Tag Archives: programme

Deprived parts of Bradford district celebrate £11 million funding boost

FUNDING totalling almost £11 million has been awarded to Bradford district to stimulate economic growth and jobs.

Two of the most deprived areas of the district have been awarded over £5.4 million in matched EU funding via the Leeds City Region European Structural Investment Fund to support activity that addresses local needs and opportunities over the next five years.

The funding will lead to Community Led Local Development (CLLD) programmes being set up in Bradford to cover the city, Great Horton and Manningham wards and in Keighley to cover Keighley East, Keighley West and Keighley Central wards.

The Bradford Central CLLD area has been granted £1.5 million European Regional Development Fund from the Department of Communities and Local Government and £1.5 million European Social Fund, from the Department for Work and Pensions, which matched with local funding has the potential to deliver a £6 million programme.

The Keighley CLLD area has been granted £1.4 million European Regional Development Fund from the Department of Communities and Local Government and European Social Fund cash of £1 million from the Department of Work and Pensions. This will have the potential to deliver a £4.8 million programme.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “Bradford is known as an entrepreneurial district. This funding is about bringing together local communities giving opportunities to develop projects that tap into the potential of people in these two areas.

“These Community Led Local Development projects will provide support, education and skills to unemployed people, raising their aspirations and helping to lift barriers to entry to and progression within jobs. They will also aim to support new business start-ups and existing small businesses to help them to grow and expand.”

Hamayun Arshad, Chair of the Bradford Local Action Group, added: “Local residents, business people and voluntary sector workers on the Local Action Group have been working hard with Carlisle Business Centre, Bradford Council and other local partners for over two years to bring this resource to the area. Communities living in Manningham, Great Horton and City wards are some of the most enterprising in the country.”

Wendy Spencer, Vice Chair of Keighley CLLD, said: “We are absolutely delighted that Keighley has been awarded this funding. Our aim is to make the area a better place to live, work, start new business and help existing businesses to grow. Skills development and job creation is a priority.”

A community led local development is about local people getting involved to take the lead on activity that provides sustainable economic benefits.

A Local Development Strategy has been developed for each area, in partnership with local delivery partners, business and the local community.


Hotel with ‘massive potential’ sold to new owner

The Tong branch of a major hotel chain has been sold to a successful hotel entrepreneur.

Anish Bir’s purchased the Leeds Bradford Holiday Inn from Kew Green Hotels for an undisclosed sum in an acquisition supported by the Allied Irish Bank (GB).

It is the first acquisition of his new venture following 20 years in Allahabad in India, where he owned and ran a successful hotel. In the 1980s and 90s Mr Bir also owned two busy hotels in the West Midlands.

The hotel, parts of which date back to the 19th century, has 53 bedrooms, 10 meeting rooms, a restaurant and bar and is a popular wedding venue. The hotel will retain its Holiday Inn branding under the ownership of Mr Bir, who will work with the existing management team over the next 12 to 18 months whilst overseeing a refurbishment programme.

Mark Duggan, Senior Relationship Manager at Allied Irish Bank said: “Anish has a proven track record in the hotel industry gained over many years in the business and we believe that in this first acquisition under his new venture he has chosen a hotel with massive potential.”

Mr Bir said: “The current business climate in the UK made this new venture a very attractive proposition for me. I’ve been looking for just the right hotel for quite some time and everything came together when I visited the Holiday Inn Leeds Bradford.

“Not only is the hotel doing very well at the moment but there is also great scope for its future. We will continue to invest in the business by starting a programme of refurbishment projects in the New Year, with the aim of securing a four-star rating once those improvements have been made.

Family of meningitis tot start petition with aim of bringing back vaccine

The family of meningitis tot Kia Gott are hoping thousands of people will sign an online petition to bring back a routine vaccine they believe would have saved her legs and arms.

Surgeons had to remove all four of the 11-month-old’s limbs after she was struck down by meningococcal septicemia in September, leaving her fighting for her life.

Kia, from Wyke, is still in high dependency care at Leeds General Infirmary and her family has started campaigning to get the MenC vaccine reintroduced for 12-week-old babies.

The vaccine was stopped in July last year after the Joint Committee on Vaccination (JCVI) sent a letter to Public Health England in March 2016, recommending that infants aged 12 weeks no longer required the vaccination against meningococcal serogroup C (MenC) due to the success of the immunisation programme that started in 1999.

