Friday, 16 April 2010

Wildlife under threat due to lake saboteur

Picture caption: Mudbanks left at Gledhow lake after being drained by vandals.

Residents who live near Gledhow lake are being asked to be on the look-out for a vandal who is deliberately letting the water out, and putting the wildlife there at risk.

Gledhow Lake nestling in the woodland at the side of Gledhow Valley Road has been in existence for more than 150 years. It is home to many birds, including kingfishers, and other species, which are now under threat by someone sabotaging the lake’s drainage mechanism.

In the latest incident, which was discovered on Thursday 15 April, local people were dismayed to see the lake almost empty, after it would seem someone had broken into a locked chamber and opened the draw-down valve. Over the course of the next few hours the lake’s water drained away leaving aquatic species and nests stranded on mudbanks. Leeds City Council staff were alerted by complaints that flows in Gipton Beck downstream were unusually high.

As well as damaging the local wildlife this irresponsible action is also costly to repair, with ultimately council tax payers footing the bill.

This is the second incident in recent weeks which has put the wildlife at the lake at risk. Last month specialised man hole covers were taken. Both incidents have been reported to the police.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Roundhay, Alwoodley and Moortown Neighbourhood Policing Team via: 0845 60 60 606 or call Crimestoppers anonymously and in confidence on: 0800 555 111.

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

Outstanding music for all ages

Picture caption: ArtForms is leading the way in east Leeds, bringing the fun and richness of music across the generations. Pictured are some of those involved in East Leeds Music Centre and the ground-breaking Music Passport. Front row (left to right): Sheila Louise Delacruz (aged 4); Terrence Harvey Delacruz (aged 2); Rebekah Gray (aged 9); (name not known) Back row: (left to right): Nicola Atkinson (aged 15); Resiel Delacruz; Sophie Gallagher (aged 12); Myfanwy Shields (aged 13); Terry Shields; Emma Shields; Colin Belford

From toddlers with triangles to pensioners on pianos – Education Leeds’ music service, ArtForms, has something for everyone. That’s according to a national music education body, which has described it as ‘outstanding’.

The Federation of Music Services, which represents 98% of music services across the country, was so impressed with ArtForms it said: ‘The range and breadth of provision is truly impressive with activities provided for three year olds to those of pensionable age.’

As OfSTED no longer conducts formal inspections of music services, the Federation of Music Services has developed a peer moderation assessment to ensure music services nationally have an ongoing system of evaluation.

Paul Kaiserman, director of ArtForms said:
“We already know that our music service is great but it’s fantastic to hear that our peers think so too. It can be difficult to be objective about the development needs of your own organisation so this type of assessment is really useful. As well as acknowledging our strengths it also highlights any areas for development so we can continue to improve.”

The assessors, who spent three days with ArtForms observing lessons, ensemble sessions and meeting teachers, staff and managers, commented that ‘the skills and musicianship demonstrated by the City of Leeds Youth Percussion Ensemble was not only outstanding but breathtaking.’

The breadth of opportunities offered by ArtForms was highlighted by the assessors, who were especially impressed that, as well as catering for able and gifted musicians there is also a wide range activities for children with special needs.

ArtForms, in partnership with Youth Music, is currently pioneering a new approach to encourage more young people to continue learning music throughout their lives. Music Passport helps young people to follow their own musical journey, making the most of their opportunities along the way. Young musicians at high school are role models for younger learners.

Paul Kaiserman continued:
“Many children start to play a musical instrument at primary school but sometimes lose their enthusiasm and find it hard to continue as they get older. Music Passport aims to encourage their continued interest in music through mentoring and buddying between primary and secondary pupils.”

This year ArtForms is also taking part in Tune In - Year of Music, an initiative from the Department for Children, Schools and Families which aims to encourage children and young people across England to take part in more music-related activities.

There are eight music centres serving the whole community in Leeds providing classes and groups for musicians of all ages, abilities and tastes. Everyone is welcome to participate. For details see or ring 0113 2304074.

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