Friday, 17 April 2015

Leeds Inner Ring Road closed this weekend

The Leeds Inner Ring Road (A58M) will be closed to traffic for further work on Woodhouse Tunnel from 7pm on Friday 17 April (tonight) until 6am on Monday 20 April.

It will be closed in both directions overnight on Friday and then the westbound route only will be closed from 6am on Saturday until 7pm on Sunday, when both routes will close again until 6am on Monday morning.

Diversions will be in place. Leeds City Council apologises for any inconvenience caused.

For more information go to


Leeds City Council communications
Tel: 0113 395 0244

From wasteland to play land for Bracken Edge pupils

Early years pupils at Bracken Edge Primary school will help open their brand new play area on Monday, alongside specially invited guests.

The deputy executive member for children and families, and school governor, Councillor Jane Dowson will join staff, pupils and parents to officially open the playground on Monday 20 April. Entertainment will also be provided by a steel pan band.

Media opportunity
When: Monday 20 April at 3.15pm
Where: Bracken Edge Primary School, Newton Road, LS7 4HE
What: Members of the media are invited to come along to the opening event to photograph/ film Cllr Dowson and pupils performing a ribbon cutting. Interviews will also be available.

The school secured £10,000 funding from the Big Lottery Fund and invested a further £20,000 themselves to create a brand new outdoor play area which will inspire the children and help their educational development.

Thanks to this investment early years pupils will now enjoy a beach themed playground, which the pupils helped to design themselves. The new area incorporates hard wood play equipment including a climbing frame and balancing and agility equipment which will help to encourage healthy, active lifestyles. The new play area also includes a quiet, reading area for those children preferring a calmer environment.

Councillor Jane Dowson, deputy executive member responsible for children and families said:
“I am really pleased to be opening this fantastic new play area. This really is an amazing transformation from what was an uninspiring and underused playground into something which will be an integral part of the school day for the pupils of Bracken Edge. We really want it to be stimulating environment which not only encourages the children to be active and have fun, but also a place where they can learn and develop.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Just days to register to vote in May elections

There are only a few days left to register to vote in Leeds in the local and general elections in May as the deadline is on Monday April 20.

You can register online by clicking here You can also find the answers to questions about registration by visiting our register to vote web page. For general queries about the elections you can find further information on Leeds City Council’s main elections web page here: Leeds City Council elections information

All the information you need should be available online or you can call the LCC elections helpline on 0113 222 4411 (open office hours Mon-Fri only), or email

For media enquiries please contact:
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244


‘Take 7 Steps Out’ to protect children in Leeds from secondhand smoke

Leeds City Council has launched an innovative new campaign this week to encourage people who smoke to ‘Take 7 Steps Out’ of their home to protect children from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

StepaRoo, the campaign’s kangaroo mascot, was in the city this week to take children across seven musical steps highlighting the need to be at least seven steps away from homes when smoking. Parents are also encouraged not to smoke in confined spaces such as a car, when children are present.

StepaRoo was joined by the Take 7 Steps Out team who have been speaking to parents across Leeds about the dangers of secondhand smoke, which is responsible for over 300,000 GP consultations and approximately 9,500 hospital admissions each year in the UK.

Dr Ian Cameron, Leeds City Council’s Director of Public Health, said:

“This new campaign is encouraging smokers in Leeds to protect children from secondhand smoke by Taking 7 Steps Out of homes and buildings to smoke.

“There are over 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, 60 of which cause cancer. Opening windows or standing at the door doesn’t stop the toxic poisons contained in smoke filling a room and children breathing it in. This campaign will remind people smoking at home is harmful to children and they can take action to prevent this now even if they are not ready to quit.

“I hope everyone who hears about the Take 7 Steps Out campaign will spread the word in their communities to encourage those who smoke to make this small change which I know will make a big difference to children’s health across Leeds.”

Norma Sawyer, aged 52 from Meanwood, visited the T7SO stand with granddaughter Megan Edwards, aged 6. Norma said:

"I started smoking at 11 and smoked for many years inside my home because that's what other family members did so it felt normal. But then I decided to go outside to smoke because I wanted to protect my daughter and granddaughter from my smoke, which they were really pleased about.

“In 2014 I quit smoking and now use an e-cigarette, which I smoke outside my home because I still want to keep my family protected."

Bernadette Coleman from Guiseley, aged 41, was with baby daughter, Charlotte aged 5 months and teenage daughter, Louise 19. She said:

"I used to smoke in the house but always in another room away from my kids thinking that was safe. But when the kids were a bit older and started walking they'd follow me around and see me smoke so I'd go outside to have a cigarette, but sometimes I'd creep back in when it was cold or raining. When my son was younger he developed asthma and sometimes I wonder if my smoking contributed, but I didn’t know just how dangerous secondhand smoke is. I've quit smoking now and hopefully I won't start again."

The campaign, developed by social enterprise Tobacco Free Futures, focuses on protecting children as they are more vulnerable due to their faster rate of breathing, less developed airways, lungs and immune systems. Secondhand smoke exposure has serious health consequences, including an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, meningitis, bronchitis and cot death.

This activity is the beginning of a wider campaign across Leeds to speak to parents and guardians about the dangers of secondhand smoke and how to protect children and young people. If you would like to find out more information please visit


Pictures: Norma Sawyer and Megan Edwards with Steparoo; and Bernadette, Louise and Charlotte Coleman with Steparoo.

Notes to editors

• Over 80% of secondhand smoke (SHS) is invisible and odourless, meaning many people underestimate the damage secondhand smoke can cause
• Exposure to SHS increases risk of lower respiratory illness such as bronchitis, sudden infant death syndrome (cot death) and middle ear disease
• Exposure to SHS during pregnancy can cause the same genetic mutations in unborn babies as active smoking
• Exposure to SHS increases the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers by 20-30 per cent and coronary heart disease by 25-35 per cent

Steparoo visited the White Rose centre and St John’s shopping centre to let families know about Take 7 Steps Out.

Tobacco Free Futures

Tobacco Free Futures is a social enterprise that tackles tobacco harm, dedicated to achieving their mission of Making Smoking History for Children. They are a team of leading experts in tackling tobacco, with a vision to change the way children, young people and adults think about tobacco and help future generations to be tobacco free.

Issued by:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council, 4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 07891 276270

Fax: 0113 247 4736