Monday, 20 April 2009

Council staff hope to ‘peak’ with their latest fundraising effort

Caption 1: Rob Kelly, Lady Mayoress, Lord Mayor, Tim Hedger
Caption 2 and 3: Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress with council 3 Peaks Team

Officers from Leeds City Council have set themselves a huge challenge in order to raise cash for the Lord Mayor’s charity, Andrea’s Gift.

Following on from their fundraising success in last year’s Knaresborough Bed Race, a team of 18 walkers and four drivers from the council’s ICT services team will undertake the National 3 Peaks Challenge in June. The team are aiming to raise £3000 and would like to urge as many people as possible to sponsor them by visiting their fundraising page

The challenge entails walking the highest peak in Scotland, England and Wales consecutively. The aim is to ascend Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowden in succession within 24 hours, which includes travel time between the three peaks. In total the team will ascend 3,407 metres, which is around 11,000 feet. Some of the walking will take place in the dark, so it really will be a very tough challenge indeed!

The team are undertaking strict training in their own time for their latest challenge by running around the city during their lunchbreaks, as well as cycling, swimming and doing trial walks up Whernside and Scafell Pike.

******************** Photo opportunity ********************
When: Thursday, 23 April, 12.30pm
Where: Lord Mayor’s rooms, Leeds Civic Hall
What: The Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Robinson, will meet the team to
thank them for their past fundraising efforts for the Lord Mayor’s
Charity, Andrea’s Gift, and to hear about their next challenge.
If you would like to attend to take a picture of the Lord Mayor and the 3 Peaks team, please contact Claire Macklam on 0113 395 1578.
******************** Photo opportunity ********************

Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader and executive member responsible for ICT said:
“The ICT team have already raised a significant amount of cash for Andrea’s Gift, and it is fantastic that they are undertaking an even bigger challenge with a bigger fundraising target this year.”

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Frank Robinson said:
“I would like to thank the team for their fantastic fundraising efforts so far, and applaud them for continuing the good work with the National 3 Peaks Challenge this year.

“Andrea’s Gift is a very worthwhile cause and these donations will help it to carry on the good work that it is doing across the city.”

Andrea’s Gift raises awareness and funds to support brain tumour patients and long term research projects. Its main project is to support and fund a dedicated brain cancer research laboratory and team who will develop a northern based centre of excellence, providing leading edge research into an area where too little money and focus has been invested to this point.


Additional info

For more information about the National 3 Peaks Challenge please visit

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

Council talks with trade union over changes to refuse collection service

Council chiefs have begun talks with trade unions over plans to make changes to the city’s refuse collection service.

In meetings council officials set out a series of measures, which they believe will improve refuse collection services for residents whilst producing significant savings.

The talks aim to seek commitment from the trade unions – Unison, Unite and GMB – to help the council drive forward the changes needed to improve the service. Now refuse collection staff will be invited to discussions and presentations to enable them to find out more about the plans. Staff and unions will be given the opportunity to agree to a package of service improvements.

The city has ambitious recycling targets and aims to be recycling over 50 percent of all household waste by 2020, failure to do this will see the council face financial penalties for continuing to landfill its waste. The council has committed to invest in more services for recycling, worth £5million per year. Council chiefs have advised that current collection costs must be reduced and run as efficiently as possible so that funding can be identified to reinvest in new services.

Neil Evans, Director of Environments and Neighbourhoods, said:
"We are seeking commitment from the unions and refuse staff to work together with us to make some fundamental changes in order that we provide residents with a service which is better value for money and flexible enough to meet recycling demands. We hope to continue discussions and hold a series of presentations for staff to explain the plans and get their feedback."

Both in-house and independent reviews have identified where significant savings and improvements could be made.

If agreement cannot be reached with unions and staff on the improvement plans, the council will look to invite the private sector to bid to run the waste collection services in Leeds.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335