My column in the Morley Observer and Advertiser

I’m calling on transport bosses to take action to improve Morley train station. We have great rail links into Leeds from Morley, with trains every half an hour. But the station itself needs investment. There isn’t enough parking, the lighting is poor and we still don’t have a decent bus link between Morley Town Centre and the station.

Shirley from Tingley got in touch with me after problems parking at the station. Others have complained about lighting and the poor facilities. People are also right about the long walk uphill from the station to the town which makes it hard for people to travel in by train and pop to our local shops.

So together with Morley Councillor, Neil Dawson I met local transport bosses to try and make some headway. Our meeting with the Integrated Transport Authority, Metro, Northern Rail and Network Rail was positive and it now looks as though some improvements to lighting and parking are on the way.

However despite some small improvements now planned there’s much more to do to get Morley the train station the town deserves. Anyone who wants to back the campaign for improvements to Morley station should email me ed@edballs.com or tel: 0113 253 9466.

*****

August is a tense time for students waiting for A Level and GCSE results. But this year, with over a million young people out of work across the country and long-term youth unemployment round here at record levels, there have been lots of nervous students waiting for results day.

With places at college or university being determined by one grade here or there, getting the right results is vital. This year college students told me repeatedly how the scrapping of the Education Maintenance Allowance has impacted on them.

Emma who sits on the UK Youth Parliament and lives in Morley told me how worried young people are. “Getting rid of EMA has affected young people massively. Some students who’ve not done so well now say they’re thinking of dropping out altogether because of worries about debts.” It wasn’t a huge amount but students tell me it helped with bus fares and equipment and for some it made all the difference.

Despite this young people in Morley continue to do well. Thankfully help and advice is close at hand thanks to our great local sixth forms and colleges. But much more still needs to be done to ensure there are opportunities for young people once they’ve finished their education and work or an apprenticeship.

I’ve been calling on the Government for some time to repeat the bank bonus tax to fund 100,000 jobs for young people. Over the coming weeks I’ll be keeping up the pressure to get young people in Morley and across the country a better deal. We need strong action now to prevent a whole generation of young people falling behind.

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Posted August 22nd, 2012 by Ed