Working group aims to tackle Leeds Fest issues

A new working group is being formed to seek to address residents’ concerns surrounding Leeds Festival.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 3:41 pm
Traffic chaos on the A1M for Leeds Festival. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

The Outer North East Community Committee agreed to form a new group which will be Co-Chaired by Coun Matthew Robinson (Harewood ward) and Coun Norma Harrington (Wetherby Ward) to seek to address the concerns of residents who experienced problems during the Leeds Festival.

Traffic difficulties were reported again this year, following traffic problems in 2019, and this year included difficulties with road closures in Aberford and other closures being ignored in local villages.

Leeds Festival takes place over the August Bank Holiday weekend and has been held at Bramham Park for the last 15 years.

Coun Matthew Robinson said: “We want to work with Festival Republic and Leeds City Council to improve matters for residents.

“The festival is welcomed by many people who enjoy that weekend but for others it causes difficulties.

“We want to understand what’s working well and where there are problems we need to get to the bottom of that to ensure things run smoothly on and off site.”

The move to form a working group follows claims by Harewood Ward Councillors that residents in the area had been left with a ‘cacophony of festival traffic chaos’.

Coun Robinson added: “I received more emails and messages than ever before about problems, but also a number of people who enjoy the festival and live music.

“Some of the problems this year I think can be solved quickly, others are going to need more engagement and thinking.” 

Wetherby councillor and Chair of the Outer North East Community Committee, Norma Harrington said: “We want to ensure residents’ concerns are heard and allow adequate time to plan and make changes for 2022.

“As a councillor I want to ensure events in our area run smoothly and the best way to do that is early engagement with residents, better communication and clarity in the decisions for the public.”

Parish Councils in the Harewood and Wetherby wards will be asked to nominate representatives to discuss issues and develop dialogue with festival organisers and Leeds City Council.