Thursday, 28 October 2010

Leeds gearing up for Bonfire Night bonanza

Caption: The Roundhay Park bonfire attracts over 70,000 people

The night sky above Leeds will be aglow with colour next week as the city celebrates Bonfire Night.

The annual free events will take place on Friday 5th November with bonfires and spectacular firework displays held at six sites across the city to mark the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failed 'Gunpowder Plot' to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605.

All six bonfires are organised by Leeds City Council, with the largest bonfire event in the city taking place at Roundhay Park. Sponsored by shoe specialists Barratts Priceless Limited, the event is again expected to attract a crowd of 70,000 people of all ages with the evening featuring music from host Glen Pinder of Magic 828 before the bonfire is lit at 7:30pm and the fireworks at 8pm.

Events will also be happening at Springhead Park in Rothwell, East End Park, Middleton Park, Woodhouse Moor and Bramley Park with bonfires being lit at 7pm and fireworks starting at 7.30pm.

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

“Bonfire Night is one of the highlight events of the year and it is the perfect opportunity for families and people of all ages to come together and have a safe and enjoyable time.

“The Roundhay Park bonfire in particular is one of the biggest in the country and the atmosphere is always fantastic. We are very grateful to all our sponsors for their support and we look forward to another great Bonfire Night.”

Magic 828 Breakfast Show presenter Glen Pinder said:

“Magic 828 has hosted the Roundhay Park Bonfire for many years and I’m honoured to be asked again to join in the celebrations with my home crowd. It's going to be a fantastic night as always.”

Meanwhile, Leeds City Council have confirmed there will be no council-managed New Year’s Eve celebrations taking place this year following a review of previous years’ events and ongoing budget pressures.

Councillor Ogilvie added:

“Having looked at New Year’s Eve and discussing it with partner agencies we have agreed not to have any official council celebration this year. We hope people will not be too disappointed by this but the budget pressures we are facing meant a saving needed to be made.”

Notes to editors:

Three of the smaller bonfires are also supported by sponsors as follows:

East End Park – Al Murad (DIY) Ltd
Middleton Park – White Rose Centre
Woodhouse Moor – Mumtaz (Leeds) Ltd


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

Additional statement regarding local enterprise partnerships

Tom Riordan, chief officer for the Leeds City Region partnership said:

“I am delighted that our proposal has been successful, making Leeds City Region the largest local enterprise (LEP) outside the south east.

"This is an important first step that has been made possible by the unprecedented collaboration between 11 local authorities of all the main political parties, allied with the energetic support of our business partners.

"We are now seeking a passionate and proven business leader to chair our LEP and work with us to appoint a high calibre Board by the spring. With strong democratic legitimacy and energetic business leadership, the litmus test of the success of this partnership will be the investment and jobs it attracts to benefit our three million people. That will be our singular focus.

"As a LEP we want to forge the strongest possible partnership with London-based government departments and agencies, and become the delivery vehicle of choice for national economic programmes.

"To this end, we will host a local enterprise partnership summit in the spring to share good practice and encourage business collaboration and will develop an offer to host the new green investment bank in the manufacturing heartland of the UK where the best ideas and capability for low carbon development are growing fast."

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council (0113) 395 0393

Leeds City Region success with local enterprise partnership

A proposal by the Leeds City Region to form a local enterprise partnership has been approved by the Government today.

Councillor Steve Houghton, chair of the Leeds City Region leaders board welcomed the announcement. He said:

“We have been working hard with partners for the past six years to support economic growth and prosperity across the city region. Becoming a local enterprise partnership will take our working to a different level and will allow us to achieve better coordination and greater efficiencies.

"Working closely with the private sector means being able to become more responsive to local business needs, address local economic challenges more effectively and ensure that our priorities reflect the needs of our economy.

"Most importantly, it will help us provide the environment for businesses to grow and innovate and will support our work towards a greener and more sustainable city region”.

John Anderson, BT’s Yorkshire and Humber regional director and chair of the Leeds City Region employment and skills board said:

“I welcome the Government’s decision to back the Leeds City Region proposals. This is a great opportunity for business to be at the heart of the new partnership to drive growth, which reflects what has already been achieved with the Employment and Skills Board.

"The new LEP will enable us to think innovatively to address the challenges of our local economy and agree priorities for future investment.”

The Leeds City Region partnership’s bid was developed collaboratively with a range of city region businesses and partners. It provides a set of proposals aimed at supporting businesses and the city region economy.

At its heart is the creation of a business-led city region board responsible for bringing private sector expertise to the table to address current challenges and encourage economic growth in the city region.

The next step for the partnership is to work collaboratively with the private sector to develop the detail of the new arrangements and submit a city region wide bid to the regional growth fund (RGF).

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council (0113) 395 0393

Notes to editors

The LEP will align activity across public and private sectors to create the right environment for businesses to operate effectively and efficiently.
In particular:

The partnership has asked for control over mainstream funding in a range of areas (see below) to enable the Partnership to take decisions that respond to the needs of our businesses and economy.

The partnership will coordinate provision of business and enterprise support in the city region to the extent possible, enabling partners to leverage in investment in city region business priorities.

The LEP main areas of work will be:

Innovation and Business Support
Jobs and Skills
Housing and Regeneration
Low Carbon Infrastructure

The Leeds City Region (LCR) partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, along with North Yorkshire County Council) with businesses and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.

Leeds City Region local enterprise partnership area is the largest city region economy and financial centre in the country outside London. With a £51 billion economy representing 5% of the overall UK economy, over 100,000 businesses and a population of three million, the city region will continue to be at the forefront in both driving the economy of the North and accelerating national economic prosperity.

The Leeds City Region’s main areas of work and objectives are: providing sustainable and affordable housing, better connected transport system, skills and training that reflect the needs of city region employers, creating the environment for businesses to innovate and supporting low carbon, sustainable communities.

For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit

‘Cannabis factory’ conversion man evicted from council home

A man who turned his council house into a cannabis factory has been evicted from the property.

Police who raided Michael Orton’s three-bedroomed maisonette at 11 Hansby Grange in Seacroft found it filled with 85 cannabis plants, totalling a street value of £29,000.

Mr Orton, aged 41, who lived alone at the property, was found guilty of cultivating cannabis at Leeds Crown Court and sentenced to 50 weeks in prison suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 240 hours of unpaid work.

Following that conviction Leeds City Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Unit and East North East Homes Leeds applied for possession of the property, which was granted by a county court judge.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds and Leeds City Council's executive board member for community safety, said:
“This an excellent example of joint working between the police, the council and East North East Homes Leeds. We will not tolerate drug dealing or anti-social behaviour in our properties. We will take action where necessary.”

Inspector Ed Chesters, who leads the Killingbeck and Seacroft Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
"This case clearly demonstrates the long term action we, alongside our partners in the council, can take against those involved in the supply of drugs.
"We hope the eviction will also serve as an example of the likely consequences to anyone who believes it's acceptable to use their home as a base for cultivating class B drugs."

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

Wetherby Leisure Centre pool to reopen early

The swimming pool at Wetherby Leisure Centre is to reopen ahead of schedule this Friday after essential maintenance work was completed early.

The pool was due to be closed all week to allow the work on the pool’s filtration system to be carried out, but this has been finished sooner than expected so it will reopen in time for the usual swim programme to restart on Friday morning.

All other areas of the leisure centre on Boston Road have been unaffected by the work and have remained open as usual.

A Leeds City Council spokesman said:

“We are really pleased that this work has been successfully carried out and we can reopen the pool three days earlier than expected. Hopefully customers have not been too inconvenienced by this and can now return to their usual swimming sessions.”

For further information on Wetherby Leisure Centre go to


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

A talk on the wild side at Rothwell Country Park

The deputy Lord Mayor of Leeds will get a lesson in wildlife habitat management at Rothwell Country Park this weekend.

Leeds City Council in partnership with the newly formed community group, ‘Friends of Rothwell Country Park’ will be running volunteer management days on the park, with the first one happening on Saturday 30 October from 10am to 2pm.

The deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Patrick Davey will attend part of the session to learn about how to clear part of the land to allow for more wildlife to thrive and how to encourage further species to the park.

The session will involve removing small tree roots and cutting down smaller trees and branches to create a better habitat environment for the flora and fauna already inhabiting the park. Any volunteers that attend on the day will be invited back to further sessions being held next year and these will involve local families and children.

Deputy Lord Mayor for Leeds, Councillor Patrick Davey said:

“These wildlife discussions and management days will give local residents the perfect opportunity to learn about their local country park and how to help preserve the wildlife there, and encourage new species to the park.

“It is a great idea to get people out and about and exploring their local area. This event should appeal to a wide range of people, both young and old interested in helping preserve their local park.”

2010 is the Leeds Year of Volunteering, an initiative led by the council and Voluntary Action Leeds. Its aim is to engage every citizen in a volunteering activity during the year. Joining in with local volunteering activities can really help bring together a community, and all members of the public interested in learning about wildlife and habitat management are welcome to attend this event.

Notes to editors:

For more information about volunteering opportunities visit the Volunteer Centre Leeds, 12b St Paul's Street, Leeds LS1 2LE, telephone 0113 395 0405 – open Mondays to Friday 10am to 3pm. Alternatively visit our website

About Rothwell Country Park

Rothwell Country Park is located off the A639 Leeds to Pontefract/Castleford road as it passes the outskirts of Rothwell. Vehicle access is via First Avenue and Bullough Lane. The site is approximately 60 acres and was formally known as Rothwell Colliery Park or Fanny Pit, named after one of the owners daughters. Coal was mined here from the mid 1800's until it closed in 1983.

Then in 1995 Leeds City Council and Groundwork formed a partnership and together with local groups transformed the site. It was then re-named Rothwell Country Park and opened in 2000.

For further information regarding the "Friends of Rothwell Country Park" and the work they are doing contact Anne German, e mail:


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