Thursday, 16 December 2010

Leeds talented youngsters fight it out to be champion of champions

Hot Ice

Double T


The best of Leeds’ young talent will battle it out this weekend to be crowned the champion of champions.

The very best contestants from talent competitions organised throughout the year by Leeds City Council’s youth services will be brought together to compete for big, big prizes in the first ever final of a brand new city-wide talent show.

The winners and runners-up from Breeze has Talent, Schools Got Talent, I Love South Leeds Junior and Senior Superstars and the Force of One will compete in the ‘Breeze Presents: Leeds Has Talent’ competition at Leeds Town Hall, on Sunday 19 December at 4.30pm.

Proudly supported by Find Your Talent, Breeze presents Leeds Has Talent will showcase and celebrate the passion, skill, energy and enthusiasm of young performers from all across Leeds. The show will also feature a performance from Caution - a local six-piece vocal group, along with special surprise celebrity guests – making this a fantastic show not to be missed.

The acts battling it out to be crowned champion of champions are:
Hot Ice, a six-piece rock band;
Singer Elizabeth Tobin;
Solo dance act Mysterious;
Vocalists and guitar trio The Disguises;
Beatboxer Heidi Houssien;
Vocal double act Double T;
Singer/guitarist Matthew Kerry;
Irish dancers Reel Babes;
Break dancers Diversion;
Guitar and vocalists B.A.N.D; and
Dance act Demeanour.

Since 2008, Find Your Talent has been creating new opportunities for children and young people of all ages to take part in art and culture activities – and Breeze presents Leeds Has Talent will be one of the highlights of an exciting and innovative programme that has brought so much to the city of Leeds.

The tickets for Breeze presents Leeds Has Talent are on sale now from the Town Hall box office on 0113 224 3801 and are priced at £3 or £1 with a Breezecard. Family tickets (two adults and two children) are also available for £6.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Consultation on reshaping of adult social care services in Leeds given the go ahead

Council chiefs have given the green light to start a programme of consultation with Leeds’ residents on proposals to reshape key adult social care services in the city.

Two consultations will start early in 2011 around recommendations for the future of long term residential and day care for older people, and the effect of removing subsidies on charges for non-residential adult social care services.

The council currently has 19 residential care homes, most of which were built in the 1960s and are now in need of refurbishment to bring them up to modern standards. Despite the increasing number of people aged over 85 years in Leeds, the demand for residential care is falling. This is partly a result of more older people accessing personal budgets which gives them the opportunity to arrange their own care and remain living in their own homes for longer.

Demand at the council’s 16 day centres for older people is also falling as more people use their personal budgets to access support and services directly from their local communities. Current attendance at the centres ranges between 39% and 62%, which means that keeping them all open is no longer financially viable.

The consultation on possible changes to how we run our residential homes and day centres will run for 12 weeks between January and March 2011, with letters going out to everyone involved this week. The consultation will also look at what the impact of changes could be on individual residents and their families, and at how the impact might be reduced as plans take shape. Meetings will be arranged with groups of residents at each of the homes and day centres; carers and family members will be involved in the process as well. The consultation will also seek the views of key partner organisations with an interest in residential care in the city, such as the voluntary, community and private sectors. The public will be able to comment via a questionnaire. More details will be available on the council’s website ( early in the new year.

The second consultation will look at the impact on people that will be affected if the subsidies on charges for non-residential adult social care services are removed, and seek the views of people that may be affected about the impact this will have on them and how any changes should be implemented. Service users and the public will be given the opportunity to comment on the impact of any changes at meetings and events, plus a service user and carer group will be established to make sure that the views of customers, families and carers, elected members and other stakeholders are all taken into account. All customers who will be directly affected by the potential changes will receive details of how much their charge is likely to increase and given the opportunity to comment.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
“We are facing some really difficult decisions in adult social care, as the number of older people in the city continues to grow and the council's budget is subject to massive cuts.

“We have no option but to look at how we deliver our services going forward. We need to be sure that we can look after our most vulnerable people with the resources that are available to us.

“Its really important that we involve people in this process, which is why we will spend the next three months talking directly to those affected along with their carers and families.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578

Have a butchers at this…

Butchers at Kirkgate market are in festive spirits being able to offer prize winning meat on the lead up to Christmas.

There are plenty of award winning meats on Butchers’ Row, from three prize bulls acquired from markets in Yorkshire to prized meatballs, the butchers are offering plenty of alternatives to turkey this Christmas.

Amongst the stock is meat from a first place champion Belgium blue cross bull, gold medal winning meatballs and South African cured meats. There is also the option to buy something closer to home, as turkeys are available that have been sourced from as close as Millford, which is just 15 miles from the market.

With 752 years of butchery experience between them, Butchers’ Row really is the best place to go for your festive grub and any advice you might want on carving, cooking or even which joint to buy.

Traders at Kirkgate market have a range of great offers on for any meal you wish to cook this Christmas; from the traditional turkey, to joints of ham, lamb and beef, to various fish amongst other great offers. There are also numerous fruit and veg stalls and other stalls to source your Christmas meals from.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for development said:

“The market is a fantastic place to shop for all your Christmas meal essentials.

“Traders can provide people with locally sourced meat and vegetables at a good price.

“All the markets across Leeds look very festive, as they have turned on their Christmas lights, and at Kirkgate market traders are competing to win the best dressed stall competition.”

To vote for Kirkgate, Otley, Yeadon or Pudesy market as your favourite market visit and click on the ‘vote for Britain’s favourite market’ icon.

Don’t forget there are plenty of festive events at the Leeds markets this December, for more information, visit


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

Extra helpings of Santa at Abbey House Museum

Due to popular demand Abbey House Museum in Leeds is giving children an extra chance to see Santa before the big day.

Father Christmas likes to see as many young people as possible before Christmas Day and knows the snow this year has made it difficult for them to get to him.

Because of this he will be making two extra visits to Abbey House Museum so he can see as many children as possible to make sure they get what they want on Christmas Day.

He’ll be making extra appearances on Thursday 23 December from 10am – 3pm and Christmas Eve 24 December from 10am – 12pm.

Normal admission applies and a ticket into Santa’s grotto is an additional £4 and includes a present. There’s no booking necessary.

Samantha Flavin, Head Keeper of Kirkstall Abbey and Abbey House Museum said:

“Santa has very kindly agreed to help make more children’s Christmas wishes come true by visiting us for two extra days this year. All the snow means that families have had to come and see Santa later than normal so to avoid disappointing all the hopeful children out there he’s staying a little bit longer.”

Children can now see Santa on at Abbey House on 18, 23, and 24 December. For further information about Abbey House visit


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

Statement on Leeds City Council-managed sports pitches

Leeds City Council have announced that all council-managed sports pitches will be available for use this weekend.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said:

“All Leeds City Council-managed sports pitches have now recovered from the recent extreme weather and have been passed fit to be reopened for play this weekend. There are predictions of more bad weather on the way though so it will be at the discretion of match referees as to whether fixtures go ahead.”


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

Primary school place planning consultation given the go-ahead

A consultation to discuss proposals to create an extra 240 primary school places for 2012 has been given the go-ahead.

Leeds City Council’s executive board agreed yesterday (Wednesday 15 December) for Education Leeds to consult on expanding six sites to accommodate the extra demand.

The need for additional primary school places in Leeds is driven by a rapidly increasing birth rate over recent years. This has already seen an extra 560 reception places created since 2009 and it’s estimated a further 300 to 400 places will need to be created every year to meet the growing demand.

The six planning areas in the city which will be assessed for extra primary school places are:
• To expand Wykebeck Primary School from 315 places to a 420 with an admissions limit increase from 45 to 60. This proposal can be delivered within the existing school grounds.
• To change the age range of Roundhay High School to be 4-18yrs old and to establish primary provision on land off Elmete Lane, with effect from Sept 2012. The reception admissions limit would be 60.
• To change the age range of Allerton Grange High School to be 4-18yrs old, and to establish the primary provision on land to the west of the school, previously included in the old school site effective September 2012. The reception admission limit would be 60.
• To change the age range of Carr Manor High School to be 4-18yrs old, and to establish the primary provision on land south of and adjacent to the school, with effect from Sept 2012. The reception admission limit would be 30.
Chapel Allerton:
• To expand Bracken Edge Primary School from 315 places to 420 places, i.e. an admission limit of 45 to 60. This proposal can be delivered within the existing school grounds.
• To expand Little London Primary School from 210 places to 630 places, i.e. an admission limit of 30 to 90, and establish land off Cambridge Road as part of the school premises, effective September 2012.

It’s estimated the construction costs for the proposals could be at least £15.8m.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:“We have a statutory duty to ensure there are sufficient school places for every child in Leeds which means, in certain parts of the city, we will have to continue to expand schools to meet demand.

