NORTH LEEDS NEWS Friday May 14 2010
Volume 2 Issue 4
Leeds in limbo by Ben Miles LEEDS City Council remains in limbo today as talks between party leaders failed to produce an agreement on who should run the authority.
After the local elections last week no party had a majority on the council. The Labour party remains the largest single party, having made gains from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Greens to increase the number of seats they hold to 48. With 99 councillors sitting, a total of 50 is required for anyone to take control with a majority. Before the elections, the council was run by a coalition of Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the Morley Borough Independents (MBI) with 51 seats between them. But the decision now is whether that will continue – or whether the Labour party can do a deal. On Monday the Liberal Democrat leader Richard Brett was removed from his position at the party’s AGM and replaced by Stewart Golton, councillor for Rothwell. Talks between the major parties were ongoing as North Leeds News went to press. Horsforth Liberal Democrat councillor Brian Cleasby said his party was now in talks with the Tories and Labour. “But everyone is talking to everyone,” he said. “A deal between us and the Greens is not a real possibility. One of us would have to change our position on issues and no one will do that. “A deal with Labour would be hard to swallow for both us and the Conservatives. We suffered at their hands for 24 years, we don’t want to go back to that again.” Labour leader Keith Wakefield is believed to have approached Green leader Ann Blackburn last weekend in a bid to push though a deal that would give the coalition a one seat majority.
Thousands gathered at Bradford’s Valley Parade to mark the 25th anniversary of the fire that claimed 56 lives. Full story and pictures Page 2. A new leadership needs to be in place by Wednesday in time for the council’s Executive Board meeting. This meeting is required for the confirmation of any election pledges made by the parties. Were this not to happen an emergency meeting would need to be called as soon as an agreement was in place. Sources said they were expecting the existing coalition to remain in power yesterday, with the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and the strengthened Morley Borough Independents (MBI) continuing their leadership. With the MBI gaining Morley South from the BNP, the coalition would have 49 seats leaving the Labour party needing to come to an agreement with the Greens in order to retake the council. It is believed that the three main parties have been stalling to wait and see what happened with the coalition talks in Westminster. Had a Labour/Liberal Democrat deal gone ahead in the capital, it is believed that the parties would have attempted to replicate the deal here to help push through any government plans in the city. But now that the political wrangling has finished in London, the wait for leadership in Leeds is no closer to a resolution. For more on the local election results see Page 7.
RBS axes 2,600 city jobs by Assif Majid
Royal bank of Scotland (RBS) staff in leeds have been forced to take voluntary redundancy rather then relocate to Kent.
RBS, which is 83 per cent owned by the state, announced another wave of job cuts and has also relocated some of its posts by moving them to its insurance headquarters in Bromley. The insurance division in leeds includes brands such as Direct line, Green Flag Churchill and Privilege employing over 1,900 people in the city. Employees feel anxious about the imminent job cuts as the bank announced a further 2,600 jobs are to go over the next year, in addition to the 20,000 announced since its bail out in 2008. an RBS employee, who did not want to be named, said: “Everyone is fed up and morale is low. I feel like everything has been on their terms. “They expect us to relocate on the same wage and with no financial help. Some of us have families, homes and mortgages. “I feel like I have no other option but to leave. It’s disgusting they way we’ve been treated.” North Leeds News spoke to other RBS employees who also wanted to remain anonymous in fear for their jobs. They said they have been given “woolly answers” and that there seems to be a lack of communication, as nobody really knows what is going on. Paul Geddes, CEo of RBS Insurance, said that the bank had to explore
various options to help cut costs. “Regrettably, this is likely to affect up to 2,000 roles across the division over the next 12 months, including around 500 back office jobs which we are proposing to off-shore. However, wherever possible we will endeavour to reduce the need for compulsory redundancies. We are also reviewing our site strategy to make efficient use of our existing properties.” He added that there will be period of consultation with employees. “Whilst I appreciate we have some tough decisions ahead, I am confident that these actions will help us regain our competitive edge,” he said. The Unite union has condemned the job cuts and said it was fundamentally opposed to offshoring, as well as compulsory redundancies. Rob MacGregor, national officer for finance, said: “Taken together, this is a devastating blow for a dedicated workforce which has worked very hard to turn around the fortunes of RBS following some disastrous decisions by the previous management.”
News in Brief
War medals stolen first World War medals were amongst the jewellery stolen during a burglary at a house in Beeston last week. one of the medals is inscribed with the name “John William Moore” and the pair are said to have great sentimental value. The two medals were stolen along with a large amount of jewellery, including gold curved sovereign rings, and a laptop computer. anyone with information is being asked to contact police on 0845 6060606.
North Leeds News
Friday May 14 2010
SaTS boycott by David Hardiman THe majority of primary schools in Leeds have boycotted SATs tests this week as part of a national campaign to end the yearly exams.
About 600,000 10 and 11-year-olds across the country were due to take the national schools tests from Monday. The National Union of Teachers said that up to 60 per cent of primary schools in Leeds had taken part in the boycott. General secretary Christine firefighters from around the country will Blower said: “This will make the annual ritual of naming and shaming schools through league compete next Saturday at the regional tables impossible. Extrication Challenge. “The campaign to end SATs will continue and I about 14 fire and rescue teams will urge the new Government to pay immediate and compete on May 22 at West Yorkshire serious attention to the matter of ensuring our fire and rescue Service Headquarters at schools have a fair and sensible alternative to Birkenshaw, near Bradford. The challenge aims to provide an oppor- SATs in place for next year”. SATs were first introduced in 1991 for 7-yeartunity for firefighters to share tips on best practice and demonstrate to the public the olds, 1995 for 11-year-olds and 1998 for 14-yearolds. importance of road safety. The controversial tests are actually called National Curriculum Tests, but are nicknamed SATs after the Standard Assessment Tests that were originally intended to be introduced. a cannabis factory with over 150 plants Nicola Williams, a Leeds primary school teacher, has been raided following a tip-off from a said that teachers felt strongly about the issue and member of the public. her school have taken part in the boycott. She Police officers were alerted after three men were seen leaving an address in Leeds road, Bradford into a white van with bin bags at around 4.45am in on Tuesday. Neighbourhood policing inspector Tim done said: “This was a great example of the police and public working together to by Ben Miles combat drugs. I’d like to thank the person Bradford this week remembered the fire at who reported this to us. another cannabis Valley Parade 25 years ago that killed 56 people farm has been closed down and more and left hundreds more injured. drugs taken off the streets of Bradford.” a ceremony in Centenary Square took place at 11am
said: “SATs have completely taken over the curriculum in Year 6. Children are being trained how to take the test and are not getting a broad and balanced education. “Children and teachers feel under pressure to perform because schools are judged purely on these results. Parents are making decisions based on test results when there is so much more to a school than this.” The exams that headteachers are protesting about are for 11-year-olds, taken at the end of Key Stage 2. They test pupils’ ability in english, maths and science. The chief executive of education Leeds, Chris edwards, said this week that disciplinary action should not be taken against heads who refuse to take part in the tests, despite last week advising governing bodies to consider it. But the National Governors’ Association has told its members that deducting pay from headteachers who refuse to administer the tests remains an option. “It needs to be understood that any deduction of pay is to fairly recognise the headteacher is not performing their full duties under their contracts.” The Department for Children, Schools and Families said on its website that the tests were intended to show if a child was working at, above or below the target level for their age.
Leeds sex attacker a sex attacker is being hunted by police in connection with an indecent assault in Leeds city centre. a 28-year-old woman was walking in the dock Street area at 3.20am on Saturday, May 1 and was approached from behind and assaulted. The man, captured on CCTV on Boar Lane, is described as white, with a shaved head. anyone with any information is asked to contact City and Holbeck Police on 0845 6060606.
Produced by Trainee journalists studying for postgraduate diploma in print journalism at: Centre for Journalism Leeds Trinity University College Brownberrie Lane Leeds LS18 5Hd 0113 2837318 firstname.lastname@example.org Editors: Harriet Cawley and Juliette Bains The next issue of North Leeds News printed on May 21
on Tuesday with dignitaries including the archbishop of York and the Lord Mayors of Bradford, Lincoln and Bradford’s twin town Hamm in Germany at the event. More than 2,000 people crowded into the square and sang You’ll Never Walk alone, the club’s anthem since the disaster, and heard readings from the archbishop and other chaplains connected with the council and the club. Survivor Carl dalton was at the ceremony. He was 17 at the time and stood close to where the fire started. He said: “I had gone with friends to celebrate the championship win, five of us to share the experience. We stood in the main stand, to the right side. “I saw some smoke coming from nearby, within seconds it was in inferno. The flames were up the wall behind us and over the roof within 25 to 30 seconds of it starting.” The speed of the fire’s spread caught many people out, the fire brigade, called immediately after the fire began, arrived in less than four minutes – by which time the fire had consumed the entire stand. “The fire flew down unbelievably quickly. We ran to the front but were trapped against a wall. People were being crushed on the floor,” Mr dalton said. “after a little time the wall collapsed and everyone fell on top of each other. It was at that point that the bitumen on the roof began to melt and fall on us. “I was wearing a cagoule which began to bubble and melt in the heat, these blobs of tar fell on my shoulder and head. “When I got out I turned and tried to help out people I knew, who were calling out my name. The heat was too strong, I had to let go, it was burning my hands and face. I could not hold on to my best mate.” after escaping the inferno he was faced with the sheer horror of what was going on: “I could see people on fire in the stands, the scene was just pure chaos,” he said. In the end 54 Bradford fans and two from Lincoln died. Three died while trying to escape through the toilets. 27 lost their lives attempting to make their way out
AT HALF MAST: Bradford City remembers through exit K and the turnstiles at the rear of the stand and two elderly people lost their lives sitting in their seats. Some were crushed attempting to crawl under the turnstiles. More than 256 fans were injured in the fire. “When you’re young you think you’re impregnable, it affected me more than I thought. “It wasn’t until a few days later that I began to think about it a lot. Even today, when I think about it it’s very vivid in my head. I never returned to Valley Parade till the new stand was completed,” Mr dalton said. “Today if I’m at a football match or concert or the like I won’t go to the back of the stand. I check every time and make sure that I am able to get out. “I think it had a massive effect on the city, everyone was shocked. fire is so clinical and fierce; so many people were watching it happen. “It was an accident, but it seems like it should be more significant than others, people were burned alive, it was horrific.” on Tuesday afternoon a smaller ceremony was held at the football ground by the club’s memorial to the dead. This was a chance for a personal remembrance for those who lost loved ones led by revd Jimmy Hinton, the club’s chaplain. afterwards the stadium was left open for anyone who wished to look round and remember in their own way.
Friday May 14 2010
North Leeds News
Jamie’s Italian stallion in Leeds by Harriet Cawley JAMIE Oliver’s first restaurant north of London has opened this week– and the £2million venture is based in the heart of Leeds.
It is the tenth Jamie’s Italian to open in the country and many more are planned over the next two years with restaurants opening in Liverpool, Manchester and Glasgow. The restaurant, on Park Row, opened on Monday and local celebrities, including many of the cast of Emmerdale and some Leeds United players, gathered to try the authentic Italian cuisine. Following a two week training programme staff were also asked to invite their friends and families to sample the new dishes – all designed by Jamie – on the opening night. Will Cooper, manager, said: “We kept the opening
night fairly low key and haven’t advertised the restaurant much as word of mouth usually gets round. “Whilst Jamie has not yet visited, we are hopeful he will do so in the next few weeks as he oversees all his restaurants personally. They are not franchised.” The restaurant itself is based in an old building society and is perfectly located for professionals and shoppers. Amanda Duffy, general manager, said: “The locations of the restaurants are very site specific. All are in beautiful old buildings such as banks, and this one in Leeds has never been a restaurant before so it seemed perfect. “We have tried to keep all the old features such as the stripped wooden floor and the steel ceilings, and nothing has been overly polished to keep a rustic
PARK ROW: Restaurant exterior
VICTORIAN: Original features
Italian family feel.” Writing on his website, Jamie said: “We have converted a grand old bank into our first restaurant to open in the north of England and it’s a real beauty. “We were inspired by the wonderful old ceil-
ing downstairs and stayed as close to the original as we could. Upstairs a bank of windows ensures that it is always light and airy and the effect is gorgeous.” For a review of the food served at Jamie’s Italian see Page 6.
by David Hardiman
Leeds and see as many of the city’s attractions as possible and find out more about the city’s history,” said spokesperson Lucy Allen. Day visits make up the largest proportion of the Yorkshire and Humber tourism economy, worth a massive £3.9 billion to the region every year with over 194 million visitors. Accompanying the bus tours will be a different view – from the water. Purpose built boats carrying up to 50 tourists will cruise along Leeds’ waterways on the route from Clarence Dock to Brewery Wharf and Granary Wharf. But the new attractions are not just for tourists – officials hope to see locals using the services too. Ms Allen said: “It may uncover some hidden jewels that people who live in Leeds may not be aware of.”
New sightseeing bus for Leeds COMMUTERS think of a bus ride through Leeds city centre as an earlymorning chore – but tourists will be offered just this from next week as a new sightseeing bus sets off for the first time.
TRIAL RUN: Bus on show in city centre
The Leeds City Sightseeing Bus launches next Saturday, offering visitors an open-top ride around Leeds’ biggest attractions. The route takes tourists past such sights as Millennium Square, the Corn Exchange and the Victoria Quarter, running six times a day until September 26. Welcome to Yorkshire, the official tourism body for Yorkshire, is hoping that the new bus will attract more day visitors to the region. “We want to make sure more visitors come to
Beekeepers help create a buzz by Samantha Gildea
A YORKSHIRE beekeeping association is doing its bit to help stop the decline of the honeybee.
Poor weather and various diseases have led to 30 per cent losses in the UK honeybee population – which in turn is disastrous for the economy. Honeybees pollinate approximately £165 million worth of crops in the UK each year. The Harrogate and Ripon Beekeeper’s Association (HRBKA) hosted a Beekeeping Taster Day at Harewood House last Sunday to teach participants how to build hives, cultivate honey and how to prevent swarming – where an entire bee colony leaves the hive in search of a new home. The workshop covered the main areas of beekeeping, explaining the roles of worker bees, drones and the all-important queen bee, before explaining how to maintain a hive. Suitable sites for hives and how bees gather pollen were also covered, along with advice on how to spot disease ENDANGERED: Bees create a hive of activity affecting the hive. After learning the beekeeping
basics, the group was taken down to an apiary within Harewood House, equipped with protective clothing, and allowed to examine the association’s two hives up close. Participants were able to hold frames covered in buzzing honeybees and learn about smoking the hive – blowing puffs of smoke to warn the bees before opening the hive. John Annett, who ran the workshop, has been a beekeeper for 40 years. He said: “You can’t open a newspaper, or switch on the TV without seeing something about the decline of the honeybee. There have been 30 per cent losses this last year. Weather and various diseases affect honeybees. If we have bad weather year after year they don’t have time to recover. “We are at the forefront of education, and we are getting more and more young people involved. Conservation is the key thing.” The HRBKA run beekeeping courses and appear at Harrogate Flower Show. For more information about the courses HRBKA offer, and their taster days at Harewood House, visit www.hrbka.org.uk.
North Leeds News
Friday May 14 2010
Better bred taste test by Assif Majid WHeN in 1762 the 4th earl of Sandwich called for his manservant to bring him some “cuts of beef” between two slices of bread he could hardly have imagined that his words were to set in motion a trend that, more than two centuries later, is still a major part of our lifestyles.
According to a new report, published by the British Sandwich Association, over 126 million more ready-to-eat sandwiches were purchased last year than in 2008, an increase of four per cent. In all, the industry produced over three billion sandwiches with a market value of more than £6 billion. Today over 11 billion sandwiches are eaten in the UK each year and to celebrate British Sandwich Week North Leeds News decided to put the taste test to some of our favourite sandwich outlets in Leeds.
Cream Cheese and Smoked Salmon Ingredients: Wholemeal bap, smoked salmon, cream cheese, lemon juice The wholemeal bread was nice and went well with the dreamy cream cheese and delicious smoked salmon with a drizzle of lemon. Very light and perfect for a quick lunch snack on the go. Hardakers, Station Road, Horsforth Price: £1.50 Score: 3/5
Genovese in Focaccia bread Ingredients: Roasted vegetables, green pesto, mozzarella, olive oil Slightly on the greasy side. Nevertheless, the roasted vegetables were cooked to perfection. Pesto and the mozzarella really complemented each other. This cool café sources all its fruit, vegetables locally including bread which is baked yards away at a Leeds bakery. A true Italian delight in Leeds. La Bottega Milanese, 32 The Calls, Leeds Price £3.25 Score 4/5
SANDWICH:19 per cent of all sandwiches are purchased in London. Yorkshire trails at 12 per cent.
Number 9 Special
Ingredients: Mature white cheddar cheese, sliced tomatoes, sweet pickle, iceberg lettuce and white seeded roll
Ingredients: Sliced chicken breast, crispy bacon, sliced Edam, salad and mayonnaise
What a great sandwich. The pickle had an intense flavour. Really nice crispy lettuce and nicely sized sliced tomatoes and the mature cheese was really strong and succulent. A definite winner, highly recommended. Greggs, Town Street, Horsforth Price: £1.49 Score 5/5
This has to be the best looking sandwich in town. We couldn’t wait to get our hands on this beast. The sliced chicken and crispy bacon combo was great. Lovely and moist, this tasty sandwich will have your mouth watering. A must try. Number 9, Station Road, Horsforth Price £2.90 Score: 4/5
Countdown to Great Yorkshire Show as tickets for main event go on sale by Sarah Dawson
PREPARATIONS for this year’s Great Yorkshire Show are now in full swing with only two months to go.
The show, which is now in its 152nd year, is the country’s leading agricultural event and is being held in Harrogate from July 13 to 15. Over 125,00 visitors are expected to attend. (Our pictures below and right
show entrants in last year’s show.) Attractions include international sheep shearing competitions, top class show jumping and 5,000 of Britain’s best cattle, sheep and pigs competing for the championship awards. The show’s star attraction is the Cock O’the North show jumping championship on the final day of the show, with top national and international competitors striving for glory. More than 2,000 horses and ponies will compete in the equine classes. Show director Bill Cowling is confident this year’s show will live up to expectations. He said:“We have an amazing entry of cattle this year. My background is farming so I find that one of the most enjoyable aspects of the show. “By sticking to our core purpose we appeal to both exhibitors and the visiting public.” The show is organised by the Yorkshire Agricultural Society and tickets are available now from www.greatyorkshireshow.co.uk or by ringing 01423 541222. Tickets bought in advance are £18 (£21 on the gate), concessions £17 (£20), children £8 (£10), and family £47 (£55).
Friday May 14 2010
North Leeds News
Big success for Headingley Festival by Juliette Bains ORGANISERS of last week‘s first Headingley Festival are so pleased with its success that they are planning the next one.
Hundreds of locals turned up for Headingley Festival and all that Jazz, which included 28 events taking place all over the LS6 area over the bank holiday week. Richard Lindley, festival organiser and owner of Café Lento on North Lane, said: “The quality of the events was terrific. It was putting down a marker for the festival because it is completely new.” Highlights included a marching band starting from North Lane going on to Shire Oak Primary School on Wood Lane for the children’s carnival, and Arcstock – a mini outdoor music festival in the car park behind Trio’s. Speaking about the children’s carnival, Richard
said: “There was a group of eight-year-old primary school kids playing dhol drums and there was face painting, food, Irish music and a local steel band too. “A lot of people had a really good time and parents said it was great.” The gospel choir at South Parade Baptist Church was another highlight of the week. Reverend Chunky Butt Funky and his choir ARCSTOCK: Ska Beatz impress crowd wowed the audience of almost 300 people. Throughout the week there were around 150 participants and an audience of between 500 and 1,000. The festival came about after Richard won a Dragon’s-Den style competition last year by presenting his idea for a music festival to the Headingley Development Trust. He added: “We definitely want to do it again. This was the baby and next year we hope to be AUDIENCE: Locals gather to see bands bigger and better.”
Real life drama during TV filming by Ben Miles THE world of television descended on Headingley last week as filming for a major new ITV drama began on Wood Lane.
ON SET: Recording takes place in Headingley
Wood Lane and Shire Oak Road were the scene for filming of the pilot of DCI Banks: Aftermath starring Stephen Tompkinson. The street was lit up over four nights last week as night scenes were filmed under several massive spotlights. The street spent several nights in near daylight. The screech of tyres could be heard on the first two nights as several police cars and ambulances were used in the filming. This left the area looking like it had been hit by a real crime wave.
Not only was filming taking place on the street, but two of the houses on Wood Lane were used, with scaffolding erected around the front of one house and a mock forensic tent placed in the front yard. A runner working on the shoot said: “It’s very long hours. We’re out until at least 1am every day. “This is the pilot so we’re not sure exactly when it will be shown.” The programme, based on the novel from award winning crime writer Alan Banks, will be screened as two hour-long episodes some time in the autumn. It is being produced by Left Bank Pictures, who produced Wallander and the award winning film The Damned United.
Yorkshire accent is best Ash cloud still disrupting by Sarah Dawson ARE people in Yorkshire proud of their accent? It would seem not.
However, a new survey has revealed Yorkshire accents are the most reliable and trustworthy in Britain. When it comes to buying a high value item, such as a car, trust plays a major role. The survey, which was carried out by FindYouCars.com, shows that Britons would feel safest doing business with Yorkshiremen, followed closely by Geordies and the Welsh.
Commenting on the survey, psychologist Dr Funke Baffour said: “Yorkshire and Geordie accents are often perceived as more pleasing to the ear as well as being representative of more trustworthy characters. In fact, it is believed that Yorkshire accents are most strongly associated with wisdom and intellect.” Chairman of the Yorkshire Society Keith Madeley said of the survey: “I think this is great for Yorkshire and we should be proud of our accent. There is a warmth in the Yorkshire accent that people can trust which comes through. We should not try to hide our accent or who we are.”
by Helen Patchett
FLIGHTS at Leeds Bradford International Airport were disrupted again by volcanic ash earlier this week.
On Saturday both inbound and outbound flights to and from Ibiza, Malaga and Alicante were cancelled. On Tuesday the ash cloud moved across the Iberian Peninsula, which caused airports in the Canary Islands, Spain and Morocco to close. Leeds Bradford International Airport was also affected. And on Tuesday outbound flights
to Palma, Malaga and Alicante scheduled to take off between 7am and 8.50am were cancelled. Inbound flights were cancelled from Palma, Malaga and Alicante which were due to take off between 1.10pm and 3.30pm. By Wednesday all scheduled flights were expected to operate. Catherine Cuthbert, PR Manager for Leeds Bradford International Airport, said: “We are advising that people with any concerns check with the airline websites for information and updates about the latest situation.”
Healing donkeys receive donation
by Helen Patchett
YORKSHIRE artist Bruce Dobson will raffle a painting to raise funds for a donkey riding centre in Leeds.
The Elizabeth Svendsen Trust for Children and Donkeys (EST), at Eccup, provides free riding therapy for children with special needs and disabilities in Leeds. Money raised from the raffle on June 12 will go towards improving the children’s play area at the centre, funded entirely by donations. Mr Dobson, 63, from Easingwold, first became aware of the EST when he was painting at a craft fair a couple of years ago and
PAINTING: To be entered in raffle
painted one of their donkeys. He said: “I am always happy to donate my paintings to a very good cause, because I believe that charity starts at home and I will often help when I can.” The painting to be raffled features a landscape scene with two horses. Mr Dobson has also been commissioned to paint a portrait of the founder of the EST, Dr Elizabeth Svendsen. He said: “I feel very honoured. She is a great lady and to be able to paint a portrait of her will be a great thing to do.” Raffle tickets cost £1 and can be bought by contacting the centre on 0113 2619249.
North Leeds News
Friday May 14 2010
Introducing the region’s newly elected MPs Now that elections are over, North Leeds News introduces you to the newly elected MPs in Leeds. Sarah Dawson, Assif Majid, David Hardiman, Helen Patchett, Samantha Gildea and Robert James Owen explain.
Pudsey IT’S all change for Pudsey as former Labour MP Paul Truswell’s seat turns blue.
ANDREW: New Pudsey seat
Conservative Stuart Andrew won the seat beating Labour candidate Jamie Hanley by a small majority. And this week he promised to put local jobs and transport at the top of his agenda. He said: “My first main priority for my constituency is the economy, the security of jobs and the opportunity for jobs. Transport is also another big area for Pudsey and Leeds which I am committed to improving.” Former sitting Labour MP Paul Truswell stood down at the election after 13 years, and the seat was targeted by the conservatives as a marginal they need-
HILARY Benn was returned as the Labour MP for Leeds Central but with a reduced majority of 10,645, down from 12,900 in 2005.
BENN: Leeds Central return
Mr Benn, former Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, held on to his seat in the Commons by winning 18,434 votes and a 49.3 per cent share despite a 4.8 per cent swing to the Liberal Democrats. The turnout in the constituency was 57.8 per cent which was below the national average.But this was an
Leeds North East
FABIAN Hamilton has held the North East Leeds constituency with 42.7 per cent of the vote.
Fabian Hamilton has been the Labour MP for North East Leeds since 1997 and a member of the foreign affairs committee since July 2001. There was a 70 per cent turnout in this constituency – higher than the national average. Mr Hamilton was returned with a majority of 4,545 votes – less than in
HAMILTON: Keeps his seat
RE-ELECTED Labour MP George Mudie goes into his 18th year as MP for Leeds East.
George Mudie has won his fifth term with a 50.4 per cent majority. However the results also saw his majority decrease from 11,578 in 2005 to 10,293, with a 5.5 per cent swing from Labour to the Conservatives, who won 23.2 per cent of the vote. Labour were the only party in Leeds East to lose votes compared to the 2005 election.
LABOUR were able to fight off a strong Liberal Democrat challenge to hold onto Leeds West with Rachel Reeves taking over from long standing MP John Battle.
REEVES: Labour victory
Ms Reeves becomes the first woman to be elected in a Leeds constituency since Alice Bacon, who was an MP in the city for 25 years until 1970. Ms Reeves succeeds John Battle, who retired after 23 years representing the seat. Labour’s majority was nearly halved from the 2005 result. In 2005 Mr Battle and Labour enjoyed 55.5 per cent of the votes with a near 13,000 majority,
Leeds North West
LIBERAL Democrat Greg Mulholland was reelected as MP for Leeds North West with a huge majority.
MULHOLLAND: Lib Dem win
In 2005 Mr Mulholland won the seat by just 1,877 votes, making it a target for the Conservatives in 2010. However, the Lib Dem candidate won 20,653 votes, beating Conservative Julia Mulligan by 9,103 votes to safely secure the constituency. The MP was not in the mood for celebrating though, as nationally the Lib Dems struggled to turn their high poll ratings into electoral success. He said that he was disappointed that the party had lost seats.
ed to win. Mr Andrew won with a 1,659 majority, narrowly beating Mr Hanley. Voter turn out in the constituency was high at 70.9 per cent compared to the national average of 65.1 per cent. Politically the seat has traditionally been conservative with the Conservative party holding it for over 75 years prior to 1997. Mr Andrew said: “It is a very exciting time and there is obviously a great deal of interest. My great thanks go to all the people of Pudsey, Horsforth and Aireborough. I shall fight hard for everyone across our great constituency.” increase in 2005’s election when the turnout was only 46.4 per cent. Mr Benn was born in London and is the son of “Bennite” Tony Benn – a former cabinet minister known for his left-wing position. Mr Benn junior is recognised for his role on initiating the “war on waste” campaign and has held various positions in government from Secretary of State for International Development to Secretary of State for Community and Custodial provision at the Home Office. the 2005 election when he had a majority of 5,262 votes. Even so he received 20,287 votes compared with 18,632 five years ago. On his website this week Mr Hamilton thanked everyone who had supported his campaign. He added: “I pledge myself to serve all the constituents of Leeds North East unstintingly and to the best of my ability.”
The BNP’s first ever Leeds East candidate managed to secure 7.8 per cent of the vote in this year’s election. But candidate Trevor Brown, the York BNP group organiser, still only came fourth out of five candidates. The Liberal Democrats came third with 17.5 per cent of the vote, and the Alliance for Green Socialism came last with 1.1 per cent. Turnout increased by 2 per cent with 58.1 of the constituency casting their vote.
while Reeves had to settle for a 7,016 majority with 42.3 per cent of votes. The Liberal Democrats built on their 2005 performance with 24.2 per cent of the votes, compared with 17.5 per cent five years ago. Likewise the Conservatives increased their share of the votes from 14.3 per cent in 2005 to 19.7 per cent. Following the result Ms Reeves, an economist, emphasized her willingness to repay the support. “I am determined to represent everyone in Leeds West tirelessly,” she said.
“There were some great news stories for us and there were some bad stories. It is one of the most extraordinary elections in quite some time. I am disappointed for every single one of my fantastic colleagues I have lost in Parliament,” he said. Since being elected in 2005, Mr Mulholland has campaigned on issues from high-speed rail for Leeds to securing the release of Mirza Tahir Hussain, a Hyde Park resident sentenced to death in Pakistan. Mr Mulholland has risen up in the ranks of his party, being made spokesman for health in 2007.
Friday May 14 2010
North Leeds News
Election gains alter political map of Leeds
Opinion – do women get a fair chance in national politics?
by Ben Miles
TO say that women are poorly represented in Westminster is an understatement. The election results have seen the percentage of female MPs rise – but only from 19.5 per cent, to 22 per cent. It seems politics is still a man’s game.
THE local elections in Leeds last week bucked the national trend for support leaving the Labour Party as they made gains from the Conservatives, Lib Dems and Greens.
