Thursday, 22 March 2012

Leeds gets the green light to tackle road works delays

The Government has given approval for Leeds to operate a permit scheme for road works across the city.

Leeds City Council applied for the new powers to control road works as part of a wider scheme across West and South Yorkshire to minimise traffic delays.

The permit scheme means that those who need to work on the busiest roads in the future – including utility companies, local authorities and private contractors - will have to apply for a permit in advance. The council will be able to refuse to grant the permit if it is not happy that the work will meet special conditions aimed at minimising potential traffic delays. Those companies that break the agreed conditions or carry out work without a permit will have to pay a fine.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member responsible for city development, said:
“Road works are necessary to provide and maintain the road network and essential services that we all use.

“Unfortunately some of these works take longer than is absolutely necessary and could be planned better to minimise the disruption caused. This disruption causes frustration to the travelling public and the delays can seriously affect the local economy.

“This permit scheme gives the council greater powers to affect the way in which these works are co-ordinated and carried out for the benefit of all road users.”

The scheme is the fifth in the country to be granted approval, following on from established schemes in London, Kent, Northamptonshire and the St Helen’s scheme which is due to commence in April.

Five other councils: Kirklees, Barnsley, Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham have also received approval to introduce the scheme. The proposal is still under consideration in other West Yorkshire authorities who may choose to proceed likewise once a full assessment has been carried out and approvals sought.

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

‘Hakuna matata’ as Leeds Young People’s Film Festival turns 13

Caption: Screenings of 'The Lion King', 'Ghostbusters' and ‘Moomins & The Comet Chase' all feature in this year's Leeds Young People's Film Festival (if Moomins still used following credit must be included:
© Filmkompaniet / Moomin Characters ™)

A major awards ceremony, new competitions and special screenings of some modern classics are among the highlights of the Leeds Young People’s Film Festival which begins next week.

The annual event organised by Leeds City Council and MediaFish becomes a teenager as it enjoys its 13th edition from Monday 26 March to Thursday 5 April with more than 30 screenings of must-see attractions and independent gems from around the world being shown at Hyde Park Picture House, as well as selected venues across the city including the giant screen in Leeds Town Hall.

After school screenings on Monday and Tuesday, the gala premiere takes place on Wednesday 28 March from 7pm with a screening of the new version of cult classic stop-motion animation ‘Moomins & The Comet Chase’ at Hyde Park Picture House.

The following evening, Thursday 29 March, the red carpet will be rolled out at Leeds Town Hall with an Oscars-style celebration of the best young talent in the city for the Leeds Young Filmmakers Golden Owl Awards. Presented by Leeds Young Film Network and supported by Leeds cultural organisation ArtForms, the competition has been open to anyone aged 3-19 who lives in the city to show their filmmaking skills.

The awards have high-profile support from former Coronation Street actress Suranne Jones, while among those presenting Golden Owls on the night will be Leeds-born ‘Eastenders’ and ‘Casualty’ screenwriter Mark Catley, as well as the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Reverend Alan Taylor and Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan.

Actress Suranne Jones is unable to attend the awards ceremony, but has recorded a message which will be played on the night which says:

“It’s great to know there are so many talented young filmmakers in Leeds. I know that the standard has been really high, the children and young people should be really proud of themselves for having got this far and for showing everyone how skilful and imaginative they are. Filmmaking is all about working together as a team to tell stories so no matter who wins keep working together and keep making fantastic films.”

Another new competition celebrating young talent across the country is the INDIs (for independent directors) open to any independent filmmakers under the age of 25. The category winners will be announced at Hyde Park Picture House on Monday 2 April, with the overall winner being presented with the Film and Video Institute Award (IAC) for the best independent film and a cash prize of £250 towards their next film.

Among the major screenings is a special preview of ‘We Are Poets’ at Leeds Town Hall on Friday 30 March, a film following a group of Leeds teenagers on a visit to Washington DC to represent the UK in the world’s largest poetry slam competition. The screening will be hosted by poet Benjamin Zephaniah and will also feature a live poetry slam.

Other highlights include fantasy animation ‘Tales of the Night’ from celebrated director Michel Ocelot (The Princes’ Quest), the multi-award winning film ‘On the Sly’ about a six-year-old girl and her adventures in the woods, ‘The Crocodiles: All for One’ the sequel to last year’s audience winning film about a daring jailbreak, and ‘Capelito the Magic Mushroom’ a family-friendly animated series about a mushroom with special powers.

Another coup for the festival is the closing gala ‘The Cabin in the Woods’ at Hyde Park Picture House on Thursday 5 April, the new film by Buffy the Vampire creator Joss Whedon.

The festival includes a day dedicated to family viewing at Hyde Park Picture House on Saturday 31 March, which features a special singalong screening of modern classic ‘The Lion King’ with the words of the songs appearing on screen for the audience to join in.

The following day Sunday 1 April is devoted to science fiction featuring a screening of 1980s hit ‘Ghostbusters’ along with Pixar animation ‘Wall-E’, Jim Henson’s magical ‘Labyrinth’, and ‘Monsters’ which will feature a live satellite interview with director Gareth Edwards.

The festival will also include short films, workshops and talks by industry professionals and Director of Leeds Young People’s Film Festival Debbie Maturi said:

“We’re thrilled that once again we can offer something a little bit more than a regular visit to the multiplex, and our audiences will not be disappointed with the selection of films we have available this year. We have maintained our fantastic value prices and are all looking forward to celebrating our first year as a teenager with families and young people from across the city.”

Tickets for screenings cost £2 for under-19s and £5.00 for adults (£4 concession), except for the opening and closing galas which are £4 for under-19s and £6.00 for adults (£4 concession).

A single pass for the whole festival costs £15 (for children or adults) and a family pass for up to four people (including two adults) costs £40. Tickets can be bought from the City Centre Box Office, from Hyde Park Picture House, or online at

For more information or to download the festival brochure, please visit

Notes to editors:

Leeds Young People's Film Festival is presented by MediaFish and Leeds City Council. MediaFish is a cooperative of young people aged 14 - 19 from Leeds that is facilitated by Leeds Young Film. MediaFish are involved in the organisation, programme and marketing of the Leeds Young People's Film Festival and provide a variety of film screenings, workshops and masterclasses for all ages year round.


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

Rugby League World Cup 2013 tournament schedule announced

Gary Hetherington (Leeds Rugby) and Cllr Adam Ogilvie (Leeds City Council) fly the flag for the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, with children from Froebelian School Horsforth performing the Haka

Rugby League World Cup 2013 today announced the full schedule of matches for the tournament being held in October and November next year.

The Leeds World Cup Consortium, led by Leeds City Council, in partnership with Leeds Rhinos and Marketing Leeds, are delighted that two high profile games are to be played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium; a group match between New Zealand and Papua New Guinea, and Quarter Final 3.

The city is also thrilled with the news that the national teams of New Zealand and Italy will be based in Leeds for the duration of the tournament, with the reigning world champions being the city’s adopted nation.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, executive board member for leisure and chair of the Leeds World Cup Consortium said:
“We're delighted with the news that the national teams of New Zealand and Italy will be based in Leeds for the duration of the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, and that a group match and a quarter final will be played at Headingley Carnegie Stadium.

“New Zealand are the reigning world champions and a real superpower of rugby league, so we are really proud that they will be here using the fantastic facilities that we have to offer in the city and particularly at the John Charles Centre for Sport.

“Our city is passionate about sport and particularly rugby league, and these high profile games will create a real buzz for residents and businesses. I am confident that the people of Leeds will get behind our adopted nation, as well as our national side of course, and help to make this tournament a real success.”

Gary Hetherington, chief executive of Leeds Rugby said:
“Headingley Carnegie Stadium has a proud tradition of hosting New Zealand sides down the years going right back to the first international tour from the New Zealand All Golds when Great Britain played their first ever Test match at Headingley in January 1908. We have had many Kiwis who have called Leeds their home since then including members of the current Rhinos team. We are delighted and honoured to host the World Champions and also excited to welcome the proud Rugby League nation of Papua New Guinea to Headingley Carnegie.”

Nigel Wood, RLWC2103 tournament director said:
“This is an exciting day for all our hosts. They now know who will be playing or training in their stadiums and who their communities will be getting behind. We’re saying to them ‘this is your World Cup, this fantastic international event will be putting the world’s best Rugby League players right on your doorstep’. I have no doubt they will help to make this the best Rugby League World Cup so far”.

The tournament will kick off at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff with a spectacular first day including the opening ceremony, host nation Wales taking on Italy and co-hosts England playing Australia.

Welsh hosts Wrexham’s Glyndwr University Racecourse Ground have Wales taking on the USA and one of the tournament quarter-finals. While in Neath, home supporters at The Gnoll can see the men in red take on the Cook Islands.

The tournament will be pushing Rugby League further than ever before with Limerick’s Thomond Park in Ireland hosting Australia v Ireland and France playing New Zealand in Avignon and Samoa in Perpignan

Please note that as well as revealing the tournament schedule, RWLC2013 will also be launching the ‘Belong Ball’. This ball will be passed 2013 times as it travels around the RWLC2013 Host towns and cities, throughout 2012 and 2013. The final pass will be made back at the Millennium Stadium at the opening ceremony.

Carwyn Jones, First Minister of the Welsh Government and longstanding champion of Rugby League in Wales, will make the first pass at the Millennium Stadium.

More details on the journey of the Belong Ball will be available later in the year, through its own dedicated Facebook page.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578


Martin Johnston, RLWC2013 Communications Manager, on 077489 46966

Notes for editors

The tournament is being part funded by the North West Development Agency, the Welsh Government and UK Sport and is part of the UK’s ‘golden decade of sport’.

The tournament will involve 14 nations, Australia, Cook Islands, England, Fiji, France, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Samoa, Scotland, Tonga, USA and Wales. The competition's structure will consist of two groups of four, with England drawn alongside arch rivals Australia, Fiji and Ireland in Group A.

World Cup holders New Zealand will face Pacific Island rivals Papua New Guinea, Samoa and France in Group B. Scotland will face Tonga and Italy in Group C and joint hosts Wales have been drawn against the Cook Islands and the USA in Group D.

The first games and opening ceremony will be played on Sat October 26 and the final on Sat Nov 30. However, the full list of dates and kick-offs will only be announced when the broadcast schedule is finalised.