Leeds today: fish, Bramley Baths, trains and tiny radio stations.

A half-million signature petition was taken to Downing Street yesterday protesting the planned closure of the children’s heart unit at the LGI, reports the Yorkshire Post. The petition was delivered to No. 10 by parents, children, doctors and MP Stuart Andrew in an ambulance.

Leeds City Council have spent £75000 removing concrete that had been poured down a sewer in Pudsey, reports the YEP. Presumably dumped by flytippers, the resulting floods in people’s homes have caused chaos and misery. Flytipping is a problem in Leeds that often goes unnoticed, but this is a level of social irresponsibility that goes beyond flytipping into deliberate and wanton vandalism.

In other environmental news, the BBC says that the Environment Agency are investigating how fish could navigate the Dark Arches. Salmon and sea trout are often seen close to the city at Knostrup but never upstream of the train station, and fish experts would like to know why. Fisheries officer Pete Turner said:

“We’ve never been under the dark arches before, so we’re excited to get a glimpse of the engineering feat that is the underbelly of Leeds Train Station.”

The details of the new High Speed Rail Link project are starting to become public; the Yorkshire Post reports that experts are warning that “Parkway” stations, such as the one that is proposed to serve all of South Yorkshire, don’t work and that a city centre station for the link is a considerably better idea.

The Woolgather pop-up art shop has been examined as part of an article about using empty retail and office spaces as art workshops, studios, performance spaces and galleries. East Street Arts’ Ken Stratford explains:

“The premises are being used for public benefit, we’re brightening up areas that are standing empty and helping to change the image, and we get the resource that we can give artists to use”

The occupation is completely legal and good for landlords as businesses get 80% off their business rates if they let to charities. East Street Arts has an event going on all week in Chapeltown which BGL has mentioned once or twice before; it’s well worth popping down to take a look at what’s going on. Yesterday saw the world’s smallest pirate radio station, for example.

Last week saw a public meeting about the future of Bramley Baths, chaired by Leeds West MP Rachel Reeves; the report of this is now up on her blog. It seems that a community owned approach may be a solution, however it is vitally important that it isn’t totally loaded with debt before it even gets off the ground; South Leeds Sports Centre underwent a similar approach last year which failed due to many factors falling numbers, insufficient marketing and a need to keep up with high outgoings.

My Life in Leeds’ Darren Cronian has explained some of the reasons he loves living in Leeds. Keep your head up, he says:

Rather than walking around with my head to the ground, I have started to look up at the buildings around me; it is amazing what you discover, and while I am not a fan of the fancy new apartments and offices springing up around the city, Leeds does has a mix of different styles of architecture.

Have you ever been stuck out in Leeds and need a Wifi signal that’s free or the cost of a cuppa? Katie Buffalo decided to put together Wifi In Leeds, an interactive map showing the different Wifi hotspots around the city. This is a very useful tool for visitors and locals alike and shows some great places to grab a coffee and check your email.

As ever, if you have something to say then please get in touch; email or twitter is the best way, but if you see us on the street and want to talk then that’s fine too. See you tomorrow, where we talk donkeys and garden fetes.

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