Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Antique Chic for Leeds City Museum

Leeds City Museum is hosting a glittering day of fashion featuring unique and eye popping activities.

Inspired by the current Heroes and Heroines exhibition – which is displaying some of Hollywood’s most memorable costumes worn by some of its biggest stars – the event will provide “behind the scenes know-how and tricks of the trade” about costume design.

The Saturday 20 November event begins by removing the lays of Mr Darcy’s clothing to see what exactly a nineteenth century gentleman would have worn underneath - while the actual costume worn by Collin Firth in Pride and Prejudice is on display in the exhibition.

Also displayed in the exhibition is Orlando Bloom’s outfit from Pirates of the Caribbean, Madonna’s silk evening gown from Evita and Keira Knightley’s stunning period costume from The Duchess among many others.

On hand to provide insight and first-hand experience of a costume designer’s life is local designer Dawn Wood who has over 25 years of experience creating garments for stage and screen.

Ticket prices include a tour of the Heroes and Heroines exhibition with a fascinating lecture by the museum’s expert curator of costume and textile followed by a meal.

Natalie Raw Leeds City Council’s curator of textile and costume at Leeds City Museum said:

“This is a totally unique one-off chance to gain fascinating insights about how these stunning costumes were made and all that goes into creating a design for the big screen or stage.

“Here is an occasion for fashion and costume lovers to spoil themselves with stunning entertainment and first-class behind the scenes know-how and tricks of the trade.”

Tickets cost £28 (£25 with NUS) and include refreshments, lunch and admission to the exhibition. To book tickets please call 0113 3950351 or visit Leeds City Museum’s Shop.

Leeds City Museum is located just off Millennium Square and the Heroes and Heroines exhibition is on the third floor ending Tuesday 9 January 2011. For more information please see out website www.leeds.gov.uk/citymuseum and follow the links to Special Exhibitions.

Heroes and Heroines will be open Tuesday, Wednesday and Fridays 10am – 5pm, Thursday 10am - 7pm and Saturdays and Sundays 11am – 5pm. Tickets are adults £2.50; under-16, NUS, OAP £1.50; under-fives go free; 20 per cent off for LEEDSCard and Breezecard holders.


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

Blooming good play area for Middleton Park

Picture caption: "Members of the Middleton Youth Inclusion Programme (white T-shirts l-r) Jack Emsley,15, Cockburn High School, Josh Johnson-Bentley, 13, from Mount St Mary’s High School and Cheech Robinson, 12, from Cockburn High School, and some local youngsters helped Cllr Judith Blake, officially open the refurbished play area at Middleton Park."

Middleton park’s newly refurbished play area was officially opened by the city’s play champion last week.

Cllr Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member for children services was joined by local volunteers of all ages to open the play area and plant spring bulbs to help brighten up the park.

The new play area is suitable for children of all ages and abilities, comprising a new slide, climbing rocks, space net, swings and a large basket swing on play bark, for local children to enjoy.

As well as the new play equipment there are also some new benches, so grown ups have somewhere nice to rest while keeping an eye on the kids.

Cllr Blake said:
“Having somewhere great for children to play in their own neighbourhood is really important, so this playground will make a big difference for Middleton families. Everybody seems to love it, I’ve already had some great positive feedback from parents and children. It’s so much bigger than it was before and the new equipment is proving really popular.”

The bulb planting was organised by Middleton regeneration partnership, and included volunteers of all ages along with Middleton Park staff, Friends of Middleton Park and staff from the council’s regeneration team.

Young people being supported by the national crime reduction charity, Nacro on the Middleton Youth Inclusion Programme helped with bulb planting and litter picking on the day.

Senior Nacro Project Worker Charlotte Thornley said:
“The young people from our project really enjoyed taking part and worked incredibly hard on the day. Everyone commented on how well they did. It was a really good opportunity for them to do something positive for the local community and they had a great time too.”

Funding for the new play area has come from the Big Lottery as part of a large play initiative across the city.

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

Leeds residents asked for their help to deal with council spending challenge

People in Leeds are being asked for their help as the city council prepares for what it describes as ‘significant financial challenges ahead’.

Today (Tuesday 16 November) a consultation exercise is being launched to help civic leaders prioritise future spending.

An online questionnaire has been set up, there’s a copy in each edition of About Leeds and children and young people are also being asked for their views.

As a result of the government’s comprehensive spending review last month, Leeds City Council thinks it will have to save something like £150 million over the coming four years. It expects it will have £90m less to spend next year alone because of the need to make some of the biggest savings early on.

The consultation makes the scale of the challenge perfectly clear.

It says ‘£150m is enough money – although not possible – to pay £200 to every person living in Leeds. Saving this much money, even over four years, means some tough decisions will have to be made’.

The council won’t find out until early December precisely how much money it’s getting when the government’s formula grant is announced.

But it has already made it clear that it will be a different authority in future, in terms of size and what services it delivers. It’s expected 2500-3000 jobs will go as a result of the need to save money.

Despite that, the council’s leaders have agreed to do everything they can to protect front-line services, especially those for vulnerable people.

To help residents get a true picture of the issues, the consultation concentrates on four themes: protecting and supporting children and young people, protecting and supporting older and disabled people, making sure the city’s neighbourhoods and communities are clean and safe and making sure Leeds has a prosperous economy and jobs are created.

It also sets out a number of guiding principles:

- The council will do what it can to protect front-line services.

- Leeds City Council and it partners will show strong leadership.

- The council will look carefully at the potential for other organisations, including the private sector, to carry out services on its behalf or in partnership with it.

- The council will stay committed to working with the independent and voluntary sectors, such as community groups and charities.

- It will do what it can to involve residents in the decisions that have to be made.

- The council will review and consider the future of underused or duplicated services, some of which may be reduced, closed or stopped.

- The council will review services or facilities that we have previously provided free of charge and consider whether we might have to charge in future.

As well as being designed to capture views on a range of specific issues, the consultation also asks residents what they think the council should prioritise, what it should do more of, less of and what people think it should stop doing.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, council leader, said:

“This consultation exercise isn’t a token effort – we really care about the views of the people of Leeds.

“Their responses will help inform some of the many – tough – decisions that we will have to be made over the coming four years.

“It’s obvious that saving £150m is going to be a very significant challenge, particularly given the fact we’ve already stripped £100m out of the council’s costs over the last five years.

“It’s only right that we call on the help of our residents as it could be that they have ideas we’ve not thought of.

“At the same time I want to offer some reassurance - this is not the end to public services in Leeds.

“We are showing strong civic responsibility by ensuring we do what we can to protect services for the young, the elderly and vulnerable people.”

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk

Notes to editors

More information is available (and a link to the online consultation) by visiting leeds.gov.uk/spendingchallenge

Printed copies, in the About Leeds civic newspaper are being distributed across the city. Copies will also be available from one stop centres and libraries later this week.

Library visitors can also ask for help to use the free computers to complete the online version of the questionnaire if they wish.

The city’s citizens’ panel is being consulted as part of this exercise.

The deadline for responses is December 17.