Thursday, 2 December 2010

Disappointment as Leeds misses out on chance to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup

Leeds has missed out on the chance to host matches at the 2018 FIFA World Cup after the tournament was awarded to Russia.

The announcement was made at FIFA’s Zurich headquarters this afternoon (2 December) and was met with disappointment across the city and the Leeds City Region.

Leeds had successfully been included in the England bid after submitting a strong bid for Elland Road and other facilities in the city region to be considered by FIFA as venues for the tournament.

England faced stiff competition from Belgium and the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal and Russia to be awarded the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure, Shaun Harvey, the chief executive of Leeds United, Simon Grayson the Leeds United manager, and former players Eddie Gray and Peter Lorimer gathered with other invited guests at Elland Road for the announcement.

Reflecting on FIFA’s decision, Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member for leisure, said:
“It’s disappointing that Leeds has missed out on the chance to be part of the greatest sports tournament in the world. The bid the Leeds City Region had submitted was fantastic and the England 2018 bid was very strong.

“It would have been a fantastic opportunity for Leeds to stage world cup matches. It would have ensured global coverage for the whole city region and provided a huge economic boost. We have the facilities, fans and support to be a host city and I truly believe it is the world’s loss that Leeds and this part of Yorkshire will not be involved.”


Notes to editors:

*The Leeds City Region Partnership brings together the eleven local authorities of Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield, York and North Yorkshire County Council.

For more information contact:
Jon Crampton
Leeds City Council
0113 3951577

Paul Dews
Leeds United
0113 3676170

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

Festive fun at Leeds markets

Leeds markets will be full of festive cheer and merriment this December as they host a variety of activities for traders and the public.

Throughout December, the traders of Leeds Kirkgate Market will be competing to see who can win the best dressed stall competition, with winners being announced in January. You can vote by visiting or by filling in a voting slip, which are being given out in the market by traders and in the city centre by the Radio Aire street team.

There’s something for everyone at Kirkgate; from 8 December children can decorate a bauble to hang on the market Christmas tree this year, with a prize for the best decorated bauble. Pop into the Market Information Centre for your entry form or download one from

Music will resonate through the market halls in December, as the Kippax Brass band and the junior brass band along with singers from St Georges Crypt take turns to belt out Christmas carols on the outdoor market.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for development said:
“The markets provide a great Christmas atmosphere to shop in, and one that is a bit different from your traditional high street.

“The traders in Kirkgate market are well on their way to creating some fantastic designs for their shop fronts which are really worth a look, and don’t forget you can cast you vote to see one of them win the prize.”

Over at Pudsey market there will be a winter extravaganza on Saturday 11 December with Punch and Judy appearing , a traditional brass band playing Christmas carols and the always popular Santa’s Grotto. At Otley market the ever popular Victorian Town Fayre returns for it’s 25th year on 12 December at 2-8pm.

For more information on events happening at markets across Leeds, visit the website at

Notes to editors:
St Georges Crypt singers – 11 December
Kippax Brass Band – 18 December -2pm
Junior Kippax Band – 19 December 1pm
Voting for the best dressed stall competition will close no 24 December 2010


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

Insight into how gritters keep Leeds moving as temperatures plunge

An insight into how Leeds’ gritting crews toil round the clock to keep the city’s streets as clear as possible during severe snowy conditions has been revealed as Leeds braces itself for extremely low temperatures and hazardous conditions tonight (Thu).

Drivers are being warned to take extra care in the city tonight as road temperatures are forecast to be as low as -10 degrees Celsius, making it very difficult for gritting salt to work. Once temperatures fall below around -8 degrees, grit is far less effective.

The coldest period will be between 6-8am on Friday as many people make their journeys to work and school. Gritting operations will continue throughout the night but conditions could be very hazardous. Motorists are advised to drive with extreme caution.

Meanwhile, after heavy traffic struggled to cope with severe snowy weather yesterday, Leeds City Council has released details of this week’s operations to show how a big city tries to cope with the wintry conditions.

Since Tuesday the 30 crews of Leeds gritters have been on a high state of alert and most of their efforts have been concentrated on keeping the priority roads open, covering most routes taken by buses, commuters and commercial vehicles and including classified A and B roads.

Cllr Richard Lewis, executive member for development, said:
“We thought this would be a useful insight for people in Leeds into how we go about keeping the city moving as well as it can in severe weather.

“While clearly we can’t just make the snow go away and there are limits to how much we can clear, our gritting teams work all hours in extreme conditions and are extremely dedicated to their jobs. We also ask people to do their bit where they can to keep areas outside their own homes clear and to look out for neighbours who may need help.”

With the Leeds district comprising 1,865 miles of roads, this 800 mile network is vitally important to keeping the traffic moving around and through the city.

Highway maintenance manager Russ Martin said:
“Keeping even these roads open has proved difficult at times due to the intensity and timing of the snow.

“This week, on Monday night into Tuesday morning we gritted and ploughed around the clock, similarly on Tuesday night into Wednesday morning our teams were out continuously. Because of our actions, yesterday started off reasonably well in most places as the priority roads were generally clear of snow and ice.”

However, the region was then hit by a prolonged period of snow which was very intense at times. Some places in Leeds saw over a foot of snow. Many people left for home quite early in the morning and the roads became gridlocked as snow continued to fall. This congestion severely affected the crews' ability to grit the roads as gritting vehicles became stuck in traffic.

The traffic situation was being closely monitored and all the traffic lights were reset to evening peak timings to try and assist the congestion. Leeds is a very busy city with tens of thousands of vehicles on the network at any time.

Yesterday, a combination of excessive traffic volumes, broken-down vehicles and a period of intense snowfall caused tricky driving conditions, meaning the road network in Leeds struggled to cope for several hours.

Last night the teams were in action again, with most priority routes being gritted at least three times. Some areas saw a further two inches of snow fall, but this morning the vast majority of the priority roads were passable.

Today crews are concentrating on secondary roads and priority footway areas. Extra staff from street cleansing and parks and countryside are helping. The probation service has also provided help from 20 people on their Community Payback scheme.

There is a network of salt bins across the city and some footways in the city centre and other heavily-used areas are gritted, but generally pedestrians are asked to take care as most pavements are untreated as this cannot be done mechanically and resources have to be concentrated on the roads.

In summary, so far this winter the council has:
• Gritted a total of 22 times;
• Used approx 5,500 tonnes of salt;
• Dealt with road surface temperatures as low as -10 degrees Celsius;
• According to our weather forecast provider's records, they think this has been the snowiest November since 1919;
• Since Friday of last week road temperatures have barely scraped above freezing.

For further information on gritting and other winter operations visit these pages on the councils' website ice and snow clearing

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


Council to show true grit as ‘special force’ clears city centre

Leeds City Council is to dig deep to get Leeds city centre moving in the face of the big freeze – by mobilising a team of snow-clearers tomorrow (Friday Dec 3).

Fifty members of staff from the council’s highways and parks and countryside divisions will be armed with shovels, brushes, vans and wheelbarrows full of grit, and sent into Leeds city centre to clear footpaths and car parks of snow, slush and ice.

They’ll be supported by Councillor Adam Ogilvie who has responsibility for leisure and culture issues, the council’s chief executive, Tom Riordan and the man in overall charge of keeping the city moving, director of city development, Martin Farrington.


Media are invited to join the chief executive, director of city development and Cllr Adam Ogilvie as they help clear the city centre. There will be a photo opportunity at 0910, outside Harvey Nichols, Briggate, Leeds. Please call 0113 395 0244 to confirm your attendance.


Efforts will be concentrated streets around Briggate in order to make sure workers and Christmas shoppers will be able to come into Leeds this weekend with the promise of clear footpaths and car parks.

Parks and countryside staff and workers from other council departments have already been diverted from their normal duties to help clear as much snow as possible from footpaths and pavements across Leeds.

The council’s 30 gritting lorries have been working around the clock since the weekend to try and keep roads cleared after inches of snow fell. Operating out of three depots, they’ve spread a total of 5,500 tonnes of grit so far.

That has been used to keep priority routes open covering 800 miles of bus routes, ‘A’ and ‘B’ roads, commuter routes and those used by commercial vehicles.

On Monday night and Tuesday morning, gritting and ploughing teams were our continuously as road temperatures plunged to -10 degrees celcius.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member with responsibility for leisure and culture, said:

“The council has been doing all it can for the last 72 hours to keep the city open and moving and I’m grateful for the hard work and long hours put in by our gritting crews.

“Of course, we can’t clear every surface in Leeds as we simply don’t have the resources to do that, but putting in a special effort to clear the city centre, should ensure Christmas shoppers have a trouble free weekend.

Leeds City Council’s chief executive Tom Riordan, who will be one of the members of staff out clearing the city centre, said:

"Our gritting crews are working around the clock at the moment to keep Leeds moving, but this weather means that we all need to dig in and help – me included.

“We want to do all we can to make sure Leeds remains open for work, business and shopping, so that’s why we’re going to send our staff into the city centre.

“We need to make sure people can get around as safely as possible and shifting snow from pavements and footpaths is one way of doing that.

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

Winter wonders as Leeds goes Christmas crackers

Caption: Carol singing at Lotherton Hall is just one of the festive events to enjoy

Leeds will be full of the Christmas spirit over the next month as a range of festive events and activities take place across the city.

From traditional carol singing and a Victorian-themed event to making natural decorations, a book signing by Leeds’ own gardening expert and of course the chance to see Santa in his grotto, there is something for people of all ages to enjoy at Leeds City Council-managed attractions across the city.

The city’s packed festive season begins with the Christmassy animals at Leeds Museum Discovery Centre being on show on 4 December. Anyone keen on making traditional Christmas decorations and gifts should head to Abbey House Museum (4 December), Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills (4 and 11 December) and Temple Newsam’s Home Farm (12 December), while there will also be a Christmas crafts masterclass on 7 December at Temple Newsam.

There is also a chance to make traditional Christmas decorations and gifts at Abbey House Museum (4 December) , Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills (4 and 11 December) and Temple Newsam’s Home Farm (12 December) while the Christmassy creatures at Leeds Museum Discovery Centre will be on show on 4 December.

Over at Golden Acre Park on 10 December there will be a plant sale and Yorkshire’s favourite gardening expert, horticulturist and radio presenter Joe Maiden will be signing copies of his new book ‘Grow with Joe’.

Cloaked in its winter coat Temple Newsam House takes a step back in time for its Victorian Christmas Evening featuring traditional dress, music, crafts, living nativity and of course Santa in his grotto on 11 December.

The historic courtyard and stables will be resonating to the sound of Christmas carols on 12 December, while there will be plenty of chances to have a sing-a-long at Kirkstall Abbey (19 December), Lotherton Hall (11, 12, 18 and 19 December) and Leeds City Museum (22 December.

Santa himself is busier than ever this year appearing at Abbey House Museum on December 5,12 and 18 before making a dramatic flying visit to Springhead Park in Rothwell by helicopter on 19 December.

Finally children can help birds through the winter months by making bird feeders during a Kids go Wild event in Pudsey Park on Monday 20 December.

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

“We have organised a packed calendar creating the perfect family build-up to Christmas. These fantastic events will be made all the more special and picturesque by the recent snowfall so make sure you don’t miss out. With so much to choose from there’s sure to be something for everyone to enjoy.”

For more details of all the Leeds City Council-managed events going across the city go to

Notes to editors:

Full details of events and activities taking place at parks in Leeds are available through the contact methods below .

• Lotherton Hall or call 0113 2645535
• Temple Newsam or call 0113 2645535
• Roundhay Park contact or call 0113 3957400
• Pudsey Park or Pudsey Park Visitor Centre call 0113 2375326
• Golden Acre Park or call 0113 3957400

More information about museums and galleries events and activities can be found at or by calling the numbers below.

• Abbey House Museum and Kirkstall Abbey call 0113 230 5492
• Temple Newsam House call 0113 264 7321
• Leeds City Museum call 0113 224 3732
• Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills call 0113 263 7861
• Leeds Art Gallery call 0113 247 8256
• Leeds Museum Discover Centre call 0113 247 1548
• Lotherton Hall call 0113 281 3259


For media enquiries please contact:
Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer
tel: 0113 247 8285, email:

Latest update on Leeds City Council facilities

Gritters are still working round the clock to keep the roads in Leeds as clear as possible. Opening hours at a number of council facilities, particularly leisure amenities, are affected by weather conditions today.

Please check back to this link for the latest, most up-to-date information. Here is the current situation:

Libraries open, but please note there may be a reduced service:

Armley; Armley Heights; Beeston; Calverley; Central; Chapel Allerton; Compton Centre (closing at 5pm); Crossgates; Garforth; Guiseley; Halton; Headingley; Holt Park; Horsforth; Hunslet; Kippax; Middleton; Moor Allerton; Morley; Oakwood; Osmondthorpe; Otley; Pudsey; Rawdon; Rothwell; Seacroft; Wetherby; Whinmoor;Yeadon

Others could open during the course of the day- updates will be given as needed.

Leisure centres open today (some classes may not take place if instructors cannot get there- phone to check):

Aireborough 01943 877131 open as normal
Armley 0113 336 7880 open as normal
Bramley 0113 214 6000 open as normal
Chippendale 01943 466852 closed
East Leeds 0113 214 1334 centre open but pool closed
Fearnville 0113 240 2233 dryside open as normal
Pool open 12noon – 1.30pm and
3pm – 3.55pm as normal.
Please contact centre for evening opening.
Garforth 0113 286 0225 open as normal
Holt Park 0113 267 9033 open as normal
John Smeaton 0113 214 1444 open as normal
Kippax 0113 2868882 open as normal
Kirkstall 0113 214 4556 no fitness classes
Pool open 9.30am -check
Yeadon Tarn Sailing and Activity Centre 0113 2503616 open as normal
Middleton 0113 277 0021 open as normal
Morley 0113 336 7890 open as normal
Pudsey 0113 256 8903 open as normal
Rothwell 0113 282 4110 open as normal
Scott Hall 0113 262 4721 open as normal but no yoga class this

John Charles Centre for Sport:
0113 395 0000 open but no track or 5-a-side
Tennis centre 0113 395 0000 please ring to check
Indoor bowls & athletics 0113 395 0000 please ring to check
Wetherby 01937 585125 open as normal

Sport general enquiries number: 0113 395 0001

Some of the Leeds museums and galleries are closed:

Abbey House Museum - open
Kirkstall Abbey Visitor Centre - open
Temple Newsam House - closed
Lotherton Hall - closed
Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills - open
Thwaite Mills Watermill - closed
Leeds City Museum - open but will close at 5:30pm
Leeds Art Gallery - open
Please ring all sites before you visit during the snowy/icy conditions if you have any queries about them being open.

Lotherton Bird Garden and Home Farm at Temple Newsam now open.
Visitors can ring 0113 264 5535 for more information.

Anyone travelling to a day centre is advised to call first to check whether it is open. Meanwhile, people across Leeds are being encouraged by Leeds City Council to keep an eye on people they know who might be struggling during the cold weather.

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.”

Leeds City Council latest bad weather update

Leeds City Council will be updating during today about availability of services during the current bad weather. We are still assessing whether to open some council buildings such as libraries, leisure centres and museums and will update as the day goes on.

Here is some general advice:

• 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 ;
• Tonight's Kippax Christmas lights switch on has been cancelled, as was yesterday's Farsley event;
• 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;
• 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.