Five things you need to know in Leeds today

If you didn’t read the paper this morning - we’ve got you covered. Here are today’s top stories.

1. Economic gap to widen as Leeds loses out further to London

Leeds’s economy will face losing billions of pounds to the South over the next ten years, a new report has warned. The joint UK Powerhouse report by law firm Irwin Mitchell and the Centre for Economic and Business Research (Cebr) forecasted the economic gap between Yorkshire and London will widen by £49.9bn in the next decade. Leeds has reported a year-on-year rise in output in growth of 2.2 percent in the second quarter of 2016. The report claims London’s economy will expand by 16.3 per cent by 2026 and southern cities such as Milton Keynes and Cambridge will grow by 22 per cent. Leeds’s economy however, is expected to grow by 13.1 per cent by the end of the next decade. Cebr managing economist Nina Skero said the reason why the South could outpace the North at this rate is because of many 33 to 40-year-olds are moving to London for IT and finance jobs.

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2. Leeds rape victims’ urgent need for independent counselling service

A new counselling service for women who have been victims of sexual assault has been launched in Leeds. Support After Rape and Sexual Violence Leeds (SARSVL) has launched the new service that will provide specialist counselling services within the city for tailored, long-term support. The service is available in one-to-one or group formats for any woman aged 18 and above who has experienced rape and/or sexual violence of any kind. The launch was sparked after the number of calls to the charity’s helpline almost doubled within a year, with 954 women and girls receiving support in 2014 and 1,861 last year.

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3. Police warning as “killer clown” craze hits UK

A killer clown craze has been sweeping American colleges as numerous incidents of people dressed in terrifying clown costumes scaring passers-by have been reported. Now, sights of the sinister clowns have been reported in Edinburgh, Hampshire and Northumbria. One police force received six reports of such incidents in just five days. Police have warned students that such pranks could land them in serious trouble as one teen has been arrested for possessing a knife

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4. Ronnie Hilton’s Leeds United glory days in dictionary

The 1950s pop star Ronnie Hilton, who recorded Glory Glory Leeds United will have his story told in the new edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, which was set to be published today. Hilton was an avid Leeds United fan and lived in Leeds for the majority of his life. The new edition of the ODNB adds the biographies of 89 notable men and women from Hull (where Hilton was born) ahead of its year as City of Culture 2017.

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5. Tributes after death of Pudsey Carnival stalwart

Tributes have been paid to community volunteer Maureen Harrison who helped organise the annual Pudsey Carnival for decades. The grandmother-of-three died suddenly at her home in Pudsey last Tuesday at the age of 76, four days before she was due to celebrate her 50th wedding anniversary. A family meal has been planned for Saturday night to celebrate the anniversary. A date for Mrs Harrison’s funeral service has not yet been set.

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Leeds United's home Elland Road. Picture: Jonathan Gawthorpe

Leeds United become owners of Elland Road once again