The party has been the biggest on the council for more than 20 years but have been in opposition to a coalition made up of the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Morley Borough Independents (MBI) since 2004. The Labour party won 20 of the 33 contested seats in the election, gaining the following seats: •Ron Graham was elected to represent the Burmantofts and Richmond Hill ward, a gain from the Liberal Democrats •John Hardy was elected to represent the Farnley and Wortley ward, a gain from the Greens •Sharon Hamilton was elected to represent the Moortown ward, a gain from the Liberal Democrats •Ghulam Hussain was elected to represent the Roundhay ward, a gain from the Conservatives Alongside these gains they held all 18 Labour seats that were up for election. This means that in 2010
Labour have gained six seats in total from their rivals. The gains last week add to February’s Hyde Park and Woodhouse by-election victory and the defection of Linda Rhodes-Clayton to the party in the same ward. Rhodes-Clayton had been a member of the Liberal Democrats, but switched to independent status before joining the Labour party earlier this year. She did not stand for re-election but Labour held the seat. Last week also saw the election of Leeds’ first female Asian councillor. Kamila Maqsood gained the Gipton and Harehills ward with a majority of 3,074. Alongside the gains made by Labour, the MBI took control of South Morley from the BNP with Shirley Varley elected. Incumbent Chris Beverley slipped into third behind the Labour candidate. In Horsforth, Coun Brian Cleasby, the former Lord Mayor of Leeds, retained his seat. The Liberal Democrat councillor defeated Dawn Collins, the Conservative candidate, by 2,821 votes gaining 48 per cent of the total cast. Coun Cleasby said: “I’m delighted with the reaction
I’ve got from my residents. The majority is huge – no one’s ever got this percentage of the vote. “If anything it means that I now have to work much harder as I now have a bigger mandate for the ward. “We need to focus on protecting places of work in the area. We rely too heavily on financial businesses in the city centre that could walk away from the city whenever they want. “We need business and technology centres, we need to be finding the new Dysons of the world in our area.” Martin Hamilton retained his seat in Headingley for the Liberal Democrats with a majority of 1,927 and Judith Chapman held Weetwood for the same party with a majority of 2,094. In Otley and Yeadon Liberal Democrat Ryk Downes retained his seat with a majority of 2488. The Adel and Wharfedale ward was held by the Conservative’s Clive Fox with a majority of 784. The results mean that Leeds City Council’s 99 seats are now distributed like this: Labour 48, Conservative 22, Liberal Democrat 21 Morley Borough Independents 6 and Greens 2.
Local election results in North Leeds by Ben Miles Horsforth Brian Cleasby – Liberal Democrat 5959 Dawn Collins – Conservative 3138 Rebecca Brady – Labour 2356 Ian Asquith – BNP 358 Paul Hellyer – UKIP 326 Andrea Binns – Green 316 Headingley Martin Hamilton – Liberal Democrat 3993 Asghar Kahn – Labour 2066 Andrea Taylor – Conservative 981 Christopher Foren – Green 710 Declan Normanschild – Alliance for Green Socialism 89
Nigel Francis – Conservative 3159 John Eveleigh – Labour 3011 Geoffrey Bulmer – BNP 527 Francis Denning – Alliance for Green Socialism 233 Adel and Wharfedale Clive Fox – Conservative 5292 Christina Shaw – Liberal Democrat 4508 Nigel Gill – Labour 1822 Doreen Dawson – BNP 332 Paul Merchant – Green 291
Weetwood Judith Chapman – Liberal Democrat 4716 Matt Baker – Conservative 2622 Carol Hughes – Labour 2537 Martin Hemingway – Green 559 Peter Askins – BNP 287 Alan Procter – Indipendant 106 Keith Edwards – Alliance for Green Socialism 78 Otley and Yeadon Ryk Downes – Liberal Democrat 5647
No Majority – how the new council looks
by Samantha Gildea
1997 saw a record number of 120 female MPs elected to the House of Commons – 101 were Labour party politicians. The media named them “Blair’s Babes” – a patronising term which seemed to suggest that an influx of women into parliament was a novelty. Those women did not need Blair, nor did they need cheap sexual innuendo. They needed respect. Thirteen years on, and sexism is alive and well. The general election campaign included a contest between the party leaders wives, dumbed down to a fashion parade between Sarah Brown and Samantha Cameron. Thankfully, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez made clear that her career as an international lawyer, and her children, came well before photo appearances for husband Nick Clegg. If you want to see how bleak the political scene really is for women, you can start at home – Leeds. In the eight Leeds constituencies, only 14.8 per cent of the candidates were women – seven out of 47 in the running. Rachel Reeves secured a seat, becoming the Labour MP for Leeds West – but the other seven seats were won by male candidates, with five constituencies having all-male candidate lists. Two hundred and five of the 646 constituencies had all-male candidate lists at the general election. The Fawcett Society, the leading charity for gender equality in the UK, has gathered considerable evidence that suggests that when selecting party candidates, there is still great bias towards the “white male, middle aged, middle class norm”. Labour addressed this with the Sex Discrimination (Election Candidates) Act 2002. This legislation legalised all-female candidate lists, and to date this has been the only method that has delivered real change in the representation of women in the House of Commons. Yet only 10 constituencies had all-female lists in the 2010 election. The Welsh and Scottish parliaments have shown what quotas can do - Wales had an even number of male and female MPs in 2003, and when quotas were dropped during the 2007 Scottish election, the number of female MSPs plummeted to only a third. How are women’s issues and needs ever to be truly addressed by government if Westminster remains a male-dominated arena? How will we ever address and rectify the real injustices in British society? Women are paid 12.2 per cent less than men for full time work. Only seven rape cases out of every 100 reported to the police ends in a conviction on that charge. Approximately 30,000 women lose their jobs each year in the UK as a result of becoming pregnant – and in the FTSE 100, there are only four female chief executives. It seems wrong to me that despite the population of men and women in the UK being roughly equal (up until the age of 70), parliament fails to reflect this reality. Our elected representatives, in order to address the needs of all the electorate, need to be as diverse as the society we live in – and yet men still dominate the political sphere. The Fawcett Society estimates that at the current rate of change, Labour would take 20 years to reach an equal number of male and female MPs, the Liberal Democrats would take twice as long, and the Conservatives would take a ridiculous 400 years before achieving gender equality in the Commons. Why should women have to wait that long?
North Leeds News
Friday May 14 2010
Fears for market There are growing rumblings of discontent about the future of Leeds Kirkgate Market. Leeds City Council has assured the historic market will continue but dozens of traders fear its end is near. Robert James Owen reports. On top of rent and service charges, traders also pay business rates. Pav Rag, owner of Pav’s Bargains stall, pays in excess of £1,200 a month for his smaller stall. According to the council rents traditionally start at £48 per square foot, increasing to £55. Despite this the council refuses to cut rates,
“TWELVE bananas for a pound, two bags of oranges for a pound,” cries a trader at Leeds Kirkgate Market. Alive with noise, the market is a vibrant public space with an eclectic mix of traders and shoppers. The 19th century building houses over 300 stalls selling a diverse mix of goods and services. On any day of the week you could walk through the market, get your hair cut, pick up all your groceries and leave with a new rug or lamp – all at cut-rate prices. “No-one can match the atmosphere. Supermarkets can try but they can’t capture the feeling and buzz of market life,” says fishmonger Liz Laughton. But although life seems as busy and colourful as ever here, there are rumblings of discontent inside the market building. Action group Friends of Leeds Market held its first formal meeting last week to put pressure on Leeds City Council to give more support. The Friends discussed a number of issues, including finding out how much profit the council makes on the market, how it's being run, and how much investment has been put back into it over the years. A petition was also launched calling on coun-
"Recent rumours about the potential closure of Kirkgate market couldn't be more wrong. We'd like to reassure traders and shoppers that we are completely committed to Kirkgate and its future.”
“If the council doesn’t change its way of thinking the market won’t be here in five years’ time.” cillors to significantly reduce traders' rent, commit to a substantial investment in the market over the next five years, and impose greater transparency from market management. This followed an initial public meeting at Holy Trinity Church on Boar Lane attended by more than 200 local people and traders. The Friends group was formed in reaction to fears that the historic Kirkgate Market could close within five years. According to some, the market is in a state of crisis, with 62 of the 400 units inside Europe’s largest indoor market already closed. Liz Laughton says: “We are in no-man’s land at the moment. The council has lost focus about what the market should be. We need a positive strategy to revitalize it but there has been no strategy for ten years. This poor management is why the market is going downhill.” On the same day as the market action group meeting, the council issued a press release outlining its commitment to the future of the Vicar Lane building. In it, Cath Follin, head of city centre and markets, said: "Recent rumours about the potential closure of Kirkgate market couldn't be more wrong. We'd like to reassure traders and shoppers that we are completely committed to Kirkgate and its future. “The market is a big part of Leeds and its heritage. We are committed to continuing to improve the market and encouraging more and more people to visit and shop there. It is a truly spectacular space and offers such a wide variety of different items.” It has been revealed in the media that Kirkgate Market generates around £1.5 million a year in profits for the council.
Much of this surplus is believed to come from the rents traders pay, with concerns over the amount of money set aside for the market being one of the primary causes of discontent amongst traders. Michelle Hocken, owner of Hayes seafood stall, wants more of this money reserved to revitalize the place. “The council is not running the market as a business. Ideally we would like to see all market profits ringfenced and put back into the market,” she says. Liz Laughton adds: “Profits go into a central pot and then everywhere and anywhere.”
angering the traders who fear this will lead to more businesses going under and or moving out, causing a domino effect. Mr Rag says: “If the council doesn’t change its way of thinking the market won’t be here in five years’ time. “At the moment no-one is happy and there is a massive communication barrier between the council and the traders.” For many the market is a bustling, vibrant space, steeped in history, and an architectural treat that should be celebrated. The building is on the site of the Leeds Vicarage and croft that, in the 1820s, became a cattle market and eventually the site of the largest retail market in Europe. The design of the first market hall, built in 1857, was inspired by the Crystal Palace erected in London to host the Great Exhibition of 1851. Kirkgate Market was also the site of a penny bazaar, a single stall that was to grow into the national shopping institution, Marks & Spencer. Adorned with the slogan “Don't ask the price it's a penny”, the penny bazaar was started by Polish refugee Michael Marks in the 1880s with a borrowed £5, before forming a partnership in 1894 with Yorkshireman Tom Spencer. In reaction to the recent explosion in campaigning, the council has pledged £250,000 for the market in the next year but nothing specific has been said about how the money will be spent.
BUSY: A weekday at Leeds Kirkgate Market under the magnificent architectural ceiling
North Leeds News
Nowhere Boy DVD
by Samantha Gildea
IT is safe to say that John Lennon is one of the most iconic, instantly recognisable characters of the 20th century.
His music and his messages are still present in modern culture – in February this year he was even (somewhat controversially) featured in a Citroen car advert. What is less well known, however, is the story of his youth. What happened before the Beatles took over the Cavern, before they broke America, before John met York? And this is the basis of Nowhere Boy. Director Sam Taylor Wood offers a touching, understated look at Lennon’s teenage years, spanning from his decision to form The Quarrymen (the skiffle band that preceded the Beatles) to his leaving for Hamburg with the Beatles in 1960. However the film is not about the Beatles and fans should not expect a film about Lennon as a musician. Nowhere Boy focuses upon Lennon the boy, Lennon the teenager –
the tormented Lennon, torn between the aunt who raised him and his unstable, emotionally unpredictable mother. Aaron Johnson is excellent as the young Liverpudlian. Any well-read Lennon fan will instantly recognise the mannerisms and quirks that made the teenager so unique, so rebellious, and his voice also sounds frighteningly similar at times. Kristin Scott Thomas is also a wonderful Aunt Mimi – strict, often cold hearted, but the most stable influence in John’s life. She and Ann-Marie Duff (who plays Lennon’s mother, Julia) are perfectly juxtaposed – a stable, responsible parent versus a free spirited, creative muse. The portrayal of John and Julia’s relationship within the film captures perfectly the almost incestuous nature of their short time together – and the viewer is almost as confused as John by Julia’s reckless and perhaps bi-polar nature. Beatles fans will be able to spot the foundations of the band within the film – McCartney and Harrison are both featured as teenagers – but Wood is careful not to distract from the raw emotional drama at the core of Lennon’s youth. The viewer is introduced to John the teenager, not John the musician – although some would argue that the two are one and the same. For avid John Lennon fans, this film is a must-see – a peek into the years before he was “more popular than Jesus”. If you’re expecting a history of the Beatles, you will be disappointed – but it’s hard not to feel moved by Lennon’s emotional journey.
Nowhere Boy is available to buy on DVD
Corn Exchange, Leeds
by Assif Majid THERE is no business like fashion business especially when you are the former protégés of great British designers Paul Smith and Jonathan Saunders, and you are in Leeds Knightsbridge of the north. So now there’s no need to jet off to London or Paris. Leeds Corn Exchange welcomes a long overdue and much needed independent
menswear store aimed at 18- to 30-year-olds fashionistas, who desire something more than the ubiquitos ranges of All Saints and Aqua. The store stocks brands such as Comme des Garçons, Hurwendeki, Twins Diverses and Chris Habana, all of which have been introduced to Leeds for the first time. These brands have been sourced exclusively from London, Korea, Paris and New York for style conscious metrosexuals. The iconic menswear shopping destination opened its door with a launch party last week attended by Leeds glitterati, family and friends. The 600 sq ft concept store oozes industrial chic and has a modern contemporary feel. The inspiration behind the brand is a tribe known as Miyuki-zoku the first Japanese who were to adopt elements of the American preppy Ivy League Look who epitomised the summer of 1964 in Japan. The group’s name came from their storefront-loitering on Miyuki Street in the fashionable shopping neighbourhood of Ginza. The suffix “zoku” means subculture or social group. Vik Tailor and Nichola Morgan say the ethos of the store is to consistently and exclusively source high end brands that are hard to find, or little known, in the Leeds area and to create a unique shopping experience, from bespoke features such as light-installations as artwork to a laid-back, “anything goes” atmosphere to create a platform for up and coming talent in art and fashion Prices range from £12 to £135. MKI, Corn Exchange, Leeds, LS1 7BR, 01132468917
Friday May 14 2010
Idiots of Ants Interview
LINE UP: James, Andrew, Elliot and Ben by Harriet Cawley IDIOTS of Ants are an all male foursome in their late 20s who met at Birmingham University and now live in London. They are made up of Ben Wilson, James Wrighton,
Elliot Tiney and Andrew Spiers. With an Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination for their show at The Fringe last year and having won the Chortle Comedy Award in March this year, the lads are rapidly receiving critical acclaim. They have also made television appearances on E4, BBC3 and BBC2 as well as BBC Radio 4’s Loose Ends. Harriet Cawley met them at the Carriageworks, Leeds, before their Tuesday night gig. Q: How have you found getting ready for your gig in Leeds today, where have you been in the city? A: James: Well, I was born and grew up in Cleckheaton so spent a lot of my youth in Bradford and Leeds. However we are not getting to see much of the country on the tour – it is mainly the inside of theatres and we don’t get out till after dark. Although we do experience a lot of the city centre bars! Q: On your tour how have you found the difference between the northern and southern gigs and the reactions of the audience? A: Elliot: We sell out the gigs in London as we are better known there, but up north has been a better atmosphere so far. We have really enjoyed the gigs and got a brilliant reaction in Warrington and Stockton as well as Liverpool. I think northerners have a less judgemental mentality and come to see a gig thinking ‘I’ve paid my money I’m going to laugh’ whereas Londoners are more cynical and look at you thinking ‘Make me laugh’. James: I am looking forward to the Leeds gig as my Mum is coming over from Cleckheaton to see us. Q: Do you prefer touring to the radio and TV shows you have done? A: Elliot: It is more fun, it’s a completely different experience to making comedy for the screen. I prefer it because of the immediate audience reaction and also, although 95 per cent of our show is scripted, I like that we can ad-lib and react to our surroundings. Q: What has been the best moment of your career so far? A: Andrew: Probably receiving the Chortle Award this year or getting great reviews for our Edinburgh show. We played the Montreal Comedy Festival last year – which is the biggest in the world and met John Cleese which was amazing. Ben: That was a strange show as we ended up doing a gig with Ross Noble, Eddie Izzard and Bernie Clifton. It was an absolutely bizarre set up but I loved every minute of it. Q: Who are your comedy influences at the minute, and who influenced you when you were starting out. Ben: We all really like Daniel Kitson at the minute but back at uni we used to watch a lot of Big Train. I think that’s a brilliant show because it never repeats sketches like a lot do now. There are constant new characters and situations. Q: Who is your target audience, do you think you write student comedy? A: Andrew: No, not at all. We write for everybody and doing a theatre tour like this, as opposed to comedy clubs, you notice the diverse range of the audience. In Edinburgh everyone is much younger but we have enjoyed doing the tour and making a different cross section of society laugh. Q: Where would you like to gig that you have not yet had a chance to? A: James: Bradford probably so my Mum could come and see us again. Elliot: Are you being serious? I was thinking more along the lines of performing in Vegas in the middle of a Siegfried and Roy tiger show. James: No, I’m sticking with Bradford.
North Leeds News
Park Row, Leeds
JAMIE’S Italian is in its first week of opening, and approaching the restaurant you cannot fail to notice the impressive Victorian architecture of the old bank which now has Jamie’s name in gold inscribed along the side of it.
This sets a theatrical tone for diners and there were several intrigued locals viewing the menu and peering inside. There is an excited expectation about having a new restaurant in the city centre. Walking inside, the diners, mainly fashionable students and young professionals, sit and chat against a backdrop of authentic 1890’s period features – like the wooden floors and the steel arched ceiling, which contrast with two modern busy open kitchens. One kitchen is placed downstairs with chefs preparing fresh pasta as guests walk in, and the other upstairs is an antipasti bar. This has fresh deli meats hung from the ceiling, used to create an illusion of walking into a village restaurant in Italy. The contrast between Victorian and modern features is perhaps in keeping with the new restaurant, which has not yet found its place in the Leeds social scene. Jamie’s Italian is trying to be a family friendly
rustic, rural Italian pub with honest food available to everyone. However the prices and menu selection suggest this is not a place to bring children – or one that they would enjoy.
For example, the signature dish of the restaurant is the seasonal meat antipasti plank at £6.65 a head including seasonal cured meat like Tuscan fennel salami, pistachio mortadella, and piccante as well as Italian cheeses like buffalo mozzarella and pecorino with chilli jam. This is served with pickled chillies and mammoth green olives (pictured above). The underlying feeling that the restaurant is not family friendly is offset by the fact that the antipasti bar happens to be placed upstairs, with
Hyde Park Picture House
by David Hardiman
by Juliette Bains APPLE warn that it is the most addictive game on the app store. And they would be right.
ing aliens and UFOs.The design and graphics are simple but that’s all part of its charm. You can get different themes such as’ rainforest’ and ‘outer space’, which don’t detract from the game but are pretty pointless. Once you start playing, you won’t be able to stop. This innocent looking app will reel you in and your entire life will revolve around beating your own high score. So, you have been warned.
You will literally lose all communication skills as well as your social life by downloading this game but trust me, it’s worth it. The rules couldn’t be simpler – get the “Doodler” character to jump from platform to platform by tilting your i-phone and get as high as possible. Easy. All you’ve got to worry about is shooting cute look-
only one staircase between this and the tables on the ground floor of the restaurant. It seems glaringly obvious that on a busy Saturday afternoon busy parents with pushchairs and shopping bags will be walking up the stairs whilst waitresses will be running down carrying the huge antipasti planks. However the food itself served is certainly fresh, for example the pasta is cooked every morning and the ingredients are authentically sourced from Italy, and designed by Jamie, so the menu is certainly worth trying. There is also an element of showmanship inspired by the unique architecture as the antipasti planks are balanced on tins of Italian chopped tomatoes on the table, this adds to the animation of diners and the experience of the restaurant. Jamie’s Italian would be an ideal place to go for the novelty of enjoying celebrity endorsed cuisine on a special occasion. Although sadly, Jamie’s endorsements do not end with the food as there are several bookcases filled with his books for sale, as well as tea towels and oven gloves with his brand on. It remains to be seen whether Leeds welcomes Jamie’s Italian into its already overflowing upmarket restaurant scene or whether on this occasion Jamie will need to impress with more than his endorsement.
DIRECTOR Chris Morris has a trademark for controversial, black, uncomfortable comedy, finding fame in the 1990s for spoof TV shows The Day Today and Brass Eye.
A 2001 special of Brass Eye about paedophilia still holds the third highest amount of complaints of any show on UK television. His debut feature film is also controversial – it is the story of four would-be suicide bombers from Bradford whose determination to commit a terrorist attack is matched only by their almost slapstick incompetence.
Morris has said that Four Lions will do for Islamic extremism what Dad’s Army did for the Nazis by showing them as “scary but also ridiculous”. A plot to blow up a mosque, a trip to a Pakistan terrorist training camp and the recruitment of young British Muslims hardly seem like a recipe for comedy – but lead bomber Omar’s desperate attempts to train his three naïve friends leads to laugh-out-loud moments. The characters are caricatures but are still funny. But this does mean the film’s serious point – Britain’s inability to deal with Muslim radicalisation – seems a little shoehorned in and lost amongst the laughs.
Opera North, Leeds Grand Theatre
by Helen Patchett GIACOMO Puccini’s masterpiece of impossible young love, heartbreak and regret, La Bohème, has been described as one of the top ten operas in the world.
The original director of this Opera North production, Phyllida Lloyd, radically transformed the classic opera by locating it in the mid-20th century, when youth culture began to emerge, which is perfect for its themes of the lives and loves of young people. Puccini’s La Bohème was based on Henry Murger’s Scenes de la Vie de Bohème, a novel set in the Latin Quarter of Paris which romanticised bohemian life. Set in the grimy Paris of the 1950s, the story revolves around two couples who cannot make
by Harriet Cawley
Friday May 14 2010
LOVERS: Mimi and Rodolpho
(picture courtesy of Robert Workman)
things work. Mimì, played by Sarah Fox, is the delicate romantic interest of Aldo Di Toro’s Rodolfo. Their turbulent romance is mirrored by that of Marcello and Musetta, played by Marcin Bronikowski and Jeni Bern. La Bohème is not all tragedy and tears. There is some comic relief from landlord Benoit, played by Eric Roberts, and Frédéric Bourreau’s Colline and Thorbjørn Gulbrandsøy’s Schaunard, the colourful companions of Rodolfo and Marcello. The outstanding ensemble of opera singers are complemented by powerful music from the orchestra of Opera North, led by David Greed. La Bohème’s vibrant, youthful characters make it an ideal opera for first-timers and young people. Tickets cost from £10 to £58. For more information visit www.operanorth.co.uk
Friday May 14 2010
North Leeds News
Dolls roll into Leeds by Helen Patchett
A HIGH-ADRENALIN, fast-paced, full-contact sport from America is growing in popularity here in Leeds.
Roller Derby is where players skate around a flat track at high speed lapping their opponents. And one of the major teams in the north is the Leeds Roller Dolls. They hope to apply to join the worldwide Women’s Flat-Track Derby Association (WFTDA). The WFTDA is the international governing body for the sport of women’s flat track roller derby and a membership organisation for leagues to collaborate and network. Players known as “jammers” score points for each opposing “blocker” they pass after they have made it through the pack of blockers once. Blockers try to stop the opposing team’s jammer while helping their own jammer get through. When roller derby began in the 1930s in America it was a theatrical sport which emphasised entertainment value. Since then the game has evolved, bringing in the full-contact element. However some aspects of the original still exist, such as the use of skating names. Players have to check their name for uniqueness on the International Rollergirls’ Master Roster. Laura Omand, 22, from Leeds, chose the name “Dot Rotten”. She said: “I was trying to think of a name that described me. I am 5ft 1ins so I thought of Dot because it sounds small and cute. So I thought I would be Dot Rotten because it has a twist to it.” Leeds team member Heather Crompton, 28, from Hyde Park, chose “Chernobelle” as her skating name. She said: “I picked Chernobelle because I’ve got a Ukrainian family and I like the alter ego, it’s got a bit of menace to it.” While the popularity of roller derby in the UK has steadily grown over the years, it is in the spotlight now more than ever as it features in Drew Barrymore’s directorial debut Whip It. The film has helped to draw positive attention towards roller derby. Heather said: “There were 21 girls in our latest ‘newbie’ session and we still have people inquiring so it’s raising awareness already. “There is a difference though to the roller derby in the film and what we play. The film shows more of the entertainment element but we take it a bit more seriously. If you have a fight in our bouts you get expelled.”
