Leeds today: PFI, heart unit, mental health, PUPPIES, Kirkstall, Smurfs and Millgath

Today’s BGL is brought to you by journalism trainees from Leeds Trinity University College who’ll be doing a more regular slot starting next week. Today’s writers are Paisley Gilmour, Faye Dobson, Joe Cooper, Nikki Mitchell and Michael Muncaster.

Leeds City Council has been carrying more PFI debt than nearly every other council in England, the Leeds Citizen reports. We’re currently saddled with £2.2 billion of debt from PFI projects and the council is paying back nearly £75 million a year on the loans. What’s more, Leeds City council has confirmed that a PFI housing project to build 388 new homes and refurbish over 1,200 in Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck has been further delayed due to a German bank pulling out – whoever thought this PFI lark would be a good idea?

The Leeds child heart unit story will no doubt keep on rumbling – The Yorkshire Times have handily summed-up the growing number of prominent Yorkshire voices who have come out against the closure. Unsurprisingly, Leeds City Council also voted unanimously to oppose the move in a full council meeting yesterday, according to councillors on twitter.

A film charting a young woman’s experience of mental illness premiered at Hyde Park Picture House last night (YEP). Vanessa Findlay, a 24-year-old woman from Leeds, documented her experiences of being sectioned. She created the film to inform other young people facing similar problems.

Yet more tragedy for the family of Moorea Hirtsch, who collapsed and died at the Race for Life on July 1. Daughter Kelly has collapsed a number of times and has had to be admitted to hospital to have a pacemaker fitted. Since the death more than £1,000 for Cancer Research UK.

The YEP are in search of a new owner for a puppy that was abandoned in the torrential rain last week. Hairless Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Splash, is only 12 weeks old and was found on the street by a passer-by on Friday. She has a serious skin condition and needs a loving owner to re-home her.

The 32nd annual Kirkstall Festival has been given the go ahead today after the grounds were inspected to ensure it was safe for heavy vehicles. The festival is largely self-funded and attracted nearly 16,000 people last year.

A 10-year-old girl may have tried save her six-year-old brother from falling to his death by grabbing onto him before he fell out of the window in a block of flats in Leeds, reports the YEP.

The Smurfs will be on the big screen as part of Belle Isle’s fourth movie night (South Leeds Life). The pesky little blue folk will be at Belle Isle Family Centre, July 27 with free admission.

The University of Leeds haven’t finished their award ceremonies just yet. The BBC is reporting they will be presenting honorary doctorates to the former head of MI5 and the Director of Public Prosecutions among others.

The cancelling of the Great Yorkshire Show for the first time in 154 years is going to cost around £2m (YEP) and organisers are vowing to not let the weather affect the agricultural show again. The York Press has some nice shots of exhibitors and their prize winning animals on the first day of the show before it was cancelled due to wet weather.

The good news is that John Lewis seems to finally be coming to Leeds and the sun is out, for today at least, so hopefully we can finally wave goodbye to the floods and get summer started. Perhaps not likely judging by the weather forecast but let’s keep our fingers crossed.

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2 Responses to Leeds today: PFI, heart unit, mental health, PUPPIES, Kirkstall, Smurfs and Millgath

  1. Pingback: Leeds today: PFI, heart unit, mental health, PUPPIES, Kirkstall, Smurfs and Millgath «

  2. Pingback: Beyond Guardian Leeds – July 12 «

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