Leeds today: cricket, scrapyard art, swimming, heart unit and making a great city.

The Children’s Heart Foundation (CHF) have raised concerns over the LGI’s children’s heart unit, which is under threat of closure, reports the Harrogate News. The concerns, which do not seem to be adequately detailed, come at a critical time for the LGI as provision of children’s cardiac care is under scrutiny across the UK. Three independent reports have praised the unit but the CHF is acting on information received from different sources including the Safe and Sustainable programme. This programme is the one that will close units such as the one at the LGI and the timing of this does make my inner conspiracy theorist sit up and take notice. Maggie Boyle, Chief Exec of Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, said:

“We are not sure why [CHF are] continuing to repeat unfounded allegations since, as a member of the Safe and Sustainable Review process, [they] will be aware of the outcome of these reviews. If [they have] new or different information which have led to these concerns being raised with the Care Quality Commission it is extremely remiss that [they] has not provided that information to the Trust in order that we can investigate it. We are very surprised at the approach which has been taken by the Chief Executive of the Children’s Heart Federation and our Chairman is urgently pursuing a conversation with the Chair of the charity.”

We await developments with interest.

Some stories all from the YEP now.

One of the oldest Youth organisations in the region, the Hunslet Club, have built a work of art from old cars (pictured left) as part of a vocational skills course. The course tutor, Wayne Long, said

“We are not sure whether you would call this a piece of engineering or art. If any art galleries in the city want to get in touch with us about displaying it for a while then we might find our answer.”

Five metal statues have been installed on Bond St, to celebrate the city’s tailoring heritage. Artist Linda Schwab said:

“The sculptures reflect the engineering ingenuity and craft skills of Leeds tailors by exploring positive and negative shapes of pattern cutting and quality detailing such as exquisite silk linings.”

Demonstrators at the site of South Leeds Sports Centre hoped to shame the council into re-opening the centre that closed last year. The demo on Monday was to highlight the closure in an already deprived area where youth disaffection is already very high. It was envisaged that people would go to the John Charles centre or the newly re-opened Morley sports centre, but people who live in the area can’t always afford the bus fare or extra time to get to those sites.

The Guardian has a nice story on the Yorkshire Sculpture Park restoration project. The newly-opened gardens contain two lakes previously unknown to the public as well as grottoes, woodlands, and hidden paths. The landscape artist who restored the grounds, Patrick James, was astonished to find the grounds still conformed to the original plans although “in a pretty ruinous state”. BGL will be having a good poke around the grounds in the near future.

Can we make Leeds the best city in the UK? That is the challenge being put down by LCC Chief Exec Tom Riordan and being taken up by social innovator Mike Chitty. The question is, of course, what do we mean by “best”? BGL is keen to know how you think Leeds could be made the best.

There are three events going on today in South Leeds that we’d like to highlight. South Leeds Life says that Cottingley Towers is hosting a health event, and Holbeck’s The Bridge is having its first birthday where “there will be photographic displays, workshops and demonstrations in arts and crafts, screen printing, baking, light lunch and musical entertainment from the group’s customers and band The Outsiders”. The Bridge is a great resource that supports people with learning difficulties who used to attend Moor End in Hunslet.

The third event (also on South Leeds Life) is an inter-faith, intergenerational cricket tournament in Cross Flatts Park. This is great way of getting different sections of the community to interact and hopefully will be well attended.

Sport is a great social leveller, as told by the tale of Cec Thompson, a Leeds lad who was a celebrated black rugby star at a time of incredibly harsh social inequality. Thompson wrote:

“Little did I know that rugby league would bail me out of a bottomless pit.” He described how his memories of being treated as a second-class citizen spurred him on to succeed. He recalled that people would not sit next to him at the cinema or on the bus – yet he said no Hunslet player made mention of his colour and the team were “like siblings” to him.

Cec died on July 19th.

Finally, something that is nothing to do with Leeds: Liverpool is naming a street after Pete Best, who is sometimes referred to as “the second most forgotten Beatle”. BGL hopes one day to discover Ricky Wilson Avenue in the backstreets of Kirkstall. Maybe David Gedge Street just off Brudenell Road, with Andrew Eldritch Close being a nice, leafy cul-de-sac in Chapel A. Any town planners reading this? You know it makes sense.

That’s it for today from me, but look out for a Guest Post from Simon on the Streets later on! As ever if you want to get in touch, tweet or email – we read everything you send!

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One Response to Leeds today: cricket, scrapyard art, swimming, heart unit and making a great city.

  1. j says:

    Andrew Elditch close needs to be down by the canal 🙂

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