Friday, 22 July 2011

Information and statement regarding Hunslet Cemetery

In response to issues being raised concerning Hunslet Cemetery, Leeds City Council would like to confirm it has been working with local ward members as well as representatives from the Friends and Relatives of Hunslet Cemetery to undertake a condition survey and to identify a programme of work for improvements to be carried out.

To date the following work has been undertaken:

- Installed metal fencing along the boundary of the cemetery to prevent informal access and exit points.
- Repaired areas of vandalised walls and vaults and kept up with the general grass cutting maintenance of the cemetery.
- Arranged with the War Graves Commission for them to power wash the war memorial
- Involved the local community police liaison officer and the ParksWatch service who have increased their patrols to deter any anti-social behaviour.
- Organised the first countryside ranger-led volunteer work party on Saturday 21st May 2011 where volunteers backfilled some of the graves in the older part of the cemetery with clean lime stone.
- Seeking development funding for access improvements and the possibly of creating an arboretum or wildlife area.
- Arranged a further site meeting to agree the next phase of voluntary work parties

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“We are aware of these ongoing issues at Hunslet Cemetery and we are working hard with local ward councillors and the Friends and Relatives group to address the situation. We are hugely encouraged, grateful and pleased to be working with such enthusiastic local volunteers who give up their time for free to work with us to carry out improvements to the site and we look forward to that continuing over the coming months.

“The dog fouling issue is very frustrating for everybody so we would ask all dog walkers to please ensure that while visiting any of our cemeteries that dogs are kept on a lead at all times and that owners clean up after them. In terms of the anti-social behaviour issues at Hunslet Cemetery patrols have been increased and we are working with local community police to reduce and tackle the problem.”

If anyone is interested in joining the volunteer work party, please contact the Friends and Relatives of Hunslet Cemetery or alternatively look out for the next few volunteer days coming up that will be advertised around the cemetery or contact one of our rangers at countrysiderangers@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 7400.

ENDS

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

New visitor centre opens at Leeds Arena construction site

As construction work progresses on the Leeds Arena, a new visitor centre has opened on the site so people can watch the £60million entertainment venue take shape over the coming months and year.

The centre, located at Claypit Lane, allows people to watch the building work as it takes place. A special webcam feeding live images of the construction to the internet has also gone live.

Members of Construction Leeds – an arm of regeneration charity re’new – will also be on the site to co-ordinate and provide information on the work and training opportunities to be created by the project. They will spend two days a week on-site liaising with main contractor, BAM, Leeds City Council and sub contractors to help deliver the social benefits of the scheme.

At the height of building work - which is due to take just under two years to complete - it is expected that as many as 300 people will be employed on site, including apprentices.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for city development, said:
“The Leeds Arena is one of the most important new developments in Leeds for years and watching its construction is very exciting. The new visitor centre means that now anyone can come up and have a look and find out more.

“We are continuing to work closely with BAM and Construction Leeds to ensure local people benefit from the jobs and training opportunities created by the Leeds Arena.

“Already 18 businesses from Leeds and 19 from Yorkshire have been contracted on the Leeds Arena construction with is a great boost to the industry locally.”

John Phillips from BAM said:
“Leeds Arena is a major scheme and it will bring significant benefits to the region, particularly those whose livelihoods depend on the construction sector.”

Ends

Notes to editors:

1. The live webcam of construction of the Leeds Arena can be viewed at leeds.gov.uk/arena

2. For details on construction employment or training opportunities at the Leeds Arena site, people can contact: Catherine Fay, Construction Leeds, on 0113 881 4815

3. The visitor centre is now open Monday to Friday between 9am and 4pm. This can be accessed via the site entrance on Claypit Lane. If visitors inform security that they would like to visit the visitor centre, they will be directed to this facility.

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

Lesson in power to save on energy in council buildings

Unleashing the sun’s energy to help power council buildings including schools could provide Leeds with a lesson in being green and add up to savings on costs.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will next week (July 27) be asked to consider a scheme to install solar-powered panels on a number of its buildings across the city.

The sun-harnessing photovoltaic (PV) panels would eventually pay for themselves through savings on energy and cash earned through the power they produce.

They would then go on to provide lasting savings and protection against rises in energy costs and help towards the council’s target of reducing its own and the city’s carbon footprint by 40% by 2021.

A selection of different buildings, ranging from museums and leisure centres through to children’s homes and schools, works depots and offices will be assessed for their suitability for the solar savings.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services, said:
“This is an opportunity to unlock the potential of our buildings to play a significant role in reducing the city’s carbon emissions. There are so many advantages to taking up this scheme whatever way you look at it.

“It would allow us access to very low-cost electricity while actually earning cash and would eventually pay for itself. Add all this to the obvious benefits to our environment in Leeds from one of the greenest ways possible to produce energy and it’s a winner all round.”

Installation of the panels under the national Feed in Tariff (FITS) scheme would mean that energy suppliers would pay the council for every kilowatt of electricity produced. This would happen regardless of whether the power is used on site or sold back to the national grid.

Councillors are to be asked to approve loan funding of up to £3m for the scheme, which would pay for itself within around 10-12 years at today’s energy prices. Anticipated energy price rises will reduce the payback time significantly. There are added advantages in that the panels would then continue to earn FITS payments for 25 years from installation and provide very low cost power for at least the same period.


For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS