Leeds today: M&S, Kirkgate, archive treasure, smoke alarms and poverty.

Morning! Not quite so cold today. It’ll probably get colder again by the weekend, though.

An 86 year-old model who did her first assignment aged just 3 was back modelling vintage clothes from M&S chosen by students from Leeds University (YP). Mrs Crystal was back as part of an event run by the University where fashion students sourced vintage M&S clothing from Ebay, in the runup to the official opening of the new company archives building homed on the West Campus.

Following on from M&S it is then appropriate to turn to Kirkgate Market. The report on the future of Kirkgate Market, which BGL mentioned on Monday, has come under fire from councillors, traders in the market and members of the public. The YEP has details of the proposed changes – which involves demolishing two buildings – and comment, adding that the review board will be passing concerns upwards in LCC. Friends of Leeds Kirkgate Market has a more fervent piece, mentioning councillors who raised concerns about the report and what they said as well as pointing out that the proposed 99-year lease to the LLP is scarily reminiscent of the Corn Exchange.

The Harrogate Advertiser has details of this year’s Great Yorkshire Show. The Show is a great day out, but also plays an important part in the rural calendar. Events such as Ukrainian cossacks riding horses, the cheese awards, gundog training and of course the garden show all combine to make this huge event well worth attending.

Six months on from Poor Kids, and 1 in 5 children in West Yorkshire are still living in poverty. The Yorkshire Post article shows that the “worst affected areas in Leeds were Hyde Park and Woodhouse (46 per cent), Burmantofts and Richmond Hill (45) and Gipton and Harehills (42)”. Poverty is defined as if total household income including benefits is less than 60% of the national median (which works out at £18,960 today). Many families have far less than that. The cuts won’t help this situation one bit. Read this article, please.

So it is with interest that the Morley Observer reports on how property schemes in the area that were submitted with a required 25% affordable homes were resubmitted after March last year as LCC reduced the affordable homes tariff to 15%. Morley councillor Robert Finnigan thinks the exec board has it wrong, as developers build exec homes rather than affordable first-time-buyer properties (the latter being less profitable than the former).

Alas, the bulldozers are moving in to the Miggy Arms. The YEP has the story: the plans for the new Aldi have been approved and development will begin soon. The pub, which was to be demolished anyway as part of the Aldi build, was gutted by fire in December in a suspected arson attack.

Speaking of fire, last weekend firefighters in Leeds & Wakefield were called out to four incidents in 48 hours. (YEP) At three of the incidents the alarm was raised by smoke detectors in the home and people were able to escape in time. In the fourth a pensioner was overcome by smoke and had to be taken to hospital; there was no smoke alarm in the home. This is an important lesson: check your smoke alarm!

Leeds College of Art is having a drop-in day today, to get involved in a creative postcard project where you can make a message using drawings, stamps or text to be exhibited across Leeds in March 2012.

West Yorkshire Archive Service has opened up its collections to produce an exhibit going in Leeds Central Library next week; the “Treasures of the Archives” exhibition will see people able to vote for their favourite, including collections from Tetleys, Burtons and Yorkshire Cricket Club. The exhibit opens on the 26th. Looks interesting!

Finally today; would you like to get to grips with twitter and blogs, this whole “social media” thing? South Leeds Life has details on how to get involved with it all at a “social media surgery” in Holbeck later on today.

That’s it! See you tomorrow.

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