Morley voters could get referendum on moving out of Leeds

Morley Town Hall
Morley Town Hall

Morley residents could be given the chance to “opt out” of Leeds City Council, a councillor has claimed.

Morley Borough Independent (MBI) councillors claim a referendum vote could take place during next May’s general election to give residents the option to have the town’s affairs dealt with by Morley Town Council alone.

Suggestions of a vote come after MBI was “kicked out” of its Morley Town Hall offices last week and moved to Leeds Civic Hall, which Leeds City Council has stated was part of centralising support for political groups.

Morley is represented by five MBI councillors and one Labour, who feels a referendum would be “a waste of time and resources”.

Coun Robert Finnigan (MBI, Morley North), who revealed discussions are ongoing about the “quite radical” vote, said: “The people of Morley feel frustrated, they have felt for many years we have had a raw deal.

“In the past we got some new builds and we were on the housing arms-length management organisation and executive boards – Morley residents had an opportunity to represent their views and that has changed.”

He said such a small local authority is not unheard of, with councils running for around 30,000 residents in Rutland in the Midlands whereas Morley has around 50,000 locals.

Coun Neil Dawson (Labour, Morley South) said: “I think it’s a complete red herring and it doesn’t tackle the problems we have in terms of the squeeze on public services in any way.”