Monday, 4 October 2010

Walk to school to Back the Bid – with the help of Leeds United

Special walk to school events will take place this month as part of a national initiative to back the 2018 World Cup bid – and one school will have two special guests to help kick it off.

Leeds United players Luciano Becchio and Federico Bessone will join children from Thorner Church of England Voluntary Controlled Primary School to launch the Walk to School Month in Leeds.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to the launch of Walk to School Month - which this year is in support of England’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup - at Thorner C of E primary school at 2pm on Tuesday 5 October. Please contact or call 0113 3951577 to confirm attendance.
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Nearly 50 schools will take part in the annual event designed to encourage more parents, children and young people to walk to school to help improve health and fitness and reduce the impact on the environment and congestion levels.

So far, 48 schools have registered to take part and will compete against each other to see which school increases the number of children and young people who arrive at school on foot. The winner will receive a training session with Leeds United.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said:“Schools across the Leeds City Region have done a great job in getting behind England’s bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup – and this is another opportunity to show their support.

“Walk to School month allows children to arrive at school safely, take part in healthy exercise and helps reduce congestion and the impact on the environment. This year it’s being used to support England’s 2018 World Cup bid and by working with Leeds United, we hope to get as many children as possible to back the bid by walking to school.”

All schools that take part will receive a large football poster to be signed by every child who walks into school with every signature contributing towards the national support for England’s bid to be the host country for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. There will also be a city wide poster competition for pupils to enter.

Elsewhere across the city, other schools taking part include St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Hunslet and Middleton St Mary’s Church of England Primary.

At St Joseph’s pupils will be taking part in a walk a teacher to school day, a ‘football shirt wearing’ walk to school day and prizes will be awarded to the class which has the highest percentage of walkers and the class which makes the most improvement. A ‘park and stride’ event – where families park and walk into school together - will take place from the nearby Morrisons supermarket car park on each Wednesday throughout the month.

At Middleton St Mary's C of E Primary, ‘park and stride’ will take place on Wednesday 20 October from the Middleton Arms starting at 8.35am and everyone who takes part will be entered into a free raffle.


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

New joint service centre in Leeds gets its official name as two local residents win naming competition

Caption: Winners Barrington Riggon and Maxine Nichols

Leeds’ newest state-of-the-art health and council service centre in Chapeltown has been given its official name following a competition organised by Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds.

The new centre will be called The Reginald Centre. This name was chosen by two local residents, Maxine Nichols and Barrington Riggon beating off over 100 other suggestions. Maxine and Barrington will be invited to attend the official opening of the centre later this year where a plaque bearing the name of the centre will be displayed.

The Reginald Centre opens to the public on 18th October. It will transform access to local services by providing a range of health and council services for local people in modern facilities and all under one roof.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“This centre is an excellent example of what can be achieved by working in partnership. It will be a landmark building for the community and revolutionise the way council and health services are provided, through face-to-face contact and all under one roof. It is a fantastic way of addressing the needs of local people.”

John Lawlor, Chief Executive for NHS Leeds, adds:
“The naming competition proved to be very popular with over 100 suggestions being made by the local community. This shows that there is a real buzz among people in Chapeltown for the new centre which will bring so many services closer to where they live. This centre will benefit the whole community and we look forward to presenting it to local people later this month.”

When fully operational the centre will be home to a new Leeds City Council state of the art library, Environmental Action Team and a new Customer Services team, offering a one-stop service. People will be able to get help with housing services, benefits advice, council tax, social care and environment issues, plus advice and information on Leeds City Credit Union products and services and East North East Homes Leeds housing services.

In addition, a Jobshop will be located at the centre providing advice on training and help with getting back to work. Local residents will also be able to access a range of health services, including health visiting, community midwifery and contraception and sexual health. Local GP services provided by Westfield Medical Practice will relocate to the new centre and a pharmacy is planned to be on site in the future.

The Reginald Centre is a joint venture between Leeds City Council, NHS Leeds and Community Ventures Leeds Ltd.

To find out more about The Reginald Centre please visit:

Notes to editors:

For more information contact the Communications Team at NHS Leeds on 0113 3057505 / 3057496 or out of hours on 0345 605 0410.


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

Landlord first in Leeds to be fined under new house licence rules

A landlord who ignored warnings that he had to have a licence to rent out a house has been fined £3,000 – becoming the first in Leeds to be prosecuted under new laws designed to combat anti-social tenants.

At Leeds Magistrates Court on Thursday, Warren Trantor of Byrdene Ltd pleaded pleaded guilty of failing to apply for a Selective Licence for 8 Cross Green Avenue, Leeds, following a prosecution by Leeds City Council.

The company was fined £3,000 and the council was awarded £989 in costs, along with a victim’s surcharge of £15.

In a bid to crack down on anti-social tenants and poor housing, part of Cross Green and East End Park in Leeds was designated as an area of Selective Licensing last October. It means all owners of privately rented properties in the area need a special licence to operate.

Mr Trantor ignored several letters asking him to contact the council’s selective licensing team to apply for his properties to be licensed, which meant that by renting them out he was breaking the law. He is the first landlord in Leeds to be prosecuted under this law.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“The majority of landlords in Leeds take their responsibilities seriously, but there are a few who show little or no interest in managing their properties responsibly.
“A small minority of landlords let their properties without really checking up on their new tenants.
“Designating an area as a selective licensing area helps the council to deal with bad landlords and should prevent those sort of problems happening in that area.”

In a selective licensing area the landlord must also meet a ‘fit and proper person’ test to obtain a licence. Their rented properties must meet the licence conditions, ensuring they are safe and that the landlord can, and will, deal with anti-social tenants. Failure to have applied for or obtained a licence could mean a fine, on conviction, of up to £20,000.

The aim is to help to address issues of low demand affecting the area and reduce the anti-social behaviour of tenants in privately rented properties. Landlords will not be made responsible for the actions of their tenants, but they will be expected to take action if they know that their tenants are causing a problem.

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