Leeds news LIVE: Quad biker in hospital with life threatening injuries after Farnley crash

Welcome to the Yorkshire Evening Post live blog on Thursday, March 4.

Thursday, 4th March 2021, 7:27 am

We will bring you the latest news across the city.

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ong Drive, Farnley (photo: Google)

Leeds news LIVE: Saturday March 6

Last updated: Tuesday, 02 March, 2021, 11:48

‘Serious questions’ remain on credibility of planned spending cuts, says think tank

Rishi Sunak has “big questions still to answer” with analysis suggesting more needs to be done to tackle the sluggish growth in living standards and a further potential squeeze on the public sector.

The respected Resolution Foundation said the chancellor’s cut of £4 billion a year in public spending would be “challenging to deliver”, and estimated a further £15 billion would be needed by 2025.

This sum would be required to give Mr Sunak “enough fiscal space to credibly see net debt sustainably falling in the face of future recessions”, the think tank warned.

The Chancellor pledged to build a “fairer and more just” country post Covid-19 as he announced plans to repair the nation’s finances.

These included an increase in business profits and the freezing of income tax thresholds which will see more than a million people starting to pay the levy, according to forecasters.

Mr Sunak said “significant decisions” had to be taken, telling MPs: “I recognise they might not be popular. But they are honest.”

Overnight analysis from the Resolution Foundation suggested the average UK wage will be 4.3%, or £1,200, below the pre-crisis path by the middle of the decade and that this parliament will oversee the second slowest growth in living standards on record.

It also said the basic level of benefits will go back to levels last seen in the latter days of Margaret Thatcher and the early John Major years, just as unemployment is due to peak.

Separate estimates from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation said the plans to end the uplift in Universal Credit and Working Tax Credit in September – when the furlough scheme also ends – will see half a million people, including 200,000 children, placed into poverty.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, said: “The Chancellor has gone big on both support for the recovery now and tax rises in future.

“This is broadly the right approach to take in terms of protecting the economy now, securing a recovery next, and repairing the public finances later.

“But the details of his plans leave serious questions to be answered about whether enough has been done to support households in the recovery to come, how credible it is that further reductions in planned spending can be delivered, and if the UK’s public finances have really been put on a sustainable footing long term.”

Leeds Budget 2021: What does it mean for the city? RECAP

Today’s Yorkshire Evening Post front page: “We’re cashing in"

This is the front page of today’s Yorkshire Evening Post: “We’re cashing in”

Inside is all you need to know about the new National Infrastructure Bank in Leeds and what the Budget means for Leeds,

Plus, the YEP Homes Guide and the latest Leeds United news.

Want a copy? Head to your local shop or visit our Subscriptions page.

Your YEP front page on Thursday, March 4.

Good morning on Thursday, March 4

Good morning and welcome to the Yorkshire Evening Post on Thursday, March 4.

Got a story you think we should know about? Get in touch on [email protected]

Police continue appeal for public’s help to find Bethany Topley who was on her way to A&E when she went missing

Police are continuing to appeal for the public's help in locating a woman who has gone missing and requires urgent medical attention.

Bethany Topley, aged 19, was last seen outside St James’s Hospital, in Beckett Street, at about 11pm on Monday, March 1.

Police are concerned for her welfare.

She is described as about 5ft 3ins tall, small build with pink hair.

She was wearing a grey hooded top and dark jeans.

Detective Inspector Guy Shackleton, of Leeds District CID, said: “Bethany was on her way to the hospital’s A&E department at the time she went missing and we have serious concerns for her welfare the longer she goes without medical attention.

“We would like to hear urgently from anyone who has seen her or who has any information that could help to find her.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District CID via 101 quoting log number 1853 of March 1 or online viawww.westyorkshire.police.uk/101livechat

Schools ‘can be safe’ from next week, one expert says

Schools can reopen “safely” from next week with the package of measures set out to mitigate risks from Covid-19, one expert has said.

Calum Semple, professor of outbreak medicine and child health at the University of Liverpool, said that increased ventilation, tests and mask wearing will all contribute to safe reopening of schools next week.

But one school leader said that increased testing for secondary and higher education pupils would mean that next week will be more “transitional”, with the week commencing March 15 looking “as normal as it might do”.

The Government has laid out plans for secondary school and college students to be tested twice a week.

But as they return to school they will receive three initial tests at school or college before transitioning to twice weekly home testing.

The Government has confirmed twice-weekly testing for all families and households with primary, secondary school and college-aged children and young people.

Primary school children will not be regularly tested.

Prof Semple, who is also a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said that after children have performed Covid-19 tests under supervision, they “get used to it”.

“Perhaps we’re generating a new group of scientists in the process,” he added.

He told BBC Breakfast the package of measures – increased ventilation, masks and tests – mean schools “can be safe”.

He added: “The good news is we’re finding quite low rates of active infection within the schools.

“We’re using the lateral flow antigen tests that identify those children that are most likely to be infectious – and about 1.2% of school pupils are testing positive and about 1.6% of staff are testing positive.

“It is really low in most occasions – sometimes in some areas it’s down to 0.4%.

“So, as a game-changer, it is giving confidence that schools are safe.”

Meanwhile, Geoff Barton, from the Association of School and College Leaders, said that testing could mean that secondary school openings are “staggered”.

He told the programme: “I think for secondaries you’ve got the issue of the testing, which means there is inevitably going to be a bit of a staggered start because those young people won’t be able to go into their classroom until the first of those tests has been done.

“Over the first two weeks they need three of those tests and then the responsibility moves back to the home.”

Asked when it will be that most pupils will be in schools, he said: “It’s not going to be on March 8 in the majority of schools – part of this comes down to what is their school site like? How much space they have got, (you have heard of) drama studios and sports halls being taken out of action in order to be used for testing, some schools will be more constrained than others in terms of that.”

Mr Barton added: “If we see next week for secondary and further education as a transitional week of starting to bring them back into school, starting to teach them how the testing works, the week after that, starting the 15th, is going to look as normal as it might do.”

Police are searching for missing woman Bethany Topley

West Yorkshire Police are appealing for the public’s help in locating missing woman Bethany Topley.

Bethany was last seen at St James Hospital at 11pm last night.

Police say they are are concerned for her safety and wish to locate her. She is described as wearing a grey hooded top and dark jeans.

Officers are asking anybody who has seen Bethany to please call 101 quoting log 1890 of 1st March 2021.

Leeds Budget 2020: What are the key issues in Leeds?

The Yorkshire Evening Post front page: “Now level with us”.

This is your Yorkshire Evening Post front page on Tuesday, March 2.

Today’s issue is all about the upcoming Budget and the key issues here in Leeds.

Want a copy? Head to your local shop or visit our Subscriptions page.

The Yorkshire Evening Post on March 2, 2021.

Good morning and welcome to the Yorkshire Evening Post live blog on Tuesday, March 2.

Got story you think we should know about? Get in touch on [email protected]

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