Wednesday, 3 June 2009

New scheme to gate off back alley in Cross Green

A scheme to gate off a back alley in Cross Green which was being used by burglars to break into properties has been given the go-ahead.

Leeds City Council has given planning permission for the scheme, which will be carried out by Safer Leeds, the city’s crime and disorder reduction partnership.

The gated area will run behind properties on Cross Green Lane and Cross Green Avenue, LS9. The area has suffered for several years from crime and anti-social behaviour.

Residents and local councillors have been asking for alleygates in the area after seeing the success of similar schemes in cutting crime elsewhere in Leeds.

All residents whose property backs onto this alley will be given a key that will allow them access in and out of the gated area. Work to install the alleygates will begin at the end of June and is expected to be complete in mid-July 2009.

Councillor Les Carter, Executive Board member responsible for neighbourhoods and housing and chair of Safer Leeds, said:
“Alleygating has an important role to play in helping us tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in many parts of Leeds.

“They have made a significant difference to streets around the city, keeping out criminals and louts and returning them to the law-abiding people who live there.”

72% of all burglaries in properties with back alleys take place at the rear of the property, since the alleys provide an easy escape route.

They also suffer from fly tipping, and the consequent vermin, as well as vandalism and graffiti.

Similar schemes in Merseyside have led to a 72% reduction in burglary in gated areas. Others in Manchester, Chorley and Nottingham have not only seen burglary cut, but also an improvement in the overall physical environment as graffiti and fly tipping are reduced.

• Safer Leeds is the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) dedicated to tacking drugs and crime in the city. It is a partnership organisation between a number of local agencies including Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, NHS Leeds, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and West Yorkshire Police Authority.


For further information contact:
John Donegan
(0113) 247 4450 (mon-wed am) (0113) 395 1510 (wed pm-fri)

A journey shared is a saving made

Motorists in Leeds are being urged to join forces to help reduce congestion and tackle the effect of the credit crunch by easing the burden of fuel and parking costs.

National Liftshare Day takes place across the UK on Tuesday, 9 June, and Leeds City Council is taking the opportunity to encourage more people to look at car sharing to save money and do their bit for the environment.

Leeds’ successful car share website – – was launched in 2003 and has recently celebrated enlisting its 3000th member. Ventura employee Bethanie Monaghan received £50 in vouchers after registering with to try and find a regular lift to and from her office at Leeds Valley Park.

In addition to this, there are hundreds if not thousands of informal car sharing arrangements in place in the city, and the council would like to see more of these being officially registered. Everyone that registers on the website receives a car share window sticker, plus either a pen, car air freshener, bottle opener keyring or a sticky note pad.

The new, improved website is easy to use - just go to and register your journey for free. You don't have to be a driver to take part, and can search for a lift even if you don't drive. You can then find other people going the same way with whom you can share your journey to work, the shops – anywhere.

Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader and executive board member responsible for transport said:
“Car sharing is on the increase and is a great option for people who want the convenience of a car but are keen to make savings to both their pockets and the environment.

“We would like to see more people registering on the Leeds car share website as it opens up new journeys, gives more of our residents the chance to start reaping the benefits and demonstrates the commitment of our city to reducing its carbon footprint.

“National Liftshare Day will help to highlight the benefits of car sharing to a wider audience and encourage more people to start saving money, help to reduce congestion and do their bit for a cleaner and greener Leeds.” is a free matching site, which can be used by individuals or businesses. Some large organisations in Leeds have private groups on the site to help their employees match within their own organisations more easily.

For more information on car sharing in Leeds visit or for National Liftshare Day go to


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

Laying the foundations at innovative Leeds housing scheme for learning disabled people

CAPTION: Councillor Peter Harrand and resident Anne Lewis lay the foundations of the new housing complex for learning disabled people at Windlesford Green, Rothwell

A new scheme to transform housing for learning disabled people in Leeds moves closer to completion this week.

The foundation stone of the new housing complex at Windlesford Green, Rothwell, has now been laid as part of ongoing work to replace the existing outdated accommodation block, which is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The life-changing project will mean that the occupants will enjoy greater choice over how they live their lives, a higher level of supported independence and as much privacy – or companionship – as they prefer.

At present, staff try hard to provide a modern service within an inflexible building that is no longer fit for purpose. The new facility will enable them to improve the service they deliver and transform the lives of the people they help.

Councillor Peter Harrand, Executive Board member for adult health and social care, explained:
“This is a completely new way of meeting the needs of some of the city’s most severely disabled people. It puts the person in control of his or her own life, instead of people’s care having to fit into institutional timetables and rotas.

The 23 people currently living at Windlesford Green are now in a prime position to watch their new homes being built on an adjacent site over the coming eight months. They have already played an important part in designing the new apartments.

A selection of comments on the new scheme from residents:
Resident Kevin Wroe says: “I am looking forward to having my own barbecue, and having my own washing machine.”
Tony Dawson says: “I am looking forward to having a bigger bedroom, and better security.
Kath Dixon says: “I am looking forward to having my own space away from lots of other people.”
Simon Pooley says: “I’m really looking froward to getting new furniture. Of course, more independence means I will have to pay my own electric bill for the first time!”

A partnership between Leeds City Council and Accent Housing, a Bradford-based housing association has made the project possible. The apartments have been designed by Leeds-based, award-winning architects West & Machell, who specialise in designing homes for older people and people with learning or physical disabilities.

The ten two-bedroom apartments and one three-bedroom apartment have been designed to a high specification that meets the needs of learning disabled people at the same time as supporting all the key features of everyday home life.

The design includes a great deal of flexibility, which can be used to ‘future proof’ the apartments. This means that as tenants become older, or their disabilities increase, the properties can be adapted to meet changing needs and people would not have to give up their homes because of increased disability.

The building will include level access throughout and lifts to all floors, with a ground-floor communal lounge opening onto gardens and a patio.

The apartments will have low-level kitchen work surfaces for wheelchair users, all will be en-suite, and the accent will be on comfort, safety and practicality.

This new model of supported living for people with learning disabilities will mean far-reaching changes in the way Adult Social Care staff go about their work. While staff will have a round-the-clock presence, the support they give to tenants will change to concentrate on promoting people’s independence, dignity and choice.

For media enquiries please contact:
John Donegan, Leeds City Council Press Office (0113) 247 4450

“Now then” – an evening of Leeds memories

Caption: Examples of photography work by Marc Riboud. These images of Leeds were taken in 1954.

A special event around the stunning display of historic Leeds photos taken by legendary photographer Marc Riboud is to be held at Leeds City Museum later this month.

Taking place from 6-8pm on Thursday 11th June, the talk entitled “Now then” is based around the memories and stories behind ‘A Lasting Moment’, the fascinating exhibition currently on show in the museum which displays shots of Leeds taken by Riboud from his visits to the city in 1954 and 2004.

The talk will be given by the historian and co-curator behind the innovative exhibition, Janet Douglas, who will explain how the talented young Frenchman who has gone on to become one of the world’s most celebrated photographers came to be in Leeds at the very start of his career.

Those who attend the event will also be encouraged to recall their own memories of the locations pictured and how Leeds was in the post-war era, with their stories and reminiscences able to be recorded to become part of the collection.

Audience members will also be able to take advantage of a special 15 per cent discount on the glossy hardback book which accompanies the exhibition and celebrates Riboud’s work. The book is now available as part of the exhibition, packed with all the images and the story behind Riboud’s two visits to the city.

The exhibition has proved hugely popular since it began at Leeds City Museum off Millennium Square in January, attracting over 10,0000 visitors to see the set of photos which were largely forgotten about for over 50 years until they were rediscovered in a London darkroom.

‘A Lasting Moment’ comes to an end at Leeds City Museum on Sunday 28th June, so anyone wishing to see it has only another month left to pay a visit.

Leeds City Council Executive Member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:

“A Lasting Moment has been a fantastic exhibition which has really helped establish the wonderful new Leeds City Museum. The images are stunning, and I’m sure the talk by Janet Douglas will be fascinating as her passion for the project and Riboud’s work is hugely impressive.

“For anyone who has not seen the exhibition yet I urge you to come down and see it before it finishes, as it is well worth it and you won’t be disappointed.”

Admission to “Now then” is priced £2 to be paid on the arrival on the night.

Entry to ‘A Lasting Moment’ at Leeds City Museum costs £2 adults, £1 senior citizens and students and children 16 and under are free. LEEDSCard members have a 20% discount, while entry will be free to all from 6-8pm every Thursday (apart from for this event). For further information go to and click on the ‘special exhibitions’ section on the side menu.

Notes to editors:

An Arts Council England Grants for the Arts award of £33,000 has been given to Leeds City Council to support the exhibition.

Images from the exhibition are available on request. If any are reproduced in any form the following credit must be run with them:

© Marc Riboud/Courtesy HackelBury Fine Art, London
‘A Lasting Moment: Leeds 1954 by Marc Riboud at Leeds City Museum (January 10-June 28 2009) (

‘Marc Riboud: Life, Work and Play’ at HackelBury Fine Art, London. 20 January – 7 March 2009.

Please note the images must NOT be altered from issued form. Also NO cropping of the images is allowed.

Leeds City Museum is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday 11am-6pm, Thursday 11am-8pm and Saturday/Sunday 11am-5pm. For further information go to


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