Friday, 16 November 2012

Statement on outcome of today's meeting of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber concerning the proposed closure of the children's heart surgery unit at Leeds Children's Hospital

Chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber Councillor John Illingworth said:

“My thanks to all who attended the meeting today - and to those who contributed to the development of the committee's report. What is clear is that all members of the joint committee - plus the thousands who have backed the campaign to keep the children’s heart surgery unit in Leeds - are urging the Secretary of State for Health to look at this issue again.

“Under the proposed changes Newcastle will simply not offer the same levels of service for very sick and vulnerable children that are currently on offer at the Leeds Children's Hospital. The key consideration must be that the same or a better service will be offered as a result of any change and that is simply not the case here, with potentially fatal consequences.

“There has been a serious lack of openness and many questions remain outstanding about the way in which the original decision was reached. There is an overwhelming level of support across the region to retain these services in Leeds. We appeal to the Secretary of State to conduct a thorough and impartial review to provide transparency and much-needed answers to important questions.”

For background information on today's meeting, visit Report on children's heart surgery unit in Leeds


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Locals invited to shape the future of Middleton and Belle Isle

Residents in south Leeds are being asked for their opinions on what changes they would like to see in the local area.

A new neighbourhood framework is being developed for Middleton and Belle Isle to help bring new development and investment to the area.

The framework will set out where new housing and other buildings can be built and what other improvements are needed.

From Saturday 17 November there will be a week long programme of local consultation. An exhibition will tour 20 different places around the area including schools, shopping areas, and other key community facilities to allow as many people to be included as possible.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive member for development and the economy said:
"This is an exciting opportunity for people to share their ideas about how the area can change. We want as many people as possible to let us know what they think.

“The framework will become an important document to promote new development opportunities on many of the council owned sites across the area.’

More information and the dates for the consultation can be found at  or by contacting the Regeneration Team on 0113 2476241.
Notes to editors:

The consultation is being supported by Aire Valley Homes Leeds (AVHL) and Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation(BITMO), Health For All and the Council’s Youth Service, ensuring younger and older people, or anyone needing a helping hand, knows how they can join the consultation.

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

Reduced parking charges continue at Woodhouse Lane car park

As a festive treat on the lead up to Christmas Woodhouse Lane car park users will continue to benefit from reduced parking charges.

The newly refurbished car park has brought 1,200 spaces back in use, and will be offering discount all the way up to next year .

The reduced parking fees, Monday to Friday only are:

• 1 hour - £1.50

• 2 hours - £3

• All day - £6

Saturdays £4.50 all day

Sundays £2 all day

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for the environment, said:

”Since its opening the car park has already proved very popular, and we are pleased to see so many people making use of it.

“With the run up to Christmas we thought it would be apt to offer customers additional discounts for using the car park during the festive period.

"For shoppers, we offer cheap parking on Saturdays and Sundays. Elsewhere in the City, all on street parking is free on Sundays and in the evenings after six”

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

Results of elections in selected Leeds town and parish areas November 2012

Several local elections took place in parish and town council areas of Leeds on November 15 2012. There was voting in the by-election for the Hall Park Ward of Horsforth Town Council and in the Greenacre and Larkfield wards of Rawdon Parish Council.

The results of those votes are as follows:

Jan Hardy, Liberal Democrat, has been elected as councillor for the Hall Park ward of Horsforth Town Council;

David Carl Ingham, Independent, and Jacqueline Rose Shemilt, Conservative, have been elected as councillors for the Greenacre ward of Rawdon Parish Council;

Robert Michael Barber, Conservative, John Geoffrey Davies, Conservative and Phil Gomersall, Independent, have been elected as councillors for the Larkfield ward of Rawdon Parish Council.

The Leeds City Council parish and town councils information page is located here:

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


Helping Leeds city centre businesses plan for emergencies

Businesses throughout Leeds city centre are being encouraged to sign up to a new free emergency alert system to make sure the city is prepared for emergencies.

Leeds Alert has been in place for several years but the new free system will mean more businesses are able to benefit from this important service.

At a meeting with around 70 city centre businesses next week, Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police will launch the updated scheme which transmits important messages in the event of things like flooding, gas explosions, severe weather, demonstrations or anything that may disrupt ‘business as usual’.

Media opportunity:
When: Wednesday 21 November at 9am
Where: Banqueting Suite, Leeds Civic Hall
Members of the media are invited to attend the meeting to hear about the new Leeds Alert and Evacuation Plan. Copies of the new plan will be available. Interviews and photography is welcome.

The updated scheme allows city centre businesses to register up to four names and contact details free of charge. Alert messages are received by subscribers via a variety of methods including SMS texts to their mobile phones or by email.

Businesses who attend the meeting will also learn about the revised City Centre Evacuation Plan which has been drawn up by the council’s peace and emergency planning unit, alongside West Yorkshire Police, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services and other agencies who would be involved .

The evacuation plan is designed to give practical advice to assist city centre businesses to protect their premises, themselves and ultimately the people of Leeds in the event of an emergency. Businesses are encouraged the use the plan to help them prepare contingency plans for a city centre emergency. Elements of the plan go further than evacuation alone, several elements of the plan are used frequently for communicating severe weather, demonstrations and disruption.

Councillor Keith Wakefield leader of Leeds City Council said:
“Leeds Alert has been in place for several years now and has already proved itself as an excellent incident management tool in helping us to warn and inform organisations within the city.

“This new, free, service will mean we are able to assist more businesses in any way we can to increase their resilience, especially small and medium sized businesses.

“We have always taken our responsibility seriously to plan and prepare for incidents that impact on local people and businesses.

“Hopefully we will never have to activate the City Centre Evacuation Plan in full, but I am confident that the information and guidance it contains and the planned multi-agency response will make the city a more resilient place.”

Businesses wishing to attend the launch can register their details by email to or they can visit for more information and to register for the Leeds Alert Scheme.

There is no change for those residents and businesses who are signed up to the Flood Warning Direct service from the Environment Agency. The Leeds Alert service provides additional information.

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

Kids drive home the message of road safety

As part of National Road Safety week pupils at Sharp Lane Primary school are taking part in a competition to design posters to raise awareness of the new 20mph scheme outside their school.

Pupils from the school have been invited to submit their designs to the school travel,team with the winning design being fixed to the bottom of the new 20mph signs. Pupils from across all classes will also take part in a day of practical road safety activities on the 19th November.

The theme of this year’s road safety week is ‘Slower Speeds Means Happy People’ with motorists being asked to slow down around homes, schools and shops where pedestrians and cyclists are particularly vulnerable.

To support the national campaign and in addition to the event at Sharp Lane, Leeds City Council’s road safety team have supplied all Primary schools with information and ideas about how to run their own road safety sessions and assemblies in schools to help our young road users to learn about staying safe on our roads.

Throughout next week, pupils from Brigshaw High School will also be using a radar activated speed checking device to monitor vehicle speeds around their school and remind drivers to slow down.

Last year 297 road users were killed or seriously injured on Leeds roads. Although this figure is declining year on year, and the 2011 figure was the lowest ever recorded, this is still a shockingly high figure.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development and the economy said:

“Supporting Brake Road Safety Week is important to the council and it is important to remind drivers to slow down for their own safety and the safety of others.

“I would urge drivers to give consideration to tricky road and weather conditions such as ice, heavy rain, fog or poor light and slow down, particularly around schools and residential areas where there are more likely to be pedestrians and cyclists..“

Notes to editors:

In addition to the Road Safety sessions run by the council’s road safety team, the event at Sharp Lane will also be supported by Pickfords who will be helping children learn about the dangers of crossing near large vehicles; West Yorkshire Police who will work with children to use a radar activated Speed Indicating Device to detect vehicle speeds and give motorists a very visual reminder to slow down around the school, and the Yorkshire Ambulance Service who will help pupils learn about what action to take in the case of an emergency.

Further information on Leeds road casualty data can be accessed by contacting

Information on the 20mph schemes across Leeds

The Sharp Lane Primary School 20mph scheme is part of a wider programme being implemented by the council, designed to make our roads safer to encourage walking and cycling around residential areas. The council are currently looking to introduce around twenty to thirty 20mph schemes around schools and residential areas each year, working through an extensive list and prioritising and tackling the areas based on road injury accident data


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