Friday, 1 March 2013

Thousands of children to attend their first preference secondary school

Families applying for their child’s secondary school place have received good news this week after thousands of the city’s children have been told they will start their first preference school in September 2013.

A total of 84 per cent of children will attend their first preference secondary school – which is the same as in 2012, and for Leeds residents this increases to 87%. Overall 95 per cent will attend one of their top three preferences, and a further 45 children out of 7707 were offered their fourth of fifth preference school.

The number of children not getting any of their five preferences at secondary school was less than five per cent. Leeds City Council admissions team is now working hard with families to agree alternative places for all children who did not get any of their preferences. Families are recommended to always include their nearest school as one of their preferences and to make sure they use all five preferences to get the best chance of being offered a preferred school.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“For parents and carers, choosing which secondary school for their children is one of the most important decisions they will make and I am pleased that so many children and young people will be attending their first preference school.

“In a very difficult environment this is encouraging progress and we will do everything we can to ensure parents have a full understanding of how the process works to ensure as many as possible receive one of their preferences.”

This is the first year that families have been able to preference five schools to give more flexibility and choice.

The complete secondary admissions figures for September 2013/14:
6500 (84%) were given their first preference
659 (9%) were given their second preference
155 (2%) were given their third preference
33 (0.5%) were given their fourth preference
10 (0.1%) were given their fifth preference

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

Inner Ring Road bridge re-opens early

Access to Leeds city centre and Little London will again be much smoother thanks to the reopening of the Lovell Park Road bridge next week.

Essential repair work to a bridge that carries Lovell Park Road over the A58(M) Inner Ring Road will be completed in the next few days allowing the road to re-open to two-way traffic earlier than originally planned.

The bridge was built during the construction of the Inner Ring Road in the late 1960s and a number of the bridge beams have deteriorated to a poor condition. These beams have been replaced and the bridge deck waterproofed and re-surfaced.

During the work, the bridge had to be closed to vehicles, restricting access to and from the city centre and to the Little London area to the north.

Pupils from Little London Community Primary School have been invited to formally open the new bridge on Monday 4th March as their community has been affected by the bridge closure. The children will also be the first people allowed to use the new bridge.

Media opportunity
When: Monday 4 March at 10am
Where: Lovell Park Bridge, Lovell Park Road, Leeds
Pupils aged from 6 to 10 from Little London primary school will be joined by Cllr Richard Lewis to ‘cut the ribbon’ to open the new Lovell Park Bridge.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s executive member for development and the economy, said:
“It is great news that this essential repair work has been completed ahead of schedule and that this important link in the city’s road network can be re-opened to traffic.

“We recognise that the temporary road closure has inconvenienced the local community and the public travelling to and from the city centre but carrying out this work now has ensured that this vital route can be maintained for many years to come.”

The road is re-opening prior to this summer’s unveiling of the new Leeds Arena on the adjacent site.

The bridgeworks to Lovell Park Bridge have been carried out as part of a major £25 million programme to restore three major structures on Leeds Inner Ring Road. Work to the first of the structures, New York road Viaduct, was completed in 2012 and work on the final phase of the programme, Woodhouse Tunnel, will begin this summer.

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

Garden bin collections to start again

Garden bin collections are set to resume following the winter suspension of the service.

Collections of the brown bins will re-start from Monday 4 March.

Using the brown bins is an effective way of keeping garden waste out of landfill; helping to save money and cut carbon emissions.

The bins can be filled with grass and hedge cuttings, fruit which has fallen to the ground, leaves, dead house or bedding plants, weeds, twigs and small branches.

Regularly reviewing collection routes allows the council to provide an efficient and reliable service. This includes making changes to the garden waste collection dates of some households.

These households will be notified in writing of any changes to their collections

To help keep the bin collections running smoothly, residents are asked to put bins out by 7am on collection day and taken back in as soon as is practical once emptied.

Collection dates, including any changes, can be checked on the council’s website.

To help residents keep on track with their collections, 2013 garden waste collection calendars have been distributed. Unfortunately, by mistake, some calendars have been sent to households which don't have a brown bin. Residents will be receiving an apology for this error.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:
“Following the lull in demand, I hope residents will get back into full swing with their garden waste recycling.

“We’re continually striving to make improvements to services and we’re confident that changes will further improve recycling services in Leeds.

“Not only is burying waste in the ground detrimental to the environment, but it is costly. I sincerely hope people will continue to recycle to make Leeds cleaner and greener.”

The city’s nine household waste sorting sites are open throughout the year to recycle a range of items including garden waste.

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