Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Ideas from Leeds residents needed to help young people make amends

People living in Leeds are being invited to suggest projects that young people who have offended can take part in to help make amends for their offences.

'Making Good' - a new website being piloted by the Youth Justice Board for England and Wales (YJB) – is showcasing the different kinds of work young people across the country are taking part in to make amends for their offences – known as reparation. Members of the public and community groups can visit www.yjb.gov.uk/makinggood to nominate their own ideas for their local area. The scheme was launched across Yorkshire and the Humber last week.

Reparation is an opportunity for young people who are involved in the youth justice system to make amends for their behaviour, either directly to the victim or indirectly to the community. Leeds youth offending service actively encourage all the young people they work with to carry out some sort of reparation, and work closely with a number of local charities, voluntary organisations and community groups to help achieve this.

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive board member responsible for youth offending services said:
“Leeds is committed to making sure young offenders take responsibility for what they have done, and are encouraged to make amends to the society they have offended against. The Making Good project is a great opportunity for the community to have a say in how that happens.”

James Barton, reparation co-ordinator, Leeds youth offending service said:
“Reparation is a chance for young people who have offended to give up some of their free time for the benefit of an individual or their community.

“It is also a good way for them to say sorry and do something practical to prove it, as well as an opportunity for them to develop new skills and have a shared positive experience.”

Youth Justice Board chair Frances Done said:
“For the first time local people are able to have their say on how young people who have offended can repair some of the damage caused to the community by their offence.

“We encourage the Yorkshire and Humberside community to visit the Making Good website and look forward to receiving their ideas.

”This is your opportunity to get young people to invest their time and energy into worthwhile projects that benefit the community.”

Leeds residents who want to suggest reparation activities to be carried out in their areas should visit the Making Good section of the Youth Justice Board’s website where they will find further information about the scheme as well as instructions on how to offer their ideas.

Some examples of recent reparation activities taking place in Leeds:

Direct reparation:

In October 2009 a young person convicted of burglary from a household where one of the children uses a wheelchair resulted in him clearing a footpath of leaves and rubbish and cutting back hedges to make the wheelchair user’s journey to school safer and easier

A young person helped erect a fence for a victim in their garden that had been damaged by local youths.

Indirect reparation:

The Leeds youth offending service worked in partnership with Network Rail on two projects, where a group of young people carried out environmental improvements and removed graffiti from in and around two railway stations

An ongoing partnership between Leeds youth offending service and the Groundwork Trust. Groundwork take 10 young people to carry out environmental improvements to sites identified by local communities through local councillors, environmental health, housing offices, community groups and schools.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Boston Spa kids try out new playground

Playtime will be far from boring for children in Boston Spa when a new playground opens next week.

The Deepdale play area is one of 22 playgrounds across the city to be revamped as part of the Playbuilder project. With additional funding from the Big Lottery Fund this playground has been transformed with a range of challenging and exciting new equipment suitable from toddlers to teenagers.

Media opportunity:
When: Thursday 25 March at 12.15pm.
Where: Deepdale play area, Deepdale Lane, Boston Spa
Opportunity: Members of the media are invited to attend a launch event and ribbon cutting ceremony. Executive councillors, and children from local schools/ nurseries will be present.

Children in the area will be able to try out a whole range of modern and adventurous play equipment which has been placed alongside the popular zip-wire, which has been retained.

The new playground boasts toddler swings and a playhouse amongst other equipment for the under 5s and a variety of swings for older children, including a typhoon three-way swing and a basket swing. Older children will also enjoy the challenging climbing net.

The design is a result of consultation with local residents and, most importantly, local children, who have influenced the choice of equipment and layout - which will include tunnels and hills.

Councillor John Procter, executive member responsible for leisure said:“This is the start of an exciting programme of new and improved play facilities across the city.

“The input of local residents and children was vital to make sure this play area becomes a popular, well used focal point for youngsters in this community now and for many years to come.”

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive member responsible for children’s services, said:
“I’m sure the children of Boston Spa will have a great time trying out this fantastic new playground. The equipment will allow them to be adventurous and have great fun with their friends, in a safe environment.”

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

City Varieties makeover well underway

Caption: Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Andrew Carter (top image on left) and executive member for Leisure Cllr John Procter examining and helping clean the royal crest above the stage, while in the second shot they are joined by Site Manager for contractors BAM Construction Stuart Gibbons

Work is now well underway on a project to restore the world-famous Leeds City Varieties back to its former glory.

The first phase of the £9.2m renovation and restoration of the building on Swan Street which is one of the oldest surviving Victorian-era music halls in the UK began at the start of the year.

Contractors BAM Construction are now hard at work carrying out the major project which will see the building returned as much as possible to how it looked in the late 19th century.

The project, overseen by Leeds City Council with significant support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd, will see the restoration of the auditorium, improved stage and backstage facilities, additional toilets, improved access including more ground floor foyer space, a relocated box office and installation of a public lift to serve all levels of the auditorium.

Leeds City Varieties was built in 1865 and was originally called ‘Thornton’s New Music Hall and Fashionable Lounge’ after its founder Charles Thornton. The legendary names to have performed there include Charlie Chaplin, Harry Houdini, Mickey Rooney and Norman Wisdom, while it was also home to the popular BBC television show ‘The Good Old Days’ for 30 years from 1953 to 1983.

Leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member for Development and Regeneration Councillor Andrew Carter said:

“As a council we were committed to securing Heritage Lottery Funding to help with the complete renovation of the City Varieties and it’s great to see that the project is now well underway. The Leeds City Varieties is known all over the world and is one the best-loved buildings in the city, so we cannot wait to see this renovation and restoration completed and the doors open to the public once again.”

Chair of the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Board Councillor John Procter
“It is hugely encouraging to see the progress that has been made in just a few weeks and it is going to be really exciting watching this project as it develops. We are determined to make this amazing building look better than ever and we are confident that once completed it will be a wonderful place to visit and take in a show just as it has been for nearly 150 years.”

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund for Yorkshire and the Humber Fiona Spiers said:

"The City Varieties, one of the country's best-loved music halls, is held in great affection by the people of Leeds. The Heritage Lottery Fund is pleased to be supporting this redevelopment project; now that work is underway we look forward to seeing the building restored back to its original Victorian splendour."

Following the completion of the project, the refurbished Leeds City Varieties is scheduled to reopen in summer 2011.

Notes to editors:

The refurbishment scheme has been made possible through funds of £5.325m from Leeds City Council, the £2.739m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and £1.261m contribution from the Leeds Grand Theatre and Opera House Ltd which is being raised through a fundraising campaign. Anyone wishing to contribute should visit www.cityvarieties.co.uk or contact 0113 391 7777 or City Varieties Music Hall, 24 Eastgate, Leeds LS2 7JL.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Images released of new Morley Leisure Centre

Captions: The images of the new centre include two external shots of the building from the main entrance and the swimming pool sides, the main swimming pool itself and the six-court sports hall showing the floor being fitted.

There are also two shots of the visiting party with (from swimming pool image) left to right: Mayor of Morley Cllr Shirley Varley, Leeds City Council Head of Sport and Active Recreation Mark Allman, Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Judith Elliott, Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Cllr John Procter and Project Manager of Contractors Interserve Martin Brown. The same group is also pictured in the Bodyline gym.

Leeds City Council have today released the latest images of the new Morley Leisure Centre which opens this summer.

The new centre on Scatcherd Park is nearing completion as part of a joint £33m project managed by Leeds City Council which includes another new centre at Armley.

Morley is the larger of the two new centres, boasting a 25m main swimming pool, a 10m learner pool, a 150-station Bodyline gym, a six-court sports hall, a four-court sports hall, a multi-activity hall and a dance studio plus a café.

The 150-station Bodyline gym will be the largest council-managed gym in the city when it opens.

Following a tour of the new centre at Morley, Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Cllr John Procter said:

“Just like the new centre at Armley this one at Morley is coming along fantastically well. You can really get a feel for how they are going to look when they are finished and we are counting down the weeks until the doors open and everyone can come in and see them. These two new centres are going to be fantastic additions to our leisure centre provision here in Leeds, giving us state-of-the-art new facilities which any city in the world would be proud of having. Everyone who sees them is sure to be impressed.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Learning and Leisure Media Relations Officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Essential road resurfacing in Wetherby – car park closed

High Cliffe Terrace in Wetherby will be closed on Sunday 28 March for essential resurfacing work. The Wilderness Car Park will also be closed for the day as the important improvement work means access to the car park will not be possible.

Leeds City Council will start work on Sunday 28 March and will complete the work later the same day to minimise disruption.

High Cliffe Terrace and the Wilderness Car Park will be closed from 7.00am until 5.00pm on 28 March. There are no diversions in place but motorists can find alternative long-stay car parking at the Hallfield Lane lorry park.


For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

How much are your councillors worth?

Think you’ve got the answers to how much your councillors are worth?

Well look no further…Leeds City Council is looking to appoint a new panel member to provide advice to councillors on their allowances as members.

In accordance with a number of legal requirements, the council established an Independent Remuneration Panel in 1999 as a voluntary initiative in advance of it becoming a statutory requirement in 2001.

The position will require someone with the ability to make informed judgements based upon complex information and be available to attend and contribute to meetings.

The work will include attending an initial briefing/training session and then up to one or two meetings per year together with a degree of telephone and email contact in order to finalise reports.

Councillor Richard Brett, joint leader of Leeds City Council said:

“It is very important that we have independent members on the panel to provide councillors with an unbiased point of view. The panel, who are all required to be independent of the council, sharpen our accountability and ensure the right advice and levels of allowances are set.”

The closing date for applications is Friday 16 April 2010.

For further information visit: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/Council_and_democracy/Councillors_democracy_and_elections/Councillors__information_and_advice/Independent_remuneration_panel.aspx or contact Ian Cornick on (0113) 2243206 or email ian.cornick@leeds.gov.uk

Completed applications or CV’s should be sent to Ian Cornick, Resources and Projects Manager, Democratic Services, 4th Floor West, Civic Hall. Leeds LS1 1UR or by email:ian.cornick@leeds.gov.uk.

Notes to editors:

This Independent Remuneration Panel has the function of providing the Council with advice on its Members’ Allowances Scheme and the nature and level of allowances to be paid. The Council must have regard to this advice when reviewing or amending its scheme.

The current panel is chaired by Sir Rodney Brooke CBE, who chairs a number of similar panels for other local authorities. The panel has two further members; Matthew Knight and Carolyn Stephenson and a vacancy which makes up the final position.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk

Heatseekers hitting the streets of Leeds

A heat-detecting vehicle which helps homeowners pinpoint heat escaping from their homes is set to hit the roads in Leeds.

The unique HeatSeekers vehicle, with state of the art technology uses thermal imaging technology to identify homes that may benefit from better insulation.

Operating at night during the colder March months, each vehicle will assess up to 1,000 properties an hour around Leeds. The thermal-imaging technology highlights where heat is escaping from a property and identifies it property would benefit from further insulation.

Once the area has been imaged, a dedicated team of energy advisors carries out free surveys, talking to local residents about how they can improve insulation and take action to reduce both their energy bills and carbon footprint.

An un-insulated home can lose up to 35% of it heat through the walls and up to 25% through the loft. By having adequate insulation to a property the householder could benefit from savings of around £160 per year from their fuel bill and reduce their CO2 emissions by 800kg per year from having cavity wall insulation.

With adequate loft insulation they could see a saving of £205 off their fuel bill and reduce their CO2 emissions by 1 tonne per year.

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for Fuelsavers, said:
“For a lot of people, energy efficiency can seem like a bit of an abstract idea – this is a very visual, very interesting way to grab their attention and tell them of the benefits of saving energy.
“Saving energy means saving money, it’s as simple as that.
“We’re happy to support this effort and encourage residents to talk to the energy advisors about the help available to them.”

Keith Hewitson, Director of the Energy Saving Partnership, said:
“The Heatseekers thermal imaging vehicle has already created quite a buzz in the sector and we are delighted to see it in action.
“Our energy advisors are keen to spread the word about the grant funding which is easily available to ALL homeowners, which significantly reduces the cost of insulation improvements.
“The technology has already helped improve energy efficiency in thousands of homes across the country. The Heatseekers vehicle is one of the key front-line weapons in the battle against climate change and is already playing an integral role in the plans to make UK homes more energy efficient.”

In order to carry out the insulation generated from Heatseekers, the project has teamed up with Mark Group, the UK's largest insulation and energy efficiency installation company.

If any homeowner would like a free insulation survey on their property please call Heatseekers on 0845 390 9390 (local rate call).

Notes to Editor:

Further information on the Energy Saving Partnership:
• Energy Saving Partnership (ESP) is a project management company specialising in energy efficiency projects in both the private and social housing sectors
• ESP with E.on were instrumental in the conception of the unique HeatStreets private homes insulation scheme. From the outset, ESP has run the programme and has managed the installation of measures to many thousands of properties throughout the UK in partnership with Local Authorities

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk