Leeds today: torch, train, LEPs, blocks, library, tornado, and honk.

Morning! We hope you all had a lovely weekend with fireworks, cinder toffee and hot mulled cider.

The Olympic Torch will pass through the Victoria Quarter, reports the BBC. Over three days in June next year the torch will be in the area, visiting 25 sites including Boston Spa, Wetherby and Harewood before coming to Leeds on the 24th. I hope the usual rules about no open flames indoors will be waived as it goes through the arcade; the security at the VQ are very polite but can loom startlingly if necessary.

After many, many years of debate the final nod for the Leeds-Bradford Airport rail link could happen next spring, reports the YEP. Note that this is “getting the go-ahead”, not “actually starting work”. The Transport secretary needs to say yes, although given former transport ministries attitude to spending money on any infrastructure improvements in Yorkshire always seemed to be “yes, until we need to spend a lot of money, then we’ll be in recession” I’m not holding my breath for this much needed rail link to be started.

The BBC has a story on public money being given to private developers to get stalled housing and commercial projects off the ground. Sorry! What I meant to say there was £500M is being shared out between Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), with £23.9M going to Leeds, with the aim of getting link roads and flood defences built and land “decontaminated” so that new housing stock can be built on it. That sounds pleasant, doesn’t it?

The Rochdale Observer notes that a driver from Leeds failed to notice a rolling road block put in place by Greater Manchester Police on the M62, who then passed the police cars and headed straight for their colleagues who were trying to deal with a traffic collision a little further ahead. One can only imagine the driver muttering to himself about road hogs.

Drighlington Library was one of those spared the axe this summer as part of LCC’s library closure programme, as long as the library could be taken over by the local community. The YEP reports that a major push is underway to recruit volunteers to keep the library open, with meetings on the 17th & 19th November. Please, if you live in that area and would hate to see your library close, then try to make it to one of those meetings.

This week sees arts group Golau Glau have an event at Test Space, with a launch party in the space on the 10th. The Public Space work, about the closure of libraries, is a new installation from the group who we have featured before in the unfortunate Beacons Festival flooding and cancellation. We look forwards to seeing and hearing this new piece of work.

Speaking of arts events, Shine in Harehills is playing host to the launch of “Mad as a Bad Tornado” on Nov 14th. This is a zine, made by 12 artists, to celebrate the work of Henry Darger. Darger was a diarist and artist who only became known after his death, and the ‘zine will hopefully bring this character to life.

Fancy a quick trip over to York? Upstage youth theatre are putting on a production of HONK! The Musical. The tale of the Ugly Duckling could be a bit of fun for those wanting to get the winter musical theatre season off to a flying start (pardon the pun). HONK! starts on Wednesday 7th Dec, final performance on Saturday 10th.

Regularly-featured social enterprise consultant Mike Chitty is starting to gather people for his “Bottom up is the New Black” event in December. Mr C does a good line in “how to make your enterprise work properly” with a socially responsible viewpoint and this will be no exception.

And that’s it for today! Elly will be back tomorrow but from me, it’s cheerio. Don’t forget, if you have anything you’d like us to feature then please get in touch via twitter (@BeyondGdnLeeds) or email (beyondgdnleeds@gmail.com), or whatever other means you have to hand.

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