Monday, 19 March 2012

Photos of Captain Oates memorial event in Meanwood Park

A crowd gathered at Meanwood Park in Leeds on Saturday to honour explorer Captain Lawrence Oates on the centenary of his famous self-sacrifice when he walked out into the frozen wastes of Antarctica to try and give Captain Robert Falcon Scott and his colleagues a better chance of survival on their return from the South Pole.

To honour Captain Oates and the Oates family who owned the park formerly known as Meanwoodside, a blue plaque and interpretation panels were officially unveiled by Leeds North East MP Fabian Hamilton.

Images from the top:

The memorial cross of Edward Oates, Lawrence's grandfather who bought Meanwoodside for the family in the 1830s, which has been restored

The crowd gathers for the unveiling

Fabian Hamilton MP reveals the plaque and panels

Group shot in front of the plaque of (left to right): Moortown Councillors Sharon Hamilton and Rebecca Charlwood, Leeds City Council parks and countryside officers Phil Staniforth, Guy Smithson and Roy Greaux, president of the Meanwood Village Association Peter Bewell and his wife Christine and Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie

Group shot including Fabian Hamilton MP

Jane Bewer studying the plaque with sons Daniel (left) and Thomas

Cllr Ogilvie looking at the work of Year 5 pupils on Captain Oates and the South Pole expedition on display in Meanwood Church of England Primary School with Angie Foley and her daughters Elora and Tiegan


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

Three weeks to go on consultation to shape the city

There are three weeks left for people in Leeds to make their views known on the city’s draft planning strategy.

The core strategy, which was unveiled last month, is out for consultation until April 12th. The core strategy is the key planning document for Leeds. It covers a wide range of environmental, social and economic considerations in order to address the challenges and opportunities which Leeds faces.

It also provides a strategic framework for local development and a context for the allocation of development sites and the preparation of neighbourhood plans
The strategy seeks to preserve the distinctive character of Leeds while planning for future housing and economic growth to meet the needs of the City’s residents. Its priorities are:

Without a core strategy in place the council has less control over the planning process, which could mean that inappropriate development gets approved because the local plan has not yet been finalised.

The core strategy needs to ensure that that there is enough land available to build the homes required for the city’s growing population and to meet employment needs. It must also ensure that the developments are in the right place, of the right type and quality, and that they are both affordable and sustainable.

Based on current forecasts, the strategy identifies a need for 70,000 new homes in Leeds between 2012 and 2028.

When deciding where these houses will be built, the strategy has taken into account a number of factors, including the need to develop brownfield land and regeneration sites as a priority and to minimise the impact on greenbelt.

Sites need to be sustainable, with access to public transport and local facilities. Developments should enhance the distinctiveness of local neighbourhoods through their location, design and standards. Priority will be given to the main urban areas, with limited development in smaller settlements.

The forecasts for housing growth are based on independent forecasts, but the strategy document says there is no guarantee that the housebuilding industry will actually meet these targets as house building is subject to market forces and the number of houses being built has greatly reduced in recent years. Last year, about 1,800 new houses were completed.

There are also 22,000 dwellings with planning permission which have yet to be built.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for economy and development, said:

“This strategy determines the shape the city will take over the next sixteen years so it is a great opportunity for people across the city to make their views heard.

“I am looking forward to hearing what people have to say, and would encourage as many people as possible to submit their ideas and views.

“Planning is always a contentious issue but having a robust strategy in place means we are better able to control how and where developments take place and ensure that they benefit the people of Leeds in the longer term.“

To view the plan online go to:

For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113)2243937

Social club is revamped into social housing in £1.7 million development

Work is due to start on the former site of the West Grange Road Social club to turn the site into 16 new homes for social rent as part of a £1.7 million regeneration project.

Leeds City Council working in partnership with Leeds Federated Housing Association, the Homes and Communities Agency and the Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation will provide much needed good quality homes and bungalows for social rent in the area.

The development will provide 10 new two, three and four-bed family homes along with six bungalows. All the homes will be built to lifetime homes standards, with energy and environmental improvements including solar photovoltaic panels to generate electricity. The scheme is also designed to ‘secured by design’ standards.

Work will commence on site in April 2012, with the development due for completion in March 2013.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, housing and regeneration said:
“The new development will be welcomed in the area as the West Grange Road Social Club had been subjected to vandalism and anti-social behaviour for a number of years.

“It is fantastic that this development will provide new homes for families in the area, and help reduce the number of applicants on the housing waiting list.”

The homes will be built to Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, which is an environmental assessment method for rating the performance of new homes. This will significantly improve comfort levels in the homes and lower the running costs of heating and lighting, safeguarding prospective tenants from fuel poverty.

Matthew Walker, Chief Executive at Leeds Federated Housing Association said:
“We are delighted to be starting work on site to provide 16 much needed new homes for social rent in the Belle Isle area.

“As well as achieving excellent design standards, we have placed great importance on making the new homes as affordable as possible both from a rental and energy cost point of view. We look forward to developing our partnership working further to provide even more affordable homes across Leeds.”


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

New pilot scheme to look at breaking up criminal networks

A new pilot scheme to try and prevent repeat offending and the build up of crime networks on estates is to begin this month.

Leeds City Council and West North West Homes in partnership with West Yorkshire Police are testing a new local lettings policy that will ask applicants who want to be re-housed in a specific area to undergo a check against the council’s anti social behaviour database and police systems.

The pilot scheme will run on the Hawksworth Wood and Holt park estate in the North West of the city for 12 months and involve just over 400 one bedroom properties.

Applicants for one bedroom properties will be checked to see if they have local criminal or anti-social behaviour offences. If these have occurred in the last two years and are relevant to the local area they will be refused housing in the specific area.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, housing and regeneration said:

“It is important that we try and break up criminal networks on estates before they can get a chance to establish.

“A key priority is to reduce the amount of burglary in the city and this is one scheme which works towards achieving this.

“We also want to instil confidence in the people of Leeds that they are able to report antisocial behaviour and know that it will have an affect on how their neighbours are chosen.”

Cathy Clelland, chair of West North West Homes said:
“The safety and wellbeing of our tenants is important to us and we won’t tolerate crime and anti-social behaviour on our estates. This scheme sends a clear message that we are here to support people who need help living in our properties but we’ll be tough with any tenancy breaches that disrupt the local communities”

Inspector Richard Coldwell, who leads the North West Outer Neighbourhood Policing Team, said:
"Incidents of anti-social behaviour and low level crime within a community are often committed by the same linked group of individuals. Understandably this can have a significant impact on those living and working locally.

"This new scheme helps us to prevent and combat this type of offending by showing the consequences of being involved in local criminality will not be limited to punishment by the courts, but will also see an individual's home come under threat."


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

Olympic Torch route details announced for Leeds

Caption: Celebration image taken at Leeds City Museum of Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Cllr Adam Ogilvie (back row centre in suit) together with Leeds-based athletes Natasha Perdue (left), Rebecca Gallantree (centre) and Alex Wright (right) along with pupils from Gledhow Primary School, St Peter and Paul School in Yeadon and Raynville Primary School of Bramley

Full details of the route the iconic Olympic Torch is to travel through Leeds this summer as part of its nationwide journey have been announced today.

The names of the streets and venues the symbolic flame will pass through in the city in late June on its way to the capital for the London 2012 Olympic Games have now been revealed and can be seen at

Leeds is the only city outside London to host the Olympic Torch on three separate days, being carried by torchbearers for a total distance of approximately 17 miles over three days on Tuesday 19 June, Sunday 24 June and Monday 25 June.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

All media are invited to attend a photocall at Cross Flatts Park Primary School at 10am on Monday 19 March to celebrate the announcement that the Olympic Torch Relay will be passing the school.
Pupils will be joined by Leeds City Council executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Team GB diver Callum Johnstone from Garforth and two of the Leeds torchbearers.
Cross Flatts Park Primary School is located on Harlech Road, Leeds, LS11 7DG.
******************** Media opportunity ********************

It first arrives on the morning of Tuesday 19 June when it comes through Boston Spa, Wetherby and Harewood before a lunchtime event at Harewood House.

It then leaves the city before returning late in the afternoon on Sunday 24 June travelling through Headingley, Potternewton, Harehills and Richmond Hill.

Along the way it will stop off for a quick tour of the world-famous Headingley Carnegie Stadium and cricket ground, and its day will end by making a starring entrance at the major overnight celebration event to be held at Temple Newsam Park in front of 50,000 people organised by Coca-Cola, a Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) and Leeds City Council.

Early the next morning (Monday 25 June) the flame’s journey resumes from the most famous building in the city, the Cuthbert Brodrick-designed Leeds Town Hall, and travels through the city centre taking in The Headrow, Millennium Square, Briggate and County Arcade before heading to the Royal Armouries.

It will also pass over the historic Leeds Bridge, where the world’s first-ever moving image was filmed by Louis Le Prince in 1888, before heading to Hunslet, stopping off at the John Charles Centre for Sport for a lap of the running track. It then passes through Beeston and Leeds United’s Elland Road home before heading through Morley and out of the city.

Local communities along the route are being encouraged to host their own celebration events to mark the flame passing, while thousands of Leeds schoolchildren will also be celebrating the torch on its journey through the city. Any group wishing to host or get involved in any celebrations along the route can contact for more information.

Among the torchbearers who will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of carrying the flame on its journey include the two official nominations made by the city of Leeds – Steven Tomlinson and Aidan Dixon. Steven from Rothwell is the 14-year-old son of the inspirational Jane Tomlinson CBE, who lost her battle with cancer in 2007 but whose legacy continues through the Jane Tomlinson Appeal which has now raised over £4million for children’s and cancer charities. Steven will be following in his mother’s footsteps as Jane carried the Olympic Torch herself ahead of the 2004 Games in Athens.

Steven Tomlinson, who completed his own challenge in 2010 by taking part in the 2500-mile Istanbul to Leeds bike ride to raise money for the appeal, said:

“I’m really excited about being nominated as a torchbearer, it’s a great opportunity to be part of the Olympics. I will be doing it on behalf of my sisters and my mum. It should be a great experience.”

Aidan Dixon has been nominated after turning a troubled early life around. From volunteering as a senior member of Windmill Youth Club in Rothwell, the 18-year-old from Oulton has gone on to secure a job as a behaviour support worker at his old school Royds. There he excels in inspiring young people in similar circumstances to his own to make positive changes in their lives.

Aidan Dixon said:

“I am really excited and proud to be given this opportunity. Carrying the Olympic Torch is a real honour and a once-in-a-lifetime experience. I feel that I have done well and achieved a lot in the past few years, and it makes me feel great that this is being recognised. I hope it helps other young people who may be having problems to realise that they can turn their lives around and achieve their goals.”

Steven and Aidan are two of the 8,000 torchbearers who will carry the flame on its 70-day 8,000-mile journey around the UK which will see it travel within 10 miles of 95 per cent of the population. The Torch Relay which begins at Land’s End in Cornwall on Saturday 19 May reaches its conclusion with its arrival at the Olympic Stadium on July 27 2012 for the lighting of the cauldron to signify the official start of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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

“I’m sure people in Leeds will start to get really excited about the Olympics when they look at the maps and the detail and see that this iconic symbol is going to pass down their street or close by.

“Together with the overnight celebration event at Temple Newsam this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for communities across Leeds to put on an amazing party, and in Steven and Aidan we have two fantastic torchbearers, so we are counting the days to this incredible occasion for the city and our country.”

Chair of LOCOG Sebastian Coe said:

“Today we bring the Olympic Torch Relay to life. The flame symbolises the Olympic spirit and its journey around the UK will bring the excitement of the Games to our streets. Now the people know the route the Olympic Flame will be carried along and the torchbearers for their community, they can start planning how they might celebrate and make it Leeds’ moment to shine.”

The Olympic Torch Relay is being managed by The London 2012 Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) along with Presenting Partners Coca-Cola, Lloyds TSB and Samsung.

Schools across the UK can now access free learning resources linked to the Olympic Torch Relay through Get Set (, the official London 2012 education programme. The activities are designed to help schools and colleges make the most of the Relay by lining the route, and cheering on their local torchbearers. Resources include ideas for making flame hats and shakers to welcome the flame, an assembly presentation to get the school behind a torchbearer and a film showing one Get Set network school's preparations for the relay.

Over 130 schools in Leeds have already engaged in the Olympics project ‘Spirit Alive’, which gives pupils the chance to lead, manage and deliver a mini-Olympic experience in their schools.

For more information on Leeds and its work towards the London 2012 Olympic Games, visit

Notes to editors:

As the longest standing Presenting Partner of the Olympic Torch Relay, Coca-Cola will be using its heritage and experience to spread excitement across the UK ahead of London 2012. Coca-Cola's national nomination campaign - Future Flames – has focused on finding inspirational young people from across the country to have the once in a lifetime opportunity to carry the Olympic Flame. This summer Coca-Cola will celebrate these Future Flames: young people who use their passions in areas like sport and physical activity, music and dance, and community and the environment; to spread happiness in their local communities. Find out more at:

As the only National Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Lloyds TSB will be taking the spirit and inspiration of the Olympic Flame right to the heart of communities across the UK. As part of Lloyds Banking Group, Bank of Scotland will be the National Presenting Partner in Scotland. Schools can be right at the heart of the celebrations through our Flame Followers programme, giving them access to free resources to get their pupils inspired and excited about the Olympic Torch Relay (schools can register at Customers can be the first to hear how they can follow the Olympic Flame, through our customer-exclusive programme Trackside. Find out more at

As a Presenting Partner of the London 2012 Olympic Torch Relay, Samsung aims to encourage everyone to be part of the London 2012 Torch Relay to make London 2012 ‘Everyone’s Olympic Games.’ We aspire to offer new and memorable experiences for everyone around the world. Samsung is providing 1,360 Torchbearers, who have “gone the extra mile” by contributing to the local communities, through its worldwide public nomination campaign. Samsung will support towns and cities to celebrate the exciting moment of the Torch Relay and help showcase Great Britain’s cultural landmarks to provide a more enjoyable experience to everyone. The evening celebrations that will be staged in 66 towns and cities throughout the Olympic Flame’s journey across the UK, will allow Samsung to entertain the community they are visiting. The Samsung caravan, complete with LED screen on the side showcasing runners and goodwill messages, will travel with Torchbearers around the UK cheering up everyone to celebrate the Torch Relay with music and interaction with local communities. It is Samsung’s ambition that London 2012 will be an event that reaches and involves more people than on any other Olympic Games occasion. To learn more about Samsung’s London 2012 Olympic programme, please visit


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