Leeds today: storms, homes, cinema, shooting, tequila, lapdancing, liberty, space, walking and ping-pong.

Good morning! Hope that you all had a relaxing weekend and have recovered from the stresses of Christmas shopping (for anyone who, like me, managed to find themselves sucked into the throngs of Christmas shoppers in the city centre) and other festive activities.

Last Thursday we were brought the sad news of Nelson Mandela’s passing. Leeds has united with the rest of the globe in mourning the loss. Mandela was made an honorary freeman of the city during an official visit in 2001.

In the wake of the immense storms that swept through the city last week, Leeds Grand Mosque has been left with at least £60,000 in damages after the winds battered the structure. The main prayer hall has been closed until the repairs have been complete. The community has come together to offer their help.

Leeds citizens, ever involved in campaigns, are battling against proposed plans to build over a thousand new homes on the ‘countryside lung’ between Leeds and Bradford. Protesters have been writing to councilors to express concerns that the plans for 1,800 new homes will impact on the heritage of the countryside in the Tong and Fulneck Valley area.

Proposals for a new 12-screen cinema in the White Rose Shopping Centre, as well as four new restaurants and an extension to existing Primark and Debenhams, have been brought before planning chiefs. The plans are anticipated to create 1,000 jobs in the city.

A man has been arrested for shooting a policewoman in an “unprovoked attack” in the student area of Headingly. The police officer and a colleague were called to investigate noise disturbance on Cardigan Road when they were confronted by an armed man. The police officer’s injuries aren’t understood to be life-threatening.

In the wake of the Tequila scandal surrounding nightclub Mezz, the club has been closed down. Funnily enough, another nightclub (Halo, which is ironically a deconsecrated church) has picked up the Tequila night.

In a similar vein, the decision has been made by Leeds City Council not to renew the contracts of three adult entertainment venues due ‘to the number of building with sensitive uses nearby to the location of the premises’. Deep Blue, Red Leopard and Wildcats will all be closed. The owner of Wildcats is planning high court action later this week.

In further adult entertainment news, the banning of The Sun newspaper at Leeds University has sparked backlash by the Leeds Liberty League who support people have the option to buy the newspaper, and support giving women the freedom to work in the adult entertainment industry.

The Culture Vulture muses over why there’s a distinctive lack of good public spaces in Leeds to ‘sit, linger and just pass the time’.

Leeds-list brings us a visual insight into the Leeds and Liverpool canal, as it winds through the countryside and city alike.

I’m sure that now Christmas is just around the corner everyone is finding that there are too few hours in the day to pack everything in, but if you find yourself with a few spare hours or fancy doing something a bit different, here are some suggestions…

If you fancy a nice wintery stroll, where better to go than the rolling North York Moors just out of Leeds? Here are some of the highlights to see in the expanse of countryside.

Alternatively, if you feel like taking a trip to the suburbs and exploring somewhere new, then why not pay a visit to Horsforth? Plenty of history, bars, restaurants and pubs to enjoy, as well as pleasant walks nearby.

Here’s something for art lovers: Temple Newsam House and Estate are exhibiting a selection of prints made by Rembrandt. The current display showcases Rembrandt’s portraits and figure studies.

There’s a new bar to enjoy in Leeds: Roxy Ball Room, overlooking Boar Lane in the Peel Buildings. It combines what are apparently the best burgers with, yummy drinks with ping-pong and snooker.

Finally, if you’re still feeling stuck for things to do for New Year’s Eve, then never fear…Leeds-list is brimming full of suggestions!

And that’s about it for now, folks. Have a good rest-of-week!

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