“Education Leeds has already spoken to head teachers, governing bodies, local councillors and area committees about these proposals and it’s now important that the views of local people are considered before a final decision is made.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:“The increased demand for primary school places means we have to reassess the size of certain schools to ensure there will be places available to every child.

“This consultation will ensure families and local communities can find out more about the plans and help influence the final decision. Any additional places, will be provided in purpose built, permanent classrooms and buildings, and will ensure the brilliant education already available at these schools is available to every child who needs it.”

To accommodate the six expansions, Leeds City Council and Education Leeds have identified land at or adjacent to the following sites, which are essential to meet the need for 2012 and beyond.
• Torre Drive
• Allerton Grange High School
• Former Braimwood School
• Carr Manor High School
• Blenheim Centre
• Moortown Primary School
• Gledhow Primary School
• Oakwood PRU.

The public consultations will take place during January and February 2011 and a report taken to the council’s executive board in March. If approved, statutory notices will be published in April 2011.


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

Temple Newsam attractions prove a big hit

Temple Newsam was the place to be last weekend as visitors flocked to the annual Victorian Christmas and the opening of the new-look shop.

Attendance at the Christmas celebration event which featured a living nativity, Santa’s grotto, Victorian dancing, storytelling, mulled wine and the chance to see Temple Newsam House decorated for Christmas was up by more than THREE times the number of visitors from last year.

And the opening weekend of the refurbished and extended shop and visitor centre in the countyard area of the Leeds City Council-managed visitor attraction also proved a major hit as it was so busy the number of sales in two days matched those for a whole week at the same time last year.

Shoppers proved eager to take advantage of the 10 per cent discount available on everything in store until Christmas Eve to buy the perfect festive gifts such as bespoke Temple Newsam ceramics, kitchenware, scented candles, biscuits, jams, confectionary and scented candles all inspired by the estate and the rare historic designs on display in the house as well as fragrances and gardening items.

The shop is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am-3:15pm and contains two elements; one area for children and families offering items such as outdoor games, farmyard toys and fancy dress, and the other being the lifestyle section which also includes books, stationary, postcards and images of Temple Newsam.

Victorian Christmas Week at Temple Newsam continues at 7.30pm on Thursday with a Music in the Country House concert of 18th and 19th century music entitled ‘Deck the Halls’ followed by a celebration of festive songs and stories from 2-4pm on Saturday 18 December. For either event call 0113 264 7321 to book tickets.

Principal keeper of Temple Newsam House Bobbie Robertson

“The weekend was fantastic – it was great to see so many people come along to Victorian Christmas and also to see the reopened shop.

“There are more Christmas events going on at Temple Newsam this week and for anyone looking for a unique last-minute present a visit to the shop would be well worth it.”

The work on the shop has been carried out by Leeds City Council with funding support from Renaissance Yorkshire, and was based on feedback from visitors and school groups.

For more information on Temple Newsam House or the Victorian Christmas Week events, visit the website at or call 0113 264 7321.

For more information on Renaissance Yorkshire, visit the website at


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

Cold weather road repairs could cost city £1million

Last winter’s poor weather cost Leeds more than a million pounds extra for road repairs, and council bosses are warning the same could happen this winter.

Despite the number of reports of potholes going down over the last month, Leeds City Council has warned that if the weather continues to be severe it is likely that the damage could end up costing a similar amount.

Over the past few weeks, the city experienced heavy snowfall with road surface temperatures down to -11 degrees. Such wintry conditions inevitably lead to roads being damaged and new potholes forming as water thaws and re-freezes.

When the prolonged cold snap between last December and March ended, it became clear that a great deal of damage had been done to the city’s road network. The cost, which was on top of the normal cost of road repairs, was over a million pounds.

The council has signalled its commitment to ensuring that any flood of new potholes will be tackled, but is warning that the cost could be significant – particularly now the extent of funding cuts are becoming apparent.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for city development, said:
“Our planned and coordinated response to the recent poor weather was aimed at keeping the main roads and emergency routes across Leeds clear. We still have three months of winter left and our gritting crews remain ready and waiting to tackle whatever the weather can throw at us.
“Last year the poor weather increased the number of potholes we had to deal with and cost us an extra million pounds.
“We remain committed to tackling potholes, but both during and after this weather we may well face a major challenge.”

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