YEP Says, January 27: When students’ exit let families make an entrance

...and Jason’s flyaway story of courage

WHAT kind of city do we want Leeds to be? A city brimming with talent, energy, and get-up-and-go.

A city diverse in its make-up with a thriving, lively student population, flourishing families and city-dwelling professionals. A city where there is room for all.

That’s the ideal – though not always the reality.

Today we report on the council’s concern about the impact of the flight of students from traditional student areas like Hyde Park, Headingley and Kirkstall to purpose-built flats in the city centre, leaving empty homes-cum-bedsit properties in their wake.

In principle this is surely a good thing. Homes at last available to people who have previously felt banished, either due to the dominant student culture or sky-high rents.

For these areas to prosper landlords need to be persuaded to “flip” the use of run-down, neglected bedsit flats into homes fit for families again; secondly the families then need persuading to return to said areas blighted by the ‘student’ tag.

It’s good to see the council addressing this problem head on and there are reports that in some areas like Far Headingley there are signs of the local housing market returning to a fundamentally residential one.

One hopes that in a few years balance will be restored.

Jason’s flyaway story of courage

WE hope you’ll agree that it’s a fabulous picture on page one of the Yorkshire Evening Post today.

Stories don’t come much more uplifting.

Jason Wannan’s tale is a reminder to all that sometimes, you’ve just got to seize the day.

Jason has more reason than most – terminally ill with cancer he took the plunge from an aeroplane for a 12,000ft freefall skydive to fulfil a ‘bucket list’ dream and also to raise money for St Gemma’s Hospice.

“It was fantastic,” said Jason. “As soon as you step out of the plane, all your troubles disappear.” His girlfriend Tracey says she couldn’t be prouder of him. Hear hear to that.