But relative Donna Gott said the vaccine would have saved a lot of heartbreak and NHS costs if it had been continued.

“Just one case is too many. Because that vaccine was stopped, Kia is fighting for her life,” said Ms Gott, who is a director of a Shipley-based care company.

“It’s not justified just because there used to be 700 cases a year which went down to just a handful a year. The reason why the programme was so successful is that they were giving it to babies at 12-weeks-old. It’s common sense to re-introduce it. Otherwise it will just ruin lives and cost thousands and thousands of pounds in care costs.”

NHS Choices says the success of the MenC vaccination programme meant there were almost no cases of the disease in babies or young children in the UK any longer and therefore the dose of MenC vaccine that used to be offered to babies at 12 weeks of age was removed from the vaccination schedule.

However, all children will continue to be offered the Hib/MenC vaccine at one year of age.

So far, more than 900 people have signed the petition at It closes on June 1 next year.

At 10,000 signatures, the government will respond to the petition but, if 100,000 people support it, the petition will be considered for debate in parliament.

The family is going to contact Bradford South MP Judith Cummins to get her backing.

“We desperately need people to sign the petition and let’s get this debated in Parliament. We are hoping our own MP will give us her support,” added Ms Gott.

Ms Cummins said: “The family will definitely be knocking at an open door. If they contact me I would be delighted to take up this cause for them and do all I can to help.”

Meningitis Now has a free helpline on 0808 80 10 388.

Lily Madigan: I want to be Labour’s first transgender MP

Lily Madigan is the Labour party’s first transgender women’s officer but her appointment has ruffled some feathers.

The 19-year-old was elected to the position in Rochester and Strood earlier this month.

Lily campaigned to have the previous officer, Anne Ruzylo, removed due to her perceived transphobic views.

“I come from an under-represented section of womanhood,” Lily tells Newsbeat.

“I thought I was the best person for the role. I’m pretty happy other people agreed.”

Lily’s appointment, and her application to be part of the Jo Cox Women In Leadership programme, has angered some parts of the press and (reportedly) members of the Labour Party too.

Jo Cox memorial

Image caption Jo Cox was murdered in June 2016 and was best known for her work with refugees in the UK

One right-wing website ran an article titled “Lily Madigan is not a woman” while the Times reported unnamed Labour supporters as saying Lily’s application was a “monstrous insult” to female party members.

But Lily believes they have missed the motives behind the Jo Cox initiative.

“The whole point of the programme is to get a diverse group of talented women to stand for election and roles within the Labour movement and wider public life,” Lily says.

“Transphobia in response to my application would be very much against that point.

“It’s very reminiscent of homophobia in the 80s and I think they just know they are losing at this point.”

Some of those already on the Women in Leadership programme have shared a message of support for Lily’s application.

But this isn’t Lily’s first experience of transphobia.

In 2016 she hired a solicitor after her school threatened to suspend her for wearing female clothes to school and continued to call her Liam, her name as a boy.

She says this experience left her “shaken” but built her determination to raise awareness of transgender rights – particularly within politics.

“It was Labour’s Equality Act that helped me out in that situation,” Lily says.

“Which is why I joined the party. I sort of worked my way up from there.”

Lily Madigan

Image caption Lily says her priorities as women’s officer is lack of funding for refuges and nurseries

Addressing recent criticism of her appointment, Lily says she will be working closely with others in the Rochester and Strood area in her role as women’s officer to best represent female constituents.

“No woman has the experience to be representative of all women,” she says.

“That’s why one of my pledges was to make a women’s forum across the constituency so I can get feedback from all women and we can share opinions and ideas to go forward in the best way.”

And Lily hopes her new role in the Labour party is the start of a long political career.

“I’d love to be the first trans MP. It’s about time,” she says.

“I’d love to get us to a point where there just isn’t this transphobia, where womanhood isn’t as related to biology.

“Trans women are women. It’s about time everyone recognised that.”

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New whisky distillery near Dingwall ‘a world first’

Aerial image of GlenWyvis Distillery during its constructionImage copyright GlenWyvis Distillery
Image caption An aerial image of GlenWyvis Distillery during its construction

What is described as the world’s first community-owned craft whisky distillery has opened.

