Monday, 7 September 2009

Five days left to nominate inspirational older people in Leeds

Only five days are left for nominations for the Leeds older person who makes the biggest difference or contribution to his or her community.

Leeds City Council and Leeds Older Persons Forum are hoping for as many entries as possible from across the city to find a winner for the 2009 Jack Anderson award.

Jack, who is from Leeds, had the accolade named after him because he has devoted much of his life to community activity and gives his time for free.

The award could go to someone, who, for example, has been the driving force in the formation of new groups for older people or has promoted activities in minority communities while at the same time being an inspiration to older people.

There are a number of criteria that each nomination must meet.

The person must be over 60 (50 if they are from a black or minority ethnic community); live in Leeds and be able to demonstrate a positive and inspirational image of older people in the city.

In addition, nominees will need to show that their actions have benefited the wider community; be able to display leadership skills that have been vital in their organisation or community and be able to demonstrate they are committed to improving the lives of older people and/or community groups.

Last year’s winner was Sheila Miller. She was nominated for the dedication she has shown to her community in north Leeds. Sheila has spent many years involved with Community Action for Roundhay Elderly; the running of ‘Care Connect’ which provides a social lifeline for over-60s, some of whom would otherwise never leave home or meet people at all. She also organises entertainment, speakers and outings.

The closing date for nominations is this Friday, 11 September 2009 and the winner will be announced on 1 October 2009 at a special event at Leeds City Museum to mark International Day of Older People.

Nominations should be sent to Leeds Older People’s Forum, 60 Upper Basinghall Street, Leeds, LS1 5HR or via email to:

Councillor Peter Harrand, who co-chairs the selection panel said:
“We know there are many older people across Leeds who give up their time for free and work tirelessly for or in their local community.

“The Jack Anderson award is the chance to recognise and celebrate that hard work and dedication.

“It will also prove that far from sitting around, playing bingo or watching daytime TV, many older people continue to make a valuable contribution to the city well beyond the time when you’d normally expect them to be taking it easy.”

Councillor Brenda Lancaster, who co-chairs the selection panel said:
“I suspect that making a decision about who gets this year’s Jack Anderson award is going to be pretty tough, given the fact older people make such a fantastic contribution to life in Leeds.

“I’m looking forward to reading about all the good work that’s going on in our city and I encourage everyone to think about someone who deserves recognition.”


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

Strike update: 15.50

Latest position re: industrial action within Leeds City Council's streetscene services.

Refuse/recycling collections - 7 front line crews are working normally.

Street cleaning - a range of services are being provided with over 40 staff working normally, this includes both mechanical and manual sweeping/litter bin emptying.

Household Waste sites where a range of materials can be recycled - all open except Ellar Ghyll, Holmewell Road and Calverley Bridge.

Some gully cleansing and graffiti removal is being carried out.

Posted via web from Leeds City Council

Party time as Leeds City Museum enjoys first birthday

Caption: The Leeds City Museum has been a phenomenal success in its first 12 months

Leeds is gearing up for a major party this weekend as the fantastic Leeds City Museum celebrates its first birthday.

The award-winning £20m museum in the former Civic Institute building off Millennium Square officially turns one year old on September 13th, and to celebrate the big occasion events will be going on throughout the weekend.

Themed tours of the galleries and talks will be on offer led by staff decked out in full historic costume throughout the weekend, while there will also be special displays on show to celebrate the phenomenal success of the new museum which has attracted an amazing total of over 285,000 visitors in its first 12 months.

There will also be the obligatory birthday cake for visitors of all ages to sample, as well as the chance for special birthday messages to be left and for the creative types the chance to design their own birthday card.

On both Saturday and Sunday, the whole museum will open completely free of charge, including the special exhibitions space which is currently hosting “A Game of Two Halves” – a football exhibition showcasing the history of the FA Cup and Leeds United. Among the memorabilia on display is the oldest-surviving version of the FA Cup itself – which dates back to 1896.

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

“The Leeds City Museum has been an incredible success story for the city, and we are all looking forward to the first birthday party weekend. It’s amazing that it is reaching a year old already as it seems to have gone so fast, so we’d love as many people as possible of all ages to come along and help us celebrate.

“The museum was always designed to be a place for people of all ages to visit again and again, and from the incredible visitor figures clearly people in Leeds and beyond like what they have seen. It is a wonderful place to visit and has already established itself as one of the leading attractions in the city which is fantastic.”

Up until September 11th 2009, there is a chance for the people of Leeds to vote for Leeds City Museum as the most family-friendly museum in the country as part of the prestigious Guardian Award. To vote for Leeds City Museum email For further information about the award visit:

Notes to editors:

The majority of the finance for the £20m Leeds City Museum project - plus the accompanying £6m Discovery Centre which houses the city’s museum archive and opened in 2007 at Clarence Dock - came from the Heritage Lottery Fund, which covered 75% of the overall cost. Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Forward were the other main funders.

For details about exhibitions, opening times and other information about the museum go to It is open six days a week, Tuesday to Sunday, and closed on Mondays.

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

Statement regarding ministerial visits to Leeds’ new academies

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“The visit by Ed Balls and Rosie Winterton is a brilliant way to welcome these two new academies into the Leeds learning family.

“The academies are continuing on an exciting and successful journey to build world class provision in Leeds and I am confident that we are entering into what will be another fantastic year for learning in the city.”

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“Leeds has some of the best teachers and facilities in the country. Alongside the academies we will continue to help even more schools do brilliant things and give all our children and young people the skills, knowledge and experience for life and work in the 21st century.”


Notes to editors:
The South Leeds Academy replaces the former South Leeds High School. It is being sponsored by the Garforth based School Partnership Trust.
The Leeds West Academy replaces the former Intake High School. It is being sponsored by EACT (Edutrust Academies Charitable Trust).

Union claims over councillor ‘pay’ dismissed by council leader

Claims by the GMB union that councillors have awarded themselves a six per cent ‘pay’ rise have been dismissed as ‘absolute rubbish’ by the leader of Leeds City Council.

Councillor Richard Brett said:

“It seems at least one of the unions involved in industrial action against us is having to resort to lying in order to put across its case.

“For a good start, councillors do not get paid – we get an allowance for the work we do which amounts to just under £14,635.

“These allowances were last changed in March 2009 when they rose by just point three of one per cent, which matched the pay rise for council workers.

“We can already see that there is no real appetite for strike action and that the unions have failed miserably to get support for a complete walkout.

“I suggest union members ask some tough questions of their representatives – especially about the £17,000 we offered last week which union chiefs chose to ignore and walk away from our negotiations.”

Posted via web from Leeds City Council

Strike update: September 7th 1200

15 per cent of street scene services operating normally.

Street cleaning being carried out in the city centre as normal.

All household waste sites open - apart from Eller Ghyll, Homewell Road and Calverley Bridge.

Information for residents is here:

Posted via web from Leeds City Council

Strike Update: 1030 September 7th

At least half a dozen bin crews are working.

Two-thirds of the usual mechanical sweepers are working across the city.

Half of the council's roadside gulley emptying tanks are also operating.


Posted via web from Leeds City Council

Fairytale characters descend on Leeds

Picture:Cast of this year's Carriageworks pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Mirror mirror on the wall…pantomime characters are in the Secret Garden but which is the fairest of them all?

The time of year will soon come when outbursts of ‘it’s behind you’ and ‘oh no it isn’t’ will be echoing through every theatre across the land. The cast of this year’s Carriageworks pantomime descended on Leeds in the Secret Garden outside the Royal Armouries to put on their costumes and get into character for the family favourite pantomime Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

This year’s pantomime will see fun-loving BBC presenter Jez Edwards playing the comical jester figure Muddles and Jean Rogers, Emmerdale favourite playing the part of the evil wicked queen, along with further brilliant cast members all ready to ‘heigh ho heigh ho’ their way off to rehearsals later this year.

The Carriageworks and Paul Holman Associates promise the show will be jam-packed with a stunning array of costumes, scenery and amazing special effects, not to mention a great atmosphere and the typical ‘baddy’ and the loveable comic figures taking centre stage.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs will run at The Carriageworks from Friday 4th December to Saturday 9th January 2010, organised by Leeds City Council and produced by London-based pantomime experts Paul Holman Associates, who enjoyed great success at the venue last Christmas with their performance of Aladdin.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:
“The characters and their costumes are looking great, and Snow White is always a family favourite no matter what age you are. The Carriageworks is a really exciting and thriving young venue which hosts some great shows, so the pantomime is definitely one to put in the diary.”

Paul Holman from producers Paul Holman Associates said:
“We are thrilled to be back at the Carriageworks for our second year of presenting pantomime. We had a wonderful first season and are looking forward to building on the success of last year’s production of Aladdin. For this season, we have chosen one of the all-time favourites, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; an enchanting story based on the Grimm Brothers’ fairytale which is one of the best known ever told.”

Tickets are on sale from the Carriageworks box office or by calling 0113 224 3801. They can also be booked online by visiting the Carriageworks website at

Notes to editors:

For further information on Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, go to or contact Suzanne David at Paul Holman Associates on 0208 845 9408 or email

The Carriageworks is a thriving theatre at the heart of Leeds’ Millennium Square. It showcases the best new national and regional performances with a dynamic programme of theatre, dance, comedy and film. At the same time it provides support to young and emerging theatre makers, offering them a key platform to develop their work.

The Carriageworks also gives opportunities for members of the local community to take part in a variety of high quality arts activities, and is home to the Leeds Civic Arts Guild. This is an umbrella group of performing societies offering the opportunity for local people to experience making theatre in a fully-functioning professional venue.


For media enquiries please contact:
Catherine Milburn, Leeds City Council, 0113 247 8285

Union calls for all-out strike fail as dozens of workers report for duty

Efforts by two trade unions – Unison and the GMB – to persuade workers to join an all-out refuse strike have failed.

Dozens of Leeds City Council street scene staff have reported for duty and are working as normal this morning.

It means about 15 per cent of services are operating as usual.

Councillor Richard Brett, council leader said:

“This says a lot about the appetite for industrial action among our street scene staff and makes it clear that the unions have failed to convince many workers of the case for strike action.

“When Unison and the GMB walked away from the table last week it was obvious they only wanted the industrial action to serve no purpose other than to cause chaos for the people of Leeds – especially given the fact we made an offer of £17,000 which could have resolved this dispute.

“Clearly, services are being disrupted today but we are doing what we can to maintain services, thanks to the hard work of staff who’ve chosen not to strike.

“I maintain that the only way to resolve the issue of refuse worker pay is for the unions to return to the table – but we aren’t prepared to talk until the strike ends.


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

Notes to Editors

Just 311 of the 668 refuse and street cleansing staff balloted voted in favour of this action.

The strike relates to a pay and grading review which the council - and all other local authorities - legally have to carry out.

The aim is to make sure that men and women earn equal salaries for equal work. We have been working hard with the Unions for several years to introduce the new pay and grading structure and this has resulted in pay rises for 10,500 employees of the local authority and for 10,500 their pay remains the same.

It has unfortunately also resulted in around 2500 staff being adversely affected, of which 440 are in refuse, street cleansing and waste management services.

However, the council has agreed to protect the pay of staff who are adversely affected by the new pay and grading structure for a period of three years.

The trade unions want us to 'level up' salaries so that no-one loses any pay, but this would cost the council £45 million per year - which equates to an annual council tax rise of 18% - or mean thousands of job losses and a massive impact on all council services.  This is not an option.

The council has encouraged the unions to continue discussions to look at legitimate ways to address the loss of pay and has recently proposed a performance pay scheme which has the potential to close the pay gap and improve the refuse service provided to residents.

Posted via email from Leeds City Council

Strike Update: 0645 Monday 7th

Peaceful pickets reported outside Knowsthorpe street scene depot.

 Information regarding the number of staff on strike won't be available until later in the morning because not all crews report for duty at the same time.

 A further update will follow before 0800.

Posted via email from Leeds City Council