Friday, 10 July 2009

Leeds Art Gallery Open Show 26 July – 31 August: An Exhibition open to all Yorkshire artists

Date: 10th July 2009

Leeds Art Gallery Open Show 26 July – 31 August: An Exhibition open to all Yorkshire artists

Submissions invited by 14 July

The annual Artists’ Open Show at Leeds Art Gallery invites amateur and professional artists to submit work for the chance to get their work selected. In recent years, the diversity of the works has attracted a large and varied audience with a significant number of exhibits that sell.

The selection panel members are Jenny Hack, Painting Conservator, Leeds Museums and Galleries, Moira Innes, Curator, Leeds Met Gallery and Sheila McGregor, Chief Executive, Axis – an online resource for contemporary art ensuring that a varied and representative selection will be made.

Application forms are available at Leeds Art Gallery and All submissions to be in by 14 July

A First! Junior Open Show at Leeds Art Gallery - August 2010
In 2010 the Leeds Art Gallery Open Show will be only open to submissions from under 18s as part of Leeds Councils’ commitment to promoting art to and by younger audiences.

For media enquiries please contact
Dominic Burton
Tel 0113 247 8285

Background Info on the Judges:

• Moira Innes is currently Curator at Leeds Met Gallery having gained wide experience from working in both galleries and the formal education sector over many years. The Gallery programme reflects her interests in progressive contemporary art and support for artists at an early stage in their careers. She works strategically both as Chair of LVAF and as one of the Co-Directors of Situation Leeds to develop the visual arts in the City.

• Sheila McGregor is Chief Executive of Axis, the Leeds-based website about contemporary art in the UK ( . She has worked as a curator in Southport, Worcester and Birmingham and was a leading member of the team that developed The New Art Gallery Walsall in the late 1990s. Before joining Axis earlier this year, Sheila worked in a freelance capacity for such organisations as Tate, the Contemporary Art Society and the Heritage Lottery Fund. She is the Chair of Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum and serves on the Board of Yorkshire ArtSpace Society.

• Jenny Hack – Jenny studied painting conservation at Newcastle after a Fine Art degree at Sheffield. She has been helping artists and working on exhibitions at Leeds Art Gallery since 1991. As Paintings Conservator she has responsibility for the care of all the paintings in the Leeds Collections and has a particular interest in artists' materials and techniques and questions of permanence of contemporary art.

• Leeds Art Gallery houses the best collection of 20th century British Art outside of London which was designated by the government as of national importance in 1997. Alongside the extensive 20th century British painting and sculpture collection, the gallery presents a dynamic temporary exhibition programme as well as continuing to acquire artworks for the permanent collection.

Opening times:
Leeds Art Gallery
The Headrow
Tel: 0113 2478248
Opening times:
Monday - Saturday: 10am - 5pm
Wednesday: 10am - 8pm
Sunday 1pm - 5pm
Closed bank holidays

Leeds conference looks at tackling families to tackle offending

A conference in Leeds today (Friday 10 July 2009) will look at how the use of special cross-disciplinary teams to work with the families of offenders can reduce re-offending.

The conference will bring together prison staff, health service and police staff, probation officers, voluntary, community and faith organisations and youth offending service workers.

The new approach, known as Integrated Offender Management (IOM), involves understanding which external factors, such as drugs, housing, family problems, health or employment increase the likelihood of an individual committing crime.

The conference, which will be held today (10 July 2009) at the Thackray Medical Museum, will be looking at specific issues involved in the IOM approach with children, mothers and fathers in the families of offenders.

Government research conducted in 2005 shows:
• 162,500 children had parent in Prison
• 55% female prisoners with child under 16
• 25% men in young offenders institutes are or shortly are to become fathers
• Parental Imprisonment strongly associated with poor life outcomes for children
• Children of prisoners have around three times the risk of mental health problems, and anti social behaviour
• 63% of boys with convicted fathers go on to receive convictions themselves

Conference organisers believe that by working with the families of offenders, they can be helped to break the cycle of criminality.

West Yorkshire is one of six national pioneers of IOM, demonstrating how this new approach can improve the way organisations within the criminal justice service work together and with other partners to make communities safer. The Drugs and Offender Management Unit of West Yorkshire Police is responsible for driving the programme, through the work of specialist staff linked to the key partner organisations.

• Safer Leeds is the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) dedicated to tacking drugs and crime in the city. It is a partnership organisation between a number of local agencies including Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, NHS Leeds, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and West Yorkshire Police Authority.


For further information contact:
John Donegan
(0113) 247 4450 (moon-wed am) (0113) 395 1510 (wed pm-fir)

Council moves to secure improved refuse collection service for residents

Council chiefs are preparing to drive forward improvements to refuse collection services in Leeds and are considering inviting the private sector to put forward bids to help them achieve this.

The move comes after council officials set out plans that will improve refuse collection services for residents – addressing issues of productivity, absenteeism and inefficient shift patterns - whilst saving the council around £1.7m a year.

Discussions with trade unions – Unison, Unite and GMB – and staff over several months, have broken down over pay issues*. Now a report is being prepared for the council’s Executive Board to consider the future of the refuse collection service, including inviting the private sector to bid to run these services in Leeds.

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“We are committed to driving forward improvements to make this service more efficient and better value for money. We’re providing a good service, however it is simply not efficient enough and we have identified the changes we must make to improve it which can deliver £1.7m.

“Our first route was to work with unions and staff to help us implement the changes needed but the condition on closing a pay gap for refuse collectors resulting from the council’s pay and grading review last year, is something we’ve been unable to reach agreement on. The cost to remedy the pay gap would have significant financial repercussions for the council beyond the cost of the collection service itself. In view of this we have no choice but to invite the market to help us.”

Both in-house and independent reviews have revealed the following areas where savings and improvements could be made:

• Tackling the persistent high levels of sickness rates, around 30 days on average per full-time employee, as compared to industry averages of well below 12 days. Arrangements to cover residents collections during these absences using agency staff and staff overtime is costing the council over half a million pounds a year.

• A review of collection routes to make them more even, balanced and productive with the same crews covering the same regular routes enabling them to become familiar with area and households.

• Review of the current 6 days a week working pattern.

The council cannot avoid the need to modernise services and in light of this latest position a final decision on the future of the refuse collection service will be taken by the council’s Executive Board meeting on 22 July. If the recommendations are agreed, the council will start the tendering process however it will leave the door open for fresh discussion with the unions.

Notes to editor:
*Trade Unions have had a clear mandate from their members that they are willing to look at improving the service, but this is dependent on the council closing the gap resulting from the pay and grading review. The pay and grading review is a requirement of the national agreement for terms and conditions of service for local government employees. The implementation took place last year. New employees to the service receive new rates in line with the outcome of the pay and grading review and employment market rates in general.

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