Leeds today: Lego, Red House, toys, apprentices, CCTV, fostering and Hope.

Morning! It is blustery and will get wet out there today – watch your umbrellas and it might be worth thinking about waterproofs before leaving the house.

Although not the worst by a long chalk, total spend on CCTV by LCC since 2007 topped £8,760,000, reports many places including the Huddersfield Examiner. LCC takes the number three slot in spend on CCTV, after Westminster and Birmingham. Over West Yorks it looks like about £20m has been spent on CCTV. Does it prevent crime? Does it help to get convictions? Does it do the same job as the police officers it could have funded?

As previously reported in BGL, Red House Museum in Gomersal is potentially under threat of being sold; however Kirklees Council has come up with an alternative; admission charges. Although this could lead to a drop is the number of visitors it could also generate just enough income to save the museum from being sold.

The search for a new LEP director in Leeds has started, says the YEP. This matters because the replacement for the regional development agency can shape the future of our city – and in the past the focus has been on retail, retail, retail. Perhaps a new director could focus elsewhere.

The Morley Observer reports that an apprentice engineer from Bruntcliffe has won the Against All Odds award at the inaugural Leeds Apprenticeships Awards. The Awards, set up this year and run by LCC and the National Apprenticeships Service, highlight apprentices and people who teach and provide placements. Adam France won his award after an unsettled start to his apprenticeship, but he settled down to become a promising young employee. Well done, and keep it up Adam!

The YEP reports that Mrs Maureen Baker MBE, has died. Mrs Baker devoted her life to challenging racism and was working to secure the rights of people up until very recently. Her obituary is an incredible list of her achievements and is well worth reading; she was an immigration councillor who changed the law on the wives of settled immigrants being able to remain in the country; she helped resettle Ugandans during the Amin era; and set up the Stephen Lawrence Educational Standard. An astonishing person, who will be missed by all.

Also in the YEP: after the Indian Ocean tsunami on Boxing Day 2004 LCC started a charity to help people in Sri Lanka. Over £240,000 was raised by the council and its employees who could give a small amount each month from their pay packets to the Building Hope appeal. And next week, after consultation with people in Sri Lanka, the doors open on a brand new children’s centre in the capital, Columbo, donated by the City of Leeds. This is, quite frankly, brilliant.

This, from Leeds & York partnership NHS trust:

To recognise that anyone can suffer from an eating disorder at any time, the 20 – 26 February marks Eating Disorders Awareness Week. The theme for this year is “Break
the silence, beat eating disorders.”

Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders, part of the Leeds and York Partnership NHS
Foundation Trust, was founded in 1978 and grown to become the largest Northern ‘eating
disorder service’. Yorkshire Centre for Eating Disorders aims to provide a comprehensive
and flexible service that will effectively meet and treat the needs of individuals with eating
disorders. YCED also runs a Carers Support Group with the aim to support carers of people
who are suffering from eating disorders and give them a space which enables them to feel
less isolated with their experiences.

The next meeting of the Carers Support Group will be at Seacroft Hospital’s Newsam Centre on March 7th, 7pm. If you or anybody you know is affected by an eating disorder then please get in touch with the Trust who will be able to help.

As part of the commitment to increase fostering in Leeds, LCC is being encouraged to improve the payments made to carers and foster parents (YEP). The increase should keep foster parents from going outside LCC’s already very good fostering service to private agencies. An interesting article, worth a read.

Being big Lego nuts, we like this: Dean Clough mill in halifax has been recreated in Lego. Brilliant. Watch the video.

And, speaking of toys, there will be a toy hacking workshop at East Street Arts’ Patrick St Studios on Sunday. Culture Vultures’ Monica Ali has some thoughts on the matter.

Right, that’s that for today! Keep warm and dry folks, and we’ll see you soon.

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