Leeds today: beer, carnival, sports centre, gas, funding, beggars and Hyde Park.

Morning, Leeds! Mike here. You know it’s going to be a good day when you get totally soaked walking into work first thing in the morning. It’s lucky. Like birds depositing on your head kind of lucky.

The first piece of news we have this week is the terrible story of two young children who were hit by a car in Hyde Park on Saturday. The children, aged ten and two, were hit by a silver or grey Astra as they were heading home after buying vegetables from a nearby shop, and are both still in critical condition in LGI. The driver of the vehicle failed to stop. Police need to speak to the driver urgently – if you know who the driver is then please get in touch with West Yorkshire Police or urge them to come forwards themselves.

West Yorkshire Police have started a crackdown on “professional beggars” in Leeds city centre. Teams were out over the weekend talking to beggars and clubbers, advising people to donate to homeless charities instead of directly to those on the streets. On that note BGL is a supporter of Simon on the Streets, which helps get homeless people off the streets and turn their lives around in a sensible manner, not a “one size fits all approach”.

The next phase of LCC’s Transition Funding has become available to Third-Sector organisations who have been affected by public sector cuts. This tranche is more geared towards making organisations more sustainable and less reliant on funding, and grants of up to £10k are available to orgs in Leeds or providing services to people in Leeds.

An open letter to LCC about the closure of South Leeds Sports Centre and how it should be part of the Olympic legacy has been published on South Leeds Life. From the letter:

Sports centres like ours are not about making money or even breaking even. They are about improving the lives of everyone around them, bringing communities together – just like the Olympics have brought the country and our city together. Just because the benefits are difficult to write into the city accountant’s spreadsheets doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

This is a passionate and well-written letter that all of the city’s councillors should read.

Peculiarly, Leeds is celebrating 200 years of gas this summer. Yes, the first gas supply company opened 200 years ago, and in Leeds the first gasworks was started in 1817.

Ms Pops has published her weekly “Things to see & do in Leeds this week” on Leeds Online; this is always a good read and highlights include next Monday’s West Indian Carnival, which is awesome.

Other events in Leeds coming up, thanks to My Life in Leeds, include Rodley beer & music festival over this weekend, and the Leeds triathlon in Roundhay Park on the 9th September.

Also coming up is the Leeds International Beer Festival, which we’re all awfully excited about here at BGL Towers. At Leeds Town Hall from 6th-9th September the fest will have craft beers from the US, as well as many (many) exciting looking beers from closer to home and food from Leeds stalwarts Fish& and Viva Cuba. We hope to have an exclusive piece from the organisers in our Friday Comment this week, too!

Finally, the Blog North awards evening date & location has been announced. It looks like it should be a lot of fun, so clear space in your diary!

This will be my last post for a couple of weeks; next Monday is a bank holiday and I’m going to be walking across Yorkshire at the end of this week visiting Stanza Stones. I’ll see you in September – be good, boys & girls!

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