Thursday, 29 July 2010

Free fun and games at Playday in Leeds

Children around the city are being invited to come and join in a whole host of fun and games to celebrate Playday in Leeds.

Free activities for children of all ages have been organised at Roundhay Park on Wednesday 4 August, between 10am and 3pm.

Youngsters will be spoilt for choice at this year’s event, organised by the Leeds Play Network and Leeds City Council. Activities include a water slide, grass slide, go kart making, arts and crafts, face painting, bouncy castles, war hammer, kite making, sand play, pirates, story telling, dressing up, junk musical instruments, sports, obstacle course and soft play areas.

Councillor Karen Renshaw, policy lead member for children’s services said:
“Family life can be so hectic, and playtime is often the one thing that gets forgotten about. But play is such an important part of a child’s life and has a great impact on their future development, so it is vital that families set aside some time and space to allow their children to play.

Councillor Renshaw added;
“Having this year’s Playday event at Roundhay park will give us the opportunity for a wide range of activities both on the grass, in the woods and in the natural surroundings.”

Youngsters will also be able to take part in activities which make the most of the natural surroundings including mud pie making, nature trail walks and den building.

Playday is a national campaign and is the biggest annual play celebration in the country. As well as enabling children and families to have a great day out, the campaign also aims to raise awareness of the child's right to play and issues faced in creating opportunities to play.

The Playday 2010 campaign is Our place - putting children at the heart of our communities, and asks everyone, young and old, to help create better places for all of us to live and play.

Also taking part in the Leeds Playday event at Roundhay Park are Real Radio and Leeds’ family information service - Leeds Family Hub.

Parents are reminded to bring waterproofs and sun protection, and a change of clothes for their children - Playday will be going ahead rain or shine.

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

City’s senior councillors to visit Morley this weekend

Eight of Leeds’ senior councillors will visit Morley this weekend in the first of several cabinet visits which will take place across the city.

The councillors, many of who sit on Leeds City Council’s executive board and others who are part of the council’s cabinet, will take a tour of Morley town centre on Saturday (31 July) from 10am and meet residents and owners of local businesses.

They will see first hand the benefits created since a town centre manager was appointed for Morley and Rothwell which includes a record number of visitors to the town centre, an increase in the number of shops and businesses and better partnership working across Morley.

The councillors will meet the chair of the Rothwell Traders Association and the town centre manager for Pudsey and Armley before walking along Queen Street where they will meet key partners and visit the town’s market.

Councillor Richard Lewis, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“This is the first of several visits by the cabinet to different areas of Leeds. The visits will allow us to meet local people and businesses, find out what is important to them and where we can make improvements across council services. Morley is a vibrant town with a busy centre and we all look forward to meeting lots of different people throughout the visit.”

The councillors visiting Morley on Saturday are: Councillor Richard Lewis, deputy leader and executive member for development and regeneration; Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member for housing and neighbourhoods; Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for leisure; Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for adult social care; Councillor Jane Dowson, executive member for learning; Councillor Bernard Atha, policy lead for central and corporate; Councillor Lisa Mulherin, policy lead for leisure; Councillor Karen Renshaw, policy lead for children’s services.


For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3950393

Breeze is back and this time we’ve got new stuff

Picture caption: "Youngsters enjoy the new giant inflatable twister at the fist Breeze on Tour of 2010 at Temple Newsam"

Picture caption: "Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning and Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member for leisure, with youngsters enjoying the new inflatables at Breeze on Tour."

Young people have been enjoying some brand new equipment at this year’s Breeze on Tour.

The first of a variety of new purchases was ceremoniously ‘opened’ on the first day of Breeze on Tour 2010 at Temple Newsam yesterday (Wednesday 28 July).
Youngsters were able to try out the first of the new purchases, including giant inflatable twister and padded sumo wrestling suits.

The equipment was purchased with £76,000 from the LS£ash Youth Capital Fund, following a successful bid by young people who attend the Friday Night Project at South Leeds leisure centre.

