Friday, March 24, 2017
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Urban Echo News


Bradford Council, in partnership with Leeds City Council, has been awarded funding from the European Structural Investment Fund (ESIF) to help tackle unemployment in the district over the next three years.  

The funding from ESIF of more than £4.3m contributes to a total fund of £9.8m with the rest of the funding coming from Bradford Council, Leeds City Council, Incommunities, and Aspire-Igen. The fund will help the Council deliver the Skills Training Employment Pathways (STEP) project.

STEP is voluntary programme for people who are aged over 25 and facing barriers to employment. It will involve the delivery of a package of tailored support for long-term unemployed and disadvantaged people. The funding will help teams work with the individual to identify and overcome the barriers they face in getting work so they can find sustained employment.

In Bradford STEP will be delivered through SkillsHouse, the Employment Opportunities Fund and through a number of specialist services who support people:

·        who have a disability or who have mental ill-health

·        who are from black, Asian or minority ethnic background or who have English as a second language

·        with a drug or alcohol dependency

·        who are aged over 50

Of the funding, 72% will be used on projects within the Bradford District. The STEP programme aims to deliver the following by 2020:

·        over 5,000 individuals with job search and employability

·        over 1,500 individuals into employment

·        over 700 individuals will sustain employment at 6 months

If you live in Bradford District, are over 25 and unemployed, you can call 01274 257788 to find out more information and to book an appointment at the information and assessment centre.

Councillor Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s portfolio holder for education, employment and skills, said:
“It’s great news for the district that our joint bid with Leeds City Council has been accepted. It means that we can implement the STEP programme to help long-term unemployed people in our District overcome the barriers they face so they find work.

“I want to acknowledge the support of Incommunities, Aspire-Igen, the Department for Work and Pension and Leeds City Council who have supported this bid. The success of this funding means we can continue to build on the success of our innovative Get Bradford Working initiative.”

Councillor Mohammed Rafique, Leeds City Council’s executive member for employment, skills and opportunity said:
“A range of work is being undertaken in Leeds and across the city region to provide people of all ages, and especially those who have been out of work for a long period, with the skills, support and confidence to find employment.

“I am delighted therefore that our joint bid to the ESIF with the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council has been successful. This means that over the next three years, through the STEP project, we will be able to further tackle the barriers that are stopping long-term unemployed people aged over 25 securing a job.”

Police are appealing for information following a burglary in Cleckheaton where £25,000 of jewellery was stolen. 

The incident happened between 11 and 12:30 on 17 March at a house on Nibshaw Road.

Suspects forced entry into the property through a window and went on to make an untidy search and found distinctive watches and jewellery.

Items which were taken included:

  • Omega Co-Axial Aqua Terra
  • Omega Geneva watch – 18 carat gold with diamond bezel
  • Omega 14 carat gold Hunter Pocket watch
  • Walthem 14 carat gold pocket watch
  • Three Ladies 14 carat gold pocket watches
  • Three 9 carat double Albert pocket watch chains
  • Fifteen 9 carat gold fob seals
  • Large silver Albert pocket watch chain
  • Fourteen fobs
  • Distinctive Ladies silver fob watch on an Albertine chain with articulated fish vinigret
  • Two gold sovereigns from 1879
  • Omega ‘Bird cage’ clock
  • Variety of gold men’s and ladies watches
  • Gold charm bracelet with gold charms
  • A small metal safe containing cash and passports

PC Sally Baines of Kirklees CID, said: “The items taken during this burglary are very distinctive and unusual and will stand out if they are offered for sale. They represent a lifetime of collecting antique watches and this incident has caused the victim considerable amount of distress and heartache and we are working to reunite these pieces with their rightful owner.

“I would urge anyone with any information about this burglary to contact me at Huddersfield CID via 101 quoting crime reference 13170122780 or alternatively information can be passed to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Police have released CCTV images of two men they would like to identify in connection with a shop robbery in Bradford.  

The incident happened between 7.30pm and 7.40pm on 25 February, when three males carrying a knife and hammer entered a shop in Spring Wood Gardens and made demands for cash from the shop assistant.

A quantity of cash was taken as well as cigarettes and a mobile phone.

The shop assistant, a man in his thirties, was unhurt and the males left on foot.

Anyone who recognises these males is asked to contact PC 5931 Mansell at Bradford District CID on 101, quoting crime reference 13170089711. 

Information can also be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

Police are warning drivers to be on their guard following a spate of thefts and robberies where elderly woman have been targeted at the wheel. 

Over the past few weeks, a number of incidents have been reported in Leeds, Bradford and Kirklees.

In the majority of cases the suspects have followed the victim in their car and bumped them at low speed with their vehicle. When both cars stop, they tell the victim their brake lights are not working and get them to leave their car to check. While the victim is distracted they steal their handbags and cash from the car and make off.

The victims have all been women in their seventies and eighties with incidents in Coteroyd Drive, Churwell; Croft House Avenue, Morley; Eastfield Crescent, Woodlesford; Kingsway, Bradford; Windsor Court, Morley; Bradford Road, Batley; and Penny Lane, Huddersfield.

Two men, aged 33 and 38, from Leeds, were arrested this week in connection with the investigation and were charged with robbery and theft in relation to two incidents.

It is thought the tactic may still be being used by other offenders.

Detective Inspector Neil Thompson, of Leeds District Crime Team, said: “This is a relatively unusual method for criminals to use to commit robberies and theft. While we don’t want to cause unnecessary alarm we do want to make people aware of what has been happening so they can be suitably on their guard.

“We would advise people to be vigilant and exercise caution if they are bumped while out in their car, and to keep their valuables safe and lock their car when they get out to speak to the other driver.

“We are continuing to carry out enquiries into these offences and have made arrests and charged two people but we will be continue to do everything we can to identify anyone involved in using this kind of tactic.

“If anyone has seen anything suspicious in relation to this type of incident or has any information that could assist in identifying those involved, we would ask them to contact us immediately.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Leeds District Crime Team at Elland Road via 101 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

by Mohammed Nazir Tabbasum
by Mohammed Nazir Tabbasum
The immediate effect of the Executive Order by the US President was complete confusion and chaos at the airports as approved refugees, valid visa holders, non-US dual citizens and US legal residents were detained, barred from planes or ordered out of the US. A Federal Judge in New York ordered a stay on the deportation of the people with valid visas. Universities, hospitals and tech companies staggered from the order which threatens or has already banned thousands of doctors, students, researchers, engineers and others. Refugees persecuted for their sexual orientation or suffering from medical crises are still in limbo with other people denied entry because the order makes no exception besides for minority religion applicants.

The Executive Order banning entry of citizens of seven Muslim majority countries into the US is being taken as closing the door on the world. Its natural and rebounding effect would be that the world will start closing the door on the US.

There is a growing concern that this policy would throttle the flow of foreign talent, block certain employees from returning to their home offices and harm small businesses that rely on immigrant spending. That is what made some US corporations to decry the immigration blockade. The fears are growing that big foreign investors like Kraft, General Mills and Nestle would scale back foreign investment plans. Thus, counterproductive measures are afoot to stop the government from carrying out the ban. Lyft, a ride-hailing firm has donated $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union to battle the ban. Uber too pledged a $ 3 million legal defence fund for immigrant Uber drivers caught outside the US.

Many other companies whose professionals are spread out among citizens countries reacted gingerly, in such a way that some declined to comment on the policy altogether, while others expressed mild concern and yet a few others criticised the ban out rightly. For example Ford, the major US automakers openly assailed Trump’s action. Ford CEO Mark Field and Bill Ford, the Executive Chairman told employees in an email: “Respect for all people is a core value of Ford Motor Company, and we are proud of the rich diversity of our company here at home and around the world. That is why we do not support this policy or any other that goes against our values as a company.”

Although Ford said it was not aware of any employees who were personally affected, reports came to the limelight of other organisations that were affected directly. For example, a Saudi-born and Sudanese-passport-carrying doctor at the Cleveland Clinic was reportedly denied entry to the US upon returning and was forced to return to the Middle East.

General Motors sent an email to its employees obtained by the Detroit Free Press, about the travel and immigration policy. John Quattrone, GM’s senior vice president of global human resources said in the memo: “Some of our colleagues operate here with a GM-sponsored work visa and a few are from the countries affected by the Executive Order. Please know that, per our normal business practices, if any GM employee travelling back to the US with a visa encounters difficulties, GM will provide the employee and his/her family with support.”

The US Chamber of Commerce said that some companies are advising potentially affected employees to “simply stay in place and avoid travel until the confusion can be rectified. The Chamber said in a statement: “Companies are understandably confused with regard to the status of green card holders and dual nationals, and we hope the administration can quickly clarify how these will be handled.”

Certain corporations like Exxon Mobil and BP that have significant operations in the Middle East declined to comment. Others were low key, such as Cargill, which employs many immigrants in its meat and poultry plants, said it is working with its travel and security partners to determine what the action means for its workers.

Jennifer Walske, a professor in the school of management at the University of San Francisco says: “It is not surprising that companies are cautious of opening up a Pandora’s Box by taking up the issue when they apparently could be ‘a tweet away from annoying the administration’.

Malissa Arnoff, chair of corporate communication at Levick Strategic Communications says: “In the end, companies need to look at the fundamentals, what their business stands for and where their customers are. Because of that many firms are being cautious of what they say. If you look at a lot of the statements, people are criticising the policy without criticising the President. It’s a fine line, but they are trying to not blatantly say he’s a horrible person.”

Michelle Sternthal, deputy director of policy and government affairs at the Main Street Alliance says: “The ban could undermine American innovation because 25% of science and engineering companies have at least one immigrant founder. The chilling effect is just enormous.”

Several law suits are under way in Federal Courts in New York, Massachusetts, Virginia and Washington State challenging Trump’s executive order. Thousands of Americans protested at airports and outside a Brooklyn courthouse in the 48 hours following the executive order. Democrats and civil rights attorneys have criticised the order, with Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer saying it contradicts the ideals enshrined in American culture and on the Statue of Liberty.

Vice President Mike Pence and House Speaker Paul Ryan have stood by Trump praising his executive order. Republicans like senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham have criticised the order.

Barack Obama, ten days after handing power over to Mr Trump, stated that he supports mass protests against the “extreme vetting” orders. It is rare for former Presidents to criticise their successors and certainly not just ten days after they are sworn in. Protests continue across America and around the world – including in Britain.

The sentencing of a Bradford man to 13 years in prison for the rape of a city schoolgirl marked a successful conclusion to a lengthy investigation which saw two detectives fly out to Romania in their pursuit of justice.

Tariq Syed, aged 64, of Pemberton Drive was jailed at Bradford Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday) after a jury found him guilty of rape and perverting the course of justice.

The rape was reported to police in September 2014 and the subsequent investigation was immediately picked up by the Bradford District Safeguarding Unit.

tariqsyedEnquiries quickly established Syed as a suspect and he was arrested a short time later, but he denied the offence and was bailed pending further enquiries.

Syed was arrested again the following month after the victim’s family claimed he had offered them money to return to Romania.

He was bailed with conditions not to approach the family and later charged with both offences.

But just as the trial was due to get underway at court in August last year, the victim and her family returned to Romania unexpectedly.

Concerned that proceedings may not go ahead if the victim and her mother refused to attend court, Detective Constable Charlotte Grose and Detective Sergeant Amanda Middleton flew out to the country to make sure arrangements were in place for them to give evidence via a video link.

The trial began in February and yesterday Syed was convicted and sentenced for the rape and perverting the course of justice.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Howard, said:

“This case shows the determination and the desire of our detectives to get justice for the victim and her family.

“Syed was an evil man who thought that by throwing money at the family he would get them to drop the case against him.

“We are delighted at the sentence he has received and hope it will give the victim and her family some closure.

“We also hope it will encourage others to report sexual offences to the Bradford District Safeguarding Unit, whose specially trained officers will investigate every report sensitively and thoroughly with the aim of bringing perpetrators to justice.”

Mark Burns-Williamson, West Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, added:

“I would like to commend the bravery shown by the victim and their family in coming forward to report Syed.

“His crimes were absolutely deplorable and his actions following arrest even more so.

“Tackling child sexual abuse is an absolute priority, as proven by the tireless and dedicated work of West Yorkshire Police in this case.

“I would urge anyone who feels they may have been a victim to come forward and report it to the police. You will be listened to and support will be provided.”

Following the successful launch of the original Vengeance at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show, this year will see Kahn Design debut a new convertible variant, the Vengeance Volante.

image1Like its predecessor, the Vengeance Volante is built on Aston Martin’s bonded aluminium and composite VH platform, chosen for its lightweight strength and torsional resistance, and is manufactured in the UK using traditional British coachbuilding techniques.

The Vengeance Volante’s sweeping streamlined curves take inspiration from classic Aston Martin designs of the late twentieth century, swapping the contoured roof of the original Vengeance for a cabriolet hood, while retaining the distinctive widened C-pillars and wings.

kbhDetails such as the purpose designed crosshair exhaust system and rear lighting, as well as the lightweight sculpted wheels are a nod to the Volante’s heritage, but with the top down, the lower profile silhouette enhances the muscular proportions of the car.

“Creating a convertible version of the Vengeance posed some challenges, given the unique coach built nature of the vehicle, but we’ve overcome them in true British fashion. Following a detailed programme of testing, I’m delighted to be able to unveil the Vengeance Volante at this year’s show, and I’m confident it will receive the same enthusiastic reception as the original model did in 2016,” Afzal Kahn said.

As with the hard top model, the Vengeance Volante will be produced in limited numbers, and investors and collectors alike are invited to place orders early to avoid disappointment.

bjhInside, the Black luxury leather fluted front and rear seats have been handcrafted and stitched by our team of experts. Furthermore, door tops and door top inserts along with a fluting design on the centre armrest through to the parcel shelf is a beautiful example of British craftsmanship at its best.

The Vengeance Volante will be on display for the first time at the Geneva Motor Show, Stand 6338.


by Sarah Taylor
by Sarah Taylor
From their name ‘Nervous ‘Orse’, to the sweeping moors that feature as a backdrop to their video for the song ‘Dead Is The New Alive’, the Bradford based four piece are undeniably influenced by their Yorkshire roots; and with their unique blend of individual musical influences and genres Nervous ‘Orse have created an original and exciting sound that has seen them gain a loyal and growing following, and become firm favourites on the local live circuit.

Keen to find out more about the ‘Orse I met up with them ahead of the forthcoming release of two new singles, and discovered a group of musicians whose personalities are as diverse as their sound, but whose talent and passion unites them in their mission to make good music – and get it heard.

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

The band formed in 2014, originally as a three piece and having since added a fourth leg the four ‘Orse-men are: Dave McKinley (Vocals/Acoustic Guitar), Luke Carter (Vocals/Electric Guitar), Jacob Riley (Vocals/Drums) and Danny Sapko (Vocals/Bass)

Their sound is built on the solid songwriting skills of Dave, described by his bandmates as “a kind man who writes thought provoking lyrics”, and Jake who in Dave’s words is “an enigma, probably the most talented musician I’ve ever worked with – and doesn’t write a poor song!”

On top of this steadfast songwriting foundation Luke brings his versatility and perfectionism as a guitarist, and bassist Danny, who, being heavily influenced by Motown and Soul, is jokingly cited by the rest of the band as “playing too many notes!”

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

Add to this the harmonies, melodies and swapping of lead vocals that altogether create a unique and original sound, so unique in fact that it has led to the band often being described as ‘genreless’. However, this is not so much because it’s impossible to ascribe their sound to any specific musical genres, but because the band are driven by the desire to make good music, without genre constraints, as their two new singles, ‘Libertine’ and ‘Here’s To You’ which differ hugely in style, serve to demonstrate.

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

As the winners of ‘Outstanding Band 2016’ at the Grassroots Awards through the Yorkshire Gig Guide the band have clearly created a sound, style and audience experience that has put them in a field all of their own. Unanimous in agreement that winning the award is one of their proudest achievements so far it is by no means the only one of note. 2015 saw them being approached by a new local independent label Wide Mouth Records, and asked to sign, becoming the label’s inaugural band, followed by the release of their debut album ‘Where This Now Finds Us…’ later that year. They have also played at Bingley Music Live, Bradford Festival and on the main stage at Saltaire Festival. 2017 is already gaining pace for the ‘Orse as they eagerly look forward to the release of their two new singles, and a second album.

Not only are Nervous ‘Orse a band of talented, passionate musicians, they are also thoroughly good guys with boundless enthusiasm, integrity and heart. I’ll attest that when I heard ‘Here’s To You’ I found it emotionally impactful, and I felt the same when I learned that in 2015 the band released their single ‘Calling Orson’ which was written in memory of the late Robin Williams, as a ‘name your price’ or free download in support of #WorldMentalHealthDay (10th October) donating the proceeds from the track download to mental health charities.

Image courtesy of John Sargent / jackharrybill

To find out more about the band, upcoming releases and gig dates LIKE, LISTEN and FOLLOW here:

Or catch them live on the following dates:

24th March at The Exchange, Russell Street, Keighley with Waiting For Wednesday and John Boxall – £5 OTD
7th April at ‘360 Club’ at Lending Room – The Leeds Library – Tickets £5
14th April at Al’s Dime Bar, North Parade, Bradford – Free entry
3rd July at Groovy Happening – £3 entry (no ticket needed) Monthly live music event and social gathering that is a fundraising initiative for Manorlands, Sue Ryder, held at Parkside Social Club, Haworth

On Saturday 11th March a Charity Night in aid of Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice is being held at the Central Division WMC, Manchester Road – Bradford. The event has now been running successfully for a number of years and is both organised and supported by the staff, friends and volunteers of Lill Brothers Fishmerchants Est 1855 and other local businesses in Bradford.

ShakilYear on year this event grows in popularity as people of all ages, religions, and backgrounds come together for a night of spectacular entertainment featuring a diverse array of local talent including dance groups and singers. Elvis Presley impersonator Dave Gracelands & The Passionettes are also in the line up to entertain the crowds and get everyone in the party mood!

Following the success of last year’s event which raised over £3500.00, organisers were keen to do a repeat performance with a view to raising even more money for the local hospice.

Hospice Fundraiser Harriet Wood said “This event made such an overwhelming impact on the local community last year bringing everyone together and it was incredible to witness. It was clear to see that no matter what your age, religion, or background, it was mutually recognised that these life limiting illnesses don’t discriminate and so in order to help those in need around us– we must stand together showing respect, support, and care in aid of this crucially important service and this event is a fantastic way or not only raising funds but also bringing people together.

For more information on this event please contact 07958 024538. Tickets are £6.00 each or £7.00 on the door – food included. It really is a night not to be missed in aid of a fantastic local cause.

Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice provides incredible hospice care to people living with life-limiting illnesses across Airedale, Craven and North and West Bradford. Established over 40 years ago, Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice not only provides specialist medical care to ease pain and discomfort, but also offers people and their families real emotional support during what can be an extremely difficult time.

Last year their community nurse specialists provided over 2795 home visits; almost 200 people attended our day therapy unit and our bereavement team received more than 1380 telephone calls.

All care services at Sue Ryder Manorlands Hospice are free of charge. However it costs £2.9m to run the hospice and only part of these costs are covered by statutory funds. Every year the hospice needs to raise over £1.6 million in donations to continue to provide its specialist care services.

Police are appealing for information to help trace a missing teenager believed to be in the Bradford area.

Bradford District Police would like to speak to anyone who has seen or has information about 15-year-old Saba Hussain, who was reported missing from the Cleveland area of Middlesbrough yesterday (06/03) at around 12pm. 

Saba is originally from Bradford and it is believed she may have travelled back to the area.

Saba is described as asian, 5ft 6 inches tall, with thick, long, brown hair. She wears thick glasses and has her lip pierced, and was last seen wearing a black polo top, white skinny jeans and black running shoes.

Anyone with information on Saba’s whereabouts or anyone who believes they may have seen Saba is asked to contact Bradford Police on 101, quoting log number 0814 of March 6.