Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Kimberley Walsh reveals route for Sky Ride Leeds


Caption: Singer Kimberley Walsh (centre) with Leader of Leeds City Council Cllr Keith Wakefield and chief executive of Leeds City Council Tom Riordan (immediately to right of Kimberley), Chair of West Yorkshire Metro Cllr James Lewis and Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Cllr Lucinda Yeadon (immediately to left of Kimberley) together with pupils from Victoria Primary School and British Cycling Ride Leaders on The Headrow in Leeds (mandatory credit to Getty Images if used)

Pop star Kimberley Walsh was in Leeds today to officially announce the route for Sky Ride Leeds on Sunday 7 July 2013. The free city ride, hosted by British Cycling and Sky, in partnership with Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Metro’s go:cycling project, is coming to Leeds for the first time and offers people of all ages and abilities the chance to ride around the city on traffic-free streets, taking in some of the city’s most popular attractions.

Sky Ride Ambassador Kimberley, who grew up in Yorkshire, will be returning to her home county on the day to officially start the ride and take in some of the five-kilometre route, which will give riders views of the iconic Leeds Town Hall, the new £60m first direct arena as well as going through the scenic University of Leeds campus.

The event also forms part of the one year to go celebrations to Leeds and Yorkshire hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France, with those taking part able to experience starting on The Headrow and a similar initial route through Leeds city centre to be used by cycling superstars such as Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome and Mark Cavendish in 12 months’ time.

Sky Ride Leeds will take place from 10am to 4pm on Sunday 7 July, with the traffic-free loop allowing participants to take part in the ride at their own pace. In addition to the main route, there will also be a shorter 500-metre city centre route open to people of all abilities, as well as a 750m loop at Woodhouse Moor.

Participants will be treated to a range of activities and entertainment throughout the day at key activity points along the route, including events hosted by the University of Leeds.

Dan Goodey from British Cycling said: “Sky Ride Leeds promises to be a fantastic event, from the start on The Headrow where the Tour de France will set off from in a year’s time to the beautiful Woodhouse Moor and Leeds University campus, cyclists will see Leeds like they never have before! This event marks also the beginning of a summer full of opportunities to get involved in cycling in Yorkshire; there has never been a better time to get on a bike!”

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said: “Sky Ride Leeds is going to be a fantastic event for everyone to be part of. Having a traffic-free ride through the city centre for the first time will be great and we hope to see thousands of people of all ages both taking part and soaking up the special atmosphere.

“With it being one year to the weekend of the Grand Départ of the Tour de France coming to Leeds, it will also offer a unique chance for people to experience just what the world’s best riders will see and feel here next July, so it should be a really memorable day.”

Carl Tinson, co-ordinator of West Yorkshire Metro’s go:cycling project, which is supporting Sky Ride events across West Yorkshire, said: “The Tour de France coming to West Yorkshire next year is creating a real buzz about cycling already and events like the Leeds Sky Ride are the perfect opportunity for people to get out there to be part of the Grand Départ.”

Sky Ride Leeds is just one of the many ways local residents can get back on their bikes across Yorkshire this summer, including further traffic-free city rides in Bradford (11th August), Hull (18th August) and York (14th September), and over 200 smaller Sky Ride Local rides with British Cycling trained ride leaders taking place across the county throughout the summer.

To view the full Sky Ride Leeds route and for more information visit:


For more information, please contact:

Simon Ansell T: 020 3003 6680 E:

Olivia Burrell T: 020 3003 6497 E:

About Sky Ride

Sky Ride Leeds is one of sixteen Sky Ride city events taking place across the UK this summer on traffic-free streets, enabling cyclists to enjoy a day of bike-based entertainment and to explore their city on two wheels with family and friends. The free events aim to encourage thousands of people, of all ages and abilities, to get on their bikes.

Sky Ride Local rides are free small, weekly community bikes rides that give participants the chance to get out and explore their local area. Led by a British Cycling trained leader, who is on hand to provide support and tips on how to improve for people of any age or ability they will be taking place across the country this summer.

