Leeds today: kitchen, santa, baking, poster, Thought Bubble, lap dancing, trains, parks and Hull!

Morning! It’s *lovely* out there. Perfect walking weather.

First of all, many congrats to Hull, which has been named the next UK City of Culture! This is brilliant for the city and its residents and we hope that the inevitable sour grapes provided by Londonistas are swamped by warm wishes towards our neighbours at the other end of the M62. We look forwards to seeing what they do with it.

The Guardian reports on a North-South divide in parks funding.

The spending data compiled by Policy Exchange showed that between 2010-11 and 2012-13 over £75m, or 13%, of funds for open spaces had been cut. The north-east region suffered the greatest cut of almost 40%, while the south-east cut just 3.4% of its money for green spaces.

Is this really as astonishingly unfair as it sounds? It could be a matter of how local authorities are funded, I suppose, but really, what the hell?

LCC has issued ‘demands’ on HS2, says the YEP. These demands include the line to be built from the North to the Midlands instead of the other way around, in order to provide much needed jobs up here sooner. This plan is to unify the regional councils who – Leeds aside – have been pretty lukewarm about HS2.

The Leeds Citizen notes that D-Day for lapdance clubs is looming. There’s an opinion going ’round that some would rather the clubs weren’t there in the background during filming of the opening to the Tour next year. Now, this may be a happy coincidence – I think the lapdancing thing has been going on a bit longer than the TdF/Leeds announcement – but if any clubs are to be shut you’d bet on the ones nearest the Town Hall going first.

We mentioned the coup of South Leeds Life getting Hilary Benn MP to write for them; part 2 of his first post for South Leeds Life has been posted. “We get out what we put in”, not just in politics but in life.

This weeks Things to see and do is up, but it looks like Wendy isn’t doing it any more! Stacey is now. Anyway. Particular highlights are Thought Bubble (on all week) which ends with the largest comics convention in the North on Saturday. Look carefully and you may see a BGL editor in a red shirt…

There’s a vintage film poster exhibition at White Cloth Gallery, which looks brilliant.

The Santa Special at Middleton Railway is back on! This is huge fun for kids of all ages (especially those who like their steam trains).

Don’t forget about the Age UK Leeds Festive Bake-off next weekend – if you feel like baking up a storm of panettone, stollen or mince pies then this is the place to show them off! Look carefully and you may see a BGL editor as one of the tasting panel…

Finally today, the new street food wagons have gone into Trinity Kitchen, and although there’s not much info about them on the website there’s been a bit of a buzz on Twitter about it all. As per, if you can stand the queues it’ll be worth trying.

Ok, we’re done. See you on Friday, and thanks for reading!

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