In Full

Opinion in Full

The Yorkshire Post says: Jimmy Armfield. Fine footballer, an even finer individual

JIMMY ARMFIELD was far more than an acclaimed footballer who was steadfastly loyal to his hometown club Blackpool and an integral member of England’s 1966 World Cup-winning team, despite a cruelly-timed injury robbing him of a place in Sir Alf Ramsey’s starting XI. He was also a successful manager – he guided Leeds United to the European Cup final – before becoming a much respected broadcaster.

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Reece Parker: Don’t write off a university education

In recent years, the concept of attending university has seen unprecedented criticism.

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Spectators at Edgewater Park in Cleveland watch the sun set as the planet Venus crosses the upper right portion of the star, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. The next transit of Venus won't be for another 105 years. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

Could Venus have started its life as a comet and have been responsible for the Biblical plagues?

Professor StePHen Hawking this week suggested ‘climate change deniers’ take a trip to Venus to experience what runaway global warming looks like. He has even offered the fair.

Opinion
DANCE WITH DESTINY: Tom Holdsworth and Hannah Bateman of Northern Ballet at a Leeds2023 promotional event last year. PIC: Steve Riding

Aisha Iqbal: We’ll party like it’s 2023 ...with or without EU!

Act One ended with a real cliffhanger, the second act promises some further intrigue - so heaven only knows where the denouement will take us!

News
Caroline Verdon column: True love and romance is as individual as we are

Caroline Verdon column: True love and romance is as individual as we are

We were talking about romance this week. Not a snog behind the bikeshed romance but the full blown Hollywood kind.

Opinion
Andrew Cooper: Leeds - a city on an upward trajectory

Andrew Cooper: Leeds - a city on an upward trajectory

New Year is a time for looking ahead, for optimism, for setting new goals and turning over new leaves.

News
Rob Atkinson: Pavements can be an obstacle course

Rob Atkinson: Pavements can be an obstacle course

There is a growing concern that some pavements around our district are becoming something of an obstacle course.

Opinion
Blaise Tapp: Is this the dullest week of the year?

Blaise Tapp: Is this the dullest week of the year?

Is there a duller week in the year than this one?

Opinion
What now for the One Yorkshire devolution plan?

Devolution: The price of prevarication grows by the week as Yorkshire pleads to be masters of its own destiny

Last month, I asked a Yorkshire council leader for their view on whether a solution could be found to the long-running devolution saga in the region. He didn't sound very optimistic.

Politics
What can be done to cut congestion in Leeds?

Chris Bond: Welcome to Leeds – a city failing to meet the needs of motorists

ANYONE who drives into Leeds city centre on a daily basis doesn’t need me to tell them what a miserable experience it can be.

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Prime Minister Theresa May (left) chats with first-time buyer Laura Paine during a visit to new housing development Montague Park in Wokingham last week to highlight the Government's housing reforms.

Jayne Dowle: A crisis of imagination in our cities of empty homes

THERE’S something you should know about the “housing crisis”. It isn’t really a crisis at all. It’s a failure of imagination and political will to bring back into use the countless number of homes standing empty and neglected across the country.

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A boarded up shop.

Aisha Iqbal: Greed is the real cause of Leeds’s empty homes crisis

There’s a house and attached shop at the end of my street which has been empty for as long as I have lived there.

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Crossrail engineers walk alongside completed tracks as the Crossrail project celebrates the completion of permanent Elizabeth line track in Whitechapel, east London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday September 14, 2017. The Elizabeth line will run from Reading and Heathrow in the west, through 42km of new tunnels under London to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east, adding 10 new stations and upgrading to 30 more to fully integrate new and existing infrastructure. See PA story TRANSPORT Crossrail. Photo credit should read: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Why I’m against Leeds Council’s plans for a ‘Clean Air Zone’

Some of those reading this may wonder why? Why would I be opposed to a system which penalises heavily polluting vehicles, such as buses and taxis? Especially buses, those rolling road blocks of the road.

Well, while bringing in charges for buses, HGVs, taxis and private hire vehicles that fail to meet the latest emissions standards (so, pretty much most of them) might sound like a good idea, in the final analysis, the logic behind this idea is fundamentally flawed. It is based on the assumption that by introducing charges, people will be encouraged to change their habits. But will the additional charge be sufficient to do this, or will it merely be an irritant, tolerated by the frequently targeted haulage industry and simply passed onto customers through higher fares by taxi firms? Likewise, bus firms are likely to find ways to pass on the charge to their customers, either that or depress wages for workers.

Meanwhile, technological advances in the use of clean energy buses are already well underway - Optare’s first electric double-decker went on trial in Leeds in September. It’s worth conceding any new clean air levy may accelerate such innovation but ultimately it will not change habits.

The council wants more people to cycle (never mind the weather) and to use park and ride schemes but for the majority, who have children to pick up, partners to drop off, shopping to get, elderly relatives to visit and a million other things, such options are neither use nor ornament.

The fear is, of course, that once such a clean air zone is established (affecting all rounds inside the outer ring road, no less), it will be extended to private vehicles, no doubt with a bewildering array of conditions/exemptions and so on.

I’ve said it before and I’ll keep on saying it: none of the ‘overland’ solutions has long term viability. The answer is right under our feet: the as-yet-unbuilt Leeds Underground, an ambitious project only for people with imagination, passion and vision (and, ahem, money). A mining firm is building a 37km tunnel from Whitby to Teeside, which proves tunnelling is both possible and profitable, as it would be for Leeds.

You can have your say on the plans HERE.

My Predictions for 2018

Wow, what a year 2017 was! But there’s no reason 2018 can’t be as momentous, so herewith my predictions...

Aliens will land

You’ve seen the three ‘softening up’ stories: the cigar-shaped meteor, Oumuamua, the discovery of solar system like ours in the Draco constellation and the revelation the Pentagon has a fund to investigate UFOs - the next logical step is for them is to come clean and admit aliens are real, they have a working Stargate and Elvis is still alive.

Film

Disney, who own all of the bits of our world which don’t belong to Google and facebook, will release another confusing glut of films with cross-over ‘universes’.

Science

I’m putting my money on levitation via sound wave technology. Either that or the horizontal portable toaster.

The Law

Cannabis, which has many reputed health benefits, will be legalised, as it has been in parts of the US, thus providing a new tax stream for the government and ridding parks and other public places of the stench of weed smoked by dopey teenagers.

Global warming

The theory beloved of the political left, atheists and anyone without a cause, will become more untenable, as people generally wake up to the fact we’ve all been conned into spending billions of pounds on something which isn’t happening.

Opinion
What can be done to tackle the NHS emergency?

Lucie Cocker: Help us to save the NHS – a junior doctor’s plea from the A&E frontline

“ONCE more unto the breach” they say to each other grimacing.

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SCHOOL DAYS: Caroline in her school uniform, aged five or six.

Caroline Verdon: New year’s resolutions - this year I’m trying moderation

January. The month where we turn into nasty, spiteful, hate-filled, judgemental and downright horrible people. Not towards others but towards ourselves and all in the persuit of creating our better self.

News

Laura Andrew: Why we all need poetry in our lives

Poetry is an underappreciated art form.

News
ROW: Universities Minister Jo Johnson has suggested institutions could be fined for barring speakers who students disagreed with. PIC: PA

Blaise Tapp: The dangers of shutting down debate

Like most people, I make a point of publicly claiming that I don’t have too many regrets in life. But that is the fattest of lies.

News
PREDICTIONS: How will Leeds United fare in 2018?

My Leeds United: 2018 wish list has a dash of sporting realism

So, next week it’ll be next year, and it’s about time to take stock and identify a few goals.

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FESTIVE FEAST: Christmas means also thinking about others.

Aisha Iqbal: Let’s pay tribute to all our festive angels

So, that was Christmas – and we are all done in!

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Leeds charity campaigner Sally-Anne Greenfield.

The Yorkshire Post says: Sally-Anne’s legacy. Fond farewell to charity queen

WORDS can’t begin to do justice to the legacy of tireless charity campaigner Sally-Anne Greenfield when she steps aside as chief executive of Leeds Community Foundation.

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