A blog by Green Party Councillor Andrew Cooper about Green Politics, action on Climate Change, Kirklees Council and our activity to improve the local and global environment (and also anything that I fancy talking about)
Promoted and published by A Cooper, 76 Brockholes Lane, Holmfirth HD9 7EB
Normally we would be out delivering our newsletters several
times a year to the 7,500 households around Huddersfield that make up the
Newsome Ward. Obviously with social distancing and efforts to limit the spread
of the virus mass leafleting of literature is not advised. So we have produced an
e-newslettter. Please share it widely among people you know in the Newsome Ward
either by Messenger, Email, Facebook or Twitter. We want to keep in touch with
as many people as possible.
The Coronavirus crisis means Kirklees Council is having to
maintain many essential services like bin collections, adult and children’s
social care, schools
for the children of key workers and vulnerable children. While many Council
meetings have been suspended Kirklees Leaders from all party groups are coming
together each week (virtually) with the Council’s Chief Executive on the Public
Health Emergency Advisory Group to work together on addressing the crisis.
Councillor Andrew Cooper as Green Party Leader is represented on the group,
“ It is inspiring to see political differences being put
aside for the common good and it would be good to see this sort of positive
working togethercontinue beyond this
crisis. It’s vital that we know from local people how their dayto day lives could be improved and
problems they may be havingthat we can
help with and so I can feed this into these meetings.”
Coronavirus Crisis –
What help do you need?
£50’000 for Community
Kirklees has provided £50k for each of the Council's 23 Wards to help
communities deal with issues related to the current Coronavirus Crisis.
Kirklees Green Party Leader and Newsome Ward Councillor
Andrew Cooper said,
"This funding provided by the Council at this most
difficult of time is very welcome. What Newsome Councillors want to do is get
people to give us their ideas. The sort of ideas we are looking for are things
that help morale in the community, provide support to vulnerable people and ensure that we come out of
the crisis with local businesses intact. The funding is not limitless but I'm
keen to harness the power of local people to help us through this public health
emergency. I and my Newsome Ward colleagues have been impressed by the
willingness of people to help their neighbours in this most unprecedented of
circumstances. These are the people who can see needs that may not be being met
and the things that may make life a little better. "
3 month rent holiday for
Kirklees Business Tenants
Kirklees Council has announced it will be giving a 3 month
rent holiday to its commercial tenants.
Councillor Andrew Cooper said,
" I proposed this 3 month rent holiday to ensure small
Independent businesses like retailers, pubs, cafes and restaurants survive this
crisis intact. We will need them to bring life back to our town centres and I
am urging other councils around the country to follow Kirklees lead".
"There is now a challenge to commercial landlords of
Huddersfield town centre businesses. If councils can do what is right to
protect the longer-term interests of our local economy so should you. A 3 month
rent holiday for your tenants now could well ensure they are your tenants in
Getting out and about is limited at the moment but Cllrs Karen
Allison and Sue Lee-Richards have been out around where they live litter-picking
their local areas cleaning up their own neighbourhoods as part of their
Government approved exercise time.
Cllr Sue Lee-Richards said,
“This is something we can all do to improve our local area.
It doesn’t take long and with so many of us limited about how far we can go it makes
it even more important that the places around where we live are as pleasant as
Councillors meeting virtually
Green Councillors meet regularly each week but with social
distancing rules in force this has to be virtually.
Cllr Karen Allison said, “It has worked really well. We
share information we have picked up about local concerns and issues, see how we
can help with funding local projects and keep on top of local casework which
hasn’t gone away during the Lockdown. We have had Council officers join us for
meetings when we have needed them and it has gone better than I expected.”
“Please be our eyes
Green Councillors ask
local people to survey their streets for issues.
Councillor Andrew Cooper has asked local people to let him know of
issues and concerns on their street during the crisis
“It’s not as easy or justifiable for us to be out on the
streets as much as we would like so I’m appealing to local people to let us
know what issues need dealing with on their street. The sort of thing we are
looking for is potholes, blocked drains, street lights that aren’t working and
large accumulations of litter and fly tipping. Giving us location information
e.g. which house, street light number the issue is near is vital as well as
photos of the problem”.
Please send to any of your local Councillors.
Help exercising for
older & younger people in their own homes
Pilates Instructor Lynne Ellis of Almondbury recently
extended her classes to include those who need a more gentle form of exercise
by converting her sessions to be done on a chair. This was particularly popular
with older people wanting to keep active and healthy. These classes ran in
Community Halls and were sponsored by Kirklees to help those with less mobility
keep in shape.The sessions had become
really popular bringing the community together, tackling loneliness and
Then the Coronavirus stopped all group activity!
Newsome Green Councillor Andrew Cooper contacted Lynne and
suggested using ZOOM, a video conferencing app, to keep her Pilates sessions
Councillor Cooper said,
“I’m so pleased Lynne’s classes are going so well and that
she is able to help so many people stay active even when they are confined to
their homes for much of the day. The exercise will not just make people
physically healthier but mentally stronger as well by having valuable social
time with friends, sharing a fun experience. Who knows I might give it a try!”
Lynne runs six sessions a week, two for those who are looking
for a more gentle exercise, exercising from a chair, two for Beginners to
Pilates who may wish to learn or who just want to keep toned and in shape, and
2 sessions of the more Advanced/Intermediate sessions for those who really want
to work their bodies and have done Pilates/exercise in the past. Membership is
just £20 a calendar month and gives access to 2 sessions per week.
The Coronavirus lockdown has seen many people in our
community at their best. Local people have come forward and offered their help
to the more vulnerable and elderly. It has been really inspiring. Kirklees
Council has been coordinating offers of help and seeking to link those offers
to the people who need it.