Thursday, 18 July 2013

Leeds funding bid successful for more school places

Funding to expand seven schools has been secured by Leeds City Council which will help create an extra 1,250 school places for Leeds pupils by 2015.

It has been announced today that Leeds was successful in its bid for funding through the government’s Targeted Basic Need programme.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“We welcome this funding which will help us continue our on-going city-wide school expansion programme which has already created 1020 school places since 2009.

“Ensuring we have enough school places for all children and young people is a high priority in Leeds and we have been working very hard to mitigate the impact of rising pupil numbers across the city.

“The increasing birth rate, along with people moving into the city, and cross-border movement between neighbouring authorities, as well as new housing developments means there are still ongoing pressures we need to address over the next four years.

“This funding will enable us to allocate more of our existing capital to other schools in areas where demand for places is high. We are especially pleased that two of the schools we have received funding for are for children with special educational needs.

“We are disappointed that our bid for a further four schools was not successful, but we are constantly working to ensure no child is without a school place.”

The Department for Education’s Targeted Basic Need Programme will fund the provision of new, high quality school places in locations experiencing basic need pressures in order to prepare for future rises in pupil numbers. It gives additional support to those local authorities experiencing the greatest pressure on places by funding new academies and free schools as well as enabling investment to expand outstanding and good schools with high levels of demand.
Bids submitted to the Targeted Basic Need Programme had to meet specific criteria including:
• Schools proposed for expansion must be rated good or outstanding by Ofsted and significantly oversubscribed.
• Any new school must be proposed on land owned by or readily available to, the local authority.
• An assumption that where the local authority seeks to create a new school it is under a duty to seek proposals to establish that school as a free school or academy.
• Providing an initial assessment of how we propose to ensure quality and diversity of new schools and evidence of a range of potential sponsors
• There needed to be a reasonable degree of certainty that any highways and planning issues could be overcome.
• The places must be available for September 2014 or 2015 at the latest.

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

Festive flytipper now on Santa’s naughty list

Festive cheer has turned into festive “oh dear” for Christmas flytipper who has now been fined.

Christmas packaging, cardboard delivery boxes, plastic bags and other items were found by street cleaning staff in a layby on the A58 Wetherby Road.

They’d been left in between litter bins some time between Christmas 2012 and 3 January 2013 when staff went to empty the bins. The rubbish was blowing into nearby hedges and fields.

The dumper, Ross McCormack of Bardsey, was identified by enforcement officers who were called to investigate the offending items.

McCormack, was handed a £200 fine by Leeds magistrates today. He’s also been ordered to pay £883.25 in costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

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

“Our recycling centres are open throughout the festive period to specifically allow people to recycle the extra waste that’s created at that time of year. In fact, our recycling centres only shut three days a year.

“While the items in this case may have been left by litter bins with the misdirected idea that they’d be picked up as litter, this is a simple case of flytipping. Litter bins are for litter, not household waste.

“We’re determined to stamp out this kind of lazy behaviour and we will take action against those who fail to help us keep Leeds clean and green.”

Caption: Street cleaning staff found festive waste dumped on the A58.

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

Lord Mayor to attend East End Park community event

An annual community event in East End Park will be given the seal of approval this week by the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Tom Murray.

Held on Saturday 20 July from 11.30am-3.30pm, ‘Lark in the Park’ will once again have a wide range of fun and free activities for families of all ages to enjoy.

On offer will be a variety of food stalls, while music and entertainment, including a DJ workshop, will also be provided.

For those visitors who want to do something a little bit more energetic, there will also be the opportunity to play a number of sports including football, tennis, rugby league and boxing, take on a climbing wall and learn circus and den making skills.

A number of organisations have played their part in the delivery of Lark in the Park with local group Community Unit leading on the planning of the event, which is also supported by local councillors.

Funded through the Inner East Area committee, East North East Homes and Community First, along with fundraising and donations from local organisations, the Lord Mayor of Leeds will also be accompanied at the event by the Lady Mayoress, Edna Murray.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Cllr Tom Murray said:

“I am looking forward to attending Lark in the Park, which is a fantastic community event held every year in East End Park.

“Events such as these really are a great example of a community coming together, and I would like to thank everyone who has played their part in the organisation of this occasion.

“There will be a wide-range of free and fun activities for all the family to enjoy on the day, and both I and the Lady Mayoress are really looking forward to joining in the fun.”

Notes to editors:

Lark in the Park has been delivered partnership with Leeds City Council, Friends of End Park, East North East Homes, Zest and Richmond Hill Elderly Action.

Funding for the event has been secured through Inner East Area Committee Wellbeing budget, East North East Homes Area Panel, Community First, donations from local organisations and fundraising.

For further information, please contact: or visit the events Facebook page:

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578