We are disappointed to hear that there have been political comments made about the release of the Listening Well report compiled by Voice of Holbeck, of which we are a member organisation.
Both Save Our Eyes and VOH are non-political organisations founded to represent the views and concerns of Holbeck & Beeston Hill residents in relation to street prostitution and the managed approach.
A comment by a local politician indicates that, although they had an advance copy of the report, they felt we should not have shown it to other Leeds councillors until we’d had further meetings with local leaders about it.
Our interest is in representing local residents, businesses and all who suffer from the managed approach having been imposed on this community since 2014. We felt that, by issuing the Listening Well report more widely, local councillors would find it easier to represent the views of their constituents at the debate. Until Monday 9th November, only local councillors along with Police and council leaders had seen the report findings. Local councillors would have been unable to quote from it at the debate scheduled for Weds 11th November because it had been issued confidentially, only to people with a specific interest in the managed approach. By removing the confidential nature of the Listening Well draft, Voice of Holbeck were able to allow all councillors access to the document and enable them to openly discuss it’s findings at the Civic Hall.
None of our members were aware of the debate planned for today until the YEP published an article about it at the weekend. However, by coincidence, our own timeline for completing the Listening Well draft was last Friday. Hence the decision, voted for by a majority of VOH members on Monday night, that the report should be made available to all councillors attending the Civic Hall debate.
Local councillors, Police and council leaders attended many of the Listening Well events and had a clear idea of what the residents were saying to VOH and what the outcomes of the report would be. They received an advance copy of the findings on 29th October. Save Our Eyes committee felt that it was in the best interests of local residents to issue the draft. Residents spoke because they wanted to be heard. Keeping the LW report confidential when the managed approach is the subject of a Civic Hall debate would have been a breech of trust.
At present, the report is available to all Leeds City councillors. We hope that it will be made available more widely in the coming weeks.
Sally was 17, with learning difficulties, when she was abducted from a local bus stop and raped. Read her story here
Paedophiles are drawn to the residential streets looking for young women and girls. Meet “Brammers” who is keen to purchase young women for consumption.
13 year old Katie was approached for sex at the bus stop on a Saturday morning – read her story here
Young primary school teacher, Alice, was abducted and raped after being mistaken for a prostitute outside her front door. Read her story here