The Socialist

The Socialist 24 January 2018

Socialist planning needed to end privatisation scam

The Socialist issue 979

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Leeds playing fields rescued from Blairites

Playing fields are a vital community resource

Playing fields are a vital community resource   (Click to enlarge)

Tanis Belsham-Wray, Leeds Socialist Party

Labour-run Leeds City Council appears to have finally retreated in the face of mass community opposition to the plans to build on Fearnville playing fields previously reported in the Socialist.

This follows over 2,000 signatures on a petition, 4,000 leaflets delivered, and 69% opposition to the consultation.

Over 70 residents and local activists gathered in east Leeds on 19 January to plan opposition to building a 'free school' on the fields.

At this meeting, Richard Burgon, the local Corbynista Labour MP, announced a statement from Councillor Lisa Mulherin, the council executive member overseeing the development. She had recommended 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 rewrite 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 councillor Catherine Dobson, now of the East Leeds Independents, 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 consulted on alongside the school.

In this issue

What we think

Turn Carillion crisis into movement against privatisation and capitalism

Socialist Party news and analysis

Welsh NHS crisis - we cannot go on like this

2m to remove Grenfell-type cladding: residents to get bill

Private profit out of our NHS

Leeds playing fields rescued from Blairites

May's "war on plastic" still puts profits before the planet

News in brief

Vietnam war

Vietnam War: 50 years since the Tet Offensive

Socialist Party workplace news

Lecturers vote for strikes against pension cuts

PCS executive agrees next steps in pay campaign

Brum care workers protest council attacks

Amy Murphy Usdaw campaign meeting

Ballots against Bromley privatisers

Ferrybridge: Workers down tools over unpaid wages

International socialist news and analysis

Punishment of Tamimi family awakens wave of international solidarity

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Defend Louise Harrison - save Yorkshire women's services!

Victory against government's war on eastern European homeless

Women rally defiantly

Gentrification scourge hits Kent

Kirklees council opens consultation of library services

Southampton: Pay rise for uni boss, job losses for lecturers


Red Mary - a Force of Nature

Obituary: Maureen Mulhearn 1945-2018


Carillion and the construction industry

Carillion crisis exposes PFI chaos

Universal credit: set up to fail

The Socialist inbox


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24 January 2018