George and Kim summed up Leeds for me. A couple in their early twenties both working in a fast food restaurant they said that they don’t understand how Cameron thinks what he’s doing is good for the country? This was after concerns were express about how unequal Britain is getting and how they and their friends can’t find the kind of work they want.
Leeds city centre was busy, not surprising for the third biggest UK city and there was no shortage of people coming on board to tell us what they think of the current government. By far the most pressing issue was jobs – or the distinct lack of jobs. The people of Leeds say jobs and money are the main issues affecting their families.
A nurse, who asked me keep her name private told me she’s very concerned about how staffing cuts are affecting the quality of care she and her colleagues can deliver to patients. Workloads are increasing rapidly, stress is up across the hospital. This concerns her. She fears how far the cuts will go and what may need to happen before the government will listen. Nurses become nurses because they want to look after people; Jeremy Hunt would do well to remember that.
There is a pride here too, pride in Leeds’ natural beauty and vibrant culture. Residents desperately want Leeds to prosper. They want to see decent sustainable jobs and opportunities for young people. Let’s hope that Leeds and our many towns and cities just like it get what they want soon.