Thursday, 19 November 2009

Enjoy a taste of arts and crafts

Anyone keen to try out their skills at a range of arts of crafts will be given the perfect chance at Leeds Museum Discovery Centre over the coming weeks.

Starting on Monday 23rd November, Leeds City Council will be hosting four ‘taster’ workshops at the Discovery Centre in Clarence Dock which will offer people the chance to learn a variety of craft and textile skills.

The ‘Make and Mend’ workshops begin on 23rd November with ‘Making silk flowers for millinery and fashion’, with the following night seeing a guide to ‘Textile printing’. The following week sees a felt-making masterclass on Wednesday 2nd December before the final session on Thursday 3rd will show how to create your own celebration bunting.

Every session will be led by local craftspeople and will start at 6pm lasting for at least two hours. Open to anyone aged 16 and over, each session is priced at £12 per person which includes all materials and equipment. All abilities will be catered for, from complete beginners to those at more advanced levels. Prior booking is essential for each session and to reserve a place call 0113 214 1548.

The workshops have been funded by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) as part of their national ‘Learning Revolution’ to improve informal adult learning.

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

“In the current economic downturn people are looking more and more at using the skills they have and learning new ones as a great way to either make or save money, and these workshops will be ideal for that as well as being lots of fun for everyone who takes part.”

For further information about the workshops, visit

Notes to editors:

The workshop sessions are:

Monday 23rd November – Making Silk Flowers for millinery
Tuesday 24th November – Textile printing
Wednesday 2nd December – Handmade Felt
Thursday 3rd December – Celebration bunting

All workshops start at 6pm and will go on for 2 – 2½ hours, at the Leeds Museums Discovery Centre which is located on Carlisle Road, Leeds LS10 1LB.

For further information on the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre call 0113 214 1548 or E-mail:


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

Flytipping traveller father and son guilty

A father and son from a Cheshire traveller family have been convicted of misusing waste and flytipping at a traveller encampment in Leeds.

Amos Price, 51, and Rocky Price, 21, of Acre Caravan Park, Warrington, Cheshire, pleaded guilty to mismanagement of commercial waste, not having correct paperwork and also illegally disposing of controlled waste.

They each received one year’s conditional discharge at Leeds Magistrates Court today. Amos was ordered to pay £300 costs, with Rocky facing a similar £200 bill.

On 13th August last year, surveillance took place on land on the Old Jubilee house site off Old Lane, Beeston, which was being used by travellers for an encampment. A yellow Ford Transit was seen to be transporting green waste on the site, however the next morning was empty. Evidence was also obtained during this surveillance of fly tipping offences being committed and the vehicle used.

This group of travellers had left a substantial amount of fly tipping on at least two previous encampments. The purpose of the surveillance was to obtain evidence that fly tipping was occurring on the site and who was committing these offences.

On the 14th, during further surveillance, enforcement officers witnessed and filmed a red ford transit tipper being used to illegally deposit green waste.

On the 15th, in a joint operation with West Yorkshire Police the vehicle was stopped and seized for further investigation and Rocky was arrested on suspicion of fly tipping.

During interview, he denied committing the offence of fly tipping and said that he gave waste from his own vehicle , a yellow Ford Transit, to his uncle, breaching his duty of care by not being able to provide relevant documents for the transfer of waste. He also admitted to transporting waste without a waste carrier’s licence.

On the 18th, Amos Price was also arrested under suspicion of fly tipping and during interview denied carrying out any landscaping work or illegally depositing any waste on this site. He also denied that the vehicle in the video footage seen to be used in the fly tipping on the 14th, a red ford transit, was his and that it was him driving, claiming the vehicle was just similar to his.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“Dumping rubbish and not following the rules around waste handling isn’t just a crime – the cost of clean up is borne by the taxpayer and fly tipping costs the council hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to deal with.
“This shows that we will take action against people who wilfully blight our city.”

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

Leeds legend joins the party for disabled young people

The Christmas party season is coming early for a group of disabled youngsters and their carers, when a party is held in their honour next week.

And to make the day extra special Leeds United legend Peter Lorimer will join the party to help celebrate the young people’s achievements.

Leeds City Council’s Family Placement Service is holding the celebration party at St. Chad’s community centre in Headingley this Friday, to celebrate the various achievements of disabled young people and the dedication of the adopters and foster carers who have supported and cared for them.

Media Opportunity:
When: Friday 20 November from 7pm. Peter Lorimer is attending from 7.30 – 8pm.
Where: St. Chad’s Community Centre, Otley Road, Headingley
Opportunity: Members of the media are invited to attend the Family Placement party. Photography and filming opportunities will be available with young disabled people who have inspirational stories to tell, along with their dedicated foster carers and members of the Family Placement team.

Councillor Stewart Golton executive board member responsible for Children’s social care said:
“This party will be a great opportunity to celebrate these young people and recognise the dedication of their carers. All of the young people attending this party have overcome many challenges in their lives and with the support of their carers and the family placement service they have been able to achieve some fantastic things.

“We are very grateful Peter has been able to spare his time to attend this party, I’m sure he’ll have a great time meeting such an inspirational group of people.”

Peter Lorimer will be presenting certificates to the young people to recognise their achievements, however big or small. Here are the stories of four young people who will be attending the party. These young people are happy to share their stories with the media and to be interviewed with their adoptive or foster parents.

Mark is 23 years old and has Downs Syndrome. He came into care when he was three weeks old and was subsequently adopted by his foster carer. Mark attends college on a animal care course and he is a volunteer at Middleton Equestrian Centre. He has a very active social life, he goes to athletics and a sport club. He became involved in swimming through Pudsey Gateway Club and is a member of the Yorkshire & Humberside Swimming Team. He participated in the Special Olympics in Leicestershire this summer and gained a number of medals. In addition to all of this he supports his adoptive mother who is a professional short breaks carer for Family Placement.

Megan is 22 and has a condition called Valporate Syndrome. She has lived with her family placement carer Angie and her family for the last 6 and a half years. She is very small in stature, similar in size to a 10 year old. At times there have been concerns about her health, because of problems with her breathing, but she is a fighter. Megan attends college on a business and retail course and hopefully she will be undertaking a work placement in relation to this. She is a cheerful happy young person who enjoys life to the full. She can be bossy and is prepared to speak her mind.

Donna is 31. She moved to her family placement carer when she was six and lived with her until she moved to her own property. However she has regular contact with her previous foster carer who helps to sort out the team of carers who look after her. Donna has cerebral palsy which affects all four of her limbs, she uses a wheel chair at all times. Donna got married in the summer and lots of people attended her wedding. Donna is quite a personality, she finds it difficult at times to communicate with people, but is prepared to persevere until she is understood. She enjoys watching television and social activities like going out shopping, discos and meals out.

Lisa is 21 years old and has lived with her Family Placement carer since she was 6. She has learning difficulties but this does not effect her attitude to life. She is currently at college on a Life Skills course, attends a day centre and goes to a youth club. She loves going out, especially shopping, meeting people, going dancing and to the pub. She enjoys drawing and music especially singing along to Mama Mia!

The Family Placement professional fostering, adoption and permanency service provides fostering and adoption placements for children who have a disability. There are currently 50 trained and approved professional foster carers, who live in the Leeds area and look after disabled children on a temporary or permanent basis. However there are still many children with disbailites, some of whose future is uncertain, who need foster carers or a forever family.

Councillor Golton added:
“We desperately need more foster carers and adoptive parents for children with all disabilities. This is a role which requires dedication and commitment, but as these stories show the rewards certainly outweigh any challenges.

“Many potential carers may see the barriers rather than the rewards of caring for a disabled child, but the young people who will be attending this party show that with love and support from a dedicated foster carer or forever family these young people can have a positive future and bring a great amount of joy to their carers.

“We welcome applications from single people, couples or families, from all cultural and religious backgrounds. Practical and financial support is available for foster carers and adopters.”

Peter Lorimer made his debut at Leeds United aged 15 years old in September 1962. His first spell with the club lasted until 1979 and he then returned for a second period between 1983 and '86. He remains the only Leeds player to have scored over 200 goals, and won 21 caps for Scotland. The highlight of his international career was the 1974 World Cup in West Germany, although his country was eliminated despite having not lost a single game. Peter Lorimer is now involved with the commercial side of the club through match-day entertainment, contributes to match-day commentaries for BBC Radio Leeds, writes a weekly column for the Yorkshire Evening Post and is organiser of the ex-players' association.

For more about adopting a disabled child please call Margaret on 0113 2478939, or for information about fostering ring Paula or Bev on 0113 2243504.

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

Keep your eyes open and your windows shut

Could your house be an open door for criminals? Residents in an area of Headingley are being encouraged to look and learn to fight crime and tackle environmental issues.

Residents in the Harolds and Thornvilles area are being encouraged to take part in a ‘visual audit’ with officers from Safer Leeds and other partners on Tuesday 24th November.

