Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Resident’s green prize reward for climate change pledge

Caption: Stephen Haydon receives green prizes from Cllr James Monaghan

Leeds student, Stephen Haydon has been rewarded with green prizes for his efforts to fight climate change.

As part of the Avert CO2de Red exhibition hosted by Europe Direct and Leeds City Council on Light Night, people were invited to sign the Leeds Climate Pledge.

Stephen, along with another 143 people, signed the pledge to show what he was already doing and will do to be greener. Stephen’s pledge card was selected at random to receive a prize bundle worth over £250 to say thank you for his efforts.

Councillor James Monaghan, executive member for executive member for Environmental Services and chair of the Climate Change Partnership said:
“People who live, work or study in Leeds, all have their part to play in helping us save resources, find ways to be more energy efficient and reduce our environmental impact.

“It’s thanks to people like Stephen who are willing to demonstrate their commitment by taking the pledge that we can help inspire others to do the same. Stephen and the many others who pledged on Light Night have joined a growing community of like-minded individuals willing to do that little bit more. The prizes he is receiving today are everyday items that will equip anyone for an eco-friendly lifestyle. I hope he enjoys them and benefits from them.”

Stephen’s prizes include an energy efficient digital radio, battery charger and rechargeable batteries, an energy monitor, a rucksack and umbrella made from recycled plastic, a wind up torch and radiator foil.

Stephen said: “We are at the point were we need to make a difference for future generations, it is within our grasp to stop the devastation our children will be left to fix. I was happy to take the pledge as I'm already doing some of the things it asks you and the others just made common sense. I’d encourage anyone to do their bit and take the pledge too.”

Anyone interested can take the pledge at


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

Work starts on new play area for Boston Spa - with image

Picutre caption: "(l-r) Councillor Stewart Golton, executive board member for Children's Services and Councillor John Procter, executive member for Leisure look over the plans for the new Deepdale play area."

Playtime will soon be much more fun in Boston Spa now work has started on a new £130K playground.

The Deepdale play area is the first of 22 playgrounds across the city to be revamped as part of the Playbuilder project. With additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund this playground is set to be transformed with a range of challenging and exciting new equipment suitable from toddlers to teenagers.

A whole range of modern and adventurous play equipment will be placed alongside the popular zip-wire, which is being retained.

The new playground will boast toddler swings and a playhouse amongst other equipment for the under 5s, and a variety of swings for older children including a typhoon three-way swing and a basket swing. Older children will also enjoy the challenging climbing net.

It is hoped the new play area will be ready just in time for the Christmas holidays - weather permitting.

The design is a result of consultation with local residents and, most importantly, local children, who have influenced the choice of equipment and layout - which will include tunnels and hills.

Councillor John Procter, executive member responsible for Leisure said:
“This is the start of an exciting programme of new and improved play facilities across the city.

“The input of local residents and children was vital to make sure this play area is a popular, well used focal point for youngsters in this community now and for many years to come.”

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive member responsible for Children’s Services, said:
“Play is a really important part of growing up, it not only helps a child’s physical development but can also have a big impact on their social skills. By providing them with safe, accessible and exciting play areas like this one, we can help shape this and future generations.”

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

New employment advice centre is just the job for Hunslet

More than 160 people have already benefited from its advice, and the new Jobshop in Hunslet is now ‘officially’ open for business.

In the two months since it opened, Leeds City Council’s new Jobshop at Penny Hill Centre in Hunslet has helped dozens of people look for and find work.

In the first nine months of this year, the council’s citywide network of Jobshops gave advice on jobs and training opportunities to more than 3,800 people.

Jobshops offer a free, impartial, face-to-face service, where people can talk in confidence to a qualified advisor, who can explain the support available to help people get back into work. They provide help with preparing and updating a curriculum vitae (CV), completing job applications, support with interview skills and use the internet for job searching.

The Jobshop at Penny Hill Centre is close to the Aire Valley regeneration area, which is already home to 400 businesses and has land for new development which could accommodate up to 27,000 jobs over the next 15 years or so.

Yorkshire Forward funding is assisting in improving the Jobshop services to residents in local communities.

The Employer Engagement Team in the council’s Jobs and Skills department is already supporting a number of local companies with their recruitment and training needs and the new Jobshop will be a valuable resource for both jobseekers and employers.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“In these testing times, the council is committed to supporting local people who want to look for a job. The Jobshop is in the heart of the community it supports, so people don’t have to travel outside of their area for that help.
“The development of the Aire Valley will be a major source of employment for years to come and we are making sure local people can tap into those jobs.”

Stephen Boyle, Leeds City Council’s head of regeneration who officially opened the centre, said:
“It is great to see a new Jobshop opening in Hunslet. The council will do everything it can to help those most affected by the recession. A Jobshop in the heart of the busy community is a great way to get help where it’s most needed.”

Helen Thomson, Assistant Director for Economic Inclusion at Yorkshire Forward, said:
“Jobshops are one of the ways that we can link local employers to prospective employees. A key step to local recruitment. I hope that we can see the real difference this has made, in terms of support for employers, more people in jobs and staying in employment.”

The council’s Jobs and Skills team provides Jobshop and Jobshop Sessions in local communities across the city. If people are looking for work or training they can visit a Jobshop or contact Jobs and Skills on 0113 247 5465.

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

Time capsule to record life at Bankside Primary School

Caption: The plaque on the time capsule which will be buried beneath the floor of the new school.

Caption: Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, Sarah Rutty, headteacher at Bankside Primary School, Roger Harington, chair of governors at Bankside Primary School, and Richard Stowell, of Kier, prepare to bury the time capsule in the floor of the new school building.

A time capsule that will give its future finders a snap shot of life at Bankside Primary School in 2009 is to be buried underneath the new school.

The £9.1m state-of-the-art building will open in November 2010 and house up to 630 pupils as well as community facilities and a 52 place nursery.

The time capsule, which will include a school planner, jumper, some of the children’s work, certificates and badges, was handed over to Kier Northern, the contractor building the new school building, by the headteacher, Sarah Rutty, and the chief executive of Education Leeds, Chris Edwards, to be buried beneath the floors of the new building.

Sarah Rutty, headteacher at Bankside Primary School, said:
“These are exciting times for everybody at the school who are looking forward to moving into a fantastic new building next year.

“The time capsule has been put together by our children and will give whoever finds it an insight into what life was like at Bankside Primary School in 2009.”

Chris Edwards chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“The time capsule will ensure a little bit of the old school is included in the brilliant new school which will replace it. The children have put together examples of life at the school in 2009 which will be a great find for whoever discovers it in the future.

“Bankside will be a flagship school, not just in Leeds but across the country, and will provide a brilliant learning environment for the children and fantastic facilities for the whole community.”

The new school will be one of the most environmentally friendly in the city. The project team - made up of Leeds City Council, Education Leeds, Kier Northern and the Strategic Design Alliance - are aiming for a BREEAM Very Good rating.

Eco-friendly features of the school will include renewable energy sources such as a ground source heat pump - which draws heat from the ground to contribute to the school’s heating system - and solar thermal hot water heating and photovoltaic cells which capture energy from the sun to be converted into electricity.

As part of the transition to the new school, the construction process will be recorded by a video documentary being undertaken by pupils to follow the progress of the new school build.