Leeds today: football charges, M62 plans, Tetley’s brewery, redevelopment, and the weekend’s highlights

Morning Leeds!

Mark O’Brien here again today. I was going to try and maintain yesterday’s high literary standard and entitle this post something like “trouble, traffic, Tetley’s, and terrible efforts at alliteration”, but there’s just too much going on through the weekend to do justice to it all.

Following on from yesterday morning’s top story here on BGL, fourteen men are to appear in court after trouble flared at Elland Road when Manchester United came to play Leeds on Tuesday night. The men, aged between 19 and 58, will appear before magistrates in Leeds between October 4th and 6th. I was there on Tuesday evening and saw some of the trouble kicking off before the match from outside The Peacock; no point adding to the sniffing chorus of reproval that has been singing in the aftermath – but scenes like those really aren’t good for the sport, for the area, and for the thirty-plus-thousand who turned out just to support their local club on a cool September evening.

Plans to cut congestion and improve safety on the M62 will be on show to the public at Cleckheaton Library this weekend. Thanks to this £150m scheme, the hard shoulder will be opened to traffic and variable speed limits enforced on the stretch of the motorway between junction 25 at Brighouse and junction 30 at Rothwell.

More on plans to renovate the former Tetley’s Brewery from the BBC. Plans were on display at Tetley’s House yesterday for a modern art gallery and exhibition space for contemporary artists. Interesting discussions abound, particularly on My Life in Leeds. The public consultation goes on.

More than a thousand people in Calderdale have responded to another consultation – this time over the future of Halifax’s magisterial Grade I-listed Piece Hall, which is in the running for a £6.7m Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

On to the local newspapers and blogs this morning, and South Leeds Life reports that the South Leeds Sports Centre could be set to be re-opened, with interest from the people behind Beeston’s Greenhouse development.

Elsewhere on the site, the Cottingley Closer Communities project begins today, as the Holbeck Neighbourhood Policing Team and partners in the local area come together to tackle crime, grime and quality-of-life issues affecting the estate.

The Ilkley Gazette reports that more than 3,000 new houses are needed in the surrounding area as part of Bradford Council’s development strategy. Ilkley and Wharfedale councillors have already spoken out; knowing the record of successive Bradford councils on local development, you can hardly blame them.

Added irony as this comes in the same week that York councillors consider plans to confront the lack of affordable housing in the city by taking legal action against owners of property which is left vacant and in decay. Perhaps the folks in Bradford need to get on the blower and have a word… (By the way, someone commented the other day, asking why we mentioned York on a site about Leeds. In case anyone reads this and asks me, all I’ll say is we’re less than an hour’s commute away, my bus into town goes all the way along York Road, about two dozen full trains bring workers from York to Leeds every morning, and we live in West *York*shire – so I’d say York has quite a lot to do with Leeds.)

Elsewhere, plans from the Ilkley Pool Group have been unveiled to demolish and rebuild the town’s indoor swimming pool.

And finally, we wish one young lad very well this weekend: Batley and Birstall News reports on Mark Firth, aged 11, who’ll be taking part in the Junior Great North Run in Newcastle tomorrow raising money for cancer research and for disabled children in sport, all in memory of his uncle who passed away last September. We’re sure Mark and all the other youngsters from our region in Newcastle tomorrow will do us all proud!

Now for what’s coming up this weekend, and first if you were crawling home from the pub last night only to be confronted by a herd of zombies, then you don’t need to worry about laying off the lager. Last night saw the start of the latest “zombie chase game” 2.8 Days Later right in the heart of Leeds. You can find out more online (“if you dare, muhahaha…” and so on).

Previews of this season’s King Lear at the Playhouse begin in the Quarry Theatre tonight. You’ll have seen this advertised all over Leeds already, I’m sure; it just gives me an excuse to try out an old line (courtesy of The Simpsons): “How d’you make a King Lear…? Put the Queen in a bikini!!” (I’ll get my coat.)

Coming up next week of course is the sponsored sleep-out organised by Leeds-based homeless charity Simon on the Streets. I met Helen from the charity earlier this week, and looked at their powerful street art campaign for The Culture Vulture. (Be sure to check out the account of the new Duke Studio in Leeds’s Cultural Quarter on the site this morning, as well as our Elly’s visit to the Kath Libbert jewellery gallery.)

It’s time for the second World Curry Festival here in Leeds this weekend: more here.

Residents of the Cardigan Triangle open up their homes to pay host to twenty-one artists and their works on Sunday afternoon.

In Boston Spa meanwhile, artists and photographers from the wider area will be exhibiting their work in the village hall on Sunday morning.

And as part of the Leeds Independent Presses Poetry Festival at the Carriageworks (“LIPPfest” rolls off the tongue with rather more ease), Leeds Salon launches an autumn season beginning with a discussion on the challenges for the arts in public policy debates which concentrate on socio-economic standards of value.

That’s it from me. We’ll be back on Monday to see what the new week brings, but until then enjoy your weekend. You deserve it!

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