Friday, 28 May 2010

Council asking for lead on new dog control powers

Leeds city Council is asking people for their views on potential powers that could impose new controls on dogs and responsibilities on their owners across Leeds.

Dog Control Orders could allow Leeds City Council to ban dogs from certain areas of the city, designate areas where owners must keep their dogs on a lead and restrict the number of dogs that can be walked by one person at a time.

They could also mean that any dog owner in Leeds could be instructed to put their dog on a lead if it is likely to cause annoyance or disturbance.

The council has now launched a major consultation to ask local people what they think of these powers and how, and where, they could be applied.

If the council makes any of these orders it will be a criminal offence to breach them. On conviction the offence can result in a fine of up to £1,000 or an offender can choose to pay a fixed penalty to avoid prosecution.

More detail of the different powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 includes:

Dogs on leads in prescribed areas
This would require all dog owners to keep their dogs on leads at all times when in the areas of land covered by the order. The order can cover roads, pavements and footpaths, gated alleyways, small parks and planted areas.

Putting and keeping a dog on a leads when directed to do so
This would require a dog owner to put their dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer because the dog is likely to cause nuisance, annoyance or disturbance. This order would cover the whole of the city.

Banning dogs from prescribed areas
This would allow the council to specify certain land where no dogs are allowed (unless they are guide dogs or assistance dogs) – this could specifically be used for children’s play areas or land used for sport.

Setting a maximum numbers of dogs that can be walked at any one time
This would limit the number of dogs that one person can walk at any one time. The council would set the number to make sure that the owner is able to control all the dogs they are walking and clean up after them. This would cover the whole of Leeds.

To give the council their views, people should go to www.leeds.gov.uk/dogs and complete the on-line questionnaire. A copy of the consultation documents, maps and lists identifying land that might be affected are available online or can be inspected at Knowsthorpe Gate, Cross Green, Leeds LS9 0NP. Hard copies of the questionnaire can be obtained by contacting 0113 3951765 or email environmental.action@leeds.gov.uk

Views must be submitted before 31 August 2010, when this consultation will close.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“Irresponsible dog owners are a problem, blighting parks and streets with their pet’s mess and failing to properly control their animals.
“Yet using these new powers would obviously be a fundamental change in the way we deal with the problem.
“Before we decide which of these measures could help us deal with these issues, we need to know what the public think – whether they own a dog or not.
“Only then can we make an appropriate judgement of how we should to apply these new rules.”

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

Valuing volunteering in Leeds


The volunteering theme for the month of June is ‘valuing volunteering’, which is a celebration of the work that the army of volunteers in Leeds already do, and a chance to focus on improving the overall quality of volunteering in the city.

One of the aims of the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering is for Leeds to be recognised for having excellent volunteering programmes which give volunteers a high quality experience of volunteering.

Valuing volunteering is also about recognising everyone who gives their time to help people and causes. Some may not even consider themselves to be volunteers, but their contribution is just as worthwhile and important.

If you fancy becoming a volunteer yourself, come and take a look at the range of volunteering opportunities available at the Volunteer Marketplace at Victoria Gardens (outside the Leeds Central Library), on the Headrow on Saturday, 5 June, 11am to 3.30pm. There’s plenty of activities for young and old and you can make a pledge to do 10, 30 or 100 hours of volunteering during the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering. People that make a pledge on the day will be entered into a free prize draw to win tickets for this year’s Leeds Festival.

Volunteer Centre Leeds promotes volunteering opportunities in the Leeds area, and deals with hundreds of enquiries every week from people who want to get involved. They also offer advice, support and training to organisations who need or use volunteers including essential support for volunteer managers, and their service is completely free. Volunteer managers often work in isolation, and the centre can give them the support they need to be able to offer the best possible volunteering experience to people who come forward to help them.

Natasha Mort, manager of Volunteer Centre Leeds said:
“We offer a free service and are keen that as many organisations as possible know about the support that we can give them with their volunteer programmes. We’re already working with lots of organisations but are keen to engage with more.

“We have a programme of free training sessions for volunteer managers, which will run to the end of this year, so please contact us on Leeds 395 0405 if you would like more information or to book a place.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering said:
“There are a huge number of volunteers in Leeds, who dedicate their time and energy to making other people’s lives better and improve the environment that we all live in. We estimate that the value of volunteering in Leeds is worth about £39.5 million each year, so it is clearly hugely important to our city and we want to do everything we can to support the people that do it.

"We want to make sure that our volunteers feel valued, which is why its important for us to support volunteer managers in organisations, and I would encourage them, or any company that are considering starting a volunteer programme, to take up the free training that is available from the volunteer centre."

Our commitment to volunteering can also be seen through the new Compact for Leeds, which will be launched this month. Its an agreement between public and third sector partners to work together to deliver the best possible outcomes for the people of Leeds. We are also launching a kitemark for organisations that meet the volunteering requirements of the Compact.

If you are or know of a volunteer or group of volunteers who have made a difference in your local community or organisation, why not nominate them for a volunteer award? Anyone can make a nomination by visiting the year of volunteering website: http://www.leedsyearofvolunteering.co.uk and completing an online form. Alternatively, forms are available from Volunteer Centre Leeds, Enterprise House, 12 St Paul’s Street, LS1 2LE.

The closing date for nominations is 30 September 2010. Everyone who is nominated for an award will be sent a certificate of congratulations. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to the awards evening on 1 December at Leeds Civic Hall.

ENDS

Additional info

For more information about volunteering opportunities you can also call into Volunteer Centre Leeds, 12b St Paul's Street, Leeds LS1 2LE, telephone 0113 395 0405 – open Mondays to Thursdays 10am to 3pm. Alternatively visit our website www.leedsyearofvolunteering.org.uk

Organisations who have volunteering opportunities can get information on how to register via the website or by contacting Volunteer Centre Leeds.

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

Roar England to glory on the big screen in Leeds



Picture caption: loyal fans flying the flag of England in Millennium Square

England’s bid to win the World Cup this summer will be backed by capacity crowds on Millennium Square in Leeds after it was confirmed every game played by Fabio Capello’s men in South Africa will be shown live on the BBC big screen.

Crowds of 8,000 people are expected to flock to Millennium Square to enjoy the big-match atmosphere for every game England play in the tournament as they attempt to become world champions for only the second time.

Leeds City Council’s Events Team who manage Millennium Square have confirmed they will again be repeating the arena that has proved so successful in previous tournaments dating back to 2002 in creating an unrivalled atmosphere to watch the World Cup anywhere in the city.

England’s bid begins against the USA in Saturday 12th June, followed by their other group games against Algeria on Friday 18th June and Slovenia on 23rd June. Admission will be free to each game, and should England progress to the knockout stages every game will be shown live.

For each match, fans are advised to arrive early to secure their places as admission will be on a strictly first-come first-served basis until the maximum capacity is reached. No tickets will be issued or required, and the arena will feature a fully-licensed bar and food outlets.

Aside from England’s games, all World Cup matches on the BBC will be shown on the big screen along with their usual daily mix of news, weather and local information.

Further information will be given on a game-by-game basis, including details of media access requirements.

Anyone requiring further details should contact Leeds City Council’s Events team on 0113 395 0891 or visit www.leeds.gov.uk.

England group matches

England vs USA – KO 19:30hrs, Saturday 12th June

Gates open from 18:00hrs (tbc)

England vs Algeria – KO 19:30hrs, Friday 18th June

Gates from 18:00hrs (tbc)

England vs Slovenia – KO 15:00hrs, Wednesday 23rd June

Gates from 13:30hrs (tbc)


ENDS

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

Leeds make more history at Chelsea



Picture caption: the winning HESCO Garden 2010 with lock gates in the background

Leeds City Council’s gold medal-winning HESCO Garden 2010 has made more history at the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

After the show garden gave the council’s Parks and Countryside Service their first-ever top award for excellence on Tuesday, event organisers the Royal Horticultural Society have confirmed the success is the first of its kind ever by a local authority at Chelsea.

After scouring their record books, the organisers informed the team at Chelsea that their exceptional achievement is the first gold medal won for an outdoor show garden by any local authority entry in the history of the event which dates back to 1862.

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.

Acting Head of Leeds City Council’s Parks and Countryside Service Sean Flesher said:

“This is turning into an amazing week for the team and the city of Leeds as a whole. As soon as we heard we had won gold we had a sneaking suspicion we were the first council to do it here with a large show garden, and we are really grateful to the RHS for taking the time to check for us as it really means a lot for us to be the first.

“The whole project came together fantastically well, with our staff combining superbly with the engineering talents of our sponsor HESCO Bastion to create a garden which is really special and is proving hugely popular. The whole week so far has been absolutely brilliant.”

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 also 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.

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 historic achievement with The HESCO Garden 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

The HESCO Garden 2010 is also a contender to win the coveted RHS People’s Choice Award for best garden at Chelsea. To vote go to http://apps.rhs.org.uk/peopleschoice/

ENDS

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

City welcomes new Lord Mayor



Caption: The new Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress

A new Lord Mayor was installed last night (Thursday 27 May) at Leeds City Council’s Annual General Meeting.

Councillor James McKenna, Labour councillor for the Armley ward, received the chains of office at the mayor-making ceremony, which took place in the council chamber at the Civic Hall.

Councillor Andrea McKenna ward member for Garforth and Swillington will be the Lady Mayoress. This is the first time that two serving councillors undertake the role of Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress.

Councillor Patrick Davey ward member for City & Hunslet, will be the new Deputy Lord Mayor and his wife, Mrs Patricia Davey, the Deputy Lady Mayoress.

Councillor McKenna, the new Lord Mayor said:
“It is a great honour to take up the position as Lord Mayor for such a great city and I am thoroughly looking forward to my civic duties.

“I am looking forward to developing the profile of the city and working with the people of Leeds.”

Councillor Mckenna will be the 117th Lord Mayor of Leeds.

The Lord Mayor's chosen charities for this year are Relate Leeds and Leeds Irish Health and Homes.

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