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Tour de France spending boost in Calderdale

Last summer's Tour de France brought an extra £12.5 million to Calderdale, according to figures released by the council. Hotels and B&Bs were among those to benefit, with visitors spending nearly £3 million on accommodation.

I'm delighted by these findings, which show the clear benefits that participation in the Tour de France brought to Calderdale. This can be measured both in terms of the immediate impact on our local economy and, in the longer term, the legacy.

We know there are keen cyclists who will want to tackle the challenges of the route themselves this summer. There are also spectators and viewers who will want to explore our beautiful landscapes and quirky towns, bringing lasting benefits for our tourism industry.

– Cllr Stephen Baines, Calderdale Council

Police want to find assault suspect in Halifax

Calderdale Police have released the name of a man they would like to speak to in connection with an assault.

40-year-old Michael Patrick Scully from Halifax is wanted by police in connection with the offence, which occurred in the Illingworth area in the early hours of Thursday.

He is white, about 5ft 11ins tall and of stocky build with short light brown hair.

He is believed to have connections to the Illingworth area.

Detective Inspector Craig Lord, of Calderdale District CID, said:

"We have undertaken numerous enquiries to locate this man and our officers continue to actively pursue every line of enquiry to trace him.

"He is not believed to pose a risk to the general public, but we would urge anyone who knows where he might be, not to approach him and contact Calderdale CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111."

Teenager sentenced after sexual assault on young girl

A teenage boy has been convicted of sexual assault on a girl under 13 in Rastrick near Huddersfield. The boy who was 13 at the time of the offence in July 2013 but now aged 14 cannot be named for legal reasons.

He was given a two-year conditional discharge and must also register with the police as a sex offender for the same period. Charges against four other boys were dropped.

Judge Potter indicated that the activity had involved “two people of tender age experimenting in sexual activity”.

Hundreds turn out for ancient festival

The annual Rushbearing Festival at Sowerby Bridge has been taking place this weekend. Its origins lie in the tradition of carrying fresh rushes to church to put on the beaten earth floor – few events survive today because most churches lost their festivities when they improved their flooring.

The rushbearing cart at the centre of the festival Credit: Chris Dawkes

It begins with rushes being piled high on a special rushcart – the thatching process takes over a week but is complete by Saturday morning. The decorated cart parades its way around the local villages accompanied by morris men, mummers and other entertainers. On Sunday, the special Rushbearing Service is held at St Peter’s Church at Sowerby from 10.30 followed by another procession and more dancing through the day.

Out with the old and in with the new Credit: Chris Dawkes

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Breaking: Five boys charged with rape in Calderdale

Five boys aged either 13 or 14 have been charged with the rape of a child under 13.

It happened in Calderdale in July last year.

"Five boys aged 13, 13, 14, 14 and 14 have all been charged with rape of a child under 13. Two of them have been charged with two counts of rape of a child under 13, one has been charged with one count of rape of a child under 13 and sexual assault of a child under 13. The other two have been charged with one count of rape of a child under 13. The charges relate to two incidents involving the same victim in the Calderdale area in July 2013.

– Detective Superintendent Simon Atkinson

All five have been released on bail. They'll appear at Calderdale Youth Court on August 20th.

Police hope to trace mystery caller

Police in Calderdale are appealing for a woman who rang the Calderdale NHS 111 number and called herself Sarah to come forward.

A call came in at 4.22pm on Thursday 8 May.

'Sarah' was clearly in distress, alleging that she had been the victim of a crime and had taken a large amount of tablets.

Since then police have been trying to trace the woman, who said she was in Sowerby Bridge, to check on her welfare.

It is vital that we find 'Sarah' as soon as possible so we can make sure she is OK or get her any medical attention she may need. Officers are currently out looking for her but it is a very big area to search and we don't have a great deal of information on which to go on. We need her, or anyone who knows her to come forward immediately. We will give 'Sarah' any help or advice she needs and ensure she gets any necessary medical attention but we need her to get in contact.

– Chief Inspector Viv Cutbill

Huge crowd turns out to protest over A & E closure plans

Packed room at North Bridge Leisure Centre Credit: ITV Yorkshire

Hundreds of protestors have packed into Nothbridge Leisure Centre in Halifax to show their opposition to plans to close Calderdale's A & E. Halifax MP Linda Riordan said she wants to send a clear message to health bosses of the strength of feeling against the proposed changes.

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