Friday, 16 July 2010

Leeds City Tennis Tournament and Summer Camps

Young people dreaming of imitating second-time Wimbledon winner Rafael Nadal can take a step toward realising their ambition thanks to 2010 Leeds City Annual Tennis Tournament and the Leeds Summer Tennis Tour.

Now in its ninth year the biggest event in Leeds' tennis calendar – Leeds City Tennis Tournament – returns and will again attract players from all over the UK.

The grade three ranked tournament begins on Monday 2nd August and runs until Friday 6th August at John Charles Centre for Sport providing grand trophies and those all important ranking points.

Featuring categories from eights and under through to 18s and under competition is of a high standard but the event is open to anyone with British tennis membership which is available from www.lta.org.uk/britishtennismembership.

For those wanting to brush-up on their technique and have loads of fun on a tennis court, the popular annual Leeds Summer Tennis Tour will see 12 training camps taking place at ten different venues across five weeks from Monday 26th July until Friday 27th August.

Served up by Leeds City Council’s Sport Development team the tennis tour is open to players of any ability aged eight to 15-years-old – no matter if they have never picked up a racket or they are experienced junior players wanting to practice.

Each camp takes place week days from 10am-3pm and is run by a professional team of qualified and experienced coaches. Prices work out at £1.60 per hour, equipment is provided and there is no dress code – all with the aim of making tennis as accessible as possible to young people in Leeds.

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

“The Leeds City Tennis Tournament is hugely popular, last year we had over 200 people take part and though we like to keep the event informal the level of competition is quite high so book your place now to avoid disappointment.

“Our summer tennis camps are a great way for kids all over the city to play tennis no matter what their level of ability in a fun, friendly and affordable way that will build their skills with professional coaches.”

For more information on the 2010 City of Leeds Annual Tennis Tournament, please contact tennis development officer and tournament organiser Charlie Tatman on 07891 275383 or charles.tatman@leeds.gov.uk.

2010 Summer Tennis Tour places can now be booked by downloading the application form from www.leeds.gov.uk/tennis or calling 0113 395 0001. Places fill up quickly so those keen to take part are urged to book as soon as possible.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer
tel: 0113 247 8285, email: Daniel.johnson1@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds City Region announces plans to form a Local Enterprise Partnership

The local authority leaders of the Leeds City Region have agreed to establish a Local Enterprise Partnership for the city region.

At their annual general meeting yesterday, the eleven leaders voted in favour of submitting a statement of intent to Government in response its invitation to local authorities to form partnerships that will take on certain roles and responsibilities currently undertaken by regional development agencies.

The proposed Local Enterprise Partnership will draw on the existing Leeds City Region partnership arrangements but will provide for greater collaboration with business.

Leaders agreed that further detailed work would be undertaken to develop the proposal, which will identify opportunities for taking on greater powers and further responsibilities.

It was also agreed at the meeting that Councillor Stephen Houghton, leader of Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, would become chair of the existing partnership and be interim chair of the new Local Enterprise Partnership until such time as an independent chair can be appointed.

Councillor Houghton said:

“City region leaders have taken the decision to develop a local enterprise partnership for the city region on the basis that this is the level at which our businesses operate and communities live their day to day lives.

"We have a strong track record of working together across boundaries over the past six years and we look forward to working with business in the coming months to develop a joint approach to driving growth and rebalancing our economy”.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership Board 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.

With close to 3m people, a resident workforce of 1.3m, over 100,000 businesses and an economy worth £50bn 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.

For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council (0113) 395 0393
e-mail: andy.carter@leeds.gov.uk

Helping offenders break out of a life of crime brings award nomination

A local scheme that tries to cut re-offending and encourage offenders to change their lives for the better is in line for a national award.

The Howard League for Penal Reform has nominated Leeds’ Developing Initiatives Supporting Communities (DISC) for a Howard League Community Award.

DISC is part of the Leeds Integrated Offender Management Programme (IOM) and will battle against 20 other programmes from across the country to become a national champion.

Staff work with prolific offenders aged 18 and over, particularly burglars, to reduce offending and motivate them to make lasting positive life changes.

DISC is commissioned by Safer Leeds – the city’s crime-fighting partnership between Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police – to work with offenders alongside the police, the Probation Service and other voluntary organisations to reduce re-offending and motivate them to make lasting positive life changes.

Its role is to get offenders into intensive programmes which strike a balance between offering advice, support and guidance and challenging them to change their thinking and behaviour.

If boredom is a trigger they look into providing structured activities. If peer pressure is a trigger they discuss peer groups and work on relationship skills. If money is a trigger they look into ways of finding paid employment. If the service user says they can’t get a job because they have a criminal record they are given examples of people with previous convictions who have got jobs. They are shown that they can live their lives differently – something that works particularly well with people who are fed up with offending and prison and don’t know where to start to make positive changes.

The Howard League Community Awards are aimed at increasing public protection by recognising outstanding community programmes that help to reduce the seriousness and frequency of re-offending.

Jim Willson, chief officer for drugs and alcohol at Safer Leeds, said:
“We are extremely proud of what we have built in Leeds.
“The co-location of Police, Probation Service, and third sector providers such as DISC is effective and has made a significant contribution to reducing crime.”

Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform, said:
“Time and time again we hear about getting tough on crime; what about getting effective?
“Today we announce the nominees for our Howard League community programme awards. “These are run by hard working professionals who succeed with those who have committed crimes and help them turn their lives around.
“Community sentences cut re-offending by 13 per cent. By contrast, more than two thirds of prisoners will commit more crimes within two years of leaving jail.
“It’s about time we paid some attention to the success stories in criminal justice instead of constantly running down the good work that is done in our communities.”

The winners of the Community Awards will be announced at an event in London on the 20th July and PR guru Max Clifford will address delegates on ‘How best to promote community sentencing’.

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