Tuesday, 24 May 2011

School to receive a new sensory room

Money has been donated to a specialist learning centre in south Leeds to help build a new sensory room.

Sensory rooms provide a creative teaching and experiential environment for a whole range of pupils with a variety of needs. Broomfield Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre (SILC) will be the first school in the area to have a sensory room of this kind which will be of benefit to a wide range of children.

Aire Valley Homes, who manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council, have donated £3000 towards the installation of a new sensory room at Broomfield South SILC, with Morrison, their new maintenance provider, to provide the labour and materials to help install the new sensory room.

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All media are invited to Broomfield South SILC on Thursday 26 May at 10am to see the presentation of a big cheque to the School Principal John Fryer. Aire Valley Homes Chief Executive and a representative from Morrison will be in attendance. Please call the press office on 0113 247 4450 to arrange attendance.

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Simon Costigan, the newly appointed Chief Executive of Aire Valley Homes said:

“This is a really worthwhile project which Aire Valley Homes is proud to support through a financial donation to purchase specialist equipment, which will help the development of a number of local children who access services through Broomfield School.

“Aire Valley Homes is committed to working with our communities to improve the quality of life for our residents, and looks forward to developing a longer term partnership to support Broomfield School through our ongoing corporate social responsibility programme.”

Mark Waterhouse, partnering director for Morrison said:

“Morrison is committed to working in the local community in Leeds and we are very pleased to be able to support this very worthwhile project, which will provide a much needed resource for children with special education needs within the local community. We are particularly pleased to be able to provide the labour for this project because it allows our skilled trades people to get involved as well, which is always something they are keen to do.”

John Fryer, Principal of Broomfield South SILC said:

“We are delighted that Aire Valley Homes and Morrison are supporting us with this project. Without the support and generosity of businesses and the local and wider community we would not be able to pursue such a project. We aim to provide a unique educational facility that pupils from our school and our surrounding schools can greatly benefit from. Pupils will be stimulated and encouraged to develop creative thinking through a multi-sensory experience of innovative light, sound, projection and space which cannot be created in the normal classroom.”

Notes to editors:
Aire Valley Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. They are wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents.
Aire Valley Homes Leeds covers the areas of Barwick-in-Elmet, Swarcliffe, Garforth, Micklefield, Kippax, Swillington, Allerton Bywater, Methley, Rothwell, Middleton, Morley, Drighlington, Cottingley, Beeston, and Holbeck.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk

Less is Moore as time ticks down on historic exhibition

Caption (to be used in full): Henry Moore 1898-1986 Mother and Child 1932 White Alabaster, Leeds Museums and Galleries

Time is running out to see the historic exhibition devoted to Henry Moore which is currently on display in Leeds Art Gallery.

There is less than a month remaining until the major free exhibition, the biggest seen at the gallery on The Headrow since the British Art Show in 1990, comes to an end on Sunday 12 June.

Already more than 100,000 people have taken the opportunity to see the collection of over 100 works by the Castleford-born artist on display in the city where he studied at Leeds School of Art (now Leeds College of Art).

The Henry Moore exhibition organised by Tate Britain, London in collaboration with Leeds Art Gallery brings together a collection of Moore’s stone sculptures, wood carvings, bronzes and drawings which have never been seen together before in the city and are unlikely to ever appear on show in Leeds again.

The display covers both the pre-war and post-war era concentrating on British loans as it challenges the familiar image of Henry Moore (1898-1986) as an artist. It features works loaned from Tate Britain, the Henry Moore Foundation, private collections from around the country and pieces which have returned to the UK from the Art Gallery of Ontario in Canada where the show was previously on display.

Leeds City Council head of museums and galleries John Roles said:

“The Henry Moore exhibition has proved hugely popular drawing in thousands of visitors to Leeds Art Gallery but if anyone has not yet taken the opportunity to see it or would like to see it again now is the time as it is nearly at an end.

“The exhibition showcases the amazing range of Moore’s work in a display which is unlikely to ever be seen together again in the city where his career began, so we hope as many people as possible make the most of this chance to see it for free in the few weeks the show has left.”

The Henry Moore exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery is organised by Tate Britain, London in collaboration with Leeds City Council and supported by the Henry Moore Foundation, Renaissance Yorkshire, Leeds Art Collections Fund, Welcome To Yorkshire and Arts Council England with sponsorship from Abstract Group of Companies and Stewarts Law LLP.

The free exhibition runs until Sunday 12 June 2011. For more information on Leeds Art Gallery and the range of talks and activities being held around the Henry Moore exhibition visit www.leeds.gov.uk/artgallery

The exhibition is also part of a great celebration of sculpture in the region, as the much-anticipated opening of the new Hepworth Gallery in Wakefield this weekend showcases other works by Moore as well as his celebrated Yorkshire contemporary Dame Barbara Hepworth.

Henry Moore in Leeds is part of Art in Yorkshire, supported by Tate – a year-long celebration of the visual arts in 19 galleries throughout Yorkshire. Works from Tate’s collection of historic, modern and contemporary art will be showcased through a programme of exhibitions and events. For more information visit www.yorkshire.com/artinyorkshire


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

Full steam ahead for Leeds Arena

Interview with Rob Wolfe of Construction Leeds

Pic cap: Cllr Richard Lewis with pupils from Little London Primary School and the Little London Art Group on the Leeds Arena site at Clay Pit Lane.

Work begins this week on the building that will become the long awaited 13,500 capacity Leeds Arena following the signing of the scheme’s construction contract.

Advanced excavation work is now complete and around 50 construction workers from BAM, the company now signed up to build the arena, are moving onto the city centre site at Clay Pit Lane.

Work will now accelerate and the public will be able to see the unique arena take shape over the next couple of months as the foundations are laid and part of the arena’s structure begins to go up.

Around 42 cabins will be brought on site to create an office complex which will remain there until the venue opens in 2013.

For the next 16 weeks Clay Pit Lane will be a hive of activity as the skeleton of the arena starts to come together. The concrete and reinforced steel foundations, which will hold a steel frame, will be completed and the building’s lift shafts and staircase cores will be put in place.

To mark this major landmark schoolchildren from Little London Primary School, young trainee apprentices, photography students and members of a local Little London art group visited the site to learn how the £60m construction project will develop over the coming weeks and months.

It was revealed that a visitor centre will also be set up soon, allowing the public the opportunity to monitor progress.

Public access to the scheme is an important part of a special project agreed between Leeds City Council, BAM and Construction Leeds. This Local Impact Programme will ensure business, educational and employment opportunities for local people. Artwork produced by the Little London Art Group and Little London Primary School will go up on the hoardings surrounding the site and trainee photographers from the Leeds College of Art will document the project’s progress for public display throughout the construction phase.

The Leeds Arena Local Impact Programme will:
• create around 100 opportunities for progression into employment with the aim of securing roles for those living near to the site;
• safeguard 110 local construction jobs;
• provide 48 people weeks of work experience for 16-17 year olds and 96 people weeks of work experience for 18 plus years old;
• create around 60 new apprenticeships, with the priority of helping those who lost placements during the economic downturn so they can complete their training.
• Offer opportunities for school visits and educational projects.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for development, said:

“I am delighted that construction work on the Leeds Arena building itself has started. We are entering an exciting phase in the arena project and we want to involve local people as much as possible so they can feel a part of it and share the benefits of this scheme.

“The aim of the Local Impact Programme is to ensure local people and construction firms benefit from the employment, educational and training opportunities linked to the development and it is great that we are now starting to realise this aim.

“We know that the Arena will boost the city’s economy by £25.5m a year but we also want to use it as a catalyst to create real opportunities for those people who live in the areas surrounding it and for the city’s local construction industry.”

John Phillips, construction director for BAM North East, said:

“BAM is known for the quality of its buildings. We believe strongly that what lies behind this is the quality of our partnerships on projects. That includes our partnership with the community around us. BAM’s policy of using local material and suppliers, provided these meet our rigorous standards, means our work at Leeds Arena will deliver significant economic benefits for the City of Leeds.”

Further information on the Leeds Arena Local Impact Programme, such as jobs, visits and business events is available by contacting Construction Leeds at admin@construction-leeds.org.uk.


For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

Wheel of fortune secures more gold for Leeds

Captions from top: The HESCO Garden 2011 was visited by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh, Nell McAndrew and Rick Stein amongst others on press day at Chelsea. Pictured in light green dress and sunglasses is Julie Heselden, wife of the late Jimi Heselden OBE, owner of HESCO Bastion Ltd.

Leeds is celebrating securing more gold after making it two in a row at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show.

The Leeds challenger The HESCO Garden 2011 was today awarded a coveted gold medal at the world-famous event, matching the historic first-ever gold for Leeds at last year’s event.

Produced by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service with support and full sponsorship from Leeds-based world-leading manufacturers of products used in civil engineering HESCO Bastion Limited, the garden with its giant working water wheel wowed the judges and visitors alike to claim gold at the prestigious event in London.

The result means more success for Leeds after making history last year as The HESCO Garden 2010 became the first local authority-produced garden ever to win a gold medal in the elite large outdoor show garden category at the event which dates back to 1862.

Reacting to the result, Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“This is another absolutely fantastic result for Leeds and proves once again that in Leeds we have the talent to compete and succeed against the very best in the world.

“Congratulations go to the whole parks and countryside team for producing another sensational garden and we must also say a huge thank you to our sponsors HESCO Bastion for their invaluable support. It was always going to be incredibly difficult to match last year’s success but everyone involved was determined to do just as well again and this result makes all that hard work worth it. We are all very proud.”

The theme of The HESCO Garden 2011 is to highlight the power of nature and water power in particular, with the centrepiece being a traditional mill as seen in Yorkshire during the industrial revolution, with an eye-catching giant working water wheel attached measuring three metres tall (just under 10 feet) pumping water around the garden.

On Monday’s press day, the garden drew widespread admiration including royal approval from His Royal Highness the Duke of Edinburgh as well as Leeds'-own Nell McAndrew and famous names Jimmy Choo, Rick Stein, Bill Bailey, Paul McKenna and Nigel Havers.

Project partners and sponsors HESCO Bastion Limited said:

"HESCO would like to congratulate the Leeds City Council team for their exceptional creativity, hard work and determination to deliver a winning garden for 2011. It has been a pleasure to work with the team to develop a garden which spectacularly marries engineering and landscape design.

“Leeds has a long-held reputation for engineering excellence dating back to the industrial revolution; this year’s garden focuses on these engineering developments of the past and shows their relevancy and adaptability in providing engineering solutions today. HESCO are proud that their products carry on the Leeds engineering tradition for innovation and design. Well done Leeds!"

The HESCO Garden 2011 will be on show at Chelsea for the rest of the week alongside gardens designed by some of the biggest names in the horticulture industry.

The event, held annually in the grounds of the Royal Hospital in London, attracts over 150,000 visitors from all over the globe as well as receiving extensive coverage from the media.

In addition to raising the profile of the city to an international audience, entering a show garden at Chelsea also allows council staff to learn new skills and techniques which are then used every day to improve green spaces all over Leeds – one of the greenest cities in the UK.

Young people in Leeds are also part of The HESCO Garden 2011, as pupils from local primary schools took part in a special education project and competition to learn about the value and importance of water power and renewable energy.

Of the eight previous Chelsea gardens, six can now be visited by the public at sites in the city, including the gold medal-winning HESCO Garden 2010 and The HESCO Garden from 2009 which opened last week in the ‘Gardens of the World’ section of Roundhay Park.

To find out all the latest news on The HESCO Garden 2011, visit the website at www.leedsatchelsea.com or follow the garden on Twitter at http://twitter.com/leedsatchelsea


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

Leeds landlord fined £14,000 for ignoring warnings

A landlord who continually disregarded the safety of his tenants and failed to licence his properties has been prosecuted and fined £14,000.

Martin Horsfall , from north Leeds, was ordered to pay a total of £20,817.62 at Leeds Magistrates court on Thursday 18 May, with £14,000 for failing to licence four of his properties and for failing to provide documentation. He was also ordered to repay costs to Leeds City Council of £6,802.

Council officers went to considerable lengths to engage with Mr Horsfall after discovering in March 2010 that he had four unlicensed properties within the Selective Licensing Area of East End Park and Cross Green. Mr Horsfall denied receiving any correspondence or having any recollection of any of the phone calls despite records of the conversations being made.

Mr Horsfall applied to have his case reopened after originally being prosecuted on the 17 of March 2011 in his absence. He claimed he had not received the legal summonses due to him moving address, despite seven of the summonses being opened and returned to the courts.

Mr Horsfall’s properties gave further cause for concern after visits were made to one of his properties by officers of the council which highlighted a serious lack of fire safety provision.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and housing said:

“This type of case is exactly why selective licensing was brought in. Landlords that consistently disregard the safety of their tenants and the need to hold a selective license will be prosecuted.

“The selective licensing team at the council has been extremely successful in the last 12 months and I am pleased to see this success is continuing.

”It is not fair on the tenants or other landlords in these areas if there are people disregarding the law.”

Notes to editors:

In May 2009 the Secretary of State granted Leeds City Council permission to introduce Selective licensing under the provisions of Part 3 of the Housing Act 2004 in specific areas of Cross Green and East End Park. From the 1 of October 2009 Selective Licensing came into force. The area of Cross Green and East End Park was selected due to being identified as having a high degree of empty properties in the area.

Under the Act any person, owner or landlord who is in control of a property which is being let /rented out within the Selective Licensing Area of Cross Green and East End Park must apply for a licence.

The cost of the five year licence is normally £525 which equates to approximately £2.00 per week over a five year period.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk