Tuesday, 20 September 2011

'Bikes Not Barriers' comes to Leeds for the first time

Caption: Sally McGurn, director of Get Cycling on a rear steering tandem with her disabled son Joseph

Leeds is to hold the first festival of disability cycling this September.

On 23 and 24 September, Leeds City Council and Get Cycling will hold the 'Bikes not Barriers' event at the John Charles Centre for Sport.

This is a fun event aimed at encouraging people with disabilities, whether they are major or minor, to give cycling a go. With over 100 adapted cycles to ride there will be something for everyone.

The event has just been awarded the Inspire Mark by the London 2012 Inspire Programme, with the presentation of the mark happening on Saturday 24 September.

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All media are invited to attend the festival on Saturday 24 September at 12.30pm where the Olympic Inspire Mark will be presented. Please call the press office on 0113 247 4430 to arrange attendance.

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Jim McGurn chief executive of Get Cycling says:

“Cycling combines fun, variety, practicality and exercise. In other words, you can have a great time getting where you need to be, under your own steam, and keep fit in the process.

"Those with learning difficulties can enjoy mastering a new skill, and enjoy practical benefits. And cycling can make a phenomenal difference to a disabled person's physical and mental development. It offers a magical combination of independence, individual challenge and just plain fun. It also teaches co-ordination and promotes strength, stamina and general health.”

“Cycling is an activity all the family can join in with, by getting a disabled person cycling it can allow the whole family to go on days out or just a ride together.”

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“The show will be a fantastic and fun opportunity to have a go on a range of wonderful and varied cycles.

“Cycling is a great way of keeping healthy and getting out and about.”

The event isn’t just for people with disabilities but also for their families and carers. There will be a variety of other activities including face painting, inflatables, and entertainment from local youth organisations. Other disability sports including rugby league and basketball will also be giving out information about their sports.

The Bikes Not Barriers Festival of Disability Cycling has just been granted the Inspire Mark by the London 2012 Inspire programme.

Seb Coe, Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games commented:

"The Inspire programme is ensuring the legacy of the 2012 Games starts now as projects like the Bikes Not Barriers Festival of Disability Cycling are enabling people in Leeds and Nottingham to make positive life changes."

Note to Editors

The event will run from 10.30 till 4pm on both the 23rd and 24th and the media are welcome to attend at anytime. Please call Terry Blackwood on 07788 555080 to arrange.

• Get Cycling CiC are a York based community interest company that for eleven years has been supplying innovative and complex cycling services to the public and private sector across the UK including: try-out roadshows, cycling to work programmes, family events, and school activity days. Get Cycling have got over 1 million people on their bikes during the 11 eleven years of events.

• More information available at www.bikesnotbarriers.org

• Bikes not Barriers is a not for profit division of Get Cycling that provides events and advice on Disability Cycling

About the Inspire programme: The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 Games – a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, education, sustainability, volunteering, and business opportunities & skills. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in. The Inspire programme has awarded over 1,400 different projects the Inspire mark.


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

Double hit as landlords fined over £8000

Two landlords have been fined over £8000 for not licensing their houses properly.

On Thursday 15 September, Leeds City Council successfully prosecuted two further landlords, Mr Selkirk and Mr Westmorland, for failing to licence three properties within the specific licensing area.

Mr Westmorland of Selkirk and Westmoreland Limited pleaded guilty to the offence of failing to licence his three properties, while Mr Selkirk remained absent from court.

Both Mr Selkirk and Westmorland were fined £3000 each for the houses they had not licensed with a £15 victim surcharge and ordered to repay costs of £1227.12 each.

Mr Westmorland was ordered by the magistrates to pay back £4242.17 within seven days with Mr Selkirk to pay the same within 28 days.

The case was brought about by Leeds City Council when officers discovered that Mr Selkirk and Westmoreland, who have previously licensed nine other properties, had not been forth coming about further properties they owned within the designated Selective Licensing Area

It was later discovered at least one of their properties was tenanted by a vulnerable tenant and the property was well below standard without fire doors and smoke detectors.

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

“We are at the stage where we are getting through to landlords who are not adhering to the correct licensing rules in the area of East End Park and Cross Green.

“As a council we are extremely proactive about checking landlords are operating correctly across the city, and this serves as another warning.”

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.