Leeds today: thanks, parking, shopping, southbank, kirkgate, firefighters, NHS, bins, authority and things to do.

Hellooo!

Before we get stuck into today’s news, we’d just like to say thank you all for the lovely comments made by people on here, via email and twitter, and in person(!) about the closure announcement we made on Monday. We are still on the lookout for a replacement editor, so if you think you can do this then please get in touch. In the meantime we’re still here until Dec 20th.

With the continuing debate on parking charges and how this might affect trading in the centre, the White Rose shopping centre announces it is fully let for first time since recession hit. Trinity isn’t far behind, apparently, and Hammerson have a similarly positive tale to tell. Shame it’s all based on us shopping, shopping, shopping. It’s worth reading the comments on the CV article, too – if you’re interested in complex systems and chaos theory it is a really good humanising example of how different variables can produce wildly unpredictable effects, regardless of what you predict the outcome to be.

Leeds Citizen has been busy, with reports on the ‘South Bank’ and Kirkgate Market. The Kirkgate Market thing is interesting; FOLKM had a piece in the YEP last week about how things didn’t seem to be moving with the development work, so either the timing is coincidental or someone knew this was coming. LC have said that work has been going on behind the scenes, and that it’s a “complex issue”.

South Leeds Life are also discussing the city centre south development. Included are interesting plans:

David Lumb […] said LSDG is currently working on plans to improve what he calls the ‘Hunslet Stray’. The Stray would provide a safe, direct route across the city for pedestrians and cyclists all the way south from Leeds Bridge to Leeds City College’s new Printworks campus.

Speaking as someone who won’t cycle to work any more because of the ridiculous routes required to get into the city centre from the South by bike, this does look like it might be worthwhile. But the conversations and actions required need to happen sooner rather than later.

HS2 is also to be debated today, and the Citizen asks who is speaking for those who say ‘no’? It doesn’t seem to be many.

The firefighters are striking today between 10am and 2pm, so take extra care. Thankfully fireworks season is pretty much over.

The NHS is facing a funding shortfall because of bloody stupidity or callous negligence (take your pick) on behalf of those who claim to lead us but are doing a disgraceful job of it. Ahem. Anyway, the NHS is asking the public to make their voices heard in a national debate on where the NHS could make £30Bn of savings. The local chapter of this survey is NHS Call to Action Leeds: Join the debate.

I think we’ve mentioned this before, but just in case we haven’t, the Council are increasing recycling collections. You can check your bin day pretty easily these days, which is helpful if you forget that the green bins are collected on Wednesdays and the black bins are collected on Fridays. As for brown bins? (Strange but true: the street next to us has brown bins. We don’t, even though the collections are made from the same, shared backstreet.)

The first meeting of the proposed West Yorkshire Combined Authority has been announced. The group – which will have a focus on managing £1.5 billion investment in West Yorkshire’s transport and economic infrastructure – has no formal powers as yet but will do soon, as this overview body is made up of the five local council leaders as well as shadow leaders and the head of the LEP. The idea is that infrastructure decisions are made locally, not in Westminster.

The Leeds Arena has been nominated for an international award.

With the Leeds International Film Festival continuing, one might have thought we’d have enough to do, but no. Wendy manages to put together a further list in her weekly Things to See and Do, particularly noting Thought Bubble and the Abbey Dash this coming weekend (best of luck to those running the latter)

Finally today, there’s also a charity Christmas Fair in Roundhay on Saturday. ‘Tis the season, and all that.

Ok, we’re done for today. Thanks for reading and we’ll see you all on Friday! Cheerio!

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