Breeze on Tour, now in its seventh year, has been structured around mobile inflatable adventure equipment and a video and music studio which were purchased in 2004. Since then the equipment has clocked up over 84,000 visits by young people accessing a range of events and some of the original purchases were beginning to show the strain.

The final shopping list was drawn up after consultation with young people who attended last year’s Breeze on Tour, south Leeds, Middleton and Fearnville Friday and Saturday night projects.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services, said:“Breeze on Tour gets bigger and better every year and with the new equipment this year there’ll be something for all young people in Leeds to enjoy. Make sure you go along and don’t miss out on all the fun.”

Young people also enjoyed the Urban Athletic Challenge, a wide range of arts and sports activities and the first two heats of Breeze Has Talent, at the Temple Newsam event.

This year’s Breeze on Tour also has an environmental themed ‘Party without pollution’ which will see party-goers having to use pedal power to keep the entertainment going.

Children and young people aged 8 to 18 can just turn up with their Breezecard and can get in for free at every location on every day. If people can’t make it to Breeze on Tour they could try one of the mini Breeze events – it’s just like Breeze on Tour only a little bit smaller. For more details please visit

All Breeze on Tour events take place between 12 noon and 5pm:
Wednesday 28 and Thursday 29 July: Temple Newsam
Wednesday 4 and Thursday 5 August: Armley Park
Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 August: Scott Hall playing fields
Wednesday 18 and Thursday 19 August: Cross Flatts Park
Wednesday 25 and Thursday 26 August: Kirkstall Abbey

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

Time to start planning for September 2011 school admissions

It may be the start of the summer holidays but families with children starting primary, junior or secondary school in September 2011 can start applying for their child’s school place online from Sunday (1 August).

Parents and carers with children who will start secondary school in 2011 can apply securely online at from Sunday until 31 October. Offers will be made on 1 March 2011. If parents and carers do not want to apply online, application forms are also available from their current school (during term time) and should be completed listing three schools in order of preference.

In a change to previous years, primary school applications for September 2011 will open online from 1 November and close at a later date of 15 January 2011. Offers will be made on 20 April 2011. If parents and carers do not want to apply online, application forms will also be available from primary schools (during term time) and should be completed listing three schools in order of preference.

The vast majority of parents and carers are expected to take advantage of the secure, safe online admissions applications, which any parent or carer with access to an email account can use. It’s vital that families list up to three preferred schools they wish their children to attend to make sure as many children can attend their preferred school as possible.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board responsible for learning, said:
“Deciding which school is best is an important decision and, with so many good schools in Leeds, is not an easy one to make. A lot of work has gone into making the admissions process as straight forward as possible and the online form is quick and easy to fill in. Of course, there are still traditional forms available - and assistance if needed - to ensure every child and young person has the best chance of attending their preferred school.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Don’t forget, don’t be late and think local. Leeds is fortunate to have so many great local schools and the vast majority of our children are able to attend their preferred one. Unfortunately we cannot guarantee this because our schools are so good they do fill up. This is why it’s vital that all three preferences are filled in - including parents’ local school - and that the forms are returned to us on time. Previous years have shown that people who send their forms in late, or do not submit a form at all, are unlikely to be able to attend one of their preferred schools.”

To help parents and carers make the right decision, Education Leeds, which oversees the admissions process in the city, has helped provide the Choice Advice Service - a confidential service which provides impartial advice, guidance and information to families applying for secondary school places for their children. It has lots of useful information about secondary schools in Leeds, including OfSTED reports, league tables, transport and uniform information, and admission policies. They provide impartial advice about all aspects of the admissions process for secondary schools.

To use the service, phone 0113 3950596, email or visit


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

Inspiring people to change their communities brings national award

Caption: The ENEHL Partnership Team including tenants Christine Armstrong (second from front) and Maureen Blades (third from front).

The way a council housing organisation works to involve the community in its decisions has won it a national award.

