Leeds Today; mayors, casinos, orchards and donkeys.

Morning! Kirsty here covering for Mike, who is having a well-deserved break. Let’s have a look at what I’ve caught with my news net shall we?

First up is the Yorkshire Evening Post exclusively revealing that Cllr Keith Wakefield, current leader of the council, will stand for the Labour nomination of elected mayor if the referendum result is a yes. If this means absolutely nothing to you, maybe you should get along to Culture Vulture’s debate on the elected mayor referendum tonight. Remember folks, it’s voting day for both the elected mayor referendum and your local councillors on Thursday, and it’s really important to have your voice heard. Get out and vote!

Next we have the news that five sites have been revealed as potential for a new large casino. South Leeds Life report on the proposed site of Elland Road football ground, but there’s also Eastgate, Quarry Hill, Clarence Dock and City Square, so it’s quite a broad spread of sites, and local residents to the sites can have their say until 24 May. I’m not sure if this is the same as a super casino, or if it’s just like a normal casino but bigger. What makes a casino super anyway? Does it have to wear a cape?

The Guardian Northerner blog reports on a community orchard being set up in Headingley. Volunteers have planted trees and will look after them, but everyone is welcome to pick the fruit (they’re particularly welcoming to kids). This is excellent both for using those odd bits of green space that are dotted around, and getting people involved in producing crops who don’t have gardens or skills to do it themselves. Also who doesn’t love a free apple?

The YEP has been to visit Project Space Leeds as it launches its final exhibit before moving home to the old Tetley’s headquarters. Possibly the most underpromoted gallery in Leeds, PSL is only a hop, skip and jump along the river (walk from town towards the YEP building and you’ll stumble upon it), but has some of the quirkiest and most interesting exhibitions on. Hopefully the move will boost its profile but not change its style.

In a ‘well didn’t everybody already know that?’ move, researchers at Leeds Met University have announced that women live longer than men. Not really news (although thanks to ITV for covering it), but I thought it worth highlighting what major players our universities are in worldwide research studies like this. Well done universities!

Another not-really-news-but-who-cares-I-rarely-do-BGL is the report by the YEP on donkey therapy at the Elisabeth Svendsen Trust in Eccup, Leeds, where kids with disabilities can learn to ride to improve motor skills and tons of other good things. I used to work for an animal therapy charity and they really do make a huge difference to kids lives. It’s a really interesting article, and if you’ve got a few bob to spare you might be interested in adopting a lovely donkey – you can even choose from Simon, Billy, Joey and William. 

And finally it’s not something I’ve got a link for, but a massive congratulations to Ben, who was curating the popular People of Leeds twitter account last week, and who yesterday walked from Pudsey Civic Hall to Temple Newsam just in the name of promoting Leeds – something that’s got attention worldwide on twitter. If you haven’t checked out the account, it’s a brilliant snapshot of the city and everyone who is taking part in it has really brought out interesting aspects of Leeds.

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