Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Leeds claims top honours in Yorkshire in Bloom awards

Caption: (L-R)-Lady Mayoress Edna Murray, Cllr Mark Dobson, Richard Gill (Leeds City Council's Floral Initiative officer), the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr Thomas Murray, and Bob Bradley (Leeds City Council's parks and countryside team.)

The city of Leeds has earned two prestigious prizes in this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom awards.

Announced at a ceremony in York this week, Leeds was named as the winner of the Large City category, and was also awarded The Yorkshire Rose Chairman’s award which recognises a community that has made outstanding efforts to promote all aspects of the different ‘in bloom’ campaigns.

It was also a night of success for local ‘in bloom groups’, as Shadwell and Kippax were named as category winners in their respective classes, while Woodlesford, Calverley, Scholes and Rothwell also claimed gold awards.

Pudsey, Ledston, Great & Little Preston, Micklefield, Bramham, Allerton Bywater, Beeston, Holbeck, Bramhope, Horsforth and Otley also picked up a Silver Gilt medal, while Swillington received a Silver.

These awards follows a visit which was made by the Yorkshire in Bloom judges to Leeds earlier in the year where they visited a number green spaces, squares and gardens in both the city centre and outer area communities.

Next up is the Britain in Bloom awards this October, with groups from both Barwick and Garforth vying for honours.

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

"It really is fantastic news that we were able to earn both the Large City and Chairman’s prizes at this year’s Yorkshire in Bloom awards.

"This really is a great achievement, which was again capped by the success of our local ‘in bloom’ groups, who year in, year out do such a great job in making communities right across the city look so great.

"These types of awards do not just happen by accident, but by the dedication of so many people. I would personally like to thank our community groups, ‘in bloom’ groups, friends of groups and the council’s parks and countryside team for their continued hard work and commitment."

Notes to editors:

Shadwell in Bloom were named the winners in the Large Village category.

Kippax in Bloom were named the winners in the Urban Community category.

For more information on the respective categories and awards, please see: http://www.yorkshireinbloom.co.uk/page83/Results-For-2013-And-Previous-Years for more details.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578
Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Warning issued to Blue Badge cheats

Two people caught abusing Blue Badges to get round parking rules have been prosecuted.

Penalties totalling £990 have been handed out by magistrates in the past week after both people used a Blue Badge that belonged to a relative to park for free.

Blue Badges can only be used if the badge holder is present.

The prosecutions come as the council continues to crack down on people who illegitimately park in spaces intended only for disabled people.

Tina Birch, of Graveleythorpe Road, Whitkirk, pleaded guilty and was fined £150, ordered to pay £200 costs plus a £20 victim surcharge.

Wasim Rashid, of Bracken Hill, Moortown, was fined £200 and ordered to pay £400 costs as well as a £20 victim surcharge.

In both cases, civil enforcement officers witnessed the offenders parking in a pay and display space. Both were alone and were seen placing a Blue Badge on their dashboards before walking off and making no attempt to pay.

Upon questioning and investigation, officers discovered the badges Birch and Rashid had displayed had been genuinely issued to a family member. As it is an offence to use a Blue Badge unless the badge holder is present, and both failed to pay for parking, legal proceedings were started.

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

“While it might be handy for you to use a badge issued to a relative or friend, ultimately you are inconveniencing others who have a genuine need and putting them at a disadvantage.

“If you are the driver for a Blue Badge holder then you can only use the badge if they are with you. If you attempt to flout these rules then you need to be prepared to face the consequences of a criminal record.

“We’ll continue to ensure Blue Badges are used properly and fairly and we won’t hesitate to take action against those who abuse the system.”

People could have their Blue Badges revoked or renewal refused if they or others persistently abuse them.

They also face a maximum £1,000 fine if prosecuted and found guilty of abusing the system.

The council has a number of other prosecutions pending for those caught mis-using Blue Badges.

See www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/pages/blue-badge-parking.aspx and www.gov.uk/browse/driving/blue-badge-parking for more information.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

Kick start for parks in Leeds as they are converted for two years to go celebrations

Today (Wednesday 18 September) marks two years to go until the third largest sporting event in the world comes to England – Rugby World Cup 2015.

The Rugby Football Union (RFU) has launched a national campaign today– Posts in the Park- to encourage more people to get involved in rugby through making the sport more accessible to members of the public.

As part of the campaign, each of the host cities for the England Rugby World Cup 2015 will receive ten rugby posts to place in and around the city, with the first post being installed to mark two years to go until the tournament. The individual posts will be used as part of the wider world cup legacy work in the city and will offer a focus for informal rugby activity in parks and other open spaces.

Roundhay Park will be the first park in Leeds to have the posts installed on Wednesday 18 September; with a further nine posts being installed in various locations across the city in coming months.


Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for the environment said:

“Posts in the Park is the perfect opportunity for people to get outside and be active whilst celebrating the countdown to a fantastic global event. This campaign is a way of offering people across our city a go at rugby, when they may not otherwise have access to it.


“Leeds is building a real sporting legacy, and is great to know we have yet another world class event to look forward to being involved in. Planning is well under way and we have an exciting two years to look forward too before the main tournament.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for people to get involved be it through volunteering, experiencing the fan zones, buying tickets, watching the games on TV or simply enjoying the atmosphere in Leeds.”

Elland Road Stadium has been named as one of the venues to stage fixtures when the Rugby World Cup 2015 comes to England. Leeds will host two games, the first Canada against Italy on Saturday 26 September 2015 and the second Scotland against Americas 2 on Sunday 27 September.

For more information about the Rugby World Cup and to receive updates sign up to www.rugbyworldcup/frontrow.


Ends

For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk