields campaign & Leeds Socialist Party branch secretary

Over 70 residents and local activists gathered in East Leeds last Friday to discuss plans on opposing the building of a Free School on the fields.

At this meeting Richard Burgon the local Corbynista Labour MP announced a statement from Lisa Mulheron, Council Executive member overseeing the proposals, recommending ‘that we do not progress the proposals consulted on recently to develop a school on Fearnville Fields.’

This victory is down to the resistance of local residents organised by the Save Fearnville Fields campaign, which includes local Socialist Party members.

Labour Councillors, present at the meeting, attempted to re-write history, claiming to have been against the proposals from the start. However, the only councillor who publicly opposed the plans before this statement was ex-Labour, Independent Councillor Catherine Dobson who has been part of the campaign from the beginning. Richard Burgon also criticised the proposals from early in the campaign.

This shows that local residents, by building a campaign and putting pressure on councillors, can win.

However, the campaign will remain vigilant until this proposal has been voted down at the council executive meeting, and no further proposals to build on the fields are put forward. We will also be continuing to pressure the council to fund improvements to the nearby leisure centre which was also being consulted on alongside the school.

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