Leeds today: Grace, roadworks, debt, undergrads, library, playground

Spring is here! Well, she was yesterday; she’s being a little more shy this morning here in Leeds – but I hope we’ll see her sweet angelic face again very soon.

It’s Friday again, and the finale of Grace the Swan’s marathon effort along the Leeds-Liverpool canal. BBC Radio Leeds presenters Adam Pope and Katherine Hannah have been pedalling a swan-shaped pedalo along the canal and will arrive at last at Granary Wharf at around 6pm on Friday evening. So far Adam and Katherine have raised £30,000 over their 10-day voyage.

Travelling by pedalo along the canal may not be such a bad option for rush hour commuters. The BBC also reports that Leeds’s council has been given special powers to operate a permit scheme for roadworks across the city. The new scheme requires all contractors to seek approval from the council before starting any works.

The Yorkshire Evening Post has an exclusive showing new figures which reveal Leeds City Council’s debts now stand at £1.6 billion – or £2,000 per head. Over the coming year, the council will fork out £57.5 million on debt charges (over 10% of its annual net budget).

Guardian Northerner carries this on an excellent venture by students at Leeds University, showcasing undergraduate academic talent and research projects.

The next generation of high-flying students has much to look forward to in Hunslet, as the new-look Hunslet Library was re-opened yesterday, with a special ceremony held to mark the event.

And then for a reminder of the fun and games to be had in these sunnier times, Leeds Daily Photo has a picture of a small playground at Burley, just along from the church of St Matthias.

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