Friday, 9 November 2012

Leeds Lights switch on images

Captions: The big switch-on featured appearances by Tyler James (2nd from top), Loveable Rogues (4th from top), Jonathan Brownlee and Jack Laugher (3rd from top) and Santa and finished with a spectacular fireworks display.

New bigger better Christkindelmarkt

Picture caption: (top) "The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Anne Castle with sponsors and Christkindelmarkt representatives at the wood carving stall at the new bigger market."

The popular German Christmas market returns to Leeds next week in style with a bigger than ever festive offering.

Now in its 11th year, the Christkindelmarkt opened on Millennium Square today Friday 9 November with a scenic winter village made up of more than 40 traditional wooden chalet stalls from Germany offering Christmas gifts, food and entertainment.

Organised by Leeds City Council in partnership with Frankfurt City Council and supported by media partners Real Radio and the Yorkshire Evening Post , over 250,000 visitors are expected to enjoy the festive atmosphere and sample a large variety of traditional German delicacies such as gluhwein, bratwurst sausages, schnitzels, soups and goulash, stollen, gingerbread, roasted nuts and candied fruits.

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

Step forward for GCSE consortium as judicial review date set

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services, has welcomed the announcement today that the date has been set for the judicial review proceedings against Ofqual, EdExcel and AQA.

The judical review regarding the unfair grading of English GCSEs will be held on the 18,19 and 20th December 2012 in the Adminstrative Court in London.

The proceedings have been initiated by a Leeds led consortium of local authorities, schools, colleges and individual pupils who were all left bitterly disappointed by the GCSE results fiasco of the summer.

Councillor Blake was particularly pleased that the date had been set as the three respondents had requested that it be delayed until the New Year.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services) said:

“I welcome this news on behalf of the consortium members and the thousands of young people who have been affected by the grading fiasco. This situation has been allowed to drag on for far too long, it could have, and should have, been dealt with months ago as it was in Wales.

I am really pleased that the court has recognised the need for urgency particularly as we understand that the respondents had asked for to be delayed until the new year.”

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

New Leeds Children’s Mayor crowned

Caption: New Leeds Children's Mayor Oliver Larking

A pupil from Bardsey Primary school in north Leeds has been announced as the new Leeds Children’s Mayor.

Oliver Larking, aged 10, won the competition after pupils across Leeds voted for their favourite of the 10 manifestos in the final. His idea, ‘Open Aire Active Zone’ focuses on a scheme to encourage children and their families to get outside, get some fresh air and get fit and healthy.

Each of the manifestos submitted had to be based on one of the 12 wishes for Leeds becoming a Child Friendly City and Oliver’s linked to ‘places and spaces to play and things to do that are open to all in all areas of Leeds.’

As part of his prize, Oliver will accompany the Lord Mayor to the switching on of the Leeds Christmas Lights. He will also have the chance to present his manifesto at a full council meeting in January 2013 amongst many other duties he will be involved with over the next year.

The young finalists met with the Lord Mayor on Thursday 8 November to present their manifestos and to hear the announcement of the winner.

Winner of the competition Oliver said:

“It feels amazing actually, heart-stopping. When I get back to school I can’t wait to say I’m the new Children’s Mayor of Leeds. It will be such an honour.”

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle said:

“The calibre of the manifestos this year was excellent, and the pupils all came up with some excellent ideas.

“With the thoughts of the Olympics and the excellent recent super league win for Leeds Rhinos recently, Oliver’s manifesto certainly fits well with keeping sport alive in Leeds.

”All the young people have done extremely well to get through to the final of the competition and I hope they all continue with their interest in local democracy.”

Notes to editors:

Leeds Children’s Mayor is a local democracy project supporting children to recognise they have the power to influence change within their own communities by increasing awareness of democratic participation. It is part of the council’s wider vision to become a Child Friendly City.


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

Landlord fined for dumping rubbish

A Leeds landlord is counting the cost of letting his workmen illegally dump furniture and waste in the street.

Manjeet Rhoud Singh of Moorland Drive was fined £750 after builders he employed to carry out work on his rental property in Nowell Avenue dumped a sofa, a bath and other household waste outside the home in March 2012.

He was also ordered to pay costs of £1,029.49 and a £15 victim surcharge for illegally depositing, or knowingly causing the illegal deposit of waste.

Singh told council environmental enforcement officers that he had taken on the contractors to fix up the house but had not made any arrangements to ensure any waste from the job was dealt with properly.

Despite being served a legal notice to provide details of the workmen, Singh claimed he was unable to do so and was prosecuted under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

The council picked up the pile of rubbish to ensure the pavement on Nowell Avenue was safe and free of obstructions.

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

“Yet again we are using our staff and resources to clean up after others who should know better.

“It’s particularly frustrating as our staff do their utmost to make sure people know the best way to store, manage and dispose of their waste appropriately.

“The outcome in court should serve as another reminder to people that while we’re happy to work with people to clean up communities, we will prosecute when responsibilities are blatantly ignored.”


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