Tuesday, 25 January 2011

New panel keen to develop disability sport in Leeds

A group of young people in Leeds are helping to develop disability sport in the city after forming a new dedicated panel.

The new Leeds Disability Sport Youth Panel is the first of its kind in the city and is made up of six people aged 16-25 from different backgrounds, with or without a disability, who are all focused on developing and promoting disability sport.

The panel is chaired and co-ordinated by Leeds City Council’s disability sports development officer Ross Bibby and will meet regularly throughout the year to promote disability sport to a wider audience and play a key role in delivering Paralympic events and competitions in Leeds in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

The project has already achieved the “Inspire Mark”, which recognises innovative and exceptional programmes and activities around the country that are directly inspired by London 2012.

It is the third such disability sport project in Leeds to be awarded the coveted mark, following on from Leeds Wheelchair Racing and Disability and Wheelchair Tennis Coaching which were both granted the award last year. Both of these projects are also co-ordinated by Leeds City Council, and are run at the John Charles Centre for Sport.

Chair of the Leeds Disability Sports Youth Panel Ross Bibby said:

“This new panel gives young people a unique and exciting opportunity to get involved in something directly linked to the 2012 Paralympic Games, as well as making a real difference to disability sport in the city as a whole and we look forward to making real progress in the months to come.”

For further information on the Leeds Disability Sports Youth Panel or other disability sport opportunities in Leeds visit www.leeds.gov.uk/disabilitysport or contact Ross Bibby on 0113 395 0159 or email ross.bibby@leeds.gov.uk.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472, Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Cold callers are not the only way to check your council tax band

Council taxpayers are being warned not to be ripped off by cold callers who claim they can lower their home’s council tax band for a fee – when they can do it themselves for free.

Companies have been targeting homes in areas of Leeds saying the firm can help people challenge their home’s council tax band, with a suggestion that they could save money if they did. One salesman quoted a fee of £165, claiming he could reduce the owner’s council tax bill by around £2,000.

While the practice is not illegal, the callers often claim that properties in the area have already had their council tax bandings lowered. A council tax band is used to work out how much council tax is paid for each property.

But Leeds City Council is alerting local people to the fact that they can easily find out if their council tax band is incorrect – for free.

Anyone who thinks they have been put in the wrong council tax band can challenge the band- but only at certain times. To find out more, go the VOA website at www.voa.gov.uk/council_tax

Steven Carey, Leeds City Council’s chief officer for revenues and benefits, said:
“While there’s nothing illegal about these calls , people may be fooled into thinking that they need to pay someone to see if they are in the wrong tax band. Our advice is that you can do it yourself for free – you don’t need to pay, so if you think your house might be in the wrong band, contact the Valuation Officer and check for free.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:

Properties are put into council tax bands by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA). There are eight valuation bands from Band A to Band H, with Band A being the lowest. The band is an indication of how much a property was worth on 1st April 1991, and not its current value. Even new properties are valued on what they would have been worth in 1991. The council tax band is used to work out how much council tax is paid for each property. You can challenge your band yourself but only in certain circumstances. However, even if you do not meet the criteria, the VOA will still review the banding on your property if you can provide evidence to show that the current band is incorrect, although the valuation banding of your property could also go up, as well as down.

If you think the banding of your property is wrong, contact the Valuation Office Agency on 0113 3884500 or go to their website for more information. You do not need someone else to do it for you.

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk