Thursday, 9 September 2010

Professional dog walker fined after second dog fouling incident

A professional dog walker who was spotted walking ten dogs has been landed with a £315 bill after she failed to pick up after one of them.

Elizabeth Eardley of Hartley Gardens, Woodhouse, Leeds was fined £50 and ordered to pay costs of £250 with a victim surcharge of £15 at Leeds Magistrates Court after pleading guilty to failing to pick up dog dirt.

It followed a complaint that she left the mess, deposited by one of the dogs she was walking at Bramley Fall Woods, off Pollard Lane in Bramley, in January.

Miss Eardley, 40, had previously had to pay a fixed penalty fine of £75 for dog fouling, issued by a Leeds City Council Dog Warden in January 2007. As she was caught committing the same offence some time later, she was prosecuted straight away.

In mitigation, she said she was a professional dog walker and accepted that she may have made a mistake on this occasion. When sentencing her the magistrates said they took into account the fact that she had pleaded guilty at the first hearing.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“It is very disappointing that we have had to take this course of action. But it is simply unacceptable that a minority of dog owners are failing to honour their responsibilities to keep our environment clean by blighting our parks and countryside with dog dirt.
“In cases where someone has previously been fined for not removing dog fouling, we will take the decision to prosecute so that the message goes out loud and clear that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable.
“Dog walkers are more than welcome in this city – but we do expect people to clean up after their pets.”

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

£5.6million share means 125 new homes for Leeds

Around 125 new affordable homes are to be built in Leeds after the city scooped £5.6million in government funding.

The money comes from the Regional Housing Mini-Bid Round from the government’s Homes and Communities Agency.

The mix of homes to rent and to buy will be built in the Beverleys in Beeston Hill, the Waterloos in Pudsey and Holmesley House in Woodlesford.

There are 22 for rent and 23 for sale in Pudsey, 28 for rent and 27 for sale in Beeston and 12 for rent and 12 for sale in Woodlesford. The HCA is also supplying funding to convert a home to meet the needs of someone with long-term disabilities.

All construction work will start this year and will offer local residents the opportunity to live in the homes that are most appropriate to their circumstances.

These homes are being funded through the National Affordable Housing Programme as a part of a £44 million investment across Yorkshire and The Humber to meet the specific needs of different communities.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“This is fantastic news for people in Leeds and means we will be able to go some way to tackling the growing need for more affordable housing.
“Thanks to our Strategic Affordable Housing Partnership, this adds to the 900 affordable homes which are due to be completed this year and next.
“There was much doom and gloom about how the recession would affect our ability to provide affordable housing, but this proves that we are finding innovative ways to keep building – providing both homes and jobs for local people.”

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

Kirkgate to close for First White Cloth Hall work

A stretch of a city centre road is to be closed to allow demolition work to take place on an historic building in Leeds.

Kirkgate is to be closed for a week from today (Thursday) to allow partial demolition work on the First White Cloth Hall to proceed.

The building’s owner has appointed a new demolition contractor and following a meeting on-site today, the owners, the contractors, Metro, and the council, it is necessary for the section of Kirkgate in front of the building to be closed to ensure pedestrians or passing traffic are not at risk from falling debris during the demolition.

This road closure will be in place for one week from today, allowing enough time for the building’s frontage to be taken down, allowing machines to operate from the front of the building. Once the frontage has been taken down, the demolition and archaeological recording works will continue at the back of the building and the road can be re-opened.

Diversions have been put in place and Metro and the council have arranged for bus routes to be diverted around the closure.

The partial demolition of the First White Cloth Hall, which is privately owned, has been necessary because a neighbouring building, on which it relies for support, is beginning to fail. An archaeologist employed by the contractors will be on hand to record anything uncovered by the work, and material from the hall will be carefully labelled and stored, ahead of the building’s restoration.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for development, said:
“Kirkgate is obviously a busy city centre road and we do not take such decisions lightly.
“It’s unfortunate that the closure has to take place, but it really is for the safety of the public and motorists. We have put diversions in place and I would ask people to bear with us while this important work takes place.”

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

Priesthorpe is the latest school to benefit from BSF funding

Young people returning to Priesthorpe Sports Specialist College this term will see a huge difference to their surroundings as the latest facilities of a £15m improvement programme are unveiled.

