Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Older people will be alright on Light Night

This year, International Day of Older People, is being marked with a range of events and activities, co-ordinated by Leeds Older People’s Forum.

The events are taking place over a period of nine days in people’s local communities, and include activities such as curling, a heritage tour, reminiscence, live music, Indian folk dancing, Bollywood movies, Zumba, a tea dance, Wii gaming, cooking, line dancing, tai chi, and yoga.

In addition to these community events, there will be a push to encourage older people to come into the city centre. Many older people don’t venture into town, especially in the evenings, as they find it difficult physically and feel that there is nothing much to interest them.

To promote the wide range of cultural things that can be found in the city centre, the final event of the week will take place at Leeds Central Library as part of this year’s Light Night. The older people that have attended the community events, along with members of the general public, will be able to participate in the ‘Silver 70’s’ session on 7 October. The council’s museums service will have their social history collection on display, and people will be encouraged to share their memories of that groovy decade. These will be tweeted live on the night, and will also contribute to an exhibition of the same name in January 2012.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said and champion for older people in Leeds said:
“I am delighted that so many events have been organised for our older residents to get involved in as part of the celebrations for International Older People's Day. This is a perfect opportunity to encourage older people to get together with their peers, have a great time and get information about what's on offer for them not just this week, but throughout the year.

"The Leeds Older People's Forum do a great job in helping to bridge the gap between generations and tackling the isolation that a lot of older people experience. I hope that lots of older people get involved in the events that have been organised this year.”

Rachel Cooper, Leeds Older People’s Forum said:
“About 40% of the population of Leeds are over 50 years old, and we need to be able to engage with them to make sure that they get the most out of living in the city. Encouraging them to participate in events in the city centre is a great way to help them get the most out of all the cultural and historical things that Leeds has to offer.

“Light Night is a fantastic event, which transforms the city centre into a friendly, welcoming place for all. I hope that this year we’ll see people of all generations joining in the fun.”

Additional info

For more information about the events taking place for International Older People’s Day 2011 in Leeds please visit

For more information about Leeds Light Night 2011 please visit

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

Double award success for Leeds market

Caption: (From left)Cliff and Michelle Hocken of Hayes Seafood, Cllr Gerry Harper, Leeds City Council markets champion, Sue Burgess, markets manager, Laurence Gough of Neil's Greengrocers and Joanne Johnson from The Nutshop with the Leeds Retail Award.

Leeds Kirkgate market has hit the double in the last fortnight and has been presented with two awards.

The historic market gained second place for ‘Market Innovation of the Year’ in the market awards organised by The National Association of British Market Authorities (NABMA), and just a few days ago was voted ‘Best Shopping Centre’ at the Leeds Retail Awards.

The innovative new ‘shop and drop’ scheme was praised at the NABMA awards for its success and clever way it was developed. The scheme has only been running a few months and has already proved very popular with customers and traders.

On Sunday (2 October ) at the Leeds Retail Awards, Kirkgate Market saw off competition from the Victoria Quarter and the White Rose Centre amongst others to claim the coveted ‘Best Shopping Centre’ award.

Councillor Gerry Harper, Leeds City Council markets champion said:

“It is fantastic that the market has been awarded these two prestigious awards.

“I would like to congratulate both traders and council officers for making the market a great place to shop, and also thank all the people that voted for us in the Leeds Retail Awards.

“The market has made fantastic progress in the last few months, with increased footfall, a number of awards and the innovative new shop and drop scheme.”

Sue Burgess, markets manager for Leeds City Council said:

“I am extremely proud that the market has been awarded this level of praise.

“Not only have we been singled out as the best shopping centre in Leeds, which is excellent, but also the innovation in the market has been noticed by a national organisation. ”

Notes to editors:

A number of traders are also available for interview about reciept of the award. Please contact the press office on 0113 247 4450 to arrange this.


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

Senior councillors to decide over new cemetery at Whinmoor

A proposal to create a new cemetery at Whinmoor in Leeds will be discussed by senior councillors next week.

The meeting of the council’s executive board to be held at Civic Hall on Wednesday 12 October will decide whether to approve spending £350,000 to create a new five-acre multi-faith cemetery on council-owned land at Whinmoor Grange.

If approved, work is scheduled to begin immediately to prepare the site including completing an access road, drainage work and landscaping, with burials able to commence in January 2013.

The new cemetery at Whinmoor has been in the planning since 2002, when infrastructure work began on creating a 46-acre site. This development was halted following a review of cemetery provision across the city.

An eight-week public consultation about the cemetery and a draft planning statement for Whinmoor Grange took place this summer. Public meetings were held in Thorner and Scholes and discussions with key stakeholders including local ward councillors, local residents and faith groups also took place. The consultation exercise was constructive and helped formulate the current proposals, with issues over drainage at the site and transport implications of funeral traffic accessing the new cemetery from the A64 being considered.

An independent survey of the site was carried out last year with the recommendation being that it is suitable for burials, while additional tree planting and landscaping at the new cemetery is also proposed.

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

“This project has been a long time in the planning but we are confident we are now in a position to be able to proceed with creating this new cemetery which is much-needed in this part of the city.

“The consultation which has taken place on this issue has been hugely important and valuable, so I’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to take part and hopefully we can all work together to make this development a success.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472

Get involved in making Leeds the best city in the UK

Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds are looking for community-spirited residents to take part in surveys and discussions about local services and issues that affect where they live.

Residents are invited to join the new citizens panel, which is being brought together to help the council, NHS Leeds and other public sector partners find out what people that live in the city think, feel and need.

Last month, the council’s partnership organisation, Leeds Initiative, launched a new long-term plan; Vision for Leeds 2011 to 2030. The overall aim of this vision is to improve life for residents and make Leeds the best city in the UK.

In order to achieve this, changes will have to be made, and the council with its other public sector partners need to have a clear understanding of what that means for the people that live here.

The new citizen’s panel will play a really important role in collecting this information, and will be a great opportunity for thousands of people in the city to have their views heard by local decision makers. They will also be able to find out about new plans and ideas for Leeds and local communities.

To be part of the panel people need to be aged 18 or over, and be prepared to spend a small amount of time taking part in surveys and/or discussions about local services and issues affecting where they live. The aim is to have about 6000 on the new panel, made up of a balanced mix of people of different ages, backgrounds and communities to reflect the population of Leeds.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“We have set ourselves a massive challenge by aiming to be the best city in the UK, but we cannot achieve this without consulting with people that live here.

“Our vision is not about being the richest or the biggest, but the best for all who live and work in Leeds – our children, our communities and our businesses.

“Leeds is a city of many proud and distinctive communities, towns and villages, and we need to harness this community spirit in order to bring about the right changes at this very difficult time for public services.

“Having a strong citizens panel that we can engage with on a regular basis will be a huge asset to us, as we work with our partners to make our vision become a reality.”

Panel members will be required to complete between four and eight surveys each year, and will be invited to take part in about the same number of discussions or events. Surveys should take no more than 20 minutes to complete, and will always be free to return – no stamps required. Discussion groups might be 90 minutes, or sometimes a bit longer. Some discussions will be online, others an opportunity for panel members to get together in one place.

Anyone that can spare a couple of hours a year and would like to find out more should visit visit or contact us on or Leeds 247 4610.


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