Leeds today: updates, hotel rates, Beeston housing, student waste, hyperlocal TV, and weekend highlights

Morning all. It’s Mark O’Brien (@mw_obrien) here again, rounding up the news from across Leeds today and looking ahead to the weekend.

First an update on some of the stories making the national news.

The young couple who fell to their deaths from the window of their 12th-storey flat in Wortley in the small hours of Wednesday morning have been named by police. Residents say it is the latest in a string of suicide attempts at the Clyde Court block.

In Temple Newsam meanwhile, a murder inquiry is under way following the discovery on Wednesday morning of the body of Jason Hall, 36 at the junction of Temple Newsam View and Temple Newsam View. A 38-year old man has been arrested for questioning.

Guests at Leeds hotels have seen room rates rise by two per cent in the first half of 2011, according to a survey by the corporate service company HRG. Other cities such as Manchester and Bristol have seen similar rises, whilst the rate for a room in hotels near Heathrow increased by as much as 6%.

South Leeds Life has been exploring some of the new affordable housing under construction in Beeston, with images showing the Beverleys site off Lady Pit Lane where fifty-five new homes are being built, replacing five terraces long left in poor condition.

Seven hundred tonnes of “student waste” have been cleared from Hyde Park by Leeds City Council as part of their summer clean-up in the area. The clean-up was organised by the Hyde Park Board, established in January this year to bring together residents and students to improve the quality of the local environment. However as students return to university in the coming weeks, councillors acknowledge that more has to be done by the student body and locals alike.

Police have reported that this year’s Leeds Festival saw a drop in reported crime rates: 107 crimes were reported this year from crowds which reached over 70,000 – down from 123 at the 2010 Festival. Meanwhile if you missed out on the action, you’ll be glad to know that early-bird tickets for the 2012 Leeds Festival are already on sale.

More exciting times ahead for hyperlocal and alternative media around our region, as North Leeds News announces plans to launch a YouTube channel. They are looking for budding presenters to get involved and report from across the area.

And now a few things to get you in the mood for the weekend…

The weekend sees the culmination of the Chapel Allerton Arts Festival, with live music and fun for all the family.

Elsewhere in Chapel Allerton, The Rookery (home of Leeds Mencap) is hosting its annual fundraising summer fayre on Saturday afternoon.

It’s Creative Calverley again tomorrow (Saturday) at the Thornhill Arms, with a “makers fair” giving local producers (including budding new start-ups) the chance to show off and sell a rich array of gifts and food.

An evening of fantasy-inspired music comes from amid the beautiful illuminated setting of the ruins at Kirkstall Abbey on Saturday as the Northern Ballet Sinfonia’s Classical Fantasia returns, now in its sixteenth year.

Finally, the Morley Literature Festival is looking for a volunteer to work on the festival’s community writing project, building and sharing the story of the area with the world. Even if you’re not a writer but simply want to get involved in a valuable community project, this is a great opportunity worth taking a look at.

And that’s all from me for now. It’s been a joy and an honour to report for you over the last two weeks. But regulars can rest easy knowing that Mike will be back as usual on Monday after a well-deserved holiday. So from me, it’s not goodbye – just au revoir.

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