Friday, 24 August 2012

Test your sprint finish in cycle challenge

Ride against the clock and try to beat Olympic Champion Sir Chris Hoy’s cycle sprint time on Briggate next week.

Go:cycling, the new adult cycle training project will be hosting a British Cycling roller bike challenge to let members of the public race against each other (and Chris Hoy’s time) to see who is the fastest over a 200m sprint.

The roller bike challenge will be on Briggate on Wednesday 29 August 2012 from 9am to 4pm, and it is free to have a go. The fastest time in each age category will receive a prize.

Go:cycling is a partnership between the five West Yorkshire District Council’s and Metro. They are encouraging adults to get back on their bikes by providing free one-to-one adult cycle training and staging cycle rides and events over the next three years. Access to the training is offered through workplaces, groups and directly to individuals via

The project is also helping to fund the construction of several new core cycle routes across Leeds, four of which are now open for use; Alwoodley, West Park, Middleton, and Wyke Beck Valley. The next route from Garforth the Leeds city centre will open in September.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member with responsibility for development said:

“It’s a great time to get back on your bike, but a lack of road skills and confidence in traffic is often a barrier to people cycling in the city.

"The help, advice and training provided by the Go:cycling project is just what is needed to help people overcome these concerns.

"The new network of core cycle routes in Leeds provide an alternative to using the main traffic routes to access the city centre and the surrounding countryside, and I hope people will take full advantage of the free training and the new routes.”

Notes to editors:
• Go:Cycling is a Government funded Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) project which will run to 2015

• The Roller Bike cycle challenge in Briggate will be available from 09:00 to 16:00 on Wed 29th August
• More information on the Go:cycling project is available at

• The roller bike challenge is being provided by East Bradford Cycle Club and is registered as a British Cycling event

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Police and social landlord team up to tackle burglary

Caption: PCSOs with Aire Valley Homes Mobile Office in Cottingley

A partnership between Aire Valley Homes Leeds(AVHL) and West Yorkshire Police is helping to drive down burglary rates and protect tenants’ homes.

As part of a citywide campaign to reduce the number of homes falling victim to burglary, the police and AVHL, who manage council housing across south Leeds, are co-ordinating their efforts and working together to stamp out the problem .

They are using their combined intelligence, such as crime statistics and information from sources on the ground including police community support officers and AVHL’s tenancy management officers, to build up a picture of the problem in certain areas.

The scheme involves improving the security in homes with new door locks, window locks and additional lighting and alarms, as well as ensuring that the police and AVHL staff are visible to residents to provide security, advice and reassurance.

As part of the work towards reducing burglaries, officers from both organisations have already carried out surveys with residents around the theme of reducing burglaries, feeling safe and reassurance around crime. The next event will be on Thursday 30th August, Aire Valley Homes and Police staff will be available at a drop-in centre at the Community Room of Cottingley Towers to share burglary reduction tips and offer advice.

Simon Costigan, chief executive of Aire Valley Homes, said:
“Anyone who has been the victim of burglary, or an attempted burglary, knows how distressing this experience can be for a family. As a partnership we want to reduce the number of local residents that fall victim to this type of crime by being proactive and putting a range of preventative measures in place”.

“We have always worked very closely with the police and by sharing our intelligence we can build up a more complete picture of how criminals operate in specific areas, which enables us deploy our joint resources more effectively and target their activity much more efficiently”.

Cllr Peter Gruen, executive board member with responsibility for community safety said:

“Together with West Yorkshire Police, we have made tackling the city’s stubbornly high burglary rates one of our top priorities and have invested an additional £1.3m in Safer Leeds’ Burglary Reduction Strategy.

“We have made excellent progress over the past year, thanks in no small part to much closer working relationships with the Police and others. This innovative partnership between the Police and Aire Valley Homes reiterates our citywide commitment to do whatever is necessary to protect resident and their homes.

“As our partnerships grow ever stronger through projects such as this, I am confident that burglary rates across Leeds will continue to fall.”

Sgt Arrowsuch of West Yorkshire Police, said:

“The level of crime in the area has already fallen year on year in recent times including the number of burglaries. However, West Yorkshire Police are determined to continue to work even harder with our partners in order to reduce these levels even further.”

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Have your views on the council’s tenancy strategy

Leeds City Council is launching a new consultation around a possible new tenancy strategy for 2013-15.

The consultation has come about due to local authorities being given new powers to change the way they manage their housing stock and any criteria for whether they choose to do so.

These powers include determining whether persons ‘are’ or ‘are not’ qualifying to appear on the waiting list, the power to offer homeless people suitable accommodation from a private landlord and the power to offer flexible tenancies of a fixed term.

The consultation covers whether or not flexible fixed term tenancies are supported and which groups this should apply to. It also covers the option of housing associations providing affordable rent for those unable to afford market housing. It also asks whether the council should use the new power to discharge its duty to homeless through housing in the private rented sector.

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

“The draft strategy is really important to the city and will need to reflect the City’s priorities, such as enabling people to live safely in their own homes, help children to live in safe and supportive families and effectively tackle and reduce anti-social behaviour in communities.

“It is very important that we obtain the views of people across the city and key stakeholders on the new tenancy strategy. I urge people to take a look and take the time to fill in the survey.”

The draft tenancy strategy is available to look at online and the consultation will run until 28 September 2012.

Every private registered provider of social housing will receive a copy of the draft strategy and be allowed the chance to comment on it.

The council is required to produce its final version of the tenancy strategy by January 2013.

The consultation is available to view here:


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450