Friday, 27 August 2010

Leeds City Council gives market shoppers a real deal

On Wednesday 1 September 2010, Leeds City Council will sign up to the Real Deal national markets' charter.

The charter is gained by councils and markets that demonstrate a commitment to keeping their market as fake-free zones and by barring anyone found to be trading in counterfeit and other illegal products.

Working closely with officers from West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, Leeds markets service has introduced strict vetting procedures to ensure that counterfeit goods are not sold. In recognition of this, the markets in Leeds will be able to display the Real Deal logo, confirming their position as a good example and role-model for other markets across the country.


******************** Media opportunity ********************

All media are invited to the signing of the Real Deal contract on Wednesday 1 September at 11.30am at the Kirkgate Market office. Market management will be available along with representatives from West Yorkshire Trading Standards for interview. Please contact the press office on 0113 247 4450 to arrange attendance.

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Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds Kirkgate Market champion said:
““It is fantastic that we are able to sign up to the Real Deal partnership with West Yorkshire Trading Standards to protect our market businesses and customers. We look forward to continuing to work together closely to keep our markets free from counterfeit and other illicit goods.”

Graham Hebbletwaite, chief officer of West Yorkshire Trading Standards Service, said:
“We are delighted to be working with Leeds Markets on this initiative which demonstrates a joint commitment to ensuring consumers and local businesses are protected from unscrupulous traders selling counterfeit goods”.

Liz Bales, Director General of the Industry Trust for IP Awareness, which initiated the Real Deal campaign, said:
“Well-run local markets are great, They are often at the heart of a community and provide real benefits to shoppers and local business people. Unfortunately, unscrupulous traders can be attracted to markets and car boot sales as an easy opportunity to trade illegally, particularly in counterfeit and pirated goods. It is a major problem across the UK and is often linked to organised criminal groups for whom selling counterfeit goods is a relatively risk-free way to make money and to launder cash from other criminal activity.

“By signing-up to the Real Deal charter, Leeds City Council is sending a clear 'keep-out' message to counterfeit con-men, helping to ensure that these markets are safe, fair venues for people to shop and to trade. The hard work of the markets team and West Yorkshire Trading Standards deserves to be applauded.”

Anyone who wishes to report information on the sale of counterfeit goods should contact West Yorkshire Trading Standards by phoning Consumer Direct on 08454 040506

Notes to editors

About the Real Deal


The Real Deal charter is part of a nationwide initiative to keep dealers in counterfeit and other illicit goods from UK markets and car boot sales. It encourages local authority trading standards and market operators to work closely together, and to share information, so that local markets remain free from criminal activity and are a safe and fair environment in which to shop and to trade.

Initiated by the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness, the Real Deal campaign is supported by the Local Authorities Coordinators of Regulatory Services (LACORS), The Local Government Association (LGA), the Welsh Local Government Association (WLGA), the Trading Standards Institute (TSI), the National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA), the Retail Markets Alliance (RMA), the Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT), the Alliance Against IP Theft, the Anti-Counterfeiting Group (ACG), Business Action to Stop Counterfeiting and Piracy (BASCAP), the British Phonographic Institute (BPI), the Entertainment and Leisure Software Publishers Association (ELSPA) and the UK Intellectual Property Office. In effect, all the key organisations, with an interest in this issue in England and Wales, have joined forces under the Real Deal campaign banner to tackle the problem of counterfeit goods at markets.
For more information, go to www.realdealmarkets.co.uk

Media Contacts:
Patricia Lennon
Real Deal Campaign Coordinator
Tel: 01943 816292
email: patricialennon@realdealmarkets.co.uk

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

Social care heroes recognised in Leeds


Colleague of the year, Linda Randall with Councillor Lucinda Yeadon and director of adult social services, Sandie Keene


Representatives from Rawdon adult care management team with Councillor Yeadon and Sandie Keene


Leader of the year, John Peat, with Councillor Yeadon and Sandie Keene

The unsung heroes of social care in Leeds were recognised at a special ceremony last week.

Social care workers, ranging from senior managers to placement students, gathered at Leeds Civic Hall for the annual presentation to celebrate their work in caring for Leeds’ most vulnerable people.

At the ceremony, 82 people were honoured for working in social care in the city for over 25 years each, representing over 2000 years of service. Trophy awards were also given to workers who have made outstanding contributions in the following categories:
Culture
Enterprise and economy
Learning
Transport
Health and wellbeing
Thriving Places
Harmonious communities
Business Outcomes
Putting Customers First
Looking After Leeds
Treating People Fairly
Personal Achievement

Three of the most coveted awards on the day were those for social care team, leader and colleague of the year, which were all nominated for by service users, carers and colleagues as part of the council’s staff recognition scheme for excellent performance, commitment and effectiveness.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, the executive board member with responsibility for adult social care was there to announce the winners of these categories which were:

Leader of the year – John Peat, head of the mental health home support service. John is described as an exceptional leader with a down-to-earth approach, helping colleagues through personal trials as well as professional issues.

Team of the year – Rawdon adult care management team. The team has really pulled together in spite of losing a large number of experienced staff over the past 12 months. Now a younger and less experienced team, they have successfully managed to absorb additional pressures and workloads whilst embracing the new and exciting challenges that face the whole of adult social care at the moment.

Colleague of the year – Linda Randall. Linda had a lead role in bringing together a new team and setting up a new service that became operational this April. As well as this she devoted a great deal of her own time to support the family of a young colleague who died tragically after being involved in a road traffic accident. Her team continued to receive a high quality service throughout this difficult and very sad time.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
“The council has a vast army of staff who provide high-quality care to our most vulnerable citizens. They often work nights, weekends and bank holidays, and perform tasks that promote dignity and quality of life when people are ill, disabled or at their most vulnerable and dependent.

“In spite of all of this, they receive little public recognition and in presenting these awards we are giving the people of Leeds a chance to appreciate the services our staff provide. Everywhere I go, I meet local people who have nothing but praise for their carers and their back-up support. Now is the time to say a very public ‘thank you’ to these remarkable men and women.”

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Council commits to reducing construction landfill waste


From left: Leeds City Council's executive board member for development Cllr Richard Lewis with general manager at Leeds Skip Services Steve Tilson

Leeds City Council is committing to a national scheme to cut down the amount of construction waste sent to landfill sites.

Each year in the UK over 120million tonnes of construction and excavation waste is produced and over 25million tonnes of this is sent straight to landfill.

Now Leeds has become only the second local authority in England to sign up to a new government backed scheme to reduce construction waste - the 2012 Construction Commitment, Halving Waste to Landfill. This commits the council to setting waste reduction targets for any construction contractors the council uses and ensures that a commitment to minimising waste is taken into account when any new construction contracts are awarded.

The flagship £80m Leeds Arena will be one of the first projects to be built under the initiative. Construction work will begin later this year and the preferred construction contractor, BAM UK has committed to the 2012 Construction Commitment initiative.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:
“Signing the WRAP agreement is a real practical step which shows that Leeds City Council is serious about protecting the environment. I look forward to working together with our contractors to cut costs and reduce our carbon footprint, benefiting Leeds residents now and in the future.”

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council executive board member for environmental services, said:
“By thinking differently about how we dispose of construction waste and reusing and recycling more we will not only reduce Leeds’ CO2 emissions but also make a contribution to help meet the national target.”

Between 80% to 90% of all construction waste can be recycled. Soil can be used for top soil in gardens or garden centres, wood is re-chipped and re-used, rubble is crushed in hardcore and used for road building, plastics are washed, chipped an re-used and cardboard repulped.

Steve Tilson, general manager for Leeds Skip Services said:
“Out of the 4,500 tonnes of construction waste we receive every week, up to 90% will be recycled and only a very small amount will go to landfill. We are constantly looking at our process and sorting methods together with new technology to improve our recycling ratios even further as we strive towards zero landfill. “

Notes to Editors
• In 2007-08 Leeds produced over two million tonnes of waste 536,000 tonnes of which came from construction alone three times more than the total amount of domestic waste and the majority going to landfill sites within Leeds.
• Landfill charges are currently at £48 per tonne rising to £80 per tonne in 2014 but the figures can be much higher once you add on disposal costs, labour and skip hire.
• The 2012 Construction Commitment, Halving Waste to Landfill was established by WRAP, the government backed Waste and Resources Action Programme which works to reduce the amount of waste which goes to landfill.
• WRAP is a not-for-profit company backed by government funding from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
• Over 436 organisations, including The University of Leeds, Manchester City Council, Asda and Sainsbury’s, have already signed up to the 2012 Halving Waste to Landfill initiative.

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For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

Volunteers party at Rosebank to celebrate success of project


Volunteers and residents will come together to celebrate the end of a month-long environmental project in Hyde Park next week.

The Rosebank Millennium Green Project has attracted over 100 volunteers throughout August, who have happily rolled up their sleeves and mucked in with activities designed to make this inner city green space fit for use and ready to be enjoyed by the local community.


******************** Media opportunity ********************

Media are invited to the closing party at Rosebank Millennium Green on Thursday, 2 September at 1.30pm, to see the results of the month-long project. Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, representatives from Hyde Park Source, volunteers and local people will be available at to talk about the difference that the project has made.
Please contact Claire Macklam on Leeds 395 1578 to confirm your attendance.

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The party is a way of thanking the volunteers and celebrating the fantastic work they have done, which includes path and shrub clearance, laying of pavestones, constructing a stepped orchard, painting railings, building a barbeque and creating mosaics on the walls of the amphitheatre. All to improve the area’s natural biodiversity and open it up as a place for the whole community to come together and enjoy for years to come.

