Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Leeds festive shoppers get gift of free parking from the council

Free parking at a number of Leeds City Council car parks is available as a festive bonus for people taking the chance to do late-night Thursday Christmas shopping.

All on-street and most car park spaces are already free after 5.30pm or 6pm anyway, but as an added bonus to boost opportunities to shop in the run-up to Christmas, two extra car parks were fees would normally be payable are also free.

Switched-on shoppers have been taking advantage of not having to pay since the scheme started last Thursday at the Markets and Queens Hall car parks. Between them they offer more than 700 extra free spaces.

This is in addition to more than 3,000 spaces around the city centre, either in council car parks or on the street, which also do not charge at this time.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services at Leeds City Council said:
“This is a fantastic chance to get your Christmas shopping done while saving a bit of cash on parking. We want to do our bit to help people save at a time when they’re having to spend a lot and at the same time offer a boost to businesses by making it easier for people to shop with them.”

The full list of free parking opportunities on Thursday nights until Christmas is as follows:

Usually charge but now free: Markets (325 spaces); Queens Hall (390);
The others are already free at that time: Hunslet Lane (38); Meadow Lane (45); International Pool (120); Maude Street (35); Quarry Hill (400); All on street (2400).

For more details about Christmas shopping in Leeds go to www.festiveleeds.com

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


Update regarding disruption to council services on 30 November 2011

Council services will be disrupted on Wednesday 30 November due to a national strike planned by trade unions in connection with a national pension dispute.

A number of council offices, public facilities and services will close or have only a skeleton staff working on that day.

Leeds City Council has been working with the trade unions to make sure that the impact of this strike on the most vulnerable residents and service users in the city is kept to a minimum. The trade unions have taken a responsible position and been prepared to provide a limited number of exemptions to staff in critical services, based on protecting vulnerable people in life threatening situations.

The most up-to-date information we have about service closures and disruptions is as follows:

Adult social care services
The following services will be closed:

Older People’s Services
Doreen Hamilton Day Centre
Lincolnfields Day Centre
Wykebeck Day Centre
Naburn Court Day Centre
Frederick Hurdle Day Centre
APNA Day Centre
Firthfields Day Centre
Laurel Bank Day Centre
Rose Farm Day Centre
Springfield Day Centre
Burley Willows Day Centre
Spring Gardens Day Centre
Queenswood Drive Day Centre
Radcliffe Lane Day Centre

Older People’s Dementia Day Services
Calverlands Day Centre
Middlecross Day Centre
Siegen Day Centre
The Green Day Centre

Mental Health Day Services
The Lovell Park Centre
Stocks Hill Day Centre
The Vale Day Centre
The Community Alternatives Team

Resource Centres for people with a physical sensory impairment
Osmondthorpe Resource Centre
Mariners Resource Centre

Learning Disabilities Fulfilling Lives Service
Bramley Fulfilling Lives
Horsforth Fulfilling Lives
SSE Fulfilling Lives (formerly Moorend)
Potternewton Fulfilling Lives
Ramshead Wood Fulfilling Lives
Rothwell Fullfilling Lives
West Ardsley Fullfilling Lives
Wetherby Fulfilling Lives

Customer Contact Centre
The Contact Centre will be affected by the industrial action, and we would ask people to only phone in an emergency. The phone lines for adult and children's social care, Leeds Housing Options, environment and registrars, ALMOS and out of hours will be open, but calls may take longer to answer due to staff shortages.

The latest information about school closures is as follows:

202 schools closed to pupils (177 primary, 20 secondary, 5 Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres)

40 schools partially closed to pupils (30 primary, 9 secondary)

All schools will re-open as normal on Thursday, 1 December.

Children’s centres
The following will be closed:

Alwoodley Children’s Centre
Ardsley and Tingley Children’s Centre
Bramley Children’s Centre
Carr Manor Children’s Centre
Castleton Children’s Centre
Chapeltown Children’s Centre
Cottingley Children’s Centre (Under 3s and over 3s provision)
Cross Gates and Manston Children’s Centre
Garforth Children’s Centre
Guiseley Children’s Centre
Hawksworth Wood Children’s Centre
Headingley Children’s Centre
Hunslet Children’s Centre (Under 3s and over 3s provision)
Kippax Children’s Centre
Meadowfield Children’s Centre
Meanwood Children’s Centre
Morley North Children’s Centre
Otley Children’s Centre
Parklands Children’s Centre
Richmond Hill Children’s Centre
Roundhay Children’s Centre
Seacroft Children’s Centre
Shakespeare Children’s Centre
Shepherds Lane Children’s Centre
Swarcliffe Children’s Centre
Swinnow Children’s Centre
Temple Newsam and Colton Children’s Centre
Two Willows Children’s Centre
Windmill Children’s Centre
Yeadon and Rawdon Children’s Centre

The following children’s centres will be partially closed:

Chapel Allerton Children’s Centre will be closed for childcare, but open for other services

Harehills Children’s Centre will open 8am to 1pm for childcare for working parents, and 1 – 4pm for other centre services only.

Lofthouse Children’s Centre will be open for childcare only – no other centre services.

New Bewerley Children’s Centre will be closed for childcare, but open for other centre services.

Pudsey Children’s Centre will be open for childcare for under 3s only and other centre services.

Quarry Mount Children’s Centre will be closed for childcare, open for centre services.

Bin collections
There will be no refuse collections on Wednesday 30 November. Residents are advised to put their black bins out for their next scheduled collection on Wednesday 7 December.

Residents whose monthly recycling or garden waste or bag collection service is scheduled for Wednesday 30 November are advised to put out their green bins or bags and brown bins as normal. If their bin/bags have not been emptied by Friday evening, they need to take it back and put it out as normal on their next collection day.

Household waste sorting sites and recycling centres will be closed due to staffing shortages.

No bulky waste collections are scheduled for 30 November. Residents are requested to call and to rearrange a collection.

Car parking
All council car parks will be open. Woodhouse Lane multi-storey car park will close at 9pm as normal.

Housing offices
West North West Homes Leeds local housing offices are planning to be open as normal (Bramley, Horsforth, Kirkstall, Little London and Wortley)

Aire Valley Homes Leeds – Kippax housing office will be closed.

East North East Homes Leeds - Chapeltown and Harehills, Gipton and Richmond Hill housing offices will be closed.

The local housing offices that are open will be operating on reduced staffing levels, so waiting times will be increased.

Leeds Housing Options (homeless service) will operate a reduced service.

Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Railway Station will be closed.

Temple Newsam House, Lotherton Hall and Armley Mills will be closed.

Temple Newsam Farm, Tropical World and Lotherton Bird Garden may open; a final decision will be made on Wednesday morning.

Leeds Art Gallery and Leeds Central Library will probably close.

West Leeds Country Park Visitor Centre will be closed.

The Discovery Centre at Clarence Dock and Thwaite Mills will be open to prebooked groups only.

The following libraries are expected to be closed tomorrow.
Chapel Allerton
Cross Gates

Other libraries may have to close depending on staff levels on the day.

Community centres
The following community centres will be closed.

Mandela Community Centre
Alston Lane Community Centre
Blackburn Hall
Ebor Gardens Community Centre
Fieldhead Carr Community Centre
Henry Baron Community Centre
Kentmere Community Centre
Kippax Community Centre
Little London Community Centre
Methley Community Centre
Mickefield Community Centre
Rose Lund Community Centre
St Gregorys Community Centre
Weston Lane Community Centre
Windmill Community Centre
Middleton Skills Centre
Strawberry Lane Community Centre Jobshop (Armley)

One stop centres
The following one stop centres will be closed:
South Seacroft
North Seacroft

The other one stop centres will open, but there will be no welfare rights surgeries or Tell Us Once appointments on this day.

Kirkgate Market
Both the indoor and outdoor markets, including the Asian Bazaar, will be open as normal.

Leisure centres
Garforth Squash and Leisure Centre and Bramley Baths will be closed.

