Week Ahead: Eyes on Prime Minister Boris Johnson's levelling up plans at Conservative Conference, Bradford's Widescreen Weekend and Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival

Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech on day four of the 2019 Conservative Party Conference. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech on day four of the 2019 Conservative Party Conference. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech on day four of the 2019 Conservative Party Conference. Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.
Levelling-up plans a major part of the Conservative Conference, an exploration of film and a celebration of Yorkshire cheese. John Blow looks at the week ahead.

Big conference calls

The Government’s stated ‘levelling up’ agenda will be a major topic during the Conservative Party Conference.

Michael Gove MP, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, and Richmond’s Rishi Sunak MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, will address members in Manchester today after the conference began yesterday.

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The Mayor of the Tees Valley, Ben Houchen, is also scheduled to take part in a conversation with the Centre for Cities think tank in the Lecture Room at Manchester Art Gallery on Tuesday.

Yorkshire farmers will be keeping an eye on an event the same day about agriculture and environmental schemes with the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, George Eustice MP.

And a panel event called Unite and Level Up – How we will Build Back Better is also taking place on Wednesday.

It comes after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer criticised Prime Minister Boris Johnson over levelling up, a phrase used to describe the creation of a more equal, prosperous and skilled society across the UK, not just in London and the south.

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Sir Keir offered the Tories “a lesson in levelling up” at his party’s own conference by noting Labour’s record on introducing a minimum wage, boosting education and the NHS.

“You want levelling up? That’s levelling up,” the leader said after running through Labour’s achievements.

Mr Johnson made a major speech about levelling up in July this year, saying: “Everyone knows that talent and energy and enthusiasm and flair are evenly spread across the UK, evenly spread.It is opportunity that is not and it is the mission of this government to unite and level up across the whole UK...”

Widescreen Weekend

Sir Michael Palin will be appearing at Bradford’s National Science and Media Museum alongside Edith Bowman as part of the attraction’s annual Widescreen Weekend programme. The festival of large-screen formats and cinema technologies celebrates the past, present and future of film, and will return this year between Thursday and Sunday.

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During the event’s 25th anniversary, Sir Michael will be joining Bowman as her special guest on Friday when she records an episode of her podcast, Soundtracking, in which she speaks with film directors, actors, producers and composers about the music that inspires them.

This year’s festival will tie into the museum’s current Sound Season, including its two exhibitions Sonic: Adventures in Audio and Boom: Experiments in Sound. It will shine will spotlight on

legendary Italian film composer Ennio Morricone, with a talk by Sir Christopher Frayling to commemorate Morricone’s long-spanning career composing the scores of classic films such as

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966); The Thing (1982); The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1970); and The Mission (1986).

Say cheese

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A celebration of regional produce will take place as the Yorkshire Dales Cheese Festival gets under way.

Businesses from across the National Park area have organised events between Thursday and Sunday.

These include themed dishes in cafes and restaurants, demonstrations using local produce, cookery courses, dining experiences, Yorkshire gin and ales, ice creams and sorbets, jams, jellies and chutneys, as well as locally-reared meat on menus and the chance to meet the makers.

Details of times and locations can be found at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk.

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