My Column in the Morley Observer

Everyone of us will have reacted with horror and sadness at the terrible news of Ann Maguire’s tragic and senseless death in our city of Leeds.

Children and their parents will have imagined the horror of being in that classroom. Our teachers and their families will have thought, there but for the grace of God.

And all of us, thinking of this much loved teacher sadly denied a much deserved retirement, will have remembered those great teachers who inspired us when we were at school. In the aftermath of the shocking events in east Leeds, a #ThankyouTeacher campaign has taken off in which people show their support to the staff and pupils at Corpus Christi College by thanking the teacher who had an impact on their lives.

I know from the hundreds of school I’ve visited over the years that you can tell a good teacher when you walk into a lesson – it is like a bolt of electricity going around the classroom.

So for me this week I backed the #ThankyouTeacher campaign by remembering my first ever economics teacher, Peter Baker, at my secondary school. Growing up in the 1980s, Mr Baker taught me about the flaws in Thatcherite economics. And he taught me to always stay behind after class and ask more questions.

Great teachers perform “minor miracles” daily and I know that the foundation of school achievement is excellent teaching by excellent teachers. Thank you to all the hard working and dedicated teachers who live and work across the Morley area.


Morley hosts what is almost certainly the finest St George’s Day in England. The St George’s Day market on Saturday, complete with rides, entertainment and fabulous food, was a real treat. It was great to see so many familiar faces as well as local groups like the British Legion putting Morley on the map. On Sunday I joined the crowds for the Annual St George’s Day parade where Morley shows the rest of the country how to celebrate our Saint’s day in style.

Over the weekend people have flocked here from miles around to celebrate with the town. Thank you to everyone who makes it such a great celebration for the town every year.


Speed bumps have arrived on Albert Road and the 20mph signs are on their way! Regular readers may recall a year or so ago when Cllr Dawson and I launched a campaign to secure more 20 mph zones in Morley. Figures from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents show that there is a substantial reduction in deaths and serious injury in 20mph zones. Over the last year, hundreds of local people have given their support to the campaign.

It’s great news, and a victory for all those who backed the campaign, that the speed bumps are now being installed and news from the Council is that the signs are on their way.

Slower traffic will make a particular difference for parents and children travelling to and from Seven Hills and Morley Newland Primary Schools. The new 20mph zone should make our streets safer for children to play outside and walk to school.

Thank you to everyone who backed the campaign. Anyone else who wants to back our safer streets campaign should get in touch: / 0113 253 9466.

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Posted May 7th, 2014 by Ed