TO MOST of us, the Leeds West Indian Carnival is simply a joy to behold, a fantastic colourful spectacle which shows how the city can be brought together.
But it seems it’s more than just a frenzy of colour; it’s good for business, too.
The 2014 carnival brought £2.7m of business to the city and last year that rose to £3.7m.
And with 50 days to go until this year’s carnival when 100,000 visitors are expected to descend on Potternewton Park, who knows where this success will end?
When carnival founder Arthur France first came up with the idea in 1967 he could have hardly have dreamt of such success.
The carnival was, after all, simply a remedy for his homesickness.
Mr France might not realise it but he was a pioneer, a visionary. The carnival is now the longest-running event of its kind.
And visitors who flock to Leeds from far and wide are bound to go away with a positive image of the city.
There are now plans for 2017 to be a spectacular 50th anniversary and this year’s event will be a great practice run.
It can only be a massive help to Leeds’s plan to become the European Capital of Culture in 2013.
As Judith Blake says, it fosters community spirit and civic pride. Long may this event continue.
Council plans are simply electric
LEEDS CITY Council gets its fair share of criticism but it deserves praise for adopting electric vehicles (EV). The environmental benefits are well-known and slowly but surely EVs are becoming a familiar site.
Councils are well placed to take a lead. Fleet vehicles which run regular routes are suited to be electrically powered. They are less harmful to the environment and save money.
What is now required – and quickly – is better infrastructure to allow private motorists to drive electric vehicles, too. Councils, shopping centres and service stations are doing their bit, but more needs to be done to win over private motorists.