Monday, 7 December 2009

Bright sparks given chance to meet world-famous inventor

Caption: Award-winning inventor Emily Cummins will be guest of honour at the event

A group of young inventors from Leeds will have the chance to meet one of the world’s best at a special event this week.

The Year Nine pupils from Horsforth School have taken part in a young inventors challenge run by Leeds City Council’s Business and Patent Information Services at Horsforth Library where they were tasked with thinking up their own inventions.

The challenge will culminate in a final presentation of their ideas at the library to be held at 10:45am on Wednesday 9th December, where among the invited audience will be celebrated young Yorkshire inventor Emily Cummins.

The 22-year-old Leeds University student from Keighley shot to fame with her creation of a solar-powered fridge and sustainable water carrier which have proved hugely successful in Africa and earned Emily a string of plaudits including the Sustainable Design Award at the 2009 Women of the Year Awards, Female Innovator of the Year 2007 and the title of Cosmopolitan’s Ultimate Save The Planet Pioneer in 2008.

Emily will be on hand at the event at Horsforth Library as a special guest and will be presenting the prizes to the pupils who have produced the winning design. The pupils have been split into pairs for the project, which has seen them attend workshops where they have looked at all aspects of researching, creating and patenting new inventions.

Although they have not actually produced their creations, the final presentations will see the teams explain their ideas and why they think they would be a success to a panel of judges and an audience of parents as well as school and library staff. The winning prize will be awarded to the team who the panel decide have been the most imaginative in their thinking and worked hardest to flesh out their ideas.

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

“This project is a fantastic way of encouraging young people to think creatively about the world they live in and sparking their imagination to create whole new problem-solving ideas.

“We are thrilled that Emily Cummins will on hand to see the final presentations as she is the perfect role model and example for any future inventor. I’m sure all the pupils will be inspired by meeting her and who knows, some of them may even go on to emulate her success in the future.”

Apart from learning about what goes into creating a new invention, the pupils have also filed patent applications on some of their ideas at the UK Intellectual Property Office so if any are developed in future they will receive the credit.

Aside from Leeds City Council, the challenge has also been backed by Europe Direct Leeds as part of the 2009 European Year of Creativity. For further information on Leeds City Council’s Business and Patent Information Services, go to or call 0113 247 8266.

Notes to editors:
The Leeds Europe Direct Information Centre, based in Central Library, provides a focal point for Leeds citizens to access information on how the European Commission, Council and Parliament work and also allows people to keep up-to-date with issues that affect them.

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

Junior Wardens scheme launched

They do say police officers seem to get younger and younger, but the new Community Wardens in East Leeds really are!

Children in Cross Gates have been recruited as Junior Wardens by East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL) to help improve their communities and set a great example to other young people.

The Junior Wardens celebrated their launch with their first meeting on Wednesday 25 November at Cross Gates Primary School, Poole Crescent, which was supported by printers Colour Copy Leeds.

The junior wardens have three basic rules:
1. Junior Wardens will have respect for themselves and will show this through their behaviour
2. Junior Wardens will have respect for others
3. Junior Wardens will have respect for their environment.

Working with ENEHL, the new recruits will get involved in practical projects such as litter picks, as well as having the chance to meet other members of their communities to better understand and appreciate how people get along. They will also be able to act as extra eyes and ears for the community by spotting where graffiti or fly-tipping has appeared, reporting broken streetlamps and spreading safety messages among their peers.

All the Junior Wardens are Year 5 and Year 6 pupils, 9 – 11 year olds, at Cross Gates Primary School on Poole Crescent. They will all receive a T-shirt and ID badge, and will remain Junior Wardens for one year. Each group is helped by ENEHL’s Community Involvement team.

Angelena Fixter, chair of the East North East Homes Leeds board, said:
“This is a great scheme to encourage community involvement at a very young age.
“It is important to counteract the negative image many people have about youths today and the Junior Wardens are living proof of how young people can play a positive role in their communities.”

Community Involvement Officer Dayvid Cox, who coordinates the Junior Warden scheme, said:
“ENEHL is keen to encourage the good traits in these young people that make them want to be Junior Wardens – the desire to make their area they live in safer and more pleasant for all.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 229 3937

Celebrations for library landmark

Celebrations are to be held in honour of the Cross Gates library once the largest library in Leeds as it reaches it’s 70th Anniversary this December.

The Percival Leigh library, as it was originally named, was opened on 14th December 1939, and will be the site of a week of free activities taking place around its original opening. Events will include a talk by Robert Barnard, author of many best-selling crime books, local author talks, local history talks and various other events.

Starting the celebrations on Saturday 12th December will be a family activities day starting with a quiz and colouring competition from 10.30am -11.00am, followed by storyteller Bob’s your Uncle from 11am-12 noon. Light refreshments are to be served at lunchtime (12.00 noon – 1.00pm) on Saturday 12th December with a talk from David Owens on local history, ‘History on our Doorstep’ concluding the day.

Local author Frances McNeill will be opening up the rest of the week’s activities on Monday 14th December, the exact birthday date, at 6pm.

Activities will continue on Tuesday 15th December 2.00pm-3.00pm, with a slide show about the Cross Gates, past and present, with a Christmas Carol Concert by local Manton St James School on Wednesday 16th November 11.00am-11.30am.

The Thursday and Friday will host family history discussions (2.00pm-4:00pm) and a talk about local history (10.30am-11.30am), with the celebrations ending on Saturday with the Saturdads club (11.00am – 12.00 noon).

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor John Procter said:
“Cross Gates library is a brilliant resource for the city and it is great that it is still going strong 70 years after it was originally built, and is still as an important part of the local area as it was then. The celebrations are going to be brilliant with something for everyone to get involved with.”

Notes to editors:

For further information on any of the events occurring during the celebration week, please call Cross Gates library on 0113 224 3328

The library, designed by local architect Charles Castelow, was a fine example for its time, and being the largest in the city and possibly the UK, was a big attraction to the City.


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

Deadline approaches for primary school consultations

People wanting to comment on the proposed expansion of 19 of the city’s primary schools have until later this month to ensure their opinions will be considered.

Education Leeds is running two consultations to discuss the expansion of 17 primary schools* from September 2010 and the expansion of Gildersome Primary School and Richmond Hill Primary School from September 2011.

The need for more primary school places has been prompted by a rise in the number of children being born in Leeds and the number of families with pre-school age children moving into the city - a situation reflected in cities across the country.

A total of 17 primary schools need to expand from 2010 to provide the required number of places and plans have been drawn up to increase the number of children each school can accept into each year group (its admissions limit).

At some schools, this will mean adding extra rooms which will be made up of high-quality durable modular buildings. The proposals also include plans to provide extra places for children with Special Educational needs (SEN) in two of these schools. The consultation ends on Friday 11 December.

Education Leeds is proposing to expand Richmond Hill Primary School from two classes of children per year to three from September 2012, meaning 90 children will join the school in three reception classes in 2012 and the school would reach its capacity over seven years as the larger year groups move through the school. The new school building will be designed to accommodate 630 pupils instead of the planned 420. The consultation also ends on Friday 11 December.

Proposals have been made to expand Gildersome Primary School from one class of children per year to two from September 2011, meaning 60 pupils would be admitted into two reception classes in 2011 and pupil numbers would increase from 210 to 420 children over seven years as the larger year groups move through the school. This consultation ends on Friday 18 December.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
"Our commitment to providing an education to every child means, in certain parts of Leeds, we will have to expand schools to meet demand. These consultations are vital to ensure the council’s executive board has a full picture to consider before making a decision.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“With an increased demand for primary school places from 2010 onwards we have had to move quickly to ensure every child who might need a primary school place has one close to where they live. These consultations are an important part of the process and with the deadline fast approaching all interested parties need to make their views known as soon as possible.”


Notes to editors:

*The 17 primary schools which are proposed for expansion are: Beeston, Blenheim, Brudenell, Ebor Gardens, Greenmount, Highfield, Hugh Gaitskell, Ireland Wood, Ingram Road, Iveson, Mill Field, Moor Allerton Hall, New Bewerley Community School, Swarcliffe, Victoria, Whitkirk, and Thorner Church of England.

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577