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  1. Updates on Wednesday 18 March 2015
  2. More news, sport, travel and weather from 08:00 on Thursday

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Good evening

That's all for today from BBC Local Live in Leeds and West Yorkshire.

We'll be back from 08:00 tomorrow with the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the county.

A dry but cloudy night

Paul Hudson

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

Tonight will be dry but rather cloudy. Clearer spells will develop for a time, especially in the west, with a few mist or fog patches possible and a minimum temperature of about 2C (36F).

Weather forecast

Tomorrow will see a grey start with low cloud in many areas, slowly brightening up with sunny spells developing.

The top temperature will be about 9C (48F).

Coming up on BBC One

Harry Gration

Presenter, BBC Look North

Join me and Nicola Rees at 18:30 for BBC Look North as we find out why council leaders in West Yorkshire are disappointed at today's "City Deal" announcement by the chancellor during his big Budget statement.

Also, we find out more about why the new Tour de Yorkshire has sparked Gary Barlow into creating a new musical around the story of the Yorkshire Women's Institute members who showed (almost) all for charity.

Deal 'doesn't match ambition'

The new City Deal for West Yorkshire announced in today's Budget

has been criticised by council leaders for not going far enough.

Peter Box, Wakefield Council leader and chair of West Yorkshire Combined Authority, says the deal is disappointing, adding: "It doesn't match the scale of our ambition. It undermines the government's claim to want a strong Northern Powerhouse."

Election 2015: Over to you


BBC Look North

It's just over eight weeks until the general election and we're hoping to speak to each of the party leaders on

BBC Look North before the big day on 7 May.

Houses of Parliament
AFP/getty images

Of course, we want you to take part. If you'd like to meet David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg, Nigel Farage or Natalie Bennett and ask a question, why not email us at

Please include your question and your name, age, address and phone number.

Your views

Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you news, sport, travel and weather updates in one place.

We'd like to know what you think.

Jane Tomlinson plaque unveiled

A plaque in honour of late fundraiser Jane Tomlinson has been erected at a site which was a focal point during many of her gruelling challenges.

Jane Tomlinson plaque

It's been placed by the Yorkshire Society at the Victoria Gardens in Leeds. Jane raised almost £2m for cancer-related causes before her death from the disease in 2007.

Keith Madeley, Yorkshire Society chairman, said Jane "means a lot to all of us and was such an achiever during her lifetime".

New signings at Wakefield

James Deighton

Sports Reporter and Commentator, BBC Radio Leeds

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats have announced a second loan signing today

with St Helens prop Jordan Hand joining for the next month.

It follows news earlier today of George Griffin's arrival from Salford, with both players set to make their debut against Huddersfield on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Wildcats winger Tom Johnston has signed a three-year contract extension until the end of the 2018 season.

Car stolen at gunpoint

A woman was threatened at gunpoint and her car was stolen as she parked it in a Bradford street on Monday evening, police have revealed.

Stolen car
West yorkshire police

The 31-year-old victim was approached by a man on Cleckheaton Road just after 19:00. He asked the woman for the car keys and is believed to have been holding a gun.

A 38-year-old man from Bradford has since been arrested on suspicion of robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear or violence and remains in custody. The car, a five-door blue Volkswagen Golf R32, has still not been recovered.

City Deal 'falls short'

The City Deal for West Yorkshire's councils announced by the chancellor in his Budget statement "falls short",

the leader of Leeds City Council Keith Wakefield says.

Leeds Civic Hall
Richard croft/geograph

"We're disappointed by the lack of devolution on transport and housing investment powers," says Labour's Mr Wakefield.

He adds that the deal is "no compensation for the £470m of cuts that our councils have had to deliver".

City Deal 'means greater influence'

More on the new West Yorkshire "City Deal" announced by George Osborne

in his budget statement.

Leeds night skyline
david dixon/geograph

According to West Yorkshire Combined Authority, the deal means council leaders and businesses will have "greater influence on investment decisions on skills, transport, housing and support for small businesses".

In a statement, the authority says the deal "will address skills shortages in key industry sectors and ensure skills provision is driven by the needs of businesses".

Tour de Yorkshire attracts big names

Other teams announced today as taking part in the Tour de Yorkshire include Team Sky, Team Giant Alpecin (pictured) and One Pro Cycling, which is the team run by former England cricket star Matt Prior.

Marcel Kittel and Team Giant Alpecin
ALlsport/getty images

Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, says: "We'll be glad to return to Yorkshire after the huge success of the Tour de France 2014 Grand Depart, the grandest ever.

"The first ever Tour de Yorkshire will be another occasion to showcase the outstanding landscapes of the county."

Culture bid gets green light

A bid by Leeds to become European Capital of Culture in 2023 is one step closer today

after councillors backed the move following support shown by a public consultation.

Leeds night skyline
leeds city council

Members of the council's executive board heard 77% of 3,000 people consulted supported the bid, with an even greater rate of support among children and young people.

Keith Wakefield, leader of the council, says: "If it's to be successful, I believe it's absolutely vital that the bid comes right from the heart and fabric of the city."

City Deal disappoints

Len Tingle

Political editor, BBC Yorkshire

There is clearly disappointment in West Yorkshire at the chancellor's announcement of

what is seen as an inferior devolution deal to the one already in place across the Pennines.

George Osborne outside No 11
AFP/getty images

The combined authority had been given powers to improve the economy and job creation, as well as take over training and apprenticeships and boost housing and transport. These fall short of the latest powers being devolved over the Pennines, which includes control of health services.

The chancellor also announced Greater Manchester will be able to increase its income by retaining all of the new business rates, but no mention of whether he is thinking of giving the same benefit to West Yorkshire.

Huddersfield's 'conchies' remembered

The story of Huddersfield's World War One conscientious objectors

will be told at a special event in the town next week.

Conscientious objectors in World War One
Hulton archive

The so-called "conchies" refused to be conscripted into the Army to fight on the battlefields of Europe. Across the country there were about 16,000 conscientious objectors in all.

Using first-hand accounts, letters, diaries and memoirs, former peace worker Simon Heywood will reveal their stories at Huddersfield Town Hall on the evening of 26 March.

Accident sparks delays

BBC Travel

BBC Travel reports two lanes are blocked and there's queuing traffic on the A58 Wellington Road westbound in Leeds between the A58(M) inner ring road junction and the Armley gyratory.

This is due to an accident. Congestion is currently as far as the A64(M) inner ring road to Lovell Park Road.

Countdown to the eclipse

Paul Hudson

Weather Presenter and Climate Correspondent, BBC Look North

On Friday morning, a partial solar eclipse will be visible across Yorkshire for the first time since August 1999.

Partial solar eclipse

Back then I was filming with Look North in Scarborough. Conditions were perfect, with hardly a cloud in the sky shortly after sunrise, and the view from the sea front was spectacular.

This time, however, there's likely to be a lot of cloud in many areas.

Read my latest blog post here.

Final five in hunt for Halifax seat

Hebden Bridge Times

Labour has shortlisted five women in its hunt for a candidate to contest the marginal seat of Halifax at the general election after Linda Riordan last month decided to stand down as MP.

Linda Riordan
Hebden bridge times

Plaque remembers fundraiser Jane

A plaque commemorating the achievements of Leeds charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson is due to be unveiled later by the lord mayor.

Jane Tomlinson

The mother-of-three, from Rothwell, raised almost £2m for cancer-related causes before her death from the disease in 2007.

The plaque will be unveiled in Victoria Gardens near Leeds Art Gallery. The gardens became a landmark for Jane, with many of her charity bike rides passing through or finishing there.

How many mentions?

Chris Doidge

BBC Radio Derby political reporter

How often did cities in the North and Midlands come up in the 2015 Budget compared with London's 50 mentions?

The North

  • Manchester: 25
  • Leeds: 15
  • Sheffield: 9
  • Hull: 7
  • Liverpool: 4

The Midlands

  • Birmingham: 9
  • Stoke: 1
  • Derby: 1
  • Leicester: 1
  • Nottingham: 0

Cities in the Midlands have previously said they are concerned about being left behind by the "

Northern Powerhouse".

News on the hour

Davinia Ramos

Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

A devolution deal for West Yorkshire has been announced by the chancellor in his budget.

