Thursday, 11 February 2010

Comment regarding the twentieth anniversary of Nelson Mandela's release

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott today extended warmest wishes and congratulations to Nelson Mandela for 20 years of freedom on behalf of the city of Leeds.

The Lord Mayor said:
“Nelson Mandela is a globally recognised, inspirational figure and Leeds is very proud to have him as a freeman of the city.

"Leeds had a strong association with the anti-apartheid movement, with thousands of our residents opposing it through boycotts and campaigns.

"So we were especially delighted to welcome Nelson Mandela to the city in 2001, when he officially opened Millennium Square and re-dedicated Mandela Gardens, which were named after him in 1983 in a gesture of solidarity.

"His release was a major milestone towards the abolition of the apartheid regime in South Africa. The country has come a long way since then and Leeds is proud to continue its support through our long-standing partnership with the city of Durban. We continue to work together to pursue projects for the benefit of both our countries."


For media enquiries please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

MEDIA OPPORTUNITY: first delivery of Rothwell recycling trial bins

A new trial recycling scheme is set to begin in Rothwell on Monday as part of the council's plans to recycle over half of Leeds waste by 2020.

Over 8,000 households in Rothwell are to take part in the six-month trial of improved recycling collections designed by Leeds City Council to help the city step up its recycling and composting rates and reduce the amount of waste buried in landfill.

The new recycling scheme includes:
• a weekly collection of food waste.
fortnightly collections of paper, card, cans and plastic in a green bin;
fortnightly collection of garden waste in a brown bin except in December, January and February when it will be emptied every four weeks;
fortnightly collection of the black general waste bin

Councillor Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, will be kicking off the scheme by personally delivering new bins to homes in Rothwell.

**************** MEDIA OPPORTUNITY ****************

WHAT: First delivery of new food waste bins
WHEN: 10.30am (for 10.45am) on Monday 15th February
WHERE: Park Lane, Rothwell
PARKING: Public car-park on Oulton Lane between children’s play area and De Vere Oulton Hall Hotel.

As well as receiving a detailed information pack on how to use the new services, four brand new council 'waste doctors' will be available to visit properties to answer any questions about the new services and provide practical support to residents to help them to recycle more. The first of the new collections will take place in Rothwell on 22nd February.

Council research has shown that up to 30% of the total weight of Leeds households’ black bins is food waste. This could be as much as 40,000 tonnes a year. This waste is currently sent to landfill sites where it rots releasing harmful greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

Under the new scheme residents will be able to put any food waste straight into a convenient small kitchen caddy inside the house, and then transfer it to a larger food waste bin outside, which will be collected weekly. As part of the trial, households have been given a choice of sizes of outside food waste bin to meet their needs.

The trial will be closely monitored and evaluated before any longer term decisions are made about future recycling services.

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

One night at the proms for Leeds school children

Pupils from schools across Leeds will enjoy a performance from the city’s top youth music groups at a specially organised prom at Leeds Town Hall

Pupils from around 17 Leeds schools will be attending the City of Leeds Youth Music Prom tomorrow (12 February).

The concert, organised by Education Leeds’ ArtForms music service, is specifically for schools, and will provide a unique and inspirational opportunity for both performers and audience. The groups playing are:

City of Leeds Youth Orchestra
Leeds Youth Jazz-Rock Orchestra
Youth Wind Band
Percussion Ensemble
Silver Steel Sparrows

The internationally-renowned City of Leeds Youth Orchestra will perform an exciting programme ahead of their public concert in Leeds Town Hall as part of Leeds International Concert Season on the 27th February 2010.

The Leeds Youth Jazz-Rock Orchestra will play a selection of jazz pieces from Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus and more. The Jazz-Rock musicians are also currently preparing for their upcoming multimedia performance piece at Headingley Festival in May on the life and work of Charles Mingus, which is a collaboration with Ralph Thoresby School.

The Percussion Ensemble continue from a successful year competing in national and regional competitions, while the Wind Band follow a tour of Germany with a rousing programme here.

The concert concludes with a set from the Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows fresh from their concert at the Royal Albert Hall, as winners at the National Festival of Music For Youth 2009, and finally a stunning massed performance from all the groups.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member responsible for Education Leeds, said:
“There is such a wealth of young musical talent across Leeds. The Artforms music service really do a fantastic job in bringing this talent together and creating these brilliant concerts. I’m sure the audience will discover what talented and enthusiastic musicians we have.”

There are over 20 City of Leeds Youth Music groups, for young people under 19 in Leeds who play an instrument or sing. For more information on how to join, or where to see the groups perform, visit

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

New council one stop centre opens in Garforth

Caption: images of the new Garforth Library and One Stop Centre. Featured is local resident Heather Baker (right) talking to customer service officer Pat Greenhill

Talking to and asking questions of Leeds City Council will be a much more pleasurable experience in Garforth from today.

It’s because the council’s new one stop centre has opened in the town.

It has moved a few feet across the road from its old home and is now under the same roof as Garforth library.

The building has been extended and completely refurbished thanks to a grant of £1.4 million from the Big Lottery Fund.

During the planning stages, ideas suggested by users of the old one stop centre, were incorporated into the new design.

That means there is now enough room to include private areas where confidential or personal matters can be dealt with.

In addition, there is a space where drinks can be served and it’s hoped the centre will also be open longer in future.

The building itself has been constructed with the environment in mind.

Solar panels have been fitted which will generate hot water, the roof has been covered in grass in order to act as an insulation barrier and attract wildlife, and special ‘light tunnels’ have been installed to get as much natural light as possible into the building which will keep energy costs down.

Garforth’s one stop centre is one of 15 across the city handling a range of queries about council services including housing matters, questions about social care, benefits and council tax bills.

At the new Garforth centre, there is also a welfare rights service, which runs surgeries for people who need help and assistance about what benefits they might be entitled to and how to apply for them. Births and deaths can also be registered at one stop centres, but by appointment only. One stops also act as reporting points for hate crimes.

Councillor Richard Brett, Leeds City Council's joint leader and executive board member with responsibility for one stop centres said:
“The centre in Garforth has been absolutely transformed.

“The council deals with many thousands of queries each year and it’s only right that we make it as easy and as pleasurable as possible for people to visit us.

“Being under the same roof as the fantastic new library makes perfect sense.

“I’m also really pleased that we been able to incorporate suggestions for improvement made by users of the old centre – they’ve asked and we’ve worked hard to deliver.”

Notes to Editors

Garforth one stop centre's opening times are:
Monday - 9am to 5pm
Tuesday - 9am to 5pm
Wednesday – 9am to 3pm
Thursday – 9am to 5pm
Friday – 9am to 5pm

For media enquiries please contact:
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council (0113) 247 4450