Thursday, 14 October 2010

Guiseley and Rawdon by election result

Following the resignation of Councillor Stuart Andrew, a by-election was held in the Guiseley and Rawdon ward of the city on Thursday 14 October 2010.

The results for the by-election are:

Surname Other names Party Votes

Cleasby Cindy Liberal Democrats 818
King Mike Labour Party 1708
Wadsworth Paul Conservative Party 2075

Turnout was 25.43%
Total number of votes 4613

Morley community facilities to be merged into new up-to-date centre

Two community centres in Morley are to be merged into one, giving the town a new up-to-date centre with improved facilities.

Churwell Hill Community Centre and The Stanhope Memorial Hall sit close to one another on Churwell Hill.

The Churwell Hill centre delivers a wide range of community activities, including luncheon clubs, youth activities and dance groups as well as community-based lettings for local hire and functions. However, although it is well supported, it is an old stone building which has poor access for disabled and elderly people and is in need of expensive repairs to keep it open.

The Stanhope Memorial Hall, just 100 metres away, is a more modern single storey building with good access, a large community hall and other activity space – and is in much better condition.

Leeds City Council is to refurbish Stanhope Memorial Hall and shift activities there, putting the resources needed to run two centres into one and creating a better and more modern facility for local people.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing, said:
“We talked to people near the two centres and could see there was no demand to keep two separate community centres so close to one another, particularly when one is a dated building that has poor access.
“Instead, by merging the two centres it means we can have one in a modern building that caters for everyone in the community.
“It will mean that local residents have a community centre that they can use, want to use and will use.”

Councillor Robert Finnigan, local councillor for Morley North, said:
“We are delighted that the funds are being released by the council to support this refurbishment project.
“The improved Stanhope Community Centre has the full support of the local community and will be a major asset to the residents in Churwell.”

The council has worked closely with local councillors, the Area Committee and the Churwell Community Association to finalise £71,000 of refurbishment works to the Memorial Hall, including new windows and doors, new heating, a new kitchen, repairs to toilet facilities, new flooring throughout the building, upgrading the existing ceiling and better security.

The work is scheduled to take eight weeks to complete and it is expected that the transfer to the refurbished centre will take place by the end of the year.

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

Recycling cycle prize for young battery poster designer

Photo 1: Rebecca Saddington with her winning poster
Photo 2: Cllr Tom Murray presents poster competition winner Rebecca with her bike

Eight-year-old Rebecca Saddington proved she had more power to her artwork when her special battery recycling poster earned her top prize in a competition.

A new cycle was her prize for designing a colourful recycling poster which will be used at primary schools across Leeds to promote new battery recycling containers.

They are being sent out this month to help encourage children and families to send in old batteries that they may otherwise have put in the bin. Battery recycling facilities are also available at household waste sort sites, many leisure centres, libraries and other council buildings, supermarkets and larger shops that sell batteries across the city.

Rebecca, who attends Meadowfields Primary School in Halton Moor, was awarded her prize by Cllr Tom Murray, Leeds City Council executive member for environmental services.

He said:

“Rebecca designed a lovely, eye-catching poster which I am sure will attract the attention of schoolchildren all over Leeds. Placing a used battery in one of these containers may seem like a small thing to do but it all adds up towards helping us protect the environment.”

Notes to editors:
New regulations on batteries mean that the UK is expected to collect 10% of used portable batteries for recycling this year. The Environment Agency reported in September that the proportion collected jumped from 9.15% in the first three months of 2010 to 16.15% in the second quarter. The UK will need to almost double this collection rate in less than two years if it is to reach the first legally binding waste battery collection rate set by the European Union's Batteries Directive, which is 25% for 2012.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


Leeds healthy eating expert speaks at European conference

A Leeds expert on healthy eating and free school meals has just returned from a European conference on combating poverty and social exclusion.

Rosie Molinari, from Education Leeds, spoke at the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion event in Brussels this week about how free school meals and healthy eating can help to narrow the gap between different societies.

The event - supported under the European Community Programme for Employment and Social Solidarity – was attended by over 120 delegates from across Europe.

Education Leeds spoke about the city’s free school meals programme which highlights the importance of taking a free school meal and improves access to healthy food.

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Providing free, healthy and nutritious school meals is one of the best investments we can make as it delivers benefits directly to children and young people from lower income families.

“Across the city, we have worked with schools and families to increase the uptake so that more children and young people have regular access to healthy food. It’s fantastic that Rosie was able to speak at the conference about the successes we are seeing in Leeds and that the achievements of the programme have been highlighted across Europe.”

Rosie Molinari, school meals strategy advisor at Education Leeds, said:
“Our free school meals programme has had a huge impact on increasing the number of children and young people taking up their entitlement across the city. It was an honour to speak at the conference and promote to organisations from across Europe the work being carried out in Leeds to tackle poverty and social exclusion.”

The free school meals and healthy eating programme was developed by Education Leeds and the East North East Health and Wellbeing Partnership to promote a shared responsibility for child poverty.

For information on free school meals visit or for details on the 2010 European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion event in Brussels visit


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

Awards for Leeds’ children’s champions

Picture caption: "For ten years of dedication to children in care, Andrew Magner was named children's services colleague of the year."

Picture caption: "For always giving 100%, the east area youth services admin team got the team of the year title."

The unsung heroes who work tirelessly to help make the lives of children across the city better, have been rewarded for their hard work.

Staff who work for Leeds City Council’s children’s services directorate – which includes; social care, early years, youth services and youth offending services, were recognised at an awards ceremony at Leeds Civic Hall.

Trophies were awarded to staff who made an outstanding contribution 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 and; personal achievement.

The evening also celebrated the long service of 26 staff, who have dedicated a massive combined total of 650 years service.

The most coveted prizes up for grabs were in the colleague of the year, leader of the year and team of the year categories.

For years of dedication to improving the lives of children in care, Andrew Magner was named colleague of the year. A senior care officer at Squirrel Way children’s home, Andrew was praised for his enthusiasm and the support he gives to the young people in his care. He regularly organises activities and trips, and recently organised a very successful fundraising event, in which he enrolled the support of the young residents.

Andrew was nominated because of his “extensive knowledge and skills which enable him to make the young people and staff on his shift feel safe. He has an air of calmness about him, regardless of the volatile and stressful situations he may have to deal with, and throughout all this, he always makes time to listen to anyone who may need his support or advice. He will go out of his way to accommodate the young people’s needs and wants.”

Leader of the year was Sarah Johal who is the service delivery manager, for the fostering, adoption and family placement teams. Sarah was praised for her ability to instil real team spirit, her attitude to her colleagues and her attention to detail.

For the support they give to youth workers in the east of the city, the team of the year was the east area admin team who were nominated because “All the team members have 100% commitment to our work with young people and everyday go beyond what would normally be expected from them.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services was on hand to present the awards, she said:“The council has a dedicated workforce who regularly go above and beyond the call of duty to care for the children and young people of this city. Working at all hours to protect and support some of the most vulnerable people in our society.

“Yet these men and women do not get any public recognition for the hard work they put into improving the lives of children, young people and their families. Which is why these awards are so important to recognise and reward our unsung heroes. I was humbled and proud to meet with and present the awards to these extraordinary people.”

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

Station Road Bridge roadworks begin 18 October

Leeds City Council will start essential repairs next week to the A6120 Station Road Railway Bridge, opposite Cross Gates Railway Station.

Station Road Railway Bridge carries the A6120, Station Road over the Leeds to Selby railway line.

The works will take place in two phases to avoid the busy Christmas period. Traffic restrictions will be in place during phase one from Monday 18 October for approximately seven to eight weeks and phase two will begin on 10 January 2011 for approximately five to six weeks.

During the weeks before Christmas, after completion of Phase One there will be no traffic restrictions.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:

“This is essential repair work to a busy section of the Leeds ring road . We appreciate that there will be some disruption and disturbance to residents and motorists for which we apologise in advance.

“However, we have arranged to avoid traffic restrictions during Christmas and will endeavour to complete the work as quickly as possible.

“Most of the work will be carried out during normal working hours but there are, several elements that can only be safely carried out overnight as the bridge is over a railway line.

“We will also endeavour to carry out this work as quickly and quietly as possible, and again apologise in advance for any disturbance caused.”

The overnight work will be carried out on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings from 23/24 October 2010 until 4/5 December 2010 and will start at 10pm on the Saturday night and continue until 8am on the Sunday morning each weekend.

Further information is currently on the (place Station Road Bridge in the search box), and websites.

The council has also written to local residents informing them of the work and has placed notices and further information in the Cross Gates Shopping Centre.

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602

Essential bridge strengthening works on city centre bridge

Work to strengthen Lovell Park Road Bridge on the Leeds Inner Ring Road started on 6 September 2010, and is expected to last for about 26 weeks.

The external beams on each side of the bridge are to be replaced with new ones, the bridge deck will be waterproofed and the existing road resurfaced.

To carry out this work safely, Wade Lane / Lovell Park Road will have to be closed for approximately eight weeks including five weekend closures of the Inner Ring Road. The off peak closures will vary depending on the type of work being undertaken to minimise disruption as much as possible.

The Inner Ring Road will be closed on the following weekends:-

17 October - Breaking out concrete bridge soffit slab
23 and 24 October - Removing existing edge beams
30 and 31 October - Repair works to bridge abutment walls
6 and 7 November - Installing new edge beams
13 and 14 November - Installing new edge beams

The first closure of Lovell Park Road / Wade Lane will start at 10pm on Sunday 17 October for approximately four weeks. The road will be reopened prior to the busy Christmas period, with a further four week closure happening in the new year.

The first weekend closure on the Inner Ring Road will be from 6.30am until 10pm on Sunday 17 October 2010.

During the closures traffic diversion routes will be in place and signposted to help traffic around the work.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member with responsibility for city development said:
“This is vital maintenance work to strengthen and improve a major city centre route. We will complete the work as soon as possible with the minimum disruption; however we are advising motorists to plan ahead and allow extra time for their journey, using an alternative route or the signposted traffic diversions.”

Further information about the bridge strengthening works and traffic diversions can be found on the Leeds City Council website using the following link:
Pedestrian access will be maintained at all times except when it is considered unsafe, for example, when beams are being lifted in or out of the bridge. Pedestrian diversion routes will be in place to guide the public around the works.

Additional info

Lovell Park Road Bridge is a concrete bridge that carries Lovell Park Road and Wade Lane over the A58(M) Leeds Inner Ring Road to the north east of the city centre.

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602

Young offenders revamp stolen bikes for children’s charity

Picture caption "A young offender learns how to fix one of the donated bikes."
Martin House children’s hospice has taken delivery of the first of a host of ‘new’ bikes thanks to the hard work of young offenders from east Leeds.

To make amends for their crimes, over 30 young offenders have transformed old and damaged cycles, which were either stolen and recovered (and the owners untraceable) or about to be scrapped, into safe, fully working bikes, which will be sold to raise money for the hospice.

Every week young people meet at the East Leeds Youth Hub to learn how to strip down and rebuild bicycles that have been donated by the police, members of staff or collected from Leeds City Council’s recycling sites.

Since the project started in January this year, over 30 young people have fully repaired and reconditioned a number of different bicycles, the first of which were handed over to Martin House hospice last week.

Alyson Wort, Martin House fundraising manager, said:“It is heartwarming to know that the efforts of these young people will benefit the children cared for by Martin House. All the money raised from these bikes will go towards the care we provide and we therefore send our appreciation to everyone involved in this worthwhile project.”

Organised by Leeds youth offending service in partnership with Leeds youth service and the Works Skatepark charity, the project helps the young people learn new skills and enjoy a shared positive experience in a safe working environment.

The bike project enables the young people to make amends for their offending behaviour, as it gives them the opportunity to give up some of their free time and get involved in a project that benefits other people.

The project has been funded by money from West Yorkshire Police’s proceeds of crime fund and the East Leeds Area Committee well being fund.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“Working with young offenders in this way allows them to start making amends for their crimes and I’m sure Martin House will make great use of the bikes.

“It is especially fitting that this project has been made possible thanks to the ill-gotten gains of criminal behaviour.

“With teams from both youth offending and the youth service working together on this, several of the young offenders were able to access further opportunities to reduce the likelihood of them getting involved in further offending behaviour.”

A similar project is planned for west Leeds, so more young people will be able to take part in this activity.
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Outstanding centre for Seacroft families

Picture caption: "Ruby Lorrimer and Jordan Mushonga lead the cheers to celebrate an outstanding Ofsted report for Seacroft Children's Centre."

A children’s centre in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Leeds has received a glowing report from government inspectors.

Seacroft Children’s Centre was judged as outstanding following an inspection by Ofsted last month.

The inspectors commented that “The welcoming and highly effective children’s centre understands and serves the needs of its community extremely well. Through the exceptional support, commitment and dedication of the high quality centre staff and services, the life chances of parents, carers and children’ from the most disadvantaged communities have dramatically improved. Children and families make excellent progress in all outcomes, often whilst facing the most challenging of circumstances.”

The centre’s early years provision and family outreach workers were singled out for extra praise – being described as ‘exemplary’.

The inspectors also commended the centre’s safeguarding practices, saying that; “Safeguarding is given the utmost priority with extremely effective and rigorous policies an procedures in place to ensure the safety and health of all users, staff and services.”

The children’s centre received the highest possible score in every category of the Ofsted report. The inspectors highlighted the determination of all staff to secure outstanding outcomes for children and their families, as well as the centre’s extremely flexible approach to the delivery of services that ensures the exceptional support provided is correctly targeted to the changing needs of the community, families and children.

High praise from parents who use the centre, was also included in the report, who commented that their children are healthier, better behaved, happy and developing well.

The only area of improvement the inspectors recommended was to improve the information sharing systems between the Primary Care Trust and Education Leeds, to ensure new parents are fully supported. However the centre was applauded for its partnerships and information sharing systems between providers and other agencies.

Isabel Jones, Seacroft Children’s Centre manager said:“We are all thrilled that the team’s hard work, passion and commitment has been recognised in this rigorous inspection.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:“I am delighted that the centre and staff have received the recognition they so clearly deserve.

“The management and staff have continued to show that with their dedication, commitment and passion they are making a fantastic difference to the lives of the children and families of Seacroft.”

Andrea Richardson, head of early years said:“Seacroft is a fantastic centre which fully deserves this glowing praise. It is rare for a children’s centre to receive such a fantastic report. What the whole team has achieved is truly remarkable.”

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

Damien Hirst exhibition coming to Leeds Art Gallery

Caption: Away from the Flock will form part of the Hirst exhibition (if used mandatory credit Away from the Flock © Damien Hirst. All rights reserved, DACS 2010 must be added)

Leeds Art Gallery has announced it is to host a major exhibition of works by world-famous artist Damien Hirst next year.

The exhibition will be coming to the art gallery on The Headrow from July to September 2011 as part of the national ARTIST ROOMS programme which will see collections of modern and contemporary art held by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland going on display at venues around the country.

Hirst has strong links with Leeds, as he grew up in the city and also attended Leeds College of Art and Design before shooting to national and international prominence in the mid-1990s with his groundbreaking and controversial use of animals preserved in formaldehyde in many of his works. In September 2008 items of Hirst’s work smashed the record for a single-artist auction at Sotheby’s selling for an amazing £111 million.

The Leeds Art Gallery exhibition will be the first dedicated display of Hirst’s work ever seen in Leeds, and will trace the artist’s career from his student days to his later works after he had established himself as one of the world’s highest profile artists. The key ideas behind his career - birth, illness, death and religion – will all be identifiable in the display, and it will include one of his seminal works ‘Away from the Flock’ which was first exhibited in 1994 at the Serpentine Gallery in London.

Following the successes of 2009 and 2010, 21 museums and galleries across the UK (including 17 venues outside of London and Edinburgh) in 2011 will be showing ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions and displays from the collection assembled by Anthony d’Offay.

ARTIST ROOMS is owned jointly by Tate and National Galleries of Scotland and was established through The d’Offay Donation in 2008, with the assistance of the National Heritage Memorial Fund, the Art Fund and the Scottish and British Governments. ARTIST ROOMS is being shared with galleries and museums throughout the UK thanks to the support of independent charity, the Art Fund and the Scottish Government. ARTIST ROOMS On Tour with the Art Fund has been devised to enable this collection to reach and inspire new audiences across the country, particularly young people.

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

“This is tremendously exciting news for Leeds as a city and for Leeds Art Gallery to be hosting a major exhibition by one of the most famous artists in the world.

“It will also be a wonderful homecoming as Damien Hirst’s career was formed in Leeds so having his work on display in the city like this for the first time is perfectly fitting and we are all hugely looking forward to it.”

To find out more information about ARTIST ROOMS On Tour please visit To see the full ARTIST ROOMS collection please visit and

For more information on Leeds Art Gallery visit the website at

Notes to editors:

The Art Fund is a membership charity that helps museums and galleries buy works of art for all to enjoy through awarding grants, campaigning and fundraising. Recent highlights include leading the £3.3 million campaign to save the Staffordshire Hoard, and helping to buy a new commission, Antony Gormley’s 6 Times, for the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. The Art Fund is financed by the generosity of its 80,000 members and supporters who have a passion for art and the institutions that house great collections. For more information contact the Art Fund Press Office on 020 7225 4888 or visit


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