Thursday, 23 December 2010

Closure of city centre car parks suspended pending a review

Leeds City Council has suspended the enforcement action that could have resulted in seven illegal long-stay city centre car parks closing in the New Year.

The council understands the importance of parking to the city centre economy and is concerned that immediate closure would create difficulties for users and add to congestion.

The enforcement action relating to the car parks at Globe Road, Sweet Street, Trent Street, Ingram Street, Ingram Row and Water Lane car parks in Holbeck has therefore been suspended and an urgent review of city centre parking will now take place. The car parks can now remain open until the review is completed and a new policy in place, in the summer of 2011.

The enforcement action was triggered when an independent inspector ruled that the car parks were illegal as the owners did not have the necessary planning permission. The council remains committed to ensuring that development is regulated through the planning process. Once the new policy is in place, following the review, any of the car parks that wish to remain open will be expected to seek and obtain planning permission in line with the new policy.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:
“We are suspending enforcement to stop workers being hit as they face the New Year and avoid disruption to the local economy.

“Long-stay car parking is vital for many commuters working in the city and we are keen to make sure nothing hurts the local economy, especially at a challenging economic time.

“That is why we have decided not to close the car parks, but to hold a full and comprehensive review which will take account of all the views of those concerned about this issue, the impact of car-parking provision on the local economy, the alternative public transport options available to people and the need to tackle congestion.“

The review will include public consultation on an initial draft policy. Once the policy is finalised, the seven car parks will then be able to apply for planning permission, which will be determined against the new policy framework.

Ends

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

Christmas Cash Boost for Children’s Hospital



Picture caption: (from left to right) Saima Akhtar, Cllr Adam Ogilvie, Luke McMath, Paul Footitt, Aki Lowenthal Ian Cairns and Craig Shackleton



Sick children in a Leeds hospital will be having an extra-special Christmas this year thanks to a generous donation courtesy of the Christkindelmarkt German Christmas Market.

Aki Lowenthal owner of the Frankfurter-Scheune, the centre piece of the popular annual attraction, held a collection for Leeds Children’s Hospital throughout its stay on Millennium Square.

Today he was joined at Leeds General Infirmary with Councillor Adam Ogilvie and members of Leeds City Council events team to hand over the £2,223 raised to Sharon Edwards Fundraising Manager at the hospital before heading home to Germany.

Sharon Edwards at Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Foundation said:

“We would just like to say a massive thanks to Mr Lowenthal and all the traders and public attending this years German Market that contributed to raising such a fantastic amount.

“The £2,000 which has been presented today will make such a difference to so many of our patient’s lives. On behalf of The Leeds Children's Hospital and our young patients and families thank you so much for supporting this fantastic cause.”

The Leeds Children’s Hospital is second in size only to those at Great Ormond Street.

Aki Lowenthal owner of the Frankfurter-Scheune said:

“We’re always made to feel very welcome in Leeds and it’s now like our second home. We are of course very pleased to be able to contribute to the necessary equipment for the children's ward and we wish all the children and staff at the hospital and everybody here in Leeds a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year”

The market run in partnership between Leeds City Council and Frankfurt Am Main closed on Sunday 19 December following yet another highly successful year attracting over a quarter of a million visitors during its five week stay on Millennium Square.

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

“We hope this kind gesture will help make Christmas a little more comfortable for the very ill youngsters in the hospital. The Christkindelmarkt brings so much to the people of Leeds and this is another great example of the event giving something back to the city.”

The hospital’s small fundraising team mounts a wide range of fundraising initiatives throughout the year and more information can be found at www.leedshospitalsfundraising.org.uk.

ENDS

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