Leeds today: hearts, roads, hubs, radishes, picnics and splashes

Hello hello!

The children’s heart unit at the LGI – under threat of closure – received a boost at the start of the week as another hospital managed to get their closure put on hold. The BBC reports that The Royal Brompton won a judicial review after the whole consultation exercise was deemed ‘unlawful’. Campaigners from Leeds Save Our Heart Surgery Unit seemed cautiously optimistic, but little can be done now until the review is over. Fingers crossed.

Today sees the funeral of Sir Jimmy Saville. West Yorkshire Police have closed several roads in the city centre – they have also published the details. If you’re reading this before work, then check your route in hasn’t been affected! Martin Wainwright attended the “lying in state” of Sir Jim, and has written about the experience for the Guardian.

Speaking of roads, the £3M project to sort out a crossroads in South Leeds has finally ended (YEP). The junction, which joins Beeston Ring Road to Dewsbury Road, has thousands of schoolkids crossing it every day and efforts to improve safety have meant serious changes to the junction, including a safer route for cyclists.

Also in the YEP, apparently LCC is going to replace the giant screen in Millennium Square. All well and good, except it’s not like going to Tinsdale Telly and picking up a new flat screen. Replacing the screen (which is a bit flakey) is going to cost £290,000. LCC are hoping that sponsorship and other private sector funding will pay for the work, which should be completed in time for the Olympics.

Plans to convert Royal Park Primary School into a community hub have been dashed, as the Royal Park Community Consortium failed to reach the fundraising targets. Not only that, they’ve been left with £16k in professional fees to pay for plans of work as lottery and ERDF funding fell through. Apparently Royal Park is “too prosperous” to attract ERDF money, which shows exactly how many people who work for the ERDF actually go and visit sites. Read the story in the YEP, it’ll make you cross for whole loads of different reasons.

Two stories from South Leeds Life now. The Skelton Grange Environment Centre had an autumn harvest celebration recently and SLL have written up the day, along with more details on SGEC’s projects:

The celebration day was an opportunity to harvest many of the vegetables that had been planted and tended to throughout the year. These were then cooked with fresh garden herbs in a pot over an open fire, making a healthy and delicious stew accompanied by fresh corn on the cob.

Sounds like fun.

Secondly, the SPLASH demonstration on Saturday seemed to go well. SPLASH, who hope to reopen South Leeds pool and sports centre, held a well-attended demo outside the pool, which is gently crumbling away since closure last year. Apparently the nearby Greenhouse is involved in negotiations to refurbish the pool, but other plans are also afoot.

Culture Vulture is organising Friday afternoon picnics. It may not seem like the time of year for a picnic but they will be held indoors! This seems like a nice idea to drop in, say hello to folks, and munch your lunch with people you don’t often see – as well as talk about projects and the like to people who can make stuff happen. First one is on Friday 18th. I think many of BGL’s staff will be there.

This coming Saturday sees the final of the Ovation New Writing competition to find a new generation of playwrights, at the Square Chapel in Halifax. 12 short plays will be shown over the evening, selected from over a “staggering” number of entrants. Several local writers are in the running on Saturday, including sometime Culture Vulture contributor (and better half of BGL’s editor) Sarah Wallis, and people attending will also get to see Mike perform his adult acting debut. If you’re about then please show your support.

That’s it for today! As ever, please get in touch if you have any news and views you’d like us to feature. See you tomorrow!

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