Leeds Today: reminder about bins, photo comp, broadband cash, Jupitus and Merry Xmas!

Morning! And welcome to the last BGL of 2011! It’s been something else, hasn’t it? 7 months of non-stop daily news and events posting, and here we are, ready for a bit of a break.

So, for the last time this year, here’s what is in the news today.

Next year Hull will open the UK’s first urban wind farm, reports the Hull Daily Mail. Urban wind turbines are nothing new, but 20 all in one spot? A fascinating strategy for the tech park out there to take. Leeds is, of course, very windy indeed – perhaps we could get some of the new-design turbines set up in particularly gusty spots, like next to Bridgewater Place?

The YEP has some great stories today; first up – Phill Jupitus sings carols with Occupy Leeds yesterday! This article contains video footage too! 12 Days of Tax Avoidance is a bit of a catchy number.

Also in the YEP is news that £15m redevelopment money being spent around the site of the casino on Merrion way – close to the Arena build – is expected to get the nod today by the council planning dept. The casino will get an extension, some flats will be redeveloped and three new restaurants will be built along with some money going towards public transport (although at less than £40k, this money isn’t enough to pay for a single bus running down Merrion Way for any more than three months).

Alas, Teley’s has started to be flattened. Sad to see piles of rubble on that site.

Finally from the YEP, which this week is running a series of stories about money and debt amongst the elderly, is the frankly brilliant tale of Anjie Cawthra, a debt management officer for Leeds Older People’s Forum. Anjie works with the over 60s who get into financial difficulty and does a brilliant job in protecting this vulnerable section of the community; her stories of doorstop lenders are well worth reading and will make your blood boil.

In the Yorkshire Post is news that Leeds is in the running for a share of £100m to sort out broadband connectivity, which is quite nice except I expect it’ll end up in the hands of Virgin or BT, who could start claiming that the “hard to reach areas” include housing estates and Moortown. I can think of much better things to do with that money than subsidise cable laying companies that were pretty much going to do the work anyway.

The Leeds Citizen Panel – which we have featured on BGL several times – is picking more momentum. More than 2000 people have signed up, according to About My Area. There are calls to have even more people sign up, though – there’s plenty of seats to fill here. Have your say in how your city and services are run!

Looking out of the window I can see people didn’t hear about the changes to bin collection this week. Many of the people in my street are tech-poor and don’t read notices like this in the paper, and things weren’t helped by a letter last week telling everybody off for leaving their bins out on non-collection days, without the accompanying “oh, by the way, next week the bin days will change because of the holidays” leaflet that would have added a whole 4p to the cost of sending out each letter. Joined up thinking, LCC, please! If you notice people are putting their bins out on the wrong day then why not take the opportunity to say hello to your neighbours and let them know what the days are next week; if you’ve never met the people in your street before then this is a good opportunity to do so!

South Leeds Life have put together a set of links about the most interesting blogs in the city! We feature in there, which is nice, as well as many of the people who grace these pages from time to time. Worth looking at, to perhaps find some new blogs you weren’t aware of.

The BGL alt photo comp has come to an end. I’d like to thank everybody who entered; hopefully we can make this an annual thing (and maybe sort out prizes for next year? Sponsorship?) but for the inaugural we had 25 photos of exceptional quality submitted and in the opinion of the editor, here’s the top three, which were really hard to choose given just how good the photos were.

In third place:
garnets ready for the bulldozer 16 sep 2011
By the Leeds Citizen; the garnets ready for bulldozing. That site now is such a strange place.

In second:
On Leeds Streets
By Russ Dixon; On Leeds Streets.

The winner:
Tin Pan Drummer
By Mark Neesom; Tin Pan Drummer.

Many thanks to all who entered and spread the word about the competition, and next year it’ll be bigger and better.

And so it just remains for me to say thank you to everybody who has contributed to the blog, those of you who submitted stories, the guest post writers, Alison Neale, and of course our lovely staffers, Elly Snare, Mark O’Brien, John Baron and Kirsty Ware, and to you, the reader, for reading, commenting, and telling other people about us… have a lovely Christmas, break, holiday, hogmanay, whatever it is you’re doing or celebrating over the next two weeks, and we’ll see you back bright and breezy on Jan 4th. Merry Christmas.

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