New facilities which are now in use include three science labs, maths, foreign languages, social care and humanities classrooms, an open learning zone, a wide range of state-of-the-art technology, a textile suite, a new dining hall and sixth form common room.

Later in the term the school will benefit from enhanced student washrooms, open learning zones, a graphics suite, English teaching rooms and a new drama studio. There will also be a new entrance from the ring road, a new school kitchen - which will replace some original fittings which have been in use since 1965.

The investment is part of Leeds’ award-winning £260m BSF programme which has transformed secondary schools across the city. Priesthorpe has had a range of different buildings and extensions added over the past few decades, and the innovative BSF design brings these together into a single, easy to navigate, bright and spacious school.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
“Priesthorpe is the latest school to benefit from the city’s BSF investment which is helping to improve secondary schools across the city. These new facilities are very impressive and will provide a boost to the young people’s learning and experiences. When completed early next year, the range of new facilities will be fantastic additions to the school.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Young people at Priesthorpe are now learning in great school buildings – and have even more new facilities to look forward to this school year.

“Standards at Priesthorpe have continued to rise throughout the building process, just like they did at Cockburn and Temple Moor. This is a sign of how well-managed the BSF process has been by our brilliant colleagues in our schools, Education Leeds and our partners.

“The new facilities, once complete, will give an even bigger boost to young people’s achievement in the future. Education Leeds is committed to providing the best education possible and these fantastic facilities, coupled with dedicated teaching staff, will help to boost standards across the school.”

The school has already benefited from new ICT equipment, interactive whiteboards, a fitness suite, activity studio, changing rooms and a new entrance to the school. Once the project is complete, the school will also have a new art block, lecture theatre, English block, library and careers area.

The overall scheme will be completed in April 2011.


Notes to editors:
Leeds BSF schools are brilliant spaces designed for 21st century Learning and teaching, which provide:
• flexible and varied rooms and spaces, offering different environments for different styles of teaching and learning;
• purposefully designed for the curriculum of today and tomorrow;
• unprecedented levels of cutting-edge learning technology;
• bright, open and safe spaces designed with young people, to engage young people;
• fully inclusive facilities, giving every young person access to the learning, support and care they need;
• unique features reflecting the unique ethos of each school and the needs of the local young people, families and wider communities they serve;
• exciting and innovative environments for highly effective leadership and teaching.

*Leeds BSF is delivered through the Leeds Local Education Partnership (LEP), which brings together Leeds City Council, Education Leeds, the government's Partnership for Schools (through Building Schools for the Future Investment), and the Interserve led consortium Environments 4 Learning (E4L).

Partnerships for Schools (PfS) is the delivery organisation for Building Schools for the Future. PfS was established in April 2004 as a Non-Departmental Public Body (NDPB), and is operated and funded under a joint venture between DCSF (formerly DfES) and Partnerships UK. PfS is a 100-strong organisation, with specialist expertise including educationalists, designers, ICT specialists, commercial managers and project management.

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

Century milestone reached for king of rowers John

The Lord Mayor of Leeds is to visit one of Leeds most active pensioners as he celebrates his 100th birthday at the John Charles Centre for Sport.

John Hodgson turned 100 on Monday 6 September, and has been exercising for the last 45 years. He will be celebrating his birthday this Friday 10 September with his rowing team mates and exercise friends at the state-of-the art sports centre in south Leeds.

He started training at the Leeds Athletic Institute on Jack Lane, and when that closed he moved to Armley Leisure Centre and has kept up his exercise routine ever since.

In 1995 John joined the indoor rowing club at the centre, and later competed in the Indoor Rowing Championships in Boston, USA, where we he was crowned World champion in the 90+ age group category.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, councillor Jim McKenna said:

“I would like to wish John very many happy returns on this special birthday occasion.

“It is fantastic that John is still rowing and exercising at the grand age of 100. I am very impressed with his exercise regime, and only hope that I am as fit as he is when I reach that age.

“John is an inspiration to a lot of people as to how a healthy life can lead to a longer life.”

John Hodgson was born in September 1910, and served in the middle east and Europe for the duration of the Second World War, he then worked in the Tetley’s Brewery till the age of 65 when he retired.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450