Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Landfill reduced dramatically in food waste and recycling pilot

Householders taking part in a trial to recycle their kitchen waste in Leeds have helped cut the amount of their rubbish that goes to landfill to 40% less than the rest of the city.

A marked increase in recycling rates has been seen in Rothwell, which is the focus for Leeds City Council’s pilot project to collect food waste alongside improvements to other recycling collections.

In just 12 weeks since the scheme started, the amount of residual waste- rubbish which is not recycled- has reduced in Rothwell to 6.25 kg per home a week- compared to 10.52 kg for the average household across Leeds.

Instead of food waste being consigned to rot in the ground, the Rothwell food rubbish is collected weekly in small kitchen caddies, transferred to containers outside and then taken away for processing into compost. The scheme also involves fortnightly collections of both green bins and black general waste bins.

During the first 12 weeks of the scheme Rothwell residents have been regularly recycling over half of all their waste, averaging 56% a week throughout the 12-week trial and reaching a high of 61%. This already far exceeds the city target of half of all waste to be recycled by the year 2020.

Cllr James Monaghan, executive member with responsibility for recycling and refuse, said:

“This is fantastic news and we are really encouraged by how enthusiastically the people of Rothwell have taken to this trial. It’s incredible to see what a difference to the overall recycling rates saving your potato peelings and leftovers can make.

“We are absolutely committed to our aim of recycling half of our rubbish across Leeds by 2020 and this demonstrates what is achievable, even in just a short time. It will be very interesting to see the overall outcome of this pilot after six months.”

The total amount of food waste collected in Rothwell since the scheme started is 227 tonnes. Around 8,500 homes in the area are taking part in the six-month trial to see whether recycling rates could be boosted by the introduction of the new scheme that includes food waste collections and more frequent green bin collections.

Residents have been putting out their kitchen waste bins every week, the green bin recycling collections have doubled to fortnightly, while garden waste brown bins are emptied fortnightly, as usual for this time of year. This has allowed the black general waste bins to be collected fortnightly instead.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk


See Temple Newsam’s tale of the ‘priceless cut and paste’

A new exhibition showcasing arguably the most expensive example of ‘cutting and pasting’ in history begins at Temple Newsam House in Leeds this week.

Running from Friday 28th May to the end of November, the exhibition entitled ‘A House of Birds: American Birds in a Chinese garden’ tells the amazing story of what happened when the former owner of Temple Newsam House, Isabella Ingram (known as Lady Hertford), decided to get creative with the décor in her sitting room in 1827.

Not content with the hand-painted Chinese wallpaper in the room given to her by her admirer the Prince of Wales, Lady Hertford decided something extra was needed so after ordering a copy of John James Audubon’s new book ‘The Birds of America’ the scissors and paste came out with the result being that the illustrated birds were transferred from the pages of the four-volume book onto the wallpaper.

Little could Lady Hertford have known it, but her creative efforts were ruining one of the most valuable book collections of all time. A rare first edition of volume one of ‘The Birds of America’ has been kindly lent from the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow so visitors can see for themselves some of the birds which were cut out and where they are positioned on Lady Hertford’s ‘personalised’ wallpaper.

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

“This is a really amazing quirky story which forms part of the unique history of Temple Newsam House and I’m sure people will be fascinated to come and see for themselves Lady Hertford’s handiwork which unwittingly has proved hugely expensive.

“It is one of those stories that you just couldn’t make up. I’m sure if Lady Hertford had known at the time what she was doing she would have thought better of it and the scissors would have been firmly put away!”

The exhibition forms part of a wider series of bird-inspired displays and events called ‘Flock Together’ which are taking place for the rest of the year at Temple Newsam House, Leeds Art Gallery and Lotherton Hall.

Elsewhere at Temple Newsam House, the bird theme is explored further by looking at the ways in which they inspired artists and craftsmen in the 1700s as seen in furniture, pottery, porcelain and textiles found throughout the house.

Leeds Art Gallery also currently have some unique birds of their own on display, as they are showing watercolours of native birds produced by one of Britain’s most-loved artists of all time, JMW Turner. Turner produced the images after joining his friend Walter Hawkes on shooting trips at his estate in West Yorkshire. The watercolours are now on display at Leeds Art Gallery and the exhibition runs until Sunday 11th July.

Lotherton Hall near Aberford is also taking part in the ‘Flock Together’ exhibition, with a focus on birds as seen in fashion, art, dress and design entitled ‘Ruffled Feathers’. From Wednesday 2nd June a special trail will be able to be followed around the house which displays birds on silver, furniture, china and even an extraordinary Victorian fire-screen which features real natural history bird specimens. Aside from the trail, there will also be a series of talks and tours taking place throughout the coming months.

The exhibition ‘A House of Birds: American Birds in a Chinese garden’ at Temple Newsam is free on general admission to the house. Adults £3.50, child £2.50, family ticket £9.00. LEEDSCard/Breezecard holders 20% discount to the House, Home Farm free. A special event programme including mask-making, lunch with the curator, pottery painting, a concert of 18th century music and the chance to meet Lady Hertford every Thursday in August accompanies the exhibition.

For further information on ‘Flock Together’ call 0113 214 1548 or visit www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries

Notes to editors:

Temple Newsam is one of the country's great historic houses and estates, located on Temple Newsam Road, Halton, Leeds LS15 0AE. Situated in 1500 acres of stunning "capability brown" parkland it is home to outstanding and nationally designated collections of painting, furniture, textiles, silver and ceramics. It has an ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events.

The opening times for Temple Newsam House are: Tues-Sun, 10.30am - 5pm. Last admission 45 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays, except bank holidays.www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsamhouse


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

Hunslet pupils put their best foot forward

Pic caption: "Pupils from St Joseph's RC Primary School, Emile Mohammad, Dominka Minuta, Charley Adamson and Harry Richardson receive their trophies for walking to school, from teacher Matthew Keddie."

Pupils at a primary school in Hunslet really got into the spirit of Walk to School Week last week, with an almost perfect 90% of pupils putting their best foot forward.

St Josephs RC Primary School, Hunslet awarded special trophies to their best walkers, and were able to more than double the number of pupils who walk to school from 41% to 90%.

They hope to keep the enthusiasm for walking going, with an awards ceremony each week for the class who have travelled in the most environmentally friendly way and for the most improved class.

During the week the school have launched some ‘park and stride’ points and a walk together scheme to encourage groups of parents and children to walk together.

As part of Walk to School week pupils have been learning about more environmentally friendly ways to get to school.

Mrs Elizabeth Snelling Head Teacher of St Josephs, RC Primary, Hunslet:
“I am delighted to see our pupils and families taking their health and fitness seriously. The whole school community have supported this initiative and we look forward to building on this in the months to come”.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council and executive member responsible for road safety said:
“These kids and their parents are setting a great example to everyone by choosing such a healthy and environmentally friendly way to get to school. It’s great to hear that nearly the whole school were able to change their usual habits and walk to school as part of this campgain.”

Across Leeds, children from 89 primary schools and a high school took part in national Walk to School Week 2010 by getting out and about to explore their local environment on foot.

Walk to School Week is a national event which takes place annually to promote the benefits of walking, and encourages parents to leave their cars at home.

For more information about national Walk to School Week, please visit www.walktoschool.org.uk

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

Leeds win away at Chelsea!

Picture Caption: (above) front of gold medal winning The HESCO Garden 2010 (top) Leeds City Council Nursery Manager Paul Ackroyd (left) and Recreation Partnerships Manager Martin Walker (right) with BBC presenter Nicki Chapman as the result was announced.

Leeds City Council have today claimed their first-ever gold medal for excellence at the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The stunning elite show garden entry The HESCO Garden 2010, produced by the council’s Parks and Countryside staff with engineering design and support from sponsors HESCO Bastion Limited, wowed the judges and visitors alike to earn the highest-ranking level of award at the prestigious event in London.

The gold medal is a first for Leeds at Chelsea after earning two successive Silver Gilt Flora awards in the last two years and either silver or bronze category awards with their five other previous show gardens dating back to their first appearance at Chelsea in 1997.

Reacting to the gold medal award, Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Andrew Carter said:

“This is a day we have all dreamed of since Leeds first started coming to Chelsea – competing with the best in the world and winning a gold medal.

“It is an absolutely fantastic achievement for the city of Leeds and we are all delighted beyond words. Congratulations go to the whole Parks and Countryside team and we must say a huge thank you to our sponsors HESCO Bastion for their invaluable support. The garden looks absolutely incredible and everyone who worked so hard on it thoroughly deserves this success.”

The HESCO Garden 2010 is the largest and most ambitious garden design entered by Leeds at Chelsea, modelled on a section of the Leeds-Liverpool Canal complete with a canal and full-sized lock gates as the centrepiece which the organisers the RHS have confirmed is the first time such a water feature has ever appeared at Chelsea.

The theme of garden is to celebrate the green linkages which connect the city centre to the countryside in and around Leeds, as well as the importance of protecting the local environment and raising awareness of the proven health benefits green spaces provide.

The symbolic use of the canal and lock gates is a reflection of the industrial past of the city, when the Leeds-Liverpool waterway was used as a key transport route. The lock gates are also flanked by three distinct sections – woodland, wetland and a floral meadow – which can all be found in green spaces in Leeds.

Maintaining the Yorkshire flavour the garden has been produced using locally-sourced materials from the region, with all the plants and flowers being grown in Leeds and HESCO products providing the structural framework for the garden.

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

“This gold medal award is the result of a massive collective team effort going right back to the first garden in 1997 so everyone who has been involved in any of our gardens can feel very proud today.

“This year’s garden is just amazing – everyone who sees it has the same stunned look on their face and the lock gates have been the centre of attention since the moment they were put in place which has been great to see. We are all delighted with this result.”

The HESCO Garden 2010 is on display all week in the elite show garden category alongside gardens designed by some of the biggest names in the horticulture industry.

The event, held annually in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in London, attracts over 150,000 visitors from all over the globe as well as receiving extensive coverage from the world’s media.

