Bowling Park School in Bradford has a storyteller in residence. It seems that the school is ahead of the curve as the science, education and business worlds are talking about the benefits and potential of storytelling, many more are putting it into practice.
In this latest interview for the West Yorkshire mayoral race, Alex Toal talks to Cllr. Susan Hinchcliffe, one of three candidates on Labour’s shortlist for the nomination. An experienced dealmaker and savvy operator, Hinchcliffe’s time as West Yorkshire Combined Authority chair has given her a wealth of insights to bring to the mayoralty, if elected.
The government’s plan for new unitary authorities is causing division in North Yorkshire, where no agreement has yet been reached on how this will look. Various proposals have been submitted, with NYCC and York City Council agreeing on one structure, while the shire councils mostly agree on another.
Along came the pandemic … life stopped. Eating biscuits became an Olympic sport. We were all doing our constitutional walks, but in terms of getting my jeans on and buttoned up, walking on its own was never going to cut it …
Perhaps it was inevitable: the North of England will apparently soon have its own political party. As the name suggests, members of the Northern Independence Party want nothing short of a country to call their own. This is against a backdrop of majority support for independence in Scotland and the rapid growth of the Yes […]
Alex Toal looks at the reasons behind the formation of the Northern Research Group. Is this about protecting the seats of its members, about boosting the levelling up agenda, or about control of the Conservative Party?
Hearing about the death of Peter Sutcliffe took me back to the late 1970s, when I lived and worked in West Yorkshire. For several years, while his murders went unsolved, I and many other women in the area lived under a shadow of fear, stoked further by police ineptitude and lurid media reports about the […]
Brides in the market towns of Yorkshire have become activists to fight for the right to hold their wedding at their dream venue – an historic and culturally significant building dating back to c.1650 that is at risk of closure due to council cutbacks. Their stories are not only heart breaking, but are a response […]
The Northern Research Group makes its Westminster debut On Wednesday, members of the Northern Research Group took part in a Westminster hall debate called by Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis to quiz the government (represented by exchequer secretary to the Treasury Kemi Badenoch) over economic support for the North. NRG chair Jake Berry followed […]
On a visit to South Eastern Michigan poetry group
The Tory party of late seems to have descended into multiple competing and overlapping factions, including the Common Sense Group, the Covid Recovery Group, and the Northern Research Group. Here, Alex Toal takes a look at the NRG, asking – who are they, what do they believe in, and why have they come together? This […]
In the 2012 London Olympic Games, Nicola Adams OBE made history as the first female boxer to win Olympic gold for Women’s Boxing in the Flyweight category. She remains the most successful female British boxer, as a double Olympic champion, but her journey through the ranks came with its knockdowns. At the age of 12, […]
A new group has emerged within the Tory ranks who are attempting to rewrite history under the thinly veiled disguise of standing up for “common sense”. The so-called ‘Common Sense Group’ (CSG) is a relatively new group of 59 Conservative MPs and seven peers. This cabal of right-wing politicians is just the latest page in […]
Join us as we remember some of Sheffield’s forgotten heroes. Over the last few weeks, Louisa Merrick-White has been speaking to families of the men featured here, hearing their stories and memories. Take some time this morning to share their stories as we remember them. Arthur Pemberton Arthur Pemberton fought in World War One with […]
The Scarborough Gift Card, part of the Town and City Gift Card programme, is being introduced with the hope of protecting the town’s economy during the Covid-19 pandemic. The initiative is supported by local organisations including the Scarborough and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce, Yorkshire Coast Business Improvement District (BID), Scarborough Council and the […]
The appearance of being ‘relatable’ has always been important in politics. The pub trip photo-op has become a staple of electoral campaigning, and candidates can be savaged for their apparent detachment from reality. Long after their disappearance from frontline politics, people still remember Ed Miliband as the sandwich-mangler, and Theresa May as the wheat-field sprinter. […]
What did you do in lockdown? Bradford-based Trapezium Arts is hosting a brand new exhibition of one artist’s response to the coronavirus crisis. Sue Wilde’s show, entitled The Covid 19, is based on road maps, using the routes, towns and coastlines to create a vivid picture of life in lockdown. “During the first lockdown, needing to […]
With the focus these days on executive mayors, the role of the traditional mayors and lord mayors can get overlooked. Here John Cornwell recounts the challenges that three Sheffield lord mayors had to face while discharging their civic responsibilities. For almost two decades I was a local councillor in South Yorkshire. I soon discovered that there were three givens about the […]
Scratched on the walls of Richmond Caste in North Yorkshire is graffiti you won’t find in any history book. It tells the story of 16 young men imprisoned in the castle, sentenced to death for their beliefs. In 1916, 28-year-old Norman Gaudie, a well-known northern footballer and a Quaker, was imprisoned without fair trial in […]
On the Penistone train derailment, February 1916 When I look up at the seamed sky, the black teeth of girders, the cracks of fresh air, I think this is not an accident, but a moment of refusal, a point I can look on and describe in bricks of words, then knock down again before it […]
Local leaders react to second lockdown On Thursday, the entirety of England entered national lockdown, with stay-at-home orders issued and non-essential businesses closed. As Yorkshire becomes the focal point of the second wave of Covid-19, hospitals have been struggling, with Doncaster public health director Dr Rupert Suckling announcing that the city had more hospitalised patients than […]
Measures introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, MP for Richmond, have until now prevented mass unemployment and kept many businesses afloat. However, not everyone is equal when it comes to a place in the lifeboat. Many self-employed, for example, have not been given a seat – as highlighted by the campaign group #ExcludedUK. And despite creating […]
One of the reasons that cynicism has entered politics quite so strongly in recent years is the way most politicians respond to serious problems. The pattern is all too familiar. A horrible disaster strikes. It is announced that an inquiry will be organised to get to the bottom of the issues and make sure it […]
There is a golden thread that passed through the life of David Shutt who passed away on Friday 30 October 2020, aged 78, following a short illness. Golden because that was the colour in which he fought his many elections as a Liberal and then a Liberal Democrat and golden because of the bright and […]
The one thing this pandemic has shown us is how much we rely on our emergency services – not just the NHS, but all those who are keeping us safe during these Covid times. So, news that one of our key emergency services – the fire service – has shed more than a thousand workers […]
And will those winds from ‘58That blew Armada back to SpainNow make the wind turbines rotateAnd help us triumph once again? And will our Covid stance be seenAs something we should celebrate?We’re proud of everything we’ve been;Like the Olympics – we are great! Back in the war, amid the gloomA new Jerusalem was planned;So now […]
Today’s news that Downing Street is understood to be considering a month-long form of lockdown is no big surprise. But this latest move is already generating a reaction – from those who urged the government to move faster and earlier, to those who do not want to see further restrictions for fear of untold harm […]
True stories from ‘Norky’ who comes from Scapegoat Hill, a small, isolated farming village, high on the Pennines in West Yorkshire. Textile mills had been allowed to run down before I started working, mainly through lack of investment, and cheap foreign imports. The management no doubt assumed, as did the management of many other British […]
An attack ad was recently aired against Chancellor Rishi Sunak, criticising him for his wealthy lifestyle, hedge fund background, and public relations team. It was warmly welcomed across the Twitter left. This may not be the most popular opinion, but I think that it was a bad attack, mostly because it was short-sighted. Attacking a […]
It is often said that we do not miss things until they have gone. For the past year PM Johnson has been in trade negotiations with the US. He has refused time and again to place protections for the NHS on the negotiations.