Friday, 20 March 2009

Leeds schools’ eco warriors fight climate change

Over 120 pupils and staff from eight schools in Leeds are to gather at Leeds Civic Hall to receive their awards for completing the Stan Kenyon Annual School Challenge 2009.

The challenge has a different theme each year and this time pupils were asked to design a scheme for their schools or homes, which reduced the adverse effects of climate change.

Each participating school submitted a project, which a panel of judges assessed taking into account the age group of the pupils, the quality of their presentations and the practicality of their proposals.

This year’s overall winner was Whitecote Primary School who produced school and home action plans to reduce their carbon footprints. The school developed an understanding of all the complicated issues involved. Their plans could help shape the way we live in future generations.

The best secondary school project was won by John Jamieson School who looked at food production, preparation and delivery with a view to encouraging everyone to eat healthy local produce. The school combined global issues with a practical approach to dealing with local issues.

The best primary school award went to Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School who used energy busting diaries to encourage recycling and renewable energy use. The school carried out many imaginative energy efficiency projects lead by pupil interests.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader and executive board member for development, said:
“Leeds has a temperate climate but we all know its getting hotter. This is likely to mean more floods, storms and droughts. We need to change our lifestyles to help reduce the emissions which cause greenhouse gases.

“I am delighted that these young people have come up with so many great ideas that could not only benefit all the people of Leeds, but also some of the poorest and more vulnerable communities in the world.

“It is a credit to the pupils, their schools and communities that they have shown such enthusiasm and put forward such positive ideas to do something in their schools and homes.”

The Stan Kenyon Challenge award is promoted by Leeds City Council in conjunction with Sanderson Weatherall chartered surveyors. It is named after a former director of planning to mark the contribution he made to the city up until his retirement in 1995 after over 30 years of service.

It seeks to raise pupils’ awareness of the everyday environment around them and each year children are asked to investigate a topic relevant to their local area, exploring real issues they may be able to influence.

The challenge is designed to be fun as well as educational, helping schools to deliver many of the objectives set out in the National Curriculum in real life situations.


Notes to editors:

The complete list of winners is below.

Ref. Award School
Main awards
1 Overall winner - £500 Whitecote Primary
2 Best high school - £200 John Jamieson School
3 Best primary school - £200 Primrose Hill School
Outstanding performance and highly commended
4 Outstanding performance £150 Raynville Primary School
5 Highly commended - £100 Meanwood C of E
6 Highly commended - £100 Ashfield Primary School
Completed the Challenge
7 Completed the challenge - £75 David Young Academy
8 Completed the challenge - £75 Moor Allerton Hall Primary
Awards in kind
9 Lord Mayors trophy for community involvement Meanwood C of E
10 Parks and Countryside trophy and planting prize Raynville Primary School
11 Signed Rhinos ball and 4 match tickets David Young Academy
12 City Museum visit Ashfield Primary School
13 Grand Theatre visit Primrose Hill School
14 Temple Newsam Home Farm visit Moor Allerton Hall Primary
15 Thackray Medical Museum visit John Jamieson School
16 Tropical World visit. David Young Academy
17 Tropical World visit. Whitecote Primary

For media enquiries please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 395 1578

Czech Republic delegation welcomed to Leeds

The leader of the council will welcome a civic delegation from the Czech Republic to Leeds on Monday morning.

The high level delegation includes several Czech Republic councillors who are keen to develop links with the Leeds city region. Also in Leeds on 23 and 24 March is a trade mission from the South Moravia region of the Czech Republic, who are here with the aim of forging productive partnerships with Yorkshire companies.

The mission is being hosted by the Central and Eastern Europe Network (CEBN) - a partnership between Leeds City Council, Alfran, DLA Piper, YFM Group/ MAS (Manufacturing Advisory Service) and PDA International - which aims to help companies in the Yorkshire and Humber region find business opportunities in central and eastern Europe.

**************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ****************
Date: Monday, 23 March 2009, 8 – 9.30am
Place: Blue Room, Leeds Civic Hall
Event: Media breakfast hosted by council leader Councillor Andrew Carter. An
opportunity for media to attend and interview senior council members and business representatives from Brno and South Moravia about business and trade opportunities between our two regions.
**************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ****************
Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader and executive member for international relations said:

“The CEBN was established to improve trade and opportunities for businesses in and around Leeds with markets in parts of central and eastern Europe.

“This trade mission is the latest opportunity for local businesses to develop links with foreign markets and meet potential partners, customers and suppliers.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of the council said:
“It gives me great pleasure to welcome this delegation to Leeds. I would like to thank the CEBN for facilitating this trade mission, which we hope will bring many benefits to businesses in and around our region.”
Notes for editors

The Czech Republic is one of the newer European Union member states having joined in 2004. UK exports to the Czech Republic were £1.5 billion in 2008, making the Czech Republic the UK's 31st largest export market. Two way trade is worth some £5 billion. This is impressive, given the relatively small size of the market (10.2m people). UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) have designated science and innovation and advanced engineering as priority sectors in this market. But, there are many opportunities including education and training, food and drink, and power and technical textiles. In some sectors (eg. automotive, electronics, engineering, food and drink processing), there has been a trend towards sourcing supply from, or investing into, the Czech Republic, in addition to the usual flow of UK exports here.

The Czech Republic is one of the most stable and prosperous markets in central Europe, and the Czech economy is growing steadily. It boasts 18 consecutive quarters of growth in excess of 6% to the end of 2007. Economists differ considerably on forecast growth, and as the global financial crisis begins to impact, it is likely to dip to no more than 3.5% in 2008 and 1% in 2009. GDP per head continues to grow and is currently around U$ 24,000 making it one of the highest in central and eastern Europe. High levels of foreign direct investment, domestic consumer spending and Czech exports, have driven economic growth. Some 70-80% of trade is with the EU, notably Germany. Czech exports to the UK (worth £3.5 billion in 2008) are dominated by Skoda cars and manufactured goods.

For more information about the trade mission and the possibility of meeting representatives from Czech companies please contact Caroline Ward on 0113 247 4740.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Planning chief supports city council’s objection to greenfield housing development

Two appeals against a council decision to refuse plans for a major housing development on a greenfield site in Leeds have been dismissed by a top planning inspector.

Leeds City Council welcomed the decision by the Government’s Planning Inspectorate to support its original refusal of plans for these two greenfield sites at Fleet Lane and Royds Lane at Rothwell and Oulton in South Leeds, that total some seven hectares of open farmland.

The outline planning applications put forward by Oulton Hall Ltd was for around 100 two, three and four bedroom houses on the edge of Rothwell and Oulton.

The application attracted strong opposition from local residents and councillors. The council formally objected on the grounds that the site chosen for the development was not brownfield land. Leeds City Council has a policy to build on brownfield, and protect greenfield sites.

Both the Fleet Lane and Royds Lane sites are allocated in the council’s city wide planning strategy - the Unitary Development Plan – as ‘Protected Area of Search’ (PAS) sites. Sites designated PAS should not become available for any development until all other brownfield sites have been developed.

The planning inspector also said that the development sites are unsustainable as their location, on the edge of Rothwell and Oulton, are poorly related to public transport links and local facilities, meaning residents would have to use their cars more.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council and executive member with responsibility for planning, welcomed the decision. He said:
“Like the council, the inspector considered that it would be premature to release these sites in advance of other sites that the council has specifically identified for residential development. He also set out that the sites would be unsuitable for housing in terms of their environmental sustainability.

“We remain determined to protect our greenfield and green belt areas.

“We are clearly delighted that the inspector has supported the council's arguments and we will continue to resist premature, inappropriate and unsustainable forms of development across the city."
Notes for editors

The planning inspector dismissed the appeals on the basis that it would be premature to release these sites in advance of phase 2 and 3 sites, and that this would have a harmful effect on housing land supply and the resulting increase in travel by private car would not be justified.

Phase 2 and 3 sites are greenfield sites that have been allocated for residential development in the UDP. In general terms we will only release phase 2 sites when the supply of brownfield sites fails to provide the housing numbers required by planning policy.

The full planning inspectorate report, by Martin Whitehead, is available by post or e-mail. It can be viewed at the planning inspectorate website using their appeals search facility and quoting reference APP/N4720/A/08/2077485.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937

‘Your community – your priorities’ – event in Guiseley and Rawdon

Residents in Guiseley and Rawdon are being given the chance to meet the people that provide services in their area.

The ‘Your Community – Your Priorities’ event, organised by the West North West Area Committee, will give residents the opportunity to have their say on how local services are being delivered. This is a real opportunity to influence local decision making in their area.

People can attend the session on Wednesday 1 April, at any time between 3pm and 7pm at Greenacre Hall, Rawdon, and can stay for as long, or little, as they wish.

Guiseley and Rawdon residents will get the chance to discuss their area’s priorities with local ward councillors, Leeds City Council staff and staff from other local organisations, such as the neighbourhood policing team and also the council’s environmental action team, who will be on hand to listen to and take action on their suggestions.

Councillor Chris Townsley, chair of the outer north west area committee, said:
“Events like this are an important way for us to meet with local people and discover what they think of the services the council provides and what their priorities are for the future.”

Councillor Les Carter, executive member with responsibility for neighbourhoods said:
“These sessions are a great opportunity for local people to influence the decisions being made about the future of their areas so I hope that residents will take the chance to voice their concerns and priorities for their town.”

This is one of 12 events taking place across the west and north west of Leeds over the next two months.

For further information about the sessions please contact the West North West Leeds Area Management team on 0113 3950978 or via email at

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