Category: Region

Yorkshire’s Covid-19 data

Yorkshire Bylines
pexels-photo-4031867.jpeg

Let’s be clear. At the best of times, local authorities provide and manage the infrastructure of modern life on slashed budgets. Then people blame them for everything. In these worst of times, they are leading the fight against Covid-19 as well as still managing the infrastructure of modern life on slashed budgets and still get […]

Social instability? It’s on the house! (part two)

Andrew Leach

Part one of ‘Social instability? It’s on the house!’ is available HERE Successive UK governments have had, at best, short-sighted housing policies for decades. Despite all the promises and white papers, programmes of house-building, bank lending, and false starts, headlines over recent years have talked of a housing crisis. The population’s getting older, house ownership […]

Social instability? It’s on the house! (part one)

Andrew Leach

Home, they say, is where the heart is. Quickly followed by “I wonder what this place is worth?” For too long that most basic of provisions, a roof over one’s head, has been seen as “an investment” rather than a home, a sanctuary. And increasingly, it’s the politicians who are rubbing their hands at the […]

Multigenerational is the new black

Javed Bashir

First, it was minority ethnics, then Blacks Live Matter and now Asians – the popular trope doing the rounds for why the North is being locked down is now multigenerational households. Yes, multigenerational is the new black. Craig Whitaker, Conservative MP for Calder Valley, gave an interview on LBC radio with Ian Payne on 31 […]

Imran Ahmad Khan: International Man of Mystery?

Juvenal

When Anthony Calvert, perennial Conservative candidate in Wakefield and its environs, had to step down in November 2019 following the emergence of racist, misogynist and just plain nasty tweets from the time he’d been candidate in Morley and Outwood, many wondered which loyal Brexiter would step in. The seat was marginal, mainly as a result […]

Levelling up Britain: a reality check

Grace Pritchard

Too many people have yet to recover from austerity mark I, and the effects of the pandemic will be felt for a long time to come. With the Bank of England warning that we are about to face the “worst recession for three hundred years”, and with the full impact of Brexit still to hit, the thought of austerity mark II is almost too much to bear.

Walls come tumbling down

Jane Thomas

Last week I visited Keighley – my first foray into the non-Sheffield outside world since lockdown restrictions were lifted. The last time I visited was on the eve of polling day in the 2019 general election to help the sitting Labour MP John Grogan. Professional to a tee, John was maintaining an air of quiet […]

Fish and ships: industrial heritage in the shadow of Brexit

Dr M M Gilchrist

For a city heavily dependent on North Sea merchant trade (container shipping and lorry freight) and ferries, that had recently secured major investment from Siemens to construct wind-turbines, Hull’s Leave vote seemed suicidal. I work freelance in historical research and heritage, and moved back to Hull from Glasgow in 2017. My father, a Scot long […]

Yorkshire puddings at the ready!

Meryl White

Here in Yorkshire, God’s own county, we celebrate Yorkshire Day on 1 August. The origins of this day allegedly go back to the Battle of Minden in Prussia, during the seven years’ war, where the English defeated the French army on 1 August 1759. It was said that the heroism of Yorkshire soldiers, who fought […]

On the buses

Jane Thomas

The order creating Yorkshire’s first devolution deal was finally signed on Monday by Simon Clarke, minister of state at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, after five years of dispute between the four local authorities of Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham. Originally signed in 2015 it collapsed in 2017 when Barnsley and Doncaster signalled […]

Rugby league and the civil rights icon

Jimmy Andrex

Sunday 22 July 1972. Reigning Olympic 200m champion Tommie Smith is going through his pre-race stretch routine on a humid afternoon. A thunderstorm, which will later bring the racing to a halt, hangs around like the teenage boys who are hoping for an autograph. But this is not the Munich Olympics, or even a warm-up event. […]

Proposals for a North Yorkshire executive mayor

John Harris
brown bridge on green grass field near mountain

Once Yorkshire had three ridings – then we had four short-lived county councils – now the government offers us four executive mayors. Those who promote the concept of One Yorkshire are going to have to persuade themselves that four mayors is a step in the right direction. In due course perhaps a more sympathetic government […]

Sex workers further marginalised during pandemic

Isabel Ralphs
silhouette of woman during sunset

Lockdown has pushed some women in our local communities even further into the shadows, as the government fails to account for the unique needs of marginalised women, leaving sex workers, ex-offenders and the female homeless poverty-stricken and highly vulnerable.

Levelling down: councils face bankruptcy as funding dries up

Jane Thomas
coins and a piggy bank

It may have been the last day of term for our MPs, but they went out with a bang. Monday night saw Conservative MPs, having whined about wanting to take back control, give most of it straight back to the executive. A Tory backbench attempt to give parliament a definitive say on post-Brexit trade deals […]

New Leeds jewellery maker flourishing during lockdown

Jamie Carnie

The past four months have been a turbulent and strange time for all businesses, as the UK was plunged into full lockdown in March to combat the devastating effects of Covid-19. We’ve seen bailouts, closures, redundancies and more trials and tribulations than our collective workforce had hoped to see in a lifetime. As some workers […]

Yorkshire and Humber MPs who turned their backs on the NHS

Professor Juliet Lodge

It is hard to escape the conclusion that the government is asleep on the job – not paying attention and not asking critical questions affecting the safety and security of the UK. This is as much about the Russian report as it is about the very serious issues surrounding the role of the British parliament […]

Poet’s twilight moment crystallises life in lockdown

Jimmy Andrex

Like Dorian Grey without a painting in the loft, Laura Potts’ poetry has the insight of twilight. Echoing the lyricism of Dylan Thomas, she has a strong connection to Wales’ best-known poet and worked at the Dylan Thomas Society’s Birthplace Museum in 2016. However, she is Wakefield born and bred and, whilst she has a […]

Norky’s ramblings: episode 5

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. You can catch up on his ramblings so far HERE. I had a few girlfriends at high school. Joan, Sandra and Marilyn were all from Marsden and at first they were all in the lowest […]

Discovering a minted Yorkshire recipe

Meryl White

Intrigued by an invitation to visit Queens Mill in Castleford last year, I was delighted to be taken on a tour of the mill and site. They say that the mill’s history can be traced back to Norman times but there’s a hint that the Romans were grinding flour nearby too. It’s a mammoth task […]

Boys from the Blackstuff: an insightful drama to our own hard-hit times

Séamus O’Hanlon

‘Nobody on the dole counts, my friend.’ Alan Bleasdale’s revered 1982 television mini-series Boys from the Blackstuff is brave, bleak and though occasionally boring, is rather brilliant. This 306-minute series is captivating and now, more than ever, highly relevant as the economy falters and Britain again sinks into being the ‘sick man of Europe’. The towering […]

Talks of levelling up the North at the Northern Powerhouse summit

Jane Thomas
black and white blackboard business chalkboard

Yorkshire looks set to get more devolution deals next year, according to Simon Clarke, minister for regional growth and local government. This could see the whole of Yorkshire soon having some form of devolution settlement. Speaking at the Northern Powerhouse education, skills and employment summit this week, the minister said, “In the North of England, […]

God’s own county comes good

Jane Thomas

News that Boris Johnson has proposed moving both Houses of Parliament to York while the Palace of Westminster is refurbished will be met with glee by Yorkshire devolutionists. In a letter seen by The Times the prime minister casts doubt on the £4bn renovation project that was agreed in 2018. Esther Webb, reporter for the […]

Minister demands local government restructure despite the current crisis

Andy Brown

Every reasonable person understands that government is harder than opposition and making choices between competing priorities in the middle of a crisis can be challenging. Deciding on whether to prioritise the NHS or care services, how to open up the economy whilst keeping people safe and how to cope with the pressure of rushing through […]

Tackling Islamophobia in the North East

Emily Horner
brown desk lamp on table

A report published by Tell MAMA, UK Islamophobia Hate Crime Service, and Newcastle University has concluded that the community spirit shown throughout lockdown needs to be retained to improve relations between different groups in the North East. The team surveyed 111 people of various faiths and backgrounds from the region, from October 2019 to February […]

Letters to the editor

Yorkshire Bylines

We’ve painted ourselves into a corner 15 July Dear editor, Those whose task in life is to paint floors learn early the important lesson: “Do not paint yourself into a corner”. Yet politically this is precisely what this government has done and is doing with respect to Brexit. Mr Gove’s announcement on Monday of the […]

York MP seeks to deregulate gene-edited crops without scrutiny

Claire Robinson

Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, has proposed an amendment to the agriculture bill that will deregulate the gene editing of crops and foods. He suggested the amendment in a letter at a late stage of the bill’s progression through parliament, when it was being discussed in the House of Lords – thus bypassing the […]

Lockdown community spirit soars in Ackworth

Lauren McGaun

Lockdown has been difficult. Yorkshire, like everywhere, has been stress-tested. It has challenged us like never before. Yet, one close-knit village near Pontefract has responded by engendering community spirit. Over the past few months, Ackworth has held street parties and bun sales, built a caterpillar trail in the woods and conducted weekly street bingo. In […]

Pen-y-ghent: time to plan a Yorkshire day out

Charlie McCarthy

It’s been a funny year in many ways. Locked down, isolated, unable to get out and enjoy the Yorkshire hills. However, all that’s changing and now is the time to get into the spare room, find that map you’re sure you have somewhere, and plan your first trip out. How about starting with one of […]

Defending our regional media

Granville Williams

Here’s a thought. Barry Hines’s novel, A Kestrel for a Knave, wouldn’t exist without the BBC. In particular without the key role of Alfred Bradley, a Leeds-based producer for the BBC North region based in Woodhouse Lane, Leeds from 1959 to 1980. Bradley fostered distinctive Northern talent on The Northern Drift – realists like Alan […]

Grappling with chronic pain during the pandemic

Dr Frances Cole

Co-authored with Dr Kristy Themelis of the WITHIN team at Warwick University. The main priorities of the government and health services are currently aimed at preventing the spread of the virus and protecting our health from Covid-19. Meanwhile, chronic pain is one of the biggest health issues not just in the UK, but around the […]

Norky’s Ramblings: episode 4

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. You can catch up on his ramblings so far HERE. To me, Colne Valley High School was huge. It was a brand new, state-of-the-art school, designed for 1,800 pupils aged from 11 to 18 years. […]

Chancellor’s employment support programme is not enough

Hugh Goulbourne

This weekend’s briefings by the chancellor in relation to Wednesday’s mini-budget were a welcome response to cross-sector demands for employment support. But the proposed support programme could work so much better if accompanied by regional economic strategies designed by metropolitan mayors who are in touch with business leaders and the needs of their local economies, […]

Say ‘ello to Yorkshire Brack

Meryl White

People ask me what I’ve been missing in lockdown and I have to say I mostly miss my family and friends. I also wish I could be out and about doing my baking talks, although it helps that I’m starting to do them via Zoom. Meeting people in community groups has proved a great way […]

The Nazi row at Temple Coffee and Donuts

Beanna Olding

“It is a horrible thing to experience someone who treats you differently because of the colour of your skin … The effects of this kind of treatment are magnified when you’re stuck in a workplace environment where you have to endure this treatment from the moment you start your shift to the moment you walk […]

Will museums and galleries reopen soon?

Jane Dawson

The cultural sector has been one of the hardest hit parts of the economy during the last few months. This is mainly down to the mixed revenue streams they have been forced to adopt, as public money was cut and cut. Many smaller galleries and museums are now facing insolvency.

Norky’s ramblings: episode 3

Peter Norcliffe

Have you been following Norky’s ramblings? This week he returns to his high school days in the Colne Valley and recounts some of his memories of teachers’ so-called discipline.

Has Yorkshire’s “devolution dash” stalled?

Jane Thomas

At a devolution summit held in Leeds earlier this year Northern Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry talked of a “devolution dash” across Yorkshire, with a deal for West Yorkshire to be followed with ones for East Riding and Hull, and North Yorkshire and York. The West Yorkshire devolution deal – worth £1.8bn and covering Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, […]

Before the single market: an insight into our future outside the EU

John Clayton

This real-life experience of a small West Yorkshire company, before and after the creation of the single market, provides an insight into our imminent future in the event that we leave the EU without a worthwhile trading deal. The UK has more than two million small companies, possibly 170,000 of which are in Yorkshire. Ossett […]

Are small business owners prepared for a no-deal Brexit?

Edward Mitchell

Margaret Thatcher, surely the embodiment of Conservatism, grew up above her father’s tobacconists and grocery shop. As prime minister, she continued to live above the shop: 10 Downing Street. Throughout her time in charge of the country she demonstrated an astonishing mastery of detail. She was not exactly a consensus politician – unlike say, John […]

From couch to chorus: Opera North launches new digital choir

Yorkshire Bylines

Anyone who has been missing their usual singing group during lockdown, or who fancies having a go at mastering opera from the comfort of their living room, can look forward to this summer’s launch of a new digital choir by Opera North. Starting in July, Opera North will be running four weekly Zoom sessions, which […]

Try baking ‘Yorkshire drop’ this weekend!

Meryl White

Grandma Abson knew a thing or two. An early networker, Grandma Abson knew there was much baking expertise out there to learn from, so right from her first days in service in the 1900, through to the 1970s, she was an avid collector of recipes. In addition to her own collection, over her long life […]

Building on our community spirit

Barry Sheerman MP

After this long disruption of our lives, we are understandably looking forward to seeing our families and friends. We no doubt relish the opening up of pubs and restaurants and will obviously support this, when it’s safe to do so. We also welcome the ability to return to all our places of worship. Perhaps now, […]

Facing Covid-19 with a ‘Happy Disposition’

Jimmy Andrex

How a Leeds songwriter is celebrating the city’s more isolated residents Has anyone ever written a song about you? Unless you’re Pattie Boyd or Dolly Parton’s love-rival, probably not, but that’s exactly what’s happening to a group of isolated older people in Leeds. Writer and poet Peter Spafford has already carved himself a niche as […]

The West Yorkshire devolution deal and economic recovery

Emily Horner

The next round of devolution deals comes to West Yorkshire, with a proposal for a new directly elected mayor and £1.8bn of funding into the area over the next 30 years. The deal, signed by the region’s council leaders and the government in March 2020, will see residents in West Yorkshire vote for their mayor […]

Innovation and outdoor education

Yorkshire Bylines

An inner-city school in Bradford has been making the most of its outdoor space for over a year now, slowly integrating the natural environment, recycling and traditional outdoor-learning skills into its whole school curriculum. This has been part of its drive to create new and innovative world-class learning opportunities for its children. Bowling Park Primary […]

Settle reopens as the UK’s first Rainbow Town

Yorkshire Bylines

The Yorkshire Dales market town of Settle has become the UK’s first Rainbow Town, now that some of the lockdown restrictions have been lifted and businesses are permitted to open. The initiative has seen local businesses re-opening with special discounts and offers for frontline NHS staff and care workers, as an ongoing practical ‘thank you’ […]

Food poverty is everywhere in 21st century UK

Jane Dawson

All credit to Marcus Rashford for forcing the government to finally face up to the issue of food poverty. For a decade at least, those on the front line have watched the government rely on charities and food banks to support failures in the benefit system. The introduction of universal credit in 2013 left the […]

Norky’s ramblings: episode 2

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. Over the next few weeks, he will share with us his memories of early life. You can catch up on his ramblings so far HERE. My sister Rhondda recalls one of her most embarrassing […]

Barnsley spoken word artist pays tribute to hospital volunteers

Jimmy Andrex

A Barnsley spoken word artist has produced a poetic tribute to the town’s hospital volunteers. Jeff ‘Jethro’ Platts was asked by Barnsley Hospital Charity to produce the piece as a way of saying thank you to a much valued, but sometimes forgotten, group of people who have continued to give their time in a variety […]

A grand night out … or not

Angela Reid

Isabel and I had just had a grand night out seeing Cabaret in February. In March I started to get emails from theatres about cancelled shows. Lockdown came. I love a plan, so I set times and ‘dress-up’ for something to do and to break the blurring of day-to-day life. I heard about One Man Two Guv’nors being streamed on YouTube and Saturday night became […]

The red wall will judge Johnson on the outcome of Brexit negotiations

Mike Buckley

The Conservatives have few pressure points in June 2020 but they do exist. They bowed to pressure to extend children’s food vouchers because the justice of the cause was so eloquently and apolitically made clear by footballer Marcus Rashford. Johnson seems to become more terrified of Sir Keir Starmer with every passing week of prime […]

Norky’s ramblings: episode 1

Peter Norcliffe

True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. Over the next few weeks, he will share with us his memories of early life. I was born at St. Luke’s maternity hospital, Huddersfield, at 5am on the 21 June 1947. Dawn on mid-summer […]

Yorkshire Rose reacts poetically to Covid-19

Jimmy Andrex

“Put it away, put it away, put it away now!” Spoken word artist Rose Condo wants us to put away our phones. For an hour at least. In The Empathy Experiment, the Huddersfield-based poet’s third spoken word show, shortlisted for Best Spoken Word Show at the 2020 Saboteur Awards, she asks the audience to hand over […]

Asylum seekers struggling with lockdown

Dr Stella Perrott

The impact of coronavirus on people in the UK has been very uneven. We know that men, people who are black, Asian or minority ethnic, and those with underlying health problems or who are older, are at risk of severe illness and death. People living in the most deprived communities have been hit hardest. The […]

More cut and paste letters from Yorkshire MPs

Helen Davidson

In spite of the outcry about Conservative MPs replying to constituents’ complaints about Dominic Cummings by cutting and pasting from text provided for them by Downing Street, local Conservative MPs are at it again. A number of individuals and groups have recently written to their MPs to ask for the transition phase of our withdrawal […]

The myth of meritocracy

Grace Pritchard

I’m working-class and I’d like to stay that way. Looking across a smoky room at my Nanna buffing the dance floor of our local working men’s club, St. Johns Terrace. Sodden beer mats, cheesy eighties music on repeat. This is her third job of the day. This is one of those stand-out memories from my […]

Yorkshire campaign groups call on MPs to extend Brexit transition

Yorkshire Bylines

“One crisis at a time, please!” The chairs of 13 pro-European campaign groups from across Yorkshire have written to our region’s MPs to call for the Brexit transition period to be extended. In their open letter to the Yorkshire MPs, the groups stress that this is, “not an attempt to thwart Brexit. We simply want […]

Campaign to save Owlthorpe Fields in Sheffield succeeds

Douglas Johnson

Residents and campaigners in South East Sheffield scored a notable success on Tuesday 2 June when the planning committee rejected a scheme to build over a greenfield site in Owlthorpe. The decision came after a concerted effort by local residents, supported by experts such as Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and the Campaign to Protect […]

The toy story of a storyteller

Yorkshire Bylines

Brought up in a family of agricultural workers who travelled with the seasons across the North East and Yorkshire, Richard O’Neill is a multi-award winning storyteller and children’s author whose work has been disrupted by Covid-19. He has had to postpone his full diary of school, library and theatre bookings this year, but he has […]

Leeds City Centre goes purple in George Floyd tribute

Jack Walker

Three prominent buildings in the centre of Leeds were lit purple last night as a tribute to George Floyd, the African-American man whose death at the hands of police has sparked international protests. The Civic Hall, Town Hall and Leeds City Museum were all bathed in purple light, the colour of anti-racism protests worldwide. In […]

Hull writer censored by Instagram

Jimmy Andrex

The strange tale of the banned poem. Instagram has transformed poetry. Rupi Kaur, the world’s biggest-selling poet, made her name on Instagram. Put #poetry in your post and you’re tapping into a worldwide audience of millions. Poems are short, often little more than aphorisms but the platform, owned by Facebook, has become the go-to medium […]

Teachers feel unsafe returning to school today

Jack Walker

Today, 1 June 2020, is a bittersweet day for teachers. It is the day that many Reception, Year One and Year Six pupils return to school and so too will they. Of course, some teachers have remained in schools throughout the pandemic for the children of key workers, but now they will be joined by […]

Yorkshire’s garden attractions wrestle with reopening in a pandemic

Jimmy Andrex

Come into the garden, Maud.  (But book in advance and wash your hands). As the UK stumbles into the open air, organisations and attractions all over the  country strive to create some sort of ‘new normal’ that works. Nowhere is this more true than with the many garden visitor attractions in our region. Normally, the week […]

After Covid-19, the economy needs to turn green

Jack Walker

Across the globe, society is beginning to wonder what the world might look like when Covid-19 is under control. One of the key questions is how to kick-start the economy once we come out of lockdown. Many companies are already looking at how to get thousands of people back into work; many people are also […]

What the Premier League restart means for Yorkshire’s clubs

Sam Slater

And so it was announced that on 17 June football is coming home. Premier League football that is. Tentative steps taken to allow players to return to training last week, with club-wide testing in place, has allowed the next and biggest step of Project Restart to be taken. The news will come as welcome relief […]

Rural Yorkshire fears city exodus

Jane Dawson

Lockdown has forced many people to reassess their lives. Work and life look very different now to three months ago. Relieved of their city offices, people have turned to thinking about where they would really like to live. According to data released in May by property website Rightmove, searches by urbanites looking for a property […]

Yorkshire needs its own plan for Covid wave 2

Professor Juliet Lodge

There’s so much we do not know about the response to Covid nationally and in Yorkshire itself. According to the FT, the UK’s excess death rate (no paywall) now tops the world, with over 59k more deaths than usual recorded since the week ending 20 March. Despite this, and despite the lack of effective testing […]

British Airways pulls out of Leeds Bradford airport leaving expansion plans in chaos

Jack Walker

British Airways has announced it will terminate all of its flights between Leeds Bradford airport and Heathrow. The announcement deals a blow to the controversial expansion plans, recently submitted by Leeds Bradford airport’s owners, AMP Capital. A spokesperson for British Airways said, “We are sorry to suspend our flights to Leeds Bradford after many years. […]

The biggest stirrer in Yorkshire

Yorkshire Bylines

Vegan fudge? Down to “my man, the biggest stirrer in Yorkshire, and the strong arm in the kitchen” says Mailene Fortune, explaining the role of sweet potato and coconut in one of Yorkshire’s artisan sweet makers’ newest fudges. A regular at farmers markets over the past few years, Por Favour started off as the twinkle […]

Yorkshire air quality improves during coronavirus lockdown

Jack Walker

Global carbon dioxide emissions fell by 17 per cent thanks to coronavirus lockdown measures, according to a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change. Yorkshire Bylines can now report that air quality across the county has also improved. The World Air Quality Index project (AQICN) has installed sensors across the world – in Yorkshire, […]

Worrying Covid-19 statistics for Yorkshire and North East

Grace Pritchard

Yorkshire and North East have highest rate of transmission of Covid-19 The total number of Covid-19 deaths in the UK currently stands at nearly 36,000; it is speculated that the real figure, accounting for Covid-19 deaths in care homes, may be much higher. Nick Stripe, the head of the health and analysis and life events […]

Evolving to survive: nurturing diners through Covid-19

Yorkshire Bylines

One thing in life is certain; we all need to eat. Not only to survive physically, but emotionally too, as the pleasure of food is a comfort even in the darkest of days. When boutique hoteliers John and Sue Rudden of Grassington House in the Yorkshire Dales first found themselves staring into the abyss of […]

The covid challenge for winemakers

Professor Juliet Lodge

“If you’ve got a glass in one hand a bottle of wine in the other, you won’t touch your face.” So say German vintners toasting the gradual end of lockdown as they survey the winding Mosel River from the top of the steepest vineyards in Europe. It’s an ideal place to think about the future. […]

Foodbanks in survival mode as Covid-19 causes spike in demand.

Jimmy Andrex

“A perfect storm.” That’s how Laura Chalmers, Yorkshire regional director of the Trussell Trust, who run 29 foodbanks in the county, describes the situation in Yorkshire.  According to a study carried out on the 28 March by the Food Foundation, 12 per cent of people nationally are feeding families by breaking the lockdown to go […]

Coronavirus and Kawasaki disease

Grace Pritchard

A toddler from West Yorkshire was left in intensive after being diagnosed with Kawasaki disease. This followed her apparent recent recovery from Covid-19, which she contracted five weeks ago. Scarlett Roberts, from Wakefield, was admitted to Pinderfields hospital with a high temperature and nausea and then transferred to an intensive care unit at Leeds Children’s […]

Revealed, the Yorkshire MPs happy to see your food quality reduced

Anthony Robinson

Last Wednesday an amendment to the Agriculture Bill came before MPs. It would have prevented the government agreeing any free trade deal that allowed the import of lower-quality agricultural and food products into this country. Amazingly, the amendment was defeated by 328 to 277. Some 19 MPs from the Yorkshire and the Humber region, all […]

Yorkshire’s Banksy: We Love You NHS

Grace Pritchard

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. It’s the voice of people who aren’t listened to,” said street artist Banksy in 2001. In his book Banging Your Head Against a Brik Wall Banksy encapsulates what it means to empower people through street art. Now, almost two decades on […]