GlenWyvis Distillery has been constructed on a hillside near Dingwall in the Highlands following a crowdfunding campaign.

The community benefit company set up to raise funds has more than 3,000 members.

The distillery will make the first whisky in the local area in about 90 years.

Gin is also to be produced at the site, which gets its power from a renewable energy project, from next year.

body-narrow-width”> Image copyright GlenWyvis Distillery
Image caption The distillery will make the first whisky in the area for about 90 years

GlenWyvis managing director and founder, John McKenzie, said: “From the outset we have envisaged the project as much more than a distillery.

“We recognised this was an opportunity for all social investors to help reinvigorate the town of Dingwall and build on our whisky heritage through community-ownership.

“We have undertaken a massive outreach programme to build interest and investment in the project both locally and further afield.”

Image copyright GlenWyvis Distillery
Image caption A view over Dingwall from the distillery

Chairman David O’Connor added: “We are now all set to move from commissioning to whisky production, and we are all extremely proud that this ambitious two-year project has reached the stage of the official opening today.

“This is a remarkable community project and the support has been overwhelming.”

The first of a number of community shares offers to pay for the distillery was launched in early 2016.

Free ATMs ‘must be available across UK’

ATMImage copyright Getty Images

The network that oversees free-to-use cash machines across the UK must ensure there is an even spread of ATMs across the country, an influential MP says.

Nicky Morgan, who chairs the Commons Treasury Committee, said any big fall in the number of ATMs would “clearly be of concern”.

She has written to the head of the Link network amid debate over an overhaul of the system.

There are fears of “ATM deserts” but Link said such worries were misplaced.

Under proposals published earlier this month, Link would reduce the amount it charges card issuers to allow customers to use the machines from around 25p per withdrawal to 20p.

It said the changes – which would come into effect next April – would help protect the network, which currently includes 55,000 free-to-use machines.

However, the ATM Industry Association said that this could cause problems of access for customers – a concern picked up by Ms Morgan and her committee of MPs.

“It seems intuitive that a 20% reduction in the interchange fee received by an ATM operator may mean that some machines are no longer economically viable,” she said, noting that there were plans for subsidies when an ATM was not viable.

Her letter asks what assurances can be provided to the Treasury Committee that the proposals will preserve the existing geographical spread of ATMs and have no negative impact on financial inclusion.

It also asks how many ATMs are projected to close as a result of the proposals and what arrangements will be in place to monitor ATM changes.


Sir Mark Boleat, who chairs Link and to whom the letter is addressed, said: “We do not envisage any scenario where there will be areas of the UK which will not continue to have free access to their money.

“Our proposals include a strong financial inclusion programme that will ensure that there is positive impact on financial inclusion.”

However, Ron Delnevo, executive director of the ATM Industry Association, said: “It is wonderful news that the Treasury Select Committee is examining this threat to financial inclusion with the urgency that it warrants.

“It is now essential that Link addresses these concerns with adequate and detailed responses before rushing through any ill-considered decisions, which threaten the viability and vitality of thousands of communities around the UK by denying them access to cash from free ATMs.”

Council pledges to extend gritting routes this winter

MORE roads in Bradford are to be gritted this winter after the Council allocated an additional £25,000 to the winter servicing programme and installed a network of weather cameras.

The move follows an outcry last winter when the authority cut its gritting routes from 60 to 50 per cent and warned there would be a further reduction to 42 per cent to save an additional £40,000 in 2017-18.

Instead the Council has reinstated some of the previously axed routes and says it will now grit more than 700 miles of priority roads (62 per cent) including bus routes, highest volume roads and access roads to hospitals and schools.

It says it has made savings through more efficient route design and joint purchasing of weather forecasting services.

Twelve weather cameras situated around the district will feed live pictures of conditions as they develop allowing staff to quickly deploy gritters to areas where they are most needed.

From now until to mid-April, 34 gritters are on standby to spread a stockpile of more than 24,000 tonnes of salt.

The Council’s 550 salt bins have been topped up and are ready for potential cold and icy weather.

On Tuesday, December 5, Bradford Council’s Executive will consider a report on winter highway policies and procedures.

Councillor Alex Ross-Shaw, portfolio holder for regeneration, planning and transport, said: “We have worked hard to expand the district’s potential gritting network which includes our most heavily used and important routes.

“It’s simply not practical to grit every road in the district, however, with some additional funding, good planning and improved technology, we should be able to cover a larger proportion of our roads this winter.”

The 12 weather cameras are located in High Street, Queensbury; the corner of Cooper Lane and Great Horton Road, Bradford; the junction of Cross Lane and Great Horton Road, Bradford; Wrose Road and Carr Lane corner, Shipley; Cottingley Road and Haworth Road junction in Heaton; Thornton Road and Halifax Road junction in Denholme; Harrogate Road and New Line junction in Greengates; Odsal Top; Dudley Hill; central Baildon, Thornbury roundabout, and Cottingley-Bingley bypass roundabout.

Calderdale Council is also preparing for winter to keep the borough safe and moving if there is ice or snow.

The Council has 18,200 tonnes of salt stored for winter and grits 575km (357 miles) of roads. across Calderdale using a fleet of 15 gritting vehicles.

It is piloting a new policy this year to make sure gritting is carried out where it’s needed most.

Priority is given to Calderdale’s busiest roads, main bus routes and roads which give access to hospitals, emergency services, schools and shopping centres.

People can check to see if their street is included in the gritting route by going to: and entering their street name.

BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017: Shortlist of 12 revealed for award

The 12 contenders for BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2017
Date: Sunday, 17 December Venue: Echo Arena, Liverpool Coverage: BBC One, Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website

A shortlist of 12 contenders has been announced for the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.

They will go forward to a public vote on the night of the live show in Liverpool on Sunday, 17 December. The nominees are:

Elise Christie – Short Track Speed Skating; Sir Mo Farah – Athletics, Chris Froome – Cycling, Lewis Hamilton – F1, Anthony Joshua – Boxing, Harry Kane – Football

Johanna Konta – Tennis, Jonnie Peacock – Para-athletics, Adam Peaty – Swimming, Jonathan Rea – Motorcycling, Anya Shrubsole – Cricket, Bianca Walkden – Taekwondo

How do you vote?

The public will vote for their favourite by phone and online during the live show.

Voting details, including phone numbers for each nominee, are announced during the programme and online. There is no voting via email, Red Button or by text.

This year‘s event will take place in front of an audience of nearly 11,000 people at the Echo Arena in Liverpool.

Past 10 winners
2016: Andy Murray (tennis) 2011: Mark Cavendish (cycling)
2015: Andy Murray (tennis) 2010: AP McCoy (horse racing)
2014: Lewis Hamilton (Formula 1) 2009: Ryan Giggs (football)
2013: Andy Murray (tennis) 2008: Sir Chris Hoy (cycling)
2012: Sir Bradley Wiggins (cycling) 2007: Joe Calzaghe (boxing)

What are the other awards?

In addition to the main prize, there will also be seven other awards:

  • Team of the Year
  • Coach of the Year
  • Overseas Sports Personality of the Year (Vote for your Overseas winner here)
  • Young Sports Personality of the Year
  • Helen Rollason Award for outstanding achievement in the face of adversity
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Get Inspired Unsung Hero

Who decides the shortlist?

The shortlist was compiled by a 12-member panel:

  • Representatives from BBC Sport: Barbara Slater (director, BBC Sport), Philip Bernie (head of TV sport) and Carl Doran (executive editor, BBC Sports Personality of the Year)
  • Representative from BBC Radio 5 live: Eleanor Oldroyd
  • Broadcaster and former Olympian: Darren Campbell
  • Broadcaster and former Paralympian: Danny Crates
  • Broadcaster and former rugby union player: Maggie Alphonsi
  • Broadcaster: Colin Murray
  • Representative from sports industry: Dame Katherine Grainger
  • Newspapers: Dominic Hart (Mirror/Sunday People), Alyson Rudd (The Times), Laura Williamson (Daily Mail)
The Panel (L-R): Colin Murray, Alyson Rudd, Darren Campbell, Dominic Hart, Eleanor Oldroyd, Dame Katherine Grainger, Barbara Slater, Maggie Alphonsi, Carl Doran, Danny Crates and Philip Bernie

What happened last year?

Andy Murray was voted 2016 Sports Personality for a record third time after winning his second Wimbledon title.

The Scot finished ahead of triathlete Alistair Brownlee in second, with showjumper Nick Skelton third.

Leicester City won team of the year after their Premier League triumph, with Claudio Ranieri picking up the coach award.

American gymnast Simone Biles was overseas personality, while swimmers Michael Phelps (lifetime achievement) and Ellie Robinson (young personality) were also honoured.

Charity runner Ben Smith received the Helen Rollason Award and the unsung hero trophy went to boxing club founder Marcellus Baz.

‘Kim voted for Nick Skelton’ – Murray’s speech

Council set to axe 150 jobs as budget is slashed by a further £30m

BRADFORD Council has announced plans to cut a further £30 million from its budget in the two years to 2020, leading to more than 150 potential redundancies.

Council leader Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe confirmed the changes yesterday as the authority updated its proposed financial plans following the Chancellor’s budget last week.

The biggest savings in 2018-19 are set to come from cuts to street cleaning, libraries, and museums and galleries, with the closure of some sites “not ruled out”.

Last year, Cllr Hinchcliffe unveiled a four-year outline budget including plans to slash £82m from Council accounts by 2020, with an aim to ensure the authority is sustainable when Revenue Support Grants from the Government end.

In 2013-14, the Council received £183m via that funding stream but the figure will drop to zero in 2020-21.

Cllr Hinchcliffe said that due to “rising demand for services and rising costs”, the authority had been forced to re-visit its plans to find new savings.

“As a Council, since 2010 we’ve reduced our spending by £256m,” she said.

“In this year’s budget, we are faced with a new gap of £7.1m for 2018-19, and another £23.6m gap in 2019-20.

“We’ve tried to prevent compulsory redundancies since the Government’s austerity programme started, however in recent years redundancies have become unavoidable.

“This year again there will have to be job losses. 153 new job losses are outlined in the proposals published today.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe and Stuart McKinnon-Evans, the authority’s strategic director – corporate services, did not confirm which Council departments would be affected by the potential job losses, but said that “extensive consultations” with staff involved would start immediately.

The biggest proposed saving for 2018-19 is a further cut to street cleaning and public toilets, with the service set to lose more than £1m. Library services will be slashed by £950,000, with the museum and galleries budget set to be reduced by £260,000.

Asked about the closure of any library or museum sites, Cllr Hinchcliffe said: “That is a last resort obviously.

“We are reviewing how we can run services and take costs out. We can’t rule out having to close some services if it gets that far.”

Discussing Council Tax, Cllr Hinchliffe said that, as indicated in February, the authority had “no choice” but to raise the tax by 1.99 per cent and implement the social care levy by the Government’s stated maximum of three per cent.

She said: “If we were not to do this we would have to save another £8.8m, cutting deeper and sooner into those services that we call value.”

Cllr Hinchcliffe also used the budget briefing to announce details of three new investment strands – costing a total of £750,000 – set to begin in April next year.

Focusing on housebuilding and development, the growth of more business premises, and a new asset investment strategy, Council officers will be tasked with replenishing the authority’s investment over a five-year period, bringing in additional income to spend on Council services.

The budget proposals will be discussed by the Council’s Executive group on December 5 before going out to public consultation until January 28.

Local businesses asked to help get more women involved in STEM industries

LOCAL employers are being asked to help design a programme to get more women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

The West Yorkshire Consortium of Colleges has secured £3.5 million funding from the European Social Fund for the ‘Reach Higher’ project, that will enable career progression for those in employment in the Leeds City Region.

A key part of this project will target women working in the STEM based industries who have potential to progress. The group is holding a workshop in partnership with WISE (Women Into Science and Engineering) to gather the views of key stakeholders tomorrow at Leeds City College.

Helen Wollaston, CEO of WISE said: “Engineering and technology are two areas with the biggest skills shortage in the UK, however 90 per cent of women leave education without a qualification to work in these sectors.

“While it’s important to encourage girls to take an interest in these subjects at an early stage, it can take a long time for the impact to take effect in industry. To fill vacancies now, it makes perfect sense to offer more training to women already in work. This can allow them to progress or change career. This event and project promises to be much needed and worthwhile.”

A workshop and discussion group will take place tomorrow from 2-4pm in Leeds City College’s Printworks campus. The aim of the discussion will be to work together to develop a training plan that is industry-relevant and will benefit businesses in the region.

To give views on the current and future skills needs, to help deliver training or to book a place at the conference call 0113 386 1958 or email