Thursday, 17 June 2010

Yes they can… aerosols helping Leeds become greener

Aerosols can now help Leeds to become greener as the latest item which can be put in green bins for recycling.

The spray cans are the newest addition to a long list of products that can be recycled after being collected from homes across the city and their inclusion is a topical start to next week’s national Recycle Week.

*******************MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**************************
Monday, June 21, 10.30am, Unilever factory, Coal Road, Seacroft:
Cllr Tom Murray will launch the scheme by placing a collection of aerosol cans in a green bin against the backdrop of a refuse truck with advertising for the initiative.

Empty aerosol cans used for products such as deodorants, air fresheners and furniture polish can now be sent for recycling alongside other aluminium and steel products like food and drinks cans.

Householders should ensure that the aerosol cans are completely empty before putting them in green bins. They should also take care not to pierce or crush the cans and easily-removable plastic parts, such as the lid, should be taken off.

The council initiative is backed by food, home and personal care giant Unilever, and Alupro, the Aluminium packaging recycling organisation. Under the scheme, spray cans collected in Leeds will be recycled and made into new aerosols, many of which will be used at Unilever’s factory in Coal Road, Seacroft, which is Europe’s largest aerosol factory and which makes deodorant brands such as Dove and Lynx.

Cllr Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services, said:

“This is an excellent addition to the range of items Leeds residents can now put in their green bins. It is also cost-effective as the aerosols can be sent for recycling alongside food and drinks cans for no extra charge.

“Aluminium and steel used in aerosols can be repeatedly recycled without losing quality, so this is a very effective way to help reduce landfill and cut the city’s carbon footprint. It will certainly help towards our commitment to making sure that by 2020 Leeds is recycling half of its rubbish.”

Rick Hindley, executive director from Alupro, said:

“Metal food and drink cans are already are familiar sight in most household recycling bins, but it’s great to see that Leeds is now collecting aerosols too. More than 580 million of these containers are used each year in the UK, so there is huge potential to save energy and resources by recycling them.

“People have aerosols lying around all over the house – under the kitchen sink, in the bathroom, or on a dusty, long-forgotten shelf in the garage. Once they are empty they can all be recycled.”

Matt Close, vice president of marketing for Unilever, said:

"We are delighted to be working with Alupro and Leeds City Council on this groundbreaking initiative. Recycling empty deodorant cans is just one small action which households can take to help the environment. This project makes it easier than ever before for households in Leeds to take a small action to make a big difference.
"As the largest manufacturer of deodorants in the UK, we take our responsibilities to the environment very seriously, and our ongoing commitment to reduce our packaging waste footprint is no exception. This partnership is an important step forward in achieving our target of doubling the size of our business while reducing our overall environmental impact."

Alupro has teamed up with a range of leading manufacturers and retailers to launch a national campaign aimed at encouraging local authorities to launch aerosol collections in their areas.

The campaign is backed by Unilever, the British Aerosol Manufacturers’ Association (BAMA) and steel packaging recycler Corus. Other programme partners include the major aluminium foil container manufacturers Coppice Alupack, Jena and Nicholl Food Packaging.

More information on aerosol recycling is available at

Notes to editors:
• Consumer research conducted by NOP Omnibus for Alupro in August 2009 found that 58% of respondents think that buying goods with recyclable packaging is ‘very important’. 45% of those surveyed believed aerosols to be recyclable. 84% of people surveyed would recycle aerosols if facilities existed in their area. Full details on the consumer research are available from Alupro: tel: 01527 597757 or email:

• Alupro is managing a collaboration between the aluminium and steel packaging recycling industry, materials re-processors and the leading names in manufacturing and marketing of aerosols and aluminium foil containers.

• The scheme provides advice and support for councils who want to start a new collection programme for aerosols and/or foil containers, learn more about how to handle the materials and find markets in which to sell the recycled metals.

• Programme partners:
- Aluminium Packaging and Recycling Organisation (Alupro): a not-for-profit organisation working with local authorities and other collection partners to increase recycling rates.
- British Aerosol Manufacturers' Association (BAMA): the UK trade association for the aerosol industry.
- Corus: one of Europe’s largest steel producers with manufacturing and recycling operations in the UK.
- Coppice Alupack: Specialists in the manufacture of aluminium foil containers for the food manufacturing, processing and bakery industries.
- Jena: a leading supplier of foil platters and containers to UK cash and carries and retailers.
- Nicholl Food Packaging: manufacturers of traditional and smoothwall foil containers for all sectors of the food industry.
- Unilever: one of the country’s leading consumer goods companies, with brands including Lynx, Dove and Sure.

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


Flag raised for armed forces

Cllr Keith Wakefield donates a cystal bowl to the Armed Forces Day Committee following their plea for donations for raffle prizes

Next week sees the start of events to honour armed forces across the UK, and Leeds will be raising the flag to start the celebrations.

Officially Armed Forces day will be celebrated on Saturday 26 June 2010, but cities across the UK are using the whole week to show their support for the men and women who make up the Armed Forces community: from currently serving troops to service families, and from veterans to cadets.

Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield will be presiding over the raising of the armed forces flag on Millennium square on Monday, as a mark of respect and to signify the start of armed forces week.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to attend the raising of the flag at 11am on Millennium square at the front of the Civic Hall on Monday 21 June. Leader of Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield will be attending, joined by veterans and members of the Armed Forces day committee. Please contact the press office on 0113 2474450 to arrange attendance.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council said:
“Our armed forces are a vital part of Britain and it is important that we take the time to celebrate and remember what the serving soldiers, veterans and young cadets do.

“I am sure the day will be full of great entertainment, but also give the people of Leeds a chance to reflect on what the armed forces do for their country.”

Leeds City Council are organising a full day of celebrations for Armed Forces Day on Sunday 27 June, which see serving soldiers, veterans and cadets marching to the Town Hall where the Lord Lieutenant, High Sheriff and Lord Mayor of Leeds will take the salute before a church service in the Town Hall.

The day will also include a wide variety of entertainment such as a paint ball range, a field kitchen for food and snacks, an RAF Wii fit machine and a light gun display. The day will be topped off with a Dakota fly pass. There will be plenty of family activities as well.

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

Statement regarding Yeadon planning court judgement

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for city development, said:

“We are very disappointed with the judge’s decision and we will be taking further legal advice on whether there is scope for a further challenge.

“However this week, a planning inspector resolved to postpone a new planning inquiry on a further green field site at Allerton Bywater following a request by Leeds City Council.

“Here the inspector decided that the imminent announcement by the new Secretary of State, Eric Pickles, about the abolition of the Regional Spatial Strategy housing targets, means that the nature of the debate between the council and the appellant has completely changed as to what the housing target should be and how it should be met.

“An announcement from the Secretary of State is expected shortly to provide clarification. In the meantime, the council will be asking the planning inspectorate to re-open the planning inquiry at Boston Spa and Grimes Dyke so that the new position about housing requirement and how it should be met can be properly addressed.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602

AUDIO: Council reacts to suspension of Holt Park well being centre project

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care, reacts to the Government's decision to suspend the Holt Park well being centre project.

lucinda yeadon on holt park project suspension.mp3

Ex-council worker admits £10,000 benefit fraud

A former Leeds City Council worker has pleaded guilty and has been prosecuted for unlawfully claiming benefits of just over £10,000.

Gift Chimwara, 36 from Leeds, has been sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work along with a 12 month community service order and a fine of £85 after being charged under the theft act.

Gift Chimwara claimed housing & council tax benefit from Leeds City Council from 26th September 2005 to 27th April 2009, and claimed to be a self-employed barber, but omitting the fact he was working for the council at the same time.

Following a data-matching exercise, Chimwara was found to be working for Leeds City Council. An investigation by the council confirmed that he had been employed by the council from 2005 in a full time capacity and that his earnings from this employment however were not reported on any of his housing & council tax benefit claims. Chimwara was immediately suspended.

Steven Carey, chief revenues and benefits officer said:
“I hope this sends out a stark reminder to benefit cheats that we can and will take action against them. The public has the right to expect the highest standards of integrity from people who work for the Council and this case demonstrates that we will take action where these standards are not met.

“Benefit fraud is a serious crime, but it also affects other people by taking money that could be better used helping people in genuine difficulty.


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

Young Leeds performers showcase their talents

Picture caption: "Uni-4M will be amongst the finalists performing at the Carriageworks on Friday 25 June."

Picture caption: "Ruby Hendry who came second in last year's Breeze has Talent competition will be performing at the finalists' showcase"

The most popular performers from the past two years of Breeze has Talent competitions will be showcasing their talents at a special performance next week.

To celebrate the ongoing achievements of some of the young people who have taken part, Leeds City Council will be holding a ‘Finalists Showcase’ at the Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds on Friday 25 June, 7pm until 8.30pm.

Featuring top Breeze has Talent acts including Saints, Uni-4m, Ruby Hendry and many others in a fantastic evening of entertainment. The show will be a great source of inspiration for this years’ Breeze has Talent hopefuls. Tickets for the showcase are £1.00 – but are free with a Breezecard and are available from the Carriageworks box office on 0113 224 3801.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, including youth services, said:
“We’ve already found so many talented young people from the past two competitions and this showcase is a great opportunity to celebrate their success and encourage even more young people to give it a go.

“Last year’s competition was a great success and really challenged stereotypes to prove that with a bit of time, effort and commitment all young people can achieve something special.”

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member with responsibility for leisure, said:
“The standard of last year’s competition was very high and was really encouraging to see our young people demonstrating what they can do. We will continue to support and nurture that talent over the next few years- and will be doing all we can to help every young person across the city to fulfil their potential.”

For the past two years, Breeze has Talent has provided an exciting competition platform for over 100 talented 8 – 19 year old performers to develop their skills and show what they can do.

Auditions for the 2010 competition will take place on Sunday 27 June at the Carriageworks Theatre. Successful acts will perform at this year’s Breeze on Tour with the winner performing at this years’ Town Hall Christmas Lights switch on.

This year's winners will join the winners of ‘Schools Got Talent’, ‘Junior Superstar’, ‘Chapeltown’ has Talent as well as other community talent festivals across Leeds to compete in a grand finale ‘Breeze presents Leeds has Talent’ which will take place on Saturday 18 December at the Town Hall.

You can still apply for to audition for this year’s Breeze has Talent – just visit the Breeze website at, or contact Leeds City Council’s out of school activities team on 0113 276 0837 to find out more.

Notes to editors:
Breeze has Talent is just one strand of Breeze which brings a wide ranging programme of activities to young people in Leeds.

Breeze Has Talent is part funded by Find Your Talent which gives children and young people the chance to try out different cultural and creative activities. It's about helping them to discover new things, to express themselves, to develop a passion and to make the most of their talent. Whether it is music, art, film, theatre, dance, digital media, exploring libraries, museums or heritage, Find Your Talent is for every child and young person, whatever their age and whatever their ability.

The scheme is being piloted in 10 pathfinder areas across England and offers children and young people regular involvement with arts and culture both in and out of school. Find Your Talent is funded by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the Department for Children, Schools and Families, Arts Council England and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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

World Cup fever hits Burmantofts

Picture caption: "Young people celebrate the first goal of the World Cup, at Ebor Gardens Community Centre."

Young people in Burmantofts won’t miss any World Cup action this year thanks to Leeds youth service.

In a celebration of both football and world culture Leeds City Council’s youth service is showing every match on two huge plasma screens at Ebor Gardens community centre.

The centre is taking on an international flavour throughout the competition with free food at half time from one of the countries playing in that match. Throughout the competition the young people will get the opportunity to try food from each of the 32 countries taking part.

Flags and information about all participating countries will be on display, to help the youngsters understand and appreciate the cultures of the teams they are watching.

The first matches have already proved very popular with 148 young people attending to watch the opening ceremony and then the first matches.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, including youth services said:
“This projects aims, through the World Cup, to give young people the chance to come together and learn about the different countries and cultures involved in the competition.

“The Burmantofts and Richmond Hill area has a very ethnically diverse population with the local high schools having in excess of 58 languages being the first language spoken by their students. So this is a great opportunity for everyone to come together and celebrate over one common interest.”

Young people from the age of eight upwards can attend free of charge.

Local primary schools have been invited to attend the centre for the daytime matches and matches kicking off at 3pm and 7.30pm will be open to any young people. Youth groups from outside the area attending with their youth worker will also be welcome, but do need to book before hand.

Nando’s restaurant in Leeds city centre has offered free food for the days Portugal play and La Tasca restaurant has provided a chef and all the food on the days Spain will be playing.

Two young people, who used to attend youth clubs in the area and are now chefs, are cooking some of the meals, and volunteers from Leeds Metropolitan University, are also helping out with the cooking.

Funding for the project has come from a variety of sources, including the Youth Opportunities Fund, the local tenants groups and ward members have donated £500 towards the costs.

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

New children’s centre opens in Farsley

Families are being invited to take a peak at a new state of the art children’s centre which opens its doors in Farsley on Friday.

The new Farsley and Calverley Children’s Centre which is based at Farsley Farfield Primary School, is holding an opening event on Friday 18 June 2010 between 2pm and 5pm. Families are welcome to join the children’s centre team for activities including face painting, craft activities, biscuit making, and story telling, as well as an opportunity to visit the ‘enchanted forest’ magical grotto.

Media Opportunity:
When: Friday 18 June 2pm – 5pm
Where: Farsley and Calverley Children’s Centre, Farsley Farfield Primary School, Cote Lane, Farsley, LS28 5ED
What: Staff will welcome families to the new children’s centre where they will be able to try out some of the activities available at the centre. Senior officers in Education and early years will be on hand.

The centre will be providing health and family support services for all children under five in the Farsley and Calverley areas in newly re-furbished premises. The team are looking forward to meeting all families in the community to share experiences such as parent and toddler groups, ante-natal and post natal support, adult education classes, links with Job Centre Plus and Children’s Information Services during term time and in the school holidays.

Sue Warwick, Farsley and Calverley Children’s Centre manager said:
“We are very excited about our new children’s centre, which has been designed with the needs of local children in mind. We already have 220 families attending sessions and look forward to welcoming many more in the coming weeks.”

Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“This is one of the final children’s centres to open as part of a very successful project which has already seen 58 centres open across the city.

“They are a real hub of local communities and provide the very best start in life for children, while ensuring the needs of the whole family are also addressed. A great deal of support and training opportunities are provided right on the local doorstep.”

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

Kids take to two wheels

Over 5000 pupils from schools across Leeds are taking to two wheels as part of Bike Week 2010 next week.

Bike Week runs from 19-27 June and will include schools in Leeds taking part in events ranging from mountain bike courses and cycle training , to poster competitions and world cup team events.

The Leeds summer festival of cycling incorporates national bike week events, and coincides with health week, which allows schools to encourage pupils to increase their activity and health whilst biking or scooting to school.

Activities in the festival include scooter training, cycle training and demonstrations on road safety and workshops on cycling.

Leeds City Council’s school travel team are holding a draw for each school who have registered their event. The winner from each school will receive high street vouchers as prizes.

Also the ‘five schools, five challenges cycle ride’ will take place in Otley with the council’s travelwise and road safety teams riding 50 children to local attraction Almscliffe Crag.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member for development and regeneration said:

“Keeping children active and encouraging them to cycle or scoot to school is a great initiative and one that should be continued throughout the summer months.

“I hope all the young people enjoy all the events next week, and have fun as well as learning new skills and getting lots of exercise.”

Colas, a contractor for highways, has generously donated three bikes as prizes for a design a poster competition. The poster theme will be building site safety as Colas will be working outside some schools over the summer and want to display winning posters around their compound close to the schools main entrance, to try to keep children in the area safe.

All activities in Leeds are part of the National Green Team Bike Week. For further information about any of the events locally or nationally visit and

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

New Armley Leisure Centre Official Opening

Picture Caption: Lord Mayor James McKenna and Lady Mayoress Cllr Andrea McKenna with Anya Padan and Morgan Parsons - representing Whingate Prinmary School which will be using the new facilities.

Armley Leisure Centre has been officially opened by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor James McKenna, in a prestigious ceremony held yesterday.

The Lord Mayor, who is also ward councillor for the area, unveiled a plaque to commemorate the occasion and gave a short speech.

He reflected on the centre’s phenomenal success which has already seen over 16,000 people taking part in activities since it opened to the public last month.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor James McKenna, said:

“I have watched the progress of this magnificent facility as a ward member with growing anticipation and I am delighted to officially open it. The centre has come a long way since opening as Armley Bath and Wash House in 1932.”

“While many things have changed, not least the range and quality of facilities here, there is one element that has lasted the test of time. That element is the sense of community, which still sees the centre catering for a range of school groups, families, sports clubs and social groups.”

Special guest Fullum Goalkeeper David Stockdale toured the facility and saw firsthand how it is already being used by school groups, the Active Life group (over 50’s group), local residents and community groups. The tour was a step back in time for the Fullam star who began his career playing 5-a-side football in leagues at the old Armley centre.

The project saw extensive consultation with users of the old centre, as well as all key stakeholders and community groups, to ensure the new centre met with local need.

A dedicated working group, comprising range of local people, has played a key role in every stage of the project helping shape the facilities available today.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“It’s great to see that so many people from in and around the community have already visited Armley Leisure Centre to use the outstanding facilities. We hope everyone will continue engaging in the extensive range of activities on offer here for many years to come.”

Contractors Interserve created the new centre in two phases, the first being carried out on the field adjacent to the former centre which then closed in Summer 2009 and was demolished to allow the second phase to begin.

Corporate Director of Interserve Project Services Ian Renhard said:

“Working with our partners in Leeds, helping to deliver a leisure centre that is being so well received by the local community has been very rewarding for us. Total commitment from every member of the team has made this a fantastic facility.”

Sport England has invested £250,000 of National Lottery funding in Armley Leisure Centre.

Anne Ibrahim, Sport England's Regional Lead for Yorkshire, said:

"Armley Leisure Centre is a fantastic sporting destination for the local community. It provides state-of-the-art facilities that both local people and sports clubs can enjoy. Apart from being a welcoming place for users of all abilities the centre is also contributing to the regeneration of Armley."

For further information on the new Armley Leisure Centre or to download the swimming and fitness programmes go to The new centre can also be contacted from 18th May onwards by calling 0113 336 7880.


For media enquiries please contact:Daniel Johnson, Leisure Communications Officer, Tel: 0113 247 8285, Email:

Elastic band stretches pupils performance skills

Musical pupils from eleven schools in the east of Leeds have been forming a band with a difference this week. The difference being – they’ve never even met before.

The East Leeds Elastic Band project brings together the most enthusiastic and talented young musicians from Education Leeds’ ArtForm’s ‘Wider Opportunities’ programme. After two days of learning how to play in harmony the new band will be performing in front of an audience.

The 80 strong band have never met before and have been learning their instruments - violin, brass, recorder, african drums, or guitars - for the past two terms. For many of the musicians this will be their first live performance.

Project leader Alex Wibrew explains:
“Music is a fantastic way of bringing people together and raising pupils’ self belief. We’re sure we will have a lot of fun over Thursday and Friday, make lots of new friends and make some pretty good music too”.

The performance is open to the public and will be held at Beechwood primary school, Kentmere Avenue, Leeds LS14 6QB at 13.45 on Friday 18 June.

ArtForms is Education Leeds’ music and arts service. The Wider Opportunities programmes offers every pupil in Leeds the chance to learn a musical instrument.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the performance. For more information about the project and to attend the performance please contact Alex Wibrew on 07813 918133.

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