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Tag Archives: city

Historic city centre former college building up for auction

A HISTORIC former college building in Bradford city centre, dating back to the 1870s, will be sold at auction next month.

The Grade II listed former Cathedral School on Captain Street has been empty since August, and it is among the properties that will go under the hammer at an auction by Pugh on December 7.

The building dates back to the 1872 when it was opened as a Cathedral School.

More recently the building was the home to Forster Community College. However, this summer the college moved its services to the upper floors of the City Training Services building in Little Germany, leaving the grand Captain Street school empty.

The building, a short distance from Napoleon’s Casino and the Corn Dolly pub, is in one of the quieter areas of the city centre. It is owned by the Church of England Diocese of Leeds, and the guide price is between £120,000 and £130,000.

It is currently divided into offices, training rooms and classrooms, but a local group says the building should ideally be converted into “high quality” housing.

Alan Hall, Vice Chair of Bradford Civic Society, hopes the building finds a buyer willing to give the building the investment it deserves. He said: “As a listed building it shouldn’t be demolished or just left to decay.

“Bradford Civic Society would like to encourage a higher standard of housing in the city centre, and Captain Street could be the perfect site to show how this can be done.

“The building would be suitable for genuinely high quality, spacious housing as it’s in a relatively peaceful part of the city centre and really near Forster Square station.”

The school building is next to the site of a major development of flats. Last month Bradford Council granted planning permission to Michael Exley to build on a 125 space car park on Captain Street. His proposals would see a 90 flat, six storey building constructed on the site, as well as two storeys of underground parking.

There will be 75 two-bedroom flats and two three-bedroom flats for sale on the open market, and seven one-bed flats and six two-bedroom flats sold as intermediate housing.

Other local lots going under the hammer at the auction, at Leeds United Football Club, include a 330 square metre piece of land at Kelmore Grove/Moresby Road, Woodside, currently owned by Bradford Council. The guide price for the lot is £15,000.

An empty Council owned former hairdressing salon in Greengates, 36 New Line, will have a guide price of £40,000.

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Housing association celebrates 30th anniversary

A housing association will celebrate its 30th anniversary at an event in Bradford tomorrow.

Manningham Housing Association (MHA), based at Bank House, in Manor Row, says it is proud to have remained true to its values since it was established in the 1980s

Starting out with only two properties to its name, the association now has more than 1,400 homes and over 6,000 housed residents.

MHA came into existence following a piece of research into the housing needs of black and Asian communities in the district by the Bangladeshi Youth Organisation, based in Bradford.

The research found that the needs of the South Asian community were not being addressed.

Subsequently, the Government and Bradford Council supported the growth of MHA.

Organisation Development and Performance Manager, Sabir Hussain, 51, said the company had “set the bar for housing standards that the Asian community expect.”

He said MHA is relatively small and only employs only around 30 members of staff, including a number from the black and Asian communities.

Despite the organisation’s size, it says it has gained a reputation within the communities it serves for “punching above its weight.”

Mr Hussain said MHA prided itself on levels of customer satisfaction.

At tomorrow’s celebration event, the organisers will celebrate the milestone along with special guests Lord Kamlesh Patel, Baron Patel of Bradford, the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Councillor Abid Hussain, as well as past and current board members and employees. The event is to be held at 6pm, at the Sunrise Restaurant, in Otley Road, with the evening consisting of speeches about the history, achievements and contribution of MHA, along with a speech from Barrington Billings, the chairman of MHA.

Back in the 1980s, Fazlul Haq, a founding member of MHA, was joined by volunteers from the Bradford Bangladeshi Youth Organisation as they went house to house in the city, interviewing people on the housing needs and priorities for residents.

After six months of hard work, they presented their findings to the Council.

This story and many others will be recalled to the guests as members of MHA share their memories and recount the history of the group.

Looking ahead, Mr Hussain said the aim was to “keep championing and to be the voice for the Asian and black community regionally and nationally.”

He said the aim was to stay independent as becoming any bigger would see MHA “lose that identity.”

Mr Hussain said MHA had made sure it had always “stayed true to their values and kept their identity.”

He added:”It’s onwards and upwards from here.”

MHA said over 80 per cent of its residents are of Bangladeshi or Pakistani origin, but added that: “We cater for all those in need.”

The organisation added that its customer satisfaction levels were “extremely high” and were consistently in the 95 per cent plus bracket. MHA operates a high proportion of large family homes and also runs a modern sheltered scheme for older residents. It also manages a number of properties for another housing provider and leasing properties from another.

‘This is our city’

Flowers and messages of condolence left for the victims of the Manchester Arena attackImage copyright Reuters
Image caption Hundreds of floral tributes were left to those killed in the arena attack

It has been six months since 22 people were killed and hundreds more injured in the suicide bombing at Manchester Arena. BBC News talks to people about how the city has changed since the attack.


‘This is our city

Image copyright Kestrel Cam
Image caption The Christmas market in Manchester attracts millions of visitors every year

At the Christmas market in Manchester’s Albert Square, shopper Nicola Depetrillo said people were “defiant” in the wake of the terror attack on 22 May.

“I think it’s the same for everybody now, life‘s changed for us,” she said.

“It will be in the back of your mind all the time and you are more aware of what is around you. But you’ve got to go about your everyday life. You can’t stop going out.

“Why should we stay away? This is our city.”

Image caption Nicola Depetrillo said life had changed since the attack but it would not stop her going out

Charlotte Powell said she recently took part in an event which involved chasing people in the city centre while collecting clues.

She described how one man thought they were running out of fear and began sprinting with them.

“His face was shocked and you could see the fear. He said ‘I thought it was another attack’ and all we were doing was running down the road,” she said.

“So people are a bit edgy.”

Image caption Charlotte Powell and Tibyan Sanoh said they felt people were scared of another attack

Tibyan Sanoh was on the tram when the attack happened and heard the bang as the bomb exploded in the arena.

She said: “For a couple of weeks it was really scary. But on the whole I feel like everyone’s just got back to normal, which is strange.

“When something happens people automatically think it’s a terrorist attack. But aside from that I feel Manchester is a hard-faced city anyway, so you just crack on.”

Image caption The city centre was filled with candles and tributes in the aftermath of the attack

Catherine Jones, from Cheadle Hulme, said on Remembrance Sunday a cannon fired to mark the beginning of the silence made her jump.

“My immediate reaction was it was a bomb again. You think about it more in the city centre when you’re in enclosed shopping centres. I’d rather be out where you can run if it happens again.”

She said people were more vigilant and the attack had increased awareness around reporting anything suspicious.

“We wouldn’t stop coming in to Manchester because of it [though]. Life has to go on.”

Image caption Catherine Jones said she is more vigilant since the attack

‘It is more secure’

Image caption The additional security measures were not in response to any specific threat, Greater Manchester Police said

As visitors enjoy German sausages at the markets and sip mulled wine, they are being joined by armed police.

Greater Manchester‘s mayor Andy Burnham announced officers would for the first time patrol the market to provide the “reassurance people will want”.

Armed officers have also been deployed to Manchester Airport and events such as the Great Manchester Run.

Hanouf Alosaimi, who was visiting the market, said: “If I see armed police, everything is safe and good. When I see police everywhere, everything is secure and I am very happy with it.

“[I think Manchester in general] is more secure. I feel very, very safe.”

Image caption David Adu-dwumaa said security has since been “massively vamped up”
Image caption Stephen Morrisroe and Caniko Behdjet said Manchester has a “you won’t knock us down” attitude

“Security has been massively vamped up,” says David Adu-Dwumaa who works in the city centre but lives in Leigh.

“Some people would see it and be paranoid about what could happen, but it can always happen, so I think it’s better for [reinforcements] to be there.”

However, Caniko Behdjet, from Whitefield, said she felt “concerned, rather than reassured and protected” when she saw police with guns.

“As soon as I got off the tram there was something over the loud speaker about keeping your belongings with you or they will be destroyed. It makes you feel a bit uneasy.”

Image caption New security measures, such as concrete barriers, have been put in place in the city centre

Barriers have also been put up at key locations in the city centre.

Councillor Pat Kearney said he had visited the market in Berlin where a lorry ploughed into shoppers and killed 12 people and had “learned lessons”.

“A year or two ago we wouldn’t talk so openly about the security measures. But now I think the public actually want to be reassured that the council and police have thought through the security,” he added.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Armed police watched over runners during the Simplyhealth Great Manchester Run

Tourism ‘as high as ever’

Image copyright Manchester Pride/TheVainPhotography
Image caption Thousands attended Manchester’s Pride festival which featured Coronation Street’s float in memory of attack victim Martyn Hett

Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce (GMCC) reported an “immediate dip” in tourism and hotel bookings following the attack.