Other council leisure centres will be affected by the strike action so customers are advised to contact the centres directly before they visit for the latest information or telephone 0113 395 0001.

Youth service
Leeds Youth Service will deliver a reduced service across the city throughout the day and the evening. To check which sessions are running in your local area, please contact the relevant numbers:

South/south east – 0113 385 5600 (Crossgates, Whinmoor, Temple Newsam, Garforth, Swillington, Kippax, Methley, Rothwell, Ardsley, Morley north and south, Beeston, Holbeck, Hunslet, Middleton)

West/north west – 0113 247 5656 (Headingley, Hyde Park, Kirkstall, Weetwood, Horsforth, Adel and Wharfedale, Guiseley, Rawdon, Otley, Yeadon, Farnley, Wortley, Pudsey, Calverley, Farsley, Armley, Bramley)

East/north east – 0113 214 5847 (Gipton, Harehills, Burmantofts, Richmond Hill, Killingbeck, Seacroft, Chapel Allerton, Moortown, Roundhay, Alwoodley, Harewood, Wetherby)

City centre – 0113 224 3796

This information is current as of 4pm, 29 November, but is subject to change up until and including 30 November.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk

Head backs safe cycling

CGS: Headteacher David Harrison with pupils from Bramley Primary School

CGS: Head teacher David Harrison (foreground) cycling to school with LCC road safety officer Mark Sadler

A headteacher cycled 10 miles to school to encourage his pupils to take up the sport.

David Harrison took just over an hour to cycle from his home in Rothwell to Bramley Primary School.

David, who normally drives to school, decided to get on his bike to mark a visit by Bikeability and the Leeds City Council road safety unit to the school to deliver cycling training to year 6 pupils.

Mr Harrison said:

“I haven’t cycled much since my teens and finding a direct route from Rothwell to Bramley was a bit of a challenge. But I was pleasantly surprised that I found the journey quite easy in the end.

“We are very keen to get the children in school to use bikes. We have a travel plan to encourage staff and pupils to use sustainable ways of getting to and from school. From now on my plan is to keep cycling on a more consistent basis.”

Mr Harrison’s ride took him through Belle Isle, Middleton, Beeston, Lower Wortley, Wortley and Armley and took in one of the new Leeds cycle routes. He was accompanied on his journey by Mark Sadler from Leeds City Council road safety unit.

Mark Sadler said:

“David did really well and it set a great example to the children who were here to greet him when we arrived. It was a good safe route but in the summer months he could cycle part of the way along the canal.

“We worked with 21 children altogether and I think everyone had a really good day.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear Leeds City Council press office (0113) 2243937
Email: annie.goodyear@leeds.gov.uk

Leeds council watchdog aims to move city transport up a gear

A Leeds council watchdog has taken on the challenge to investigate transport and travel across the city to make sure it is future-proof.

The Leeds City Council scrutiny board for sustainable economy and culture, will take a detailed look at how people travel around the city to determine if the current transport system is suitable to keep the city moving for years to come.

The city’s transport system is very important for economic growth as it enables commuters, visitors and residents to access the city centre and outer areas for employment, retail and leisure. The council’s sustainable economy and culture scrutiny board will be considering the problems that the city faces due to the current transport infrastructure and will look at the proposed trolley bus system known as New Generation Transport or NGT.

The board also intends to assess the effectiveness of current park and ride schemes in Leeds and the proposals for future schemes at other locations of the city.

Cllr Mohammed Rafique chair of the sustainable economy and culture scrutiny board said:
“Our aspiration is to become the best city in the UK by 2030, and we need a transport system which reflects and supports that. The work of the scrutiny board will be to find out what must be done to improve journey times for travellers, how our public transport systems can be enhanced and how our transport network will be maintained. The board recognises that the way we travel has to improve and we are determined to instrumental in making it happen.”

The board will meet on Thursday (1 December) to determine what specific areas it will be looking into, including:
• The traffic impact of new city centre developments;
• The outcome and progress of the NGT scheme and other bid funding requests for major transport works in the city;
• Park and Ride schemes, and;
• Links around and through the city.

At the meeting the board will also consider how the city can meet transport, traffic and travel demands now and in the future and the efficient management of the transport network. The board will also receive an update on progress with current major proposals.

The scrutiny inquiry is planned to start in January 2012 and will continue until April 2012. A report detailing the scrutiny board’s recommendations will be published in the summer of 2012.

Notes to Editors
A bid has been made to the Secretary of State for Transport for the NGT scheme it is anticipated that the council will be informed about the outcome of the NGT bid in December 2011.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

New chief executive for Marketing Leeds

Copy of a press release issued today by Marketing Leeds announcing their new chief executive:

Lurene Joseph has been appointed as the new Chief Executive (CEO) of Marketing Leeds, the organisation responsible for promoting the city nationally and internationally and attracting inward investment.

Lurene joins Marketing Leeds from the London Development Agency (LDA), where she is Chief Executive. At the LDA, she has rebuilt and reshaped the organisation’s brand and reputation with its stakeholders – achieved during a period of increasing budgetary constraints and a focus on value for money. Lurene has a reputation for clear strategic thinking coupled with a focus on delivery and she is currently leading the delivery of a range of regeneration, skills and business projects. Lurene works closely with the Mayor of London, the Greater London Authority, London’s business leaders and local authorities.

She will take charge of an expanded Marketing Leeds, bringing together a wide range of functions and services previously provided by Locate in Leeds, Visit Leeds, Conference Leeds and Marketing Leeds itself. She will lead the delivery of a proactive inward investment strategy for the city, taking forward programmes and initiatives that attract new investment and jobs to ensure Leeds achieves its ambitions.

Prior to joining the LDA, Lurene was responsible for brand and communications across the European arm of the oil giant Shell. She has also held a Vice President position at American electricity corporation TXU. Lurene started her career as a Research Associate in financial services and marketing at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.

Lurene is a Board member of several organisations, including the Mayor of London’s £100 million Green Fund, the investment body SME Wholesale Finance Limited and the Royal Docks Management Authority. She has previously sat on the Boards of Crisis, a national homeless charity and Women Pioneer Housing Association.

Jean Dent, Director of Marketing Leeds will continue acting as Chief Executive until Lurene takes up her new post in April 2012.
Lurene said:
“I am delighted to be offered the post of Chief Executive of the new Marketing Leeds. The city is moving forward with a great ambition and there is huge potential here for investment and growth. I am excited by the challenge of spearheading the drive for Leeds to achieve its vision to attract global interest and investments.”
“I look forward to leading the new organisation and with its new wider integrated remit, Marketing Leeds is poised to help drive forward economic growth in the city.”

Andy Clarke, Chair of Marketing Leeds and CEO of ASDA said:
“I’m delighted that Lurene is joining Marketing Leeds to lead it through an important phase as it becomes a broader body for attracting new jobs, investment and visitors to our city.

“With a proven track record of delivery in large organisations within both the public and private sector, I’m sure she will bring a wealth of new ideas and highly relevant experience to this important role, and be a fantastic ambassador for the city.”

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council, said:
“It is a great coup for us to have on board someone with Lurene’s vast experience, both in development and in driving forward ambitious plans. She is the ideal person to have at the helm of the city’s inward investment strategy as we pursue our aim of being the best city in the UK.

“Leeds has bold, confident ambitions to boost its economy, job opportunities and the city itself and this is another step in helping us on the path to achieving them.”

Notes to editors:
The new Marketing Leeds will become the city’s new strategic marketing and inward investment agency. It will raise the profile of Leeds as a vibrant, dynamic, internationally competitive city and as the gateway to Yorkshire and the UK, attracting investment and jobs.

The company is limited by guarantee, with a board of directors drawn from a cross section of the business community and the council. In the next few weeks the wider membership of the Marketing Leeds Board will be reviewed and refreshed.
It is expected the enhanced Marketing Leeds will become fully operational with its new functions and responsibilities in April 2012.


Further information available from Natalie Gibson at Marketing Leeds (Tel: 0113 214 5203);
Email natalie.gibson@marketingleeds.com.