Leeds today: Galas, arts funding, black magic and Create

Residents in North East Leeds are being warned about ‘Black Magic Faith Healers’ by Police. Two men are claiming to lift black magic influences on people’s homes and demanding money for doing so. Inspector Matthew Davison, who leads the Chapel Allerton Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:

“The tactics employed by these men are concerning given the targeted way they appear to be approaching local Asian families and the pressure they are then placing on them.”

If you have been affected by this please get in touch with the Police.

The Wharfdale Observer reports that since the demise of Southern Cross the closure of the Ward 1 at Wharfdale Hospital should be cancelled, say campaigners. The ward, that took care of long-term elderly patients, should have been closed at the end of the month but was actually wound down last week, three weeks earlier than expected. Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland has written to Leeds NHS trust requesting that they re-open the ward as an intermediary solution to the closure of the care homes provider.

Two students who drank pure ethanol when it was added to their drink as a ‘prank’ were taken to hospital, reports the YEP. Other students had spiked their drinks which made them very ill indeed. This sort of behaviour is why science classes are being reduced and turned into a pale parody of what science should be all about. This isn’t the fault of the teacher or the school, or the curriculum or anything to do with how dangerous ethanol is, but irresponsible behaviour by students who know how dangerous things are and choose to ignore the rules regardless.

Also in the YEP: the BBC4 adaptation of John Braine’s Room at the Top is still in limbo over a rights issue. The gritty tale of Yorkshire was filmed in many Leeds locations, but shortly before the original broadcast date in April a third party claimed ownership of the story and the dispute has still not been settled.

As reported earlier in the week the Beverleys in Beeston will start to be rebuilt today. Blogger The Leeds Citizen offers an alternative breakdown of the maths involved and asks whether the right approach has been taken.

The Yorkshire Post takes a look at how Yorkshire cultural institutions are faring in the wake of arts funding cuts. Apparently funding for events is coming from the business sector, but times are still tough. Nigel Walsh, curator at Leeds Art Gallery said:

“I don’t think we’ll ever have a situation like it is in the States where essentially everything is funded through philanthropy. Here the commercial sponsors don’t want to be the meat and two veg – they want to be the icing on the top of the cake. They want to come in to make an already successful organisation more successful.”

So, the small orgs who may become great one day are still in dire straits.

A top chef from Harvey Nicks will be heading up the team at new restaurant Create, which opens in a couple of weeks. A new restaurant opening isn’t earth shattering news, but this is something different; Create is a foundation that is all about training people who have been pushed to the edges or ignored by society.

We develop innovative training and create jobs for people who have been homeless, marginalised or vulnerable. We offer a future to people who want a hand up, not a handout. Every penny we make goes into training opportunities, work experience and jobs that make a real difference in people’s lives.

This is a fantastic thing. Helping people find their feet is the sort of social enterprise we would love to support and BGL looks forwards to dropping in to see what’s what.

This weekend sees the usual panoply of events happening in and around Leeds! Galas seem to be the big thing at the moment; the Hunslet Club is having their annual Summer Gala, with dancing, BBQ, and kids and adults alike getting stuck into some of the activities the Club puts on, from noon on Saturday.

Not only that, though; Holbeck is having their annual gala too! From 12-4 Holbeck Moor will see face painting, music, stalls, a parade and regular performances from the Lynbar Majorettes and local artists. Holbeck has changed a lot over the last 12 months – it’s flatter, for a start – and it’s nice to see that the gala is still going on.

The On The Edge festival is also on over the whole weekend, starting tonight with a gig at Temple Works. And if you’re thinking about heading up to Roundhay Park to take advantage of the weather don’t forget the Flutag is happening. This will cause quite a bit of traffic chaos around that area (and don’t forget the inner ring road work going on!) so be careful.

And that’s it for this week! Thanks to everybody who sent in ideas, stories and links for us – we read everything you send us so if we didn’t feature it, please don’t be put off from submitting again. Remember you can always email, tweet or collar us to tell us things. Have a great weekend and we’ll see you on Monday!

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