Leeds today: goals, marathons, Red House, elected mayors, housing and conservation.

Morning! It’s Wednesday, which means it’s happy halfway-through-the-week-day! It’s also the first of February, so I’m just going to pass on a joke. Today is 1/2/12, otherwise known as international microphone testing day! Ahaha. Only works if you’re not in America, where today is 2/1/12. So funny.

First of all: are the elected mayors going to be as transparent as the Local economies partnerships? That’s the question asked by the Guardian, and the concern is that an elected mayor will be too much power concentrated in one person, and given how the minutes of LEPs are impenetrable, rarely published and the results of secretly held meetings there is a real concern here. Leeds is one of those in the running for a mayor – do we want one under these circumstances?

An example of just how transparent the LEPs are comes from The Leeds Citizen, who has been producing a great series on leadership communications from LCC and the other powerful “public” bodies in the city. Well worth reading, and created from publically-accessible documents. Proper investigative journalism.

A home, now museum that was used as the setting of Charlotte Brontë’s Shirley, is being put up for sale by Kirklees Council. But of course it’s not that simple, is it? The sale would plug a hole in the council’s budgets but Red House in Gomersal is a historically significant building and has its admirers, who are calling the plans a “disaster”.

LCC announced yesterday that the long-awaited social housing PFI project for Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck. The plans, £180m worth, will see 388 new homes and refurbishment of around 1,200 more. BGL has covered this in the past; the sums seem excessive, to say the least. Once again, The Leeds Citizen did the breakdown back in November.

LCC also announced a review into Morley’s two conservation areas. Morley has conservation orders on the town centre and Dartmouth Park; the review will look at merging the two separate areas into one larger one that basically covers most of the township. The article says:

An exhibition on the review can be seen at Morley Library between 30 January to the 9th March and a public meeting will be held at Morley Town Hall on Thursday 16 February at 7pm.

If you live in Morley it’s time to take a look at what could be happening to your town.

At lunchtime today the people behind South Leeds Life will be holding a meeting to discuss a spin-off, Middleton Life.

Middleton Life is an exciting new project involving South Leeds Life which will see a group of Middleton residents become local history reporters and investigate the past of their community.

Interested parties should go to the Tenant’s Hall for 1pm.

It hardly bears thinking of, but half term is on its way. Parents may find this useful: The Hunslet Club has published its half term activity camp programme. For more details check out their website (and the video!).

Handmade clothes enthusiasts may be interested to know that there’s a new shop in the Merrion Market which will be a craft space, workshop and teaching space. Fabrication opens today with drinks & nibbles – more details on that eventbrite page.

Tonight also sees the monthly Exposure Leeds talk & social meeting; the speaker tonight is portrait photographer Carolyn Mendelsohn. 6-9pm, Old Broadcasting House.

We never even knew this existed: amateur enthusiasts are doing archaeology at Harewood House and Gawthorpe to find out more of its history. We don’t normally link to facebook but this was too interesting to pass up.

Leeds Partnerships NHS Trust is running a campaign this year called What’s Your Goal? which is designed to get people thinking about exercise and projects to help the mind and body. Organiser Victoria Betton has written a blog post explaining what it’s all about. Worth reading, especially if you’re thinking about doing something this year.

Finally today, entries have opened for the Leeds Half Marathon. Widely considered to be one of the toughest half-marathons around this race is certainly a candidate for being somebody’s goal…

That’s it for today. We’ll see you tomorrow, as per usual. If you’ve got anything to say then please, say it! And, sorry about the joke at the top of the page. It’s really bad.

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