Leeds today: traffic, water, trafficking, black Friday, library, brewery, debate, tunnels and green space.

Hello all! Hope that you all had a lovely and relaxing weekend. December has arrived, and we’re finally allowed to count down the days until Christmas. There’s plenty of news and goings-on to kick off the week.

To commence with a word of warning: this week is anticipated to be a hellish week of traffic jams and congestion. Motorway bosses have warned motorists to “plan ahead” over the next few days, as work at Armley Gyratory continues. It’s expected that disruption to travel is extremely likely.

Yorkshire Water has vowed to cancel a proposed above-inflation increase in rates next year and has agreed to keep water bills at a lower level until 2020. This means that next year the average Yorkshire bill will be £19 cheaper per annum than the national average.

The government has demanded a public inquiry into the new Leeds trolleybus scheme after it emerged that that the system could affect up to 3,000 properties. Transport chiefs had said previously that around 20 buildings would have to be knocked down to clear room for the trolleybus lines.

Police has confirmed that 17 people have been rescued from exploitation after a significant investigation into human trafficking in the Leeds area. Teams visited addresses in the south and west of Leeds from which men, women and children were rescued. Victims are reported to be mainly from Slovakia.

Last Friday was “Black Friday”- a concept imported from the U.S. and has taken the UK by storm. The shopping event, which sees some of the biggest high street names slash their prices in a bid to attract Christmas shoppers. Hundreds of customers waited outside Asda in Pudsey from 7am to make the most of the deals. The event is designed to mark the beginning of the Christmas shopping season.

The University of Leeds has received a huge £9million donation to support the construction of its new state-of-the-art library. The University had announced plans to raise £60m through donors, with the aim of helping “people from deprived backgrounds get to university and to support world-class research.”

The former Tetley brewery in Leeds has opened to the public as a new gallery. The launch of the new art space, appropriately named ‘The Tetley’, also contains a museum dedicated to the Brewery, which was shut in 2011 after 189 years of operation. The Culture Vulture gives us an insight into what’s going to be on offer.

South Leeds life covers the debate over Islamophobia that was held last week at the Hamara Centre in Beeston.

Leeds city council reports on the benefits that have been felt by communities after the distribution of over £22m over the past five years. The council covers the green space initiatives and measures to protect and preserve green areas amongst other community initiatives.

Leeds-list brings us a lovely pictorial account of the hidden tunnels of Leeds that you’d never even knew existed…

Although the Christmas period is usually an extremely busy one filled with various activities, if you’re at a loose end and fancy doing something festive, then be sure to take a look at these suggestions.

Leeds-list shares its weekly ideas for things to do “just out of Leeds”. This week the emphasis is on a more active vibe.

For the more curious types, if you’re keen to discover a forgotten part of Leeds’ history, then the first installment of a look at the city’s forgotten treasures in a must-read.

Finally, if the stress of the hectic Christmas period is all getting a bit too much, then here’s a guide on where to go for a quiet night out in Leeds, “when conversation takes precedence over all night partying.”

So that’s about it for now, folks. Have a good beginning to your week!

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