Organisers have invited all the volunteers who have worked on the project, plus local people who want to have a look at the results, to the party. It starts at 12 noon on Thursday, 2 September and will have live music, free bbq, games and lots of other activities to keep everyone entertained until 4pm. Everyone welcome to come along and join in the fun.

Jenny Twaddell, of Hyde Park Source said:
“We have had a fantastic response to this project and its been great fun to be a part of. The volunteers have really got stuck in and made a huge difference to the site.

“What we need now is for people to come forward to help with the ongoing maintenance of the land, so that it is kept in a good condition and can be utilised fully by the local community. This would suit anyone with an interest in gardening and the environment with a few hours to spare on a regular basis. Please get in touch with the Rosebank Millennium Green Trust if you would like to get involved.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering said:
“This project has been a key activity during the August theme of the 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering, which has focused on volunteering for the environment, parks and wildlife.

“Having spent a day working there myself, I can say that getting involved in a community project like this gives you a real boost personally with the added bonus of knowing that you are doing something positive for a local community in the city.

“I would like to thank everyone that has taken part in the project and hope that lots of people come along to the closing party to take a look at what can be achieved with a bit of hard work and lots of community spirit.”

Hyde Park Source is a local community organisation making environmental improvements in Leeds. They create gardens and play areas for community use out of derelict and disused spaces. For more information please contact info@hydeparksource.org or phone Leeds 245 8863.

The Rosebank Millennium Green Trust is made up of local people who are totally responsible for the management and upkeep of the five and a half acre green space. Anyone interested in becoming a friend of Rosebank Millennium Green, should call Leeds 224 9680.

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Additional info

For more information about other volunteering opportunities in the city, 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 www.leedsyearofvolunteering.org.uk

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: http://www.leedsyearofvolunteering.co.uk 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
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Register to vote and help the council save cash

People in Leeds are being urged to do their bit to help save around £65,000 of public money by making sure they fill in their details for the electoral register.

All households are required to respond by law and Leeds City Council is legally obliged to follow up those who fail to do so. The deadline for returns is September 7.

Last year the council had to spend just over £65,000 sending out reminder letters and forms to people who had not replied first time round. Forms for compiling this year’s register were first sent out a couple of weeks ago and response is still being assessed.

However, the council is keen to reduce the number of reminders, which last year had to be sent to around 40% of the residential properties in Leeds- 135,000 in total. This cost 48.5p per home. There are also further costs if reminders are ignored and home visits need to be made.

Alex Meek, Leeds City Council’s electoral services manager, said:

“We’re asking the people of Leeds to help us save public money by making sure they fill in their registration details and return them to us promptly. Saving 48.5p per household might not sound like much, but it soon adds up into a considerable amount of cash that could be better spent on vital local services.”

If your household details have not changed since last year, you can reply via text message, online or by a freephone telephone number if you prefer this to posting your response. Replying in this way also saves the council cash- 7p per household- in savings on pre-paid postage. However, anyone with amends will have to send their form by post so they can sign it.

More than 333,000 registration forms have been delivered to households across Leeds for the annual electoral register, which will be published on December 1. Every household must respond, even if there is no-one eligible to be registered at their address.

For further information or advice on filling in your form, go to register of electors annual canvass on the Leeds City council website. You can also contact our helpline on 0113- 222 4411 or email electors@leeds.gov.uk.


For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

Second time in court for noisy neighbour leads to £1,366 bill

A man who ignored repeated warnings, a legal notice and even a prosecution over his excessive noise is facing a bill totalling thousands of pounds.

At Leeds Magistrate’s Court yesterday, Christopher Thrush was found guilty of repeated breaches of a notice forbidding him from making excessive nuisance noise. He was fined £1,200 and order to pay costs of £1,166 to Leeds City Council.

Complaints about loud music emanating from his house at 72 Latchmere Drive began in April 2007. Council officials visited and warning letters were sent – culminating in an abatement notice, which was served on 13th March 2008 and prohibited him from creating any more noise nuisance from loud music.

Mr Thrush, however, continued to breach the notice despite further warnings from the council. A warrant was obtained and his stereo equipment was seized on 9th June 2009.

Yet within a week of the seizure, complaints were once again being received about excessive noise.

Legal proceedings were brought against Mr Thrush and he appeared in Leeds Magistrates Court in December 2009. He pleaded guilty, but was given no fine.

Unfortunately, complaints continued to be received and his noise-producing equipment was seized once again on 8th February 2010, but the respite lasted only a few days before the music recommenced. Four breaches of the abatement notice were witnessed by council officers. The decision was taken to prosecute for a second time and Mr Thrush, who failed to attend Leeds Magistrates Court yesterday, was found guilty in his absence.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental health, said:
“We take noise nuisance very seriously and where people ignore our warnings we will take further action against them.
“It is unacceptable to make the lives of others a misery and excessive noise can seriously affect people’s wellbeing.
“I hope this is now the end of the matter and that the people of Latchmere Drive can get on with their lives, unbothered by nuisance noise.”

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