The visual audit is a walk of an identified area to identify security concerns and environmental issues – spotting insecure doors and windows, unsecured items which could be used to commit a crime (such as ladders or bricks), and damage to property. It will also spot environmental problems such as graffiti and fly tipping.

The COPS project (Crime Opportunities Profiling of Streets) has been adopted by Safer Leeds as a way of identifying issues that ‘enable’ or ‘generate’ crime and disorder issues in an area. It also helps to identify issues that affect the overall appearance and wellbeing of an area, with any necessary actions flagged up for consideration by relevant partners.

The walk round will form part of a market stall-type community event being held at the Cardigan Centre between 5pm and 8pm. Officers working in the local area will be on hand to provide information and advice on a range of issues, and local residents will be able to find out what work has been carried out in the area as a response to local issues and concerns.

Hot food and refreshments are being supplied free of charge and everyone that attends the event will be entered into a free prize draw to win one of two shopping vouchers.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for community safety and chair of Safer Leeds, said:
“It’s important that people get the message about home security and this scheme is designed to offer advice on how residents can protect their own homes. Simple things like locking doors and windows make a real difference and make life difficult for potential burglars.
“And it’s not just about preventing crime – this audit will also flag up the things like graffiti and fly tipping that affect how people feel about their neighbourhood.
“This is an excellent scheme, which I am sure will raise awareness of how to tackle easily preventable forms of crime”

Inspector Simon Jessup, of the North West Inner Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
“Tackling burglaries remains one of our top priorities in this area. There is a lot of work being done to catch and disrupt the offenders but we can’t solve the problem alone.
“We need residents to think about their home security and take simple precautions to deny criminals the opportunity to target them.
“I would encourage all residents to get involved in this audit so they can play a vital role in highlighting the issues and help to make their community safer.”

Notes to editors:
• Safer Leeds is the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) dedicated to tackling drugs and crime in the city. It is a partnership 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 media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council Press Office (0113) 224 3937

Leeds moves up green city league table

Leeds has moved up the eco-city league table and improved its green credentials.

According to a leading environmental charity, Forum for the Future, Leeds has been ranked sixth in the 2009 league table of the UK’s top 20 greenest cities, an improvement of seven places from last year’s performance.

The city’s improved place makes it the most sustainable city in Yorkshire.

The annual Sustainable Cities Index, now in its third year, looks at the progress the UK’s major cities are making to go green, support communities and plan for the future.

All the cities were judged on three wide-ranging categories – the environment, quality of life and future-proofing - how well prepared the city is to cope with climate change, supporting the economy and recycling.

The city scores high marks for health, the city’s vibrant economy and the council’s commitment to tackle climate change.

Lowest scores were given for travel times across the city, the amount of household waste that was recycled in 2007/8 and the city’s ecological footprint – the impact of services, housing, transport and consumables on the environment based on 2004 figures.

Councillor James Monaghan, executive board member for environmental services, said:
“It’s great to get recognition for the progress we’re making. The ranking on the index gives us a snapshot of what it is like to live in Leeds and assess how well we’re doing to make the city more sustainable.

“I’m confident we can improve on this. We have a great platform to build on, with the launch of the council’s climate change action plan, revised environmental policy and a city wide climate change strategy this year. Now we need to ensure these translate into eco-friendly measures across a range of areas from transport, recycling to green spaces.”

Notes to editors:
Overall city rankings - 2009
1 Newcastle
2 Bristol
3 Brighton and Hove
4 Leicester
5 London
6 Leeds
7 Edinburgh
8 Nottingham
9 Sheffield
10 Cardiff
11 Coventry
12 Plymouth
13 Sunderland
14 Manchester
15 Liverpool
16 Bradford
17 Birmingham
18 Wolverhampton
19 Glasgow
20 Hull


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

Residents find out more about future plans for waste treatment

Leeds residents are being given the opportunity to find out more about future plans to deal with the city’s waste that is not recycled.

A project to reduce the amount of residents rubbish buried in landfill and build a treatment facility to dispose of this waste has been running for over three years.

To bring residents up-to-date with what the council are doing, information events are being planned and series of leaflets have been produced. These explain the current proposals and future options for a waste treatment facility and recycling services in Leeds, and to describe the next stages of the project.

Councillor James Monaghan, executive board member for Environmental Services, said:
“This city needs an alternative to burying its waste in the ground, damaging the environment for generations. The council is and will continue to provide services to boost recycling but the environmental and financial burden of landfill needs to be tackled.

“It’s an important issue for the city to address and we want to give residents access to the latest information and get involved as the project progresses.

“Ultimately, we are looking to bring a modern and efficient waste facility to Leeds to get back some value from non-recyclable rubbish collected from homes across the city.”

There are three companies short-listed currently putting together detailed bids to build a facility and the two locations proposed are either Knostrop sewage treatment site and the former wholesale market at Cross Green.

A decision about the type of treatment that will be use to deal with the non recycled waste will be taken in late 2010.

By working with residents, the council recycled over 30% of household waste last year and there are plans to improve this to at least 50% by 2020.

Around 12,000 homes within the area of the proposed locations for the future waste facility will receive an information pack and invite to register for regular updates from the council. Any resident in the city can also get involved and find out more information by going online to

Notes to editors:
The current proposals put forward by the bidder for the Leeds Residual Waste Treatment facility are:
Aire Valley Environmental – Mechanical Pre-treatment with Energy from Waste facility. It is proposed to build it on the current Knostrop sewage treatment site.

United Utilities Interserve – Mechanical Biological Treatment with a Gasification facility. It is proposed to build it on the former wholesale market site
on Cross Green industrial estate.

Veolia ES Aurora Ltd – Mechanical Pre-treatment with Energy from Waste facility. It is proposed to build it on the former wholesale market site on Cross Green industrial estate.

These three short-listed bidders are involved in a process called competitive dialogue with the council. This allows the council and bidders to discuss and improve their bids before submitting their final proposals. The council will then select the final two bidders to go forward and present their proposals in even greater detail. It is expected that the successful bidder will then submit their planning application in early 2011. If planning permission is granted, the facility will be built between 2011 and 2014, and will start full operations in 2014.


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

Reel Ale put into production

Caption: Councillor John Procter, Sam Moss (Co-Director of Leeds Brewery) and Councillor Andrew Carter at the Brewery Tap

The 23rd Leeds International Film Festival has got off to an amazing start with key guest visits and loads of film fans enjoying the vast array of films on offer so far.

This year the Leeds International Film Festival, presented by Leeds City Council has worked with official partner Leeds Brewery, to brew a special ale, just for the festival. ‘Reel Ale’ will be available in The Brewery Tap, Nation of Shopkeepers and The Midnight Bell as well as other bars across the city, during and after the Film Festival this year.

The Ale is dark ruby in colour and has been brewed using the finest British malts and choicest English hops specifically for the Film Festival.

Leeds International Film Festival rounds off it’s run of varied and brilliant movies this weekend with a great treat for animation fans with three films from Japan. Titles include the UK Premiere of stunning animated adventure Summer Wars, Miyazaki’s sublime new film Ponyo, and rare screenings of Oshii classic Angel’s Egg, all showing at the Hyde Park Picture House.

The screening of these films ties in with the Thought Bubble Sequential Arts Festival, which runs from the 19-22 November and is presented by Leeds International Film Festival. Thought Bubble celebrates comic books and graphic novels, and will finish with a special one day convention which will give audiences the opportunity to meet numerous prestigious comic book creators and take part in live art installations, portfolio critiques, panel discussions and masterclasses.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:
“The Film Festival is proving to be very popular again this year, with some really great guests already having visited. It is fantastic that the festival is running for an extra week and creating a real buzz at the various screening venues. Leeds Brewery is a big part of Leeds so it is great that they are one of our partners this year”

Co-Director of Leeds Brewery Sam Moss said;

“Leeds Brewery are delighted to be involved with this year's film festival. Brewing a unique, local beer for the tens of thousands of people that will be enjoying the festival over the coming weeks is a great opportunity for us. We're proud to be associated with such a vibrant Leeds event.”

For more information about Leeds Film Festival visit;
Notes to editors:

The council promotes responsible drinking, and in no way condones excessive drinking.

The 23rd Leeds International Film Festival will run to the 22nd November and is presented by Leeds City Council and supported by the MEDIA Programme of the European Union and Screen Yorkshire, with lead sponsors Northern Rail, Vue Cinemas, ancnoc whiskey, and City Inn Hotels.

Tickets and special passes can be purchased online at by phone; 0113 2243801 and in person at City Centre Box Office located in the Carriageworks Theatre on Millennium Square.

Thought Bubble Festival
Full day tickets cost £8.00 and under 12's get in for free. For more information visit
The Film Festival office is based at Leeds Town Hall, contact 0113 247 8389.


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