Friday, 11 December 2009

Final throw of the dice as city bids for 2018 World Cup host city status

Leeds’ bid team will travel to London on Monday at the beginning of a week which will determine if the city will be part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Led by the leader of the council, Councillor Andrew Carter, the team will travel to the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in Westminster on December 14 for a one hour presentation to the Football Association on Leeds’ bid to be a 2018 host city.

Focusing on Elland Road, the quality of the city region’s training, hotel and entertainment facilities, the city’s football pedigree and major events experience - which includes staging football matches during Euro 96 - the panel will give a 15 minute presentation on the city’s bid before answering questions from members of the FA.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“We have submitted a detailed and exciting bid which outlines very clearly why Leeds would be a perfect city to host World Cup matches if England is awarded the 2018 World Cup.

“Our visit to Wembley in November to submit our bid was a success and this is our final opportunity to show the FA what Leeds and the wider city region can offer. Our experience of Euro 96 and excellent relationships with Dortmund, which hosted World Cup matches in 2006, and Durban, which will host World Cup matches in 2010, has provided us with a great hunger and determination to be part of the 2018 World Cup.”

The presentation will also focus on the legacy which will be left in the city - and the wider city region - if Leeds stages World Cup matches.

The delegation consists of senior members of the city’s bid team including the council’s director of development, Jean Dent, and the chief executive of Leeds United, Shaun Harvey.

The FA will meet all 15 cities bidding to be part of the 2018 World Cup early next week before making an announcement on which have been successful on Wednesday 16 December.

FIFA’s announcement on whether England has been successful in its bid to be a host country will be made in December 2010.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Council pledges to cut carbon emissions by 40%

Council chiefs have pledged to cut the authority’s carbon emissions by 40 per cent by 2020.

This ambitious target will be met by improving energy efficiency in its buildings, trialling low carbon vehicles and using renewable energy.

The council has also unveiled a Climate Change Action Plan that sets out how it will reduce carbon dioxide emissions from its own operations and across the whole city. The far-reaching plan covers the range of ways the council will take action dealing with issues of home energy efficiency, transport, recycling, waste treatment and extreme weather. It provides tangible proof of the ways the council is helping Leeds stand up to the effects of climate change.

A report agreed by the council’s executive board highlights 15 actions, selected as major priorities to help transform Leeds into a low carbon city. These include:
• Trialling a new ‘free’ scheme to give free loft and cavity wall insulation to up to 1,000 homes in the most deprived parts of the city.
• Ways to tackle carbon reduction in buildings, street lighting, fleet and staff travel to save 47,300 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year by 2020.
• Diverting waste from landfill and recover value from non-recyclable items
• Moving forward plans for city centre flood defences

By 2020, the council predicts that these 15 actions alone will help to reduce carbon dioxide emissisions of around 280,000 tonnes of CO2 each year.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“This is a big challenge but one we’re determined to achieve.
“A low carbon Leeds is a priority and a long term goal and this action plan is a real opportunity to galvanise our staff to take action for the organisation and for the city.
“We’re already making efficiencies right across our own buildings, vehicle fleet and even our street lighting. Now we need to go further, and by saving energy and CO2, we will be helping protect our environment and saving council taxpayers’ money.”

The council also confirmed it’s commitment to tackling climate change as members of the executive board agreed to a series of initiatives. They include adopting the Leeds Climate Change Action Plan, signing the Leeds Climate Change Charter and joining other major European cities by signing the Eurocities Declaration on Climate Change.

Notes to editors:
The council’s new target on carbon reduction is an increase of 6% on the previous target of 33.4% by 2020/21.

The council’s new target on carbon reductions is a long term commitment to reduce carbon emissions year on year.

In April this year, the council approved the Leeds Climate Change Strategy: Vision for Action, which is a city-wide strategy focused on carbon reduction and climate adaptation and aims to fulfil the Council’s commitment in the Nottingham Declaration.

The Leeds Climate Change Action Plan follows the format of the Leeds Climate Change Strategy: Vision for Action, containing new, existing and recently completed actions that support the 35 priorities identified in the Strategy.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 229 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

No butts - stubbing out the city centre cigarette litterers

Eight out of every ten littering penalties in Leeds city centre are over discarded cigarette butts – and smokers are to be reminded that they should stub out the litter habit.

Cigarettes are the most common form of litter in the city and Leeds City Council is aiming to make throwing your butts on the floor as unacceptable as any kind of litter.

Council officers are handing out pocket ashtrays to smokers for them to dispose of their tab ends properly.

Cigarette ends are litter and should be disposed of correctly using a litter bin, car ash tray or take their tab ends home – otherwise a dropped cigarette can cost a £75 penalty or even an appearance in court.

While most people understand both the impact and the potential consequences of dropping litter, it seems that some cigarette smokers haven’t got the message – this week alone, 30 fixed penalty notices totalling £2,250 have been issued to people seen littering in the city centre and all but two were for cigarette litter.

Officers will also be taking details of vehicles whose occupants are seen dropping litter, following these up through the DVLA and issuing fixed penalty notices.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“While most people accept that littering is unacceptable, that hasn’t filtered through to some smokers.
“Throwing your cigarette butt onto the floor is as bad as chucking a sweet wrapper or crisp packet away, and it’s punishable with a fixed penalty notice.
“Litter makes the city centre look untidy and unwelcoming. There are bins put there for your litter – please use them.”

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 229 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

AUDIO: Council leader responds to Leeds Arena news


Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council, responds to the news of the government's £10million for the Leeds Arena.


Arena comment.mp3

Council leader responds to news of £10m government cash for Leeds Arena

The Leeds Arena has today taken a huge step forward as Yorkshire Forward received confirmation that almost £10 million of funding it pledged this summer, has been given the go ahead by central government.

Both Yorkshire Forward and Leeds City Council have welcomed the decision as the 12,500 capacity Arena can now move into the first phase of development in 2010.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“I’m delighted, though I do need to remind everybody, however, that we were promised £18million – that’s what Yorkshire Forward and ourselves agreed four years ago – and that’s what we should have got.
“However, we’re delighted to have got this sum of money. We said all along that we would continue with the arena project with or without the funding, but this makes it a great deal easier and we’re extremely grateful for that. It’s a nice surprise before Christmas.
“It is going to be a very successful venture and a massive asset not just for the city of Leeds but to the whole of the city region. It will mean that the three million people who live in the Leeds City Region will have a music venue to visit without having to go to Manchester or Sheffield.
“This was our top-priority because of the benefits it will bring to the people of Leeds – the target date for opening is November 2012, that is the target and we’re still on track for that.”

BSF delivers drama and music boost to Cockburn College of Arts

The latest state-of-the-art drama and music facilities have been handed over to Cockburn College of Arts.

Built as part of the city’s £250m Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, the latest handover has included two drama studios, two music classrooms, a recording studio, practice rooms, an inclusion unit, reception area and learning resource centre.

It follows last year’s completion of technology blocks and a three storey atrium complete with dining room, sports facilities, fitness studio and open arts spaces.

Cockburn has specialist arts college status and the new facilities provided a huge boost to preparations for this year’s gala performance which took place on Wednesday.

Around 60 young people took to the stage for a production of Footloose in the school’s refurbished theatre, performed to celebrate the handover and thank everyone who has been part of the school’s transformation.

David Gurney, headteacher at Cockburn College of Arts, said:
“These impressive facilities complete the transformation of Cockburn into a high-tech, state-of-the-art school which we are all very proud of. They will help to ensure our young people get the most out of their time at school and contribute hugely to Cockburn’s aim of becoming a centre and focal point of the local community.”

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“These fantastic new facilities at Cockburn complete the school’s improvements and are a brilliant example of what BSF is achieving in Leeds.

“The 21st century buildings will help develop students’ learning, skills and experiences and help ensure that every young person achieves their full potential and gets the most out of their education.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“The brilliant new drama and music facilities at Cockburn reflect its specialist arts status. They are state-of-the-art and industry standard and will provide a brilliant boost to the young people’s aspirations and experiences.

“Cockburn is an outstanding school. These facilities coupled with the fantastic facilities which opened last year, the new learning resource centre and excellent teaching and support from staff will help to ensure that every young person is happy, healthy, safe and increasingly successful.”

The Leeds BSF project is being delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP) which brings together Education Leeds, Leeds City Council and the Interserve-led consortium Environments 4 Learning to shape the most advanced learning environments nationally. ICT experts, RM Education, are providing schools with the latest e-learning facilities to support and enhance teaching and learning.

A formal handover of the new facilities will take place in 2010.

ENDS

Notes to editors:
Leeds BSF schools are brilliant spaces designed for 21st century Learning and teaching, which provide:
 flexible and varied rooms and spaces, offering different environments for different styles of teaching and learning;
 purposefully designed for the curriculum of today and tomorrow;
 unprecedented levels of cutting-edge learning technology;
 bright, open and safe spaces designed with young people, to engage young people;
 fully inclusive facilities, giving every young person access to the learning, support and care they need;
 unique features reflecting the unique ethos of each school and the needs of the local young people, families and wider communities they serve;
 Exciting and innovative environments for highly effective leadership and teaching.

*Leeds BSF is delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP), which brings together Leeds City Council, Education Leeds, the government's Partnership for Schools (through Building Schools for the Future Investment), and the Interserve led consortium Environments 4 Learning (E4L).

Partnerships for Schools (PfS) is the delivery organisation for Building Schools for the Future. PfS was established in April 2004 as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), and is operated and funded under a joint venture between DCSF (formerly DfES) and Partnerships UK. PfS is a 100-strong organisation, with specialist expertise including educationalists, designers, ICT specialists, commercial managers and project management.

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk