Friday, 15 October 2010

Take the chance to get online for the first time

Anyone keen to use the internet for the very first time will be able to attend special introductory sessions in libraries in Leeds next week.

The free sessions, to be held at libraries in Armley, Crossgates, Garforth, Headingley and Central Library, are part of the national Get Online Week to encourage complete beginners to use the internet for the first time.

Open to all but especially those aged 55 and over, the sessions will offer users a step-by-step guide to using the internet and accessing websites. The sessions begin on Tuesday 19th October at Headingley Library from 10-11:30am and at Central Library on The Headrow from 2-3:30pm. Further sessions will be held at Crossgates Library on Wednesday 20th October from 11am-12noon, at Garforth Library on Thursday 21st October from 1:30-2:30pm and at Armley Library on Friday 22nd October from 10:30am-12noon.

All of the sessions will be free to attend on a first-come first-served basis, but places can be secured in advance by calling the individual library. Aside from the special sessions for beginners, Leeds City Council is also carrying out over 100 free computer learning sessions at libraries across the city throughout October as part of its usual programme of helping people master all elements of computer use from word processing and internet access to more expert areas such as photo editing.

Get Online Week has been organised by UK Online Centres, the national network which promotes public access to computers.

Leeds City Council learning co-ordinator Jason Tutin said:

“These sessions are aimed at anyone who has never used the internet before and would like to find out how to do it. The sessions are fun and we help people get started in a relaxed and friendly environment taking them through it step by step, so hopefully we will have lots of people coming along next week to take part.”

For further information on Get Online Week in Leeds, contact learning co-ordinator Jason Tutin on 0113 395 2357. For more information on UK Online Centres, visit the website at


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

Statement regarding news of Government funding for transport schemes in Leeds

Regarding the Chancellor's announcement last night of money to tackle congestion on the M62 and for a southern entrance to Leeds train station, Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for transport said:

"This major investment in the development of a new southern access to the city's station and upgrading key parts of the M62 is a welcome vote of confidence in Leeds and the wider city region.

"Targeted public investment in our transport system will unlock private sector led growth and rebalance our economy.

"We look forward to further promised announcements for Yorkshire following the spending review."

Residents urged to look out for letters about new bin collection days

People in Leeds should look out for letters dropping on their doormats over the next week letting them know on which day their bin will be collected in future.

From Monday October 25 all bin collections across the city will change in an overhaul of routes and systems that will save Leeds City Council £2.4 million a year.

Collection days will be changing and householders need to read the newsletter they get in the post to make sure they know on which day they need to put their bins out. The mailings will also include stickers for bins giving both the new day and details of Christmas bin collections.

Not only will major savings be made for the city with the new system but residents will also benefit by having the same collection day for both their black and green bins in most cases, making it easier to remember. Garden waste collections will remain the same for now.

Another benefit will be that thanks to a new system of crews working in zones, rather than only following specified routes, they will be able to help each other finish collections if crews are held up and tackle issues like missed bins more quickly.

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

“Make sure that you look out for your leaflets coming through the post as it’s very important to ensure your bin is out on the right day. We know it may be difficult at first for people to break their habits and get used to the new days, but if you can help us by making the effort to remember the new system should bring great benefits.”

Leeds City Council has been working closely with staff and trade unions to agree the more efficient routes and revised working practices. The crews have been helping in planning and testing out the new routes.

The mailings are going out over the week beginning October 18 to all homes in the city, except for those in high-rise blocks where bins are not put out for collection.

Information about the new-look services will be posted on the council’s website at . Residents can search for their current bin collection days by putting their postcode into a search box on the website. This will be updated with the new days as the new routes go live, but clearly not until then to avoid confusion.

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


Leeds pupils aiming to beat the clock and the world

School pupils in Leeds will be attempting to break a world record and beat other teams from around the world in a unique athletics challenge next week.

Two teams made up of approximately 80 Year Seven pupils from high schools across the city will line up at the John Charles Centre for Sport at 11am on Tuesday 19th October to take part in the International Simultaneous Marathon.

The teams will be racing against each other and rival teams of boys and girls running at the same time in countries across the globe all aiming to break the world marathon record currently held by legendary Ethiopian athlete Haile Gebrselassie who covered the 26.2-mile distance in two hours three minutes and 59 seconds in September 2008.

At 11am the UK teams from Leeds, London, Birmingham, Manchester, Huddersfield and Ireland will begin the race, while simultaneously teams from Madrid and Valencia in Spain will also start. On the same day at 11am in their respective time zones, teams from New Zealand, America, Kenya, Peru and Canada will also be making their own attempts to break the record and claim overall victory.

This is the third year of the event, which aims to encourage young people to take up athletics as a healthy activity and to promote the challenge of distance running, with Leeds taking part for the first time.

The event is run as a continuous relay, with each member of the team made up of 16 boys and 16 girls running 200 metres around the track before a teammate takes over until the 26.2-mile total marathon distance is covered.

Last year’s event saw teams from London, Manchester, Madrid, Valencia, West Virginia and Toronto take part, with a measure of how stiff the challenge is being shown by the fact that only the winning team from London were able to successfully break Gebrselassie’s world record – and even then only by a mere 22 seconds.

During the challenge updates will be given as to each team’s progress every five kilometres, while they will also be able to measure themselves against the world record split times to see if they are on course to break it. The overall result will not be known for several hours as the international teams in time zones behind the UK will making their attempts later in the day.

Leeds City Council principal officer - sports development Sara Birkinshaw said:

“We are really excited to be taking part in this unique challenge for the first time this year. The international and simultaneous elements of it really capture the imagination and make it a fun way of encouraging young people to take up running.

“It will be great to see how our teams get on, as not only do we have rival teams in the UK taking part it would be fantastic to beat the teams from other countries and if we could break the world record at the same time that would be a massive achievement for everyone involved.”

The parents and families of those pupils taking part are to be invited to the John Charles Centre for Sport for the event to help encourage them during the race.

For further information contact senior sports development officer Paul Moseley on 0113 395 0155.


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