Thursday, 14 June 2012

Council to take public health lead

Plans for the future of public health in Leeds will be discussed by senior councillors next week as the council prepares to take on new responsibilities.

From April 2013, public health staff and funding will be transferred from the NHS to Leeds City Council. A report to be debated by the council’s executive board proposes a ‘hub and spoke’ operating model, which would see public health staff working out in local communities and across all council services.

The proposed model is designed to maximise the impact the council will have on the wider issues that can influence people’s health. These include the environment people live in, the food they have access to and the lifestyles they lead.

By integrating the work of public health professionals with existing council services, such as parks and countryside and housing and planning, the council will be able to make the best use of limited resources.

An example of this approach in action is steps being taken to address fuel poverty. Proposals to be debated next week by senior councillors would see multi-agency teams working across the city to identify vulnerable people in need of support through preventative services including affordable warmth.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, executive member for health and wellbeing, said:
“These new public health powers are a great opportunity to tackle the unacceptable health inequalities that exist in Leeds. We are determined to make sure that across all council services we are doing everything possible to close this health divide.

“As a council we can have a real impact on the wider factors which affect health whether that be lifestyle, quality of housing or access to green space. Our work on fuel poverty is a prime example of this approach in action.

“We will work with local people and partner organisations to promote health, prevent disease and prolong life, prioritising the most vulnerable people first, in order to reduce health inequalities in the city.”


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

Saddle up for Bike Week

This year’s national Bike Week starts on Saturday 16th June and Leeds City Council will be supporting a number of events across the district, both during the week itself and throughout the rest of the summer.

On Tuesday 19th June pupils from Wigton Moor Primary School will cycle to Harewood House to watch the arrival of the Olympic Torch as part of their Walk the History of the Games school challenge and Bike Week.

The children will leave Wigton Moor at 09:45hrs, arriving at Harewood by 11:30 in time to watch the celebrations. They will then have a picnic before cycling back to school.

On Wednesday 20th June there will be a cycling breakfast event in the city centre. A free breakfast will be available for all those who arrive by cycle. The breakfast will be hosted at the White Rose Bar at Leeds City Train Station from 7:30 -10:00 am.

Also, on the day will be a series of ‘guided rides’ along the Core Cycle Network Routes into the city centre, ending at the station where participants can claim their free breakfast.

On Thursday 21st June pupils from Whingate primary school and Five Lanes primary school will cycle along the canal towpath to the to Skelton Grange Environmental Centre, where they will have a guided tour of the centre, eat a picnic lunch before cycling back to school.

In addition to the planned events, all schools in Leeds have been contacted and encouraged to promote and run cycling events as part of Bike Week. Schools will be supported with information, incentives, ideas and prizes! So far 66 schools across the district have signed up to take part.

During Bike week and throughout the rest of the year the council will also continue to support the delivery of Bikeability Cycle training. Recent funding from the DfT mean that 4,000 free cycle training places for pupils in Year 5,6 & 7 will be available before March 2013 and demonstrates the council’s ongoing commitment to promoting and encouraging cycling as an enjoyable and healthy form of exercise.

Free adult cycle training places will also be available as part of a 3 year West Yorkshire project funded through the Local Sustainable Travel Fund.

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and economy said:
“Bike week is an important event for us in Leeds. We’ re very keen to promote safe cycling across the city. It’s a sustainable form of transport which has the added benefit that it keeps you fit.

“We understand that some people can find cycling on busy roads intimidating so we are developing a network of 17 quiet cycling routes in the city that will make up the Leeds Core cycle network. Five of the routes have already been delivered and three more will be completed this year.

“So if you haven’t cycled in a while, Bike Week is a great opportunity to get back in the saddle on one of these quieter routes or to join one of our guided rides and find out what you have been missing.”

For more information about the guided rides or other events in Leeds for Bike week or for cycle training please contact:, or telephone 0113 2475198

Note to editors

Additional Info about Walk the History of the Games:
Walk the History of the Games aims to promote walking and cycling to school by accumulating the mileage pupils walk or cycle each day, to travel to all the past Olympic host cities since Athens in 1896 . The aim is to reach London 2012. the competition is open to all schools until the start of the Olympics in July of this year.

For more information about the Walk the History of the Games Initiaive, visit

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

Building excellence celebrated in West Yorkshire

Picture: Broadgate Lane in Horsforth which won the category 'new dwellings under 10 units'

Picture caption: Chevin Park in Menston which won the category 'restoration and conversion on a large project'

Leeds celebrated excellence in building at an annual awards ceremony held earlier this week.

The West Yorkshire Building Excellence Awards, organised by Leeds City Council and the other four West Yorkshire local authority building control services, celebrated some of the best examples of building across the region at Headingley Stadium on Thursday (14 June).

A total of 13 awards were given to celebrate the excellence of building quality in a variety of projects from domestic extensions to commercial developments which was achieved through building standards, technical innovation and sustainable designs at local level.

This year’s winners in Leeds were the conversion of the existing Victorian hospital to form 10 flats and 12 houses at Chevin Park, Menston under the Restoration & Conversion - Large project category. The buildings have been transformed into a stylish residential development with a contemporary design twist whilst maintaining period features. The main contractor, Ben Bailey Homes has restored the former stone built hospital into a range of two, three and four bedroom apartments and houses.

The new dwellings under 10 units was won by the development off Broadgate Lane, Horsforth for the construction of five new build terrace houses. These are five first rate modern terrace houses, built over three floors with exceptional detail to the construction and finish both internal and externally. Leeds building contractor J P Wild constructed these houses for Fendale Developments Ltd.

The best Partnership with a Local Authority Building Control was won by MAS Design Consultants Ltd. They are a family run architectural design company, based in Guiseley near Leeds. The company has grown over the last five years and they have been in Partnership with Leeds Building Control since 2008 and are a great supporter of Local Authority Building Control across West Yorkshire.
The 2012 LABC Building Excellence Award Winners were:

Domestic Extension: High Meadow, Cold Hill Lane, New Mill, Holmfirth – Kirklees Council - Austin Construction Services Ltd
New Single Dwelling: Pinewoods, Sandbeds, Honley, Holmfirth – Kirklees Council – John Marsden
New Dwellings under 10 units: Broadgate Lane, Horsforth, Leeds – Leeds CC – JP Wild Ltd
New Dwellings over 10 units: Ryecroft, Lightcliffe, Halifax - Calderdale MBC – Seddon Homes
Affordable Housing: Park Dale, Castleford – Wakefield and District Housing (WDH) – Bramall Construction Ltd
Restoration & Conversion - Small domestic: Kirk Cliffe, Stoney Lane, Halifax – Calderdale MBC
Restoration & Conversion - Large project: Block 12 & 14, Chevin Park, Menston Leeds CC – Ben Bailey Homes
Commercial: Wakefield Metropolitan District Council Civic Offices, Burton Street, Wakefield – Wakefield MBC – Morgan Sindall Group plc
Community: Culture Fusion, 125 Thornton Road, Bradford – Bradford MDC - BAM
Construction Ltd
Sustainability: Listerhill Sustainable Student village, Smith Street, off Listerhill Road - Bradford MDC – GB Building Solutions
Sustainability Highly Commended: Land South of 448 Harrogate Road, Bradford
Education: Horton A School of Health Studies, Great Horton Road Bradford - Bradford MDC – ISG Construction
Partnership with a Local Authority: MAS Design Consultants Ltd.

An additional Highly Commendable award was given to the community buildings and workspace units on Harrogate Road, Bradford under the sustainability category.

The complete list of winners, finalists and project descriptions can be found on the LABC Awards website at

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

“These awards show how much exciting and innovative work is being done across the city and the county both to convert and restore some of our beautiful old buildings and to design and build new developments.

“They also illustrate how councils can work with developers and designers to produce high quality developments which enhance an area and provide places to live and work which are accessible, practical and sustainable in the long term.”

This year’s awards were attended by over 200 people who were involved in the nominated building projects in the West Yorkshire Region.

The LABC Awards recognise the importance of building control in creating a high quality, sustainable built environment in England and Wales. Local authority building control helps to ensure better design and builds by cooperative working between local councils, developers, designers and builders to avoid costly corrections during construction and to make sure projects comply with the highest standards of safety, sustainability and accessibility.

The complete list of winners, finalists and project descriptions can be found on the LABC Awards website at

- ENDS –

Notes to editors:

LABC is the member organisation representing all local authority building control departments in England and Wales. Its membership includes 3,000 professional surveyors and support technicians and has a 70% market share of building control in these sectors: domestic conversions and improvements; new homes and apartments; commercial offices, workshops, industrial and warehouses; education; healthcare; care homes; retail; leisure and entertainment; and stadiums.

LABC promotes the design and construction of buildings that are safe, accessible and environmentally efficient to comply with the Building Regulations. LABC builds awareness of local authority building control amongst the public, developers, designers and contractors. It also works with trade organisations, manufacturers, distributors, research establishments, test houses and professional institutions to support innovation in building.

LABC are always looking for future award winners. If you have a project completed within the next 12 months which you feel deserves to be one of next year’s finalists, have a word with your local authority building control surveyor expressing your interests and they may put your project forward for nomination.

For media enquiries, please contact;Annie Goodyear,

Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937


Councillors to consider next steps for incinerator project

The final business case for the city’s incinerator will be submitted to the government if senior councillors agree the decision next week.

Members of the council’s executive board are being asked to send the final business case to the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) for approval. The councillors’ consent is also being sought to officially award the contract to the preferred bidder, Veolia ES Aurora Ltd, when they meet on June 20.

If approved, the decisions will bring the council one step closer to providing a facility on the Cross Green Industrial Estate that will ensure as much of the city’s household rubbish as possible is recycled, and that the minimum is sent to landfill.

Along with improvements to waste and recycling services that allow residents to recycle more themselves, the incinerator would provide the city with a long-term solution to keep waste from going to landfill. The council’s landfill tax bill last year was £9.2 million and this is set to increase by around £1.5 million every year.

With up to 214,000 tonnes of waste a year going through the facility to be sorted for recycling, the council stands to make savings of £200 million over 25 years and make a significant dent into harmful greenhouse gas emissions being released into the atmosphere from landfill.

Estimates show that by removing recyclable items and not sending waste to landfill, around 62,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions would be cut. That’s equivalent to the annual emissions from energy used in the home by 31,300 Leeds residents.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“This represents a massive change in how we deal with waste in the city and is just one part of our overall strategy that will see Leeds recycle half its waste and cut carbon emissions by 40% by the year 2020.

“The decisions being discussed next week are important milestones that will allow us to deliver a scheme offering a long-term, sustainable waste solution for the city.

“We set targets last year to reach 55% recycling by 2016 and to exceed 60% beyond this time, and remain committed to achieving these. However, there will still be large quantities of waste that we can no longer afford to bury in the ground for environmental and financial reasons. I’m convinced that we have chosen the best solution to ensure that we get the maximum value out of this waste and achieve our ambitious recycling and carbon reduction targets.”

The planned incinerator or RERF (recycling and energy recovery facility) would take all of Leeds’ black bin waste and sort it to remove any metal, paper, cardboard and plastics to be recycled. Only the leftover waste not suitable for recycling would be burned. During this process enough electricity would be made to power 20,000 homes.

The facility would also be capable of using some of the steam used to generate this electricity to provide heat to local buildings, helping those owners and occupiers reduce their energy use and bills.

If agreed by the executive board, the final business case would be submitted to Defra’s Waste Infrastructure Delivery Programme for approval of project funding.

Arrangements would also be made officially award the contract to Veolia to build and run the incinerator.

The report to executive board also sets out the next steps in the project timetable if the recommendations are approved:

• June 2012 – Veolia to submit planning application to Leeds City Council and apply to Environment Agency for permit
• July to September 2012 – financial close and award contract to Veolia
• Spring 2013 – plans panel to consider planning application
• June 2013 – work starts onsite
• 2015 – incinerator is commissioned
• 2015 – full operations start

Notes to editors:

• Veolia are expected to submit a planning application for the incinerator around the time executive board meet.

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Superstar Lesley Garrett to headline Opera in the Park

Caption: Yorkshire favourite Lesley Garrett will be performing at this year's Opera in the Park

Yorkshire’s-own opera superstar Lesley Garrett has been announced as the further star name to appear at this year’s Opera in the Park at Temple Newsam.

Internationally-renowned soprano Lesley Garrett CBE will be the headline performer at the annual outdoor picnic-style concert which takes place on the evening of Saturday 21 July.

She will join American opera sensation Noah Stewart who has already been confirmed for the event, together with renowned baritone David Kemptser who also performed at last year's event.

Organiser Leeds City Council has also announced an exciting new partnership for this year’s Opera in the Park. The UK’s biggest classical music radio station, Classic FM, is the media partner of the event, forming part of their special 20th birthday celebrations in 2012.

Set in the stunning surroundings of Temple Newsam Estate, Opera in the Park is one of the highlight events of the year in Leeds, featuring music arranged and performed by the universally-acclaimed Orchestra of Opera North and concluding with a fantastic firework finale.

Headline performer Lesley Garrett is one of the biggest opera stars in the world, having produced 14 solo CDs and releasing her latest album ‘A North Country Lass’ in April.

Tickets for this year’s Opera in the Park are now available priced at £7.50 for LEEDSCard holders, £6.50 for LEEDSCard Extra holders and £5 for Breezecard holders. General admission is £10 or £35 for four tickets for small group bookings of family/friends.

Tickets can be purchased online at or in person or by telephone from City Centre Box Office in The Carriageworks on Millennium Square (0113 224 3801) and Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Train Station (0113 242 5242). Tickets are also available from the visitor shop in the courtyard at Temple Newsam and from Leeds Grand Theatre box office.

A special discounted ticket package for those wishing to attend both Opera in the Park and the popular Classical Fantasia event at Kirkstall Abbey on Saturday 1st September are also available to purchase this year from the City Centre Box Office or Leeds Visitor Centre only.

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

“Attracting an artist of the calibre of Lesley Garrett to appear at Opera in the Park, together with Noah Stewart, means it will be a fantastic night at Temple Newsam.

“Add in the exciting new partnership with Classic FM and this year’s Opera in the Park has all the makings of being the best ever.”

For further information on Opera in the Park visit or contact Leeds City Council’s events team on 0113 395 0891 or email

Note to editors:

The LEEDSCard scheme is open to anyone aged 19-59 in Leeds on an annual membership and offers discounts and exclusive offers across the city all-year round at leisure facilities, events, shops, museums, theatres and restaurants. For more information on how to get a LEEDSCard visit or call 0113 224 3636. Breezecard is FREE for persons under 19 and for further information visit

A booking/transaction fee will apply to bookings made online or by telephone.

Classic FM
Celebrating its 20th Birthday this year, Global Radio-owned Classic FM attracts an audience of over 5.4 million people each week, confirming its position as the UK's biggest classical music radio station. Programmes are hosted by a diverse range of broadcasters and musicians including John Suchet, Alan Titchmarsh, Myleene Klass, Alex James, Margherita Taylor and Nicholas Owen. Since its launch, Classic FM has aimed to break down the barriers to classical music and in so doing, introduce an entirely new audience to the genre. The station seeks constantly to expand its listener base through groundbreaking new audience initiatives and partnerships. Classic FM is available across the UK on 100 - 102 FM, digital and online at


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

Next step towards city’s first intermediate care unit

Council chiefs will be asked to approve proposals to push ahead with the refurbishment of Harry Booth House, at their meeting of executive board next week.

The plans support the joint aim of the council and its health partners to have more efficient and effective integrated services that will deliver better outcomes for vulnerable adults in Leeds.

Harry Booth House will be the city’s first intermediate care unit providing nursing and non-nursing intermediate care beds, jointly commissioned by NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds (NHSABL), adult social care services and delivered in partnership with Leeds Community Healthcare Trust (LCH).

As part of the council’s plans to reshape residential care for older people in Leeds, which were approved last year, it was agreed to recommission Harry Booth House to provide 24-hour intermediate care for adults whose immediate needs cannot be met in their own homes.

It will provide a range of integrated services to promote faster recovery from illness, prevent unnecessary hospital admission and premature admission to long-term residential care, and support timely discharge from hospital and maximise independent living.

The council and NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds have committed significant expenditure to ensure that Harry Booth House is a first class refurbishment that will benefit vulnerable, older people in Leeds.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for adult social care said:
“Leeds City Council is committed to creating better lives for older people in the city, and working closely with the NHS to deliver a new model of rehabilitation, reablement and recovery care.

"Our extensive consultation programme last year gave us the opportunity to re-evaluate current and future provision in the city, and we were able to set out plans to transform housing, care and support services for older people for the future. It also confirmed that older people want to be helped to live independently and safely in their own homes for long as possible.

"The establishment of Harry Booth House as the city's first intermediate care unit providing both nursing and non-nursing care beds in partnership with Leeds Community Healthcare Trust is an important step forward in this journey. It will provide a service that is responsive and proactive in preventing older people from needing more intense care and support services following an illness or stay in hospital.

“This is a good example of how the council are delivering better outcomes for older people by working closely with our partners and making better use of our diminishing resources.”

Dr Simon Stockill, clinical lead for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds said:
“The challenges of an ageing population are well documented and the need for services to adapt to meet the needs of older people is one that is of significant importance to the NHS and our partners, including Leeds City Council.

“I am delighted that in Leeds we are being proactive in meeting this challenge and the funding being provided for Harry Booth House provides clear evidence of our commitment to the ongoing care needs of older people in our city. It also demonstrates the importance of listening to and responding to the needs of local people so that services truly are designed around them.”


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