Friday, 4 May 2012

Leeds votes ‘no’ to elected mayor

Leeds has returned a 'no' vote in the referendum on whether to switch to a new council system led by an elected mayor.

The total number voting 'no' was 63% (107,910 votes), with 37% voting 'yes' (62,440 votes).

This result means the current leader, executive board and cabinet model will continue to be used in Leeds.

The turnout for the referendum in Leeds was 31%.

To see full details of today’s election results in Leeds, visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335

Foster carers to benefit from new partnership with Leeds Rugby

**Media opportunity**

Foster carers across Leeds will be able to access special discounts at all Leeds Rhinos home matches as part of a groundbreaking partnership agreement that kicks off Leeds’ new foster care recruitment campaign.

Leeds City Council’s fostering team has joined forces with Leeds Rugby to raise awareness of the need for more foster carers across the city.

As part of the partnership agreement Leeds Rugby is offering people who foster through Leeds City Council discounts on Leeds Rhinos home matches, as well as 15% off Rugby Camps for children aged 6 to 14 years old living within the household.

To cement the partnership Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for children’s services and Leeds Rugby CEO Gary Hetherington will be formally signing the agreement at Headingley Carnegie Stadium next week.

Media opportunity:
When: Tuesday 8 May at 1pm
Where: Headingley Carnegie Stadium (meet at reception)
Members of the media are invited to Headingley Carnegie Stadium to photograph and interview Councillor Judith Blake and Gary Hetherington. They will be joined by Rhinos player Jamie Jones-Buchanan, Ronnie the Rhino and Leeds City Council fostering staff.

The main aim of the partnership is to promote foster caring with Leeds City Council. The recruitment drive kicked off at the Leeds Rhinos v Huddersfield Giants match in March, at which foster care staff from both Leeds and Kirklees councils were able to distribute leaflets amongst fans.

The council is looking to recruit over 200 new fostering households over the next two years, to provide loving homes for many children in care, and help to reduce the need to use external fostering agencies.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“We urgently need to hear from people who think they may have the time, patience and commitment to help some of the city’s most vulnerable youngsters. At the moment we need use external fostering agencies more than we would like, as we don’t have enough foster carers here at the council. Recruiting more carers through our own services is a better use of tax payers’ money.

“We are really grateful to Leeds Rugby for their support in helping us to spread this important message as well as for giving foster carers and their families some great benefits. Leeds Rugby have also pledged their support for our campaign to become a child friendly city, providing great encouragement for children in Leeds to take up healthy and active lifestyles.”

Gary Hetherington, CEO of Leeds Rugby said:
“We are delighted to be teaming up with Leeds City Council’s Foster Carer Services and supporting the fantastic work they do in the city. We hope this new partnership will offer benefits that will be of real value to both foster carers and the children in their care.”

Becoming a council foster carer with the council brings a range of benefits, as well as support from a dedicated team of experts and access to a city wide fostering network working to improve the lives of vulnerable children and young people in the city.

Fostering for a local authority also helps ensure children are fostered in their home city, cementing existing links with their local community and allowing them to remain in their own school, providing stability at a time of immense change.

The council is currently looking for foster carers for different types of fostering, including short term, respite care, emergency fostering, long term and fostering disabled children. Foster Carers must have a spare bedroom and the time to accommodate a child or young person in their lives.

The council’s fostering service provides a comprehensive range of training and support for it’s foster carers , including weekly fees and allowances.

There is no such thing as a typical foster carer – they can be single, married, divorced, employed, unemployed, with or without children of their own. People from diverse backgrounds and all ethnic origins are needed to help children benefit from living with families who share their own culture, language and religion.

Please join us in our work to make a real difference to the lives of Leeds children and young people. Visit or call 0113 24 77 44 3.


The offers available to foster carers with Leeds City Council are:
1. Discounted tickets for all Leeds Rhinos home matches. £10 adult ticket and £5 junior ticket. (A discount code is needed prior to booking).
2. 15% off Rugby Camps, for children aged six to 14 years old living in the carer household. (A discount code is needed prior to booking).

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

New political make-up of Leeds City Council

As a result of the local elections in Leeds, the new make-up of the city council is as follows:

Overall situation

Labour [LAB]: 63 seats (up from 55)
Conservative [CON]: 19 seats (down from 21)
Lib Dem [LD]: 10 seats (down from 16)
Morley Borough Independents [MBI]: 5 seats (no change)
Green: two seats (no change)

Ward changes

Burmantofts and Richmond Hill: LAB gain from LD
Gipton and Harehills: LAB gain from LD
Headingley: LAB gain from LD
Hyde Park and Woodhouse: LAB gain from LD
Moortown: LAB gain from LD
Rothwell: LAB gain from LD
Roundhay: LAB gain from CON
Temple Newsam: LAB gain from CON

The overall turnout across the city was 31.35%.

Full details of the election results can be seen at


For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335