Thursday, 4 March 2010

Council moves forward towards granting large casino licence

Council chiefs will be kick-starting the processes to move forward with the awarding of a large casino licence in Leeds next week.

The council was granted the authority to award a large casino licence after a successful bid to the Government in 2006, and is now in the position to start the licensing process with a view to granting a licence in Leeds in under two years.

A report submitted to Leeds City Council’s executive board next week (Wednesday 10 March) will outline the processes and update members on the need to move forward on the matter.

A large casino has the potential to bring a substantial number of benefits to Leeds, including economic, financial and social benefits, and to assist in the economic regeneration of the city.

The council will follow through the legally complex licensing process, with the view to being in a position to award the licence towards the end of 2011.

Councillor Andrew Carter, Leader of council said:
“Leeds is the only core city to have been awarded this licence, and it will become a great asset to the city once in place. These casino licences were meant to deliver the greatest benefit to an area in terms of jobs and economic regeneration, and we remain confident that a large casino can still play a big part in the city's regeneration plans.

“However, we must make sure that social responsibility is at the forefront of our thinking as a responsible authority ”

Notes to editors

In addition to Leeds, the other seven authorities to be awarded a Large Casino Licence are Newham, Great Yarmouth, Hull, Middlesbrough, Milton Keynes, Solihull and Southampton.

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

Public meeting to discuss Farnley Park BSF transformation

Residents in the Farnley area of Leeds are being asked for their views on proposals to transform their local secondary school.

Education Leeds is holding a drop-in session next Thursday (11 March) to collect people’s views on a new building and refurbishment at Farnley Park Maths and Computing College.

The proposed work is part of Leeds’ award winning Building Schools for the Future (BSF) programme, which will provide 21st century facilities for the school’s young people, staff and the wider community.

The plans include a new sports hall and dining room, a high care partnership base for young people with additional needs and cutting-edge teaching areas designed to transform learning.

The consultation event will give parents, carers, residents, community groups and all other interested parties the chance to hear more about the proposals and comment on the plans before they are considered by Leeds City Council’s West Plans Panel later in the year.

Councillor Richard Harker, executive board member for education at Leeds City Council, said:
“This is an important investment in the local area and a fantastic boost for the people of New Farnley. As well as providing a first class learning environment for the school’s pupils, the new, state-of-the-art facilities will benefit the whole community. ”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“The BSF programme in Leeds continues to boost learning for thousands of our young people. The plans to create transformational learning spaces and cutting edge facilities at Farnley Park will help Leeds pupils to reach their full potential and gain the skills, qualifications and experience they need to succeed in the 21st Century. This meeting gives everyone the chance to find out more about these exciting plans and to have their say about the
proposal ”

The session will take place on Thursday 11 March between 1.30pm and 7pm in the school’s administration building.

Full details can be found at

Any comments can be submitted in writing to Planning Services, Leeds City Council, Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds, LS2 8HD.

Views can also be submitted online at the above address or by email to


Notes to editors

Leeds BSF 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 in the country.

ICT experts, RM, are providing schools with the latest e-learning facilities to support and enhance teaching and learning.

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

Kids ‘scoot’ to school in east Leeds

Pupils from Templenewsam Halton Primary School in Leeds are doing their bit to cut traffic around their school by ditching journeys by car in favour of a more healthy alternative.

The school has signed up to pilot the ‘scoot to school’ scheme, which gives pupils the chance to loan micro-scooters to travel to and from school on, in a bid to cut congestion and improve road safety in the area.

******************** Media opportunity ********************
Media are invited to attend the launch of the ‘scoot to school’ scheme on Monday 8 March, 10am, at Templenewsam Halton Primary School, Pinfold Lane, Leeds, LS15 7SY. Councillor Stuart Andrew (lead member for transport), travelwise officers, the deputy headteacher of the school and children will be available for photographs and comments.
Please contact Claire Macklam in the press office on 0113 395 1578 to confirm your attendance.
******************** Media opportunity ********************

The ‘scoot to school’ scheme is part of a wider project, which aims to reduce the number of cars on the roads for the school run. A brand new yellow bus service is also now stopping at the school, and the children have set up a reward scheme where classes that reduce car travel the most win a prize. So setting a good example has never been so rewarding!

Scooter sheds have been provided for the scooters to be stored in during the day, and the children have all taken part in safety training delivered by the council’s road safety team. The aim of the scheme is to encourage more children to get active and have some fun on their way to school, whilst helping to reduce traffic and improve the local environment.

Councillor Stuart Andrew, lead member with responsibility for travel and transport said:
“We are very excited about this scooter trial, and I would like to thank Templenewsam Halton Primary School for agreeing to take part and for their enthusiasm about the scheme. Projects like this are a great way to encourage parents and children to change the way they choose to travel. They also support the school’s travel plan, which aims to increase the numbers of children, walking, scooting and cycling to school."

Staff at Templenewsam Halton Primary school are also getting involved, with some members of staff signing up to the ‘Bike to Work’ scheme offered by Leeds City Council.

Kay Crellin, headteacher of the school said:
“We are always keen to support walk to school initiatives, as they make such a positive contribution to keeping our children healthy and safe. Our children and their parents are very enthusiastic about the ‘scoot to school’ scheme, and the ‘My Bus’ scheme is being well used and the children really enjoy it.

“We hope that these initiatives will help to reduce the number of cars on the roads around our school, and make journeys at the start and the end of the school day safer for our children.”

Leeds NHS are also taking a keen interest in the trial which they are expecting will improve the fitness of children taking part.

Jan Burkhardt of the NHS said:
“NHS Leeds views active travel as crucial to tackling childhood obesity and increasing physical activity levels of children. The scoot to school initiative has great potential to increase active travel to school, and is fun and appealing to children and their parents. It is also currently a safer option than cycling to school in areas where cycling may not be appropriate for young children. We fully support this initiative and would ideally like to see it evaluated and rolled out to other areas”

Notes to editors
The yellow bus and School Reward Scheme started in early January and Templenewsam Halton Primary is already seeing a reduction in the number of pupils travelling to school by car.

The initial results of the trial and the effectiveness of scooter travel to school can be, will be known after Easter 2010.

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

Council to consider combining children’s and schools services

A proposal to strengthen Leeds City Council’s services for children in Leeds by bringing them all together into one dedicated directorate is to be considered by councillors.

Leeds City Council’s executive board is to be asked to look at a plan to more closely combine the expertise of the council’s existing children’s services department with that of Education Leeds.

If the proposals are agreed at a meeting of the executive board on March 10, it would mean that steps would be taken to put the new arrangements into place by the end of March 2011.

Consultation on the revised arrangements and future plans for the integrated service would take place with all staff and other interested parties. Education Leeds’ staff and its responsibilities would transfer to the council during a transition period which would be fully complete by April 1 2011.

Leeds City Council’s chief executive Paul Rogerson said:
“In the current climate it is clear that we need to harness all of the resources that are available to us and ensure that they are used consistently to the best possible effect. I would like, however, to assure colleagues in Education Leeds and across children’s services that if executive board approves this proposal we will be working very closely with them, and their trade union representatives, to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements.

“Education Leeds has done a tremendous job in supporting improvement in our schools and raising standards, and we want to ensure that such work continues.”

Education Leeds chief executive Chris Edwards said:
“Our priority will continue to be children and young people, and their families and communities here in Leeds, and building on the excellent achievements of everyone in education in the city over the last decade.

“I know that colleagues in Education Leeds and in all our schools will continue to focus on this, and respond positively to the new arrangements, if agreed by executive board. Together we have achieved so much, transforming the learning landscape and improving outcomes for children. And now, together with colleagues from children’s services, we will deliver better, more responsive, more integrated and more efficient services for children and young people.”

The proposed move is designed to more closely integrate all the work done for children and young people in the city and accelerate the pace of change to deliver the council’s ambitious improvement agenda.

Cllr Stewart Golton, executive member with responsibility for Children’s Services, said:
“We want to ensure we have the best possible arrangements for safeguarding our children’s welfare, development and future. It makes absolute sense for all of the council’s children’s services staff to work in a more integrated and effective way and these proposals will help achieve this.”

Notes to editors
Children’s services includes early years, youth services, children and young people’s social care and Education Leeds.

Government guidance very much advocates a move to integrated approaches to the planning and delivery of children’s services. The changes now being proposed would provide an opportunity to build on success with the aim of improving outcomes for children and young people,

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335