In 2012 Sixteen Sky Ride City events and 1,000 Sky Ride Local rides which saw over 146,000 participants take part in Sky Ride City events and over 17,000 participants take part in Sky Ride Locals. Last year British Cycling and Sky beat their goal of getting one million more Britons on their bikes and cycling regularly (once a month) by 2013.

About British Cycling

British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI - the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport, from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team.

Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation. There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. British Cycling also works hard to represent cyclists' interests at all levels, including campaigning on important issues including road safety. As a membership organisation, British Cycling provides a suite of benefits and support to its members who currently number over 70,000. All membership revenue is invested back into cycling.

About Sky in Leeds

Sky is a leading employer in Leeds which has grown fourfold since 2006 and now employs over 1,200 people in jobs ranging from IT and marketing to customer service and journalism.

About Sky

Sky is the UK and Ireland’s leading home entertainment and Communications Company. Around 40% of all homes have a direct relationship with Sky through its range of TV, broadband and home telephony services.

Sky is the UK’s biggest investor in television content, investing more than £2.3 billion a year in channels such as Sky 1, Sky Atlantic, Sky Living, Sky Arts, Sky Sports, Sky Movies and Sky News. Around two-thirds of Sky’s content spend is invested in the UK and Sky is the fastest-growing source of investment in original British programmes. More than 30 million people watch Sky content each week.

Alongside its commitment to offering customers a greater choice of high-quality content, Sky is a leading innovator. Customers enjoy total control and flexibility over their favourite TV through Sky+, watch TV on the move through Sky Go, and enjoy the best quality TV experience at home through High Definition and 3D.

Sky distributes its content broadly over several platforms, including satellite, cable, IPTV, mobile and WiFi. NOW TV, Sky’s second consumer brand, builds on the company’s leadership in internet TV. Sky is also the UK's fastest-growing home communications company and favourite ‘triple-play’ provider of TV, broadband and home phone.

Sky believes in making a wider contribution to the communities in which it operates by taking positive action on the environment, supporting grassroots sport, opening up the arts to more people and raising the aspiration of young people in schools. Sky employs 23,500 people, has annual revenues of £6.8 billion and is estimated to support a £5.4 billion contribution to UK GDP. Sky is listed on the London Stock Exchange (BSY).


go:cycling promotes cycling across West Yorkshire through free adult cycle training, free bike maintenance sessions and working with employers to encourage cycling to, and for, work. go:cycling is co-ordinated by Metro and is being provided in partnership with West Yorkshire’s five district authorities and CTC (the national cycling charity), and is supported by the Department for Transport through the Local Sustainable Transport Fund. For more information go to

History of local suffragette Mary Gawthorpe returns to Leeds

Caption: An image of Leeds suffragette Mary Gawthorpe (mandatory credit if used to Parliamentary Archives, London. STH/DS/4/9/3)

A talk telling the story of the life of one of the unsung local heroes of the Suffragette Movement is to be held at Leeds Central Library this week.

The session will take place at the library on The Headrow from 1pm-2:30pm on Thursday 20 June, with a focus on the life of women’s suffrage campaigner Mary Gawthorpe.

Born in Woodhouse in Leeds in 1881, Mary developed a skill at public speaking through her involvement with a trade union and contact with the early socialist movement in the city. After being inspired by Christabel Pankhurst, Mary joined the campaign for women’s suffrage and was quickly appointed as national organiser for the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU).

With suffragette activity suspended at the outbreak of the First World War, Mary emigrated to America in 1915 where she took up feminist and socialist causes. After her death in 1973, her family gave all her papers to the University of New York.

The collection was recently made available commercially on microfilm and, thanks to the contributions of a number of Leeds organisations and individuals, the papers are now available at the Leeds Local and Family History section of Leeds Central Library - their sole repository in Britain.

To celebrate the papers being deposited at the library, Chair of Leeds Library Michael Meadowcroft will be presenting a talk entitled ‘Mary Gawthorpe – the Leeds Suffragette Dynamo’ in the first floor exhibition space on Thursday.

In addition, a number of local heritage organisations will be showcasing some of the collections on the history of the women’s movement in Leeds.

The event is free to attend with all welcome. No booking is required, but seating is limited so arrive early to avoid disappointment.

Leeds City Council executive member for leisure and skills Councillor Lucinda Yeadon said:

“The story of Mary Gawthorpe is a fascinating part of local history and the campaign for women’s rights, so we are very pleased to now have her papers as part of our collection in Leeds Central Library.

“Women’s rights remains an important topic both in the UK and around the world, and so this is a vital piece of history which we are very pleased has been preserved and rightfully is now part of the collection in Mary’s home city of Leeds.”

For more information in the Leeds library and information service, visit


For media enquiries please contact:

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

Safer Leeds sets out priorities to drive down local crime and disorder

The city’s community safety partnership Safer Leeds has set out six priorities for the year ahead.

Along with building on the success of the last few years in reducing the rates of domestic burglary and anti-social behaviour, the partnership will also be focusing on improving safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, supporting the work of the Leeds Families First Programme, reducing reoffending rates and tackling crime related to the misuse of drugs and alcohol.

Safer Leeds will be addressing the safeguarding of people in the city by working with partners across the city. Looking at domestic violence, hate crime and child sexual exploitation, partners will look to raise awareness of the issues and also at improving the reporting arrangements for victims.

Working with partners in health a new focus will be taken to support substance users to become drug free, and the partnership will look to continue to develop changes already underway over the coming year.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds and Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“In the last few years the partnership's priorities have focussed on reducing burglary and combating anti-social behaviour – work on both of these areas has been very successful and is something we want to continue to build on whilst also focusing on a number of other priorities.

“Burglary has fallen from over 9,000 in 2009/10 to just over 5,300 in 2012/13, which is a great result and something that we need to continue to focus on along with moving to develop other key areas of work in the city.

“Raising awareness of safeguarding and the reporting options open to anyone in the city is key – we want Leeds to be the best city in the UK and as an important part of this ambition, people need to feel safe in their homes, on the streets and in the places they go.”

There are a number of opportunities to significantly reduce crime in the city through maintaining the partnerships approach to robustly managing offenders. Work will be undertaken to look at how ex-offenders can be re-integrated in to mainstream society and diverted away from further criminality. This work will support national changes coming in through 2014 around how to manage offenders.

With the introduction of the new Police and Crime Commissioner earlier this year, the Safer Leeds partnership has made sure to reflect the wider regions plans and priorities in the city focussed strategy.


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

Household waste dumper charged

              Caption: Evidence that household waste had been dumped incorrectly

A Leeds resident who dumped rubbish at a communal recycling point faces a clean-up bill ten times more expensive than the unpaid fine for the original offence.

Enforcement officers identified Yasmine Crawford of Beckhill Vale from items she had left in bags abandoned beside the recycling point on Beckhill Approach in September 2012.

After several attempts to contact Crawford, she eventually admitted leaving the rubbish to be collected and was issued with a £75 fine as an alternative to prosecution.

Crawford failed to pay the penalty so last week magistrates fined her £75 and ordered her to pay £713 costs with a £20 victim surcharge.

The site is a known flytipping hotspot that the council monitors and regularly has to clear up.

Recycling sites across the city can be used to recycle paper, glass, plastics, food and drink cans and textiles. They should not be used as general dumping grounds. If the banks are full this can be reported on 07891 277 226 or by emailing

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

“We provide a range of services to help people recycle and dispose of their waste properly so dumping waste like this is not acceptable. It’s satisfying to know that the proactive approach of our officers means someone has been held to account for their actions.

“Thankfully, the majority of residents respect their community and behave responsibly, but we will continue working hard to pursue those who commit unacceptable environmental crimes.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Francesca Foulkes
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244