Monday, 14 June 2010

Safety rangers learn the importance of road safety

Young people in Leeds are learning the importance of road safety through a safety scenario looking at the braking distances for cars.

Various safety ranger events are taking place at fire stations across Leeds with young people in years five and six of primary school being taken through various hazardous situations one of which involves road safety.

The road safety unit at Leeds City Council will be using their reaction tester equipment for their scenario. The equipment consists of a display screen, a brake sensor and a computer attached to an immobilised vehicle.

The young people will have the chance to sit in the driver’s seat and, on a prompt from the screen will press the brake. During the scenario, the young people will be shown the difference between being distracted and when they are concentrating, and how this affects their stopping distance. They are asked to think about where a car travelling 30mph would stop, to which most of them put a cone a few feet in front the car.

When the test is carried out, it usually shows that the vehicle does take around 23 metres to stop, (the average stopping distance quoted in the Highway Code for a driver who is concentrating and driving in good conditions).

Children in year seven are the highest group for pedestrian accidents, so teaching the children whilst they are young drives the message of road safety home.

Councillor Richard Lewis executive board member for development and regeneration said:
“The safety ranger programmes are a great way of educating young children about various potentially hazardous situations they may face.

“Our road safety team provide young children with an opportunity to see the real dangers that a lack of concentration can have on a persons driving ability, and even when concentrating the real distances a car can travel.

“It is important that we educate young people about these issues, and ensure they have a good understanding from an early age of how to take responsibility for their safety and really think about how to keep themselves safe.”

Notes to editors:

Two events have already taken place at Stanningley fire station in the week of 10 May, and Hunslet fire station in the week 24 May. The next event is at Gipton fire station this week (w/c 14 June) and the final event is at Moortown fire station on the week commencing 28 June.

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

Statement re Leeds Arena court action

Judgement has been reserved after recent legal action in the High Court in London involving Leeds City Council, its plans for Leeds Arena and the developer Montpellier Estates (MEL).

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said:

“Montpellier Estates Ltd have indicated that they may seek an injunction to prevent Leeds City Council from entering into any contract for the development of the Leeds Arena.

“In view of this the council took pre-emptive action at the High Court last week to strike out this and other aspects of their claim, to ensure that the much-needed Leeds Arena can progress as planned. It is unclear to us how MEL can claim that their action is considered "best for our region"."

Notes to editors:
An injunction is sought via a legal process known as injunctive relief, where a court is asked to issue an order requiring an individual or organisation to do or not do a specific action.

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


Police help youngsters get on their bikes

Picture caption: (rear) "Youth workers Adrian Hobson and Paul Prince with Jordan Winter and Aaron Burke and some of the donated bikes."

Picture caption: "PC Steve Hartley is joined by John Drake from Drake's Cycles to hand over the donation to youth worker Paul Prince, watching on are (l-r)Adrian Hobson, Jordan Winter, Jamie Dodds, Aaron Burke, Mickey O’Brien."

Young people in north east Leeds are giving unclaimed stolen bikes a new lease of life as part of a new project based at the Herd Farm outdoor activity centre.

The bikes which have been donated by West Yorkshire Police had fallen into disrepair after being recovered as stolen property. They have been donated to the farm as part of a unique project which aims to boost respect, confidence and team work among local young people.

The bikes, which police have been unable to reunite with their rightful owners, have been given to the centre as part of a new initiative that sees local children work with staff from Herd Farm to repair the bikes, which they then get to keep as their own.

Young people taking part in the project are aged from 12-21 and spend four hours at the centre one evening per week where they work with youth development officers from Leeds City Council.

Alongside the maintenance and repair of the mountain bikes those on the scheme are also taught about health and well-being as well as using Herd Farm's mountain bike course to learn how to safely ride the bikes.

Combined with the donation of the bikes, police have also awarded Herd Farm a £500 donation from the Proceeds of Crime Trust to help pay for the necessary repairs. Drakes Cycles has also helped support this project with discounted parts.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, including youth services, said:
“This is a unique project which offers these young people the chance to develop a whole host of new skills. Not only how to repair and maintain the bikes, but also team working skills, health, wellbeing and safety. None of this would have been possible without the kind donation of the bikes and money from the police.”

PC Steve Hartley, who helped to develop the project and works for the Roundhay, Alwoodley and Moortown Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
"The success of this scheme can be seen through the dedication and commitment shown by those taking part.

"Having the goal of getting these bikes up and running has really inspired the young people and we already have three of the bikes finished.

"This is a practical way for the police to build relationships with local youngsters and I cannot think of a better use for what were old bikes rotting away in a police property store."

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

Free activities in south Leeds this summer

Young people in south Leeds can get in the festive spirit as the I Love South Leeds festival is back this summer with a great range of activities.

The festival , funded by Leeds City Council’s inner south area committee, provides lots of activities to keep young people occupied throughout the summer months, and all the activities are free.

The activities include ‘Turn it up’ a series of musical workshops where young people can learn to play an instrument, create CDs and even learn how to DJ.

South Leeds Olympics is for those who want to be more active this summer. Activities include a football tournament, sports week, Middleton mile fun run and dance sessions ranging from cheer and street dance to contemporary. Activities are taking place throughout July and August.

The activities booklet and registration forms are now available to pick up, and places are limited, so grab one now for a summer of fun.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing said:
“The festival is one of the highlights of the summer and it’s great to see it back for another year full of great activities.

“This is a chance for the young people in the local area to take part in free activities, and learn new and exciting skills along the way.”

Councillor Angela Gabriel, chair of the inner south area committee said:
“It is great to see the festival back again for another full summer of activities. I am sure the young people will enjoy the wide and varied events on offer.”

The final of South Leeds Superstar is taking place on Saturday 10th July at Holbeck Gala when the winners of the competition will be crowned.

All the activities are free to participate in and places are limited, so young people need to secure their place now. The activities booklet provides details of what’s happening where and when in the area. It also contains details on how to book a place at the sessions.

Registration forms are available to download on the website
by calling South East Area Management on 0113 224 3040 or e-mailing

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

Picture House pub is Leeds’ ‘Best Bar None’

Strictly embargoed: not for publication until 06:00 Monday 14 June 2010

The Picture House Pub in Leeds has been named overall winner of the city’s prestigious Best Bar None awards for 2010.

The awards, organised by Safer Leeds, the city’s Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership, recognise pubs, bars and clubs which provide a safe, well managed and welcoming environment.

The results were announced last night (Sunday 13th June) at a ceremony at Alea casino.

The Picture House in Merrion Street, which has recently come under new management, also won the award for Best Pub.

The winner in the Best Bar category was Fibre, on Briggate, while the title of Best Club went to Halo in Woodhouse.

Arc Inspirations- which runs a chain of bars and restaurants in Leeds- won the award for the best door teams.

The Radio Aire Listener award went to Carpe Diem on Great George Street.

This year’s competition attracted 78 entries - up by a third on last year.

Jim Willson, Safer Leeds’s Chief Officer for Drugs and Alcohol, said:
“ I am delighted to see so many businesses represented at these awards. The growing number of entries reflects the commitment by pub and club managers across the city to show that a fabulous night out can also be a safe one.”

The awards are sponsored by Radio Aire, Diageo, Britvic, Bewley’s Hotel and City Dweller magazine.

• Safer Leeds is the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) dedicated to tacking drugs and crime in the city. It is a partnership organisation between a number of local agencies including Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, NHS Leeds, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and West Yorkshire Police Authority.
• Best Bar None is a UK-wide scheme, which is backed by the Home Office. It was piloted in Manchester in 2003 and has since been adopted by over thirty other Towns and Cities with great success.

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