Morning Leeds! Let’s start with the most important thing, which is SNOWWATCH. Snow status: nil. Oh.
Leeds University’s VC has handed in his notice. The Leeds Student reports Michael Arthur is set to take charge of UCL next September, so a new head of LU is going to be sought in the new year.
According to the YEP “Leeds has slipped behind Manchester in the rankings of UK financial and professional services centres”. The global financial crisis has meant that the number of people employed in those sectors dropped to 46,400, wheras Manchester has 49k. Apparently, though, all of these concerns will be fixed with a new tower. The chap who started up Freeserve reckons that “Leeds has not got enough tall buildings. That’s what people remember about cities – the architecture.” To be fair he also says Leeds is lacking a brand identity, and that’s a decent point; the Leeds brand is sometimes a bit mixed. On the other hand Leeds’ architecture is stunning and although it is all at street level there’s plenty of buildings to be proud of here.
LCC is trying public engagement again, with a couple of surveys that you, the citizen should fill out to make your voice heard. The first is on the Budget and Police and Crime Plan, which is all about how to trim £18m off the policing budget. What do you think is important here? (set aside some time for this).
Secondly, you can also get involved in city centre parking. This consultation is all about whether LCC’s parking policy is sustainable and futureproof. If this doesn’t get “keep city centre parking free on Sundays” all over the results I’d be shocked.
The census stories are starting to populate the press. The YEP says that Yorkshire is more ethnically diverse (don’t read the comments) wheras the Huddersfield Examiner tells us there are 692 Jedis living in Calderdale. Expect more of this sort of story over the next couple of days.
The Leeds Citizen sheds a little light on the sudden closure of the West Park Centre on Spen Lane in November. Apparently there are safety concerns over the electrical system which – and I’m still flabbergasted by this – will cost £931,000 to fix without allowing for “fees, contingencies and inflation or any desirable works that are required”. Alas, the site has been used as a political football – Mr Citizen gives gristly details – and no real money has been spent on in in too long.
The Bettakultcha phenomenon comes to Leeds Town Hall in January, and over on Culture Vultures Kate Booth explains why she’s getting up to speak at the event. if there’s any tickets left then snap them up, quick.
Finally today, if you’re out and about having a bit of fun then be careful at Leeds train station, where you might be picked up on CCTV and broadcast for the amusement of thousands, especially if you fall over. The oh-so hilarious falling over video has a serious message (which isn’t “why are there so many CCTV cameras about when they seem to fail to have any impact on crime?”) – be careful on the station platforms. Which is fair enough in the icy weather.
Ok, we’re done for today. See you on Friday!