Thursday, 7 May 2009

Leeds gets ready to run

Caption: The scene at the start of last year's Leeds Half-Marathon

The streets of Leeds will be a blur of motion this Sunday as approximately 5,000 people take part in the GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon.

Starting on Millennium Square at 9:30am on Sunday 10th May, runners of all ages will line up to take part the GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon and Corporate Challenge, supported by a fun run and junior run, in one of the biggest mass-participation events of the year in Leeds.

Organised by Leeds City Council and sponsored by energy supplier GDF SUEZ in association with sportswear company Mizuno, drinks supplier Gatorade and 96.3 Radio Aire, the event will be officially started by Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Frank Robinson.

Once again the main GDF SUEZ Leeds Half-Marathon which takes in a 13.1-mile course around the city has attracted a full entry. Everyone who successfully completes the course will receive a race medal and t-shirt at the finish line, while certificates and the official results will be able to be downloaded from the website at There are also a range of prizes on offer, including £500 for both the first female and male runners to finish and £200 for the first male and female runner from a Leeds athletics club or living within the Leeds city boundary.

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

“It is fantastic to see so many people keen to take part in the Leeds Half-Marathon, and we look forward to another great day on Sunday with everyone on Millennium Square.”

Chief Executive of GDF SUEZ ENERGY UK Marc Hirt said:

"As sponsor of this event we're extremely pleased with its continued popularity and are looking forward to the big day on Sunday."

The GDF Suez Corporate Challenge has also proved a big draw, with over 100 teams signed up to take part in the relay event which sees six runners each complete a section of the half-marathon course with various prizes up for grabs.

96.3 Radio Aire presenter Simon Logan from Logie’s Big Breakfast said:

“This is one of my favorite events on the calendar and I love it on race day when the city of Leeds comes alive with energetic runners. I will be down on main stage on Sunday to kick the race off in style and get everyone ready for the run. Hope to see you there! ”

All the runners have been asked to raise sponsorship money for official event charity Andrea’s Gift, a Leeds-based organisation which looks at brain tumour research and support.

Fundraiser Carol Robertson of Andrea's Gift said:

“It is such a privilege to be the charity of the Leeds Half-Marathon and it gives patients and carers in Yorkshire such a boost to know that thousands of people are running the event and supporting them.”

Last year’s half-marathon was won by Ian Fisher of Otley AC in a time of one hour nine minutes 14 seconds with Pumlani Bangani of Salford Harriers second and Paul Marchant of Rothwell Harriers third. The ladies section was won by Sue Harrison of Leamington in one hour 19 minutes 30 seconds with Pauline Munro of Bingley Harriers second and clubmate Lisa Mawer third.

For more information about the event to or call Leeds City Council’s Sport Development Unit on 0113 395 0001.


For media enquiries please contact
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel: 0113 247 8907, Email:

Event to help parents and carers of children with special needs

Parents and carers of children with additional needs are invited to attend an event to discover what help and advice is available to them in Leeds.

Taking place in the Civic Hall on Monday 11 May, between 10am and 4pm, the annual event is held to bring families together and raise awareness about the issues they may face and the support available.

The free event - delivered by the Parent Partnership, the Family Hub, the East SILC, Education Leeds, Extended Services and the Pre-School Learning Alliance - will be officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Frank Robinson.

Parents and carers of children with additional needs up to the age of 19 are invited to attend and there will be speeches by the chief executive of Education Leeds, Chris Edwards, Til Wright from Education Leeds and Pam Barrett, the deputy head of the East SILC.

Information will be available on a range of topics including child-care, early years support, out of school activities, benefits, specialist provision and social care. There will be entertainment from East SILC’s steel band and choir in the morning and the North West SILCS’s choir in the afternoon.

Chris Edwards chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“We are very proud of the Market Place event. This is an excellent event to bring people together and share knowledge and expertise to help benefit some of our vulnerable young people and their families.

“It’s an opportunity for families in similar situations to get help and support from each other and to speak to experts from Education Leeds and other organisations.”

Ms Alison Freeman, who attended the event last year, said:
”I attended the Market Place event for the first time last year and really enjoyed it. I met up with old friends and came home with leaflets to look at in my own time and found out about the different organisations which are beneficial to my son who has Down’s Syndrome.

“All the organisers and stall holders were very approachable and friendly, and through attending the market place I have become involved in the Parent Partnership service and hope to become an Independent Parent Support worker.”

Anyone wanting further information about the event, or who would like to speak to somebody about the support, advice or information available should call Angela Bernard-Ferguson at the Parent Partnership on 0113 3951222.


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Car wash signs land owner in hot water with £565 bill

One of the illegal adverts for a car wash in Morley which have landed its owner with a bill for £565

A hand car wash owner who plastered garish illegal adverts on lampposts and road signs across Morley is facing a £565 bill after pleading guilty in court.

Mohammed Aslam, the owner of Morley Hand Car Wash at the VG Service Station on Bruntcliffe Road, Morley, today pleaded guilty at Leeds Magistrates Court and was fined £150, and ordered to pay £400 costs and £15 Victims Surcharge.

Leeds City Council brought the prosecution after the business placed numerous advertising placards on lampposts and road signs throughout Morley. Local residents complained to the council's Environmental Action Team and Aslam was served a notice requiring the placards be removed within 48 hours.

The placards were not taken down, so the council removed them and prosecuted Aslam for five offences under Section 132 of the Highways Act 1980. The maximum fine per offence is £2,500.

Placards or any other form of unauthorised advertising on lamp posts, road barriers and road signs not only makes an area look untidy and unwelcoming, but are potentially dangerous as they can obstruct pedestrians and distract drivers. Such advertising should go through the planning process.

Councillor Steve Smith, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental health, said:
“Illegal street signs like this don’t just clutter the streets and make areas look untidy, they are a real danger to traffic and pedestrians.
“At every opportunity we will work with businesses to resolve issues like this, but where our warnings are ignored we will not hesitate to take action.”

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