Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Leeds signs up to green pledge to tackle war on waste

People in Leeds have shown their support to tackle the war on waste by vowing to go green as the city’s recycle rates reach record levels.

To help mark last week’s national Recycle Week (22 –28 June 2009) over 220 people in Leeds demonstrated their commitment send less of their waste to landfill by signing a promise to change their habits by creating less waste, reusing things again or recycling more everyday items.

Now latest figures recorded by the council reveal that Leeds residents are recycling and composting more than ever. During April and May, Leeds recycled over a third of household waste (34.1%), compared with 30.4% during 2008/9.

The council wants households to be recycling over half of their rubbish by 2020 in order to reduce the city’s dependency on landfill which creates greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Councillor James Monaghan, executive board member for environmental services, said:
“We have had a great response from residents who have stepped up the city’s recycling efforts and we hope our awareness campaign has helped encourage even more people to reduce the amount of waste they produce; re-use any leftover products they can and then recycle whatever is left.

“Driving up recycling rates and continuing to improve the services we offer residents is a top priority for the council so that we can continue to divert more waste from landfill. We have set ourselves an ambitious target to achieve over 50 per cent by 2020 and with the help of residents, we are determined to hit this. “

Resident’s pledge promises included: recycling their leftovers for lunch the next day; choosing peat free compost; recycling electricals, reusing carrier bags and going waste free for the day.

Hundreds of people visited to the Recycle Week information roadshow across the city, which promoted bags for life; the Love Food Hate Waste campaign; real nappy offers; home composting and recycling.

Money was raised towards the organisations the Lord Mayor’s is supporting – Create, Middleton Park Equestrian Centre and Leeds Samaritans – through donations in exchange for the new ‘Recycle for Leeds’ reusable shopping bag.

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

‘Czech’ out new business opportunities

Business opportunities in the Czech Republic for local companies will be on the agenda later this month at a seminar in Leeds.

The Central and Eastern Europe Business Network (CEBN) is currently promoting business opportunities in the Czech Republic ahead of a business mission to Leeds’ partner city of Brno in September. The lunchtime networking seminar ‘Doing business in the Czech Republic’ will take place at DLA Piper’s Leeds Office at Prince’s Exchange, from 11.45am until 2.30pm on Tuesday, 14 July.

Guest speakers will include Peter Urbanek, Counsellor and Head of the Commercial and Economic Section of the Embassy of the Czech Republic to the UK, Hana Chlebna, Director of Operations for UK and Ireland, Czech Invest UK, Mr Stephen Sweeney of Solutions Driven and Dr Malcolm Ellis of MIE Medical Research.

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member responsible for international relations, said:
“The CEBN has been established to improve trade and opportunities for businesses in and around Leeds with markets in parts of central and eastern Europe.

“This trade mission to the Czech Republic is the latest opportunity for local businesses to develop links with foreign markets and meet potential partners, customers and suppliers.

“I would urge anyone who is interested in finding out more or taking part to contact our International relations team as soon as possible.”

From 13 – 17 September CEBN will provide support to local businesses who are planning to attend MSV - an international engineering fair in Brno - to which over 2000 companies from 29 countries will attend.

The business mission is an opportunity for Leeds’ businesses to take part in targeted one to one meetings with local Czech companies, meet CEO’s from the key exhibitors, receive specialist sector briefings from Embassy, Chamber of Commerce and UKTI staff.

To book a place at the seminar call Leeds City Council’s International relations team on 0113 2475325 or email

Additional info

The Central and Eastern Europe Business Network (CEBN) is a Leeds business network which aims to improve links between local and central and eastern European companies.

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

New mobile library gearing up for action

Caption: Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter and Library Process Manager Linda Sanderson with the new mobile library in the background

Leeds City Council’s new mobile library is getting ready to hit the road next week.

The new vehicle, which is 28ft long and weighs in at 7.5 tonnes, can hold up to 2000 books and for its first challenge will be heading to Compton Road in Harehills where it will act as a temporary replacement for the library which closes this week for a major refurbishment and redevelopment.

The new mobile library, complete with eye-catching new livery, will be in place opposite the Compton Road site from Monday 6th July, offering a wide range of services from Leeds City Council’s Library and Information Service including two computers with free internet access for public use. This will be supported by a second, smaller mobile library, which has been converted into an IT truck with a further eight internet-ready computers which will also be available to the public.

The new mobile library will be open from 9am-6pm Monday to Friday and from 9am-4pm on Saturdays. The adjoining IT truck will be open from 3-6pm Monday to Friday and 9am-4pm on Saturdays.

The new vehicle brings the fleet of mobile libraries in Leeds up to six, bringing library services to people all over the city who cannot attend their local library as well as providing the at-home service which takes the library service to people’s doorsteps. The dedicated IT truck which will be in place at Compton Road is the first of its kind for the service.

The new mobile library and IT truck will remain at Compton Road while the major redevelopment of the library building as part of the creation of a new ‘Joint-Service Centre’ for Harehills takes place. The new centre will provide a range of health and council services all under one roof, with an extended and improved library offering an enhanced range of facilities.

The new centre is to be funded by Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds and is due to open in late 2010. When the new centre and library opens, the mobile library and IT truck will then join the rest of the fleet being used around the city.

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

“We are very pleased to have our new mobile library and IT truck available, and we hope they will be well used at Compton Road. We are confident they will provide a very high level of service for our customers who used the main library, but ask for their patience and understanding as the new temporary service gets started.

“With the fantastic new Compton Road centre and library taking shape behind it, we look forward to having a range of wonderful new library facilities for everyone to make use of and enjoy next year.”


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

Old favourite 'Jack' is back on track

Caption: 'Jack' is now ready to return to action

An old favourite will return to action at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills this week as the steam locomotive known as ‘Jack’ is back in full working order.

The narrow track train, which was given the name ‘Jack’ by his builders at The Hunslet Engine Company based at Jack Lane during his construction in 1898, is now looking better than ever following extensive repairs to his boiler.

The repairs were carried out by Leeds City Council with the help of a generous grant from the Friends of Leeds City Museums, and the success of the project will be seen at a special celebration at the museum at 11:30am on Thursday 2nd July with ‘Jack’ in action for the first time in over three years.

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

“It is fantastic that this amazing machine from our industrial history is now rightly back in full working order. We cannot wait to see Jack in action once again, and a huge thank you belongs to the Friends and everyone involved who helped make it happen.

“Thousands of people will be able to come to Armley Mills and marvel at Jack and all the other fascinating machines on display over the coming years, and that is something that is great to see.”

***********************MEDIA OPPORTUNITY *********************
Are media are invited to a celebration event to see 'Jack' at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills at 11:30am on Thurs 2nd July.
***********************MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ********************

‘Jack’ is one of the most popular machines on display at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, as he is a very rare example of a narrow gauge (narrow track) locomotive typical of major construction projects which is still in full working order over 100 years after being built.

The locomotive was built in Hunslet to order by the John Knowles Metal Box Limited, manufacturers of fire bricks and earthenware pipes, and was used at their Ashby de la Zouch works in Leicestershire transporting clay materials to and from the kilns.

‘Jack’ was in active service there from 1858 until 1957, when the company switched to rope haulage meaning trains like Jack were no longer needed. After being placed in storage for a year, Jack was then donated by John Knowles Ltd to Leeds Museums with the help of the Narrow Gauge Railway Society.

With no industrial museum in Leeds until Armley Mills opened in March 1980, Jack was placed in storage for the intervening 22 years at a disused sub-station at Copley Hill.

The locomotive deteriorated badly during its time in storage, and a major three-year renovation scheme co-ordinated by Leeds City Council involving restorers in Bradford and Keighley was needed to return Jack to working order.

Jack was on display at Bradford Industrial Museum for a year after the restoration but in June 1984 returned to his home town of Leeds to officially open the new dual gauge track at Armley Mills. He went on to become a firm favourite there with visitors who could see him running along the track on selected days of the year.

Unfortunately during Easter 2006 the boiler developed major faults which prompted the latest major refit which has now successfully been carried out.

For further information on Armley Mills Industrial Museum, go to

Notes to editors:
Armley Mills was once the world's largest woollen mill and is now an award-winning industrial museum. The museum contains exhibits dating from the 18th and 19th centuries that show the history of textiles, clothing and engine and locomotive manufacture in the area.
The museum also illustrates the history of cinema projections, including the first moving pictures taken in Leeds, as well as 1920s silent movies.


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