Leeds today: curry, Unity, BIFF, involvement, bus stops, weddings and puppies.

Morning! It’s going to be a busy week this week, so let’s get to it.

From the YEP: a PCSO tells animal rights campaigners that they’re a terrorist threat whilst being video’d. People protesting outside Dogs4Us at Bramley – a puppy breeding centre with a less than stellar track record – were stopped by the PCSO who threatened to confiscate the camera belonging to one demonstrator. WYP have since apologised to Ms Firth, and hopefully will train their PCSOs slightly better. The video is astonishing; you thought this sort of thing vanished in 2009, but no. For the record, BGL is a supporter of I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist.

Immigration officers have stopped about 70 weddings in a single month at Leeds Town Hall, as they had all the hallmarks of being “sham” marriages. They actually only burst in during two ceremonies, but whilst carrying out interviews of people getting married they think they prevented many more.

Is Leeds a “Twin-Track” city? That’s the question being asked by Mike Chitty after a meeting about South Leeds:

Closing down the bookies, off-licences and credit shops would be like excising chicken pox with a knife. Its just going to leave nasty scars and not deter the pox. The fast food outlets and the bookies did not make people poor and susceptible to an early death. They are there because people are poor and unhealthy!

Hm. A trial of QR codes on bus stops to find out when the next bus is due is being rolled out between the city centre and Adel. Passengers can scan the QR code and will get information about when the next bus is due at that stop. Fine, except you can already do the “text your bus stop number” thing (which seems underused as it is – does anybody have usage stats on that? We’d love to see them), there’s a timetable and there’s the rollout of digital signs and monitors on bus stops that’s been going on for a couple of years. Plus, this excludes anyone who doesn’t have a smartphone with a barcode reader application. Smacks of trying to fix a problem that doesn’t exist with a tech fix that doesn’t do anything particularly smart. Sort out the GPS trackers on the buses first, and then the back-end infrastructure so we get accurate ETAs on the monitors and text messages instead of times I could read off the published timetable, please.

Residents in Bramley are once again calling for the clear-up of the empty, derelict Q8 petrol station. LCC have been promising to get something done, and yet nothing has as yet.

The YEP also has a piece on Leeds Involving People, a project that represents disabled, elderly and socially disadvantaged communities to make sure they have their say on how services are run in the city. The group is asking for users of LCC services – individuals as well as groups – to fill out a questionnaire that will feed back into LCC to create “involvement standards”.

The Post has an article about our old friend Temple Works. Plans are afoot, as they usually are.

BIFF – Bradford International Film Festival – is sorting out its programme for this year’s event in April, and is planning a tribute to Chuck Jones, the legendary animator and director of the Bugs Bunny cartoons. Loving this.

A new top secret supperclub is opening in Beeston. Pen Coles went along to the preview evening at Masala Magic, in Beeston. Sounds good!

Also on CV is the review of the new exhibition at the Hepworth in Wakefield, their Spring Exhibition, featuring work by Heather and Ivan Morison, Ben Rivers, and David Thorpe.

Speaking of Wakefield, Unity Hall is issuing community shares in order to finish the project to turn it into a theatre, arts hub and gig venue. An interesting idea; does anybody buy into this sort of thing? Again, we’d like to see data!

Finally today, Holt Park Today has got hold of the half-term timetable from Holt Park Leisure Centre. Useful information, and suggests its worthwhile checking out what your local leisure centre has planned for the break.

That’s it! Thanks for reading and we’ll see you tomorrow!

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One Response to Leeds today: curry, Unity, BIFF, involvement, bus stops, weddings and puppies.

  1. Having QR codes on bus stops does nothing more than repackage technology already available to smartphone users. By typing the address: http://wypte.acislive.com/pip/stop_simulator.asp?naptan= followed by the bus stop number (say, 45019740 if you’re heading south from Yeadon Morrisons) you already get exactly the same service.
    I certainly agree with the author in that more money should be spent improving the back-end of the bus services with more reliable scheduling and improved tracking, and more options for bus users without smart phones!
    I can see why this is being implemented- after all, QR Codes are the current fad, extremely cheap to implement (just the cost of reprinting the bus timetable with that all-important black and white square). It provides the illusion that WY Metro are investing in the future and providing a new service. Not just repackaging what we already have and use!

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