Leeds today: Kirkgate meeting, mayoral debate, benefits, asylum seekers, Community First, rugby league, Leeds Through A Lens and World Book Night.

It hasn’t been one of the finest April weeks we’ve ever had out on the streets of Leeds, and the rain is forecast to keep falling through the weekend. All the more reason to get together over a pint in a public house somewhere or cuddle in front of the fire once the working week is done. It’s Friday, and the climax of an eventful week across the city – with plenty to talk about.

Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market have given their own take on the public meeting organised by the very same group earlier in the week. “The message of the night was clear,” they write. “The council has neglected the Market but the people of Leeds won’t let their Market decline.”

The brand new Leeds Online site has been making waves this week. John Baron reports on the upcoming Question Time event to be held on April 30th, giving Leeds residents the chance to discuss and debate the role of an elected city mayor, ahead of the May 3rd referendum on the issue.

All week the Yorkshire Evening Post has been getting to grips with the plight of the jobless across our region. This comes in the same week that a Falklands and Gulf War veteran sleeping in a tent in a friend’s garden in Pudsey has finally been told he is able to claim benefits to help him find work. This was after he was initially told he didn’t qualify because he failed the Department for Work and Pensions’s Habitual Residence Test.

Janice Gwilliam continues to share her experiences volunteering in Leeds for Guardian Northerner.

South Leeds Life has more details on the Community First programme, offering local community groups pots of money to develop their projects.

The Corn Exchange plays host to Culture Vulture’s latest Friday picnic this lunchtime. John Atkinson writes however that if you want true northern culture this weekend, then it’s time to go watch the rugby league, with a cracking homage to the age-old god-like sport.

If you’re looking for somewhere to go and visit this weekend, where better than the Leeds Gallery at Munro House, where the crowds are flocking for the much-acclaimed Leeds Through A Lens exhibition. An eclectic array of shots telling the stories of our city: my favourite though has to be Ricky Adam’s ‘Kebab Shop Kiss’!

And finally knowing the many great bibliophiles who follow our ‘umble blog, you will of course know full week that next Monday marks World Book Night! If anyone has any special events they’d like us to push on Monday, then do get in touch. Tweet us as ever @beyondgdnleeds

So until next week, have a good one!

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