Leeds today: fares, splash, church, crypt, food, guinea pigs and Dragons.

恭喜发财! (Or, Gung hei fat choi!) Happy new year, if you’re Chinese – if not, then Happy Monday! But, today is the first day of the year of the Dragon; Leeds’ Chinese community were out yesterday celebrating the new year as well as gearing up for the arrival of the Chinese olympic team (BBC). The Town Hall was the scene of dragon dancing and other festivities and we can be assured of similar when the team arrives a little later in the year.

According to the BBC a firm of Lancashire bus makers are moving over the pennines. Optare, who currently build in Blackburn, are planning a move to Sherburn. We’re all well used to seeing Optares on the road, now we can feel proud that they were at least partially built in God’s Own County.

The Yorkshire Post reports that ASDA have announced plans to create 5,000 new jobs across the country in a massive expansion. Half of the jobs it created last year went to young people, who are particularly finding it difficult to get jobs. It is expected that many of these new jobs will be going to young adults.

Leeds MathsJam is part of a national event that happens simultaneously in locations all over the country and internationally as far as Australia and the USA. It’s a group for maths enthusiasts of all levels and abilities to come together to talk about things they’re finding interesting – games, puzzles, problems, anything! The next Leeds meeting takes place at Dock Street Market on 24th January from 7pm onwards. More details from @LeedsMathsJam or the MathsJam website.

The Bronte church (also known as St Michael and All Angels, but nobody calls it that) in Haworth is in urgent need of repair, and the BBC is reporting that the bill has risen by up to £50,000. The church had secured enough funding independently to get a grant from English Heritage, but the costs were projected upwards after the expected total had been reached.

Speaking of funding, a Leeds resident has applied for funding to build her own guinea pig hospital in her garden in Bramley (YEP). Helen Broadhead set up the sanctuary for sick and abandoned guinea pigs last February but now needs her shed to be a bit more secure and properly lit and heated. Over the last year she has successfully rehomed 150 guinea pigs.

(YEP) High Street chain Republic has donated 360 woollen coats to St George’s Crypt for the benefit of homeless people. The Crypt not only gave coats to its regular visitors but also passed some on to Simon on the Streets and Emmaus.

Former Westminster staffer Ed Jacobs takes a look at the usefulness of local press vs the national press in the Guardian Northerner:

The Yorkshire Post, too, has used to good effect it’s ‘Give us a fair deal’ campaign to pursue the needs of the north relentlessly. […] The list could go on, but the point is that these campaigns were unlikely to ever have been picked up by the national press. They provide a unique service to their readers that needs to be cherished.

Worth reading.

The SPLASH campaign, to save South Leeds Sports Centre, is meeting tonight at 7pm in Hillside. South Leeds Life points out that “SPLASH is planning its own South Leeds Olympic Torch (SLOT) run through our area on 1 April”.

Darren over on My Life in Leeds highlights Glamourie at Project Space Leeds, who are intending to move into Tetley House from their home on Whitehall Lane later on this year.

Are you interested in street food? Over on Culture Vultures guest blogger Andrew Critchett writes about street food in Leeds and a networking event at the Holbeck Urban Ballroom tomorrow. Could you be tempted? BGL certainly is.

Speaking of food, Katie LeedsGrub reviews Rib Shakk at Anthony’s. I get the feeling K was more impressed at the coke floats on the menu than anything else.

Finally today, BGL is hoping the weather on Friday is pretty good. Why? Because there’s a “boycott buses” day being planned by the campaign group Better Buses (YEP), where people are being encouraged to walk, or find other methods of getting to work or college, and donate the money saved to charity. This worked really well last year and organisers are hoping that even more people will go along with it. The aim is not only to raise money for charity but to protest against the high rises in bus fares that Leeds commuters have to put up with.

And that’s it! Enjoy your Monday. As always, if there’s anything that you’d like us to tell people then please get in touch using the contact details above. Thanks for reading.

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