Thursday, 27 January 2011

Statement regarding Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme funding

Councillor Richard Lewis, deputy leader and executive board member with responsibility for development said:

“It is hugely disappointing that the Leeds Flood Alleviation Scheme on the River Aire has been delayed again.

“The Leeds scheme is not on the government's current scoring system to receive funding next year, which we feel is short sighted in view of the city's importance to the economic wellbeing of the region, in fact to the whole of the north of England.

“The lack of a flood alleviation scheme puts the city at risk of flooding. The area around the river has played a significant role in the growth that the city has seen with many financial institutions being based there. There are also a number of residential properties that now face a continued risk of flooding.

“We are working in partnership with the environment agency to look at other funding streams, including European funding, and will continue to lobby central government to make Leeds a special case and get a commitment to bringing a flood alleviation scheme to the city in the near future.”


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

Unique honour awarded to Jimi Heselden

Caption: (From left) Lady Mayoress Councillor Andrea McKenna, Julie Heselden, Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Jim McKenna and Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council.

Last night (Wednesday 26 January) Leeds City Council paid tribute to entrepreneur and philanthropist Mr Jimi Heselden by awarding him a unique honour.

The council presented Mr Heselden’s wife, Julie, with a scroll detailing the honour of Freedom of the City, as an acknowledgment of Jimi Heselden’s contribution to the city.

Freedom of the City is the highest honour a city can present, but this is the first time a posthumous honour has been issued to anyone in Leeds, and it was only right that the council awarded Mr Heselden, chairman of HESCO Bastion, this honour for his remarkable selflessness and generosity and his contribution to the city.

Mr Heselden died late last year in a tragic accident near his home at Wetherby, Leeds.

The Lord Mayor, the leader of council and representatives from the council’s four other political groups paid tribute to Mr Heselden at the meeting before a scroll was presented to his family as acknowledgement of his inclusion among the Freeman of the City recipients.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Jim McKenna said:
“I was delighted and honoured to present Jimi's family with the scroll and show them the panel in the Banquet Hall with Jimi's name next to other Honorary Freeman of the City.

“Jimi was very much involved in Leeds life, and gave his time and money to both local Leeds charities and other good causes, and this selflessness will not be forgotten.”

Leader of council, Councillor Keith Wakefield, said:
“Jimi was very much loved across the city, and his generosity will never be forgotten. This honour is the least we could do for a man who was such an ambassador for Leeds.

“We had great success with Jimi at the RHS Chelsea flower show, with the momentous occasion of winning Gold for the first time ever will always been remembered.”

Deputy leader of the Conservative group at Leeds City Council, Councillor John Procter said:
"I worked closely with Jimi over a number of years on the Chelsea Garden project, and got to know him well. Both genuine and honest in equal measure, his passion for the city was infectious. This honour is a fitting way for us to pay tribute to a man who did so much for Leeds.”

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group at Leeds City Council, Councillor Stewart Golton said:
"Last night provided us with the opportunity to pay tribute to someone who was a fantastic role model for the City. Jimi Heselden rose from humble beginnings to become one of the City's biggest benefactors supporting all kinds of organisations large and small."

Leader of the Green group at Leeds City Council, Councillor Ann Blackburn said:
"Mr Heselden was a true philanthropist who didn't forget his roots."

Councillor Terry Grayshon of the Morley independent group in Leeds said:

“Jimi Hesleden was a remarkable individual, the like of which is rarely seen. His generosity to the City of Leeds and further a field is astonishing. He was a caring and giving man who wanted to give something back to the community and help those who needed a helping hand”

Mr Heselden worked closely with the council on the past two RHS Chelsea Flower show gardens. This year, history was made when the HESCO Garden 2010 won the ever first gold medal for Leeds City Council, and also became the first gold medal-winner by a local authority in the elite outdoor show garden category in the entire 148-year history of the event – a fantastic achievement.
Under council rules, individuals have to be alive to be given Freedom of the City, but the council wanted to honour Mr Heselden in a similar style by including his name on this list alongside other Freemen of the City.


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

Councillor to meet dog walkers over new control orders

A meeting is being set up to discuss concerns voiced by professional dog walkers in Leeds over new powers limiting the number of dogs walked at the same time to four.

Cllr Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services at Leeds City Council, has agreed to meet a group of people who walk dogs for a living to discuss the issue with them after they contacted him.

New dog control orders coming into force in the city on February 1 are aimed at clamping down on nuisance or dangerous behaviour.

Council staff will be able to tell owners of those causing a nuisance to put them on leads and dogs will also be excluded from play areas in some parks. Fines can be issued to back up the action if needed.

Under the new rules, the council would have the power to fine people walking more than four dogs if officers felt the dogs were behaving in a dangerous or disruptive manner. The limit of four was chosen after 68% of people who responded said that was their preferred maximum.

Cllr Murray said:

“I am concerned to hear that some dog walkers feel that the new orders may affect their business and I am keen to meet them to discuss the issue and listen to any suggestions they may have.

“The new orders are all about controlling dog behaviour, particularly when they’ve behaving dangerously. This gives officers the ability to do something about that, as well as in cases when they may be fouling or causing damage, as supported by our public consultation.

“However, we want to support people in their businesses and I want to talk through dog walkers’ concerns with them and see how we can take this forward together.”

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