On Monday’s press day, The HESCO Garden 2010 was visited by a host of celebrities including Dame Helen Mirren, Piers Morgan, Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen, Nick Knowles, Jayne Torvill, Christopher Biggins, Lesley Joseph, Linda Barker, Sarah Greene, Moira Stewart and Jennie Bond.

In addition to raising the profile of the city, entering a show garden at Chelsea also allows the council’s Parks and Countryside staff to pit their wits against the finest garden designers in the world, learning new skills and techniques which are then used every day to improve green spaces all over Leeds.

Sponsors and project partners HESCO Bastion, a Leeds-based company who are world-leading manufacturers of products used in civil engineering, said:

"HESCO would like to congratulate the Leeds City Council team for their exceptional creativity, hard work and determination to deliver a winning garden for 2010. It has been a pleasure to work with the team to provide the engineering framework for a garden which spectacularly marries engineering and landscape design.

"Leeds has a long-held reputation for engineering excellence dating back to the industrial revolution; this year’s garden focuses on these engineering developments of the past, and the present, all of which contribute to the vibrancy of Leeds. HESCO is proud that our products carry on Leeds’ engineering tradition for innovation and design. Well done Leeds!"

Young people in Leeds have also played their part in The HESCO Garden 2010, as pupils from local primary schools have taken part in a special education project and competition to help them learn about the value and importance of protecting green spaces.

Of the seven previous Chelsea gardens, four can now be visited by the public at sites in the city. To find out all the latest news on The HESCO Garden 2010, visit the website at www.leedsatchelsea.com or follow the garden on Twitter at http://twitter.com/leedsatchelsea


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

Sharing lives in Leeds

Caption: Lorraine Jackson of St Anne's Shared Lives and Linda Bowen, of the council's adult social care department cut the cake

A celebratory event took place yesterday to mark the name change of two long established and successful adult social care services in Leeds

From now on, Leeds Family Placement Service will be known as Leeds Shared Lives, and St Anne’s Community Carers Scheme will be known as St Anne’s Shared Lives. These new names better reflect the services that are offered and keep Leeds at the forefront of national changes in social care.

St Anne’s Shared Lives is a voluntary organisation, and the Leeds Shared Lives Service is part of Leeds City Council. Whilst they are separate organisations, they felt it would be appropriate to celebrate the re-launch together with all their shared lives carers and the professionals and organisations who work with them. The event was a great success and a fitting celebration of the great service provided by both schemes across Leeds. There was even a celebratory cake, which was cut by two longstanding service users.

The Shared Lives (SL) service recruits people who are committed to providing help and support to people in the community. They are people from all walks of life who share the desire to make a difference. All prospective SL carers receive training and police and health checks before being assessed and approved.

Councillor Valerie Kendall, deputy executive member for adult social care said:
“This event was a celebration of the successful partnership between the two schemes, and of how well placed Leeds is to respond to delivering individual and flexible support.

“The Leeds scheme was one of the first in the country and has developed over the last 33 years to meet the changing needs of communities in Leeds. We have many wonderful carers doing splendid work throughout the city, and making a huge difference to the lives of people needing care and their families, and I would like to thank them for everything they do.

“The Shared Life service provides care for some of the most vulnerable people in Leeds, who deserve and have a right to expect the very best. The service is in a strong position going forward with more people taking control of managing their own care through self-directed support.”

Leeds SL started in 1977 offering short breaks (respite) to older people in the Leeds area. It was the first scheme of its kind in the country and over the years grew and developed to meet the changing needs of the communities of Leeds. The Leeds SL service provides short breaks for adults in the home of a shared lives carer, or support and companionship for a few hours during the day either in the carer’s home or the individual’s own home. Some people need attention during the night and, where possible, a night awake service can be provided for one or two nights a week to enable a person’s own family carer to catch up with their sleep.

St Anne’s SL provides long term support to adults with learning disabilities in the homes of specially recruited carers. It started in 1992 and has developed an excellent reputation over the years. It currently supports over 50 people in Leeds and the surrounding area.

Matching is key to good shared lives arrangement and takes into account the requirement of the individual and the skills and knowledge of the SL carer and practical issues (where does the SL carer live and who lives with them? Do they smoke? Have pets? Like football?) It is also important that people like each other and think they can enjoy sharing every day experiences.

The rewards for carers are that they develop new friendships, know they are doing something worthwhile and receive payments to cover their costs. People using the service get flexible and personalised services.

Carers can be single people, couples or families and have a variety of different backgrounds and experiences. If you have the time in your life to become a shared lives carer, it’s worth finding out more.

Both Leeds Shared Lives and St Anne’s Shared Lives are currently recruiting carers who can offer support within their own home. No previous experience is necessary as training and expenses are provided. Please contact Leeds Shared Lives by ringing 0113 224 3503, minicom 0113 247 8934 or email sharedlives@leeds.gov.uk and St Annes Shared Lives on Tel 0113 2816967 or email martin@st-annes.org.uk.

Additional info

The event took place on Monday, 24 May, 2-4pm at Leeds Civic Hall.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk