Thursday, 11 June 2009

New children’s centre opens in Horsforth

Families are being invited to take a peak at a new state of the art children’s centre which opens its doors in Horsforth on Friday.

The new Horsforth Children’s Centre which is based Broadgate Primary School, is holding an opening event on Friday 12th June 2009 between 1pm and 5pm. Families are welcome to join the children’s centre team for a BBQ, balloon race, face painting, balloon shaping and an exciting mini beast adventure. There will also be opportunities to experience ‘arty-bobs’, ‘baby sign’, baby massage’ and ‘baby ballet’.

Media Opportunity:
When: Friday 12 June 1pm – 5pm
Where: Horsforth Children’s Centre, Broadgate Primary School, North Broadgate Lane, Horsforth
What: Staff will welcome families to the new the Children’s Centre where they will be able to try out some of the activities available at the centre.

The centre will be providing health and family support services for all children under five in the Horsforth area in newly re-furbished premises. The centre has a large community room filled with stimulating resources and generous space both inside and out. The team are looking forward to meeting all families in the community to share experiences such as parent and toddler groups, a baby breastfeeding café, ante-natal and post natal support, adult education classes, links with Job Centre Plus and Children’s Information Services during term time and in the school holidays.

Helen Higgins, Horsforth Children’s Centre manager said:“We are very excited about our new children’s centre, which has been designed with the needs of local children in mind. We already have 80 children attending sessions and look forward to welcoming many more in the coming weeks.”

Richard Harker, executive member responsible for Early Years said:“We are delighted that this is one of the final children’s centres to open as part of a very successful project which has already seen 49 centres open across the city.

“They are a real hub of local communities and provide the very best start in life for children, while ensuring the needs of the whole family are also addressed. A great deal of support and training opportunities are provided right on the local doorstep.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713

Dr Bike on hand for free cycle health checks

Caption: Cllr Richard Brett with Charlotte Jones, Ray Hill and Christine Hamshire from the council's TravelWise team

Caption: Council leader, Cllr Richard Brett trys out a bike on Millennium Square

Leeds Bike Week is the perfect time to dust off your bike, get back into the saddle, and start using pedal power to explore your local community - and as an extra incentive to get started, you can have your bike checked over for free at a city centre event this week.

That’s one of the many things on offer at Millennium Square on Tuesday, 16 June at the Get Cycling Bike Try-out Roadshow and Cycle Surgery. Members of the public have the opportunity to bring their bikes down between 11am and 5pm and get them checked out by professionals free of charge. Certain repairs can be made on the spot for a charge.
******************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************
Media are invited to Millennium Square at 1pm on Tuesday, 16 June where council leader Councillor Richard Brett will attend the event to get his bike checked over and will be available to talk to reporters about Leeds Bike Week and the many benefits of cycling to people’s health and the environment
******************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************

The public will also have the chance to get involved in a citywide consultation on the Leeds Core Cycle Network at the event. The council is developing designs for a network of core cycle routes for Leeds that will improve conditions for cyclists and encourage cycling as a way of getting around. Each route will be signposted and use a combination of cycle lanes, tracks, quiet roads and junction improvements to link to housing, Leeds city centre, schools, employment sites, parks and greenspace, and the wider bridleway and cycle route network.

Councillor Richard Brett, council leader and cycling enthusiast said:
“We hope that lots of people come down to Millennium Square to take advantage of the opportunity to get their bikes checked over for free. There will also be lots of different types of bikes for people to try-out, which is handy for those who are toying with the idea of buying one, but are not sure which kind to go for.

“The event is also a great chance to see proposed plans for the Leeds Core Cycle Network, which is an ambitious scheme to provide better conditions for cyclists, making travelling around the city by bike a more attractive proposition.
He added:
“Cycling has proven health and fitness benefits and can help beat traffic congestion and pollution. We hope that Leeds Bike Week will help to encourage more people to make the switch from car to bike for the good of their health and the environment.”

Get Cycling Community Interest Company (CiC) will also be at the event and will bring with them a selection of cycles for people to look at and try-out in the demo area. These will be a mix of conventional and unconventional bikes including folding bikes, a range of urban commuter bikes, a tandem and more.

There will be information desks with free impartial advice on cycling and examples of cycle commuter accessories. Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative will also have a stand offering information on the popular Cycle to Work scheme.


Additional info

Leaflets on Bike Week 2009 – which list all the events taking place – are available in local sports centres, One Stop Centres and libraries across the city.

Information about all the events is also available at or by contacting Charlotte Jones at Leeds City Council on 0113 395 0276 or by email to . For more information about Bike Week please visit

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

Noise action seizes van-loads of equipment

Caption: just some of the noise-making equipment seized by Leeds City Council officers during a crack down on noisy neighbours

Noisy neighbours beware – Leeds City Council could be knocking on your door this summer to put an end to the blight of noise nuisance.

The warning to inconsiderate Leeds residents who can’t keep the volume down comes after council officers seized noise-making equipment from a persistent offender whose thumping late night dance music made his neighbours’ lives a misery.

Council Environmental Action Team officers, working together with the police and West North West Homes Leeds, knocked on Christopher Thrush’s front door on Latchmere Drive, West Park, with a warrant to seize noise making equipment from the property – taking away a television, a computer, DVD and CD players, CDs and DVDs, computer game disks, and a 200 watt speaker.

Since he was served with an Abatement Notice on the March 13th last year, three breaches were witnessed by officers from the council’s out-of-hours noise nuisance service.

The raid follows three significant seizures in east Leeds in a single week, with nine full vanloads of equipment taken away. The seizures, which took place at Torre Gardens, Gledhow Place and Alderton Heights, saw stereos, TVs, computers, games consoles, radios, CDs, records, and musical instruments seized.

Offenders can be prosecuted for breaches of noise abatement notices, facing a possible bill of more than £5,000 if convicted. Those who are council house tenants may also be putting their home in jeopardy. The council can also apply to keep the equipment indefinitely and charge for seizing and storing.

Councillor James Monaghan, executive board member for environmental health, said:
“Persistent, late night noise can make people’s lives a misery.
“It is vital, particularly at this time of year when the warm nights mean people leave windows open, that we respect our neighbours and keep the noise down.
“We would encourage people to consider the impact of their actions on their neighbours, but where they persist in causing a nuisance we will take action.
“The seizures over the last few weeks show that we are serious about the problem of nuisance noise.”

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

Leeds City Council publishes allowances and expenses report for public scrutiny

Leeds City Council has today published its annual report for councillors’ allowances and expenses for 2008/09.

The Leeds City Council Members Allowances Scheme provides for each councillor to receive a basic allowance of £14,634.72 a year, which is inclusive of all telephone and office expenses and all expenses relating to travelling and subsistence within the city.

Councillors who also hold special responsibilities in relation to the authority are entitled to receive a special responsibility allowance, for example, the leader of the council, members of the council’s executive board or those who hold the position of chair for a council committee.

Additional expenses can only be claimed in instances where councillors have to travel outside the Leeds metropolitan area for council business. For the year 2008/09 the total expenses claimed for all 99 councillors was £2,414.

In accordance with legal requirements, the council has established an independent remuneration panel which provides advice on the allowance scheme and which the council must have regard to when making amendments.

Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader and executive member responsible for finance, said:

“In Leeds we have worked to ensure we have an allowance scheme that is absolutely transparent and fair.

“We were one of the first local authorities in the country to voluntarily establish an independent remuneration panel in 1999, some two years before it became a statutory requirement in 2001, and the panel continues to provide valuable independent advice and guidance on the makeup of the allowances in Leeds.

“We will continue to work to ensure that we have a members allowance scheme which is transparent and fair and open to public scrutiny.”

Notes to Editors:

Details of members’ expenses and allowances for 2008/9 are available by contacting the council press office on tel: 0113 2243602.
Details of Leeds City Council’s Members Allowances Scheme are available by clicking on the e-mail address below and downloading the Part 6 Members Allowances Scheme report:

Roman legionnaires to march the length of Hadrian’s Wall

Caption: The three legionnaires - Robert Ward-Pound, Simon Townend and Alan Taylor of Leeds City Council

Caption: Council leader, Cllr Richard Brett, meets the legionnaires ahead of their charity walk

Covering 84 miles in five days may seem like a walk in the park to most people - but what if you had to do it wearing full Roman Legionnaires’ armour?

That’s the challenge facing three members of staff from Leeds City Council and Education Leeds who will walk the length of Hadrian’s Wall from the east to the west coast of England in aid of the Leeds-based charity Martin House.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to meet the three ‘Roman Legionnaires’ who will be available for interviews and pictures, with the joint council leader, Councillor Richard Brett, on Monday June 15 at 12 noon on the steps of Leeds Civic Hall. Please call 0113 3951577 or email to confirm attendance.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

Simon Townend, of Leeds City Council, and Alan Taylor and Robert Ward-Pound, of Education Leeds, will start the gruelling challenge on 22 June in Wallsend in Newcastle and finish on 26 June in Bowness-on-Solway in Cumbria.

Commenting on the 84 mile walk, Alan Taylor said:
“This is definitely a big challenge for us. Walking 84 miles over five days under normal circumstances would be no problem but with each suit of armour weighing around 12 kilos it’s going to be tough.

“However Martin House does so much excellent work across Leeds so the training, pain and effort will be worth it when we are able to present the charity with all the money we have raised.”

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“This is a huge challenge which will need a great deal of strength and determination to complete. I am pleased to sponsor the ‘soldiers‘ to help them raise as much money as possible for Martin House and wish them good luck for the walk and their fundraising efforts.”

To donate money, find out more about the walk or see how the three are progressing in their training visit


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