Tuesday, 5 November 2013

City’s premier awards to celebrate all that is child friendly about Leeds

Picture caption: Cllr Judith Blake with the team of young advisors who will be organising the first Child Friendly Leeds awards.
Children and young people will be at the forefront of the first ever Child Friendly Leeds awards, which are being announced today.

Leeds City Council has handed over the reins to a group of young people aged between 10 and 19, to organise and run the prestigious awards, which will take place in January 2014.

The awards will showcase the talent, achievements and energy of the city’s children and young people, as well as highlighting and celebrating what people, places and organisations are doing to make Leeds a child friendly city.

Eighteen months after HRH Queen Elizabeth II helped launched the city’s Child Friendly Leeds ambitions at Leeds City Varieties, the venue will now host the first child friendly Leeds celebratory awards, on Thursday 30 January.

Ten young people have volunteered, through the council’s ‘young advisors’ programme to organise and run the event, and young people will also form part of the judging panel.

People across the city are now being asked to nominate the place in Leeds they think is particularly child friendly. They can also make nominations for people and organisations who make a big difference to children’s lives in Leeds.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “We have spent the past 18 months spreading the message about our ambitions to be a child friendly city so now it is time to celebrate those people and organisations who are helping us achieve that.

“Becoming a child friendly city is not something, we, as a council can do alone. There are so many people across the city who have really taken on board what we are trying to achieve and these awards are a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate their great work and achievements.”

The awards are being organised by Leeds City Council with support from Leeds City Varieties and British Gas.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for leisure and skills said: “As Chair of the City Varieties Music Hall Board I am delighted that the theatre is playing such a vital role in the Child Friendly Leeds Awards. With its extensive Learning Programme for young people and a very successful youth theatre it is a perfect venue for such an event.”

The awards will be split in to four categories:
Best place in Leeds for children and young people: This is the award for the places and spaces that children and young people love spending their time: it could be a shop, a venue, a school, a youth club or a local café that always makes children and families welcome - places across the city that set an example to others.

The Children’s Champion (under 18’s, or under 25 for young people with additional needs): This is the award to celebrate a child or young person who has done or achieved something exceptional. Whether it’s someone who makes a big contribution to their local community, or caring for a friend or loved one who needs extra support, every day our children and young people do amazing things and the council wants to hear about, recognise and celebrate their contributions.

Looking after children and young people: This is the award that recognises the people who care for, support and inspire Leeds children and young people every day. Nominees could include: a kinship or foster carer who has transformed a child’s life; a teacher who inspires the imagination of their pupils; or a parent who has done something incredible for their children. The awards will celebrate what adults do every day for individuals and groups of children that make growing up in Leeds a magical and nurturing experience.

Best overall contribution to making Leeds a child friendly city: This is the award for the business, organisation, team or individual that has shown true commitment and made a meaningful contribution to making Leeds the best UK city to grow up in. It could be a business with an exemplary apprenticeship programme, a school that has made a major contribution to improving the local community, a sports club that welcomes and celebrates children and young people, or a team from a public sector organisation that demonstrates outstanding results by improving outcomes for children. The councils wants to hear about the numerous activities and initiatives across Leeds that give children and young people opportunities, inspiration and optimism for the future.

People who wish to nominate can visit: http://childfriendlyleeds.wordpress.com/nominate

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Fine for flytipping businessman

A Leeds man has learned the hard way that business and flytipping do not make good bedfellows.

Jonathan Jeffers of Fenton Place, Middleton, pleaded and was found guilty of dumping waste at Leeds Magistrates court last week.

Jeffers was fined £600 and ordered to pay costs of £667.86 plus a £60 victim surcharge.

On 17 May 2013, Leeds City Council staff were called out to clear up a bed, mattress and cushions that had been found at the side of the road on Wide Lane, Morley.

Staff were quick to pick up the dumped furniture and with the assistance of witnesses to the grime crime, environmental enforcement officers traced Jeffers.

Having delivered a bed to an elderly customer, Jeffers claimed he was doing a good deed by removing the customer’s old bed, a service his business would not normally provide.

However, instead of disposing of the bed properly, Jeffers turned a blind eye when the passenger of his vehicle simply removed the items from the van and left them by the roadside.

Magistrates said that despite his intentions, Jeffers should have ordered his employee to return the items to the van, so was just as responsible for the environmental crime.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“It’s one thing to do a good deed; however, this good deed took turned sour all too quickly.

“As a responsible, respectable business owner, it’s simply not acceptable to ignore illegal activities happening under your nose.

“The council should not be left to the count the cost of cleaning up business waste.”

Businesses should have an appropriate waste disposal contract in place.

If customers are in the market for new furniture or household goods, businesses can advise customers that many charities and organisations across the city will pick up unwanted furniture and take donations of good quality household goods and working electronics.

The council’s recycling centres also have dedicated containers so residents can drop off household goods to be re-used by local charities.

The east Leeds recycling centre at Seacroft is also home to Revive, a re-use shop selling donated items back to the public at low costs.

If large items or furniture can’t be reused, the council offers a bulky waste collection service.

For more information on re-use and recycling services in the city, please see http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/ReUse.aspx.

Flytipping can also be reported on the council’s website http://www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Street-cleaning.aspx.

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


More dates for new bin service events

With the new bin service starting in parts of Leeds on Monday 18 November, new dates are being added to the new bin service roadshow schedule.

The council’s team of expert recycling advisers will be running the events and providing face-to-face support in the run up to and early stages of the new collections. The latest dates to be added include an extra event in Otley.

A handy guide to the new alternate weekly bin collections will also be landing on people’s doorsteps over the coming weeks.

The current roadshow schedule is:

Tuesday 5 November, 2 – 4pm at Cookridge Methodist Church Hall, Otley Old Road, Cookridge
*NEW* Wednesday 6 November, 11am – 2pm, Otley Library, Nelson Street, Otley *NEW*
Thursday 7 November, 10am – 2pm at Bramley Library, Hough Lane, Bramley
Friday 8 November, 10am – 4pm at Asda Living, West Side Retail Park, Leeds Road, Guiseley
Saturday 9 November, 10am – 4pm at Bramley Shopping Centre, Town Street, Bramley
Monday 11 November, 10am – 4pm at the main shopping area, New Road Side, Horsforth
Wednesday 13 November, 10am – 4pm at the main shopping area, Town Street, Horsforth
Thursday 14 November, 11am – 1pm at the shopping area on Silk Mill Drive, Weetwood
Friday 15 November, 11am – 1pm at the shopping area on Iveson Approach, Weetwood
Saturday 16 November, 10am – 1pm at Pudsey Leisure Centre, Market Place, Pudsey
Tuesday 19 November, 10am – 4pm at Bramley Library, Hough Lane, Bramley
Wednesday 20 November, 10am – 4pm at Wetherby Market, Wetherby
Thursday 21 November, 10am – 4pm at Moor Allerton Library, Moor Allerton Centre
Saturday 23 November, 10am – 4pm at Otley Market, Market Square, Otley

The list of dates and details about the new bin service can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/New-bin-service.aspx.

Phase two of the new bin service will include all suitable homes in Adel and Wharfedale, Alwoodley, Bramley and Stanningley, Calverley and Farsley, Guiseley and Rawdon, Harewood, Horsforth, Middleton Park, Otley and Yeadon, Pudsey and Wetherby.
In addition, some suitable properties in parts of Armley, Kirkstall and Weetwood wards, along with a very limited number of properties in Farnley and Wortley and Ardsley and Robin Hood wards will be included in the next phase of the new service.

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


Four more people caught mis-using Blue Badges

More Blue Badge cheats will have to fork out over £1,000 in total for mis-using the scheme intended to help disabled people.

The four cases were heard by Leeds magistrates last week (Friday 1 November) with all four defendants being found guilty.

Three defendants – Rajinder Singh of Newton Park Drive, Rachel Daniels of Alan Crescent and Arfan Akhtar of Tagor Court, Bradford – all used badges belonging to people who had died.

On 29 April, civil enforcement officers checked a badge being displayed in car parked in a pay and display bay. The badge holder had died in 2012. Checks lead the officers to the vehicle owner who declared that Singh had been the driver at the time.

On 14 May, similar checks on a parked vehicle displaying a Blue Badge showed that Daniels had illegally used the badge of a person who had died in 2010.

Singh and Daniels were both given conditional discharges and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge each. Singh must now pay £310 in costs and Daniels must pay £110.

Civil enforcement officers also discovered one Blue Badge belonging to someone who had died in 2012 being used in two separate vehicles, one of them a hire car, on 13 March and 10 July. Various checks lead officers to Akhtar.

Akhtar was given two £70 fines and must pay a victim surcharge of £20 and £100 in costs.

Arthur Benn, of Aire Quay, tried to use a genuine Blue Badge to park in a disabled bay on 22 May.

As the badge holder wasn’t present he was using the badge illegally. Benn was fined £260 and ordered to pay £150 in costs and a £26 victim surcharge.

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

“Taking up spaces that should be available for people with a genuine need is dishonest and unfair. We can’t and won’t tolerate the Blue Badge system being abused. If you are not entitled to use a Blue Badge then these cases should serve as a severe warning.”

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.

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


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

It’s a dog’s life for owner who let pet roam free

A man from Beeston is counting the cost of letting his dog run free on the streets.

Derek Burrows, Lodge Lane, failed to appear before Leeds magistrates last month. However magistrates found Burrows guilty of contravening Leeds’ dog control orders.

He must now pay a £200 fine and costs of £476.47 plus a £20 victim surcharge.

Burrows’ dog was spotted by one of the council’s environment officers on 28 February 2013. The officer followed the dog to a property on Lodge Lane.

As all dogs are required to be on a lead when on paths, pavements or verges next to roads, the officer issued Burrows with a £75 fixed penalty notice which he failed to pay.

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

“The potential cost to life and limb of both the animal and road users of an accident caused by an unattended dog doesn’t bear thinking about.

“The dog control orders are in place to keep everyone safe but where owners neglect their duties we will continue to educate and prosecute as necessary.”

Failure to comply with dog control orders carries a maximum £1,000 fine.

If your dog does not have a collar and tag you can be prosecuted and fined up to £5,000.

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