Leeds today: strikes, beds, land disputes, water, discoveries, costumes, tours, exhibitions and architecture.

Good morning! Alas, after having had a lovely sunny weekend, we’ve awoken in Leeds to a miserable Monday morning (although at least no rain of yet). It’s okay, though, as there’s been plenty of news and events popping up on the BGL radar.

After last week’s fireman strike, teachers tomorrow will follow in the same footsteps, walking out on their teaching duties for the day. The strike has caused a split in public opinion, as many parents face the decision of either finding alternative childcare or having to take time off work. However, some parents have lent support to the teachers’ cause, agreeing that many teachers are underpaid and underacknowledged for their work.

The NHS has announced that an additional 65 hospital beds are to be opened in Leeds in order to cope with increased demand over the winter season. The majority of the additional beds will be provided at St James’s Hospital, where specialist cancer care, as well as most adult surgery, takes place.

The tug-of-war between developers and local communities in Leeds is ongoing, with campaigners fighting to retain a former Leeds private school’s playing field for community use, whilst the landowner (Morley House Trust) and would-be-developer object to South Headingley Community Association’s bid to get the land listed as a community asset.

Water levels have plummeted in a West Yorkshire reservoir near Otley. Images show that vast parts of the site have run dry. Leeds residents worrying over the depleted water levels are being told ‘Don’t panic!’; Yorkshire Water reassures us that it is a ‘compensation’ reservoir, which maintains the flow of water to rivers rather than supplying consumers.

Concerning plans for 2,000 new homes to be build on villager’s doorsteps near Wetherby have come before planning chiefs (eight years after similar plans for the site were thrown out by a planning chief). Should the development go ahead, it could take between 25 to 30 years to complete; 136 letters of objection to the plans were submitted.

Leeds’ Money Buddy scheme, consisting of a team of individuals lending support and advice in east Leeds in a bid to help people to overcome their financial woes, has been so popular that now debt forums across Leeds are following in their footsteps and starting up new Money Buddy schemes.

Leeds University researchers have been working on a medical study responsible for uncovering that new ways are needed to fight the ‘superbug’ infection Clostridium difficile, and that restricting the consumption of antibiotics could be key.

A mental health charity in Leeds has criticized the ‘highly offensive’ Halloween costumes being sold by Asda and Tesco, named ‘mental health patient’ and ‘psycho ward’ respectively. It’s my guess that these outfits will (and should) be hurriedly removed from shelves.

I’m excited to see that Kirkstall Abbey, one of my favourite places for a weekend stroll, is currently in the running for the BBC Countryfile Heritage Award. The abbey was founded almost 861 years ago, before being dissolved by Henry VIII in 1538. It’s a beautiful and incredibly well preserved historical landmark, so here’s to hoping that the abbey wins!

Leeds-list goes out on a limb and recommends us to take a tour of local Lawnswood cemetery. Apparently, it’s not as creepy as it sounds, and there’s many an intriguing story to be heard by a local historian and tour guide. We’ll have to try it out and report back…

The Culture Vulture has launched the first in a series of blog posts about the constantly evolving and very exciting music scene in Leeds. The blog evolved from the realization that it can be hard to come to know about different aspects of Leeds’ music scene unless you’re directly involved- and so attempts to introduce us to things we wouldn’t ordinarily be aware of.

Leeds-list also gives us their weekly round up of recommended visual artsy exhibitions to visit.

If you’re getting itchy feet and fancy a trip to a not-so-far-away land, then this could be the thing for you: top cultural picks, in and around Bradford. The list covers all sorts of cultural ventures, with something for everyone.

Finally, our attention is brought to the interesting juxtaposition of old and new architecture in Leeds city centre, through a combination of images and textual explanation. It’s easy to overlook the contrasts in architectural style when you’re living in Leeds and used to the landscape, so this article is worth taking a look at!

And that’s about it for now…have a great start to your week, and see you Wednesday!  

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