Monday, 15 February 2010

First delivery of Rothwell recycling trial bins

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Caption: Councillor James Monaghan with 'waste doctor' Yassir Manan and one of the new food waste caddies.

A new trial recycling scheme has begun in Rothwell as part of the council's plans to recycle over half of Leeds waste by 2020.

Over 8,000 households in Rothwell are taking 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; and

As well as receiving a detailed information pack on how to use the new services, four brand new council 'waste doctors' are 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.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“While we’re encouraged that residents in Leeds are recycling more than ever, we want to find ways to be recycling over half of all household waste by 2020, by providing a range of services that work well for residents.
“We know residents are keen to recycle as much as they can, so we’ve chosen to trial increased recycling collections and separate collection of food waste in Rothwell.
“One of the many benefits of this trial is that residents will actually have their green bins collected more regularly – boosting recycling still further.
“Rothwell residents are among the best recyclers in Leeds and we know that they will help to make the trial a great success and to help Leeds to reduce the amount of waste buried in the ground.”

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

Massive machine takes first bite of high rise

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Caption: Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing, has a go in the demolition machine which is now demolishing Carlton Towers

The demolition of selected tower blocks across Leeds as part of a major housing regeneration project began this morning in Little London with the first crunch into Carlton Towers using specialist machinery.

The high reach machine is one of only two in the country that can reach to a height of nearly 50 meters, as tall as 10 double decker buses. It will remove the top layers of the tower block by nibbling away at the building.

The demolition of these outdated blocks is being undertaken by Leeds City Council in advance of the appointment of a contractor for the building of new council homes and refurbishment of existing council homes as part of a Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project. Holbeck Towers, Gaitskell Court and Grange in Holbeck are also due for demolition starting March this year.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing said:
“The demolition marks the start of a multi-million pound housing regeneration project for Leeds making way for the first new council homes for decades.
“These particular buildings are not fit for purpose and will be replaced with new lower storey council properties including low rise apartments and family housing that are energy efficient, safe and secure to meet the demands of people today.”

Carlton Towers opened in 1959 and were designed by the City Architect R A H Livett. One of the towers is eight storeys and the other is nine storey. It will take approximately a week to demolish one of the blocks.

Notes to editors:
The PFI contract will be for the refurbishment of council properties, construction of new council homes, some environmental improvements and maintenance of all elements over a 20 year period.

PFI regeneration works
• 125 new council homes
• 853 existing homes refurbished
• Environmental improvements to Carltons, Servias, Oatlands and Lovells
• Improvements to play facilities and open space
• New shops
• A new housing office and new community centre
• Repairs and maintenance service for a period of 20 years

Carlton Towers
• Opened on 9 March 1959 by Miss Alice Bacon CBE, MP.
• Designed by the City architect R.A.H Livett, O.B.E.
• A contract was signed between Leeds City Council and Messrs. Myton Ltd., for the design and building work amounting to £205,753 in June 1958. The contractor took possession of the site in April 1958.
• Construction – The Myton system of pre-cast concrete named after the contractor.
• Carlton Towers were part of the Camp Road redevelopment area which in 1959 was the “largest central area redevelopment scheme undertaken by the Housing Committee in the city’s slum clearance programme.”
• One of the towers is 8 storeys and the other 9 storeys in height with three three-person flats and three two-person flats on each floor.
• Each flat had electric under floor heating was equipped with an electric wash boiler with a large drying room provided on each floor.

Historical Information
Rev. Charles Jenkinson (1887 – 1949), became Chairman of the Housing Committee in 1933. In this role he was responsible for the demolition of 14,000 slum dwellings and the building of over 15,000 council houses.

The plan was to demolish 30,000 of the worst back to back housing in the city within six years and build the same amount in new council homes, such as Carlton Towers, to rehouse the displaced population.

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

Council gives the go-ahead to 700 new homes for older people

Proposals for 700 new homes for older people in Leeds have been given the go-ahead.

Leeds City Council’s Executive Board has approved the ‘Lifetime Neighbourhoods for Leeds’ project proposals that will aim to deliver 700 new homes in 10 locations across the city.

Quality, adaptable modern homes will be provided for older people giving them the choice to stay in their own homes and remain independent for longer.

The Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project will link into wider regeneration initiatives in the areas and improving services for older people.

The new housing will either be ‘extra care’ - providing independent living for older people with security and support when they need it - or ‘lifetime homes’ which are suitable for older people in wheelchairs to families with pushchairs. The design of these new homes will significantly reduce the need for costly adaptations in the future.

Consultation with local people will take place over the next few months and will help inform the proposal to the Homes and Communities Agency, which will make the final decision about whether the project goes ahead.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing said:
“We are committed to the provision of affordable, modern homes which are more energy efficient and can be easily adapted to meet people’s changing needs throughout their lifetime.
“These homes will give older people the choice to stay in their own homes and remain independent for much longer than they could before.
“This is a fabulous opportunity to invest in housing and older people and we will be consulting with residents about the proposals shortly”.

Notes to editors:
The Lifetime Neighbourhoods for Leeds
project is the result of a partnership between Housing, Regeneration, Adult Social Care and Health. It will create or enhance services for older people across a number of neighbourhoods in Leeds to enable residents to lead more active and independent lives. The project seeks to strengthen existing neighbourhood regeneration strategies and focuses on the provision of new and high quality, affordable homes with extra care options for older people.

Project Scope:
- 700 new build accommodation of extra care or lifetime homes aimed primarily at older people, 300 units of extra care; 400 lifetime homes.
- mostly 2 bedroom flats or houses with a small number of 3 bed houses (2 or 3 per site) where site size allows;
- a 25 year long HRA Scheme, with a five year construction period;
- Lifetime Homes standard for all properties. Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4/BREEAM Very Good as a minimum;
- design, build and facilities management including repairs, lifecycle improvements, housing management, communal service management (for extra care), and leasehold management (if applicable); and
- 10 locations across the city

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

Swim for free as Kippax pool reopens

Caption: Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Cllr John Procter (right) at poolside with Recreation Assistant and swimming teacher Sue Fletcher in the pool

People of all ages will be able to go swimming for free this weekend following the reopening of the pool at Kippax Leisure Centre.

The pool at the centre on Station Road in Kippax reopens today (Monday 15th February) after being closed since the end of September for essential repairs and improvement works. To mark the reopening, special free swimming vouchers will be given out at the Crossgates Shopping Centre on Thursday 18th, Friday 19th and Saturday 20th February.

The vouchers can then be used for a free swim at Kippax Leisure Centre at any time between 8am-3:30pm on Saturday 20th February or 8am-3pm on Sunday 21st February. The vouchers, which are limited to one per person, can also be obtained online by going to and printing off a copy.

The significant improvements carried out at the centre have seen the entire pool hall repainted and the ceiling replaced, replacement tiling, improved seating and special new windows fitted which reduce the effects of sun glare.

Improvements have also been carried out in other areas of the leisure centre, with new lighting in the main sports hall, replacement tiling in the changing rooms, a new floor covering from the group changing room area and new safety barrier installed on poolside.

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

“We are very pleased with the work that has been carried out at Kippax Leisure Centre, not only in the swimming pool but also the improvements to other areas of the building.

“The pool itself now looks better than it has done for decades so we thank our customers for their patience while the work was being done and we think they will be pleased when they see the end result. Leeds City Council is committed to providing the best level of sport and leisure facilities that we can for people to make use of and an investment like this underlines that commitment.”

For further information on Kippax Leisure Centre, go to or call 0113 286 8882.


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

Duo to receive the full Carriage-works

Two young children from Leeds have attended every major family show at The Carriageworks since it opened – and this week the theatre will reward them with a special day of celebrity treatment.

Loyal audience members Iona Mae and Kahia Booth (aged 8 and 6 years) from Cookridge in Leeds have attended all the major family productions since the Leeds City Council-managed venue on Millennium Square opened in 2005.

As a thank you for their dedication they are to be given a day of VIP treatment on Wednesday 17th February at the performance of Lyngo Theatre’s Fish’s Wishes. They will be given free tickets and party bags, as well as being given an exclusive opportunity to meet the cast and crew of the hit show.

The girls’ visit forms part of A Week Less Ordinary, a celebration of the first anniversary of the highly successful Arts Council scheme A Night Less Ordinary. This is an Arts Council England scheme which aims to get more young people into theatres across the country.

As well as Fish’s Wishes the half-term events will see visits from Unpacked with Jumping Mouse (Tues 16th Feb), Blunderbus with Giraffes Can’t Dance (Sat 20th Feb), and backstage tours opening up the secrets of how theatre is made on Tuesday 16th February.

Iona and Kahia’s mother Dawn Booth

“The Carriageworks offered us the chance to come to one of the shows during half- term. After a family vote, the girls decided on Fish’s Wishes. Now we’re excitedly talking about making fish and dressing up as mermaids. What an honour to be invited. Never mind the girls, I am so excited myself!”

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

”It is great to see such young children getting involved in the theatre, and it shows what great work The Carriageworks is doing. The venue is gaining a growing reputation for its wide range of shows for all ages and the growing audiences they attracts. I wish the girls a wonderful day and hope they continue to enjoy their visits to The Carriageworks.”

The Fish’s Wishes is a charming visual piece for children aged over three and their families. It tells the story of a little vegetarian fish who lives in a glass, before escaping to eat bubbles, pick up tears and drink stars from a bowl. It is performed by Patrick Lynch, well known for his television role in CBBC’s Razzle Dazzle and was shortlisted for the 2007 Arts Foundation Award for outstanding work in the field of young people’s theatre.

Iona and Kahia will be available for press photographs on the day of their visit (Wednesday 17th February) at 1pm at The Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds.

Tickets are on sale from the Carriageworks Box Office on 0113 224 3801. They can also be booked online by visiting the Carriageworks website at

Notes to editors:

1. The Carriageworks is a thriving theatre at the heart of Leeds’ Millennium Square. It showcases the best new national and regional performances with a dynamic programme of theatre, dance, comedy and film. At the same time it provides support to young and emerging theatre makers, offering them a key platform to develop their work.

2. Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic experiences that enrich people’s lives. As the national development agency for the arts, they support a range of artistic activities from theatre to music, literature to dance, photography to digital art, and carnival to crafts. To find out more go to the website at


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leeds City Council, Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel: 0113 247 5472, Email:

Three is the magic number to target city’s jobless hotspots

A trio of schemes have been launched, designed to reach the unemployed people in Leeds who are furthest from finding jobs in some of the city’s most deprived areas.

Skilled for Success will help 620 low-skilled people into training and, ultimately, into jobs – targeting the areas of Leeds that are amongst the 20% most deprived in the country.

Co-ordinated by Leeds City Council and funded through the European Union’s European Social Fund (ESF) and the Learning & Skills Council (LSC), Skilled for Success forms part of the wider Skills for Jobs programme.

Skilled for Success is a programme of targeted activity that will help those considered furthest from the labour market into accredited and non-accredited pre-entry, entry level and Level 1 skills training. Three providers – HCT Group, Learning Partnerships and Trescom Research & Consultancy Ltd. – will provide the training.

The schemes focus on everything from starting a career in the transport industry to childcare, literacy, setting up a business, and construction health and safety.

Over the course of the programme, which runs until the end of the year, all 620 people on the scheme will each achieve some of the following:
• Skills for Life / Basic skills qualifications
• Non-accredited and accredited training
• Vocational Level 1 qualifications
• Progression into further learning
• Progression into employment
• Progression into voluntary work

Each individual works with their adviser to choose courses that are most relevant to their interests and goals. All courses are free of charge. Information, advice and guidance, help with travel and childcare costs, and ongoing support such as mentoring and motivational/ confidence building or life management support are available.

More information about the courses on offer, including contact details, can be found at

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for jobs and skills, said:
“These schemes will help the communities hardest hit by the recession, which has put the prospect of a job out of the reach of many working people.
“By giving them access to such a wide range of different training schemes, more than 600 people will have the chance to develop the skills that will vastly improve their chances of finding jobs.
“This is exactly the kind of scheme that will produce results – the council is working hard to ensure that Leeds will lead the way as the country comes out of recession.”

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