Thursday, 13 October 2011

Dates announced for festive fun in Leeds

Caption: The popular German market will be back in Leeds this Christmas

The dates for two of the most popular festive events in Leeds have been announced this week.

Organiser Leeds City Council has confirmed the city’s annual Christmas lights switch-on will take place on Victoria Gardens on Thursday 10 November, while the German market – Christkindelmarkt – will return to Millennium Square the following day.

The Leeds Lights Switch-on will feature stage-based entertainment for all the family including celebrity performers, pantomime characters, local sporting heroes, Santa's showtime and a firework finale to mark the big switch-on of one of the UK's largest city centre festive illumination displays.

The headline performer appearing at this year’s switch-on will be officially announced by event partners Real Radio on their breakfast show next Monday (17 October), with further details to be revealed in the following weeks.

The Christkindelmarkt will run this year from Friday 11 November to Sunday 18 December, with over 40 wooden chalet stalls from Frankfurt offering seasonal gift ideas, decorations and handcrafted toys, speciality food, drink and traditional German delicacies plus themed entertainment and family funfair rides.

Organised by Leeds City Council, both events are supported by Real Radio and the Yorkshire Evening Post.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie

“Announcing the dates for the lights switch-on and the German market means it is definitely time to start getting ready for the Christmas season in Leeds.

“Both of these events are hugely popular free attractions, with thousands of people attending them and helping to create a fantastic festive atmosphere in Leeds. I’m sure they will prove just as popular again this year so we are looking forward to seeing people of all ages having a great time.”

For more information on each event go to and


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

Chapel Allerton says thanks to long-serving street sweeper

Local people are being invited to join a community litter picker for his retirement celebration after he notched up a clean sweep of 17 years working for Leeds City Council.

Tommy Fitzgerald has been cleaning the streets of Chapel Allerton for the council since 1994, and his last day at work will be marked by a special “thank you” at Casa Mia Coffee Shop.

Friends, colleagues and other local well-wishers will be showing their appreciation for his many years of service at a get together to send him on his way. There will be a toast to Tommy’s future happiness in retirement by Cllr Eileen Taylor at the cafe in Chapel Allerton, on Friday 14th October at 12.30pm.

Photo Opportunity:
Tommy’s farewell get together takes place at Casa Mia, Chapel Allerton at 12:30pm on Friday, October 14th. Tommy will be presented with a rose bowl to thank him for his service, and a glass of prosecco, courtesy of Casa Mia.

Councillor Eileen Taylor, lead member for environmental services, said:
“Tommy has dedicated many years of his life to Chapel Allerton village and has worked through wind, rain and snow to keep the area looking great. Over the years he has become something of a fixture in the area as he went about his work with a smile.

“It’s not a glamorous job but I know that Tommy loved doing it. He is well known to many local people and I know they will be delighted to have an opportunity to say thank you to Tommy for his hard work and dedication over the years. He is one of many unsung individuals who work incredibly hard every day for the good of the community, and we wish him all the best in his retirement. His replacement has a tough act to follow!”

Local businessman and owner of Casa Mia, Francesco Mazzella, said:
“It is a pleasure to host this thank you to Tommy and to raise a glass of prosecco in his honour! Tommy has become an important part of our community in Chapel Allerton village over the years and he will be missed by the shops and businesses. We all wish him a well deserved, happy retirement!”


For media enquiries, please contact;
James Hopton, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3602

White ribbons to highlight campaign to end violence against women

Video: Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council talks about the Leeds White Ribbon Campaign and the action taking place from 25 November 2011

Up to 1,000 trees across Leeds are to be wrapped in white ribbon to help raise awareness of an international campaign to end violence against women.

Leeds City Council’s domestic violence team is coordinating a city-wide art project to wrap trees in white ribbon to encourage men across the city to show their support for the campaign and pledge they will not commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women.

On 25 November 2011, Park Square in Leeds will host the main event which will see a number of men wrapping trees in white ribbon to show their support for the campaign. Men and businesses across the city are encouraged to get involved with the event and choose a tree in the city to wrap to show their support.

Leeds was the first city in England to achieve White Ribbon City status in November 2010 and the art project is one way the first anniversary will be celebrated.

The White Ribbon Campaign is an international campaign by men to end violence against women. It recognises that most men are not violent towards women and encourages all men to show their support.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member for community safety, said:
“There is no excuse for violence against women. It is socially unacceptable and is not something that will be tolerated in Leeds, a city which is proud to have been the first in the country to achieve the white ribbon status.

“This campaign highlights that violence against women is unacceptable and encourages men to show their support to end it. It is something I fully support and I encourage all men across the city to do the same.”

Violence against women is defined as ‘any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women and children including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life’.

To raise awareness of the campaign there will be a number of initiatives taking place in Leeds as well as appeals to businesses, clubs, networks and public sector organisations to raise support for the campaign.

To get involved in the white ribbon campaign and attend the event at Park Square contact the domestic violence team at Leeds City Council on 0113 395 2140 or email

For more about the national campaign visit


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

‘Take a second look’ launches on Facebook

Young people are being urged to ‘take a second look’ as part of a Facebook campaign to raise awareness of the risks of the road.

The campaign launches this week and has been organised by the West Yorkshire Safer Roads Delivery Group, which is supported by Leeds City Council.

Studies of road accidents in West Yorkshire have shown that young people aged 16 to 24 are more likely to be knocked down in a road traffic collision because they are at risk of being distracted by mobile phones, personal music players, too much alcohol or a lapse in concentration.

Becky James, Leeds City Council’s road safety manager said:

“All we are asking young people to do is take a second look before they cross the road.

“The Facebook page has been set up to challenge the way young people see things – things are not always how they look first time. By exposing them to messages through their social networking we aim to make young people think pro actively about their own safety as pedestrians.”

As part of the campaign young people will be encouraged to upload their own images and films which make you take a second look as part of a competition to win theme park tickets.

Three films will also be available on the facebook page asking young people ‘What’s Your Verdict? They will be asked to identify who is at fault during a filmed accident and share their opinion with their friends and the site. The site is available at

Secondary schools, colleges, universities and youth groups across West Yorkshire will all be sent information to distribute encouraging young people to log onto the Facebook page.

Notes to Editors:

West Yorkshire Safer Roads Delivery Group is a partnership made up of the road safety officers from the Councils across West Yorkshire (Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield), West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue, NHS, Police and Highways Agency.


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