Friday, 12 June 2009

Statement regarding successful bid for DCSF Co-located fund with David Young Academy

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive board member responsible for Children’s Services, said:“This funding will undoubtedly provide a catalyst for change in this deprived community and allow the David Young Academy to continue with their work to boost the regeneration of this area.

“The WEDGE community hub will go a long way to bring together the Seacroft community and by locating the services under one roof will make sure the children and families can get the right help, at the right time. “
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For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds foster carers setting the standard

Leeds City Council’s Fostering Service is launching a landmark set of standards for it's foster carers to ensure they are able to get best possible training, information and knowledge to truly make a difference to the lives of the children they care for.

Developed by the Government's Children's Workforce Development Council (CWDC), the new fostering standards are designed to assist and guide foster carers through their fostering career within a national framework of training and professional development.

The standards are also linked to children's care needs and legislation so provide opportunities for foster carers to add to the skills they provide to help children and youngsters in Leeds.

Leeds will officially launch the Training, Support and Development Standards for Foster Care on:
Monday June 15th, 10.00am - 12.30pm, Leeds Civic Hall Banqueting Suite
The Launch programme includes:
• Standards launch by Cllr Stewart Golton, (Executive board member for Children's Services)
• Presentation by the Fostering Network (national organisation involved in developing the standards)
• Presentation by Leeds Foster Carers 'Standards Champions'

Attending the launch will be a range of Leeds foster carers, fostering service staff and child care professionals. The standards will be implemented across Leeds to around 400 foster carers over the coming months. The standards will also be linked to Leeds own Payment for Skills framework introduced for Leeds foster carers in 2008.

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive board member responsible for Children’s Services. said:“Introducing these standards means Leeds foster carers will benefit from receiving improved training, opportunities for career development and further recognition for the fantastic work they do for the children of Leeds.

“The standards will also help them with their development as professional foster carers and as valued members of the children's workforce in Leeds”.

Those interested in fostering can contact 0113 247 4747 for advice and an information pack or can visit: www.leeds.gov.uk/fostering.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Million pound boost for play in Leeds

Children in Leeds can expect a host of exciting and imaginative play areas across the city as part of a million pound revamp expected to get the go ahead next week.

Council chiefs will discuss the locations of the first 16 sites to benefit from the £1.1 million ‘Playbuilder’ scheme at a meeting of the executive board next week (Wednesday 17 June).

A total of 22 play areas will be created or renovated as part of the scheme, which will focus on providing safe and exciting play spaces for children between eight and 13.

The funding has come from the Department for Children, Schools and Families Playbuilder programme, which was announced last December. Some of the money will be used to create new facilities and some to revamp existing locations.

The Playbuilder programme provides the council with a unique opportunity to address play issues as a key part of other wider initiatives for regeneration, health and wellbeing across the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, building on the local partnership’s strong capacity and its successful track record for creativity and innovation.

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive member responsible for children’s services, said:“It is great that we are now at the stage where we can begin work on this exciting project and people will start to see huge improvements at playgrounds right across the city. The Playbuilder scheme will be invaluable in helping us provide children with creative, safe and accessible play facilities, not just traditional swings and slides but equipment which boosts imagination and skill.”

The first year will see 11 sites developed or renovated, the first nine are:
The Bumps, Roundhay
Gipton Square
Richmond Hill
Potternewton Park
Brookfield Rec, Rodley
Meanwood Park
Smithy Lane, West Ardsley
East Ardsley
Deepdale, Boston Spa

Eleven more sites will be developed in year two, including the following seven:
Grove Road, Halton
Temple Newsam
Roundhay Park
Sandford Road, Kirkstall
Armley Moor
Woodhall, Farsley
Windmill Road, Belle Isle.

The final six sites will be announced in August.

The new play areas will provide children with stimulating equipment and landscaping and will be accessible to children with disabilities. All 22 sites will be ready for March 31 2011.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Road safety education begins at home

There is no better time to remind children and young people about the importance of keeping safe on the roads than on the daily walk to school.

To help get this message across, the parents and carers of children who will be starting in reception classes this coming September, will shortly receive a leaflet about road safety.

The informative leaflet encourages adults to walk to school with their children, always holding hands with younger children, and talk to them about road safety. They are also encouraged to set a good example by following the Green Cross Code and making sure that, where possible, they find a safer place to cross the road. The importance of wearing bright clothing and reflective materials during the winter months is also highlighted.

Car journeys are also discussed, particularly the importance of using seatbelts and the correct child seat for every journey and parking away from school entrances to help ensure the safety of the other children.

Councillor Stuart Andrew, lead member for road safety said:
“This leaflet has been developed to help promote safer journeys to school.

“It is important that children learn positive road safety messages from their parents so that safety on the roads becomes second nature, and they copy the good practice that they see everyday. This includes using seatbelts and child restraints where necessary for every journey made by car, no matter what distance.”

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Additional info

Safer places to cross the road include: zebra crossings; traffic islands; pelican crossings; puffin crossings: or where there is a school crossing patrol warden.

The Green Cross Code is THINK: find a place where you can see the traffic and drivers can see you. Try not to choose a bend or a place near parked cars. STOP: stand on the pavement near the kerb but not too close to the edge. LOOK: traffic may come from any direction, so make sure that you look all around. LISTEN: you can often hear traffic before you see it. If traffic is coming, let it pass then look and listen again. When there is no traffic near, walk straight across the road. Keep looking and listening for traffic as you cross.

In September 2006 a new law came into force. Children up to 12 years of age or 135 cm in height must use the appropriate child restraint when they are travelling in vehicles. Adult seat belts are best for people with an adult bone structure. Children need to use child seats and booster seats to put them in the right position to use the seat belt properly. The seat belt needs to go across the shoulders, rather than the neck and the pelvis rather than the stomach. For more information visit www.dft.gov.uk/think

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Million pound transformation underway in Yeadon

The centre of Yeadon is set to be transformed thanks to a £1 million investment by Leeds City Council.

The investment will see a number of improvements to the town centre including landscaping the roundabout at High Street and Harper Lane as well as resurfacing the footpaths on the High Street with Yorkshire stone and granite kerb edging.

Local people were asked what improvements they would like to see – with the most popular suggestions being CCTV and a pedestrian crossing point on the High Street. A CCTV system has already been installed and a number of crossing points will be put in as part of a new 20 mph zone on High Street.

The transformation, which is being carried out by contractors North Midland Construction, will also include new heritage style benches, sign posts, planters and information board.

The cash injection into the area is the largest single investment from Leeds City Council’s £13m Town and District Centre Regeneration programme, which has already seen improvements in 19 towns across the city.

Councillor Andrew Carter, executive board member responsible for the Town and District Regeneration programme, said:“Leeds is a thriving city and its town and district centres have a huge part to play in its continued success and development. This £13 million scheme was developed to help achieve that and I’m delighted the historic town of Yeadon will benefit from a share this.

“We listened to the improvements that local people wanted to see made and ensured we incorporated them in to the plans. The result will be a more pleasant, safer place to work, live and shop.”

Councillor Chris Townsley chair of the Outer North West Area Committee, said:“I’m delighted to see such a large investment in the centre of Yeadon. The planned changes will give the town a real shot in the arm and help to ensure it is a good place for shoppers and businesses for a long time to come.”

Work started on site two weeks ago and is due to be completed by November 2009. Access to all shops and traders will be kept open throughout the work.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Road safety know-how tested in junior quiz event

Primary school pupils from north-west Leeds will have their road safety knowledge tested this week when they take part in the annual Otley and District Primary Schools' Road Safety Quiz.

Now in it’s seventh year, this popular event will attract fifteen teams from primary schools in Otley, Pool, Adel, Horsforth, Yeadon and Guiseley, who will compete to win a trophy and engraved silver salver.
******************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************
Media are invited to attend the Otley Road Safety Quiz on Thursday, 18 June from 6.30pm at Otley Methodist Church, Walkergate, Otley, LS21 1HB. Please contact the press office on 0113 395 1578 to arrange attendance.
******************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************

The quiz tests the knowledge of the children, who have all been studying Arrive Alive, the highway code for younger road users, which supports their ongoing road safety education.

Using an interactive piece of computer software called ‘Qwizdom’, teams of five will compete to answer questions about road safety issues in a similar way to the ‘ask the audience’ part of the popular quiz ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire?’

All participants receive generous prizes for their efforts donated by the Otley and District Road Safety Committee and Leeds City Council’s Road Safety Promotion Unit.

The evening will be enjoyed by Greg Mulholland, MP for Leeds North West and the Mayor of Otley, Councillor Gerard Francis together with supporting parents and teachers. Spike, the road safety hedgehog, will also be on hand to help give out the prizes.

Councillor Stuart Andrew, lead member responsible for road safety said:
“This annual event is great fun and an innovative and exciting way to get the important messages of road safety across to youngsters. It helps to them to focus on their own safety and make them more aware of the potential dangers they face on the roads when they are out and about.”

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Additional info
Participating schools for 2009: Adel Primary School, Adel St John Primary School, Ashfield Primary School , Bramhope Primary School, Hawksworth Primary School, Otley All Saints Primary School, The Whartons Primary School, Pool C of E Primary School, Queensway Primary School, Rawdon Littlemoor Primary School, Otley Westgate Primary School, St Joseph’s Primary School, St Oswald’s Primary School, Tranmere Primary School and SS Peter and Paul Primary School, Yeadon.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds Arena project team strengthened with two new appointments

Progress on the Leeds Arena project has been strengthened with the announcement of two key appointments to the team charged with delivering the development.

Leeds City Council has appointed Davis Langdon LLP as quantity surveyor to provide cost management services, and Ove Arup and Partners Ltd as the external planning agent responsible for preparing and submitting an outline planning application.

The announcement comes just days after Yorkshire Forward agreed to invest in the project after publishing an economic appraisal report, which showed a Leeds Arena would be a huge boost to the Yorkshire economy.

The two new appointments will strengthen an already strong project team, which includes the Arena operator SMG, Jacobs building and technical design consultancy, and Populous (formerly HOK Sport Architecture), who are providing specialist architectural expertise for arena design.

They are now joined by Davis Langdon LLP, one of the world’s top cost and project management consultants, and Ove Arup and Partners Ltd - a global firm of designers, engineers, planners and business consultants. Davis Langdon has performed similar cost management roles on a number of key arena projects including: the O2 Dublin; the Echo Arena Liverpool; Odyssey Arena Belfast; the MEN Arena Manchester; Budapest Arena and the National Indoor Arena Birmingham. The appointment of Arup as planning agent will also ensure transparency between the council’s roles of local planning authority and the Leeds Arena developer.

Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader of Leeds City Council and executive member with responsibility for the Arena project said:
“I am delighted to welcome Davis Langdon and Ove Arup to the Leeds Arena project. It’s another great step forward in the progress of the development and I am confident they will bring valuable expertise and experience to the team.”

Nigel Foster, director at Arup said:
“We are very pleased to be working with Leeds City Council, SMG and the wider team to help deliver this prestigious project. The arena will provide a fantastic new venue in the city adding to its wide cultural offer.”

Martin Jennings, partner leading the Davis Langdon project team said:
"We are very excited to be part of the team that will successfully deliver this transformational project for Leeds, which will be a superb entertainment focussed venue in the heart of the city."

Ends
Notes to editors:

1. SMG Europe was appointed as the preferred operator for the arena in May 2008. SMG is the largest operator of sports and entertainment venues in Europe, including Manchester Evening News Arena and Bridgewater Hall, the Odyssey Arena, Belfast, and Oslo Spektrum. SMG has considerable industry knowledge and has largely defined the optimum internal design of the arena.

2. Leeds City Council appointed its strategic design partner, Jacobs, to take on the role of developing the design for the venue in April this year. Subsequently, Jacobs appointed Populous to provide the design team with the specialist architectural expertise for the arena
design. Populous have a track record of delivering high profile and complex development including Wembley and the Arsenal Emirates stadiums, the O2 arenas in London, Dublin and Berlin, and Wimbledon Centre Court.

3. On 5 November 2008 Executive Board agreed to approve Clay Pit Lane as the preferred site for the development of a 12,500 seat multi purpose arena for the city. Since that time the design team has been engaged in preliminary, though detailed, work with a view to submitting an outline planning application in October 2009.

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: sara.hymanr@leeds.gov.uk

Councillors to discuss future primary provision in Leeds

The need for additional primary school places in parts of Leeds which are facing an unprecedented rise in population over the next 10 years is to be discussed by the city’s senior councillors.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will discuss how to provide an estimated 500 additional places in parts of the city which have been affected by migration and higher birth rates.

Despite there being a 10 per cent surplus of places across the city they are not necessarily in the areas which will see the increase. The latest ONS (Office of National Statistics) figures show an additional 350 places will be needed in 2010, due to the rising birth rate, coupled with an expected 120 to 150 places for children who will not apply for places through the proper process.

Leeds City Council and Education Leeds are looking at how to provide the extra places which includes consulting with all interested parties and investigating the availability of additional basic need funding from the DCSF.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“We have a statutory responsibility to provide education for all our children and young people and will ensure every child in the city has access to a primary school place.

“It’s important that all interested parties - including the schools and local councillors - are consulted to ensure this situation is resolved quickly and efficiently so our children receive the best possible education.

“The need for additional primary school places is a national issue. In Leeds we will ensure every child has access to a modern school environment to complement the high quality teaching - and this situation will not change that.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“We are committed to providing primary school places for every child in Leeds while continuing to meet parental preferences wherever possible. There is a surplus of places in the city but they are not necessarily where the demand will be.

“Where possible we will expand successful and popular schools and provide additional, purpose-built accommodation. Families can be assured their children will have a place available to them in one of our brilliant primary schools when they need it.”

The executive board meeting will take place at Leeds Civic Hall on Wednesday 17 June at 1pm.

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For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk