Friday, 24 April 2009

New signs welcome all to Gipton and Seacroft

Caption: New waymarker signs

Residents and visitors to two areas of east Leeds will now be greeted by brand new waymarker signs.

The three signs, two in the Gipton area and one in Seacroft, are the result of a community project funded by the inner east area committee and overseen by the local neighbourhood manager, Hayley Clifton. A community artist brought local people together during weekly workshops to work on designs for the signs, which incorporate local scenes and activities in the artwork.

In Gipton, the first sign was installed at the top of Oak Tree Drive outside Gipton Gate West, and the second at the junction of Gipton Approach and the A64 York Road. Parents, staff and children from Oaktree Primary and Wykebeck Primary Schools, residents from Oaktree Court, the Egg in Group and arts and crafts group from the Henry Barran Community Centre, and Gipton Senior Youth Group all worked on the design and went on to make the mosaic sign.

The Seacroft sign is located at the junction of South Parkway Approach and Foundry Lane. The Green Residents Association, the parents’ arts and crafts group from Parklands Childrens Centre, parents, children and staff from Parklands Primary School, parents and children from Seacroft Children’s Centre, the East Leeds Family Learning Centre and the Church of Ascension all contributed to the design and production of the sign.

Councillor Les Carter, executive board member responsible for area management said:
“These signs are a great example of how area committees are working with and listening to the needs of the communities that they serve.

“I hope that the signs will be well received and give local people a real sense of pride in their communities.”

Councillor Brian Selby, chair of the inner east area committee said:
“These new signs will welcome people to the Gipton and Seacroft areas, and are a great example of what local people can achieve by working together for the benefit of their communities.”


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

Free riding health check-ups for bikers

Caption: Free riding health check-up poster for 2 May

Motorcyclists are being given the opportunity to refresh their riding skills for the summer season by having a free riding health check-up worth £35 with a qualified IAM observer, in conjunction with the council’s road safety unit.

The check-ups will be available on Saturday, 2 May at Squire’s CafĂ©, Newthorpe, near Sherburn in Elmet, between 10am and 4pm.

May is traditionally the peak month for killed and seriously injured motorcycle casualties in Leeds. Bikers can be a little rusty after winter and many could benefit from some additional training, giving them the confidence and skills to enjoy their machines and the roads in the area safely. It may be best to refresh those skills under observation, rather than during the first big run of the year.

Local IAM members will be on hand to talk to riders and give them more information about advanced riding courses.

Rebecca Prosser, road safety manager said:
“The beginning of the biking season is the best time to get some extra training or just have a riding check-up. Its worth brushing up on your skills, particularly if you’ve had a break from riding during the winter.”

Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader and executive member for transport and travel said:
“We want bikers to enjoy themselves on our roads and those that head out into the countryside, but above all we want riders to stay safe and this coaching provides them with the means to do so.”

Additional info

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

Public hit for six by new cricket wickets

Budding Darren Goughs in the city will be bowled over to learn that the council is investing £14k on two new artificial cricket wickets in Roundhay Park.

The new cricket wickets will replace the ones in Connaught Field, which have fallen into disrepair through overuse in recent years. Spring-back cricket stumps will also be made available for use by members of the public from the Roundhay Park Visitor Centre and other locations in the area.

Funding for this project, which aims to encourage greater participation in cricket, promote physical activity and improve health, is being provided from the council’s wellbeing fund grant. This was awarded by local ward members through the Inner North East and Inner East Area Committees.

Councillor Matthew Lobley, chair of the Inner North East Area Committee said:
“The wellbeing fund is in place to support projects and initiatives to help to improve the community and environment for local people. We are happy to be able to provide better cricket facilities in Roundhay Park for the whole Leeds community to benefit from.”

Councillor Brian Selby, chair of the Inner East Area Committee said:
“It is great news that this money is to be put to good use by providing improved facilities for cricket in Roundhay Park. We hope that many local people will use them.”


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

Walking works for everyone

The joint leader of the council will leave his car at home on Monday and walk into work to mark the launch of the Walk to Work campaign in Leeds.

Come rain or shine, Councillor Richard Brett will abandon his usual mode of transport and make the six kilometre journey into Leeds city centre on foot to highlight the benefits of walking and actively encourage more people to support the campaign.

Walk to Work Week is a national campaign organised by Living Streets. Its all about raising awareness of the benefits of walking and encouraging the nation to fit more of it into their everyday lives.

The council are keen to get as many people as possible to support this campaign, and start to appreciate the benefits of walking. The long term aims for Leeds are to reduce local congestion, improve air quality and reduce the pressure on car parking spaces in the city. They also want to encourage people to fit some physical activity into their daily routines and, through doing this, make a personal contribution to CO2 savings. Walking can have a positive impact for local communities as people interact more than they would if in a car.

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The Walk to Work campaign will be officially launched on the steps of Leeds Civic Hall on Monday, 27 April at 10.30am.

Councillor Brett and other people who have walked into work on Monday will carry huge purple balloons to represent the varying amounts of CO2 that can be saved each year by walking to work once a week. Councillor Brett will be available for comments/interviews.

Please call the press office to arrange your attendance. If you are unable to attend, we will be able to provide still images for your use.
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To urge the residents of Leeds to walk more, the council have teamed up with walking journey planner experts to help find the best routes around the city. This free website provides a map and directions showing the shortest (or quietest) route between any two places in the city. The site has been improved recently with the new features of a journey step counter, to measure if you’ve reached your recommended 10,000 steps per day, and an improved city search facility.

Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader of the council said:“With 16.5% of all journeys to work in Leeds under two miles in length, many more of us could make these journeys on foot. Even if you live too far away to walk the whole distance, simply getting off the bus a few stops early, or walking to meetings instead of driving, can make a difference to congestion, air quality and improve your health.”

Elite Group Logistics, who supply transport and distribution services, and have their UK headquarters in Wortley, Leeds, are supporting the campaign, and have a particularly good record when it comes to employees walking to work.

Peter Griffin of Elite said:
“Our recruitment policies actively support and promote the local communities in which we are based. Because of this, we have many employees that live close to our sites. On average 30% of our staff at our headquarters in Leeds walk to work on a regular basis. We encourage this for health, economic and environmental reasons.

“We are pleased to be able to support the campaign this week, and hope others can see the benefits that can be drawn from it.”

Leeds Rhinos legend, Barrie McDermott, is a keen walker and completed a 100 mile walk of Leeds in 2007 for Kids Count Trust and Leeds Rugby Foundation.
He said:
“I believe having a healthy and active lifestyle can be of real benefit to us, and that incorporating walking into our everyday lives can be a major factor in achieving this. There is no better way to get fit and keep fit than by simply walking.”

UTravelActive, a Big Lottery funded project which promotes active travel in Leeds among students, university staff and local communities, is supporting the campaign and has organised a number of morning and lunchtime walks for people to join. They have also arranged a walking challenge, which offers a range of prizes to be won. For more information please visit

Notes for editors

The CO2 savings (calculated using the site) are as follows:

A one mile walk into work, once a week, every week of the year, will save 17kg of CO2 compared to driving alone in an average car. Other savings are:

2 miles = 34kg CO2
3 miles = 51kg CO2
4 miles = 68kg CO2
5 miles = 85kg CO2

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