Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Eyes on the prize as Leeds in Bloom photo competition opens

Caption: Winning images which appear in the 2013 Leeds in Bloom calendar include (from top) 'Spring Daffodils' by Sarah Webster, 'Summer Flowers' by Andrew Craddy and 'Winter Colour' by John Harkness

Budding photographers in Leeds are being encouraged to focus their lenses on their local park as part of a competition to celebrate nature and wildlife in the city.

Entries for the annual Leeds in Bloom calendar competition are now open, with people of all ages invited to take a photo of a park or green space in the city for the chance to be chosen as one of the 12 winning images which will make up the official 2014 calendar.

Aside from seeing their image in print, the winners will also receive prizemoney of £100 from parcel delivery service Hermes, sponsor of Leeds in Bloom. New for this year’s competition is a separate category for those aged 16 and under, with the winners and their schools each receiving horticulture vouchers from sponsors Evans Property Group.

Entries for the competition are now being accepted by email to or through the post on a disk to Richard Gill, Farnley Hall, Hall Lane, Leeds, LS12 5HA. The deadline for entries is Friday 27 September 2013.

The calendar competition is just one of the range of annual Leeds in Bloom competitions promoting horticultural excellence which is run by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside service and Leeds Floral Initiative.

The Business in Bloom competition is already underway, with companies, schools and community groups taking part by displaying hanging baskets and colourful window boxes to complement the council’s floral displays. Spring judging takes later this month, with summer judging to follow in July.

The residential gardens competition continues to grow in popularity each year, with any resident of Leeds able to take part in one of three categories: Large Garden, Small Garden and Floral Plant Container. Judging takes place in July with gold, silver and bronze awards on offer.

Taking the challenge beyond the city limits, Leeds will also be strongly represented at regional and national level this year, with more than 20 community groups taking part in Yorkshire in Bloom and Britain in Bloom.

Judging for Yorkshire in Bloom takes place in July, while groups from Barwick and Garforth will be taking on the best in country as they compete in the national RHS Britain in Bloom competition.

The city of Leeds will also be competing in Britain in Bloom, hoping to go one better than last year’s silver medal and with the ultimate aim of winning the coveted best large city in the UK crown for the first time ever. The city will be judged in August with the result announced in October.

Leeds City Council executive member for the environment Councillor Mark Dobson said:

“Leeds in Bloom is a fantastic initiative which everyone in Leeds can play their part in, from schools to homeowners, community groups, businesses and photographers for the calendar competition. It really does bring people together and helps to make Leeds look fantastic, especially during the summer months.

“As a council we are very proud to work with the Leeds Floral Initiative and sponsors Hermes and Evans Property Group to manage Leeds in Bloom, and we look forward to seeing more great entries this year and hopefully our best-ever results at Britain in Bloom.”

For more information on Leeds in Bloom, visit


For media enquiries please contact:

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

Statement following the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Yorkshire & The Humber) meeting on Wednesday, 10 April 2013

The following statement has been issued by the chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber Councillor John Illingworth, regarding today’s meeting where events leading to the recent pause of children’s heart surgery services at Leeds General Infirmary were discussed with Dr Mike Bewick of NHS England.

Chair of the Joint Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) for Yorkshire and the Humber Councillor John Illingworth said:
“At today’s meeting both NHS England and the Care Quality Commission confirmed that Children’s Heart Surgery Services at Leeds General Infirmary are safe.

“This is the confirmation that we have been waiting for and a very positive outcome. We still need answers to a substantial number of questions relating to the Safe and Sustainable process over the past five years, but the improved openness from NHS England was encouraging and I am hopeful that we will get the answers to our questions very quickly and be able to put this whole unfortunate episode behind us.

“Our prime concern throughout has been the welfare of the children concerned and limiting the anxiety of their parents and families. We hope that the restoration of services and the outcome of the joint review being made available through NHS England and Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust will bring families peace of mind and the certainty that their children are in safe hands. We must now focus our attention on the ongoing issue of retaining these key services in Leeds for children and families across the whole of Yorkshire and the Humber.”


For media enquiries, please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office Tel: (0113) 395 1578

Leeds Rhinos to receive ‘Leeds Award’ honour

Caption: Leeds Rhinos stars Danny McGuire (top image) and with teammate Rob Burrow (below) demonstrating the club's work in the community which is recognised in their nomination for the Leeds Award (images courtesy of Leeds Rhinos)

Super League Champions Leeds Rhinos are to be honoured by their home city by being given the prestigious Leeds Award.

The Headingley Carnegie club has been nominated for its active role in the local community as well as the on-field success which has seen the Rhinos win five of the last six Grand Finals and also crowned World Club Champions three times in the last eight years.

The nomination will be formally debated at a forthcoming meeting of Leeds City Council, where it is expected to be unanimously endorsed.

Leeds Rhinos will be the first team ever to win the Leeds Award, which recognises those ‘that bring great credit to the city through their exceptional hard work and dedication’.

The nomination recognises the role the club plays in the local community via their charity, Leeds Rugby Foundation, supporting a wide range of events, activities and projects across the city with the players acting as role models and ambassadors in particular encouraging young people in Leeds to develop their talents.

An example of this is Leeds City Council’s Child Friendly Leeds initiative, the ambition to make Leeds the best city for children and young people to thrive and look forward to a brighter future. Leeds Rhinos are backing the initiative, with Great Britain and England international Danny McGuire recently becoming an official ambassador.

The award also reflects the spectacular on-field success the Rhinos have enjoyed over the last 10 years, which has seen them become the dominant force in British rugby league as well as world champions three times, while they have also reached the Challenge Cup Final five times in that period.

This success has seen the profile and reputation of the club and the city boosted both in the UK and all over the world, with the award also being a recognition of that impact.

The Leeds Award is expected to be formally presented to the club by the Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield at Headingley Carnegie Stadium ahead of the Super League match with Castleford Tigers on Friday 7 June.

Leeds Rhinos Chief Executive Gary Hetherington said:

“We're delighted to be the first team to have this wonderful award bestowed on us and it recognises the pride everyone connected with the Rhinos has for Leeds.”

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“Leeds Rhinos are an amazing success story for Leeds in so many ways, but one element of their work which is perhaps not fully recognised is the invaluable role they play in the local community.

“The support they provide to a huge range of events and activities and in particular encouraging young people to lead active, healthy lives is fantastic. That willingness to get involved in day-to-day life in Leeds along with their superb achievements on the field means the Leeds Award is richly deserved and reflects the immense pride the city feels towards the Rhinos.”

Councillor Andrew Carter, Leader of the Conservative Group, said:

“As a team and as individuals the Leeds Rhinos have brought great credit and excellent publicity to the city. Over the past few years their sporting achievements have been formidable. I am delighted to support their nomination for the Leeds Award.”

Councillor Stewart Golton, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said:

“Leeds Rhinos are not only sporting ambassadors for the city, but through their philosophy of investing in the community they have inspired others to achieve more, particularly through their personal development. The nomination for the Leeds Award is well deserved and I’m glad to be able to offer my support.”

Notes to editors:

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