Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Museum marks the spot as golden treasure goes on display in Leeds

Caption: The historic collection of golden jewellery is going on display at Leeds City Museum

A hoard of historic golden treasure found in the Leeds area which dates back to the seventh century goes on public display at Leeds City Museum this week.

The ‘West Yorkshire Hoard’ made up of seven objects representing the most significant find of Anglo-Saxon jewellery ever discovered in the area will be on show at the museum off Millennium Square from Thursday 3 November until Tuesday 15 November.

Six of the objects are gold jewellery dating from the seventh to 11th centuries, with the most spectacular being a stunning gold ring with a lozenge-shaped bezel set with a garnet gem which is in near-perfect condition.

The objects were discovered in the same location, which cannot be identified in order to protect the site, in two stages with the first five items of jewellery found in 2008 before an additional gold ring and spindle whorl were discovered the following year. No information is known as to the original owner or how the objects came to be in the spot where they were found.

The collection is on loan in Leeds from The British Museum in London, where it is officially classed as ‘treasure’ under the Treasure Act (1996). The hoard has been offered to Leeds Museums and Galleries on a first-refusal basis in order to secure the items for the area where they were found.

The Friends of Leeds City Museums and The Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society have now launched a campaign to try and raise the £170,000 needed to secure the hoard before the November 15 deadline passes and it goes to a public auction.

The hoard is highly significant on a local and national scale, indicating the presence of high status inhabitants and the gold rings sit alongside the Leeds Parish Church cross as signs of an Anglo-Scandinavian identity in the Leeds area. Along with other finds like The Staffordshire Hoard, the collection also helps redraw the map of power in early Medieval England.

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

“The West Yorkshire Hoard is a fantastic story and we hope lots of people take the chance to come and see them while they are on display at Leeds City Museum. It is a really spectacular collection and it would be fantastic for the campaign to be successful to keep them in Leeds.”

To find out more about Leeds City Museum, visit the website at

To find out more information about the campaign to keep the West Yorkshire Hoard in Leeds, visit the Friends of Leeds City Museums website at


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

Senior councillors approve preferred bidder for Leeds incinerator scheme

Leeds City Council’s Executive Board today approved Veolia ES Aurora Ltd as the preferred bidder for the city’s residual waste project.

Senior councillors gave their approval to the plans to build a combined treatment plant to both recycle and recover energy from waste at the former wholesale markets site at Pontefract Lane, Cross Green.

It will receive black bin waste from all over the city, further sort it so that as much recyclable material is extracted as possible and then dispose of the leftover waste in an incinerator to prevent it going to landfill.

Two companies had been competing to build and run a high-tech, environmentally-friendly waste treatment facility for the city. After an extensive detailed assessment by the council of the final two private finance initiative (PFI) bids, Veolia came out top ahead of rival bidder Aire Valley Environmental.

Benefits of the proposed scheme include:
• A saving of £200 million over 25 years for Leeds compared to the costs associated with existing waste processing systems;
• A reduction in CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions via diverting waste from landfill equivalent to keeping 29,000 cars off the road per year in Leeds;
• The production of enough electricity to power 20,000 houses.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services, Leeds City Council, said:
“Now executive board has confirmed the choice of preferred bidder, work can begin on progressing this scheme. It is right at the heart of a strategy to help Leeds recycle half of all its waste by the year 2020.

“But once we have achieved this target we are not going to stop there. We have listened to the views of local environmentalists and we’re going to examine ways of pushing our recycling rates even higher than this.

“By avoiding sending waste to landfill we will save the city millions of pounds in ever-rising taxes and provide a much more environmentally-friendly and sustainable solution to the problem of how to dispose of waste we can’t recycle.”

Only waste that would previously have been consigned to landfill and is not suitable for recycling will be burned in Veolia’s *Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF). This process will in itself generate enough energy to power around 20,000 homes.

Heat is produced during the energy generation and the company will work with the council to investigate how this heat could be used in new homes built as part of the proposed eco settlement in the Aire Valley or industrial buildings in the area.

Veolia will now need to embark on a full public consultation and submit detailed planning applications. It will also have to apply to the Environment Agency for an environmental permit, which is granted only if the scheme meets strict conditions ensuring it does not cause significant pollution and has no detrimental affect on people’s health.

Should they succeed in this process the treatment plant would be expected to be operational around spring 2016.

Notes to editors:
Bid assessment: council officers assessed the two bids based on agreed criteria in areas such as environmental impact; benefits to the local community; how proven and flexible the waste treatment technology is; quality of design; operational management systems and the cost of treating the waste.
*Recycling and Energy Recovery Facility (RERF: this is a facility using a process by which rubbish that is not recycled by residents via green bins or other processes is first sorted to see if anything else can be extracted for recycling. The residues are burned under controlled conditions and the heat resulting from this is used to produce electricity. The energy produced could power around 20,000 homes, supplied via the National Grid, as well as the potential for heat distribution.
For more information on energy from waste plants, visit the Environment Agency website at the following link to download their leaflet:
Traffic: all unloading activity will take place within the enclosed waste reception area of the site, away from public view and avoiding queuing on the highway. Traffic levels are not expected to increase significantly as many waste vehicles already use the same roads to take their loads to the Skelton Grange landfill site and to access the council’s Cross Green depot.
Landfill sites: currently the majority of the waste produced in Leeds that cannot be recycled is sent to landfill, with most of it going to sites at Skelton Grange and Micklefield.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


New pilot 20mph zones introduced outside schools

Caption: The new 20mph zone outside Holy Name Catholic Primary School

Caption: Pupils from Holy Name Catholic Primary School learning about the 20mph zones

New 20mph zones have been introduced outside two Leeds schools.

Leeds City Council has been working with pupils from Cookridge Holy Name Primary School and Gildersome Primary School to support the roll out of the schemes.

An education programme will be delivered to pupils, where they will learn about staying safe when they are using roads as pedestrians and cyclists and also consider whether they could walk, scoot or cycle to their school.

The launch event was supported by Pickfords Removals who will be providing a HGV vehicle to help the team teach pupils about staying safe around large vehicles and lorries.

The schemes are part of a wider pilot scheme, being rolled out by the council, where 20mph limits are introduced in areas around schools where injury accidents have previously occurred.

The first phase of the pilot will see schemes being introduced around six schools in the district with further schools being considered as part of later phases.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for development said:

“We are working closely with school communities to promote the use of sustainable travel which reduces congestion, improves health and the environment, and also making sure we are educating pupils about their own safety on the roads.

“Our aim is to encourage everyone, young and old alike, to treat the roads with respect, care and consideration for others, enabling everyone to share the available road space safely, whatever their mode of transport.

“I am pleased that we are piloting these 20mph limits around schools where personal injury accidents are highest, and hope that this will encourage motorists to drive more slowly in built up areas and around schools.”

Notes to editors:

The six schools included in the initial pilot phase are :
• South Leeds Arts College Rodillian (Ward Area - Ardsley and Robin Hood)
• Morley High School (Ward Area - Morley South)
• Holy Name Catholic Primary School ( Ward Area - Weetwood)
• Kirkstall St Stephen's CE Primary School (Ward Area -Kirkstall)
• Gildersome Primary School (Ward Area - Morley North)
• Boston Spa School (Ward Area Wetherby


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

Plans to create a regional public service IT network takes a step forward

Councils and police authorities across Yorkshire and Humberside have agreed to procure a shared public services IT network which will ultimately save them money.

The Yorkshire and Humberside Public Services Network (PSN) project will provide a partnership approach to better joined up public services working in the region.

Eight councils and four police authorities have officially signed up to the project which will procure the network through the Cabinet Office’s Public Services Network national frameworks.

The councils and police authorities who have signed up to the project include:

City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council, Calderdale Council, Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Humberside Police, Kirklees Council, Leeds City Council, North Yorkshire Police, Sheffield City Council, South Yorkshire Police, Wakefield Council and West Yorkshire Police.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council,said:

“With the significant budget cuts that authorities are currently facing, sharing infrastructures and their services will generate savings and make progress towards joining up service delivery across the different sectors.”

The project will reduce costs by sharing IT networks and improving the ability to share buildings and deliver services jointly. The aim is to also save money by working more efficiently through sharing procurements of contracts and by reducing the total cost of a regional network infrastructure year on year.

A Partnership Management Board has been created to oversee and provide strategic direction for the project and senior representatives from all 12 partners sit on this board.

Tom Riordan, Leeds City Council’s Chief Executive said:

This is a very exciting project and an excellent example of how partnership working between neighbouring authorities can deliver efficiencies and save money.”

Work is ongoing to expand the partnership to include health, higher education and other public sector organisations to the project as it progresses.


For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602