Monday, 7 February 2011

Photo Opportunity: Disused council depot site transformed into affordable housing

A disused council depot that has been made into affordable homes is to be officially opened this week.

The 22 new affordable homes in Morley have been developed by housing association Accent Foundation with main contractor Dunelm Property Services working in partnership with Leeds City Council and Aire Valley Homes.

Kirkness Court, originally to be called Corporation Street, has been named in memory of Lance Corporal David Kirkness a local solider who lived in Morley who was sadly killed in action serving in Afghanistan in December 2009.

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WHAT: Media are invited to the opening of the flats, and will be joined by residents and family and friends of Lance Corporal David Kirkness.
WHERE: Kirkness Court, Corporation Street, Morley
WHEN: Thursday 10 February 1pm

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The site is made up of 22 two bedroom apartments which are all for social rent and for people over the age of 55.

Kirkness Court is one of a phase of sites to be developed through the innovative Affordable Housing Strategic Partnership, which was established to use council-owned land to attract public funding so that affordable housing can be built.

The homes at Kirkness Court have been developed in partnership with Accent Foundation and Aire Valley Homes.


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

Bus lane abusers to pay price of clogging city centre traffic

Law-breaking motorists who abuse bus lanes will pay the price of slowing down city centre traffic in Leeds when they start getting fined under a major clampdown.

Enforcement cameras are going up over the next few weeks at key city centre bus gates and lanes to catch rogue motorists who use them as illicit traffic short-cuts.

A recent survey by Leeds City Council found more than 500 drivers a day illegally cutting through city centre bus gates and lanes, the vast majority of which were during the morning rush from 7.30-9am, holding up buses full of commuters and other passengers.

Researchers found an average of 30-40 breaches an hour in a number of city centre bus lanes and gates. The council has decided to introduce the cameras in key sites to tackle the persistent problem, which contributes to clogging up city centre traffic. The council also intends at a later stage to introduce a mobile camera to tackle the issue elsewhere.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member for development, said:
“This is all about keeping the city centre moving and making sure buses can have the clear access through their dedicated lanes that they are entitled to. Selfish drivers who abuse the lanes hold up the buses, which in turn causes knock-on effects to traffic and other, law-abiding motorists.”

Metro, which co-ordinates the transport for West Yorkshire, is supporting the scheme.

Metro chair Councillor Chris Greaves said:
“Metro, local councils and bus operators invest in schemes to improve public transport, but all this good work is for nothing if car users block bus lanes and restricted areas and park in bus stop lay-bys, preventing passengers from using the special-level access stops we’re introducing.”

To make sure motorists are aware of the implications of cutting into bus lanes in Leeds, there will be a trial period where warnings will be issued to those doing so to alert them about the future fines.

This will take place in the run-up to the switching-on of the new cameras, which is scheduled for the beginning of April. From then, anyone in the lane illegally risks being captured on camera and receiving a penalty charge notice of £30.

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


South African visit to strengthen ties with Leeds schools

Education experts from South Africa are in Leeds this week to further strengthen partnerships with several primary schools in the city.

Two teachers and a member of Durban’s inter-governmental relations department will be in the city to meet teachers, children and young people and the deputy chief executive of Education Leeds to build on previous work carried out to develop ties between schools in Leeds and Durban.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Any media interested in attending any of the visits please call 0113 3951577 or email to arrange.
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Makhosazana Dolly Zondi, principal of Baschokuhle Primary School, Dheyakul Sundari Govender, deputy principal of Shallcross Primary School, and Bongani Mpanza, deputy manager of Inter-Governmental Relations in Kwazulu Natal Department of Education, will be in the city until Friday.

During the visit they will attend Bramley Primary School and Gledhow Primary School (Monday); Moortown Primary School and Tranmere Park Primary School (Tuesday); a British Council seminar on ‘Global Schools Partnerships’ at Civic Hall (Wednesday); Meadowfield Primary School, Colton Primary School and St Theresa’s Catholic Primary (Thursday); and attend a meeting for Garforth schools including Garforth Green Lane School, Strawberry Fields School, Ninelands Primary School, Ninelands Primary School and Garforth Community College (Thursday).

The visit has been arranged by Leeds City Council’s international relations team which aims to improve partnerships between Leeds and its partner cities around the world.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive board member for learning at Leeds City Council, said:
"Many of our schools are involved in international projects and include a global dimension in their teaching. I’m sure the schools involved this week will learn from their South African counterparts who, in turn, will reap the benefits of meeting our fantastic teachers, children and young people.”

Dirk Gilleard, deputy chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“I’d like to offer our visitors a warm welcome to Leeds and hope they enjoy their time in our city. This is an exciting opportunity to meet teachers from Durban and discover new ways of teaching and learning. An understanding of different countries and cultures is important and these visits, combined with the international learning that already goes on in schools, will help develop our children and young people’s knowledge of life in another country.”

Leeds and Durban have been partner cities since 1998. A number of school partnerships have been developed between schools in Leeds, Durban and the wider Kwazulu Natal province. Strong links have been forged with the KwaZulu Natal Department of Education and there is regular contact between the two authorities.

School partnerships are designed to be sustainable and add an international dimension to the curriculum. Through the links, schools develop joint curriculum projects which enable children and young people to develop knowledge and inter-cultural awareness. For many, community cohesion is high on the agenda and the links support their work on inter-cultural understanding, anti-racism and xenophobia and in order to break down racial stereotypes.

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