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Urban Echo News

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Bradford Council’s multi-award winning public space, City Park has received a Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel website.

The award which is only given to accommodation, attractions and restaurants which consistently earn positive reviews from travellers is considered to be the gold standard in customer satisfaction and is highly sort after by tourism businesses.

Positive reviews include one written by ‘70ish’ from Worcester who says: ‘It is a lovely place to stroll through in the evening the coloured fountains are so beautifully reflected in the mirror pool, a really lovely space.’

Another from ‘gordonmpearce’ says: ‘City Park has really transformed the centre of Bradford – it is a lovely space to walk through and it attracts lots of people especially with various events on throughout the year – a must see!’

‘A R’ states the space is a ‘superb place to a spend a day out with the kids but don’t forget to take spare clothing and towels. Highly recommended. Well done Bradford.’

City Park currently has four out of five TripAdvisor stars from a total of 54 reviews.

Since opening in 2012, the space has had over 25 million visits and has been credited for contributing to Bradford’s economic regeneration.

City Park has received a host of accolades with awards for its lighting, fountains, design, landscaping and impact on the local economy.

These have included:

  • Urban Design Group’s Project of the Year Award
  • LUX Urban Lighting Project of the Year Award
  • Considerate Constructors Scheme Award
  • CECA Award For Construction Excellence
  • Local Government Making A Difference in Yorkshire & Humber Award
  • British Construction Industry Regeneration Award
  • Royal Town Planning Institute Award
  • Marsh Christian Trust Fountain of the Year Award
  • Landscape Institute’s Design for a Medium Scale Public Development Award

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Portfolio Holder for Regeneration, Planning and Transport, said: “We are very proud to receive TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

“A huge amount of effort went into developing City Park and staff continue to work hard behind the scenes to ensure the space delivers a world-class experience.”

The popular Bradford Eid Festival has been given the green light to return to the city this year, where people from around the region will come together in this free two-day event to celebrate Eid.

Festival-goers will be able to enjoy a wide range of activities including live music, poetry performances, Henna art, market bazaars and fairground rides, along with a whole section dedicated to mouth-watering Halal food from around the world.

Last year, the festival attracted over 12,000 people and this year, numbers are expected to be even higher – making it the North’s largest Festival to commemorate Eid, which is celebrated by Muslims and marks the end of Ramadan (the Islamic holy month of fasting).

Organiser, Mohammed Atique, said: “After a long month of fasting, praying and charity, we felt the community deserved an enjoyable time where they can come together and celebrate Eid with their loved ones.

“Everyone involved in making the festival happen are volunteers and we’re doing this for the love of the city and its people. Over the last few months, we’ve seen communities across the country unite and come together following tragic attacks in London and Manchester as well as the horrific London fire. We, as proud people from Yorkshire, want to show the same message of unity and that’s why we’re putting on an entertaining event that’s open to the whole community – so together, we can all enjoy the blessings of Eid.

The Bradford Eid Festival now enters its fourth consecutive year, with growing support from the community to make this an annualised event in the Bradford diary. Attracting people from all over the region, and as far out as Manchester, the festival will take place at Bradford Moor Park on Saturday 1 July to Sunday 2 July. “We’d like to take this opportunity to thank our sponsors and supporters without whom the event wouldn’t be possible in particular Regal Bakery and Artz-I”

The event is free to enter for all ages, with business sponsorship opportunities and stalls still available to book, but hurry if you are interested as these are selling out fast.

For enquiries please call 0757 88 88 77 9, email info@bradfordeidfestival.co.uk or for more general information, visit www.bradfordeidfestival.co.uk

The festival will take place on Sat 1 Jul – Sun 2 Jul at Bradford Moor Park

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West Yorkshire Police Chief Constable Dee Collins and Imam Qari Asim, Head Imam of the Makkah Mosque, Leeds are urging communities to stand together in the wake of the latest terrorist incident, in Finsbury, London earlier this week. 

The Chief Constable said: “The Finsbury terrorist attack was dreadful, particularly as it targeted people leaving prayers in the holy month of Ramadan.

“Naturally, this has raised concerns among our own Muslim communities and we have been providing highly visible reassurance and support, across the county, which will continue as long as is necessary.

“Qari and I are making this statement as we are united in our view that acts of terror will not divide us. West Yorkshire is a county with long established, richly diverse communities and now, more than ever, we need to stand together.

“People of all faiths, or no faith, must be free to live their lives without fear of hatred or intolerance. If you have been subject of a hate crime, you must not suffer in silence. Report it to us, either on 101 for non-emergencies, 999 in case of emergencies or through local hate crime reporting centres.”

Imam Qari Asim said “The Chief Constable and I feel it was very important to stand together on this issue.

“It is essential to send a clear message that there can be no tolerance of religious hatred in our communities.

“While many members of the Muslim community are understandably very concerned about their own safety, we know we must not give in to extremists. Hate incidents must be reported and people who commit hate crimes have to be dealt with robustly.

The increased police patrols we have seen locally have been reassuring, but it is up to us all as individuals and communities to be united in our rejection of extremist views. Everyone must remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the police.”

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A Halifax woman who stole £240,000 from her boss has been sentenced to 5 years in prison. Nikki Conway

Nikki Conway, 37, of Willowfield Crescent admitted taking the money from her boss, William Dickin, 74, who thought she was “like family” and a “trusted employee”, between 1 May 2016 and 1 October 2016.

She had been employed as an Office Manager between 2010 and October 2015

Mr Dickin saw his business go into liquidation and almost lost his house too.

The theft first came to light on 4 November last year when the victim was contacted by his bank to report irregular transactions. After checking those he established they had been transferred out of his account without his knowledge or permission.

The victim then reported the theft of £12,485.64 to West Yorkshire Police.

Further work by detectives showed that between 26 June and 10 October 2016, £14,348.38 had been transferred from the victim’s account without his knowledge or permission into Conway’s account.

Additional analysis revealed Conway had made numerous fraudulent financial transfers from the victim’s account into her own account.

Conway was charged on 27 March 2017 with the offence of theft by employee to the sum of approximately £240,000. She had been arrested from her home address on 9 March.

In a victim impact statement for the court, Mr Dickin said: “I was in denial because although I knew it was her I didn’t want to believe it. She was like family to me and I trusted her completely with my finances. I never thought a human being in this world could have done this. The effect of the thefts has impacted all areas of my life – both private and business.”

Detective Constable Ash Nuttall of Calderdale Police investigated the crime. “Conway was calculating, playing on and abusing the trust Mr Dickin placed in her. Her actions have had lasting impact on him and his family and I hope today’s sentence sends out a clear message that this type of offending will not be tolerated. Conway now has time inside to consider the consequences of her actions.”

Bradford Council is set to stage a host of colourful and creative street theatre acts at this year’s Bradford Festival.

In late July, City Park will burst into life with top quality acts from across the UK.

Innovating street theatre company, Highly Sprung will stage a piece offering a glimpse of a possible future  Urban Astronaut.

Problems surrounding air pollution have grown to a crisis point and the work askes audiences if there is ‘a way back?’

Combining stunning design and a unique travelling flying machine with simple storytelling and a moving dance performance, Urban Astronaut searches for a solution to the environmental disaster which Highly Sprung believes is in our near future.

Award-winning international performance company, Markmark Productions will stage HMS Punafore, a hilarious musical comedy where the crew makes disastrous attempts to perform Gilbert and Sullivan’s classic operetta.

Meet the Funnels by Artemis Productions is a comical interactive act featuring three chimneys which dance, toot their horns and play ‘follow the leader’.

When the time is right, the characters will surprise festival-goers by popping out like jack-in-the-boxes and invite people to join in with their games, fun and frivolity.

An amphibious pedalo has been cleverly adapted to take Reckless Invention characters, Mfanwy and Gfanwy, to places where normal pedalos cannot reach.

Pedalo is a two person peddle-about with an oceanic theme where the comical characters will attempt to impress City Park visitors with their sporting prowess and dreadful stunts.

Comical seafaring clichés from Treasure Island to Moby Dick will be played played out in Lifeboat, by Derbyshire-based street arts organisation, Artizani.

Audiences will be asked to ‘batten down the hatches’ as the shipwrecked Captain and Boatswain’s mate relive their comical tales of life on the seven seas.

Giant child-friendly fowl, the Puddle Ducks by Cirq Delight, will investigate every situation in Bradford’s City Park by curiously pecking at people’s bags and coats whilst quacking their way out of tricky situations.

Bradford’s master puppet makers, Cecil Green Arts, returns to City Park bringing some of their best larger than life paper mâché creations in the Big Welcome.

Internationally acclaimed theatre company Mind the Gap will perform the premier of Mirror Mirror, a thought-provoking collaborative piece developed with cutting-edge Liverpool theatre company The Kazimier.

Through ‘absurd performance’, technology and playful imitation, Mirror Mirror explores the experiences of people who are considered ‘different’ in today’s society and prompts the audience to ask themselves: who’s in front of the mirror?

Award-winning local interactive performance company, Same Difference, will stage, Sense-O-Matic which features a Victorian-inspired ‘fantastical object’ which ‘documents sights, sounds, smells and all other sensations’.

People will be encouraged to help Sense-O-Matic’s madcap lab-rats complete their ‘very important research’ and discover everyday details which are often overlooked.

Formerly known as the Bradford Playhouse, Fused Imagination will stage a light-hearted children’s show, Red Bill’s Air Race.

Budding ‘scientists, aviation experts and paper folding champions’ will work with larger-than-life engineers, ground crew and flight attendants to build, test-pilot and race paper planes around the festival.

Shipley-based arts company Q20 are set to show Elephant Gigante, an act which gives visitors the chance to experience ‘the majesty and serenity of the Serengeti’.

Moving through the crowds like cruise-liners through the mist, enormous, fully-animated puppets will ‘amaze and entrance’ visitors to the Bradford Festival.

The elephants will pause to meet people as they make their way to City Park’s ‘watering hole’ where they restore old friendships, tussle for dominance, groom each other and play.

Celebrated women’s street theatre company, Circo Rum Ba Ba, brings The Crow House, a silent movie-inspired show using acrobatics, silks trapeze artistry, hat juggling, musical saw and harp playing, puppetry, audience participation and slap-stick comedy.

One of Cardiff’s most exciting, original and eclectic companies and pioneers of all things retro, vintage and the wonderfully absurd, Kitsch & Sync Collective will stage, Bedraggled.

Three ‘bedraggled beauties’ are swept up on City Park’s ‘shores’, serenading shipwrecked sailors with their sublime, sultry sounds.

Audiences can expect ‘underwater warblings, mermaid mambo manoeuvres, fish maracas, octopus opera’ and much more!

Innovative British street theatre company, Acrojou will show, All at Sea, a theatrical installation set in a boat.

All at Sea combines melancholic humour, striking design  and visual poetry, in a moving and atmospheric ‘row-about installation’.

Bristol-based artistes, Cake Ladies, bring their flamboyant stilt-walking show by the same name.

With lashings of charisma and oozing with charm, the Cake Ladies are a saucy roaming tea party which dishes up sweet treats with a touch of glamour.

In 2016, the Bradford Festival attracted over 150,000 people into Bradford city centre.

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Portfolio Holder for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “This year’s festival is packed with lots of colourful and entertaining things to see and do.

“The street theatre programme will be lots of fun with lots of opportunities to interact with the performers.

“Admission is free and everyone is welcome.”

For further information and updates, visit www.bradfordfestival.org.uk or follow Bradford Festival on Twitter and Facebook.

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New anti-litter and anti-dog fouling enforcement officers will soon be seen on the streets of Bradford in a bid to prevent thoughtless people spoiling the environment.
The eight officers will be empowered to issue Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) to people who litter, urinate, spit or allow their dog to foul in public in the city centre and other litter hot spots.
From 17 July when the new officers will be deployed, the litter penalty will be raised to £80 from £75 to match the figure for dog fouling, and the early payment discount for both fines will be abolished.
If the full FPN is not paid, the Council will take the offender to court. The officers will adopt a zero tolerance approach to offenders.
The company has pointed out that it does not offer incentives to issue as many fines as possible to its officers.
They will wear black uniforms with the words ‘Enforcement Officer’ on the back and carry the logos of the company and Bradford Council on the sleeves.
The increased level of fine and the removal of early payment discount will act as a deterrent. 3GS has 12 contracts with other local authorities including Leeds. They are experienced and have a proven track record of success in the role of enforcement.
Coun Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Environment, Sport and Culture, said: “Littering and dog fouling offences continue to be a significant problem throughout the district and we have to do the best we can to tackle them.
“Using examples from other local authorities, we think that the most efficient way forward at this time is to employ 3GS enforcement officers.
“These proposals send a clear message that the Council is getting tougher on these offences.”

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A one minute’s silence will be held this morning (Monday, 19 June) at 11am in Centenary Square to remember the victims of last week’s Grenfell Tower tragedy.

The public are invited to join in remembering all those who have suffered as a result of the terrible fire that engulfed the tower block in west London and yesterday’s terrorist incident at Finsbury Park Mosque

The silence will be led by the Lord Mayor of Bradford, Coun Abid Hussain, and the Dean of Bradford Cathedral, the Very Reverend Jerry Lepine.

Flags on City Hall and the Council’s area offices will fly at half mast.

The Lord Mayor, the Leader of the Bradford Council, Coun Susan Hinchcliffe, and the Chief Executive, Kersten England, said: “The fire at Grenfell Tower in London was a truly shocking and  saddening event and our thoughts are with all those who have been affected.

“We are also remembering and paying our respects to all those affected by the dreadful London Mosque attack last night.”

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New sushi bar Little Lotus is to offer a new exciting and healthy place to buy lunch in the Broadway shopping centre.

Sushi is one of the fastest growing food trends in the country and Little Lotus is proud to offer hand crafted delicious meals from their kiosk.

The company will receive a rate rebate to the tune of £15,000 under the City Centre Growth Zone scheme which offers applicants rate relief if they create jobs within the city centre.

Little Lotus Sushi and Bento is creating six new jobs for their new bar, which follows on from the success of their bars in Huddersfield and Chelmsford.

Bradvent Supply Services Ltd who install ductwork and supply fans and accessories are moving into new premises in Enterprise House in Duncan Street.

They have grown significantly over the last eight years , dealing with more clients and tendering for more projects. They are therefore gong to take on two trainee project engineers.

A further company, Stafforce Recruitment, decided to look for larger premises as they too are a growing, thriving business.

Part of the Nicholas Associates Group, they work with other local Bradford businesses to recruit industrial and engineering staff and were based at Salem Street.

They have now moved premises to North Parade because of the regeneration of the area.

Just a couple of years ago, North Parade was shortlisted for the City Category in the British High Street of the Year, testament to the independent cafes and bars springing up around that area.

Two new jobs are being created and they are to receive £22,000 rate rebate grant funding.

Coun Alex Ross-Shaw, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We’re pleased to be able to support these businesses which are creating new jobs in the city.

“They are all thriving businesses and this scheme allows them to further grow and prosper, boosting the local economy and providing a wide range of employment for people.”

For more details about how you can benefit from City Centre Growth Zone funding, please contact Jacqueline Ramdeen, Development Officer, on 01274 433957.

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A Bradford solicitor and his brother have been jailed for more than six years after they were found guilty of conspiracy to defraud. 

Chambers Solicitors’ principal partner Mohammed Ayub and his brother Mohammed Riaz were jailed at Newcastle Crown Court on Friday (9 June) in relation to payments made to a fictitious agency, Legal Support Services, which was set up by Riaz to claim thousands of pounds in interpreters’ fees from the Legal Aid Agency.

The total cost of the fraud could never be established, but the prosecution estimated it to be around £200,000.

Ayub was jailed for three years and six months, while Riaz received a sentence of two years and nine months.

A third defendant, Neil Frew, who was a salaried partner and immigration department manager at Chambers, received a suspended term.

All three men were found guilty following a trial at Sheffield Crown Court that ended last November. 

Chambers Solicitors, which had offices in Bradford and Wakefield, has since been closed down by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

The investigation was carried out by West Yorkshire Police’s Economic Crime Unit.

Detective Inspector Ben McDonald, said:

“This was a lengthy and complex investigation and I would like to thank everyone who assisted in bringing this case to a successful conclusion.

“This sends a clear message to the public that anyone who commits large scale fraud, no matter what their position, will be dealt with accordingly.”

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Two men from Bradford have been jailed for nearly 14 years after they were convicted of firearms offences.

Paul Nriapia and Joseph McCrory were sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday (Monday) in relation to the seizure of a loaded revolver, which was recovered from a Ford Focus in Barden Avenue, Bradford last December.

Nriapia, 58, of Beacon Place, was jailed for seven years and three months after he was found guilty of conspiracy to possess a firearm without a certificate and conspiracy of possession of ammunition without a certificate.

Thirty-six year old McCrory, of Forber Grove, was sentenced to six years and four months in relation to the same matters.

Speaking after the sentencing Detective Chief Inspector Warren Stevenson, of Protective Services Crime, said:

“Matters involving firearms are taken very seriously by the police and the courts and we welcome these sentences.

“We hope this sends out a message to others that if you are involved in their use or possession, you will be caught and will almost certainly receive a substantial prison sentence.

“West Yorkshire Police takes a proactive approach to removing firearms from our streets to ensure our communities can remain safer places.

“Anyone with information about those involved in the use of firearms can call us on 101, or pass information anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.”

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