Tuesday, 1 May 2012

People urged to contact council if postal vote packs not arrived

People in Leeds still waiting for postal ballot forms for this week’s elections are urged to contact the council after reports some voting packs have not yet been delivered.

Voters are due to go to the polls on Thursday May 3 to vote in the local elections and mayoral referendum in Leeds.

A question mark has arisen over the delivery of up to 2,167 postal votes in the final batch due to be delivered by printers to Royal Mail for first class despatch on April 23. Leeds City Council has launched an investigation into what had happened to those packs after receiving calls from 90 people in that batch to say they had not yet arrived.

Unfortunately replacement ballot packs cannot be re-delivered by post. This is because regulations state that if an elector does not receive their postal vote they must provide proof of identity to receive a replacement.

Tom Riordan, Returning Officer for Leeds City Council, said:
“It’s unfortunate that out of nearly 100,000 postal packs that this number appear to have been mislaid. I’m satisfied that the council did everything it should to ensure that the ballot packs were ready and issued in plenty of time.

“We are making special arrangements to ensure everyone who registered to vote by post is able to do so. We urge people to contact us if their pack has not arrived.

“It will not be possible for people to vote twice, since if a request is received to re-issue a pack the original pack is cancelled. If the original is returned it would be rejected during verification of the votes.

Anyone who is still waiting for their ballot pack can call the council on 0113- 222 4411 to arrange to collect a replacement from the elections office at Leeds Town Hall on The Headrow.

Arrangements have been made for the office to be open late until 8pm today and tomorrow (Tue/Wed May 1/2) to allow access for people unable to call in during the day. It will also be open right up until the deadline of 5pm on polling day on Thursday- this is the normal legal deadline for the re-issue of postal ballot packs.

The Town Hall’s car parking spaces will also be made available to the public for the collection of replacement postal packs only.

Special arrangements are being made by the council for people who have difficulty in getting to the Town Hall, particularly the elderly or other vulnerable people- please call the elections number on 0113- 222 4411 to discuss.

It will not be too late to return the completed forms since all postal ballots can be returned by post as late as 5pm on voting day. They can also be handed in to any Leeds polling stations or at the Town Hall up till 10pm on polling day.

Leeds City Council has this year issued postal ballot packs to 94,753 voters.

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


Portraits of Her Majesty The Queen go on display in Leeds

Captions: Mandatory credit 'copyright V&A images' with titles from top image:

'Queen Elizabeth II in Coronation Robes' by Cecil Beaton, June 1953

'Princess Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace' by Cecil Beaton, March 1945

'Queen Elizabeth II with Prince Andrew' by Cecil Beaton, 1960

'Queen Elizabeth II' by Cecil Beaton, 1968

A selection of official portrait images of Her Majesty The Queen are to go on show at Leeds City Museum this weekend to coincide with the diamond jubilee celebrations.

The display of over 60 photographs taken by royal photographer Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) over more than 30 years will be on show at the museum off Millennium Square from Saturday 5 May until Sunday 24 June.

The exhibition organised by the Victoria and Albert Museum celebrates Her Majesty across the decades in her roles as princess, monarch and mother and attracted over 60,000 visitors to the London museum during its run which ended last month.

******************** Media opportunity ********************
All media are invited to attend a press preview of the exhibition at Leeds City Museum at 1pm on Thursday 3 May. Leeds City Museum is located off Millennium Square, LS2 8BH.
******************** Media opportunity ********************

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was a young princess when she first sat for Beaton in 1942. Over the next three decades he would be invited to photograph the Queen on many significant occasions, including her Coronation Day in 1953.

Other highlights from the collection include images of Her Majesty with each of her newborn children; Prince Charles in 1948, Princess Anne in 1950, Prince Andrew in 1960 and Prince Edward in 1964.

Beaton was to photograph the Queen for the final time In the summer of 1968, producing a striking image of Her Majesty wearing the Admiral's Boat Cloak which will be on show in Leeds. When Beaton went on to hold an exhibition of his work at the National Portrait Gallery later than year, the image proved one of the favourites from over 500 photographs he had taken.

Following his death in 1980, Beaton bequeathed his archive of royal portraits to his devoted secretary Eileen Hose. In 1987 Hose, in turn, bequeathed the archive to the V&A Museum in London.

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

“We are thrilled and honoured to be hosting this amazing exhibition of images of Her Majesty The Queen in Leeds City Museum as part of our diamond jubilee celebrations.

“It is a major coup for Leeds to be able to attract this exhibition, which offers a fascinating insight into the life of Her Majesty and the members of the royal family, and we look forward to the exhibition going on display for everyone to see.”

‘Queen Elizabeth II by Cecil Beaton - A Diamond Jubilee celebration’ runs at Leeds City Museum from Saturday 5 May to Sunday 24 June. Admission is priced at £2.50 for adults, £2 concessions (including LEEDSCard and Breezecard) and under-16s free.

To find out more about Leeds City Museum, visit the website at www.leeds.gov.uk/citymuseum/

For information about events taking place in Leeds to celebrate the diamond jubilee visit the council’s website www.leeds.gov.uk and go to the leisure and culture page, then click on arts and entertainment.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Homes across the city are now safe and secure thanks to upgraded locks

As part of a drive to reduce burglary numbers across Leeds, the council is upgrading tenants locks in hot spot areas across the city.

The council have set up a city-wide partnership with local third sector organisation Community Action and Support Against Crime(CASAC), to ensure that all council homes are fitted with the new standard of door lock.

To date over 5000 locks have been installed on properties across the city, and by the end of the year a further 5000 locks will have been upgraded.

The programme will also see Leeds City Council working with private sector landlords to secure their properties for cost price, thanks to the council and supplier of the locks.

The scheme ensures that the old style euro cylinder local barrels that are in UPVC doors are now changed for new higher security cylinders that are Sold Secure Diamond Level Standard.

Although the old locks meet current safety standards, the new locks are much stronger and cannot be snapped or drilled like the previous locks can be.

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

“Safety in our tenants homes is very important, and so is reducing the burglary rate across Leeds.

“We have worked closely with CASAC and our ALMOs to make sure safety is a priority for all our tenants and through the capital programme we have managed to put together a programme to ensure all tenant locks across the city are upgraded to this new standard.

“Being burgled is an unpleasant experience, and we are putting in place simple but effective measures to deter criminals from getting in.

“We know that there are some areas of the city that are hot spots for burglary so we are looking to work with private landlords to secure their properties and ensure we are looking at the issue on a city wide basis rather than just council homes.”

Neil Goldup, CEO of CASAC said:

“Working with the council is a big step towards tackling the euro cylinder lock snapping issue in Leeds, which now accounts for a quarter of all burglaries.

“After installing security devices by CASAC the chances of being burgled again are greatly reduced. It’s this fact which deters burglars from trying to break into a property once they have seen we have made it more secure.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk