Friday, 18 April 2014

Next generation of construction workers to find out more about future careers

Caption: Apprentice plasterer Kwami Thompson, 20, who is urging other young people to follow him into the construction industry.

Young people in Leeds will find out how they can become the building and construction workers of the future at a special event this month.

Youngsters from schools and colleges across the city will be at Leeds Civic Hall for the Construction Apprenticeship Fair on April 28, which has been organised by Leeds City Council’s Apprenticeship Hub.

More than 100 people aged 16-24 will get the chance to hear about apprenticeship opportunities with the firms behind some of the city’s biggest development projects.

Representatives from Hammersons, who are currently working on the £130m Victoria Gate retail scheme, will be attending.

And staff from Keepmoat, the company working with Leeds City Council on the housing regeneration programme, will also be on hand on the day.

Both companies will be talking about vacancies and opportunities as well as offering advice about the industry.

Kwami Thompson, from Harehills, was recently taken on by Keepmoat as an apprentice plasterer on the housing regeneration project.

The 20-year-old said the apprenticeship fair would be a great opportunity for other young people to follow in his footsteps.

He said: “I’ve been on site for a few weeks now and it's great- everyone is so friendly and I’m really enjoying it.

“Doing an apprenticeship has changed my life and if anyone is thinking of going into the construction industry, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

“I’m learning new skills, getting more experience being part of a big project and this really is the best way forward for me.”

Also attending the fair will be a range of top training providers including Leeds College of Building and CITB.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills, said:

“The Construction Apprenticeship Fair is the perfect place for young people to get access to key knowledge and information from within the industry.

“We’ve seen the construction industry bounce back in a big way in Leeds recently and we’ve got some huge and exciting projects taking place in the city both now and in the future.

“Those types of developments create some fantastic opportunities, so now is a great time for young people to get involved in building and construction and start a career that could see them help to change the face of Leeds.”

Young people attending the fair can register and apply for opportunities on the day and schools and colleges can also book the Leeds Apprenticeship Hub to deliver workshops and information sessions.

No appointments are needed to attend the event, which takes place from 10am-12pm.

For more information please contact:
Yvonne Appleyard on 07712 215 606 or email

Anyone finishing Year 11, 12 or 13 who want to start an apprenticeship in September needs to apply over the next month.

To find out more, visit


For more details, contact:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Counting on efforts of support staff for voting in Leeds

Opportunities are available to work behind the scenes at this year’s local and European elections in Leeds in May.

A number of paid positions still exist for people to work as counting assistants and in several other temporary posts for the elections, voting for which takes place on Thursday May 22.

Extra staff are needed to support the council’s elections team as they verify the votes cast in local and regional elections and then count them. People are also needed to work in polling stations on voting day (Thursday 22) in various areas of the city.

Counting takes place on Friday May 23 in the Leeds City Council local elections. This is followed on Sunday May 25 by the European count, which is being hosted at Leeds Town Hall for the entire Yorkshire and Humber region. Each of the 21 councils in the region will count their own votes, with their results being fed through to Leeds. They will then be calculated overall before being announced by regional returning officer Tom Riordan.

To find out more and to apply online or print an application form for posting, go to Job descriptions and application forms are available by clicking the drop-down arrow to the left of the page or call 0113- 395 2858 or email

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Last orders called on illegal drinking den

Leeds City council has called time on an illegal drinking den at a flat in Harehills, following a successful prosecution at Leeds Magistrates’ court yesterday (Tuesday 15 April).

Floberte Ngamou, 39, of Bexley Avenue, Harehills pleaded guilty to two offences of selling alcohol without a licence at a flat above a hairdressers at 123 Harehills Road. Ngamou was sentenced to 20 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, 200 hours unpaid work and £2160 costs.

Leeds City Council’s licensing officers successfully brought the prosecution after it was discovered that alcohol was being displayed, offered for sale and being consumed at the property by members of the public, without a licence. Officers from Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police visited the premises on three separate occasions between October 2012 and April 2013 and each time alcohol was being sold without a licence, despite previous warnings and legal orders given to stop the activities until a suitable licence was granted. Floberte Ngamou confirmed that she was in charge and had control of the premises on each occasion.

Councillor Graham Hyde, acting chair of the licencing committee said:
“It beggars belief that this type of irresponsible behaviour is going on in this day and age. Selling and allowing people to drink alcohol at an unlicensed premises not only puts the ‘customers’ at risk it is also anti-social and a blight for local residents. This prosecution shows that we will not tolerate this kind of irresponsible behaviour in our city.”

Floberte Ngamou was prosecuted for two offences under s.136 and two offences under s.137 of the Licensing Act 2003.

Since the 24th November 2005 the sale by retail of alcohol is a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003. Premises selling alcohol require a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice authorising the activity.

A person guilty of an offence of selling alcohol without a licence is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding £20,000, or to both.

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

Leeds City Council names local sporting heroes as Batonbearers on day 13 of the Commonwealth Games Queen’s Baton Relay

Caption: L-R Batonbearers Laura Beardsmore, Ali Jawad, Nile Wilson and Norman Stephens outside Leeds Civic Hall.

With just under 100 days to go until the XX Commonwealth Games begins in Glasgow, Leeds today announced the six Batonbearers selected to carry the Queen’s Baton when it arrives in the city.

The Queen’s Baton Relay will tour Leeds on June 12, visiting local landmarks and acting as the centrepiece for events happening to celebrate the countdown to Glasgow 2014.

The six Batonbearers have been selected by an independent panel of sporting partners from across the city, in recognition of their contribution to sport and the community. They are:

Nile Wilson, 18, a gymnast at Leeds Gymnastics Club, from Leeds.*
Sophie Taylor, 18, a swimmer for the City of Leeds, from Harrogate.*
Laura Beardsmore, 27, from Horsforth, Leeds, a member of the British Aikido squad.*
Paralympic powerlifter Ali Jawad, 25, originally from Lebanon, who now lives Bramley, Leeds.*
Sports volunteer Charlie Sansome, 23, from Leeds.*
Sports volunteer, Norman Stephens, 74, from Leeds. *
(* See notes to editors for biography)

Dame Kelly Holmes, president of Commonwealth Games England, said:

“Our England Batonbearers are going to play a crucial part when the Queen’s Baton Relay arrives in England on May 31.

“They have all been selected due to their passion for sport and the way in which they share this with their communities and look to get people involved and active.

“I’m encouraging everyone in Leeds to get involved when the Queen’s Baton Relay comes to your city – find out what event is taking place and if you can be there then please go and cheer on your Batonbearers and be part of the Team England send-off to Glasgow!”

The Batonbearers will carry the baton to a variety of events and activities to inspire and introduce young people to new sports, organised by Leeds City Council.

Events in Leeds will begin when the baton visits Headingley Carnegie Stadium, which will be hosting a talent identification session for pupils from secondary schools across the city.

Young people will get the chance to show their skills in rugby league, cricket and football, in a session being delivered in partnership with local professional clubs.

The celebration will then move on to the John Charles Centre for Sport for an afternoon of multi-sport activity.

Around 1,700 children will be trying out Commonwealth sports delivered in partnership with the national governing bodies.

The day will then conclude with a celebration evening at Leeds Civic Hall, wishing prospective athletes good luck for the Commonwealth Games and showcasing some of the city’s many sporting accomplishments.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills, said:

“Excitement is really building for the visit of the Queen’s Baton Relay and the day is shaping up to be one of the key events in what is a landmark year for sport in Leeds.

“Our Batonbearers have been chosen because they represent wonderful examples of some of the things that make Leeds such a great sporting city and I’m sure they will do us proud as we play our part in this huge, global event.”

The baton will have visited 63 of 70 Commonwealth nations and territories when it arrives in the British Isles on Sunday, May 10.

Landing in Jersey, the baton then journeys through Guernsey, Isle of Man, embarks on a four-day tour of Northern Ireland and then spends a week in Wales.

It will arrive in England on May 31 to begin the penultimate leg of the Queen’s Baton Relay in Manchester, visiting 16 different locations en route to its final destination through Scotland and the start of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The XX Commonwealth Games takes place in Glasgow from July 23 to August 3. Commonwealth Games England is sending a 400-strong team to compete across the 17 sports.


Issued by:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

For more information, interview requests and details of media opportunities around the Queen’s Baton Relay please contact:
Anna Young
Run Communications
Tel: 07799 064676
or Lisa Harper
Tel:07940 301 514

Notes to Editors

Ali Jawad

Ali has always been fascinated by sport and all that it represents. This has led him to represent ParalympicsGB in powerlifting at Commonwealth, European, World and Paralympic Games, most notably the 2012 Paralympics.
The highlight of his career was gold at the Asian Open in 2013, with a new European and World record, becoming world ranked number one. He has come through adversity as he suffers from Crohns disease, which is incurable. His dream is to become the first Crohns sufferer to win Gold at any Olympics or Paralympics.

Charlotte Sansome

In 2013 Charlotte was the Community Secretary for Leeds University Union Women's Hockey Club (LUUWHC), and as such focused on trying to bridge the gap between the university and the community through sport.
In addition to organising events and sporting challenges for the club (raising over £6000 for SUDEP action), she also instigated a 'Helping Hand with Hockey' - a free coaching scheme for local primary schools.
The programme visited 8 schools, and Charlotte also organised a tournament. The aim was to increase children's interest in sport and give them a chance to play a sport they wouldn’t have otherwise had. The scheme is currently ongoing.

Laura Beardsmore

Laura has spent 16 years competing for Wharfedale, Leeds and Great Britain at national and international level Aikido. She won the World Individual Women's Randori title last year, following victory in 2011, becoming the first person in history to win back to back world titles.
By winning three gold medals at the 2013 World championships she is currently ranked fifth in the list of all-time British medal winners and third in gold medals.
Laura runs seminars for young people, especially girls, to encourage the transition from junior to senior level competition and she has recently submitted a proposal to manage the GB squad.

Nile Wilson

Nile is an up-and-coming young Gymnast training to make the Commonwealth Games England team. He is a Junior European all around silver medallist, the 2013 English and British Champion, and won three gold medals and a silver at the European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF). He also competed for England at the World School Games in Brasilia wining six medals.
Nile was selected to be the flag bearer for Great Britain at the EYOF which she says was “an amazing experience and I was very privileged”.
He is very excited about being a baton bearer in the Queens Baton Relay.

Norman Stephens

Norman is a passionate supporter of sport. Between 1956 to 1965 he was a keen rugby league player and also a grade five registered RL referee officiating games up to professional level. He organised Ebor Swimming Club for over 30 years helping hundreds of East Leeds youngsters to learn to swim.
His greatest love for over 40 years is sailing and his passion is helping people of all backgrounds to experience this wonderful sport. He is a life member of Otley Sailing Club and has helped to raise over £50,000 to help disabled youngsters learn to sail through the SailFree scheme.

Sophie Taylor

Sophie Taylor is a focused and determined young swimmer from the City of Leeds club. The 17-year-old set a senior British record in the 100m breaststroke in August last year at the World Junior Championships in Dubai, where she won two silver medals and a bronze. She also has two silvers and a bronze from the European Junior Championships.
Coming from a one parent family has made her very appreciative of the time and effort given by other people who have helped her achieve what she has.
Sophie believes being a baton bearer would be a big honour and is looking forward to representing both Leeds City Council and the City of Leeds Swimming Club in the Queens Baton Relay.

Commonwealth Games England

Commonwealth Games England (CGE) leads and manages the participation of the Team England at the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth Youth Games. We are affiliated to the Commonwealth Games Federation and work closely with the various sports’ National Governing Bodies (NGBs), funding partners such as Sport England, our commercial sponsors and Organising Committees. Our purpose is to help develop athletes and their sports, and to achieve success at Games-time.