YEP Says, February 6: Cameron still has his work cut out to win over city

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...and Arena’s arrowing in on darts craze

YOU can tell there’s a general election on the way, Leeds was visited by both David Cameron and George Osborne yesterday.

A decade ago, Michael Howard essentially wrote off this region’s electoral significance during his own push for Number 10.

David Cameron isn’t making the same mistake – he’s fully aware that his chances on May 7 could hinge on capturing a number of swing seats in our region.

It was on a visit to West Yorkshire in 2010 that he promised to narrow the North-South divide – and the jury’s still out on whether the Tory-led government have made any real progress. It’s true that much of the recent focus, whether it be HS2, enterprise zones or the announcement yesterday of the redevelopment of Leeds train station, has been centred on the city and West Yorkshire.

But a lot of the infrastructure promised for our region pre-dates the coalition, while the benefits to the average person of big projects such as HS2 are open to debate.

Then there is the fact that Leeds has been hit harder by budget cuts than many southern councils, while there is still no devolution deal for the city, which seems to depend on accepting an elected mayor – something Leeds has previously rejected. All in all, Messrs Cameron and Osborne still have their work cut out convincing us that Leeds would be better off if the Tories win this May.

Arena’s arrowing in on darts craze

THE game of darts has enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years – and the packed Leeds Arena last night proved it’s still a sport on the up.

The world’s best darts players were in Leeds last night, going head to head for the Betway Premier League Darts’ 2015 UK and Ireland tour – and the fans lapped up the action.

It’s another bullseye for the arena, which is showing versatility having already hosted Sports Personality of the Year and the Tour de France opening ceremony.

To quote former Pudsey resident and late, great darts commentator Sid Waddell, “there’s only one word for that – magic darts!”.