Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Statement regarding the high court ruling on the children’s heart surgery in Leeds.

The High Court challenge which took place today (Wednesday 27 March 2013) regarding the controversial decision to move children's heart surgery services from Leeds General Infirmary has been successful.

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

“We are absolutely delighted with this result, and I would like to thank everyone that campaigned so hard and worked together so effectively to ensure that the correct decision was made.

“The judgement today has shown that we were right to challenge the lack of transparency, lack of probity and lack of effectiveness.

“All the work that has gone into this campaign confirms what we already knew, that the consultation process used in the decision-making process was flawed. Today’s judgement supports the view of the Joint Committee, as stated in its report in October 2011, that the detail of the Kennedy sub-scores should have been made available during the initial public consultation.

“This really is fantastic news and the victory is well deserved. More importantly this is the right decision for local people who have campaigned so hard to keep a key health facility for poorly children in the city open.”

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

New Pudsey Station in line for facelift

As part of the New Pudsey Rail Station extension project to be carried out later in the year Leeds City Council has started work on improving the exit route.

Work has started to improve the route from the station out via Owlcotes Lane and Bradford Road. The highway scheme is being constructed prior to the start of the New Pudsey Rail Station car park extension and ticket office refurbishment, which is due to be carried out during the summer by Northern Rail and Metro.

The works will last approximately seven weeks, with temporary traffic management in place during off peak periods to keep disruption to a minimum.

In the summer an extension to the car park will take place to take the number of spaces up to 440. Included in the extension will be increased provision of accessible facilities and blue badge spaces.

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

“With the anticipated increase in demand at the New Pudsey Rail Station it is important that we have the infrastructure to cope with the amount of people wanting to use the station.

“The first stage of this project is to ensure we have the exit route sorted, and then further work to extend the car park can be carried out providing the station with much needed extra space and accessible facilities.”

Metro chairman, Cllr James Lewis said:
"I'm delighted that Metro has been able to work in partnership with Leeds City Council to fund improvements at this key station.

"New Pudsey lies on the important commuter route between Leeds and Bradford, and with a service every 15 minutes it helps move passengers into the heart of both cities while reducing congestion on adjacent road routes."

Notes to editors

In May 2012, confirmation was received of funding from Network Rail to enable an
extension of the New Pudsey Rail Station car park. The existing car parking
provision of 267 parking spaces is to be extended to provide a total 440 parking spaces.

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

£1million funding boost for free sports sessions in Leeds

A new health project which would see leisure centres in Leeds provide free sport and fitness sessions every day has moved a significant step closer today.

Leeds City Council’s proposed pilot project ‘Leeds Let’s Get Active’, which aims to encourage people of all ages to be more physically active and especially those in areas of greatest health inequality, has been backed today by a total of £1million of match-funding offered by Leeds public health and Sport England through the National Lottery.

Under the proposals, which are now expected to be discussed by the council’s executive board next month, one hour each day would be made available at every Leeds City Council-managed leisure centre in the city for free gym and swimming sessions.

The sessions would be open to all but would be primarily targeted at those who currently do not take part in any sport or physical exercise, while additional sessions each day would also be made available in parts of the city identified as having the highest levels of health inequality.

Other elements of the scheme would see free community sport sessions such as running and walks offered in parks, as well as packages for three months of access to council leisure centre facilities and classes available for just £5.

The scheme would be managed jointly by Leeds City Council’s sport and active lifestyles service and the new public health services which are being transferred from the former Leeds Primary Care Trust to the council on April 1.

The project aims to increase participation and improve health and wellbeing as part of the drive for Leeds to be the most active big city in the country, and also represents an example of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games for Leeds.

Figures released by Sport England have shown that the basic cost of physical inactivity in Leeds in 2009/10 was £10.95m, out of an overall total for England of more than £900m.

More details on Leeds Let’s Get Active are expected to be revealed ahead of the executive board meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 24 April.

Leeds City Council executive member for health and wellbeing Councillor Lisa Mulherin said:

“Leeds Let’s Get Active provides a fantastic platform for helping to close the health divide in the city, with a focus on encouraging especially those who currently do not take part in any sport or exercise to take part in the free sessions.

“Apart from improving participation and health and wellbeing, there will also be significant benefits for the city in terms of reducing the pressure on health services, so it really has the potential to be a fantastic win-win all round.”

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“We are delighted to have secured this funding from Sport England and the National Lottery and thank them for their fantastic support in bringing this scheme to life. Leeds Let’s Get Active is a bold new project which has the potential to make a real and lasting difference to people’s lives by offering the chance to dramatically improve their health and wellbeing.

“It fits in perfectly with the ‘inspire a generation’ theme of the Olympics and will provide a tangible legacy of the amazing events of London 2012 right here in Leeds.”


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472,

Young Leeds filmmaking duo thrilled after meeting Oscar winner Danny Boyle

Captions: Image above (left to right) Lucy Bickerton, Alfie Barker and Jacob Crow on the set of 'The One Show', while top images show Alfie and Lucy with director Danny Boyle

Two young Leeds filmmakers were given the chance to meet one of the world’s leading directors this week as they appeared on national television with Oscar winner Danny Boyle.

Alfie Barker, aged 16 from Roundhay, and 12-year-old Lucy Bickerton from Pudsey met the mastermind of the spectacular opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games and the director of a host of hit films including ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ when they were guests on ‘The One Show’ on BBC One.

Together with 13-year-old Jacob Crow from County Durham, the trio were given the chance to show their short films, which have been shortlisted for awards at the Leeds Young Film Festival which started this week, to the superstar director.

Reflecting on the experience, Alfie Barker said:

“It was brilliant to meet him, he’s a really friendly guy. He was happy to chat to us and he signed cards for us and wished us all good luck. It was nerve-wracking to be on the show, and it was especially weird to see someone like Danny Boyle just sitting there on the sofa.”

Alfie is a rising star of the Leeds film scene, having won the overall title at last year’s festival in the Leeds Young Filmmaker Golden Owl Awards which showcases emerging talent from across the city.

He is also competing at this year’s The INDIs (Independent Directions) Awards, the UK’s only film award solely championing and celebrating the talent of the UK’s young independent filmmakers aged under 25. The ceremony takes place on Monday 1 April at Hyde Park Picture House as part of the annual event organised by Leeds City Council and MediaFish.

Meeting Danny Boyle has given Alfie additional inspiration to secure a career in film, as he added:

“Meeting him has definitely given me a boost. I’d love to have his job! I really just want to go out now and make a film.

“I’m looking to be a film director but any job in the film industry would be great. There’s something special about the magic of watching a film, as your life is forgotten about and it takes you away from reality. I’d really like to be part of that.”

Alfie also had words of praise for the culture in Leeds which supports the next generation of filmmakers. He said:

“Leeds is a great place for encouraging young people who are interested in film. I started when I was nine when I joined the young consultants looking at drama and it went from there. Leeds Young Film and MediaFish are really good so it’s all there for anyone who wants to get involved.”

Fellow award-nominee Lucy Bickerton was similarly star-struck at the chance to meet Danny Boyle and appear on television in front of a viewing audience of millions.

Lucy said:

“I was shocked when I was told I was going on television and meeting Danny Boyle. I was really nervous but it was really exciting.

“He was a really nice and we got to have a chat with him after the show where he gave us some great advice. He said if we want to get into the film industry we just need to keep doing what we are doing, making films and entering competitions.

“It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I have had loads of messages from my friends and family about it.”

This year’s event is Lucy’s first involvement with the Leeds Young Film Festival, with her short film about zombies being the first work she has ever produced.

Lucy is now considering a career in the industry, adding:

“I love going to the cinema and watching films, it is an escape from reality and takes you to another world, it’s so exciting. I can’t wait for the Leeds Young Film Festival to show my film and I definitely want to make more and am looking at a career in films.”

The 14th Leeds Young Film Festival began on Monday and runs until Friday 5 April, showcasing the best emerging new talent and classic films such as ‘Beetlejuice’ and ‘King Kong’ as well as workshops and masterclasses.

The Leeds Young Film Festival is also a proud supporter of child friendly Leeds, the ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future.

Director of Leeds Young Film Festival Martin Grund said:

“We were thrilled for Lucy and Alfie to be given the chance to appear on The One Show and meet Danny Boyle, one of the world’s greatest directors. This is the kind of opportunity that can change young people’s lives forever and we’re proud that this came about because of Leeds Young Film Festival.

“They loved the experience and in terms of raising the profile of the Leeds Young Film Festival it was fantastic. We hope lots of young people in Leeds were watching and will come along to this year’s festival while it is on and be inspired to get involved themselves.”

The episode of The One Show is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer until Sunday 31 March at

The segment with Lucy, Alfie, Jacob and Danny Boyle begins 25 minutes into the programme.

For more information on this year’s Leeds Young Film Festival visit

Notes to editors:

Leeds Young Film Festival is presented by MediaFish and Leeds City Council. MediaFish is a co-operative of young people aged 14 - 19 from Leeds that are facilitated by Leeds Young Film. MediaFish are involved in the organisation, programme and marketing of the Leeds Young Film Festival and provide a variety of film screenings, workshops and masterclasses for all ages year round.

Golden Tickets are on sale through and City Centre Box Office on 0113 224 3801 and are priced at: £15.00 Single Golden Ticket, £25 Double Golden Ticket and £40 Family Golden Ticket. For full details visit

For more information on the child friendly Leeds initiative go to


For media enquiries please contact:

Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472,

Return to longer opening hours for recycling sites

With signs of spring starting to show through the snow, the city’s household waste sorting sites will be returning to longer opening hours.

The clocks going forward on March 31 means all nine recycling centres will stay open from 8am to 6pm from Monday 1 April.

The sites are open seven days a week so residents can re-use and recycle a wide variety of items.

Everything from paint to electrical appliances, engine oil to light bulbs and soil can be taken to the recycling centres, ensuring that valuable resources are turned into other products.

Each site also has a special container so that any unwanted household items – furniture, bikes or bric-a-brac – can be donated and put to good use by local charities.

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

“The range of things that can be re-used and recycled at these sites is quite amazing. Things that people might think have no further use could be exactly what someone else needs, or component parts can be extracted and turned into something else.

“We’d like to encourage people to make full use of the recycling facilities available. We need to ensure as little as possible is sent to landfill to avoid the environmental impact and financial costs of landfill tax, so the return to longer opening hours is ideal.”

A full list of household waste sorting sites and the range of materials that can be re-used and recycled at each can be found at

Revive, the re-use shop, can be found at the East Leeds recycling centre. Run by a community interest group made up of local charities Emmaus, SLATE and SVP, unwanted items can be donated and sold back to the public at low prices.

Residents that need to use a van to bring items to the recycling sites can only do so on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Businesses can take their waste to the Kirkstall Road or East Leeds recycling sites only and relevant charges will apply.
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577