Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Low-cost used household items shop in recycling site redevelopment

A new low-cost shop allowing people to buy used household items in good condition will be at the heart of a major redevelopment of a household waste recycling site in Leeds.

People will be able to leave good quality unwanted furniture, electrical goods and other household items to be repaired and sold on to others looking to furnish their homes without paying high street prices.

The re-use shop will be run by the voluntary sector and is a key part of the redevelopment of the East Leeds Household Waste Sort Site (HWSS). The Leeds City Council site on Limewood Road, Seacroft, is due to close on November 12 for nine months of work to transform it into a modern, high-tech recycling centre.

A key benefit from the redevelopment is that the site will also be able to offer small and medium-sized businesses the option to recycle even small quantities of their waste, as well as dispose of it at a reasonable cost.

When East Leeds re-opens next summer there will be a number of improvements, including more recycling containers and the ability to re-use a wider range of materials, clearer signage, improved traffic flow and easier ways to drop off waste.

There will also be special compacting equipment to reduce the space waste takes up and therefore allowing larger loads to be taken away by containers.

Cllr Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services, said:

“Recycling is about more than putting your old cereal boxes and drinks cans in the green bin- we can also try to reduce the amount of materials we use and enable further use of things we no longer want.

“The re-use shop will be a valuable community asset as part of the redeveloped site, which will make it much easier for people in the east of the city to access state-of-the-art recycling technology.

“We do appreciate that the temporary closure of East Leeds waste site may be an inconvenience to some people. However, we would like to reassure local residents that the end result really will be worth it and ask they keep up the good work by recycling their rubbish at other sites in the area such as Stanley Road in the meantime.”

Leeds City Council is aiming to recycle more than half of all the city’s waste by 2020 and East Leeds is one of the few household waste sites not to have already benefited from a major overhaul of facilities.

Following redevelopment East Leeds will become the city’s largest HWSS. During its temporary closure the Stanley Road HWSS site is being promoted as a good alternative for East Leeds users. Information about Stanley Road and other sites in the area is available on the Recycle for Leeds pages on the council’s website at www.leeds.gov.uk/recycleforleeds

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

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New boss, new era for children’s services in Leeds

Hot on the heels of Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council’s new chief executive, the arrival of a new director of children’s services signals the beginning of a new era for local government in the city.

Nigel Richardson takes to the helm tomorrow (Thursday 30 September) after a hugely successful spell as director of children and young people’s services in Hull, where over the past five years he has overseen the total transformation of the city’s services. Helping transform a ‘failing’ authority into the most improved council in the country, according to the Local Government Chronicle.

Nigel’s career in local government began over 20 years ago, working with young offenders, and has extensive experience in social care, managing fieldwork and residential settings across the whole spectrum, before moving up to director roles in social services, housing and social care, and children’s services.

Joining Leeds at such a critical point of change is one of the attractions of the role, according to Nigel, he says:“The chance to try and improve, and have a positive influence on, the lives of 180,000 children and young people is just too good an opportunity to ignore.

“I feel very privileged to help lead the city in a new and exciting era. It’s my passionate belief that if you get the services right for children in a city like Leeds then everything else will follow. If you get it right for children, then you get it right for everyone else.”

As well as seeing Hull through some troubled times, Nigel also worked for 18 months with Lord Laming on the Victoria Climbie inquiry, and plans to bring many of the lessons learnt to his new role in Leeds.

Nigel is already impressed by what he’s seen in Leeds:
“There are some brilliant people in Leeds doing extraordinary things day-in day-out that improve the lives of children. Part of my job is to remind people of the great things they are doing and to support the spreading of that good practice across the city.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“This is a new and exciting time for children’s services in Leeds and Nigel has some great ideas. He has already shown the enthusiasm and energy needed to drive forward the changes currently underway to bring children’s services in Leeds back up to the standard children and young people in this city deserve.”

Away from work, Nigel is married to Janet, and has four boys – aged between 14 and 20, who ‘keep him on his toes’ – he says.

Nigel takes over from Eleanor Brazil, who has been instrumental in progressing the transformation of Leeds children’s services since she became interim director in March this year.

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For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Celebrate older volunteers and their contribution to the city

This Friday Leeds will celebrate older volunteers and the contribution they make to the city as part of International Day of Older People (IDOP).

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor James McKenna and the Lady Mayoress, Councillor Andrea McKenna who is also the older people’s champion for Leeds, will open the launch event that takes place at Leeds Central Library on Friday 1 October, from 2 to 4pm.

During the event two awards will be presented, one to Jean Oldridge, 63 who will receive the Gladys Roberts Award for lifelong learning and Sheila Glover, who will receive the Jack Anderson Award for community involvement.

There will be performances from the over 55s theatre group, Feel Good Theatre Company and band The Bluenotes, whose members are all aged between 69 and 72.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, councillor Jim McKenna said:
“It is important that we celebrate the achievements and work our older generation put into the city.

“The two people receiving their awards should be very proud for all the work they have been involved in, and are a real credit to the city of Leeds.”

The launch will be followed by over 30 events across the next week, which are spread throughout communities in Leeds to celebrate older people in many varied ways.

This week, Leeds City Council’s outer east area committee treated elderly residents across east Leeds to a captivating week of entertainment in celebration of the role they play in their community. Local groups and organisations provided the elderly residents with essential information and advice on a range of local issues, including energy awareness and personal safety.

For more information, or to get a calendar of events, visit the Leeds Older People’s Website at www.opforum.org.uk or the Infostore (housing a wide variety of information for older people in Leeds) www.olderpeopleleeds.info, or contact Rachel Cooper, Leeds Older People’s Forum, 0113 244 1697.

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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

Blooming good show

Leeds is blooming thanks to the Business in Bloom and Private Gardens in Bloom 2010 competitions.

Business in Bloom winners were at Pudsey Civic Hall to be presented medals by Deputy Lord Mayor Councillor Patrick Davey in a ceremony on Thursday 16 September.

The contest, which encourages businesses, schools and community groups to complement Leeds City Council’s floral displays with their own, saw over 170 entrants this year and was sponsored by Ford and Warren Solicitors.

This year’s Private Gardens in Bloom, which is open to all residents living in Leeds, saw over 250 entrants in three categories – large and small gardens and container displays.

Awards were presented during a ceremony at Leeds Town Hall on Wednesday 22 September by the Lord Mayor Councillor James McKenna.

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

“As usual, the horticultural standard has been exceptional and there has been a huge number of entrants. These awards recognise the significant contribution both the business community and private gardens make to the appearance of the city.”

Marks are awarded based on a variety of factors including : floral display, originality, variety and amount of colour, use of containers, maintenance and condition of plants, and their impact on the locality

Gold, silver and bronze prize winners of the Private Gardens in Bloom award can be found here.

Gold, silver and bronze prize winners of the Business in Bloom award can be found here.

Notes to Editor

• Images are available on request.

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

Jobs safe and no extra cost to taxpayer as Connaught contract transferred

Local jobs have been secured as a contractor for council house repairs in Leeds has been appointed to replace Connaught, which recently went into administration.

Leeds City Council has appointed Lovell Partnerships to take on responsibility for repairs and maintenance to 15,000 council homes in the city from today, providing reassurance to employees and suppliers.

There was concern for local jobs and firms after Connaught went into administration, but the new deal will not only mean repairs can begin to get back to normal but also Lovell is transferring local jobs from Connaught to its operations.

Lovell will continue to use existing sub contractors and suppliers so there will be minimal impact to local employment.

There will also be no additional cost to the council from the transfer of the contract, which comes to an end in March next year. During the interim period, contractors Kier have been carrying out emergency and priority repairs.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“We are pleased that we have been able to act quickly to appoint Lovell as replacement contractor to carry out this important work.
“However, it has been vital that we secure local jobs and give local suppliers some stability in what has been a difficult time.
“Kier have been of enormous support since Connaught went into administration, picking up emergency and priority repairs, and I would like to thank them for stepping in.
“I would also like to reassure customers that service can now begin to return to normal.”

Lovell managing director Stewart Davenport said:
“We are delighted to be working with Leeds City Council over the coming months to provide maintenance services for customers in Leeds, and are extremely pleased that this will also enable us to safeguard local jobs and continuity of work for our locally-based supply chain partners.”

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

Best of British at Kirkgate Market



Video of traders at Kirkgate Market talking about where they source their produce and why shopping at your local market is such an experience

British Food Fortnight is up and running and the spirit of British grub and nosh is alive and well in Kirkgate market.

The fortnight runs from Saturday 18 September through to Monday 4 October 2010, and celebrates regional foods and drinks, and the health benefits and pleasures of eating quality, fresh, seasonal and regionally distinct produce.

Markets provide a fantastic outlet to source local produce and fresh products, and Kirkgate, Otley, Yeadon and Pudsey markets are no exception.

Butchers row and Game row offer meat and fish all locally sourced from across Britain.

Visiting your local market is a true British tradition, which has partly fallen by the wayside in the last few years as larger supermarkets have come to the forefront of daily lives. British Food Fortnight highlights the need for people to check out their local markets, and sample the fresh produce that is available.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council markets champion said:

“British Food Fortnight is the perfect opportunity and excuse for people to pop to Kirkgate market, and get a real British experience of shopping at a market and buying locally sourced produce.

“Buying local and fresh produce can not only work out cheaper, but it also a healthier alternative for shopping. “


Notes to editors:

This year’s British Food Fortnight is a warm up for 2012 when the dates of British Food Fortnight will change to coincide with the London Olympics. Shops, pubs and restaurants are responding to the challenge by running patriotic British food promotions in preparation for welcoming the world to Britain.

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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