New Leeds call centre to create 300 jobs

Traffic on the Dartford bridge People paying to use the Dartford Crossing will be served by call centre staff in Leeds

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About 300 jobs are to be created when a French company opens a new call centre in Leeds.

Motorway operator Sanef is investing £1m in the centre, which will serve people paying to travel on the Dartford Crossing, between Kent and Essex.

The firm said Leeds was chosen because of "its significant experience in contact centre operations".

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg announced the news earlier at a business conference in the city.

The jobs include customer support and admin roles, as well as 10 apprenticeships.

Mr Clegg said he was "pleased" about the investment.

The call centre will be servicing customers using Dartford Crossing's new payment system, which is being operated by Sanef.

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BBC Local Live

    18:00: Good evening

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

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

    17:52: Weather: A cloudy but milder night Paul Hudson Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    Tonight, it'll remain cloudy with rain and drizzle likely in Pennine areas and a low temperature of about 9C (48F).

    Weather forecast

    Tomorrow will be cloudy and windy with outbreaks of rain and drizzle, persistent at times in Pennine areas, but patchy and light further east.

    It'll again be very mild with a top temperature of about 13C (55F).

    17:41: Coming up on BBC One Amy Garcia Presenter, BBC Look North

    Join me and Harry Gration at 18:30 for BBC Look North as we report on prayers being said across Yorkshire for victims of the school shooting in Pakistan. At least two special vigils are now being planned to remember the victims in the next 24 hours.

    Also we'll be hearing the story of a Bradford teenager left alone to care for his younger brother and sister after their mother was seriously injured in a car crash in Bangladesh.

    17:33: 'It's been really bad' Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    A further update on the launch of an appeal to help three Bradford teenagers whose mother is in hospital in Wakefield after she was badly hurt in a car crash in Bangladesh.

    Yeasin Mohammed

    Yeasin Mohammed, 18, has been left to look after his 13-year-old sister and 15-year-old brother as well as pay off debts of £47,000 after paying for hospital bills and plane tickets.

    Yeasin has told BBC Look North: "What can I do? It's been hard for me. I need to go to hospital to see my mum, I need to do everything. It's been really bad".

    17:23: Flats plan for landmark square Yorkshire Evening Post

    Plans have been revealed for a new apartment complex at the heart of a landmark Leeds square.

    Plans for Hanover Square
    17:11: Appeal launched to help teens BBC Radio Leeds

    More on the story mentioned in the headlines: a school's appeal to help a Bradford teenager and his younger brother and sister after their mother was seriously hurt in a car crash in Bangladesh.

    Yeasin and his brother and sister

    Yeasin Mohammed, 18, has been landed with debts of £47,000 to pay for plane tickets and medical bills, but he only gets £57 a week in income support for him and his siblings. Now, their school, Carlton Bolling College, has appealed to local people to help the family pay for food and bills.

    Head teacher Adrian Kneeshaw says: "I was stunned they were in this situation. "

    16:57: News on the hour Corinne Wheatley Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

    A teenager from Bradford has been telling the BBC how he's been left alone to care for his younger siblings with very little money after their mother was seriously injured in a car crash in Bangladesh.

    The medical bills ran to £47,000, but 18-year-old Yeasin Mohammed only gets £57 a week for them to live on.

    Listen live to the 17:00 bulletin for more.

    16:43: Drama in the skies Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Thanks to Michiko Smith for sending in this picture of dramatic skies over Normanton near Wakefield this afternoon.

    Skies over Normanton

    We always love to feature the best pictures you've taken of West Yorkshire. Why not email or tweet your photographs to us?

    16:29: Politicians condemn school attack Keighley News
    16:11: Mowatt: 'Tough times' on bench Katherine Hannah Sports Presenter, BBC Radio Leeds

    Leeds United midfielder Alex Mowatt has told BBC West Yorkshire Sport that being out of the first team under former head coach David Hockaday made him more determined to work hard for his place.

    Alex Mowatt

    The 19-year-old has told us the experience has helped him become a better player. He says: "It was a tough time but I just kept working hard."

    15:55: News on the hour Corinne Wheatley Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

    A school in Bradford has launched an appeal to help three teenagers who've been left to cope alone after their mother was seriously injured in a car crash.

    The accident happened while she was in Bangladesh and she's now in hospital in Wakefield.

    Listen live to the 16:00 bulletin for more.

    15:37: Hospital's appeal over A&E use Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    People in Wakefield and Kirklees are being asked to think again before going to their local hospital's A&E department and ask themselves if they could get "more appropriate" treatment elsewhere.

    Pinderfields Hospital

    Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust says over recent days it has seen an increase in attendance at its A&E units of more than 15% and that figure is "expected to rise even further".

    15:21: Traffic delays on M1

    BBC Travel News reports a lane is closed on the M1 exit slip road and there's slow traffic northbound at J41, A650 (Carrgate), because of a broken down vehicle.

    Drivers in the area are being warned to expect significant delays.

    15:08: Silence for attack victims Andrew Edwards Presenter, BBC Radio Leeds

    We're talking this afternoon about the horrific attack on a school in Pakistan yesterday. There'll be a one minute silence in Leeds tomorrow to show support for those affected by the Taliban attack which killed 141 people.

    Scene of Pakistan school attack

    Led by the Lord Mayor, the event will take place in front of Leeds Art Gallery at 11:00 and will be attended by multi-faith leaders and community representatives. Members of the public are also invited to attend and join the one minute silence.

    14:56: News on the Hour Corinne Wheatley Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

    Leeds City Council's launched a one-month consultation so people can give their views on next year's budget.

    The authority says it has to cut a further £76m of spending between 2015 and 2016.

    Listen live to the 15:00 bulletin for more.

    14:42: School rebuilding plans revealed Telegraph & Argus

    Plans to demolish four district secondary school buildings and replace them with state of the art facilities have officially been revealed.

    14:27: Abuse survey launched

    People in Wakefield are being encouraged to take part in a new survey into domestic abuse in the district in a bid to help understand attitudes towards the subject.

    The Wakefield Council-run online survey consists of seven questions and can be completed anonymously. It aims to give the council an insight into people's perceptions on domestic abuse.

    14:12: Call for regional election broadcasts

    Broadcasting rules around party election broadcasts need to reflect regional English interests, according to localised political parties.

    Person holding Yorkshire flag

    Richard Carter, from Yorkshire First, says election broadcasts are an example of an out of date system. Mr Carter says his party is considering contesting seats outside of Yorkshire to "demonstrate the absurd current situation".

    13:58: News on the hour Davinia Ramos Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

    Research by scientists at the University of Leeds suggests poisonous carbon monoxide may protect the brain against damage caused by Alzheimer's disease

    Listen live to the 14:00 bulletin for more.

    13:45: Trust apologises over baby's death Morley Observer

    Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has apologised after a coroner ruled failures in the treatment of a baby girl from Morley who died of multiple organ failure at Leeds General Infirmary amounted to neglect.

    13:30: Crematorium staff to strike Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Staff working at a Leeds crematorium are to hold a second day of strike action in a long-running dispute with Leeds City Council over claims of intimidation and harassment by managers.

    Lawnswood crematorium

    Four staff at Lawnswood Crematorium, all members of the union Unison, will take part in the strike on Friday. They will not picket outside the crematorium itself, but will protest outside Leeds Civic Hall.

    13:17: Overturned van sparks delays

    BBC Travel reports that one lane is closed and there's slow traffic on the A629 eastbound in Steeton between the A6034 Keighley Road junction and the A650 Hard Ings Road junction because of an overturned van.

    13:07: New primary school places doubled

    The number of new places at a Kirklees school is to be doubled due to a "significant" growth in the school-age population, Kirklees Council has said.

    The council's cabinet has voted to raise the number of planned new places at Royds Hall Community School from 210 to 420 in a bid to make sure there are sufficient primary school places.

    12:56: News on the hour Davinia Ramos Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

    The chancellor says new figures showing a slight fall in the number of unemployed people proves the government's economic plan is working.

    Unemployment fell by 63,000 nationally to 1.96 million - while it's down 2,000 in Yorkshire to 191,000.

    Listen live to the 13:00 bulletin for more.

    12:39: Can Leeds join the culture club? Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Local Leeds blog has been talking to Kerry Harker, co-founder of Project Space, which runs the Tetley Contemporary Art Gallery which recently celebrated its first birthday.

    Leeds night skyline

    Kerry explains that she's "absolutely in favour" of the city making a bid for European Capital of Culture status in 2023 - something currently being considered by Leeds City Council.

    She says: "The question for me is this: Can Leeds step up to the mark and convince others that we can be a fully paid-up member of the culture club?" Read more here.

    12:28: 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.

    12:19: A cloudy and mild afternoon Lisa Gallagher Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    It'll be a cloudy, breezy and mild afternoon with some bright spells at times in the east.

    The cloud will be thick enough for some patchy rain at times over the Pennines.

    The maximum temperature will be about 11C (52F).

    12:09: Local talent 'key to Leeds' future' Jake Katborg Sports Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    Leeds United head coach Neil Redfearn has told BBC Radio Leeds it's vital to the future that the club keeps developing young, local talent.

    Neil Redfearn

    Redfearn says he thinks promising youngsters prefer Leeds to the big Premier League clubs because they have a better chance of getting in the first team.

    "You get people throwing money at it like Man City, but they don't get the best Leeds kids because they want to play for Leeds," he says.

    11:58: News on the hour Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    People in Leeds are being asked for their views on council cutbacks totalling £76m over the next two years.

    The authority's launched a one-month consultation before councillors vote on the figures in February.

    Listen live to the midday bulletin for more.

    11:48: Family demands answers over death Yorkshire Evening Post

    The sudden death of a beloved mother and grandmother "could have been avoided", her devastated family say.

    Maureen Broadbent
    11:38: 'Have your say' over council cuts BBC Radio Leeds

    More on the launch by Leeds City Council of a public consultation into its initial budget proposals for 2015-16, as it faces making £76.1m of savings next year.

    The leader of the council, Keith Wakefield, says: "With the Office for Budget Responsibility pointing out that further reductions could see public spending reduced to 1930s levels, it's imperative that residents take part so they understand the serious impact of austerity on council services".

    The full initial budget proposal report can seen here. The public consultation will run until 18 January before the final budget is confirmed at the full council meeting in February.

    11:28: White Christmas with a difference Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    A special dementia-friendly performance of Irving Berlin's White Christmas has been performed at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in what's believed to be the first initiative of its kind in the country.

    White Christmas

    The performance of the festive favourite was held yesterday and Nicky Taylor, who organised the initiative, says it was a great success.

    "We basically softened the edges of some of the action and the sound effects and had about 40 staff and volunteers to meet people. Everyone's on a real high, everyone's excited about this".

    11:17: Consultation launched over 'grim' decisions Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Leeds City Council faces "grim" decisions next year as it faces making £76.1m of savings from its budget next year, the council's leader has warned.

    Leeds Civic Hall

    The authority has just launched a one-month consultation asking for people's views on its initial budget proposals for 2015-16.

    Initial proposals include council housing rent increases of just under 3%, a 6% cut in roads maintenance, and a rise in nursery fees by just over 5%. The full list of proposals can be seen here.

    10:59: News on the hour Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    There's been a drop of 2,000 in Yorkshire's unemployment rate - to 191,000.

    Nationally, between August and October, it fell by 63,000 to 1.69 million.

    Listen live to the 11:00 bulletin for more.

    10:47: Pub campaigners call for law change Huddersfield Examiner

    Pub campaigners claim the government is letting communities down by allowing conversion of pubs to supermarkets without planning permission.

    Tesco Express on Halifax Road
    10:34: Unemployment in region falls Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Unemployment fell by 2,000 across Yorkshire and The Humber - to 191,000, according to new official statistics.

    Job centre

    The latest ONS figures for between August and October equate to 7.1% of the population.

    Unemployment across the UK in the three months to October fell by 63,000 to 1.96 million.

    10:15: Delays continue after accident

    BBC Travel News reports the A61 Scott Hall Road in Leeds is closed and there's slow traffic northbound between the Saville Mount junction and the Buslingthorpe Lane junction.

    This is because of an accident involving a car and a pedestrian. Drivers in the area are being warned to expect delays.

    09:56: News on the hour Clive Settle Journalist, BBC Radio Leeds

    New figures show councils in West Yorkshire and York have lost £470m of government funding since the coalition came to power in 2010.

    The government has cut their funding settlements in a bid to try and reduce the national deficit.

    Listen live to the 10:00 bulletin for more.

    09:39: Budget consultation starts

    Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, tweets: Budget consultation opens today for 1 month. Hardest budget yet & difficult decisions ahead. We need to hear from you

    09:25: Jobless 'could lose council tax benefits' Yorkshire Evening Post

    Unemployed people who fail to engage with job search services in Leeds could face losing their council tax benefits next year.

    09:10: Cuthbertson to make Boxing Day debut BBC West Yorkshire Sport
    08:57: News on the hour Clive Settle Newsreader, BBC Radio Leeds

    New figures show the Government has cut £470m of funding from councils in the Leeds City region since 2010.

    This year our West Yorkshire councils will get around £500m from Westminster in grants.

    Listen live to the 09:00 bulletin for more.

    08:47: Flood report confirms campaigners' fears Telegraph & Argus

    An independent report on flooding issues surrounding two green field developments at Menston has confirmed the fears of campaigners fighting to overturn planning decisions.

    08:36: Accident sparks delays

    BBC Travel News reports that the A61 Sheepscar Street North in Leeds is currently closed northbound at the Buslingthorpe Lane junction, because of an accident.

    Drivers in the area are being warned to expect long delays and to find an alternative route if possible.

    08:23: Ambulance workers demonstrate Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Ambulance workers who are members of the Unite union are due to stage a demonstration in Bradford today as part of a long-running row over re-organisation plans.


    The union claims new shift patterns and staffing arrangements could affect patient safety and its members have held several strikes since the dispute started last summer.

    Yorkshire Ambulance Service says its "absolute focus" is to ensure it continues to deliver a safe, responsive and high quality service to patients.

    08:11: Traffic delays warning

    BBC Travel News reports there's currently stop-start traffic on the A644 Wakefield Road in Mirfield from the Cooper Bridge Roundabout to the M62 J25 Roundabout junction.

    Drivers in the area are being warned to expect some delays.

    08:03: A breezy but mild day Lisa Gallagher Weather Presenter, BBC Look North

    Today will be a fairly cloudy, breezy and mild day in West Yorkshire.

    Weather forecast

    There'll be some bright spells at times in the east, but the cloud will be thick enough for some patchy rain at times over the Pennines.

    The top temperature will be about 11C (52F).

    08:00: Good morning Martin Coldrick BBC Local Live

    Hello and welcome to BBC Local Live in Leeds and West Yorkshire on Wednesday 17 December 2014.

    I'll be with you until 18:00 with the latest news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the county.

    And please feel free to send me your news, pictures and comments via



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