Leeds today: hotels, podcasts, cinema, healthcare, Holbeck, Miggy and Girnhill.

Good morning! Today is going to be comparatively balmy – pretty sure I saw 10°C on Paul’s weather report last night for Leeds – so maybe you don’t need that second scarf today, mmm?

Something nice to start with; The Guardian Northerner’s John Baron has put together a slideshow of favourite photographs from the Northerner’s Flickr group. Some cracking shots there.

Members of staff from the DVLA at Leeds held protests yesterday lunchtime over proposals to close nearly all the regional offices of the agency. Apparently down to the need to save £28m, the closure will risk 1,200 jobs countrywide and effectively remove any face-to-face way of sorting out driving license issues.

Wakefield council has issued compulsory purchase orders on three homes on the Girnhill estate, reports the BBC. The estate, which is scheduled to be demolished, was built in the ’50s and is considered not fit for purpose. Thirty residents have already been moved, but three – one of which doesn’t live in the house – aren’t budging.

Middleton Leisure Centre has managed to secure nearly £150k from Sport England’s Olympic Legacy fund for improvements, reports South Leeds Life. Facilities to be upgraded include the changing rooms, outdoor pitches and a specially-built room for people with learning disabilities.

Would you spend an extra £1/night to stay in York? Last night councillors in York were debating a “tourist tax”, reports the Guardian. York does have a huge wealth gap and badly needed social services could be partially funded by the wealthy visitors to the city, but then would the tax put people off going in the first place? (BGL suspects most people wouldn’t notice, especially when booking online, but a vocal few in the media would put the kibosh on the whole thing.) How about it Leeds decided to do the same thing – would you pay – or notice – £1 extra if you were staying at Quebecs?

BGL loves this; a look at Holbeck from blogger Leeds Printer, who used to go photographing in the area in the 70’s – a time when a camera was a passport to access as opposed to the accusations of terrorism or worse today. A lovely piece, worth reading.

In the YEP: there’s a piece on the York Street Practice, a surgery that provides healthcare for the homeless and vulnerable people across the city. These people are fantastic, flexible and able to accomodate people who normally would find keeping rigid appointment schedules difficult. And for this we applaud them.

Also the the YEP, a Leeds student had the interesting idea of placing silhouettes of people in hoodies along the main route across Woodhouse Moor to make sure people stayed alert after a spate of muggings and attacks in the area last year. Was this a good idea? A sensible idea? Let us know your thoughts!

Hebden Bridge’s Picture House cinema has changed hands; from Calderdale council to Hebden Royd Town Council. It means people ni Heb are funding the cinema directly. Now… this would be like people in Headingley, Burley and Kirkstall funding the Hyde Park Picture House. Thought-provoking, especially if you like cinema.

Speaking of film; the Post has an article on teens honing filmmaking skills at Yorkshire Dance, seeing as it’s half term.

Finally today, in the YEP: an unemployed Leeds chap who has applied for over 100 jobs is trying to run a jobseeker’s podcast:

Damon Cooper, from Farsley, has written to Mr Clegg and to the business community to ask for help in putting together a podcast project which would challenge listeners to help his young, unemployed guests find jobs, as well as showcasing young people’s skills and talents.

Damon is in need of funding, although he has the backing of the DPM. Lets hope that the JSA people don’t think that he should be better spending his time working for free at a supermarket.

And that’s it for today. We’re back tomorrow, but in the meantime if you have any thoughts, stories or comments on these or any other issues in Leeds, Bradford or West Yorkshire, then please get in touch. Thanks for reading!

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