Friday, 31 October 2014

Comments on NGT public inquiry ending

The public inquiry into the proposed new generation transport (NGT) scheme for Leeds ended today after 72 days.

The Inquiry Inspector, Martin Whitehead, indicated that he expected to take until May 2015 to deliberate on his findings and prepare his recommendations for the Secretary of State for Transport and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government who will assess his recommendations and subsequently announce a decision. During this time a skeleton NGT team will continue with ongoing discussions with stakeholders.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for the economy and development, said:

"I am confident that a strong case for NGT has been presented and look forward to receiving a positive decision from the Secretary of State.

"NGT is an important element of our plans to improve the transport network in Leeds and the City Region and the sooner we can progress with building Line One, the sooner the significant economic benefits research shows it will generate will be felt."

Councillor James Lewis, Transport Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority, said:

"The NGT proposals have been subject to significant public scrutiny for 72 days, and having listened to the evidence we are confident that the case for the scheme remains compelling. Everyone recognises there is a problem that requires addressing along the proposed NGT routes and while a number of objectors have put forward options for alternative solutions, there is no evidence that any of these have been developed in enough detail to present a realistic, robust or affordable alternative to NGT."


For more information contact:

John Stagg,
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Tel: 0113 251 7419

Crackdown on flytipping

The most recent figures on flytipping reveal that the council is cracking down on the grime crime.

Statistics from the council published in a report by the Environment Agency show that in 2013/14 Leeds City Council dealt with around 10,000 flytipping incidents.

To make sure people understand their duty of care on waste, council officers will be out with West Yorkshire Police today stopping and searching vehicles.

The high visibility checks are taking place at the junction of Gain Lane and Woodhall Road, a flytipping hotspot.

The site has recently seen an influx of illegal dumping which environmental action officers are currently investigating. Suspects will be prosecuted if there is sufficient evidence.

Vans and trucks in the area are being checked to see if they are transporting rubbish and if the drivers hold the correct waste carriers license to do so.

Environmental action officers will work with police to take appropriate action against anyone without the correct paperwork or attempting to illegally dump rubbish.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment, said:

“We need to stamp out any ill-conceived thoughts that flytipping is an appropriate alternative to disposing rubbish properly. It’s not acceptable on environmental or financial grounds.

“We don’t tolerate any levels of flytipping so as our street cleaning crews go about their daily business they’ll pick up waste abandoned in the streets. Rather than treat this as litter, over the past year we’ve recording these as flytipping incidents.

“There are no shortcuts to dealing with waste. It must be done properly and we won’t hesitate to use all of the tools at our disposal to prevent this and prosecute those who flout the law.”

The council uses mobile CCTV to detect and deter flytipping, will investigate flytipping incidents to link evidence to the culprits and in some cases has seized, sold and scrapped vehicles used to illegally dump rubbish.

If found guilty of flytipping, dumb dumpers could face fines of up to £95,000 and companies could be liable for £3 million if cases are heard in the crown court.

Residents hiring anyone to move rubbish on their behalf must check that the person or company has a waste carrier license. Businesses must have an appropriate waste contract in place so rubbish is disposed of properly.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

Peer Support Service's art project is picture perfect

CaptionL-R Tony Myers, creative art facilitator Sharon Marsden, Marjorie Myers, peer support co-ordinator Deborah Marshall, Margaret Walker, Jane Briggs and Tony Walker with some of the art created by the group.

An award-winning support service has been painting a stunning picture of life with dementia for a new exhibition.

Working over five weeks, members of the Peer Support Service’s art group created a series of beautiful images that have gone on show at Age UK’s Arch Café on Dortmund Square.

The 'Soul Journey' creative art sessions have also seen group members, who have all been diagnosed with dementia, produce their own poetry.

Deborah Marshall, a peer support co-ordinator who works with the group, said:

“This is a beautiful exhibition and members of the group have been proud and amazed at what they have accomplished over the five weeks.

“The project has not only given participants an opportunity to express themselves and get creative, it’s also seen people share their experiences and work together with friends who are living in a similar situation.

“It’s important that people living with dementia know that they can continue to do the things they enjoy, continue to learn new things, meet new people, share interests and have fun. That in turn helps to boost a person’s wellbeing, self-esteem and confidence.”

During the sessions, the group worked with Verd de Gris, a not-for-profit company based in Hebden Bridge, which develops stimulating and meaningful projects for older people.

Sharon Marsden, a creative art facilitator with Verd de Gris added:

“Our creative sessions took inspiration from real and ‘imagined’ landscapes and weaved together poetry, visual art, music and song, encouraging people to try something new, bringing out something beautiful and essential.

“Very often there is a perception that dementia is filled only with anxiety and confusion, devoid of joy or fulfilment.

“However, what we have experienced during our creative sessions is quite the opposite. It is a space where fear and anxiety can be transformed and where the present becomes new and fulfilling.”

A second exhibition of the artists’ work has recently been on show at the Art Space in Leeds Central Library, and was created during their time with Swarthmore Art Group.

Part of Leeds City Council’s adult social care, the Peer Support Service runs a varied programme of activities for people living with dementia in Leeds, including arts and culture, heritage and sports.

Last year, the service’s Cultural Partnership group, won the Arts in Health award at the Love Arts Leeds festival.

Those involved with the service also showcased their work with a performance at this year’s prestigious Adult Social Care Awards, held at Leeds Civic Hall.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“The Peer Support Service continues to go from strength to strength, always thinking of new and creative ways to support and engage people with dementia and this beautiful exhibition is a fine example of that.

“A dementia diagnosis can leave many people feeling worried, isolated and unsure what the future holds. That’s why projects like the Peer Support Service are so vital in reassuring them that they don’t have to cope alone by letting them know they can still live a full and active social life.”

For more information on the council’s peer support service, visit 


For media enquiries, please contact:

Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

Get married for a grand at Lotherton Hall this winter

Caption: The Drawing Room at Lotherton Hall

Lotherton Hall is offering couples looking for the perfect intimate winter wedding an exclusive chance to take advantage of their low season offer.

The introductory offer sees Lotherton Hall offer the opportunity to get married for £1,000 – which includes a complimentary Couples Membership offering year-round access to the popular country estate. 

The welcoming Edwardian country home situated between Leeds and York is the perfect venue for your special day. 

The spectacular Drawing Room with its wonderful grand piano is licensed for civil ceremonies, while the Servants’ Hall acts as a perfect space for a drinks reception.

Couples and their guests can enjoy a warm and relaxed atmosphere in this family home which is steeped in 150 years of history.

The magnificent landscaped parkland and beautiful grounds make the perfect place for endless fantastic photo opportunities. 

The wonderfully romantic views of the formal gardens and deer park make this a truly special setting for your reception.

For the perfect intimate wedding the Sir Alvary Room in the Stables Café is offered for hire, with use of the private room in which a small buffet or sit down meal is offered up to 40 people. 

The on-site Chef will help you put together a menu especially for the occasion. We also offer a range of drinks packages to suit your needs.

Councillor Katherine Mitchell, lead member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills, said:

“Lotherton Hall is one of the most beautiful locations in Leeds and celebrating the happiest day of their lives in such a stunning setting really would be an occasion to remember for any couple.”

For further information and to arrange a visit, please call 0113 378 2959 or email


Notes to editors:
Find out more by visiting

Offer includes:  Use of the historic Drawing Room for your Civil Ceremony. Reception in the Sir Alvary Room for a maximum of forty guests to including; glass of sparkling wine for reception drink, three course menu or buffet with coffee, two glasses of wine with your meal, glass of sparkling wine for your toast. All for the inclusive price of £1,000 plus a complimentary gift of a year’s couple membership for the bride and groom.

This offer is available from 1 October 2014 to 31 2015 March only and subject to availability.  This offer only applies to new bookings and for wedding parties of up to 40 guests. This offer can be added to for an additional cost. Other terms and conditions apply – please enquire for further information.

Lotherton Hall is a charming Edwardian house and country estate. A single entrance price allows access to the house, with its wonderful collections of fine and decorative arts and a dedicated Fashion Gallery (opening spring 2015), and extensive grounds with an abundance of activities to keep everyone busy. Lotherton Hall has undergone numerous changes over the last few years since becoming one whole visitor attraction. 

With this new and larger audience the house has adapted by improving access and introducing a new range of family-friendly facilities. Other recent improvements have seen the re-opening of the Servants’ Rooms on the ground floor following a major restoration.

Address: Lotherton Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB
Tel: 0113 378 2959