Friday, 3 July 2009

80 per cent of bins in Headingley raided in last month

As thousands of students leave Headingley with the end of the academic year, people have been preying on the rubbish they’ve left behind – littering the streets and costing thousands of pounds to clean up.

Leeds City Council is warning of a plague of ‘bin tatting’ in the area, estimating that around 80% of every property in Headingley have had their bins rifled through. And the cost of the clean up is growing.

And students are being warned as amongst the scattered rubbish council workers have found drivers licences, cheque books and letters containing sensitive information – all of which could be used in identity fraud.

‘Bin tatting’, when bins are searched and contents scattered in a search for sensitive documents or valuable items, usually takes place during the night, making it difficult to catch perpetrators.

However, it is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act and the council has warned that anyone caught could face a £1,000 fine.

The council has been working with the University of Leeds and Leeds Metropolitan University to try and minimise the environmental impact of the annual changeover, thousands of students leave the city as the tenancies on their rented properties come to an end, generating huge amounts of waste and discarded furniture.

Council officers are patrolling the area daily and working with the police and other agencies to try and catch bag ‘tatters’. Any information members of the community have about who is responsible would be welcome.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“Bin ‘tatting’ isn’t just illegal, it leaves an unsightly mess and a bill to the taxpayers of thousands of pounds.
“People should also take care that they are not putting sensitive documents in the rubbish. This is what the bin ‘tatters’ are looking for, so don’t put yourself at risk from identity fraud.”

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

Seven Leeds schools to perform at the West Yorkshire Playhouse

Seven schools from across Leeds are to stage a special one-night performance at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Taking place on Monday 6 July from 6.30pm in the Quarry Theatre, around 240 children and young people will perform songs and dance routines, some of which will be original material written by the schools themselves.

It is the third year the event - funded by Mill Asset Management Group in partnership with Education Leeds - has taken place with the ongoing theme of ‘One Leeds’ to represent the diversity of the city and its schools.

Schools taking part include Carr Manor High School, City of Leeds High School, John Smeaton Community College, Primrose High School, Ralph Thoresby School, South Leeds High School and Shakespeare Primary School and the pupils have been creating and rehearsing since Easter.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“This is a unique performance between seven of our schools which have pupils from many different countries and backgrounds. The theme of One Leeds celebrates the unity of the city while recognising the different cultures which make it up. I wish everyone taking part the best of luck.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for these talented young people to perform in a world renowned theatre. They have all worked extremely hard and invested many hours of their own time to ensure it’s a success.

“Our schools are fantastic places. This unique opportunity has been provided by our brilliant partners Mill Asset Management together with Investors in the Community. The event celebrates the children and young people from around the world who live, learn and play together here in Leeds.”

Tom Symes, the CEO of Mill Asset Management, said:
"Mill Asset Management together with Investors in the Community are delighted to be able to support the third annual One Leeds performance at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for the young people from the schools to perform at one of the regions top theatres and we are proud to be associated with such a unique and exciting event."

Six of the schools involved make up the Leeds Combined Secondary School Project while the remainder - City of Leeds - is part of the Central Leeds Learning Federation which includes schools which are part of the project.

The PFI schools were built in two phases: the first opened in 2006 (South Leeds, Carr Manor, Primrose and Shakespeare) and the second opened in 2007 (Ralph Thoresby, John Smeaton). The project involves a consortium of investors headed up by Mill Asset Management Group working with Mitie to deliver facilities management to each of the schools.


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

School to celebrate its children’s different cultures and traditions

A primary school in Burmantofts is to stage a unique performance celebrating the different cultures and traditions of its children.

The show is a celebration of a two year social enterprise project which has seen children from Ebor Gardens Primary School work with an author to write short stories from their own cultures and traditions which have been turned into CDs and books.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to attend the performance at Primrose High School on Thursday 9 July at 1.30pm. Please contact Jon Crampton on 0113 3951577 to arrange attendance.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

Six of the stories, chosen by the children themselves, have been developed into a screen play with the help of a local actor. The children will perform the play at Primrose High School on Thursday 9 July at 1.30pm as part of their graduation process.

The children are from many different backgrounds and for many of them English is not their first language. They have carried out all the marketing themselves, made the costumes, designed props and scenery and will be selling the tickets and managing the whole event.

The social enterprise scheme, which takes place in many schools across the city, is funded by Sharing the Success, the Leeds Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI). The aim of this project was to help improve literacy skills while using enterprise to develop team work, communication, risk taking, problem solving and finance.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“Social enterprise is a unique way to help our children develop a 'can do' attitude. This performance, which follows the young people’s determination and imagination to produce the books and CDS, will be the pinnacle of their hard work. I am sure it will be a credit to all who have been involved.”

Chris Edwards chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“This is another example of the brilliant work being carried out in our schools to help our children and young people develop their skills and confidence.

“Ebor Gardens Primary School can be proud of the hard work that has taken place over the last two years. The children have shown excellent entrepreneurial skills to write and produce the books and audio books and I know the performance will be just as good.”

For more details on Ebor Gardens Primary School’s social enterprise work or to get tickets for the performance contact the school on 0113 2482750.


Notes to editors
The diversity represented by the class includes children from: England, Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Ivory Coast, Central Africa, Kosovo, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Slovakia, Italy and Germany.

• Leeds was awarded £15.6m over three years in Round 2 of the government funded Local Enterprise Growth Initiative (LEGI) in 2006. This was extended by £5m in December 2007. ‘Sharing the Success’ is the brand name for this programme in Leeds. The free phone contact number for Sharing the Success is 0800 048 0054,

• Sharing the Success’ is based on three themes: engaging people, business and investors. It focuses on opening up opportunities for employment, self-employment and investment in the city’s most deprived areas, allowing everyone to share in the economic success of Leeds and play an active part in its growth.

• The ‘Sharing the Success’ programme reports to a board which includes individuals from the public, private and voluntary sectors. The board is chaired by Tom Morton, Deputy Chairman of Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and partner at Leeds accountancy firm PKF.

• LEGI aims to promote enterprise within disadvantaged communities, support the growth of locally owned businesses and attract investment into deprived areas. Worth over £300m over three years, LEGI is a joint programme between the Department for Communities and Local Government, HM Treasury, and the former Department of Trade and Industry. Local authorities designated as Neighbourhood Renewal Fund areas are able to bid for LEGI funding.

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

Countdown begins to launch of Leeds’ World Cup bid

Football legends Norman Hunter, Peter Lorimer, Allan Clarke and Gordon McQueen will be on hand next week to oversee the official launch of Leeds’ bid to be a host city for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

The former players will be on the steps of Civic Hall in Millennium Square at 10am on Wednesday morning (July 8th) for the start of the bid process.


You are invited to attend the official launch of the Leeds bid. There will be opportunities for photographs and one-to-one interviews. The launch will take place at 10am on Wednesday July 8th outside Civic Hall in Leeds. Please call the Leeds City Council press office on 0113 2474328 to confirm your attendance.


Leeds is one of 15 cities across the country which have declared an interest in hosting World Cup fixtures in nine years time if the overall England bid is successful.

Yorkshire’s sporting heritage is well known through four top football clubs; Leeds United, Barnsley, Huddersfield Town and Bradford City.

But the region also hosts top class events in other sports like cricket and rugby at Headingley, golf tournaments, tennis and athletics.

If Leeds secures host city status games would be played at Elland Road.

It’s proposed that improvements would be made to the stadium so it would be capable hosting group, ‘round-of-16-matches’ and potentially a quarter final.

But – reflecting on the wealth of sporting heritage that also exists elsewhere in Yorkshire – towns and cities which make up the wider Leeds City Region would be used as locations for training grounds and ‘Fan Fests’ where supporters can gather and watch matches on big screens.

Leeds City Council has joined forces with Leeds United and Marketing Leeds to work on the bid process, but many other organisations are lending their support.

Councillor Richard Brett, council leader said:

“We’re really excited about the prospect of bringing even a slice of the World Cup to Leeds.

Aside from the economic benefits and the global coverage our city would get, it would be an honour to stage such a prestigious sporting event here.”

Councillor Andrew Carter, deputy council leader said:

“Yorkshire is renowned for its sporting heritage and it’s something we’re passionate about here.

We’re also pretty amazing when it comes to hospitality and it would be a pleasure to welcome so many people to our part of the world.”

Former Leeds United star and England World Cup winner Norman Hunter said:

“The Leeds City Region is a great sporting area and I’m delighted and honoured to be backing the bid.

“It would be terrific for the area if we can bring the World Cup to Leeds.”


For more information contact:

Andy Carter
Leeds City Council
0113 3950393

Jon Crampton
Leeds City Council
0113 3951577

Paul Dews
Leeds United
0113 3676170

Notes to editors:

The Leeds City Region Partnership brings together the eleven local authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council.

Council worker scoops top national award

A Leeds man – who has dedicated 30 years of his life to helping people from across Leeds – has been named national Council Worker of the Year.

Last night, at a glittering ceremony in Harrogate, Stuart Simmons, the manager of the Leeds City Council's Osmondthorpe resource centre, was presented with the prestigious award.

He beat off competition from across the country to scoop the highest honour in the highly competitive ‘caring’ category.

Stuart was entered into the competition by his colleagues in recognition of the work he does which more often than not goes over and above the call of duty.

Osmondthorpe resource centre supports disabled people, mainly those recovering from serious head injuries, and over the last 15 years Stuart has helped over 400 people overcome trauma, return to life in the community and find new employment.

Many of the people who Stuart has supported – and their carers - describe his work as 'life transforming' while his colleagues credit him with regularly 'going the extra mile' saying he is 'passionate, dedicated and determined' to inspire people to realise their potential. Stuart is well known for promoting and developing the centre, its staff and the people who use it.

He's no stranger to caring for others – in the past Stuart volunteered for the YMCA and worked on a community project in Ghana. He moved to Leeds in 1976 working for free in a children's home before joining Leeds City Council where he went on to specialise in working with people with learning disabilities.

Last year he was honoured with the city council's social care worker of the year award after securing more than 165 nominations from colleagues and centre users.

Speaking after being presented with his award, Stuart said:

“This is a fantastic honour and I’m delighted to accept this award.

“I have to say that I’m very grateful for all the work that’s been going on in the background over the last few weeks in order to encourage people to vote for me.

“I’m humbled by all the attention I’ve had – especially from people who I’ve never even met!

“The support has been fantastic and I’d like to say thanks to everyone who voted for me.”

Councillor Peter Harrand, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:

“I’ve said before that Stuart’s Osmondthorpe centre is the jewel in the crown in Leeds and now Stuart himself is a jewel too!

“This is a fantastic achievement and proves there is some amazing work going on in Leeds.

“Social care staff in our city are all doing a brilliant job and all deserve recognition.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council Press Office (0113) 395 0393