Friday, 23 October 2009

Council makes bin strike position clear

Leeds City Council today (Friday 23rd October) told trade union leaders that it has done everything possible to bring the city’s bin strike to an end and that union requests to reconsider pay demands have been rejected.

Councillor Richard Brett, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“This is our final offer. If we give way to these pay demands, without productivity improvements, all of our 22,000 staff would need to be paid more. This would cost tax payers an extra £45million every year. This is not affordable and we have been very clear about that.”

Council leaders Richard Brett and Andrew Carter have agreed to meet with the trade unions on November 2nd to clarify the council’s offer.


For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office: (0113) 224 3602

Young, free and...sporty!

Leeds City Council's flagship sports complex will be throwing open its doors for a day of free sporting activities next week.

On Tuesday 27th October, the John Charles Centre for Sport will be hosting a range of activities for families and young people to try out the state-of-the-art facilities for free.

The day begins with free family swimming from 6am-11am in the multi-million-pound Aquatics Centre, with 96.3 Radio Aire's JK and Joel providing the soundtrack as they will be broadcasting their breakfast show live from the venue as part of the event.

Young people keen to try their hand at diving can also take part in special diving sessions at the Aquatics Centre from 8-9:30am, before the action moves to the Tennis Centre where indoor and outdoor sessions (weather permitting) will be held from 9:30am-1:30pm.

The afternoon activities see street dance and fitness sessions using Vewdo boards held in the Aquatics Centre from 1:30pm-2:30pm, while football fans are also catered for as there will be a training sessions and a possible mini tournament held on the 5-a-side outdoor pitches from 2-4pm.

All of the activities are free, with the council's Sport Development coaches on hand to offer coaching and advice. Places will be allocated on a first-come first-served basis to anyone under the age of 16, while the swimming session from 6am-11am is open to all.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:
“This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to try out the excellent facilities at the state of the art John Charles Centre for Sport. It is a great opportunity for young people to keep fit and healthy over half term, and with the range of sport accessible there should be something for everyone.”

The multi-million pound centre serves a dual role as both a first rate sporting facility for the residents of Leeds and also as a regional and national venue for spectator events, along with qualifying as an Olympic training camp. The centre is open on a daily basis for people in the local community to use the extensive facilities, including the 50m pool, indoor bowls centre, indoor and outdoor tennis courts and five-a-side pitches, amongst various other impressive services.

Leeds City Council are promoting the idea of simple changes to keep people fit and healthy this year through the Change4Life campaign. Change4life is a national programme that aims is to influence a change in behaviour with UK residents so they lead healthier lifestyles.

This opportunity to visit the centre will give young people the chance to get active and out and about and start the process of leading a healthier life.

All activities will be free and allocated on a first come first served basis to young people under the age of 16. A registration form will be available on the website at and on the site on the day which parents will be required to sign to give permission for their child to take part in any activity on the day.

Notes to editors

6am - 11am free family swimming whilst JK and Joel broadcast live from the Aquatics Centre
8am - 9.30am - Diving trials in the Aquatics Centre - diving pool
9.30am - 1.30pm Tennis sessions - Tennis Centre - indoor or outdoor depending on weather
1.30pm - 2.30pm Fitness session - street dance or Vewdo boards in the Aquatics Centre - dance studio
2pm - 4pm Striker football session - mini tournament or striker training session depending on numbers. 5-a-side pitches - outdoor


For media enquiries please contact:
Catherine Milburn, Learning and Leisure Communications Assistant,
on 0113 247 8285

Out-of-hours takeouts cost food business £11,000

A takeaway that was caught selling hot food late at night without a licence has been handed a £10,000 fine.

Mohammed Zareen, who ran the Wokmania takeaway at 14 Harold Walk, Leeds LS6 1PS, was not in Leeds Magistrates Court to hear the judgement. He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,572 and a victims surcharge of £15.

Under the Licensing Act 2003, late night takeaways serving hot food and/or hot drink between 11pm and 5am must have a licence to do so. A complaint was received alleging that Wokmania was serving food after 11pm without a licence.

Working undercover, officers from both the council’s Entertainment Licensing Section and West Yorkshire Police bought food from the takeaway on four separate nights between September 2008 and March this year, between 11.23pm and 00.35am.

The court heard that the premises had been trading without a licence since September 2008 and despite being warned about his conduct on 19th December last year, he went on to commit two further offences.

Leeds City Council Entertainment Licensing Enforcement Officers and West Yorkshire Police continue to work in partnership when conducting regulatory and compliance checks of hot food establishments throughout the Leeds district. An operator found guilty, on summary conviction, at the Magistrates Court can attract a fine of £20,000 and/or and six months' imprisonment for each charge of providing hot food and/or hot drink without a licence authorisation.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“This fine, I believe, reflects the seriousness of this breach. This takeaway is in the heart of a residential area and simply should not have been operating beyond 11pm.
"This sends out a strong message to other takeaways who are floating or bending the rules - we can and will take action against businesses that ignore the terms of their licence.”

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

Young people quiz community leaders

A group of young people from Aireborough have been grilling a panel of local decision makers about issues important to young people in their area.

The Aireborough Youth Council, which is made up of young people from all the local school councils, carried out research into what there is for young people to do and places for them to go in their area to present to a panel of community leaders.

After pooling their knowledge and consulting their fellow pupils, the committee grilled the panel made up of; local councillors Graham Latty and Ryk Downes; the head teacher of Guiseley school Paul Morrissey; and Simon Toyne, the Integrated Services Leader at Aireborough Extended Services*.

A number of interesting issues were raised by the young people, aged from 5 to 17, including parks, travel and sports. The panel agreed to take the young people’s comments and ideas on board and help them put them into practice where possible.

The Aireborough Youth Council is run in partnership by Leeds Youth Service and Aireborough Extended Services Cluster.

Councillor Alan Lamb, deputy executive member responsible for youth services said:
“This type of forum is a great example of how, by getting involved in local youth and school councils, young people are given a voice and can really make a difference in their community.”

Schools in the Aireborough cluster:
Guiseley School Technology College
Benton Park School
St Mary’s Catholic Comprehensive School
Guiseley Infant School
Hawksworth C of E Primary School
Queensway Primary School
Rawdon Littlemoor Primary School
Rawdon St Peter’s C of E Primary
Rufford park Primary
SS Peter and Paul Catholic Primary School
St Oswald’s C of E Junior School
Tranmere Park Primary School
Yeadon Westfield Junior School
Yeadon Westfield Infants School

*Extended Services advise and support schools, youth services and other agencies in their development of extended activities and services including; childcare, parenting, wider community access to information and communication technology (ICT), sports and arts facilities, healthy living and job seeking advice.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713

Give your views on the future of Leeds

Residents across Leeds are invited to contribute their views on the city’s future planning strategy, which will help Leeds face a whole range of environmental, social and economic challenges over the next 20 years.

As part of the Local Development Framework, the draft Core Strategy is published to allow informal public consultation for six weeks from 26 October to 7 December 2009. In support of this a programme of public events and exhibitions has been arranged, together with the wider distribution of the consultation material across the district. The consultation material is also available on line, via Leeds City Council’s web site.

Mon 2nd November Merrion Centre (10.00-14.00)
Tues 3rd November Headingley Library (10.00-14.00)
Wed 4th November Crossgates (10.00-14.00)
Sat 7th November Owlcotes – ASDA (10.00-14.00)
Thurs 12th November Wetherby – Morrisons (10.00-14.00)
Sat 14th November Moor Allerton – Sainsburys (10.00-14.00)
Tue 17th November Merrion Centre (14.00 -16.00)
23rd November White Rose Centre (10:00-14:00)
27th November Morley Town Hall (10:00 – 14:00)

Set within the context of the city’s Community Strategy (and other key plans and programmes) the document sets out a spatial vision for Leeds to be ‘distinctive, competitive, inclusive and successful’ and highlights five key themes:
• Enhancing and extending Leeds’ green infrastructure.
• Planning for sustainable communities (including opportunities for regeneration and by focusing offices, shops, culture and entertainment into the city centre and town centres).
• Managing the longer term development needs of the city (including housing and economic development)
• Safeguarding the cities environment (including adaptation to climate change and preserving and enhancing Leeds’ historical heritage).
• Public transport improvements into the city centre and selective road improvements to relieve traffic problems in local communities.

Councillor Andrew Carter, joint leader of Leeds City Council and executive member responsible for development, said:
“This important strategy will eventually act as an overarching framework for much of the land use and planning right across Leeds, with the aim of improving many key areas such as employment, transport and the city’s economy.

“In these challenging times, it is important that a longer term planning strategy for the whole of Leeds is prepared, in order to demonstrate confidence and commitment to the city and its communities.”

“The strategy has fundamental implications for future generations and, amongst many other factors, it will try to deal with the longer term consequences of climate change. The consultation is a chance for all residents and interested parties to put forward their views and contributions, and I would urge them to do so.”

The results of the consultation will be taken into account when the council puts together the Core Strategy for Publication next autumn. A range of existing policies have shaped the proposed strategy options, including the Vision For Leeds (Community Strategy), the Regional Spatial Strategy for Yorkshire and the Humber, and also national guidance.

Following the preparation of the Core Strategy for Publication, the plan will be formally Submitted for independent examination by a government-appointed inspector, with the aim of adopting it in 2011.

Comments and queries on the strategy are welcomed, and can be submitted by email to by phone on 0113 247 8075, or by post to Development Enquiry Centre at The Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington St, Leeds, LS2 8HD. More information is available at

The Core Strategy Preferred Approach and supporting documents can be viewed at the Development Enquiry Centre, Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds LS2 8HD, Monday-Friday 8.30am-5 pm, (Wednesdays 10am–5pm) and at local libraries and one-stop centres across the Leeds district.

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council Press Office 0113 224 3335