George Osborne says a new "City Deal" for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority means councils will be able to make more decisions on skills, transport and housing.

Listen to the 15:00 bulletin for more.

Cricket club warning after theft

Batley & Birstall News

A cricket chairman in Batley has warned other clubs to stay vigilant

after thousands of pounds of equipment were stolen.

Have your say

Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

What do you think of BBC Local Live? We write all the news, sport, travel and weather updates in our newsroom here in Leeds

and would like to find out your views about the service.

Osborne sets out 'Northern Powerhouse' vision

George Osborne has outlined his vision for building a "northern powerhouse" in his final budget ahead of the general election in May.

George Osborne
Getty Images

The chancellor told MPs employment and jobs grew faster in the north than the south during the last year.

'More jobs than France'

Chancellor George Osborne says more jobs have been created in Yorkshire than the whole of France.

He made the claim in his Budget speech in the Commons.

News on the hour

Tracy Gee

Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

The chancellor's announced a devolution deal for West Yorkshire.

He says there will be a new "City Deal" for the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, .meaning councils in this area will be able to make more decisions.

Listen live to the 14:00 bulletin for more.

Vanished MBE 'of no value'

Kevin Hughes says Capt Richard Hawkins' MBE medal meant the world to his late grandmother Ivy and its loss has hit the family hard.

MBE medal
Hawkins family

"There's no value to the MBE whatsoever apart from to the family for sentimental value. It's a part of granddad that's still around. For anyone who's taken it, it's a waste of time and means nothing to them."

West Yorkshire Police says there's "no sign" of any break-in at the property, but the items could have been taken by someone who sneaked into the home or who may have had access.

Chancellor signs new 'City Deal'

Martin Coldrick

BBC Local Live

In his Budget speech, Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed he's signed a new "city deal" with West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

George Osborne in the Commons
AFP/getty images

It's believed this deal will mean councils in West Yorkshire will gain more control over their own finances.

We're hoping to hear more detail about the deal from West Yorkshire Combined Authority a little later.

'Targeted' attack on house

Police in Huddersfield are appealing for witnesses

after a shot was fired at a house in Huddersfield in the early hours of this morning in what police describe as a "targeted" attack.

Officers were called to an address in Hammond Street in Hill House just after midnight where they found evidence of a firearms discharge at a window.

Det Insp Ian Thornes says: "This was clearly a frightening incident for the occupants of the house and we are appealing for any witnesses who may have seen anything to contact us."

News on the hour

Tracy Gee

Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

Yorkshire's seen the UK's biggest fall in unemployment over the past year.

New figures show that 69,000 people have come off the register in the last 12 months.

Listen live to the 13:00 bulletin for more.

Budget 2015 live

George Osborne is delivering the final Budget of this Parliament at 12:30.

Budget live page

You can read live updates from BBC News during and after the speech


Appeal over vanished MBE

The grandson of an 87-year-old Dewsbury woman who died earlier this month has made an emotional appeal for the return of an MBE

which has vanished from her home.

Richard and Ivy Hawkins with MBE medal
Hawkins family

The MBE, awarded to Capt Richard Hawkins in 1978, is said by his family to have always been kept in his wife Ivy's handbag since Capt Hawkins died 20 years ago.

Kevin Hughes, Ivy's grandson, says since her death the family has found parts of her house ransacked and they've been unable to find the medal.

Yorkshire jobless total falls

Unemployment in Yorkshire and the Humber is down by 30,000 to 161,000,

according to new figures published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Job Centre Plus sign

Figures show 69,000 people have come off the jobless register in Yorkshire and the Humber in the last 12 months. The region's jobless total now stands at 6%.

Unemployment across the UK has fallen by 102,000 to 1.86 million in the three months to January,

the figures also show.

A dry but cloudy afternoon

Lisa Gallagher

Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

It'll be a dry afternoon with variable cloud, thickest in the east.

Weather forecast

The best of the sunny spells will be towards the Pennines.

There'll be light north east winds and a top temperature of about 10C (50F).

'Bed blocking' in Leeds costs £10m

Yorkshire Evening Post

More than £10 has been spent on hospital beds for Leeds patients who have been well enough to go home over the last three years,

according to statistics obtained by the YEP.