Monday, 29 June 2009

Vice president of CND to give Leeds peace lecture

Veteran peace campaigner and Vice President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), Bruce Kent is to give this year’s Leeds International Olof Palme Memorial Peace Lecture.

Bruce Kent, who has tirelessly campaigned for an end to nuclear weapons since CNDs formation in 1958, will speak about ‘The Global Elimination of all Nuclear Weapons: Possibilities and Practicalities’.

Speaking ahead of the lecture, Bruce Kent said:
“I am so pleased to have been asked to give this lecture. For many years, despite the commitment made in 1968 in the Nuclear Non Proliferation treaty, the elimination of nuclear weapons globally has been looked on as a far fetched Utopian dream. Now it has become a real political possibility.

“My lecture will be aimed at suggesting how we can all help to make a dream turn into practical politics.”

He has been involved in peace and disarmament work for over half a century. During this time he has worked as a curate in a London parish, the catholic peace movement Pax Christi in 1959 and was President of the Geneva based International Peace Bureau. Most recently he help found the Movement for the Abolition of War.

The lecture will be held in the Banqueting Suite at the Civic Hall on Thursday 16 July at 7.30pm and will be attended by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott.

Previous lectures have been given by the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, actor Patrick Stewart, the Nobel Peace Laureate John Hume and former US Senator George Mitchell.

Leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member responsible for peace and emergency planning, Councillor Richard Brett, said:
“We are delighted to welcome Bruce Kent to our city to talk on such important issues that face us all, and I am sure it will be highly informative and challenging.

“It emphasises the council’s commitment to highlighting important issues such as peace and conflict resolution to as wide an audience as possible. It also highlights the ongoing co-operation between the council and Leeds Metropolitan University in producing this lecture and is something I hope will continue long into the future.”

Dave Webb, Director of the Praxis Peace Centre, working on problems in Applied Global Ethics at Leeds Metropolitan University, said:
“Bruce Kent’s delivery of this year’s peace lecture is crucial in bringing forward the issue of nuclear disarmament - especially in light of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) 2010 review next year. This lecture highlights how it is as important as ever to achieve the goal towards global nuclear disarmament.”

The lectures are organised by the Leeds City Council Peacelink Group in conjunction with Leeds Metropolitan University, which offers courses in global development, international relations, peace studies and conflict resolution.

There are a limited number of places available for the lecture. Anyone wanting to attend should email to or call 0113 3952012, giving full name and telephone number. There is a maximum of 4 guest list places per email/telephone request.

Note to editors:
The Leeds International Peace Lecture is held in memory of the late Swedish Prime Minister, Olof Palme, a leader and campaigner for peace and human rights. Olof Palme was assassinated in 1986 and the lecture has the full support of Swedish Embassy in London and his widow, Lisbeth, who gave the first memorial lecture in 1988.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335

Surviving the credit crunch needn’t be dull

Looking for a fun, free, family activity to get involved with as well as finding out about how to save money?

Leeds City Council’s South East Area Management Team is co-ordinating a Beat the Credit Crunch event to give people advice and guidance on how to get through these current testing times.

Taking place on Saturday 4th July, from 12pm until 3pm at Middleton Leisure Centre, the event will provide local people the opportunity to find out more about training and job opportunities by visiting the new mobile Job Shop Bus, have a chance to talk to advisors about starting up a business, as well as being able to get advice and guidance on money matters and benefits.

Fun family activities will also be taking place from cake decorating to flower arranging, there will be something for all the family and, best of all, the event is totally free.

Also taking place, will be the third heat of the Inner South Area Committee funded I Love South Leeds Festival Junior Superstar competition for under 11s from 1pm to see which five acts will make it through to the grand finale taking place at Holbeck Gala on 11th July.

So far dancers, singers, a Michael Jackson impersonator and a comedian have made it through to the final event. Another I Love South Leeds activity taking place on Saturday 4th July is the Middleton Mile in Middleton Park – a mile fun run for under 19s. For more details about I Love South Leeds – visit the website

The weekend of the 4th July also sees the Middleton Park FC football gala. A number of teams from West Yorkshire compete in a number of age categories over a two day tournament. This will also be taking place on the football pitches around Middleton Leisure Centre.

The Beat the Credit Crunch event links into the 10-year Middleton Regeneration Strategy, led by local councillors and supported by Re'new, which aims to make the area a better place to live in over the next decade. Just one part of the Strategy aims to put together a set of actions which will attempt to deal with issues of worklessness, training and provision of support for people wanting to start a new business.

A number of partner organisations are providing activities as part of the Beat the Credit Crunch Event along with South East Area Management, these include Aire Valley Homes Leeds, Health For All, Learning Partnerships, Leeds City Council Jobs & Skills, Leeds Chamber of Commerce and Job Centre Plus.

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