Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Young lifesavers make a splash at Aireborough

Caption: The winning team of (l-r) Katie Elmore, Annie Postlewaite, Matthew Dunk and Ritesh Patel celebrate their success

Over 40 young people in Leeds put their lifesaving skills to the test last week as they took part in a special competition at Aireborough Leisure Centre.

The junior swimmers aged 7-12, who are all part of the council-managed Learn to Swim programme, showed off their newly-acquired lifesaving skills in the first competition of its kind to be held at Aireborough.

Following an introductory session open to all those interested where basic lifesaving techniques were demonstrated, the competition was organised by the leisure centre staff with the event overseen by Leeds lifesaving team member Frazer Greenhalgh.

The young people were split into 10 mixed teams of ages and abilities and then took on five team challenges against the clock to determine the winners. The five disciplines saw the teams diving under a floating obstacle in the pool, using different swimming styles, pulling each other through the water using rope, swimming using body boards and working together to tow every team member down the pool.

The winning team 'Piranha' was made up Mathew Dunk, Annie Postlewaite, Ritesh Patel and Katie Elmore, who received the prized trophy while everyone who took part was given a medal.

Leeds City Council head of sport and active recreation Mark Allman said:

“This competition was a fantastic success and a perfect way of encouraging young people to learn vital lifesaving skills which they can use should they ever be in an emergency situation.

“Teaching them these skills in a fun way is ideal and everyone had such a good time we are really keen to see this become an annual event at Aireborough.”

For further information on Aireborough Leisure Centre visit www.leeds.gov.uk or for further information on Leeds lifesaving contact Louise Wells at louise.wells@leeds.gov.uk


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Council’s executive board to discuss the future of City of Leeds

The future of education in Hyde Park looks brighter following recommendations to retain a school on the site of the City of Leeds school.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will meet next Wednesday (21 July) and consider recommendations by Education Leeds to maintain an 11-16 school at City of Leeds and establish new governance arrangements by September 2011.

At the last executive board meeting in June, Education Leeds was asked to work with the school and organisations connected to it to develop alternative proposals. A range of options were considered - including alternatives which had been put forward by the school’s governors and Leeds Metropolitan University.

An earlier public consultation revealed the school is valued by the young people who attend, and their parents. Education Leeds received 175 responses to the statutory notice regarding plans to close the school from pupils, teachers, parents, community representatives, a union and Leeds Metropolitan University.

However, a project team - consisting of the City of Leeds’ governing body and headteacher, representatives from a local high school and primary school, Leeds City College, Leeds College of Building, Education Leeds and Leeds City Council’s children’s services department - agreed any school on the site would need to see fast improvements made and would need to secure a broader confidence in the future stability, quality and effectiveness of the school.

It also agreed that retaining a school on the site which had new governance arrangements would improve outcomes for young people, improve community cohesion, build on the strengths of current provision, be attractive to young people and their parents and be supported by key partners.

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“We have always said that we will do whatever it takes to make each and every one of our schools the best it can be. There is no doubting that City of Leeds has the full support of the local community, staff and pupils who are committed and passionate about it.

“These recommendations represent the best of the many suggestions that have been put regarding the school’s future. They will build on the passion and commitment of young people, staff, governors, the community and the school’s partners and will help to ensure that every young person who attends can benefit from the best education available.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member for children's services, said:
"There has been a lot of support from parents, governors, staff and pupils surrounding this school and I want to praise them for the work and commitment they have all shown over the recent months.

"This has shown just how important a school is to a community and it is heartening to see the ongoing commitment from key partners such as the local primary schools and college, who are all willing to invest the resource needed to ensure the continued successful progress of local young people."

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“After attending the public consultation in February I was impressed with the passion and commitment of the staff, pupils and community. A proposal was made at the meeting which Education Leeds has worked on and the new recommendation will be put to the executive board next week.

“I’m pleased that since there has been the possibility of closure the school has seen improvements in attainment and attendance. City of Leeds has demonstrated great potential and these recommendations provide an opportunity for that promise to be built on. This is the beginning and not the end of a process that will ensure the young people in the area receive a first class education.”

Leeds City Council’s executive board will meet on Wednesday 21 July to consider the recommendations.


For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Talk and tour at Temple Newsam

Caption: The restored Still Room will feature in the talk

An insight into the history of Temple Newsam House will be on offer at a special talk to be held this week.

Conservator Ian Fraser will be hosting a talk and tour of the building at 2:30pm on Thursday 15th July where he will explain the work carried out to restore four of the rooms in the historic Tudor-Jacobean mansion.

The talk will explain how the work was carried out in the four rooms - The Darnley Room, Mr Cutts’s Room, the Red Dressing Room and the Still Room - as well as some of the problems and obstacles which needed to be overcome.

The talk will be followed by a tour of the rooms, to see the result of the lengthy restoration process carried out by Leeds City Council with funding support from the Wolfson Foundation and the European Union.

Temple Newsam House conservator Ian Fraser said:

“Temple Newsam House is one of the great country houses of England, and at times has been at the centre of English history. Almost all of its interiors were heavily altered during and after the war years, but since the mid-1980s a programme to restore its true identity has made considerable progress. The bonus for visitors now is that they get a much richer experience of fine and decorative art in context, as well as a deeper understanding of a great house and its place in Yorkshire's and Britain's history.

“Temple Newsam is very old and because of that it has many layers of history, which can lead to interesting discussions as to which period to restore a room to. The talk and tour on Thursday will give an account of the latest progress in the slow-burn rehabilitation of this fascinating house.”

Places on the conservator talk can be booked by calling 0113 264 7321. Tickets are priced at £6.50 which includes refreshments. For further information on Temple Newsam House, visit the website at www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsamhouse

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.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

A big well done for community-minded youngsters

Youngsters who have made a real difference in their communities have been celebrating their success.

East North East Homes Leeds Junior Wardens from Cross Gates Primary School celebrated their achievements and successes.

The Wardens have been participating in training such as recycling, fire safety, keeping themselves safe, environmental issues, and enforcement issues. The event was held in Cross Gates Primary School to reward the young people with everyone who were involved in the scheme invited to come along.

The main aim of the afternoon was to celebrate the hard work and effort the Wardens have put in over the last year. Not only have they had to juggle their school lives with their Junior Warden work, they have had to work extra hard to keep up with missed work back at schools. This huge effort was rewarded by a medal and certificate given to the young people and these were presented to them by Tony Butler and David Heels of East North East Homes Leeds.

Additional awards were given to Mary Waldron and Conrad Pollard for their outstanding achievements in the scheme and the Junior Warden of the year award was also presented to Mary Waldron. The wardens were praised for their hard work along with their continued commitment to their education.

All Wardens involved in the course were invited and had the opportunity to bring their parents along to enjoy the afternoon. The event included a medal and certificate presentation followed by the Junior Wardens play on anti social behaviour.

Angelena Fixter, chair of East North East Homes Leeds board, said:
“It was a really fun and successful event. Both the wardens and parents enjoyed it.
“This year’s group of Junior Wardens have been a great success and they are a fantastic example of how young people can demonstrate the importance of being good members of the community.
“This event was a celebration of a year of being actively involved to make a difference to their communities and both the wardens and proud parents thoroughly enjoyed it!”

A special thank you went to Rosaleen Hamer, Head Teacher of Cross Gates Primary School for her continual support during the scheme and future schemes in the school. Sponsors of the scheme were also thanked during the event including Colour Copy and Resource Print Solutions for their support.

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 manages 19,000 council-owned residential properties in 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
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds City Region agrees £110m funding deal for housing

The Leeds City Region Partnership has today agreed a one year £110m funding deal to support the delivery of major housing and regeneration schemes across the city region.

The deal is part of a new joint partnership arrangement, which will see the Homes and Communities Agency and the Leeds City Region Partnership working closely to improve existing housing and neighbourhoods, create energy efficient homes, and deliver much needed affordable housing.

The Leeds City Region and the Homes and Communities Agency will be working together through the LCR HCA joint board. The joint board will be responsible for directing funding to housing and regeneration priorities across the city region, providing new jobs and investment that will help speed up the economic recovery.

Councillor Andrew Waller, chair of the new joint board and leader of City of York Council, said:

“We welcome today's funding agreement with the Homes and Communities Agency, which will provide significant investment within the city region at a time when the economic recovery is still fragile. The funding will help maintain momentum in delivering the affordable homes we need across the city region, supporting much needed jobs and training opportunities.

“The new funding powers devolved to the city region are a positive step in ensuring that major funding decisions to deliver local priorities are taken locally.”

Shaukat Moledina , board member of the HCA said:

“This joint partnership arrangement with Leeds City Region will help deliver our shared vision and the economic growth that is necessary for the future prosperity of our communities.

“The significant investment agreed will ensure there is a balanced housing market that meets the local needs of the current and future residents of the places within the city region.”

In addition to the £110 funding for the next 12 months, the LCR HCA Board has also developed an interim city region investment plan for housing and regeneration which sets out the long term strategic investment priorities in the city region.

The joint board will have the responsibility to deliver the investment plan over the coming years and ensure funding continues to be targeted towards delivering the city region’s priorities and ambitions.


Notes to editors:

1. The LCR HCA Board is part of the Government’s programme through which the Partnership has gained devolved powers and responsibilities to support the city region’s economy.

2. The board is constituted as a committee of the national HCA Board, with delegated authority to manage HCA investment in the city region.

3. The board will seek to align other public sector funding around city region priorities, in partnership with local authorities, the HCA, Yorkshire Forward, and other bodies.

4. Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, along with North Yorkshire County Council) from across an area in which people travel to work and leisure to promote economic development and a better quality of life for our communities.
5. With close to 3m people, a resident workforce of 1.5m, over 100,000 businesses and an economy worth £51bn per year, the LCR is a major economy. The LCR is incredibly diverse and has many centres—geographically and culturally. This diversity is its greatest asset and by working together, the distinctiveness of all of cities, towns, villages and rural communities becomes all the more important.
6. For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.
7. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England.
8. The HCA’s vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford, in places they want to live and for local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.
9. The HCA has achieved this by:
• Acting as the bridge between national targets and local ambitions, with a strong regional presence.
• Working through our Local Investment Planning process with local authorities, RDAs and sub-regional partnerships.
• Working effectively with the market, housebuilders, investors and other stakeholders
• Understanding the needs and aspirations of people and communities

10. For more information visit www.homesandcommunities.co.uk

For press/media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Press and Media Manager
Leeds City Council Press Office Tel: 0113 22 43602

Winners crowned in superstar final

Caption: Winners, the Low Road Primary Street Dance Crew and Sammy Robinson

Caption: Overall winners Low Road Primary Street Dance Crew

The south Leeds superstars were crowned on Saturday 10 July at Holbeck gala.

The overall winner of South Leeds Superstar, who will receive a place in the Find Your Talent final in December at Leeds Town Hall, was the Low Road Primary Street Dance Crew.

The winner of the Junior Superstar section (primary school) was the Low Road Primary Street Dance Crew and winner of the Senior Superstar section (high school) was Sammy Robinson, who attends South Leeds Academy.

There were 20 acts in the final who all performed in front of a large very supportive crowd.

Councillor Angela Gabriel, chair of Leeds City Council’s inner south area committee, said:
“All the acts were fantastic, and the crowd really got behind all the finalists. I would like to congratulate the two winners, and also wish Low Road Primary Street Dance Crew the best of luck in the Find your Talent final in December.”


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

Lotherton Hall ‘homecoming’ exhibition for star potter

Caption: One of the Sutton Taylor works which is on display

Works by one of Britain’s most distinguished potters are now on display as part of a special homecoming exhibition at Lotherton Hall in Leeds.

The designs by Sutton Taylor which are now on display until the end of August represent the largest collection of his work ever assembled in one place at one time. Lotherton Hall in Aberford has special significance for the Yorkshireman who was born in Keighley, as from 1976 to 1990 he lived and worked at the Old House in the stable block on the estate.

Taylor is renowned for his ability to create brilliant colours and subtle metal effects in his work, and the exhibition features spectacular ceramics shining in striking shades of red, orange, green and purple throughout the period rooms of the house.

The exhibition is made up of works which are part of the permanent collection at Lotherton Hall, as well as others from private collections and some from the Hart Gallery in London which are available to buy.

Curator of decorative art at Lotherton Hall Adam White said:

“Lotherton Hall is the perfect place for this wonderful exhibition of Sutton Taylor’s work to be taking place. His time spent working at the estate is part of the rich history of Lotherton Hall, and we are delighted to welcome him back in this way.”

For further information go to www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall.

Notes to editors:

Lotherton Hall is a delightful Edwardian country house museum and art gallery in Aberford, close to Leeds. Once the home of the Gascoigne family Lotherton now houses fabulous collections of furniture. Arts, ceramics and costume. Open March to December, Tuesday to Sunday. See website www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall for full details.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk