Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Join in the Summer of Fun!

Caption: The Leeds Summer of Fun logo

A summer of fun is coming to Leeds - and everyone's invited!

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Andrew Carter will this week launch a new portal - www.leeds.gov.uk/summeroffun - which outlines all the fantastic free and low-cost events going on across the city for families and people of all ages to enjoy over the coming months.

From headline events like Party in the Park, Opera in Park and Classical Fantasia to visits to the phenomenal new Leeds City Museum, the nationally-renowned Leeds Art Gallery, the chance to go swimming for free or taking a walk in one of the city's award-winning parks, there is something for everyone going on in Leeds this summer.

The new portal for the first time offers a one-stop guide to the wide range of Leeds City Council-managed events and activities as well as handy ideas for fun-filled days out to make the most of the holidays and (hopefully!) summer sun at little or no cost.

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Media are invited to the launch of the Summer of Fun web portal, with Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Andrew Carter and executive member for leisure Cllr John Procter showing off the range of events and activities taking place using the giant map of Leeds on the floor of the Leeds City Museum. The photocall will take place on Wednesday 13th May at 10.30am.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

Launching the new web portal, Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Andrew Carter said:

"In these current uncertain and difficult times, it is important for people to know there are great things they can do in Leeds to have a fun day out on their doorstep which are free or offer exceptional value for money.

Executive member for leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“The news headlines seem full of one depressing story after another at the moment, but we want to reassure people that they can still enjoy a fantastic summer and by looking at our portal they will see the full range of varied activities and great day out ideas so everyone can make this summer one to remember."

The two largest free outdoor events in the region, Party in the Park and Opera in the Park, are again expected to attract a combined attendance of 120,000 people to Temple Newsam on July 25th-26th. Dates for the ticket launch for these two events can be found on the new portal at www.leeds.gov.uk/summeroffun.

The other main outdoor free Leeds City Council event is the enchanting Classical Fantasia which takes place in the grounds of Kirkstall Abbey on Saturday 12th September . A capacity attendance of 9,000 people go along each year to enjoy some of the most famous pieces of classical music performed by the Orchestra of Opera North with the lit-up abbey providing the perfect backdrop to the performance and the firework display which the event has also become famous for.

Also free to visit this summer are the stunning new Leeds City Museum, which is smashing attendance records as it approaches the end of its first year of opening, and the Leeds Art Gallery which is renowned for housing some of the finest art on public display anywhere outside London.

Young people will again be able to enjoy themselves as Breeze on Tour travels around the city during the summer holidays, while there are also great family-orientated activities on offer at libraries and visitor attractions like Tropical World, Temple Newsam, Lotherton Hall and Kirkstall Abbey.

There is also the chance to have fun and keep fit at the same time this summer, by taking advantage of the free swimming sessions on offer at all Leeds City Council leisure centres or by heading to the nearest park for a game of football or cricket.

Parks can also provide the setting for a great picnic or leisurely walk, and with suggested walking trails to follow people can discover beautiful new parts of Leeds they’ve never seen before or perhaps things they never even knew existed!

Details of all these events, venues and much more which make up the Summer of Fun can be found by visiting the web portal at www.leeds.gov.uk/summeroffun


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472,Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Last chance to register to vote for the European Parliamentary Elections

Residents in Leeds are being warned there are just a few days left to register to in time for the European Parliamentary Elections (Yorkshire and Humber region) on Thursday 4 June 2009.

The deadline for registration is Tuesday 19 May and Leeds City Council is making a final call to ensure that those eligible to vote are on the electoral roll. Anyone not registered by 19 May, may not be able to vote in the European Parliamentary Elections.

Forms are downloadable from www.aboutmyvote.co.uk or www.leeds.gov.uk or by contacting the council directly on 0113 2224411

Tuesday 19 May is also the deadline to apply for a postal vote and to cancel or request changes to your existing postal vote.

Alex Meek, Election Services Manager for Leeds City Council, said:
"We want to make sure that no-one misses out on their right to take part in these elections just because they aren't registered to vote. Some people think that you are automatically registered once you pay council tax, but that isn't the case.

“It’s very simple to register. Either visit www.leeds.gov.uk or contact the council to get a form. Once you’ve filled in the form it is essential you send it back by 19 May in order to secure your vote.”

Citizens from an EU country (apart from the UK, Ireland, Cyprus and Malta) need to complete a separate form to vote in these elections at their current UK address. Forms can be downloaded from www.leeds.gov.uk and must be sent back by Tuesday 19 May.

Notes to editor:
Registration forms must be returned by midnight on 19 May.
Postal vote forms must be returned to Electoral Services, Level 2, Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AD by 5pm 19 May.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk

Second round of surveys gets underway as part of city’s largest ever transport study

Transport for Leeds, the city’s largest ever transport study, moves into its next stage this week with a further round of roadside surveys.

Between today and the middle of June, car drivers, motorcyclists and goods vehicle drivers approaching the city centre will be asked to take part in roadside interviews at 27 locations across the city. They will be asked about their journey as part of the study aimed at preventing congestion from harming Leeds’ economy and environment.

Gary Bartlett, Leeds City Council’s chief highways and transportation officer, said:“We are carrying out these additional surveys because analysis of the results from those we did in autumn 2008 showed us that we need to gather more information about journeys to and across the city centre. They will provide us with information that will complement the data already collected and will also enable us to assess the impacts of the newly opened East Leeds Link Road and Stage 7 of the Inner Ring Road.

“We realise there will be short delays for road users while these surveys are carried out but they are taking place at less than half the locations covered in autumn 2008. We hope that like last time, motorists who experience daily congestion will understand the importance of this research and will bear with us. “

In autumn 2008, surveys were undertaken at 66 different sites whereas this time they will only cover 27 locations and will not include motorway slip roads. Buses will not be included in the surveys. The surveys themselves will be carried out by transport consultancy Jacobs, on behalf of Metro and Leeds City Council. The police will oversee the process.

Notes to Editors

The Transport for Leeds project is being carried out jointly by Leeds City Council and Metro and is being co- funded by the Department for Transport and Yorkshire Forward. The project is investigating the causes of and solutions to congestion in Leeds and will result in a long-term transport strategy for the city.

Initial finding from the 2008 surveys show that unless some action is taken, over the next seven to ten years traffic and congestion in Leeds city centre will rise by a further 10%. It also shows that the city’s current main morning ‘rush hour’, which currently lasts between 7.45am and 8.45am will more than double, lasting from 7am to 9.30am as more and more people try to avoid the peak congestion periods.

The Transport Strategy resulting from the Transport for Leeds study will reflect what people have told us they want to see and will contain a mix of improvements for transport in the city, which could be introduced on an incremental basis. In this way if traffic levels continued to build after each measure was introduced, the next could be implemented as a ‘tipping point’ was reached.

Measures are likely to include a far greater use of public transport, more segregation for buses and more bus park & ride, highway improvements across the city, the development of core cycle and walking networks.
For media enquiries, please contact; Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: sara.hymanr@leeds.gov.uk or Metro’s Public Relations Office on 0113 251 7214.