Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Join the celebrations as Paralympic stars return to Leeds

Caption: Paralympics medallists (left to right) Hannah Cockroft, David Stone MBE and Claire Cashmore pictured with Olympic boxing gold medallist Nicola Adams (far left) at the John Charles Centre for Sport

The Leeds-based stars of the London 2012 Paralympic Games will be honoured at a special celebration event in the city this Thursday.

Athletics star Hannah Cockroft, cyclist David Stone MBE, swimmer Claire Cashmore and powerlifter Ali Jawad are expected to attend the public celebration which will take place on Millennium Square in front of Civic Hall from 12:15pm.

The event will be a celebration of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, which was the biggest and most-watched Paralympics ever, and will also provide a final chance to mark the amazing success of London 2012 as a whole.

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All media are invited to attend the celebration event, with interviews with the athletes to be conducted before the event in Civic Hall from 12 noon. Any media wishing to attend please call Roger Boyde on 0113 247 5472 or email roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk to confirm attendance and requirements.

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Wheelchair racer ‘Hurricane Hannah’ Cockroft emerged as one of the stars of the Games, stunning the crowd in the Olympic Stadium with her speed as she broke the Paralympic record to win the women’s T34 100 metres. The 20-year-old from Halifax, who trains at the John Charles Centre for Sport in Leeds as part of Leeds City Athletics Club, then repeated the feat in the 200 metres to secure the sprint double and two gold medals in her first Paralympic Games.

Also claiming gold was Rawdon resident David Stone MBE, who successfully defended his T 1-2 mixed road race cycling title from Beijing 2008 to make up for his slight disappointment days earlier when he took bronze in the time trial event at the iconic Brands Hatch motor racing circuit.

City of Leeds swimmer Claire Cashmore, who trains at the Aquatics Centre at the John Charles Centre for Sport, took on a punishing race schedule competing in six different events in her third Paralympic Games. The 24-year-old from Redditch won silver in the women’s SB8 100m breaststroke and bronze in the women’s 4x100m 34 points freestyle relay, before being part of the silver medal-winning 4x100m 34 points medley relay team which provided one of the most thrilling finishes seen at the Games as Great Britain were pipped to gold by Australia by just 0.03 of a second.

Powerlifter Ali Jawad was unfortunately one of the hard-luck stories of London 2012, as the 23-year-old who is based at the Team GB High Performance Centre at Leeds Metropolitan University thought he had done enough to secure a silver medal in the men’s 56kg event.

However, the judges failed to unanimously approve his final lift and after an appeal he was given the chance to try again. Unfortunately he was unable to complete the lift and was left to finish in fourth place, narrowly missing out on a bronze medal.

Looking ahead to the celebration event, Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Ann Castle said:

“We are really looking forward to welcoming back our Paralympics athletes to Leeds and it would be great to have a big crowd on Millennium Square to honour them and say well done.

“Like the Olympics before it, the Paralympics were an amazing spectacle which captivated the nation and this event offers the perfect way to mark a great Games and for everyone to say a final farewell to the sensational few weeks of London 2012 which none of us will ever forget.”

For details of Leeds’ involvement in the London 2012 Paralympic Games and Olympic Games, visit www.leedsgold.co.uk

For more information on disability sport in Leeds visit www.leeds.gov.uk/disabilitysport or call Leeds City Council’s disability sports officer Ross Bibby on 0113 395 0159 or email ross.bibby@leeds.gov.uk.


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

Motorists warned of road works on Marsh Lane (Woodpecker Junction)

Essential work to be carried out on Marsh Lane (Woodpecker Junction) on 17 September 2012.

Leeds City Council will be replacing worn out carriageway surfaces on Marsh Lane (Woodpecker Junction) between Burmantofts Street and York Street.

The work will begin on 17 September 2012 and is expected to be completed by 5 October 2012 and will be carried out Monday to Friday 21:00 – 05:30.

The closure will be phased in various sections with diversion routes signed on site. The sections will include; South bound, North bound and the Ring Road West bound.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development said:
“It is important that we carry out this essential work to ensure the safety of drivers and their vehicles.

“I understand these repair works can prove frustrating for people but we will try and keep disruption to a minimum.

“The closures will be phased to keep disruption to a minimum and we apologise for any inconvenience these road works may cause. However, we have done everything we can to reduce disruption by scheduling the work for nights and we will carry out this work as quickly as we can.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Anna Evans, Leeds City Council press office, (0113) 395 0244
Email anna.evans@leeds.gov.uk

Heaps of rubbish show impact of city centre litter

Cllr Mark Dobson surveys rubbish collected from the city centre in 24 hours

Around five to six tonnes of waste collected in 24 hours was piled high in Briggate - white bags from bins, green bags from litter dropped and rubbish collected from mechanical street sweepers was displayed in a skip.

The extent of littering was made clear today when rubbish collected from city centre streets was piled high on Briggate.

Workers, shoppers and visitors were able to see how much rubbish they correctly placed in bins and how much litter was dropped in the city centre over a 24 hour period.

Cleaning crews dedicated to the city centre collect piles of rubbish like these every day, seven days a week from the city centre.

The council’s annual bill for street cleaning across Leeds is £8 million. Teams clean some of the city’s busiest streets around-the-clock, following an overhaul of how they work earlier this year. Now higher standards of cleanliness are being maintained without having to spend more cash.

Litter isn’t allowed to build up so it’s hoped that the two mounds of rubbish – one made up of white bags from city centre bins and the other from rubbish dropped on the streets in green bags and a skip containing everything from mechanical sweepers – will prompt people to help the council maintain high standards.

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

“We re-organised how our city centre cleaning crews work to be more responsive as we know that rubbish has a big impact on businesses, residents and visitors. We want to ensure, just like the rest of the Leeds, that the window to our city is as clean as it can be.

“I know many people were astounded when they saw just how much rubbish is collected in such a short space of time. The fact piles of rubbish this size are collected every day demonstrates the scale of operation we need to run to keep streets clean.

“If anyone needed evidence to show that some people still don’t have the right attitude to rubbish, then today’s exercise provided just that. I hope people will take heed of what they’ve seen and work with us to maintain our sense of pride in being the cleanest, greenest and best city.”

There are around 20 members of the cleansing team in the city centre each day, 365 days a year. The crews hit the streets early to clear up after night-time visitors in time for day-time shoppers, workers and visitors. The also ensure litter bins are constantly emptied, especially at the busiest times.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office 0113 395 1577