Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Time to play at new £130,000 playground

Caption: Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter (second right) at the new playground surrounded by pupils from Cobden Primary School in Farnley.

A new playground has opened at Farnley Hall Park following a £130,000 project carried out by Leeds City Council.

The playground has been created by the council’s Parks and Countryside Service as part of its programme of improving play areas across the city.

The new playground, situated at the edge of the park, was designed after consulting with local schoolchildren and features the latest equipment. This includes a multi-climbing unit, climbing wall, superswings, see-saw, slide, roundabout and three-seat rocker. Picnic tables and seating have also been installed.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“We are delighted to be opening this new playground as part of our commitment to improving playgrounds and play provision across the city.

“We know this is a very important issue for people in Leeds and that is why we are putting great efforts and significant investment into providing the very best facilities and equipment we can for young people to enjoy. The new playground looks fantastic and hopefully it will be well used by local children and young people for years to come.”

The new playground has been designed for young people up to 14 years old, and will be open to the public every day of the year during daylight hours. For further information contact Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service on 0113 395 7400.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer
Tel: 0113 247 5472, Email:

Morley play area proposals to go on public display

Proposals to improve a play area and skateboard park in Morley are to go on public display this week.

Leeds City Council are looking to redevelop the current facilities for young people on Scatcherd Park by carrying out a £150,000 project to replace both the current playground and skateboard area with new and improved versions.

Plans of how the new areas would look and what equipment they would contain will go on display in Morley Library and Morley Town Hall from May 8-18th for the public to see and give their comments on. Feedback from the consultation will help determine the final design and layout for both the play area and the skateboard park.

The possible improvements to the play area would see the current site moved further away from the road and given the latest equipment. New features would include swings, climbing equipment and roundabouts to be used by children and young people up to the age of 14. The play area and surrounding land would also be re-landscaped, with new trees planted as well as new entrance gates put in place and security fencing around the site.

The adjacent skatepark area is also in line for a major upgrade under the proposals, with new ramps and a central bowl to make for a more varied and interesting challenge. The area would also feature a youth shelter where young people can meet.

It is hoped that work will start later this year will both new facilities due to be open early in 2010.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“As part of our citywide approach to improving play provision and facilities for young people in Leeds, we are keen to upgrade the two areas on Scatcherd Park and want to hear from as many as possible as to what they think of the proposals and how they could be improved to make them even better. It is important to provide the facilities that local people want so we look forward to seeing their feedback and views.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer.
Tel: 0113 247 5472, Email:

Council staff at the heart of fundraising success

Caption: Event organisers from council departments meet with the Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress

Big hearted council staff have raised almost £4000 for the Lord Mayor’s charity, Andrea’s Gift, by supporting Red Heart Day.

Red Heart Day is held on the Friday nearest to St Valentine’s Day each year, and marks a council-wide effort to raise money for charity.

This year staff were given the opportunity to dress down or wear red for the day, take part in raffles, lucky dips and cake sales, hold table top sales, attend a race night, enjoy relaxation therapies and receive health advice. These fundraising activities were co-ordinated by representatives from each council department.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Frank Robinson, is holding a reception for the staff who helped and supported the event to thank them for giving their time and effort to organise all the activities, and make the whole day a fantastic success.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Frank Robinson said:
“I am delighted that so many council staff supported Red Heart Day this year, which made it possible to raise almost £4000 in just one day, and would like to thank the individuals who put so much effort into organising all the different events.

“My chosen charity this year – Andrea’s Gift – is a very worthwhile cause and this donation will help it to continue the good work that it is doing across the city.”

Andrea’s Gift supports people affected by brain tumours, primarily those who have received treatment through the Leeds Teaching Hospitals, as well as helping to fund a brain tumour research facility based at Leeds Institute for Molecular Medicine.


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

Giving a kick-start in positive behaviour for young people

A new karate club that’s about more than self defence has been given a £2,500 kick-start by East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL).

ENEHL has invested the money in KICK – a fast developing karate club in the local Seacroft community which provides positive activities for young people to divert them from crime and anti-social behaviour.

ENEHL is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations that manage and maintain the city’s council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. The donation has been used to pay for equipment, suits, facilities and a further £600 has been invested by ENEHL’s Outer East Area Panel to pay for the venue.

KICK, or Kushinkaikarate, links karate with an educational programme raising awareness of crime and anti-social behaviour by working to give local children and young people positive opportunities and teach skills that are important in every day life such as respect, self-discipline, and how to set and work towards goals.

Each Friday night, more than 30 children and young people from 10 to 16 years of age attend the club at Seacroft Grange Primary School. The youngsters come from the local community or have been referred through local high schools and churches.

Ben, aged 10, from Seacroft Grange Primary School has attended the club since it started five weeks ago and said:
“The best part is learning karate moves and learning about the dangers of guns and knives. If I wasn’t here I would be sat at home bored and doing nothing.”

Kirsty, aged 15, who has also been with the club since it started said:
“I love to learn the karate moves, especially the nine moves of boxing and think the club is a really good experience, if I didn’t come here I would be chilling in the bus stop which isn’t as good as the club and the big kids ruin everything outside the club”.

Looking to the future, the club is looking at a purpose-built room in the local community, hopefully at a local church, which will allow it to extend its opening and activities on offer for the local community.

Angelena Fixter, chair of the East North East Homes Leeds board, said:
“We are delighted to sponsor KICK. The club provides a vital role in the local community for all ages by diverting the young people away from crime and anti social behaviour and ENEHL are proud to help them make a difference.

Notes for editors:
East North East Homes Leeds
is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents. East North East Homes Leeds covers the areas of Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.

Kushinkaikarate will be the first provider of outside school activities to link with Leeds Children's University (due to be launched August 2009). Children aged seven to 14 work towards gaining a bronze, silver and gold certificate through a variety of out of school hours activities. Gold certificates are awarded for 100 hours participation in a variety of activities and are awarded at a university style graduation ceremony hosted by a further education provider e.g. local college or university. Any providers interested in linking their activities to Children's University should contact Vivienne Gibbons on 07983 002504 or email'

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

Spring brings bright ideas to Leeds estate

More than 500 Middleton residents, shops and local groups have come up with 700 suggestions on how to use £30,000 to improve an estate in Middleton.

The suggestions are all part of the Middleton Bright Ideas scheme which looks to help bring positive change to the area by asking local people what they’d like to see happen.

The ideas were collected by knocking on doors, talking to shopkeepers and inviting local organisations to open meetings.

The main ideas gathered so far include: CCTV, activities for young people to do and places to go, sport provision, a safer play area in Middleton Park, activities for bringing young and old together, community events to bring people together e.g. a gala or a street party.

Local people can find out more about what happens next to the ideas and how they can get involved with any of the projects by coming along to the next meeting of the Middleton Community Group.

******************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************

What: The Middleton Community Group meeting
Where: St Cross Church, Acre Rd, Middleton
When: Saturday 9th May at 10am
Who: For further information contact the Area Management Team on 0113 224 3040

The £30,000 to back local people’s ideas, was put together by Aire Valley Homes, Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team, and Leeds City Council’s Inner South Area Committee.

Many of the suggestions are now being worked up by the council, the police and local voluntary organisations. The ideas will be presented at a Decision Day, planned for July, where people can vote on which ideas they want to see happen

The scheme supports the Middleton Regeneration Partnership’s work in Middleton which is led by local councillors and supported by Re-New. It aims to bring about a range of improvements including to housing, environment, health, community safety, young people and learning.

Inspector Sue Jenkinson from Rothwell Neighbourhood Policing Team said:
“As agencies we are working together to listen to local people’s ideas and involve them in their own community. We hope people will come along to the meeting to find out more.”

Councillor Angela Gabriel, chair of Leeds City Council’s Inner South Area Committee, said:
“I would encourage as many people as possible in Middleton to go along to the community meeting and find out more about what’s happening next to their bright ideas. After all it will eventually be local people who will decide.”

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member responsible for Area Management, said:
“It’s good to see how this scheme is progressing with so many ideas from so many people. Getting more involved in your community and suggesting how to improve it is just one of the many roles that the council’s Area Committees play.”

Notes for editors
About Area Management:
Leeds City Council has three area management teams – each covering a defined part of the city – which help to manage the council's work across this large and diverse area. Their main role is supporting Area Committees, which make sure the planning and delivery of council services responds to the needs of local communities. Area Committees also have direct responsibility for local budgets, for some services including community centres and wardens, and for the council's community consultation and involvement work. The Area Management teams also co-ordinate the council's partnerships with the police, health, employment, housing and other services in their areas and support the council's regeneration programmes.

Inner South Area Committee covers Middleton Park, Beeston and Holbeck, and City and Hunslet wards.
Outer South Area Committee covers Morley North, Morley South, Ardsley and Robin Hood, and Rothwell wards.

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