Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Horsforth community preserves its local character

The Horsforth community have come together to protect the heritage of their village by producing a local design statement.

Following the success of local design statements in other areas of Leeds, a decision was taken to create one for Horsforth to help preserve the character of the village.

A design statement provides clear and simple design guidance for any new developments in an area.

Leeds City Council’s area committee has worked closely with Horsforth Town Council and the residents to put the document together. A critical part of the process was consultation and engagement with local residents and organisations in the area.

Horsforth is often referred to as the largest village in England. It has a population of about 19,000, yet has retained a distinctive style, with many historic and architecturally significant buildings.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and housing said:
“It is great that the local community have come together to support the design of the local statement.

“A lot of hard work has gone into the document from the town council, local residents and the area committee and I fully endorse their findings. Horsforth has a distinctive style, and it is good to know that this will continue with the aid of this new document.”

Councillor Brian Cleasby, Leeds City Council's chair of the outer north west area committee said:
“The Horsforth Design Statement has been produced in order to help protect the character and future design of Horsforth in planning terms, and will have the status of material planning consideration.

“The document which was created over a two and half year period is the result of cooperation between Leeds City Council’s area committee, Horsforth Town Council and most importantly the residents of Horsforth. It provides an insight as to how Horsforth has grown over the years including areas such as recreation, employment and residential expansion”.

The production of the document was led by a steering group made up of volunteers who came together in the interest of their community.

The document will be launched on Saturday 4 December at 4.30pm at the Horsforth Museum on Town Street, after the Christmas lights switch on.


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

Leeds City Council update on services during today's bad weather

Leeds City Council has issued the following update about services during the current bad weather:

• Gritters are working round the clock to keep main roads as clear as possible, but traffic also causes delays for gritting vehicles; motorists and pedestrians are warned to take care;
• Some schools are closed and others are finishing early/opening late- for information about your local school listen to Radio Aire, BBC Radio Leeds, Real Radio or go to the Education Leeds website at ;
• Many council premises such as leisure centres, museums and galleries are closing, all libraries are shut and all leisure centres will be closed by 6pm;
• Farsley’s Christmas lights switch-on tonight and the Kippax one tomorrow have both been cancelled;
• Garden waste collections have been halted this week to allow refuse crews to focus on collecting black and green bins as snow makes it difficult for them to get through;
• Sports pitches are shut and will remain so until further notice;
• The German Christmas Market in Millennium Square will close at 7pm.
• If you or a relative attends a council day centre, please check with the individual centre tomorrow to see if it’s open before setting off;
• For further information and advice on gritting an winter weather conditions check these pages on the Leeds City Council website: ice and snow clearing

Meanwhile, people across Leeds are being encouraged to check on people they know who might be struggling during the cold weather.

Leeds City Council is reminding residents to think about how the cold snap may affect older people and those with disabilities in their communities.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for adults social care, said:

“I am asking everyone to think about their friends, neighbours and elderly relatives. Do they need a hand with shopping? Is their home warm enough? Extremes of cold weather can make a frail or disabled person become vulnerable very quickly and it’s important that we all do our bit to keep them safe from harm.”

For some elderly and disabled people it becomes almost impossible to leave the house during severely cold weather, often leaving them isolated, with no means to get food or medical supplies.

Leeds City Council’s adult social care services and private and voluntary sector care services have continued to make home visits to make sure that the people in their care are safe, despite treacherous conditions. However there are many older people who do not receive normally council services and who may be having difficulty getting to shops, post offices and GP surgeries.

Cllr Yeadon continued:
“It is a potentially extremely dangerous situation that can be solved very easily with some neighbourly spirit and local resilience. Take time this winter to consider if anybody living close to you may become vulnerable because of the snow and take a few minutes to check that they are ok. “

It is a good idea for everyone to be well prepared for extremely cold weather, so here are some pointers to consider:

• Keep warm
Heat your home – or at least the rooms you use often - to between 18 and 21 degrees Celsius. Wear layers of clothes to trap warm air and wrap up warm in bed. Eat at least one hot meal a day and drink plenty of non-alcoholic drinks, particularly hot drinks like tea, coffee or hot squash.
• Keep well
If you have prescription medicines make sure you have a stock in – don’t forget to take prescribed inhalers to help with breathing if needed, particularly for children. Don’t go outside in severe weather unless you need to; instead try to keep active indoors. If you do need to go out, wrap up warm and wear sturdy, non-slip footwear. Keep an eye on elderly friends and neighbours. Pass on the information from
• Be prepared
Keep food cupboards well stocked. Make sure you have enough money on your electricity and gas meters and keep a torch somewhere handy. Listen to the weather forecasts – sometimes it’s not safe to make a journey so stay at home. If you have to travel, be prepared for all weather conditions and plan your route accordingly. Get your vehicle serviced and carry an emergency kit in the boot.
• Keep in touch
Make a note of important phone numbers such as NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 and West Yorkshire Urgent Care Services on 0345 605 99 99; your gas, water and electricity suppliers; and friends, carers, relatives and neighbours. Keep up to date on weather warnings by listening to the local radio, visiting the Met Office website or logging on to their Twitter, Facebook and other social networks

Statement about Leeds-based CREATE's national award win

Tom Riordan, the chief executive of Leeds City Council, has praised Holbeck-based CREATE after the not-for-profit company - which delivers innovative training and employment opportunities for people who have been homeless, marginalised or vulnerable - which was named as the second winner of the Prime Minister's Big Society Award.

Tom Riordan said:
“I’d like to congratulate CREATE for gaining the national recognition they so richly deserve.
“They work with some of the most marginalised and vulnerable people in our city and this award is testament to their efforts to help rebuild lives by encouraging people into work.
“As a council, we are proud to be able to support and work with them and it is organisations like CREATE that make Leeds a city to be proud of.”

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

Cinderella getting ready to go to the ball

Caption: The cast of 'Cinderella' preparing for the first performance at The Carriageworks (Sue Hodge third from left as Fairy Godmother, Jez Edwards second from right as Buttons)

Paul Holman Associates presents
The Carriageworks Theatre, from Friday 3 December

The magic of Christmas comes to The Carriageworks in Leeds this week as the festive pantomime ‘Cinderella’ begins.

The first performance of the festive family favourite takes place on Friday 3 December with the cast headed up by former ‘Allo ‘Allo star Sue Hodge in the role of Fairy Godmother and CBBC presenter Jez Edwards as Buttons.

The show is being produced by London-based pantomime experts Paul Holman Associates, and such has been the interest in the show which runs until Saturday 8 January 2011 that advance ticket sales are 20 per cent higher than at the same time last year.

The cast for this year’s show at the Millennium Square venue managed by Leeds City Council is completed by leading lady Suzanne David as Cinderella herself, along with ugly sisters Trinny (Roger Darrock) and Susannah (Stephen Howe).

Sue Hodge shot to fame in the classic BBC comedy ‘Allo ‘Allo playing the cheeky French waitress and resistance fighter Mimi Labonq. The actress is also well known for her distinguished theatre career and is looking forward to performing in Leeds this Christmas.

Sue Hodge said:

“I know Leeds quite well from performing previously at the City Varieties. It is a cultural city and I love how everything is in the city centre and close together so you easily walk between venues. The Carriageworks has a really intimate feel as you are close to the audience and have eye contact with them which is great as a performer.

“Being on stage is my first love – I did my first panto when I was 14 so I am well used to it by now! The live aspect is what makes it so special. It is a great challenge and what keeps it fresh is that it is never the same show twice – every performance has subtle differences.

“Panto is a magical part of Christmas and this show has a great cast and crew. The whole build-up to Christmas is lovely, and it’s great for children that we can give them two hours of magic and make it special so I’m really looking forward to it.”

Sue will be joined on stage by Jez Edwards, who is returning to Leeds by his own request after his performance in last year’s show ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’ proved such a hit with the sell-out audiences. He is cast this year as Buttons, the caring friend of Cinderella.

Jez Edwards said:

“I actually asked to come back as I had such a great time last year. It was one of my favourite pantos of the 14 that I have done for lots of reasons – the snow helped make a very Christmassy atmosphere in Leeds, the show was fantastic and also the fact it was in a great new theatre which is intimate and nice.

“One of the first things I did when I arrived in Leeds last year was to go for a walk around the German market and it immediately gave me a great Christmas feeling.

“Christmas for me is always about doing pantos and last year we had such a blast – everyone got on great so I am really pleased to be here again.”

The show will tell the tale of the traditional family Christmas rags-to-riches favourite, complete with magic wand, pumpkins, a glittering coach, glass slipper and a spell which breaks when the clock chimes midnight.

Featuring stunning scenery, colourful costumes, creative choreography, an action-packed storyline, slapstick comedy and plenty of audience participation, Cinderella is sure to be a festive hit with people of all ages.

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

“You can tell by the enthusiasm of the cast and crew that this year’s pantomime at The Carriageworks is going to be a great show.

“A trip to the pantomime at The Carriageworks has quickly become established as part of the family Christmas in Leeds so we cannot wait for the shows to start.”

Tickets for Cinderella can now be booked by contacting The Carriageworks Box Office on 0113 224 3801 or online at

Notes to editors:
1. The Carriageworks is a thriving theatre at the heart of Leeds’ Millennium Square. It showcases the best in new national and international performance work, with a dynamic programme of theatre, dance, comedy and film. At the same time it offers support for emerging and professional theatre makers at various different stages of their careers. The venue also gives opportunities for members of the local community to take part in a variety of high quality participatory arts activities, including becoming involved in amateur productions through the Leeds Civic Arts Guild and extensive work with young people.

For further information contact Ali Cook, PR & Marketing Manager, Paul Holman Associates, Email:


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

Event cancellation - 2010 Leeds Year of Volunteering Awards event

This event, which was due to take place at Leeds Civic Hall tonight, has been cancelled due to the weather.

Ding dong! Bells ring out to catch purse thieves this Christmas

The tills may be ringing in the run up to Christmas, but it’s hoped bells of a different kind will help ensure the shopping season stays safe in Leeds city centre.

Last December at least one purse a day was stolen in the city – so bells designed to attach to a purse so that they jingle if a thief tries to steal it are being given away by Safer Leeds, the city’s crimefighting partnership, at a series of seasonal safety roadshows.

The bells will be available alongside other crime prevention aids – including property marking kits, ‘safe cans’ and personal attack alarms – at a series of venues in the run up to Christmas.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds and executive board member for community safety said:
“Christmas shopping should be a pleasurable experience and we don’t want thieves to spoil that. So it makes sense to take extra precautions.
“If you are out shopping make sure you keep your purse out of sight and when you are leaving home the same goes for your valuables. Don’t leave them on show.
“Don’t tempt fate by tempting thieves.”

You can catch the roadshows at ASDA Morley on 2nd December, ASDA Killingbeck on 9th December, ASDA Owlcoates on the 16th December and Leeds Kirkgate market on 23rd December.

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

Leeds sports pitches closed

Due to the inclement weather, all Leeds City Council-managed sports pitches will be unavailable for use this weekend. Once the situation has improved a decision will be taken as to when the pitches can reopen.


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