Monday, 28 June 2010

Breeze Festival – anything but hot air!

Photo caption: Carriageworks Academy performing as part of the Breeze International Youth Festival

Over the weekend young rising stars transformed Leeds into an extravaganza of vibrant arts performances and music as the Breeze International Youth Festival (BIYF) rolled into town.

The event was a huge success with thousands turning out to show their support for the city’s young and talented who performed at a variety of stages and venues.

Very warm weather on Saturday meant crowd numbers were high in front of the open-air stage on Briggate where supporters, young people and shoppers alike were entertained by six hours of extraordinary music and performance.

They soaked up performances from steel-band Leeds Silver Steel Sparrows playing a fantastic rendition of Coldplay’s hit Clocks, Leeds Youth Choir performing popular and classical song as well as up-and-coming indie outfit The Scandals. After that BIYF LIVE! moved to The Carriageworks to continue the party.

The festival kicked-off on Thursday with Lights, Camera, Showcase! a display of local talent entirely produced, staged and promoted by pupils at Rodillian High School, which met with critical acclaim.

Friday also saw the return of the hugely popular Breeze Has Talent at The Carriageworks Theatre hosting the 2008 and 2009 finalists featuring top acts including Saints, Uni-4m, Ruby Hendry and many others in a fantastic evening of entertainment.

For those still wanting more Sunday of the festival played host to a special screening of the highly successful animated international film Ponyo, as part of the festival’s partnership with MediaFish.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“As always the acts were received fantastically by enthusiastic and supportive audiences and I know for those young people who got their first taste of the lime-light this was a very special event.

”All the acts and performances were of a high calibre and full-credit has to go to them for all their hard work in making this a festival one to remember.

Performers were available to chat in the Arts Infozone after they came off stage so other young people could be inspired and get involved in some of the fantastic arts programmes taking place around Leeds as well as meeting arts gurus who told them about year-round activities available in the city.

Until Friday 2nd July, BIYF is helping Roundhay School Technology and Language College students to produce their own radio show – Radio Roundhay – which is broadcasting across Leeds.

On Saturday they broadcasted live from the Arts Infozone on Briggate between 12 – 5pm and for the rest of the week they will be on-air with Breeze Bites (Monday to Thursday, 5 - 6pm). Tune into 87.7FM or listen online at

Breeze International Youth Festival is run by Leeds City Council’s arts and regeneration team which create opportunities for people to take part in the cultural life of their city, leading the way in regeneration through the arts.

To find out more about these performers and how you can join their group go to

Notes to Editors:

• Other photographs available on request. Please contact Ann Wishart
• Press reviewers and photographers are welcome to attend the festival. If you would like to cover the festival, please contact Ann Wishart in advance to arrange appropriate access.
• To help festival goers plan their weekend, Leeds City Council have produced a full colour brochure, containing information about all the projects, a full schedule of events, a map and venue, discounts and booking information. A downloadable programme are available at


For media enquiries please contact: Ann Wishart , Leeds City Council arts & regeneration unit, tel 0113 2278049 email:

Pupils welcome Leeds United stars as prize for backing the bid

England may have crashed out of this year’s World Cup but children from a Leeds primary school are celebrating after winning a competition ahead of the 2018 World Cup.

Pupils from Churwell Primary School in Morley are to meet Leeds United players Jonny Howson and Leigh Bromby and take part in football coaching sessions after winning a city-wide competition to design posters to highlight why it’s important for the World Cup to come to Leeds in 2018.

Churwell primary entered the competition last year to show its support for Leeds’ bid as the city competed to be included in England’s bid to be the host country in 2018.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to Churwell Primary School, Morley, LS27 9HR, on Tuesday (29 June), at 2.15pm, when Leeds United players and coaches will be meeting pupils from the school. Please email or call 0113 3951577 to confirm attendance.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

Coaches from the club’s football in the community team will be at the school tomorrow Tuesday (29 June) between 1pm and 2.30pm and will be joined by Jonny Howson and Leigh Bromby at 2.30pm who will meet the children for photos and a presentation ceremony at 2.45pm.

Cliff Summers, headteacher at Churwell Primary School, said:
“The school and all our pupils are 100 per cent behind Leeds’ bid to be a host city in 2018 and the children’s work outlined how excited they would be if World Cup matches were to be played in Leeds. The opportunity to meet Leeds United players and spend time with professional football coaches is a great prize and an occasion they will remember for a long time.”

Schools from across Leeds were asked to show their support for the bid by producing a piece of artwork, poetry or prose to illustrate why the World Cup is important for Leeds. To help boost participation, Leeds United produced a DVD to be used as part of lesson plans and a team from the city region’s bid team visited schools to deliver a presentation about why the World Cup would be important to the city and surrounding area.

The decision on which country will host the 2018 World Cup will be made in December this year.


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577

Burning ambition for community-minded youngsters

Youngsters in east Leeds have been spreading the good news about a scheme that has made them a new force in their local community.

The Junior Wardens, organised by East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL), have been running a workshop for children of the same age on what they have learnt through the Junior Wardens scheme and presenting a play based around an anti-social behaviour incident that happened in the area.

Run by ENEHL, which manages and maintains council homes on behalf of Leeds City Council, the Junior Wardens scheme encourages its members to help improve their communities and set a great example to other young people. There are now 12 Junior Wardens, aged between nine and 11,

ENEHL and its Junior Wardens are working in partnership with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to help children from schools around east Leeds to qualify as Safety Rangers through the Schools Fire Safety Rangers schemes at Gipton and Moortown Fire Stations.

Schools attend the fire station for a fully interactive half day session where they work their way around up to seven scenarios devised by various agencies. The West Yorkshire Police session teaches them about weapons awareness, British Transport Police talk about railway safety, Leeds City Council's Environmental Health Nurses discuss dangers in the home, West Yorkshire Fire Service have a bedroom fire scenario, and then the ENEHL use the play to help the children understand the dangers anti social behaviour and the impact it can have on the local community.

Tom Clarke, a pupil at Cross Gates Primary School, said:
“The play was well good and funny when we had to dance about like idiots causing trouble in the old man’s garden.”

Junior Wardens Scarlett McAndrew and Ben Bland said:
“It’s really hard work, probably even harder than school but you can see we are getting the message across through the play because at the start the children don’t know much about anti social behaviour but afterwards they know the problems and dangers it can cause to a local community.”

The scheme is one of the few in the country that is nationally accredited by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and Learning about Safety by Experiencing Risk (LASER)

Angelena Fixter, chair of the East North East Homes Leeds board, said:
“We’re delighted to have the Junior Wardens working in partnership with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service as it demonstrates what the wardens have been learning in the past year and allows them to pass this onto their peers through a fun and interactive method.
“The innovative and exciting approach of West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to educate children in this area is very effective and we are pleased to have the Cross Gates Junior Wardens to be involved.”

Notes for editors:
East North East Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents. East North East Homes Leeds covers the areas of Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937

Council chiefs write to Rt Hon Danny Alexander regarding the Holt Park Wellbeing Centre

A joint letter from all the political groups of Leeds City Council about the government's decision to suspend funding for the Holt Park Wellbeing Centre will arrive in Danny Alexander's mail this morning.

The Leader’s Office
Leeds City Council
Civic Hall

Rt Hon Danny Alexander
Chief Secretary to the Treasury
HM Treasury
1 Horse Guards Road

Dear Mr Alexander

Holt Park Wellbeing Centre, Leeds

The decision to postpone and re-examine the allocation of £30m of PFI credits to build a new wellbeing centre in Holt Park is a significant blow to Leeds on several counts.

At a time of uncertain public finance the centre would, in the long term, save taxpayers in Leeds money. It is at the heart of the drive to enable people to live independently in their own homes for longer, keeping people out of costly residential homes and replacing several old, inefficient buildings with one new, energy efficient structure. The cost of paying back the loan for the building is around £2m per year for 25 years. However, the recurring savings the project would make give Leeds City Council a better chance of meeting the cost of the increasing number of people who need social care.

The new centre would integrate health and leisure services with services for older people and people with learning disabilities, and link to the nearby Ralph Thoresby school. This would maximise the use of the building, making public sector efficiency savings. Most importantly, the new centre would provide a holistic service for some of the most vulnerable people in Leeds.

From the outset, the wellbeing centre has been designed to break the mould in the way that services are delivered. For those people who use social care services the emphasis will be on reablement and engaging people in a range of active living services, from which one of the planned outcomes will be a reduction in social isolation. Through the active involvement of local residents and people who use the existing leisure centre, the services and activities they want to see the centre deliver are being shaped, with an emphasis on the centre as a community resource focused on healthy active living. This wellbeing model has the support of the adjacent PFI secondary school and the Practice Based Commissioners for the area H3+ consortium.

Work was expected to start in the next few weeks. The 100 construction jobs this would have created for the local economy are now on hold and will never materialise if the project is cancelled. At a time of increasing unemployment, this is not what Leeds needs and will quite likely increase the number of people claiming benefits, meaning more cost for the taxpayer.

The new centre would enable the demolition of the existing out-of-date leisure centre near the site. This would create the opportunity for redevelopment either by an adjoining supermarket or another retailer, providing much needed investment in an area of Leeds which has been earmarked for regeneration over the last 10 years. There is also the possibility of accommodation for vulnerable people being built on the site.

The Holt Park Wellbeing Centre is a real cutting edge project which will bring 21st century efficient public services to Leeds. The idea of combining services under one roof will deliver multiple efficiencies for the public purse, at a time when we need to find new ways of delivering public services in a constrained financial environment. Now that the project appears to be under urgent review by Treasury we urge you to re-instate this project as soon as possible.

Yours sincerely

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon
Executive board member for adult health and social care

Councillor Andrew Carter
Leader of the Conservative Group

Councillor Ann Blackburn
Leader of the Green Group

Councillor Adam Ogilvie
Executive board member for leisure

Councillor Stewart Golton
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group

Councillor Robert Finnigan
Leader of the Morley Borough Independents Group

Guide Dogs help young mayor track down access hazards

A group of young people including disabled students will be joined by Guide Dogs in putting a purpose-built street scene of hazards to the test tomorrow (June 29).

They will be helping Leeds’ young mayor Charlotte Annakin put into action her campaign pledge to look into access for disabled people in Leeds.

*********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**************************************
Where: Victoria Gardens, Leeds city centre
When: Tuesday June 29, 10.30am
What: Wheelchair-using and partially-sighted students will be joined by other students from Brigshaw High, along with two Guide Dogs, in negotiating the specially-constructed street scene of hazards.
Contact: Donna Cox (details below) to arrange attendance.
Also attending the event with be Leeds Lord Mayor Cllr James McKenna and Lady Mayoress Cllr Andrea McKenna, along with Leeds City Council Leader Cllr Keith Wakefield and leading politicians from other parties.

Brigshaw High student Charlotte, aged 16, raised concerns about how people with disabilities can access city centre facilities such as shops and car parks in her manifesto when she was elected this year’s young Mayor for a Day.

She has been working with students from The Project Disabled Young People’s Group to highlight their concerns and work out ways to improve accessibility.

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