Thursday, 7 April 2011

Leeds market is an ‘intrinsic part’ of the city

Results from a recent consultation show that Kirkgate market is an important part of the city centre and vital for new business start ups.

Leeds City Council went to the public to ask how they thought Kirkgate Market could start to become the best market in the UK.

The consultation which started in January gained over 950 responses, which were returned from a wide ranging audience, including customers of the market.

The majority of respondents agreed that;

• ‘Kirkgate Market needs to remain an intrinsic part of the Leeds city centre
• ‘Retail markets need to respond to customer needs’
• ‘Kirkgate Market is vital in supporting start-up businesses and independent

Also highlighted were concerns over parking and opening hours, and people admitting that they simply ‘shopped somewhere else.’

Sue Burgess, Leeds City Council markets manager said;

“I would like to thank everyone that took the time to fill in the survey about the future of Kirkagte Market.

“The report has provided some interesting information, and given us a real platform to work from.

“We understand that retail markets now need to respond to changing customer needs , and we are going to work hard to make this happen. Be it with increased opening hours or a range of other promotions and schemes such as special offers for customers who shop early in the day, and the launch later this year of a ‘shop and drop’ scheme so city centre workers can leave their shopping with us and collect it on the way home.

“We’re also expanding our speciality and farmers markets on Sundays as these are very popular with customers who cannot get to us during the week, along with a big events programme to encourage families to rediscover the markets.”

To view the results from the consultation visit


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

Calverley residents urged to pull the plug on flytippers

Photos show some of the rubbish recently dumped along Woodhall Lane

Residents are being urged to report flytippers who have repeatedly dumped rubbish including fencing, builders’ rubble and even an old bath in the same Leeds road.

Leeds City Council is appealing to residents in the area of Woodhall Lane, Calverley, to help them identify the rubbish. They hope this will lead them to the people behind the illicit offloading of waste which should be disposed of at official sites.

Fresh piles of rubbish are appearing faster than council officers can clear them along different sections of the unmade road. Six different heaps of waste were found at the same time and in the past four days alone there have been three new incidents of rubbish randomly appearing along Woodhall Lane.

It is particularly prevalent alongside the Calverley Golf Course end of the road, which is unsurfaced and not particularly suitable for standard cars but more accessible to four-wheel-drive or works vehicles.

The illegal dumping is largely of building waste, garden waste and old fencing panels, but there is also evidence of unwanted items probably from a house clearance. In one incident a pile of waste was set on fire.

Councillor Tom Murray, executive member for environmental services, Leeds City Council, said:
“We want to find out who is responsible for this irresponsible dumping and bring them to justice. This is a crime which causes environmental damage, obstruction to people passing by and encourages anti-social behaviour.

“We do have some leads we are following up, but we need local support to help eradicate this ongoing blight. Someone may recognise the dumped items or may even have spotted this happening and we would urge them to contact us with any details that would help us trace those responsible and prevent this happening again.”

Anyone who can help with identifying the dumped waste or the people or vehicles involved should call enforcement officers on 0113 395 1765.

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


Tenant evicted after anti-social behaviour makes locals’ lives a misery

A woman from east Leeds has been evicted from her home after committing a catalogue of anti-social behaviour offences.

Janine Machin, who lived at 115 Osmondthorpe Lane, Osmondthorpe, has been served with an immediate eviction notice after a successful application by Leeds City Council on behalf of Safer Leeds. The notice was served at Leeds County Court today (Thursday) and Miss Machin now has 28 days to leave the property.

Despite being served with a noise abatement notice by Leeds City Council in September 2010, Miss Machin continued to behave anti-socially. Between 2009 and 2011, she regularly harassed other residents with loud music and parties, had large numbers of drunken visitors and verbally abused and intimidated local people, often using foul language. There were also a number of drunken brawls in or around her property.

Whilst living at the property Miss Machin was also prosecuted for a number of criminal offences including handling stolen goods, possessing drugs, possessing a weapon and producing drugs.

Safer Leeds is also seeking an injunction order against her which will ban her from the Osmondthorpe area. This application is due to be heard by Leeds County Court later this month.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds, said:
“Eviction is always a last resort but people who allow their home to be used as a base for anti-social behaviour should realise it will not be tolerated. The continuous late night parties, loud music and intimidating behaviour had a detrimental effect on the lives of her neighbours and were not acceptable. This action is a clear warning that we can and will take whatever action is necessary to make Leeds a safer and more pleasant place to live.”

To report incidents of anti-social behaviour contact Safer Leeds on 0113 2224402. Council tenants should contact the following numbers in the first instance: West North West Homes, 0800 915 1113: Aire Valley Homes, 0800 915 6660; East North East Homes, 0800 915 1600; Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation, 0113 214 1833. In an emergency, always call 999.


Notes to editors:

Safer Leeds is a partnership between Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, the city’s ALMOs (East North East Homes Leeds, West North West Homes Leeds, Aire Valley Homes and the Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation) and West Yorkshire Fire Service to tackle crime and anti-social behaviour in Leeds.

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

Chapeltown children’s centre is doubly outstanding

Picture caption: "Chapeltown children's centre manager Colette Kurylo with Taya Frederick, (front l-r) Shanaé Wilkinson, Ramaya Weekes, Savantaé Wilkinson and Ayden Brooks."

A children’s centre in one of the most disadvantaged areas of Leeds has received not one but two, glowing reports from government inspectors.

Chapeltown children’s centre, run by Leeds City Council, was judged as outstanding in both it’s childcare provision and it’s wider services to families, following two recent inspections by Ofsted .

In the report, published this week, which looks at the centre’s services for children and families, except childcare, the inspectors said: “The centre provides exceptional levels of care, guidance and support to its service users. It is highly effective in assessing the needs of individuals and the community and tailors services to meet those needs. Overall, outcomes for centre users are outstanding, particularly in children’s achievement.
“Parents and carers are extremely happy with the centre and praise staff highly for their sensitivity and approachability. The safety and security of children is without doubt a top priority for all those who work with or in the centre.”

Following the inspection last month, inspectors also found that “the centre is a highly inclusive place where individuals from a wide range of cultures represented in the area are embraced and valued.”

An earlier inspection by Ofsted in January this year, which looked at the centre’s early years provision also resulted in an ‘outstanding’ judgement – making it the only centre in Leeds to be judged as outstanding in both categories.

Of the centre’s early years provision the inspectors commented that: “The care and education for all children is exceptional. The management team is inspirational, highly motivated and totally focused on delivering outstanding outcomes for children in their early years. Children enjoy a wonderful range of play and learning experiences and make significant progress in relation to their starting points. Inclusive practice is at the heart of the work and is exceptionally well promoted as each child's individuality is embraced and valued. The partnership arrangements are phenomenal and parents and carers are fully included in all aspects of the setting. Exemplary, ongoing self-evaluation ensures high quality and promotes continuous improvement.”

The children’s centre received the highest possible score in every category of both Ofsted reports.

The reports highlighted the centre’s ability to work well with parents in challenging circumstances and acknowledged how they embrace the diverse community in which the centre is located.

Inspectors commended the centre’s safeguarding practices saying that it has ‘exceptional’ systems in place for safeguarding children and that it is given top priority. The reports also describe the management team as ‘highly motivated, focused, passionate and committed to improving opportunities for children..”, and that the day-to-day organisation is ‘excellent’.

Councillor Jane Dowson, executive member responsible for learning, said:

“To hear words like ‘exceptional’, ‘inspirational’ and ‘exemplary’ to describe this children’s centre is fantastic and everyone should be very proud. To be classed as outstanding in every aspect of the centre’s provision is truly an amazing achievement.

“These results prove that this centre is really offering the best start in life for the children of Chapeltown by not only offering excellent childcare, but by giving their families the help and opportunities to make changes in their lives for the better.”

Colette Kurylo, Chapeltown children’s centre manager, said:
“I am thrilled that the hard work and dedication of all the staff here has been rewarded with such a great result. I am very lucky to have the support of a great team who really put the needs of the children and families at the heart of everything they do.”

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

Candidates for local, parish and town council elections

A reminder that details of all candidates standing in local elections on May 5 In Leeds are available on Leeds City Council's website.

For all candidates standing for election to Leeds City Council click here Leeds City Council elections then download the pdf document to the right.

Candidates standing for parish and town council elections are listed on this page parish and town council elections

Voting will also take place on the same day in a national referendum on a proposed alternative voting (AV) system.


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

Skin cancer risks lead to sunbed use ban for under-18s

Young people are to be banned from using commercial sunbeds from this week under new laws aimed at protecting them from potential health risks such as skin cancer.

Sunbed firms in Leeds are being warned that allowing under-18s to use their sunbeds or in most cases letting them even be in the area where they are used could lead to fines of up to £20,000.

Concerns about skin cancer and other effects of exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light during sunbed use combined with fears that young skin is more vulnerable to damage have led to the new legislation.

In its guidance* to the new law, the Health & Safety Executive says exposure to UV tanning equipment before the age of 35 “significantly increases” the risk of several types of skin cancer. They also say that younger people also seem to be more at risk from the “cancer-causing effects of indoor tanning”.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council executive member for environmental services, said:
“Health risks associated with sunbed use are well-documented and young people in particular need to be extra-careful about their exposure to ultraviolet light.

“Our officers will be watching carefully to ensure that there is no abuse of the new law. We would also encourage people to report any breach of the rules to us.”

From April 8 it will be against the law for a business to allow anyone under 18 to use sunbeds or to even to permit them access to an area where the equipment is in use.

Environmental health officers from Leeds City Council will be monitoring local tanning companies to make sure they do not fall foul of the new Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010.

They have been busy updating their records of businesses offering sunbed hire in the city and writing to them to remind them of their new responsibilities. They have also alerted schools, trading standards and other interested groups.

A system is being set up to put checks in place and any reports of under-18s using commercial sunbeds will be investigated. Officers will have the power to inspect premises, see business records or other relevant information, apply for entry warrants and prosecute operators breaking the law.

Leeds City Council’s health & environmental action service can be contacted on 0113- 222 4406 or email

Notes to editors:
Sunbed operators have been issued with the following advice on good practice:
• Always request identification for young people before allowing access to sunbeds;
• Display information in the premises, preferably also in the window, outlining the requirement that suitable proof of age must be provided by young people;
• Keep records, including client age and health questionnaires, and make sure they are completed before use of sunbeds;
• Inform employees of the law and what you expect them to do to work within it.

*For more information on the new law and the Health & Safety Executive’s advice on sunbeds and their use, you can download a PDF of their document “Reducing health risks from the use of ultraviolet (UV) tanning equipment” here or visit their website at

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