Thursday, 19 September 2013

50 days to go until RLWC2013 in Leeds

Children from Holy Family Catholic Primary and Queensway Primary schools celebrating 50 days to go until RLWC2013 in Leeds

Excitement is building in Leeds as the city prepares to host two Rugby League World Cup 2013 (RLWC2013) games this autumn.

Children from two Leeds primary schools performed Hakas on Millennium Square today, to mark 50 days to go until the first of two of the tournament’s matches are played in the city.

The pupils, from Holy Family Primary School in Armley and Queensway Primary in Yeadon, composed their own versions of the traditional ancestral war dance to celebrate New Zealand being the city’s adopted nation for this autumn’s tournament. They went head-to-head in an impressive display to give people a taste of what they can expect to see when the reigning world champions play in the city.

New Zealand will be based in Leeds for most of the tournament, and take on Papua New Guinea at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, on Friday 8 November as part of RLWC2013.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible for learning and leisure said:
“RLWC2013 is the next big sporting event to take place in the UK after the Olympics, and it’s going to be a truly world class tournament. With two games taking place at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, and New Zealand and Italy being based in the city, we are confident that the tournament will generate many benefits for residents and businesses alike.

“It’s great to see children in the city getting excited about the tournament and having the opportunity to think about and explore other cultures too. We want there to be a lasting legacy for rugby league in Leeds as a result of our role as a host city, and our range of RLWC2013 themed events have been generating great interest and many more activities will continue through the summer and until the tournament ends in November.”

Former Leeds Rhinos and England RL player Keith Senior said:
“The world cup is the biggest event in rugby league and it’s great that people will be able to see the game being played at the highest level in Leeds during RLWC2013.”

Keith also visited a Leeds primary school this week to talk about his experiences of playing in previous world cup tournaments in a special assembly. He also read specially commissioned book ‘What’s a Bear to Wear’ by children’s author Tom Palmer with pupils at Windmill Primary School to promote the importance of reading.


Additional information

RLWC2013 is coming at an exciting time for primary school physical education (PE) and sport. All primary schools in Leeds are being encouraged to sign-up to a citywide package, called ‘Active Schools’, which has been developed by Leeds City Council as a result of additional government funding aimed at improving PE, sport and physical activity in primary schools both within and outside curriculum time.

The Try Reading initiative is an Arts Council funded project to help libraries across the country work together to get more people reading in the lead up to Rugby League World Cup 2013. There are a series of events taking place in Leeds libraries up until the tournament ends in November 2013. For more information about Leeds City Council libraries visit

To ensure that as many people as possible are able to enjoy the international game once the regular season has ended, a fantastic incentive is on offer when buying tickets for the games in Leeds. When a ticket to one of the games is purchased, a ticket for the second game is then available to buy at half price. Ticket prices start at just £10 (£5 concessions) for group games and quarter-finals.

Tickets are available from the ticket office at Headingley Carnegie Stadium and the Leeds Visitor Centre at Leeds Railway Station, the opening hours of which are Monday 10am - 5.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday 9am - 5.30pm, Sunday 10am - 4pm. For more information please visit the website, email, or telephone 0113 242 5242.

Tickets can also be purchased by visiting or by calling the 24 hour Ticket Hotline on 0844 847 2013.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (07712) 214223

Council heritage sites claim learning awards

Caption: Leeds Art Gallery is one of four sites to be recognised for its commitment to learning.

Four Leeds City Council heritage sites have been awarded a top learning award.

Awarded by the Heritage Education Trust, Leeds Museum Discovery Centre, Leeds Art Gallery, Thwaite Mills Watermill and Leeds Industrial Museum have each earned a Sandford Award, which recognises the high standard of heritage learning currently on offer to visitors at each attraction.

In claiming the award which last five years, the winners will join four other sites in the city to hold the award. These include Temple Newsam House, Leeds City Museum, Abbey House Museum and Kirkstall Abbey which recently has also been shortlisted in the 'Britain’s favourite heritage site' category of the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards 2013.

This success follows the news that all nine of the council’s museums and galleries in the city have also been granted full accreditation by Arts Council England. This scheme sets nationally agreed standards for UK museums. To qualify museums must meet standards on how they are managed, for the services they offer and how they care for collections.

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

"We are very fortunate to have some fantastic arts and heritage sites across the city, and I am delighted that this has been recognised in the Sandford Awards and by Arts Council England in their Accreditation scheme.

"At each of these attractions, a lot of hard work is put in on a day-to-day basis to provide the public with a great experience, and I would personally like to thank the council’s heritage team for all their efforts.

"These awards are I believe recognition of their skill and commitment, and I look forward to seeing our heritage sites continuing to provide a great service in the future."

Notes to editors:

For more information about Leeds Museums and Galleries, please see:

For more information on the Sandford Awards, please see:

For more information on the Arts Council accreditation scheme, please see:

Full details on how to vote for Kirkstall Abbey in the BBC Countryfile awards can be found on the programme’s website at Votes can also be sent via email to The deadline to enter is September 30.

For media enquiries, please contact;

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


Leeds trolleybus scheme moves step closer as application for Transport and Works Act Order is submitted to Secretary of State


Caption: A computer-generated image of the NGT trolleybus in Leeds

Leeds’ New Generation Transport (NGT) Team has submitted an application for a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO).

Plans for developing Leeds’ £250 million New Generation Transport trolleybus scheme reach a key stage with the submission today of the application for a Transport and Works Act Order.

The TWAO will give Metro and Leeds City Council the permissions and powers needed to build and operate the system, which will be the first of its kind in the UK. Having considered the application and any objections to the scheme, the Secretary of State will then decide whether to order a Public Inquiry, which is almost certain to happen in Spring 2014.

One of the UK’s largest single investments in transport infrastructure outside of London, the 14.8km network will offer significantly improved journey times and reliability for commuters, provide a £176m a year boost for the city’s economy and could create up to 4,000 new jobs.

The application for the TWAO is made to the Secretary of State for Transport, after which members of the public and organisations have a period of 42 days, from 19 September through to 31 October, to lodge objections or register their support for the scheme.

Metro and Leeds City Council will have the chance to review objections and, where possible, will seek to resolve the issues locally through mitigation, both before and during the public inquiry.

Metro Chairman Councillor James Lewis said:

“We know from extensive consultation and recent drop-in events held in Leeds city centre that the general public has responded positively towards NGT when they have heard the facts about reduced journey times, greater reliability and the economic benefits it will bring.

“I have taken the opportunity to meet groups and individuals concerned about the scheme and know there are still some who remain opposed to it and this 42-day period is the chance for them to lodge their objections and take part in the process. We have already made important changes to the scheme in response to consultation with the public, businesses and other organisations in the city and will continue the process of listening to people’s concerns.

“Experience from other highly successful transport schemes of this scale is that they inevitably attract significant numbers of objections. We will work hard to resolve issues wherever it is practicable to do so but we are convinced that the benefits NGT will bring to Leeds and West Yorkshire will outweigh objections to the scheme.”

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

“NGT is essential for Leeds and the City Region’s future economic growth. The application for a TWAO is the next stage in delivering this important scheme.

“The case for NGT and the benefits it will bring have been extensively tested and interrogated by leading transport and engineering consultants, Department for Transport advisors and independent experts. I am therefore confident that the business case will more than stand up to inspection.

“NGT, which is forecast to carry 11 million passengers in its first year, will bring a step change in public transport in Leeds and act as a driver for future economic growth and regeneration.”

Jeff Pearey, head of the Leeds office of commercial property and investment agency Jones Lang Lasalle, said:

“The lack of an integrated transport system has held back Leeds from maximising its economic potential. NGT is the key to helping it unlock that potential for the future. It will deliver a range of benefits to the local economy, creating jobs and providing more people with easier access to the city centre.”

For commuters, NGT will mean weekly savings of over two hours for those travelling from the Bodington Park & Ride site to Leeds city centre and around 50 minutes per week for commuters using the Stourton Park & Ride.

Copies of the TWAO application will be placed in public libraries and other venues along the route and can also be viewed at To give feedback on the scheme go to


Dog warden catches litter lout in the act

The council is warning litter louts that a range of council officers can and will enforce the law if caught dropping rubbish.

The advice comes as a man from Middleton was prosecuted having failed to pay a fixed penalty notice for littering issued by a council dog warden.

Having pleaded guilty, Michael Gelder, Intake Square, Middleton, was fined £75 by Leeds magistrates last Friday, 13 September. He was also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and costs of £160.

Council dog wardens and environmental action officers have the power to enforce the Environmental Protection Act 1990. They can take action against anyone committing offences such as littering, flytipping, failing to store waste properly, dog fouling and contravening dog control orders.

In addition, other front line council staff such as housing officers and parks and countryside staff and police community support officers, are able to report offences to the council for investigation.

Gelder was seen throwing away a scrunched up cigarette packet by the dog warden in April this year. He was also witnessed lighting up and discarding the cigarette butt on the pavement.

A local resident also saw the grime crime take place. The litter had been dropped outside his home and he was angry at Gelder’s irresponsible actions.

When issued with the fixed penalty notice, Gelder was advised of the legal consequences if he didn’t pay. Non-payment resulted in prosecution.

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

“Our dog wardens are experts in their own field, however, they have the authority to take action if they see anyone dropping litter too.

“They, along with their environmental enforcement colleagues, can’t and won’t stand by if they see anyone flouting the laws designed to help keep Leeds clean.

“While the majority of people are happy to do their bit, a few still haven’t got the message that it’s not acceptable to dump rubbish and let dog poo lie in the street.

“We’ll continue to offer advice and take action to persuade people to change their attitudes and behaviour towards waste.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 395 1577