Monday, 15 June 2009

Leeds steps up to the Breeze Youth Promise challenge

The young people of Leeds have set the city a challenge … it's called the Breeze Youth Promise and it challenges the city’s chiefs to put their wants and needs at the heart of services for young people.

The promise has been developed by young people from the Leeds Youth Council and ROAR (Reach out and reconnect) and tells young people what they can expect to receive from the different services and organisations that work with young people in Leeds. It also gives them a voice in shaping the future of their city.

A short film directed and produced by young people has been created to introduce a new element of the Breeze Youth Promise 2009.

Media opportunity:
When: Tuesday 16 June at 17.15
Where: Millennium Square (near the ‘big screen’)
What: The young people who have created the Breeze Youth Promise film will be available for photographs, filming and interviews. The film is to be shown on the ‘big screen’ at 17.20.

The promise, which was first devised in 2007, brings together everything Leeds does for young people aged 13 to 19, including those who are in care or have learning difficulties or disabilities, and it gives them all a voice in shaping the city’s future. The original promise included the themes ‘somewhere to go, something to do, someone to talk to’ and latest version also includes an additional theme called ‘something to say’.

To introduce the new ‘something to say’ theme the short film will be shown in 40 schools across Leeds, on the ‘big screen’ in Millennium square, at the bus station, in some doctors surgeries and at Breeze on Tour events throughout the summer. Members of the Leeds Youth Council and ROAR will now be taking the message back to their schools by putting together a lesson plan and developing workshops which will be held at the Breeze on Tour events.

Covering a wide range of services, the promise commits everyone in children’s services to provide the very best advice and guidance for young people as well as safe and enjoyable events, activities and venues. In addition, better information and publicity will make sure that no-one misses out.

Councillor Alan Lamb, lead member with responsibility for Youth Services, said:
“Young people want information, advice and guidance about the things that matter to them. That means help with career choices, education, lifestyle choices, health issues and relationships. They want places that are safe, secure, welcoming and where they actually want to go, places to chill out as well as places where they can get active or involved.

“The Breeze Youth Promise is about helping young people enjoy and achieve, whether it’s through learning, work or what they do in their spare time, and giving them opportunities to have their say.”

Three young people from Leeds Youth Council, explain why the Breeze Youth Promise is important:
Joseph Bennett, 16 from Benton Park High School said:
“Young people know what they want, but they don’t always know how to get their message across. In this group we can raise awareness and help give young people a voice – which is why we felt is was important to add the ‘something to say’ theme in to the promise.”

Jade Tosney, 14, from Mount St. Mary’s High School, said:
“This is all about promising the young people that the city will provide suitable things for them to do, places to go, people to listen to and opportunities to have their say. But not many young people know about it, so we have made this film to get the message across. Being involved in the Youth Council means we can give the young people of Leeds a voice.”

Yasmin Rhodes, 16, from Cockburn High School, said:
“The Breeze Youth Promise will only work if we scrutinize it, and make sure the authorities are keeping up to their part of the promise, which is why it’s so important that the young people know how to have their say.”

For more information or to see the film go to film is also available on You Tube.

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

Launch just the ticket for Party and Opera fans

Caption: Crowds flocked to Millennium Square for the ticket launch

Thousands of people turned out at Millennium Square on Saturday to scoop their free tickets for this year’s Party and Opera in the Park in Leeds.

Queues began to build up at 8am in advance of the 10am launch, with music fans eager to get hold of their tickets to the two biggest annual outdoor free events in the city, which this year take place at Temple Newsam on the weekend of July 25th and 26th.

The tickets were snapped up throughout the day, with almost a third of the 70,000 tickets for Party in the Park claimed in a matter of hours. With chart-topping artists such as the Noisettes, N Dubz, Booty Luv, JLS and Alesha Dixon already lined up to play Party in the Park and more acts to be announced over the forthcoming weeks, those wishing to attend can still make sure of their place by picking up tickets from a number of outlets while stocks last.

Remaining tickets for both events can be obtained from a number of outlets, including the City Centre Box Office at The Carriageworks, Leeds Visitor Centre, Leeds Town Hall, Leeds Central Library and the reception for 96.3 Radio Aire and Magic 828. They are limited to four per person and must be collected in person, with those keen to join in the fun urged to pick up their tickets up as soon as possible as demand is proving exceptionally high.

Members of the city’s BreezeCard scheme can also apply exclusively on-line for Party in the Park tickets by visiting

A number of local libraries are also giving out Opera in the Park tickets only. They are: Beeston, Boston Spa, Bramley, Chapel Allerton, Crossgates, Guiseley, Halton, Horsforth, Kippax, Otley, Moor Allerton, Morley, Pudsey, Rothwell and Wetherby libraries.

This year Opera in the Park makes a welcome return to a more classical theme featuring performances by award-wining soloists Alfie Boe and Natasha Marsh together with the Hallé Symphony Orchestra and the Leeds Festival Chorus in front of another expected capacity crowd of 50,000 people.

Both events are organised by Leeds City Council with support from 96.3 Radio Aire for Party in the Park and Magic 828 and for Opera in the Park.

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

“Party and Opera in the Park continue to provide the best in free live outdoor entertainment for Leeds residents to enjoy, so make sure you don’t miss out by getting your hands on some of the hottest tickets in town before they are all gone!”

Disabled applicants can apply in writing for both events by sending a self-addressed envelope to the Events Team, Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD.

Party and Opera in the Park are part of the Summer of Fun in Leeds, with details of all the council-managed free or low-cost events and activities going on around the city able to be accessed through the new web portal at

Anyone requiring further details should contact Leeds City Council’s Events team on 0113 395 0891 or visit


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

Last call for budding gardeners

Caption: Richard Gill, Leeds in Bloom Officer and Keith Fletcher, Morley, previous winner of Leeds in Bloom awards, prepares his garden for this year's competition.

Time is running out for green-fingered residents of Leeds to enter into the Leeds in Bloom Private Gardens competition which closes on 30 June 2009.

This free competition is open to all Leeds’ residents and aims to promote a sense of pride in their gardens. The competition is split into twenty ward based areas in the City and there are three categories to chose from:

Large Garden – including back and front of an area greater than 418 sq metres;

Small Garden - including back and front and no more than 418 sq metres and

Floral Plant Containers including window boxes, hanging baskets and plants.

Parks and Countryside Officers will judge the entrants in July/August and gold, silver and bronze are awarded in each of the three categories in each ward. The Judges are looking at the health and suitability of the plants and lawns, suitability of the garden’s design to its location and size, standard of cultivation, impact of colour and textures and potential for long-term display and presentation.

Winners will be announced in September 2009.

To pick up an entry form go to your local library, or download an entry from or contact (0113) 237 5301.

For media enquiries please contact
Debra Kerr, Learning and Leisure Senior Marketing Officer
Tel: 0113 247 8409 Mobile: 07767 05580 Email:

Statement regarding swine flu case at Parklands Girls' High School

Helen Lane, acting headteacher at Parklands Girls' High School, said:

“We have one confirmed case of swine flu involving a member of staff who is being treated with the relevant medication. While the risk of transmission is very low, that person is at home today.

“Those who have been in close contact with that person have been identified and are being treated with anti-viral drugs. The situation is being continually monitored by the Health Protection Agency (HPA) and the school will remain open unless advised otherwise.

“It is important that all children - especially those who are taking their GCSEs, A Levels and AS Levels - attend school unless they show flu-like symptoms.

“We are working with Education Leeds and the HPA to ensure school life continues as normal and have spoken to the young people to explain what is happening.“


Notes to editors:

Anybody showing symptoms should stay at home and either contact their GP or NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 for advice and information. For more information on swine flu visit the Health Protection Agency at; NHS Direct at; or the World Health Organisation at

The HPA assesses swine flu on a case-by-case basis, carrying out a full risk assessment which includes the risk of the infection spreading. Parklands Girl’s High School was assessed as being low risk and it was advised by the HPA to remain open. It is not the first school in the UK to remain open in this circumstance.


Leeds: The Housing City - Licenses for landlords to help regenerate area of Leeds

All landlords in one area of Leeds will have to get a licence to rent out properties from October, in a bid to improve conditions for tenants and the local community.

Leeds City Council has been granted special powers to designate parts of Cross Green and East End Park a ‘Selective Licensing Area’ – which means that anyone wishing to rent out a private property in the area after this October must apply for a licence.

The new powers cover a total of 1,812 properties, of which around 400 are privately rented, and require a landlord to prove they are a fit and proper person, and that their property meets certain conditions, including fire, gas and electrical safety. They must also ensure appropriate references are obtained prior to any tenancy, keep their properties looking decent and ensure good management.

The council will actively work with all landlords to support them in meeting their responsibilities, including offering any necessary training on ‘good practice’.

However, renting a property without a licence after 1st October could result in a landlord receiving a fine of up to £20,000. If they obtain a licence, but then fail to meet its conditions, then they could be fined up to £5,000.

Alongside other initiatives, the scheme aims to help improve the private rented sector in the area, which will aid regeneration by addressing the issues of low demand for housing and ensuring that the private rented sector helps towards improvements in the neighbourhoods.

The council has been granted the selective licensing powers under Part 3 of the Housing act 2004, which will come into force on the 1st October and will last for a maximum of five years.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“Poor quality rented housing hampers regeneration, it’s as simple as that.
“By encouraging landlords to look after their properties it will encourage people to move into the area, creating a more diverse mix of residents and fuelling the renewal of local neighbourhoods
“These new powers mean that we can ensure private rented housing in a specific area, which has a specific problem, can be licensed and those issues addressed.”

To apply for a licence, landlords should contact the council’s Selective Licensing team by e-mail or telephone on Leeds (0113) 2477594 or by writing to Selective Licensing Team, HEAS, First Floor Annexe, Micklefield House, New Road Side, Rawdon, Leeds, LS19 6DF

A copy of the actual designation is available to view at the local authority site at Health and Environment Action Services Knowsthorpe Gate, Cross Green, Leeds LS9 0NP

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

Media statement regarding the death of a Morley High School student in a road traffic accident

John Townsley, head teacher of Morley High School said:
“We are all very shocked at this tragic news. We feel the loss of our student very keenly.

"Our thoughts are with the family at this difficult time, and we are providing support for students and staff.”


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

Leeds Bike Week - commuter challenge

An exciting challenge is taking place this week to compare different ways of commuting into the city centre.

Participants will be using different modes of transport such as bicycles, a car, running, the bus and a motorbike to find out if cycling into the city centre is quicker than other modes of transport.

Starting at the King Lane park and ride site in Alwoodley at 8.10am on Wednesday, participants will be timed to see how long it takes them to get to the finishing point in City Square. The motorist and motorcyclist will be required to park their vehicles before making their way to the square. Cycling experts from the council will be on hand to advise participants on the best routes and how to negotiate the rush hour traffic.

******************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************
Media are invited to City Square to meet participants of the Leeds City Council Commuter Challenge as they complete their journeys using different forms of transport between 8.20 and 8.45am on Wednesday, 17 June
Please contact Claire Macklam on 0113 395 1578 to confirm attendance
******************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************

This event is part of Leeds Bike Week, which aims to promote cycling as a fun and sociable activity to help families enjoy more time together whilst keeping healthy and helping the environment.

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of the council said:
“We’d like lots of people to join our ride into Leeds city centre on the commuter challenge. This is a great opportunity for them to see for themselves that cycling is often the quickest, cheapest and most environmentally friendly way to get about.”

All cyclists are welcome. Please arrive at King Lane park and ride, Alwoodley, at 8am to start the challenge at 8.10am.


Additional info

Leaflets on Bike Week 2009 – which lists 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

Leeds Crisis Centre celebrates 20 years

A Leeds City Council-run service for people experiencing emotional crises celebrates its 20th anniversary this week (Thursday 18 June 2009).

The Leeds Crisis Centre is a free short term counselling service. It provides help for people who are struggling to cope, often after experiencing a difficult or traumatic event such as a relationship breakdown, bereavement or a violent crime.

Since it opened in June 1989, Leeds Crisis Centre has been providing advice, support and counselling to the people of Leeds. Last year it took calls from over 1300 people, many of whom went on to receive face to face counselling at the centre in Headingley and at other venues around the city.

The crisis centre aims to help people cope again, to prevent further mental health problems and to reduce the risk of suicide. A time of crisis often provides an opportunity for people to change their lives for the better. The crisis cente supports people in making healthier choices for themselves.

The centre has a team of qualified counsellors and can offer a variety of approaches to suit the individual. They can usually see people within three days and are open every day of the year, including weekends and evenings. The centre can provide a range of language and interpreting services. The premises are wheelchair accessible.

Most people choose to phone the crisis centre themselves but they take referrals from anyone including professionals, friends and relatives. If the centre cannot help, they endeavour to direct people to the most helpful services for them.

Councillor Peter Harrand, executive board member for adult health and social care said:
“This is an exceptionally important service providing free support for people when they are at their lowest ebb.

“Leeds Crisis Centre has made a real difference to the lives of many people from all walks of life throughout its 20 years.”

Anyone who would like to know more about the service or wish to make a referral, can contact them on 0113 275 5898 or email


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

Leeds in Bloom Business in Bloom and Poster Winners 2009

The winners of this year’s Spring Business in Bloom competition will be presented with their prizes by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Judith Eliott at an award ceremony at Harewood House.

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

“ Leeds In Bloom is a fantastic competition which encourages the people of Leeds – through school, work, or at home, to garden and be creative. All of which helps make Leeds a more vibrant and colourful city.”

The Spring Business in Bloom competition medal winners will receive their awards on Wednesday 17 June at 11.30am. The competition is split into two sections City Wide and City Centre and over 174 businesses entered the competition including pubs, hotels, banks, solicitors, restaurants, golf clubs, shopping centre, churches as well as schools. A complete list of medal winners is attached.

To find out more information about the Leeds in Bloom competition from

For media enquiries please contact
Debra Kerr, Learning and Leisure Senior Marketing Officer
Tel: 0113 247 8409, Mobile: 07767 05580, Email:

Notes to Editors:

If you are interested in sending a photographer or reporter on either Wednesday 17 June or would like photos sent to you please contact Debra Kerr on 0113 247 8409.

Below is the list of medal winners for the Spring Business in Bloom competition.

Best Public House, City-Centre
Silver: The Palace, Kirkgate, City-Centre, LS2 7DJ
Gold: Stick or Twist, Podium Buildings, Merrion Way, LS2 8PD

Best Hotel City-Centre
Bronze: The Queens Hotel, City Square, LS1 1PJ
Silver: Quebec Hotel, 9 Quebec Street, LS1 2HA

Best Small Offices/Business Premises City-Centre
Bronze: Barclays Wealth, 11 Park Square East, LS1 2NG
Bronze: Lester Morrill, 27 Park Square West, LS1 2PL
Silver: Beachcroft LLP, 7 Park Square East, LS1 2LW
Silver: Cohen & Cramer, 29 Park Square, LS1 2PQ
Silver: Zenith Chambers, 10 Park Square East, LS1 2LH
Gold: Coutts & Co, 8 Park Square East, LS1 2LH
Gold: No 6 Park Square, Park Square, LS1 2LW

Best Large Offices/Business Premises City-Centre
Silver: Coverdale House M.J. Mapp, 13-15 East Parade, LS1 2QH
Gold: Network Rail, 4th Floor Admin Block, Leeds Station, LS1 4DY

Best Public House City-Wide
Silver: Fox & Hounds, The Cross, Bramhope, LS16 9AX
Silver: Hudsons Bar, Moor Valley Leisure, Mill Lane, Hawksworth, LS20 8PQ
Silver: The Junction Inn, 44 Bondgate, Otley, LS21 1AD
Gold: Ings Hotel, 45 Ings Lane, Guiseley, LS20 9HR
Gold: The Bridge, Low Lane, Horsforth, LS18 5QW
Gold: Three Horse Shoes, 16 Leeds Road, Oulton, LS26 8JU
Gold: The Windmill Inn, Main Street, Linton, LS22 4HT

Best Restaurant, Café or Licensed Premises, City-Wide
Silver: Bretts Fish Restaurant, 12-14 North Lane, Headingley, LS6 3HE

Best Hotel City-Wide
Silver; Holiday Inn Leeds Garforth, Wakefield Road, Garforth, LS25 1LH
Silver: Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa, 1150 Century Way, Thorpe Park, LS15 8ZB
Silver: Weetwood Hall Conference Centre & Hotel, Otley Rd, LS16 5PS
Gold: De Vere Oulton Hall, Rothwell Lane, LS26 8HN

Best Small Offices/Business Premises City-Wide
Bronze: Cutting House, 1-9 Market Place, Otley, LS21 3AQ
Silver: Moor Allerton Golf Club Ltd, Club House, Coal Road, Wike, LS17 9NH
Silver: Seacroft Dental Practice, 896 York Road, Seacroft, LS14 5HT
Gold: Country Style Foods, 50 Pontefract Lane, LS9 8HY
Gold: Renew Holdings PLC, Yew Trees, Main St North, Aberford, LS25 3AA
Gold: Horsforth Golf Club, Layton Rise, Horsforth, LS18 5EX

Best Large Offices/Business Premises City-Wide
Silver: IOT PLC, Moor Knoll Lane, East Ardsley, WF3 2EE
Silver: The Lettershop Group, Whitehall Road, Wortley. LS12 5XX
Gold: Evans Property Group, Millshaw, Ring Road Beeston, LS11 8EG

Best Small Retail Premises City-Wide
Bronze: Beauty Within, 5 Bayhorse Court, Otley, LS21 1SB
Bronze: The Home Bakery, 118 Aberford Road, Woodlesford, LS26 8LG
Silver: Anita Massarella Design Couture, 490 Harrogate Road, LS17 6DL
Gold: The Hair Studio, 64A Otley Road, Headingley, LS6 4BA

Best Large Retail Premises City-Wide
Gold: White Rose Shopping Centre, Dewsbury Road, LS11 8LU

Best Large Business/Retail Park, City-Wide
Silver: Valad Property Group, Building 3125, Century Way, LS15 8ZB

Best Community Group Project City-Wide
Bronze: Champion House, Clara Drive, Calverley, LS28 5PQ
Bronze: St David’s Church Garden, Waincliffe Drive, Beeston, LS11 8ET
Silver: Leeds Society for Deaf/Blind People, Centenary House, North St, LS2 8JS
Silver: St Francis of Assisi Church Garden, Bismarck St, Beeston, LS11 6TN
Silver: St Mary’s Church Garden, Town Street, Beeston, LS11 8PN
Silver: The Grove Methodist Church Garden, Town Street, Horsforth, LS18 4RJ
Silver: Woodland Court, 29 Woodlands Court, Kippax, LS25 7RL
Gold: Bowers Row Chapel Garden, Queen St, Bowers Row, Great Preston, LS26 8AN
Gold: Community Complex, 23 Siegen Close, Morley, LS27 9DD
Gold: Cross Flatts Millennium Garden, Beeston, LS11 6LY
Gold: Horsforth Central Methodist Church Garden, Town St, Horsforth, LS18 4AP
Gold: Newlands Methodist Church Garden, Albert Drive, Morley, LS27 8SE

Best School Garden City-Wide
Gold: Pool C. of E. Primary School, Arthington Lane, Pool in Wharfedale, LS21 1LG
Gold: Seacroft Grange Primary School, Moresdale Lane, Seacroft, LS14 6J