Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Pass on furniture for a new lease of life

Leeds residents are being asked to give unwanted furniture and household items a new start while helping local re-use organisations.

Leeds City Council and Revive Leeds – who run the re-use shop at East Leeds household waste sorting site – are encouraging people to donate unwanted items as part of their “Pass it on: give your unwanted items a new home” campaign.

The campaign aims to show that the re-use shop is a real local alternative to throwing household goods away that has added benefits.

Since opening in August 2011, Revive Leeds have been selling good quality donated items to people looking to furnish their homes without paying high street prices. As Revive Leeds is made up of three local re-use organisations (Emmaus, SLATE and St Vincent de Paul), and run as a community interest company, any money raised is used by the groups to support local people.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:

“The popularity of the re-use shop shows that there is a real market for affordable household goods. People will have furniture languishing in their homes, unused and unloved or it may be destined for landfill. It makes sense to match up out-of-favour and unwanted furniture with those that need and want it.

“By passing on your stuff to Revive, we can continue to support these local groups as they help local people. And we gain the environmental benefits of less going to landfill.”

A leaflet is being popped through the letterbox of homes close to the re-use shop in a bid to encourage people to pass on their unwanted items to Revive Leeds.

Furniture that can be donated at the re-use shop include:

• Beds
• Drawers
• TVs and TV stands
• Wardrobes
• Tables
• Sofas, chairs and armchairs
• Tumble dryers
• Electric cookers

The shop is based at East Leeds Household Waste Sorting Site, Limewood Road, Seacroft, Leeds, LS14 1LU. The shop is open seven days a week, 9am to 5.30pm from April to October and 9am to 3.30pm from November to March.

Even if you don’t live in the east Leeds area you can still donate your items for re-use. All other household waste sorting sites in Leeds now have special containers where you can leave items for others to benefit from.

A Leeds-based re-use organisation will then take these items and sell them at affordable prices or give them to those in need. Any money made from selling the goods is put straight back into these re-use schemes. You can find out which organisations take your unwanted items when you drop them off at the container.

For more information on re-use and how to waste less visit www.leeds.gov.uk/recycleforleeds.

ENDS

Notes to editors:

• The campaign is part funded by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and aims to increase the amount of materials collected for re-use in the county.

• The campaign started in April and will finish in June. Leeds City Council and Revive will report back later this summer on the findings.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 5177
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk


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Extra places made available at one Otley primary school

Leeds City Council’s admissions team has been in discussion with the head teacher and governors at Ashfield Primary School who have agreed to make additional places available for this September’s intake.

Parents living in Otley who were offered a place outside of the town when one of their three preferences for a primary school couldn’t be met, are being advised to contact Ashfield Primary School, as more places have now been secured.

The admissions team has written to the parents and carers who were affected to advise them to contact the school to arrange a visit.

Sarah Sinclair, chief officer at Leeds City Council’s children’s services said:
“Our admissions team have worked hard to find a solution so these children can attend a school in their local area. We hope parents will take up this opportunity.”

The council’s admissions team recommend that parents and carers always include their nearest school as one of their preferences and to make sure they use all three preferences to get the best chance of being offered a preferred school.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

First for Leeds as planning goes local

Communities in Leeds are to be among the first in the country to prepare their own neighbourhood plans.

Leeds City Council has successfully bid for government funding to allow four areas of the city to develop their own neighbourhood plans in accordance with new legislation.

Leeds City Council’s executive board will be asked next week (16th May) to release the £80,000 funding to allow the pilot schemes to go ahead in Boston Spa, Holbeck, Kippax and Otley.

Neighbourhood plans are a key part of the Government’s localism agenda and the plans must be ‘pro growth'. They will allow communities to choose where they want homes, shops and offices to be built, have their say on what those buildings should look like and grant planning permission for developments they want to see go ahead.

However, the Government has made it clear that they cannot be used to object to development. Local communities will therefore have to work closely with the council to ensure that each area has enough land to meet the needs that have been identified in the council’s core strategy.

Each pilot area will have £20,000 funding from the Department of Communities and Local Government to help them prepare their neighbourhood plan.

The pilot schemes will provide the opportunity for the council and local communities to work closely together to test the new system, to learn lessons and to find out how all communities in Leeds could benefit from it.

The four Leeds pilots are among 233 neighbourhood “frontrunners” throughout the country.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and economy, said: “Neighbourhood plans offer a real opportunity for local communities to be involved in planning decisions that affect them and for local people to shape the place where they live.

“More than 30 communities in the city have already expressed an interest in developing neighbourhood plans of their own.

“But this is something new to us as a council too, so the pilot schemes will allow us the opportunity to explore the best ways to help communities through the processes as well as to find out the true financial costs involved. “


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For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: anniegoodyear@leeds.gov.uk

Schools get the wheels turning for the Olympics


CGS: Dean Downing with Cllrs Richard Lewis and Keith Wakefield and pupils from Kippax schools

Professional cyclist Dean Downing joined pupils from Kippax North junior and infant school and senior Leeds councillors to promote the Walk the History of the Games School Challenge this week.

The challenge, which aims to promote walking and cycling to school, is being run across all schools in West Yorkshire where they walk, cycle or scoot their way around the globe to help promote healthy and environmentally friendly ways of travelling to school.

The event, organised by the school travel and road safety team, saw Dean visiting Kippax North Junior & Infant School, and joined by children from Great Preston and Kippax Ash Tree primary schools. Dean helped pupils practise their cycling skills on a Go Cycling course and Watt bikes. Later on the children went head-to-head in team relay races and individual pursuits.

Dean, who has just returned from a tour of Korea, chatted to the children about his recent racing events.

Barbara Clark, head teacher at Kippax North Junior and Infant School said:

“ In this exciting Olympic year , we have thoroughly enjoyed being able to welcome Dean Downing and pupils from Ash Tree and Great Preston schools to our school. Cycling is very important to us, and now we have our own full sized track at school our pupils are able to enjoy exciting challenges, as well as being taught how to cycle safely, and we welcome the opportunity to share it with our visitors. It's been fantastic to see a top class professional cyclist at Kippax North, and to hear about the training and dedication needed to be a winner!"

Cllr Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council and a governor at Kippax Ash Tree Primary School and Cllr Richard Lewis, the council's executive member for city development, also joined in the event.

Cllr Wakefield said:

“Cycling is a fantastic way to travel. It keeps you fit and healthy and it’s environmentally friendly too. I’ve been a keen cyclist most of my life so it’s particularly good to have a chance to pass on some of my own enthusiasm for the sport.

“This project is a really imaginative way of encouraging children to cycle safely and with confidence and to support the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games at the same time. “

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: anniegoodyear@leeds.gov.uk

Foster carers to benefit from new partnership with Leeds Rugby



"Councillor Judith Blake and Leeds Rugby CEO Gary Hetherington meet to sign the new partnerhsip between fostering and Leeds Rugby, with Rhinos player Jamie Jones-Buchanan and Ronnie the Rhino."




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 signed the agreement at Headingley Carnegie Stadium yesterday.

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 www.foster4leeds.co.uk or call 0113 24 77 44 3.

Notes:
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).

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Your chance to shape the future of Leeds market

People in Leeds are being asked for their views on the future of Leeds Kirkgate Market.

A detailed consultation is launching today (Wednesday 9 May) to canvas thoughts on what the market should look like in the future.

Architectural and design specialists Norfolk Property Services (NPS) are to lead on work into the feasibility studies that were agreed at the council’s executive board earlier in the year.

Before the feasibility work commences, there will be a consultation which will seek to gather together the ideas, experiences and expertise from a wide range of people across the city who have an interest in the future of the market. The consultation will run until mid June 2012. Once this information has been captured, NPS will evaluate five options, which will fit with the views received across the city.

The consultation will take place in two phases. The first phase will collect all possible information which can then feed into a 12 week phase of design, where NPS will pull together five options for what the market could look like. In the second phase these options will be presented to the public and we will be open to feedback on the designs.

There will be a wide range of ways to get involved in the consultation from completing a paper or online survey, to meetings, discussions and workshops. Traders, as on of the key stakeholders in the market, will be asked to attend workshops and submit their views on the future of the market.

The online survey is available to complete at www.leedsmarkets.co.uk/strategy and paper copies of the survey are available at the Kirkgate Market information centre and in libraries across the city.


Councillor Gerry Harper, Leeds City Council markets champion said:

“We want to make sure the views of the city, and everyone with an interest in the market play a big part in this next step towards looking into the options for its future.

“The council is committed to keeping the market under its ownership, and we know what an important role it has to play in the retail offering in Leeds. Its future has been widely debated already, but we now need to make steps towards making definite decisions with help of people across the city.

“We know that the traders at the market will play an important role in the consultation, and we will be engaging with them in a number of ways to make sure their voices are heard.

“Once we have had a chance to gather views from both consultation periods we will take a report to the council’s executive board in January 2013 with a number of recommendations based on these findings.”


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