East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL) is celebrating after achieving the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) Landlord Accreditation award for an excellent standard of community involvement.

The quality mark award recognises that ENEHL, one of the three Arms Length Management Organisations that manage and maintain council housing in the city on behalf of Leeds City Council, uses imaginative methods of involving residents and inspiring them to make positive changes to their communities.

The award highlights ENEHL as being an organisation that champions customer involvement and acts as a leading example to other housing organisations.

The inspection was carried out in spring this year, with TPAS highlighting exciting community projects such as the Junior Wardens, English language classes and DIY training weeks for tenants as examples of good practice. Praise was also given to the long-term planning of community led area panels and how they can have their say and influence on the housing services provided by ENEHL.

The award was showcased at the TPAS conference in Birmingham on Saturday 24th July, receiving a glowing reception from both tenants and housing professionals from across the country.

Angelena Fixter, chair of East North East Homes Leeds board, said:
“It is fantastic to be able to gain national recognition of our resident involvement services.
We’ve worked hard to make tenant involvement in everything we do a success. I’d like to thank the residents who take their time to get involved and also the Partnership Team, as this award is a real credit to their extraordinary work.
“We not only work hard to ensure our tenants have a decent home to live in, we also make sure that when they step out of the front door, they have a great community to live in as well.”

Jo Hourigan, a tenant of East North East Homes Leeds, said:
“Gaining this accreditation proves that ENEHL tenants are really starting to make a difference in the way that their homes are managed, allowing them to have a greater say in running their homes and communities.
“There has been a huge amount of hard work done already by the board, staff and tenants – but there is a lot more to do, so I advise tenants to get involved and help to change things for the better!”

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.

TPAS accreditation involves organisations opening their doors to independent scrutiny of how tenants are involved in influencing their housing service. The Landlord Accreditation assess the approach to resident involvement and shows that organisations are delivering continuous improvement.

Further details:

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

All eyes on south Leeds in new museum exhibition

Caption: 'Prospect' (top) and 'Cloud' (above) are two of the images from the Jim Brogden collection

A new exhibition of photographs of south Leeds begins at Leeds City Museum next week.

Running from Tuesday 3rd August until Monday 1st November, the collection of 20 images taken by Jim Brogden of the University of Leeds School of Design entitled ‘South of the River’ will be on display in the community section of the ‘Leeds Story’ gallery at the museum off Millennium Square.

Brogden focused on abandoned buildings and post-industrial landscapes for the collection, which examines the themes of loss, memory and beauty in an urban setting.

Leeds City Museum curator of exhibitions Helen Langford said:

“This is a thought-provoking exhibition of images which challenge the viewer to look differently at the landscape of the city. We are delighted to be hosting Jim’s latest exhibition here at Leeds City Museum.”

Admission to the exhibition is free as it is for general admission to Leeds City Museum. Visitors will also be able to see the new special exhibition at the museum entitled ‘Heroes and Heroines’, which shows off some of the most famous film and television costumes worn by some of the world’s finest actors and actress.

Leeds City Museum is ideal for a fun family day out this summer. For more information about what it has to offer as well as the other council-managed cultural venues in Leeds visit

‘Heroes and Heroines’ will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays 10am – 5pm, Thursday 10am-7pm and Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 5pm. Please note there is a small admission charge for entry to this special exhibition.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Keen to be green? Volunteer for a greener Leeds!

Are you interested in environmental conservation? Keen to learn new skills that could help Leeds to become greener and cleaner? Looking for some fun activities to get involved with over the summer? Willing to give up some of your spare time to improve your local community? Then the August theme of the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering has plenty to offer.

Throughout the month we will be focussing on celebrating the amazing work that green volunteers in our city do as well as highlighting the types of things that people can get involved in for the benefit of others and the environment.

Many environmental improvements around the city wouldn’t be possible without the help of volunteers. They help by getting involved in community clean ups, creating and improving parks, helping to conserve our wildlife heritage, or assisting people as volunteer guides. This month is our chance to celebrate the volunteers and voluntary groups that make such a lot of improvements to our city.

The month gets off to a flying start with a special environment fair at Temple Newsam Estate on Sunday, 1 August, 11am to 4pm. People will have the chance to chat to and get involved in projects being run by organisations already working with volunteers, as well as community and ‘friends of’ groups working at a local level.

There will be a whole range of activities such as guided walks, pond dipping, bug hunting, making bird feeders, learning how to identify wildlife tracks and trails plus a brass band and free compost giveaway. People will be able to get ideas and advice on how to set up their own environmental activities with talks and demonstrations on managing woodlands, caring for wildlife and dry stone walling. For more information please visit

New volunteers are needed to work on Rosebank Millennium Green, an inspirational project which aims to improve the green and bring the local community together. Transformed from a derelict site in 2000, further development is needed to improve its natural biodiversity and open it up as a place for the whole community to come together and enjoy for years to come. Volunteers, residents and partner organisations will be working together throughout August on path improvements, the creation of new growing spaces, an orchard and a community art project that will compliment the site.

The project will get underway with a launch party on 3 August with live music, a free barbeque and lots of environmental activities to take part in – all welcome to attend. Volunteers are needed every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in August throughout the month. Contact Jenny Twaddell on Leeds 245 8863 or email for more information. Alternatively, visit the website

There is also a free raffle for anyone who is currently or has previously taken part in environmental volunteering, with the opportunity to win some fabulous prizes including two day tickets to Leeds Festival, an organic food hamper, tickets to a Yorkshire flower show or a water butt and compost bin. To enter simply tell us about the work that you have taken part in by emailing and a raffle ticket will be allocated to you.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member with responsibility for the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering said:
“Volunteering is a great way of getting involved and making a difference in local communities, and I'd like to thank the people that already give up their time for the benefit of the environment here in Leeds.

“There are loads of activities taking place this month to promote environmental volunteering, this time of the year really is the best time for people to get out there and have a go!

“Leeds is already one of the greenest cities in the UK and we want to continue to protect our environment and make further improvements, particularly in inner city areas. I would urge people to come along to these events and take a look at some of the volunteering opportunities available so we can continue to improve our environment together.”

Councillor Yeadon will be spending a day volunteering at Rosebank during August and will attend the launch party on 3 August.

Details about the many other environmental events taking place throughout the month can be found on the website


Additional info

For more information about volunteering opportunities visit Volunteer Centre Leeds, 12b St Paul's Street, Leeds LS1 2LE, telephone 0113 395 0405 – open Mondays to Thursdays 10am to 3pm. Alternatively visit our website

If you are or know of a volunteer or group of volunteers who have made a difference in your local community or organisation, why not nominate them for a volunteer award? Anyone can make a nomination by visiting the year of volunteering website: and completing an online form. Alternatively, forms are available from Volunteer Centre Leeds, Enterprise House, 12 St Paul’s Street, LS1 2LE.

The closing date for nominations is 30 September 2010. Everyone who is nominated for an award will be sent a certificate of congratulations. Shortlisted finalists will be invited to the awards evening on 1 December at Leeds Civic Hall.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Council launches summer drive on water safety

Keeping young people in Leeds safe around water over the summer holidays is the theme of a major new drive by Leeds City Council next month.

Three sessions entitled ‘Get Safe for Summer’ are to be held for young people at Holt Park Leisure Centre in August to raise awareness of the dangers of water and how to respond in an emergency situation. The sessions will take place from 4-5:30pm on Thursday 12th August, Monday 23rd August and Thursday 26th August and will be open to anyone aged 8-12 years old who has a minimum Dolphin 5 swimming ability and can swim 25 metres.

Those attending the sessions will learn basic lifesaving skills, the water safety code, and how to help someone in trouble without putting yourself in danger. In addition, a new booklet on lifeguarding and lifesaving will be available from August in every Leeds City Council-managed leisure centre across the city.

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

“The summer holidays in particular is a dangerous time for young people around open water as there is a temptation to jump in and cool off on hot sunny days without knowing the dangers involved.

“These sessions are a great way of raising awareness and also ensuring young people know what to do to protect themselves and other people should an emergency situation arise, so we hope to see lots of young people come along and take part.”

Places on the Holt Park sessions need to be booked in advance by calling 0113 267 9033. Sessions are priced at £5.20 standard, LEEDSCard holders £4.60 and LEEDSCard Extra £4.15 each.

For further information on Leeds lifesaving contact Louise Wells at


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email:

Floral football welcome shows support for World Cup bid

Picture caption: Councillor Adam Ogilvie and Dave Macintosh, from Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service, next to the floral football display.

Football and flowers – not normally two things you’d associate with each other, but Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service has shown its support for the Leeds City Region World Cup bid by planting a floral football display on one of the main routes into the city centre.

The display, located on the A653, is the existing site for the ‘Welcome to Leeds’ message, and now boasts a floral football for people driving into Leeds to enjoy. SICL are annual sponsors of this floral display, supporting the Leeds In Bloom campaign.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive member for leisure at Leeds City Council, said: “The World Cup is the world’s largest sporting event. If England can secure the 2018 nomination then the Leeds City Region will experience a festival of football, the likes of which it has never seen before. It would be fantastic news for business and tourism too, with experts predicting the region would see visitors spending over £150m in the region’s hotels, shops, bars, and restaurants during the competition.

"As the gateway to Yorkshire, having this display on one of the main routes into Leeds is a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our support for the England 2018 bid and hopefully create a buzz in the final six months until FIFA make their decision at the end of the year.”

FIFA will decide on the World Cup 2018 host country on 2 December. Here are the ways you can show your support:
• Find our more about the city region bid and help knit the world’s longest scarf at
• Visit your nearest Morrisons store where you can sign up to back the bid. They have pledged to get two million signatures
• Explore the new BT 2018 website where you can add your photo to a digital flag of people who are backing the bid.
• Visit the England 2018 website to learn more about the England bid and register your support.


For further details contact Debbie Clarke, Marketing Leeds, on 0113 2145203.

Leeds hangs on to its ‘magnificent seven’

Leeds has retained every single one of its seven prestigious Green Flag Awards which mark out its parks as being among the best in the country.

Golden Acre Park, Kirkstall Abbey, Lotherton Hall Estate, Pudsey Park, Roundhay Park, Temple Newsam Estate and Otley’s Chevin Forest Park have all maintained their positions on the national list of excellence which has been announced today.

The Green Flag Award scheme began in 1996 and is the national standard for parks and green spaces with winners varying from Victorian parks and town centre gardens to nature reserves, country parks and cemeteries.

Sites must be welcoming, safe and well maintained with the strong involvement of the local community. Awards are given on an annual basis and winners must apply each year to renew their Green Flag status.

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

“We are delighted that all seven of our parks have retained their Green Flag Awards – maintaining their position on the list of the finest parks in the country. The awards are a great reward for the parks and countryside service who work tirelessly to keep up these excellent standards which are a source of pride to the city.”

Pudsey Park was the first in Leeds to achieve Green Flag status in 2003. Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam Estate were added the following year, before Golden Acre Park, Roundhay Park and Kirkstall Abbey were added from 2005 to 2007.

The 180-hectare Chevin Forest Park in Otley appeared on the list in 2005, but came off while a three-year plan of improvements to the management of the park was carried out and found its way back on last year.

Improvements saw the creation of a comprehensive 10-year management plan for the park, improved information made available to visitors and closer links to community groups, colleges and schools.

Notes to editors:

The Green Flag Award scheme, launched in 1996, is managed by the Green Flag Plus Partnership (made up of Keep Britain Tidy, British Trust for Conservation Volunteers and GreenSpace) on behalf of Communities and Local Government. For further information visit the website at


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email: