Friday, 1 April 2011

Golden Leeds garden claims more glory

Caption: (left to right) Paula Hargadon of HESCO Bastion, Sean Flesher and Paul Ackroyd of Leeds City Council's parks and countryside service and RHS President Elizabeth Banks at the presentation of the Wigan Cup (image courtesy of the RHS)

The garden which earned a historic first-ever gold medal for the city of Leeds at the world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show has this week picked up another prestigious award.

The HESCO Garden 2010, created by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service supported and fully sponsored by Leeds-based world-leading manufacturers of products used in civil engineering HESCO Bastion Limited, made history three times over as well as receiving worldwide acclaim at last year’s show in London.

And this week the garden was given another major prize as show organisers the Royal Horticultural Society awarded the council the Wigan Cup for producing the finest exhibit on display by a local authority at any of the RHS’s show events in 2010.

The award means Leeds City Council has successfully retained the trophy after winning the Wigan Cup for the first time last year for their 2009 HESCO Garden entry which won a Silver Gilt Flora award at Chelsea.

Both gardens are currently in the process of being permanently installed in their new home of Roundhay Park’s ‘Gardens of the world’ section with sponsorship support from Green Leeds Limited, and will be open for the public to visit for free from mid-May.

Leeds City Council deputy executive member for leisure Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:

“This is another fantastic and well-deserved award for The HESCO Garden 2010 and the team of council parks staff and HESCO Bastion who created it. It is sure to be a major attraction when it opens in Roundhay Park in a few weeks’ time and we are all looking forward to seeing it in all its glory again in its new home.”

Partner and garden sponsor HESCO Bastion Limited said:

"HESCO Bastion would like to congratulate the Leeds City Council team for their exceptional creativity and hard work that delivered another winning garden in 2010. HESCO are delighted to be sponsoring and working with Leeds City Council for the third year running at this year’s show and look forward to another successful year.”

The plans for this year’s Chelsea contender are now well underway, with The HESCO Garden 2011 being prepared for the show in London from May 24-28.

The theme of this year’s garden is the power of nature and water power in particular, with the design featuring a centrepiece of a traditional mill being powered by a giant working water wheel measuring over three metres tall (approximately 10 feet).

The role of the wheel it is to celebrate not only the pivotal part water power played in the industrial past but also the growing role it is playing once again as a clean and renewable energy resource in the present and for the future.

For further information including photos, video clips and blogs of The HESCO Garden 2011 project and also the full story of The HESCO Garden 2010 visit or to follow this year’s garden as it develops on Twitter go to

Notes to editors:

The Wigan Cup dates back to 1911, when it was presented to the RHS by the late Mr A.L.Wigan to be used as an award for an exhibit of roses. Over time this changed so it is now awarded to the best exhibit created by a local authority at any of the RHS’s show events throughout the year.

The HESCO Garden 2010 not only earned the Leeds City Council team a first-ever gold medal at Chelsea, the success also represented the first time in the history of the prestigious event which dates back to 1862 that a local authority had won gold in the elite large outdoor show garden category, while its central giant lock gates were another first for the show.


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

An extra chance for the public to have their say on the transformation of adult social care services in Leeds

People in Leeds are being given an extra chance to have their say and make comments on proposals to change the way that adult social care services are delivered in the city.

An additional full-day public drop-in event has been organised to take place at Kirkgate Market on Tuesday, 5 April,

Three public drop-in consultation events have already taken place in Otley, Pudsey, and Leeds city centre. Their aim is to get people’s views about the future of adult social care services, and give them the opportunity to comment about two specific service changes. The first is about changes to council-run residential care homes and day centres for older people, which will provide improved and more flexible services in the future. The second relates to changes being considered to the charges for services people receive to support them to live at home.

The council want to engage with as many people as possible to help them shape how services will look in the future, and are keen to get as many people as possible to come along to the remaining roadshow events. Members of the public will be able to talk directly to officers about the proposals, and give their views. This will include the opportunity to complete questionnaires if people wish.

The remaining events are open to all and will take place as follows:
5 April, 9am to 4pm, Kirkgate Market (stall 91), Leeds
7 April, 9am to 4pm, Wetherby Market

In addition to these events, which are aimed at the general public, we are also consulting with the people directly affected by the changes we are looking at within residential and day care, and the review of our charges.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“We are facing huge financial challenges together with an ever increasing demand for our services, which means that we have to make changes to what we do and how we do it. However, we are committed to doing this in full consultation with as many people as we can.

“We have already got the views of many people through the consultation events that have already taken place, but are keen to engage with even more, which is why two additional dates have been arranged.

“We are committed to modernising and improving our services, which will deliver better results for the people that need them in the future. We will manage changes very carefully to make sure that those affected are kept informed throughout.”


Additional info

The questionnaire and a fact sheet on the proposals for residential and daycare services for the elderly can also be found on the consultation section of the council’s website (, which is open for anyone to complete. It is also available at all one-stop centres. If you would like a paper copy, please contact Diane Lillevik on Leeds 247 8595. There is a freepost address for returns.

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

Paper cranes lift hopes for Japan

An origami event is being held at Leeds Corn Exchange raising money for people affected by the devastating earthquakes and tsunami in Japan.

The “Fold for Japan” event on Saturday 16 April starts at 2pm with all proceeds going to the Japanese Red Cross which is providing aid to stricken Japanese people.

Participants will frantically folding origami paper cranes against the clock and volunteers are needed to take part in the folding, counting, invigilating and donation collections.

Anyone wanting to make a donation before or after the day or sponsor a folder can do so at

Once the cranes have been folded they will be available for members of the public to take away in exchange for a small donation. Any leftover will go to the annual Hiroshima Nagasaki memorial service in August.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said:

“The folded paper crane is synonymous with Japan and each one will be symbolic of the people who need our help and support at this incredible difficult time.


For media enquiries please contact:
Daniel Johnson,communications officer
tel: 0113 2478285

‘Phoenix’ and friends survive the flames to make Home Farm arrival

Captions: (top image) Leeds City Council deputy executive member for leisure Cllr Lisa Mulherin joined by three-year-old Blake Wade from Austhorpe with 'Phoenix' the Shetland calf and mother

Lower image - Cllr Mulherin holding a one-day-old Boreray lamb with two-year-old Millie-May Stead from Sherburn-in-Elmet and her grandmother Veronica Stead

Temple Newsam’s Home Farm in Leeds has seen a host of special new arrivals in recent weeks – including some which have already survived a highly dramatic entry into the world.

Over 80 newborn calves and lambs can now be seen at the Leeds City Council-managed visitor attraction, with the calves being particularly notable as they have survived the ordeal of the major fire which hit the farm in January, just weeks before they were born.

All 84 soon-to-be-mums made up of rare-breed Shetland, Belted Galloway, Irish Moiled and Beef Shorthorn cattle were in the holding barn which was badly damaged by the blaze which hit the farm on Sunday 23 January, and only the bravery and quick-thinking of staff and the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service meant they all escaped unharmed.

A few weeks on and now the new arrivals have begun appearing, including a Shetland calf born less than a week ago which the farm staff have already affectionately nicknamed ‘Phoenix’ to reflect not only its lucky escape but also its distinctive red markings.

More calves are expected to be born in the coming weeks, joining over 50 White-faced Woodland, Norfolk Horn, Boreray and Kerry Hill lambs among the newborns to be seen on the farm.

Home Farm is also home to pigs, goats, chickens, ducks and rabbits and is especially popular in the run-up to Easter. Leeds City Council will be hosting a variety of leisure events and activities for all ages throughout the Easter period across parks, sport, libraries, arts and heritage. All the details can be found on the council website at

Leeds City Council deputy executive member for leisure Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:

“A trip to Home Farm to see the newborn animals is very popular at Easter for all of us with families and this year the beautiful newborn calves are even more special than usual.

“The fire came as a big shock but the staff and the animals have all come through it fantastically well and we look forward to a very busy Easter welcoming visitors of all ages.”

For further details on Home Farm, visit or call 0113 264 5535.


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

Take-away owner pays the price for ignoring licensing rules

A take-away owner is now facing a £600 bill after ignoring advice by selling hot food late at night at his property without the right license.

Mr Akram Hussain, the owner of Abid’s takeaway, 14 Stainbeck Lane, LS7 ignored several warnings from council entertainment licensing enforcement officers about selling hot food after 11pm, without a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice.

At Leeds Magistrates’ Court on 29 March 2011, Mr Hussain pleaded guilty to providing hot refreshment without a licence. He received a 12 month conditional discharge, and was ordered to pay £617 costs.

John Mulcahy, head of licensing and registration for Leeds City Council said:
“It is very important that takeaways and other businesses within the Leeds area are aware of the various licenses they need for their premises if they choose to undertake certain activities.

“In this case the owner was warned on numerous occasions as to how he could rectify the situation, but failed to listen.

“This conviction shows how important it is for businesses to have the right licences for their premises.”

In August 2010 a warning letter was sent to Mr Hussain, by council licensing enforcement officers advising that he must stop such activities until a licence was in place. A blank premises licence application pack was also included with the letter.

Mr Hussain submitted an application requesting a premises licence to provide late night refreshment. The council’s licensing sub-committee granted the premises licence but with the restricted hours of Monday to Saturday until 11.30pm.

Between October 2010 and December 2010 licensing enforcement officers attended the premises and conducted undercover test purchases on three different occasions after 11.30pm. After each occasion officers wrote warning letters to Mr Hussain reminding him of the current licensing hours and advising him to cease providing late night refreshment after 11.30pm.

The magistrates in making their decision thought that although Mr Hussain had been let down by his staff he was ultimately responsible for the business, as such the taxpayers of Leeds and council should be able to fully recoup their costs.

Notes to editors:
Since the 24 November 2005 the provision of late night refreshment between the hours of 11pm and 5am is a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003. A person guilty of an offence of providing unauthorised late night refreshment is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding £20,000, or to both.

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

Leeds adopts new approach to tackle anti-social behaviour

Pictured at the launch are (from left): John Clark, chief executive of Aire Valley Homes Leeds; Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds; and temporary assistant chief constable Geoff Dodd.

A new approach to tackle anti-social behaviour is being adopted in Leeds to ensure victims receive a better level of service when they report incidents.

Three teams - each made up of staff and officers from Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and the city’s Arms Length Management Associations (ALMOs) - have been created to tackle anti-social behaviour. They will each cover a specific area of the city and work under the guidance of the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to the launch of the new approach to tackle anti-social behaviour at 11am on Monday 4 April at Landmark Court, Unit 5, Revie Road, LS11 8JT. Please email or call 0113 3951577 to confirm attendance.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

The new arrangements will bring all the partners together under one roof to ensure the victims of anti-social behaviour receive a co-ordinated and more effective service. Before the review, anti-social behaviour was dealt with individually by the ALMOs, the council and the police.

The three teams - one covering the north east, one covering the north west, and one covering the central and south - will ensure reports are dealt with by a unified service involving all three organisations working together. The three local teams will be managed centrally by Safer Leeds.

The new approach will be officially launched at 11am on Monday 4 April. Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds, will be joined by James Rogers, assistant chief executive at Leeds City Council, assistant chief constable, Geoff Dodd, and the chief executives of the city’s three ALMOs.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds and executive member responsible for community safety, said:
“Anti-social behaviour is not something we will tolerate and this new approach will help tackle the problem while helping to safeguard some of the most vulnerable members of society.

“This new arrangement is believed to be the first of its kind to be introduced in an urban area in the UK. Safer Leeds will oversee a joint approach by the council, the police and the city’s ALMOs to tackling anti-social behaviour which will deliver a more consistent and efficient service to the people of Leeds. There will be no changes to the way the public report anti-social behaviour but there will be changes to the way issues are investigated.”

Temporary assistant chief constable Geoff Dodd said:
"Anti-social behaviour blights lives and damages communities if left unchecked. West Yorkshire Police working with the community and partners has made significant progress in reducing anti-social behaviour and is improving the quality of life within our neighbourhoods.

"Our commitment to neighbourhood policing is matched by the determination of Leeds City Council to positively support work in this important area.

"The launch of Leeds’ new anti-social behaviour teams is a further important step in this area of work. Through this groundbreaking project I am confident that we can have even greater success in getting to the heart of issues that really matter to our communities."

The method of reporting anti-social behaviour hasn’t changed and members of the public should continue to call 0113 2224402.


Notes to editors:

Safer Leeds is the crime-fighting partnership between Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police and partner agencies from across the city.

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

Green ambition to cut council’s emissions and costs

Making building use more efficient and generating renewable electricity are just a couple of the ways in which Leeds City Council aims to cut its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40% over the next decade.

The council’s carbon and water management plan 2011-21 outlines how it intends to achieve the ambitious target with a variety of energy-saving initiatives.

The comprehensive approach covers all the council’s operations as one of the largest organisations in Leeds. It builds on the experience and expertise that has seen LCC’s energy use reduce every year for the past 20 years.

One of the biggest areas being targeted is buildings, as nearly two thirds of the council’s carbon emissions come from its main buildings and schools.

Cllr Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services for Leeds City Council, said:
“There is a compelling case to do all we can to cut down on our carbon dioxide emissions- both for the environment and for our own benefit as one of the largest organisations in Leeds.

“We need to lead the way for the city in conducting our operations responsibly and with energy prices increasing and penalties and taxes payable on emissions we must keep costs down.”

In the report it is outlined how external funding will be used to help put energy-efficient measures into existing buildings, with savings in energy bills being reinvested in further green initiatives.

New working practices for staff and office-sharing where appropriate could also free up buildings where it makes commercial and environmental sense to do so. More efficient street lighting with improved fittings and alterations to timers could also be considered.

Better route-planning for the council’s fleet of vehicles will make journeys more efficient and last week Leeds City Council became the first local authority in the UK to have its own permanent biomethane fuel station.

This is initially being used to fuel its two existing gas-powered refuse and recycling trucks, but in future it is intended that many more council vehicles will use green fuels. Other organisations in the city could also potentially re-fuel there.

The council is also exploring ways to generate electricity via wind turbines, solar and water power and combined heat and power systems.

If all the potential measures are implemented the council estimates it could save £6 million a year by 2021.

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