This could turn into a massive rant so I will try to keep the piece as short as possible whilst covering the issues. I will include a couple of responses to FoI requests from Leeds Council, I wont timeline the events rather I will try to use the issues as I see them to guide me in the way I word this.
|Leeds Council what responsibility do they take?|
|Leeds Night Life losing something?|
Part of the input into the questionnaire was based on the "Working Group". The working group had Object, a lobby group, represented and no representatives of the actually industry. The two police officers one was a child exploitation officer who was seen as a stakeholder (really that is stupid) and one representing the City Centre which is interesting as the police haven't raised issues about the clubs for child exploitation or that the clubs should be closed. It is therefore even more surprising no one thought of the risks in losing cctv and feet on the street. Section 3.1 said the licensing board put together the working group but tweets from Reeves and Charlwood at the time suggest a heavy involvement.The walk around town discussions with club management which clubs and where? The whole working group issue is one that makes me seethe just a little and I feel for Rosie being stuck in a group that had taken legal advice to ensure that their agenda could be pushed through (not exact wording of course).
|After all the research the council still drive their own agenda.|
Finally to keep this reasonably short Having read the response from those against the clubs there is a constant reference to violence against women which there is no proof of in any shape of form in the UK. In section 3.27 the council seem to suggest that they took the Lilith research as valid but ignored press stories. They also mention the West Yorkshire Hollaback as a valid source it seems which I would question the site as it was based around street harassment and it is difficult because a lot of the claims have never been reported to the police so how do we judge how valid the "research" is and of course Hollaback has disappeared from the web so there is no way to check claims and Hollaback was only ever anecdotal evidence. So really the only thing it seemed that the claims were based on was Lilith and as we know that report has been withdrawn and in fact the figures show a drop in rape over 12 years rather than just the 3 years Lilith highlighted (once again based on figures obtained by this blog under FoI).
So to sum up, the whole thing seems to be taking figures and manipulating them. The fact only 32% of people were against clubs in the City Centre and that the mid point of the consultation was 5 clubs rather than 4 hints that people were not adverse to ignoring the public and that the agenda behind closing the 3 venues did not worry about any impact that the closure would make on anything. Sensitive premises would have benefited from CCTV and bouncers but now those protections for the public have been removed and people are suffering an impact of more sexual and violent crime with the blame laying at the feet of the architects behind the closure Rachel Reeves and Rebecca Charlwood in my humble and simple opinion.