Thursday, 19 January 2012

First Leeds home gets wrapped up for free

The first house to get wrapped up with the council’s new insulation scheme is kick starting savings on fuel bills worth £1.6 million across the city.

Wrap Up Leeds officially starts on Monday 23 January when Stuart Oakes has cavity wall insulation installed at his home in Morley. Stuart tops the list of around 15,000 Leeds residents who could save a collective total of £1,653,750.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services and Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group, will be on hand to oversee the installation at Stuart’s home.

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Monday 23 January, 10am, Morley: First installation of cavity wall insulation through Wrap Up Leeds.

There will be opportunities for interviews and photos with Stuart, Councillor Dobson and Councillor Blackburn. Councillor Dobson and Councillor Blackburn will be demonstrating the installation process and cavity wall pump.

Please confirm your attendance by contacting Yorkshire Energy Services Marketing Executive Ellie Lyon on 01484 352010 or by emailing

********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY********

Wrap Up Leeds – a partnership between Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Energy Services and with funding from EDF Energy – offers free cavity wall and loft insulation to home owners and private renters in Leeds.

Running until September 2012 the project is aiming to make Leeds’ homes warmer by filling around 6,000 cavity walls, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts that already have some insulation.

Stuart opted to have cavity wall insulation installed and estimates show that he could save around £200 a year once the gap between his external walls are filled with mineral wool.

Stuart (45) who lives with his wife and their two young children, is delighted to be the first to benefit from the scheme.

Stuart said:
“I’ve been meaning to get around to having cavity wall insulation installed for a while, when I heard it was free for everyone in Leeds for a limited time I knew I had to act quickly.”

An eager group of over 500 people have already signed up for their free survey. With only 15,000 places for householders and privately renting tenants available, the scheme may end sooner than the target end date of September if all 15,000 offers are taken up quickly.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:
“I’d encourage anyone in Leeds that owns or privately rents their home to sign up without delay. We can only offer free insulation to around 15,000 homes so please act now to see if your home can benefit and start making savings.”

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council’s cross-party environment and climate change working group, said:
“Wrap Up Leeds is a fantastic opportunity for Leeds residents. Even though some of the big energy suppliers have recently announced cuts in prices, home insulation will help people cut their fuel bills further, reduce the city’s carbon footprint and allow people to enjoy a healthier and more comfortable home.”

Leeds homeowners, tenants in privately rented accommodation and private landlords should call Wrap Up Leeds on 0800 052 0071 or visit

Notes to the editor
• Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners and tenants renting privately(where landlord’s permission has been granted) in the Leeds City Council area only.
• Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (where less than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (where more than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) are available under the scheme.
• A free, technical survey of the property will confirm that the work will definitely be free and much larger properties or those that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contribution towards the work.
• Savings of £1,653,750 on energy bills is based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 5704
Ellie Lyon, Yorkshire Energy Services marketing team on 01484 352010


Leeds plugs in to initiative to recycle kettles and toasters

New bottle bank-style containers are being introduced in Leeds to increase the recycling rates for small electrical items.

70% of kettles, toasters and other small electrical items are buried in landfill each year, and this scheme will encourage people to dispose of these in the mobile containers while out shopping to divert them from landfill. .These new banks will make it easier for residents to recycle their old electrical goods.

The joint recycling initiative named ‘WEEEBATS’ (Waste Electronic and Electrical Equipment incorporating Battery recycling) between Leeds City Council and the company Weeelink have recently installed the new containers at 11 sites across Leeds and with success more sites may be added to help Leeds achieve a 55% recycle rate by 2020.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental service, Leeds City Council said:
“Recycling is the best way to reduce the carbon footprint of Leeds and with initiatives such as these we are able to make it as easy as possible for residents to be able to recycle electronics without hassle. One of the biggest stumbling blocks for recycling is the extra work involved for people. It is my hope that more schemes like this will be introduced to Leeds if we wish to do our part for the environment.”

The new containers are located in the following locations, Sainsbury’s Otley, Colton & White Rose. Morrison’s Kirkstall & Wetherby. Waitrose Meanwood, The Headingley Taps public house North Lane & Leeds University Lifton Place.

Residents can still dispose of unwanted electrical items at any of the 9 recycling centres across the city. For details of your nearest site go to

For media enquiries, please contact;
Michael Try, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244

Lord Mayor message on Chinese New Year

On behalf of the city of Leeds, the Lord Mayor Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor would like to wish the Chinese community a happy new year and warm wishes as we enter the Year of the Dragon on Sunday 22 January.

This year is going to be a very exciting one with a major highlight being the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which has seen the iconic Olympic flag passed to the UK from Beijing in China, which hosted the last Games in 2008. Leeds is playing a major role in the build-up to this year’s Games, with the city welcoming teams from around the world including a large number of athletes from China to train ahead of the event.

A celebration event around Chinese New Year will be taking place at Leeds Town Hall on Sunday (22 January) from 11am-4pm which all are welcome to attend.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor said:

“I welcome the opportunity to send greetings to the Chinese community of Leeds and beyond as they celebrate the beginning of a new year, a year in which we look forward to working closer together to celebrate the city’s success in attracting the Chinese Olympic team. I am sure that the official Year of the Dragon event at Leeds Town Hall will be a great way for people from across the city to sample Chinese culture and celebrate together.”


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

Leeds’ finest take centre stage at new Abbey House Museum exhibition

Caption: A ventriloquist's puppet and an image of the gymnastics group from 3rd Leeds North East St. Wilfrid's Boy Scouts who won first 1st prize at the Imperial Scoutcraft Exhibition, Birmingham, 1913 are two of the items on display in the exhibition (both images courtesy of Leeds Museums and Galleries)

A celebration of Leeds sporting success and highlight performances from the stage down the ages provide the themes of a new exhibition opening at Abbey House Museum this weekend.

Entitled ‘Performance: Tales from platform, pitch and podium’, the exhibition which begins at the Kirkstall visitor attraction managed by Leeds City Council on Saturday 21 January features objects and memorabilia from the recent past to those over 100 years old.

Among the items on show will be medals and trophies won by Leeds-born swimmer Doris Storey, who competed at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games and set a new world record in 1938 for the women’s 200-metre breaststroke.

Other notable sporting items on display include a Leeds Rhinos shirt from the 2010 season signed by homegrown star and England international Lee Smith while the rugby league theme continues with rare footage from the Yorkshire Film Archive of the New Zealand All Blacks team playing at Headingley during their UK tour of 1947.

The sporting element is completed with a set of golf clubs produced in the 1970s by the famous Pudsey-based Bronty Golf Co.Ltd.

Further memorable archive film footage comes from the Rolling Stones’ concert at Roundhay Park in 1982 and the 1963 film ‘Billy Liar’ starring Tom Courteney and Julie Christie which features a famous scene shot on the steps of Leeds Town Hall.

The exhibition has been designed by Leeds Metropolitan University second-year design students Leigh Durham, Lucy Dunks, Jessica Hellawell, Molly Waterhouse and Dennis Chu, who won a competition to work alongside Leeds Museums and Galleries curators managing the displays from the council collections.

Among those collections which will be on display as part of the exhibition are a set of Punch and Judy puppets from circa 1900 and a dress designed in 1898 for the great Shakespearian actress Ellen Terry who performed many times at the Leeds Grand Theatre with her stage partner Henry Irving.

In addition to these items, other objects on who include two gold medals given to members of the Leeds Festival Chorus in 1922 and 1925 as well as theatrical costumes used by the Kirkstall Players around 1910 plus two ventriloquist’s dummies and an advertisement for Padtoeski “The Marvellous Toe Piano Player” from the Music Hall-era of Leeds City Varieties.

A section of the exhibition is devoted to dance with costumes borrowed from RJC Dance artistic director De-Napoli Clarke, the Joyce O'Donnell School of Irish Dancing, the Briggate Morris Dancers and Debbie Fleming owner of ATTITUDE FITNESS Worldwide.

The music scene is also catered for, with memorabilia from the choral tradition which started with the first Leeds Musical Festival in 1858. Other elements include classical symphonic and instrumental music, featuring the short-lived Yorkshire Symphony Orchestra, as well as the career of Leeds-born pianist Frederick Dawson and the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition.

The exhibition is brought up to date with a look at popular music, in particular items collected at the Leeds Festival from 2009-2011 such as broken drumsticks, guitar strings and piano keys as well as ear plugs and wellies.

Leeds City Council curator of Leeds history and social history Kitty Ross said:

“This exhibition is a real celebration of the strong history of success in Leeds in the fields of sport and the performing arts. With 2012 being the year of the Olympic Games in London the two themes of sport and performing excellence are going to be really prominent, so this is a great way to start such a special year looking back at some of the most memorable moments and memorabilia from the history of Leeds in these areas.”

‘Performance: Tales from platform, pitch and podium’ will run until 30 December 2012, with admission charged at normal rates for Abbey House Museum, which is located off Abbey Walk in Kirkstall, LS5 3EH.

For more information visit

Notes to editors:

The items on display in the exhibition related to Doris Storey have been kindly loaned by the Storey family, while the film clips are courtesy of the Yorkshire Film Archive.


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