Leeds today: commerce, allotments, baths, leakage, future, lights, Tolkein, and Love Arts

Morning! Elly is on a train, so Mike is doing today’s roundup.

One of the more interesting politics stories doing the rounds at the moment is the mini coup d’etat that it appears the Chamber of Commerce tried to get away with; the Leeds Citizen has the skinny, the first of which is “Chamber of Commerce Chiefs Summoned by Leeds Council to Explain Recent Behaviour“. Move forwards from there; a tale of development, roads, housing and announcing something without telling LCC when really they should have. It also highlights something about contractual details that get trumpeted in the press, for example funding a new road when profits from the site exceed n million, when because of servicing debt, consultancy fees and directorial salaries are taken into account the point at which profits exceed n million will be close to the Big Crunch.

In slightly more real-world news, the YEP has the news that without LCC adopting them, Victoria Road Allotments could be sold off. The Rawdon allotments, which have been in use since 1908 are on a privately owned site that has been leased to LCC; the owner is now selling the 3.7 acre site off with very little warning to the plotholders, some of whom have been there for over 40 years. LCC has a very short timeframe to arrange the purchase, too; the expression of interest deadline is Oct 28th, but the Asset Management Board doesn’t meet until November 2nd.

Also on the YEP, a group of young filmmakers in West Leeds have put together a campaign video for the save Bramley Baths campaign. The video, which features interviews from users of the Baths, will form part of a bid to make the Baths a community resource:

Newly formed group the Friends of Bramley Baths is putting together a business plan to turn the facility – which is almost 100 years old – into a BenCom, a community benefit society with locals able to buy shares and run it themselves.

We wish them every success.

Talking of water, the BBC has news that Yorkshire Water is failing to meet it’s leakage targets. Ofwat reported that Yorkshire Water had lost 395 million litres of water per day (apparently, losing 297 million litres would have been acceptable). Yorkshire Water have begun a £39m programme of repairs and infrastructure investment and are beginning to see the results of this spend:

“Since November last year, we have been carrying out a £39m programme of investment to increase the robustness of our pipes, with the good news being that leakage on our network has already been significantly reduced,” it said. “Indeed, so far this month we’ve recorded our lowest ever leakage levels in the company’s history.”

Could you imagine a Leeds without cars? Researchers at the University of Leeds have been putting together three visions of the future of cities, none of which really involve the levels of car use we see today. This sort of thinking will go towards helping city developers move towards a better use of resources in the future. Here’s a hint from me, though: sort out the public transport infrastructure. Stop thinking that bus routes are simply piggybanks.

Over in York their version of Light Night has kicked off with three days of illuminating events across the city. Lighting up buildings, along with some of the same sort of arts projects Leeds had, will make the city a more interesting place in the evenings.

Back in Leeds, Exploring Leeds has unearthed the news that finally, JRR Tolkien is getting a blue plaque to celebrate the time he spent here. Tolkien spent five years here as the youngest Prof the University had, until he was offered a post he couldn’t refuse at Oxford.

The Love Arts festival is moving into the Market! A programme of events over the end of October and much of November are well underway, and it’s a great place to find out more about what Love Arts is hoping to achieve.

The Cornucopia event has started to attract blogs and photos; Jo Blogs has written up her morning, as has Come Dine with Rach and Food & Biscuits. In fact, the Cornucopia website has been updated with a list of many of the blogs that have been written since.

Earlier in the week Culture Vultures arranged a trip to the 1875 Restaurant in Menston. BGL went along, as did many other local bloggers and tweeters.
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So far we’ve had blogs from Penny Bronchia and Evies Gran.

Finally today, Otley Courthouse has a great selection of things coming up, in particular showings of Dracula Vs Frankenstein next Sunday and Monday, just in time for Halloween! Spooksome!

That’s it for today, then. Tomorrow Mark will be back with his listings of what’s coming up over the weekend and Mike will be back on Monday! As always, get in touch if you have a story to tell; we’re not scary, and we don’t bite.

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