Johnson thinks my mum’s death is a price worth paying

Mel Henshall

Wednesday 13th May 2020; it was my mum’s funeral today. Nine people were allowed to attend. She died of Covid-19 one month ago in her care home in Wakefield; she was 93 years old. Don’t tell me “she’s done well”; don’t say “she’s had a good innings”. I do not want to hear that! Two […]

Students feel neglected during the coronavirus pandemic

Millie Frain

With the Covid-19 virus leading universities to shut their doors and move teaching online, many students worry about the impact on their grades of not having face-to-face contact with their lecturers. The week the government announced lockdown, the universities of Liverpool and Sheffield announced a ‘safety net’. The University of Leeds followed one month later […]

Discovering a Yorkshire cook and her “Portugal cakes”

Meryl White

Do you get those ‘Rediscover your day’ photo alerts on your phone? The other week I had one for an event I’d attended just over a year ago in Pontefract, in those ‘carefree’ days of March 2019, where a cookery book was awarded a blue plaque. It was unveiled by local MP, Yvette Cooper. ‘English […]

Yorkshire’s mental health agencies respond to the Covid-19 crisis

Jimmy Andrex

Covid-19 doesn’t have to infect you to affect you. As the side effects of the Covid-19 pandemic begin to manifest themselves in the form of anxiety and stress, recognition is growing of the toll this is taking, particularly on key workers. Organisations in the NHS, public health and the third sector – that reeled like […]

Funerals: rituals and grief during the Covid-19 pandemic

Jimmy Andrex

Improvisation has replaced ritual for those whose job is to help us at times of grief. Locked down, we are robbed of our perspective. Some things become invisible. A few days ago outside a funeral directors in Wakefield, there was a sparse gathering, mainly dressed in black. They loitered: maintaining social distance, but unsure; their awkward body language […]

Building a new Yorkshire – are citizens’ assemblies a way forward?

Charlie McCarthy

Charlie McCarthy argues a citizens’ assembly for Yorkshire would help revitalise and level up the region as we emerge from the coronavirus lockdown. Brexit has already cost the UK economy £130 billion, shrinking three per cent since the referendum. Putting this into figures we can more easily relate to: EU membership cost 34p per person […]

Chapel FM’s Shopping Forecast helps locals get their daily bread

Jimmy Andrex

How Seacroft’s Shopping Forecast is helping locals get their daily bread. Tesco Extra has plenty of everything today. Except flour. How do we know this? Because every day, Elliott Moon from East Leeds FM’s Keeping a Distance, Staying Close programme asks locals to text and phone in while they’re shopping. In fact, the other day, […]

Does a Sheffield think tank have the remedy for the coronavirus crash?

Jimmy Andrex

Universal Basic Income. At last year’s G8 summit, those three words were the big story. They came from UBI proponent Rutger Bregman, whose Taxes! Taxes! Taxes! speech was all over social media. UBI is a simple idea. You address inequality and poverty by giving every adult free money, with no conditions. That’s it. Coronavirus has brought UBI […]

Green New Deal training event goes online in lockdown style

Jimmy Andrex

Lockdown. 2020’s word of the year. The word that sent us into a toilet-roll stockpiling frenzy. The word which has brought the entire world to a standstill (apart, it would seem, from football in Belarus). Lockdown, which began the week before the first national organising training of Green New Deal UK. One might expect a […]

Easter Bunny visits Wakefield foodbank

Louise Houghton

“Individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean!” Ryunosuke Satoro (Japanese poet) What a strange Easter weekend we’ve all had. With everything that’s happening in the world today, it would be all too easy to focus on the constant stream of tragic stories, negativity and division. We could spend each day reporting our […]

How will the lockdown and Brexit affect tourism in Yorkshire?

Charlie McCarthy

Yorkshire faces up to three winters in a row I always enjoyed history lessons at school. One of the lessons that made the greatest impression on me was the struggle farmers faced throughout history to gather enough harvest and make it last through to have enough to start again the following spring. Winters were lean […]

Yorkshire artists face lost livelihood under Brexit.

Jimmy Andrex

The importance of freedom of movement for working musicians 3 chords and the truth. According to music legend, that’s all you needed. For Huddersfield Alt-folk artist Johnny Campbell, it’s held true for the last seven years as a pro musician.  Touring on trains and coaches all over Europe and the USA, guitar in one hand, rucksack of […]