But levels of tourism, visitors and conferences are now as “high as ever”, according to its head of research and policy, Christian Spence.

“This year’s festivals and events in the city centre have all been huge successes and the Manchester ‘buzz’ is very much in evidence,” he said.

Hotel occupancy rates initially “struggled” after the attack but showed signs of recovery by August, a report to Manchester City Council’s Economy Scrutiny Committee said.

Marketing Manchester said hotel occupancy up to the end of September was nudging ahead of the 2016 figures.

“We are confident we will end the year ahead of last year,” a spokesperson said.

This contrasts with hotel performance data following the terror attack in Paris in November 2015 which left 130 people dead, when “mixed performance levels were still evident a year later”.


Hate crime spiked

Reports of Islamophobic hate crimes and incidents in Greater Manchester rose by 500% in the month following the attack, police figures showed.

They included a bomb threat, racist taunts, and graffiti.

After this initial spike, and a high of 1,061 reported incidents, the figures have since dropped but remain slightly above 2016 levels.

In October there were 711 incidents of reported hate crime, compared to 564 the previous year.

Greater Manchester Police’s Assistant Chief Constable Rob Potts said events in Manchester and across the UK have had a “huge impact” on figures, but one month after the attack levels of hate crime “returned to similar levels” as before.

He said hate crime was often under-reported and encouraged people to come forward.


‘Psychological impact’

Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption A police cordon was put up around the arena and Manchester Victoria station and some businesses were closed for several days

Firms closest to the arena, which had to be closed for several days in the immediate aftermath of the attack, were offered help by Manchester City Council.

Three applied for business rate relief and received support totalling £7,640, while others were contacted for potential support from a hardship scheme.

Several businesses responded and identified potential losses totalling about £50,000, the Economy Scrutiny Committee report found.

But Mr Spence said that when compared to “the physical devastation” of the IRA bombing in 1996, the biggest impact of the recent bombing was “on those who lost loved ones… those injured… and the psychological impact on people who live and work in the city centre.”

Boy, 3, died ‘waiting to see doctor’ at Birmingham hospital

Basil MohammedImage copyright Family handout
Image caption Basil Mohammed died in the A&E waiting area at Birmingham Children’s Hospital last Wednesday

The father of a three-year-old boy says his son died in his arms while waiting more than an hour to see a hospital doctor.

Basil Mohammed died in the A&E waiting area at Birmingham Children’s Hospital last Wednesday.

He had a rare syndrome that can lead to kidney or liver failure and his father, Muawai is questioning why he did not receive urgent care.

The hospital is conducting a review and offered “deepest condolences”.

Basil had Wolcott Rallison Syndrome and was diagnosed at the city centre hospital, where the family said they received excellent care from the diabetes team.

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Mr Mohammed said his son was seen by a triage nurse within about 25 minutes last Wednesday but then left in the waiting room “for more than an hour”.

“I can feel him. He’s my son… and I know he’s going to go,” he said. “I went back to them and I said ‘he’s going to go’.

Image caption Basil was being treated by the diabetes team at the hospital

“They said ‘what do you mean?’ and I said ‘he’s going to die soon if you don’t find me a doctor to see him soon’.”

Mr Mohammed said he wanted a full investigation into what happened and urged the hospital to review its CCTV waiting room footage.

“I’m a dad. I have emotion,” he added.

Dr Fiona Reynolds, chief medical officer at Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said it would work with the family through the investigation.

“We would like to offer our sympathy and deepest condolences to Basil’s family,” she said.

“When any child dies in our care we carry out an investigation to fully understand the circumstances and to provide answers for their loved ones.”

Image caption Muawai Mohammed said he told staff Basil was “going to die soon if you don’t find me a doctor”

Plans for a Bradford BID take a step forward

PLANS for a Business Improvement District in Bradford have taken a stride forward.

The results of a study into the scheme, designed to improve the city centre, were revealed at the Alhambra Theatre by Ian Ward, Chair of the Bradford BID Development Group, this afternoon. 

A BID is a defined area within a city where a levy – typically one to 1.5 per cent – is charged on all business rate payers over and above their normal business rates.

The levy is then used to develop projects or services which benefit the businesses in that area. Other BID areas have used the money to tidy up empty premises, make it easier for visitors to find their way around, provide extra security such as cracking down on anti-social behaviour and street drinking, and organise festivals.

The survey found that 70 per cent of respondents were in favour of the BID concept being tested by ballot, while 22 per cent were undecided and 8 per cent were against the idea.

Following analysis of survey returns, it is recommended that Bradford now moves towards detailed consultation and the production of a draft BID business plan.

It is anticipated that a ballot would take place in Autumn 2018 and, subject to a positive vote, the BID would operate from December 2018.

An initial BID boundary has been proposed, along with a 1.25 per cent BID levy, which would lead to 585 eligible business premises being part of the improvement district.

This would result in an annual BID levy income of nearly £420,000, which would amount to more than £2 million over the course of the fiveyear BID term.

Further “extensive” consultation will now be carried out around the outline proposals.

BIDs have been established in more than 270 cities, towns and districts across the UK, including in Keighley, Otley, Halifax, Leeds and Wakefield.

Sacha Baron Cohen offers to pay ‘Borat’ mankini fines

Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat in a mankini with thumbs upImage copyright PA

Sacha Baron Cohen has offered to pay fines for six Czech tourists who were arrested in Kazakhstan for wearing nothing but ‘Borat’ inspired mankinis.

The group had posed for photos in the capital city of Astana.

On 14 November, local media reported the tourists had been fined 22,500 Tenge ($67; £51) each for their “indecent” appearance.

The notorious one-piece was made famous by the English actor’s character, Borat, a fictional Kazakh TV presenter.

“To my Czech mates who were arrested. Send me your details and proof that it was you, and I’ll pay your fine,” the comedian wrote on Facebook.

Image copyright informburo.kz
Image caption The Czech men were detained for “minor hooliganism” after posing in freezing temperatures

Borat actor offers to pay mankini fines

Baron Cohen’s 2006 comedy film Borat! Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan, follows the character of Borat Sagdiyev as he travels to the US to make a documentary.

The film earned the actor a Golden Globe award but also attracted controversy.

Kazakhstan banned the film and sales of the DVD and the authorities threatened to sue him.

But in 2012, the Kazakh foreign minister publicly thanked Baron Cohen for boosting tourism in the central Asian state.

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Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Sacha Baron Cohen as Kazakh journalist Borat Sagdiyev

Mankinis could get you in trouble closer to home too.

In 2012, mankinis and other “inappropriate clothing” were banned in Newquay in a bid to reduce crime and shed the Cornish seaside town’s stag party reputation.

Festive street fun comes to city

BRADFORD city centre will burst into life with colourful street entertainment for a weekend of festive fun. 

More than 20 magical and interactive acts will surprise and delight visitors to the city as the magic of the big day gets closer. 

Father Christmas and his sleigh will make an appearance, along with elves, fairies and stilt walkers. 

There will also be towering inflated bouncing snowmen, cuddly Christmas characters, Rudolph the Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman and Percy Penguin. 

And two giant sparking ‘Snowball Sprites’ on wheels will whiz around the city, while a Snow Globe glides gracefully through the streets to create a magical fairytale atmosphere. 

Liver Cottage Christmas will serve up some disgusting seasonal tips – including how to make the perfect sprout smoothie – and Just in Case Christmas will juggle balls of holly, play with flaming puddings and produce a Christmas cake in a flash of light.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Christmas is a magical time of year so we wanted to bring that magic to the city centre to entertain shoppers and children.”

City Park and Tyrell Street will also host all the fun of the fair from November 30 to December 3. While all street theatre will be free to watch, charges will apply for funfair rides. 

Festive Streets will run on Saturday, December 2, and Sunday, December 3, from 12pm until 5pm in and around the city centre, including Bank Street, Hustlergate, New Market Place, Darley Street, Kirkgate and City Park. 

Saturday will also see a Made Bradford Christmas Market held in Darley Street.

 

Newsagent’s kiosk in city centre could be demolished

Plans to demolish a prominent newsagent’s kiosk in the city centre have been put forward by Bradford Council.

The Council’s Demolition and Works Unit has submitted the application to remove the kiosk from City Park.

Bradford Council has said removing the kiosk will create more space for events and pedestrians, and also improve the appearance of the square.

The 43.5 sq metre kiosk takes up just 0.2 per cent of the total area of City Park, which has a total area of more than 20,000 sq metres.

The Council has also pledged to help the business owner find a new location and have access to Growth Zone Funding.

The kiosk, Centenary News, has been based in City Park for 23 years.

Mohamed Memi, manager of Centenary News, said it would be sad to leave the kiosk and City Park, and a lot of its regular customers have been upset at the news.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw said on Facebook the decision to get rid of the kiosk was “not easy”.

He said: “The tenant was notified of our intentions not to renew the lease before the planning application was submitted. Times have changed since the kiosk was first put in and there’s a better offer now in the city centre for that type of product.

“It’s also in the middle of City Park, and to be honest isn’t really up to the same standard as its surroundings.

“As some people have noted, it also acts as a bottleneck during busy events and this gives us the opportunity to open that space up better.

“It’s not an easy decision as we’re conscious it’s someone’s business but we believe it’s the right thing to do and will give us the opportunity to improve City Park as an events space.”

A spokesman for Bradford Council said: “The multi award-winning City Park has been a major catalyst for regeneration and continues to be a magnet for visitors. When the park opened in 2012 the lease on the kiosk had a number of years to run.

“Now the lease has expired, we are looking to create more space for pedestrians and additional open space for events.

“Removing the structure will improve the appearance of the City Park environment which is now a key city centre destination.

“We will of course work with the business to help find an alternative location as well as discussing access to Growth Zone Funding as part of the Priority Streets Scheme.”

To comment on the application, visit the Council’s planning website, or write to the Planning Service at Britannia House, Hall Ings, BD1 1HX, quoting planning reference 17/06288/FUL, by Friday, December 22.

Lincolnshire Police defends Guy Martin tank decision

Guy MartinImage copyright Channel 4
Image caption Daredevil Guy Martin wanted to drive the replica WW1 tank he built through Lincoln, the birthplace of the tank, on Remembrance Day

The decision not to let Guy Martin drive a 30-tonne tank through Lincoln on Remembrance Day has been defended by police.

The TV daredevil wanted to drive the WW1 replica through the city, which is the birthplace of the tank, on 11 November.

But during a Channel 4 documentary, he said the stunt was pulled because Lincolnshire Police “aren’t happy”.

The force said it did not refuse but had suggested extra safety work.

In Sunday’s programme, Guy Martin’s WWI Tank, the presenter said there were “a few problems“.

He said: “Lincoln is the home of the tank. The plan was get her up and running and drive her up Lincoln High Street for Remembrance Day.

“That’s gone a bit pear-shaped. The police aren’t happy with what we are doing.”

Image copyright Richard Pullen
Image caption Fosters of Lincoln produced as many tanks as possible while still making agricultural machinery

Several people then criticised the police on social media, with one calling the decision a “terrible shame”.

But Ch Supt Mark Housley said the force was “thrilled” when it heard the tank would come to the city but “several issues were raised”.

“The Remembrance Day parade attracts a few thousand people in Lincoln, with a demographic that includes both young and senior citizens,” he said.

“[But] the addition of Guy Martin and his tank would expand that number considerably and, therefore, action needed to be taken by the production company to ensure the safety of all participants.

“The event was not refused but further work was suggested to ensure safety.”

The footage was eventually shot in France.

Chancellor urged to back Bradford in his Autumn Budget

Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe has urged Chancellor Philip Hammond to deliver “a fair deal for the Bradford district” in his Autumn Budget on Wednesday.

Councillor Hinchcliffe said: “It’s time for a radical change of direction because people in Bradford deserve the same opportunities and investment as people anywhere else in the country.”

She said he could address the north-south divide by investing in Bradford’s communities, public services, social care, ease demand pressures on the NHS and provide capital resources to support local investments which “can deliver huge returns” and unlock economic growth, for example in enterprise zones, high-speed rail, regeneration projects, skills and employment.

She added: “Bradford is globally connected, we are among the UK’s top exporters. We are home to over half a million people and we are the youngest city in the UK with a quarter of residents aged under 16 and they are the future of the northern powerhouse.

“We have 17,000 businesses and a £9.5 billion economy. We have high business start-up rates, which reflects a tradition of industry and entrepreneurialism. Bradford can be a great asset to a post-Brexit Britain.

“The Council is working with businesses, communities and partners to attract more investment, improve infrastructure, connect more people to the economy, lead the resurgence of our city centre and support the growth of our manufacturing, digital and health and care sectors. Collectively we are working hard to promote Bradford as a place of choice in which to live, work, study, invest and to visit.

“We’ve been ambitious in the plans we’ve submitted to him but at the same time they are perfectly achievable proposals which will deliver a clear return on investment for the public purse. This week’s Budget gives the Chancellor his opportunity to address the north-south divide by investing in our communities and public services which have been hammered so hard by his government’s austerity programme.”