No boundaries for big hitter at Horsforth CC by Harriet Cawley
A LOCAL teenager is at the centre of a media frenzy after smashing what is believed to be a world record when he hit 329 runs not out in a single day for Horsforth Cricket Club.
Ollie Hardaker, of Lee Lane West, Horsforth, said: “I’ve had emails and messages from loads of journalists from places like Sky Sports News, The Metro and The Mirror. “I get loads of attention mainly from the younger kids at school. People have started to recognise me in the corridors.” Ollie, 18, who attends Woodhouse Grove School in Apperley Bridge, and is currently studying for A levels in PE, Media and Theatre, also has his own
BATTER UP: Hardaker in action
Facebook fan page with over 450 fans celebrating his record breaking achievement. He needed just 144 balls to notch up the world record on May 2 and his astonishing innings included 27 sixes and 28 fours. Anything near this number for an entire team would be considered outstanding. The match was between Horsforth’s Sunday league team and Upper Wharfdale – needless to say Horsforth not only won but also set a new league record. Ollie is the fifth generation of his family to represent Horsforth Cricket Club, and the sport was clearly in his blood as he first picked up a bat at the age of five while at Bronte House Junior School. Ollie said: “My family are very proud Dad comes to every one of my games, but as luck would have it this was the first one he missed so he is pretty gutted.” The future also looks exciting for Ollie as he hopes to have a gap year after his A levels to travel to Australia to play cricket for a local team and then he is considering a place at university. Currently he is concentrating on his cricketing career as this summer he will be taking the Yorkshire under 19 trials and if he is accepted will be playing matches at county level.
Picture courtesy of Jason Ruffel
ROLL ON: The unique sport is gathering a following in Yorkshire As the traditional game has evolved into a more aggressive, full-contact sport, injury is a risk for players. Laura said: “We get little knocks but we’ve been together for over two years and we’ve maybe had two people with broken bones. Injuries for us are not something we focus on because it happens in sports. “It is full-contact in the sense that you can use your full body weight against another player but there can be no grabbing, tripping or anything nasty. There are a lot of rules in place for safety and we wear protective gear. It’s something we are trained to deal with, how to absorb the impact of a fall correctly and get up and carry on.” The Leeds Roller Dolls are hosting a cabaret night in Leeds to raise money for their roller derby team. The fundraiser will be at Santiago’s in the Grand Arcade on May 28 at 7pm. For more information visit www.leedsrollerdolls.co.uk
The Penguins prepare by Sarah Dawson LEEDS Penguins Lacrosse Club are gearing up for the start of the season with their first summer fitness session in preparation for the North Lacrosse League.
The ladies team- based at the Adel Sports and Social Club - held their first session on Wednesday in Roundhay Park. The sessions take place every week for lacrosse players to build up fitness for the matches. The team PENGUINS: The team with has a squad of 16 and includes all fitness coach Peter Cowan ranges of fitness and skills. side to win the Amsterdam Lowlands Club developer Jo Crickson, 30, Tournament in 2008 and are hoping said: “I started playing lacrosse at for further success this season. university and it's great fun. In the The Penguins play their home fitness sessions we do walking, matches at Adel Sports and Social sprinting and push-ups. I normally Club on Saturdays between September play on the wing and I am looking and April. Taster sessions are being forward to the start of the league held for beginners in September and later on in the year.” October this year. Leeds Penguins Lacrosse Club, For more information, visit previously known as the Harrogate www.leedslacrosse.co.uk. Penguins Lacrosse Club, moved to Leeds in 2005 and now includes a Fact file mens team. l Compared to most sports Team captain Julia Pearson, 30, lacrosse is relatively unknown. has been playing lacrosse since she l Lacrosse is a team sport of was 12. She said: “There is a pernative American origin played using ception of lacrosse as being a posh a small solid rubber ball and a longsport which I think often holds the handled racquet called a lacrosse stick. The head of the lacrosse stick sport back. is strung with loose netting that is “It is a very exciting game and designed to hold the lacrosse ball. involves a lot of skill. I played netl The object of the game is to use ball at school, but lacrosse is more the lacrosse stick to catch, carry, exciting and gets the adrenalin and pass the ball in an effort to going.” score by shooting the ball into an The team beat the Dutch national opponent’s goal.
North Leeds News
Friday May 14 2010
North Leeds sport
Promotion a mixed blessing for Leeds by David Hardiman
Upcoming Fixtures Today Rugby League Engage Super League Leeds Rhinos v Warrington Wolves Wakefield Trinity Wildcats v Bradford Bulls Tomorrow Football League One – Play Off Semi Final first leg Huddersfield Town v Millwall Cricket Clydesdale Bank 40 Yorkshire v Netherlands
TRIUMPHANT: But the euphoria of promotion could make way to uncertain times for Leeds PROMOTION should lead purely to celebration, but for Leeds United it could be a double-edged sword.
Despite the increased revenue and status getting out of League One brings, questions over ownership will have Leeds fans worrying over their future. Promotion to the Championship could mean that Leeds will be forced to name their owners. Under a current Premier League proposal to reform funding to the Football League, Championship clubs will have to name any shareholders with over 10 per cent holding. This would force the mystery owners to reveal their identity on the club’s website. Even six years after the club’s
relegation from the top flight, issues surrounding the club’s finances and ownership have yet to be resolved. Chairman Ken Bates has said he does not know who the anonymous owners are and problems with the running of the club is the last thing the fans want when there is a chance of getting the club back on track. Ten years ago, the club were playing in a European semi-final. Leeds lost that UEFA Cup match on a night now infamous for the deaths of fans Christopher Loftus and Kevin Speight in Istanbul. The club’s dramatic fall from grace since then has been well documented. This season’s struggle for pro-
motion has more parallels with events 20 years ago. The club had been languishing in the old Second Division for eight years, and new coach Howard Wilkinson oversaw promotion back to the top tier. He also guided them to the old First Division Championship in 1992, and Leeds will be hoping that history repeats itself, with United now one promotion from the Premier League. Current Leeds manager Simon Grayson insists this is what he will be concentrating on as the team being to prepare for next season. He said: “It was all about getting the team, the club, and the city promoted and we’re back in a league we deserve to be in.”
Runners pound the streets of Leeds by Robert James Owen
THOUSANDS of runners hit the streets of Leeds last Sunday for the 2010 Leeds Half Marathon and the Jane Tomlinson Junior Run and Mini Fun Run.
Up to 5,000 runners lined up at Millennium Square to pound the city tarmac, raising an estimated £30,000 for charity. Veteran runner Andrew Pearson, who runs with Longwood Harriers Athletics Club, won the men’s event for the second year in a row crossing the line with one of the fastest times recorded on the course in 1 hour 5 minutes and 54 seconds.
The 38-year-old, from Bingley, was able to knock off two minutes from his winning effort last year. Gemma Smith, of Kirkstall Harriers running club, was the first female to cross the finish line with a time of 1 hour 23 minutes and 27 seconds. Kate Offord, 11, and Dominic Owens, 12, won the boys and girls categories of the 2.5km fun run, with eight-year-old Oulton twins Jacob and Dionne Ellis crossing the finish line together in the 1.5km mini run. Runners were asked to raise money for the official event charity, the Yorkshire Cancer Centre.
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