Friday, 8 November 2013

Comment following the RLWC2013 match in Leeds on 8 November

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for learning and skills said:

"The atmosphere at Headingley Carnegie Stadium tonight was fantastic with a brilliant match, a mass busk of 100 poets and performances from school children from across the city! Well done to the Kiwis on such a convincing win! And commiserations to PNG as they now exit the tournament.

"With attendance of 18,180, this has been the biggest crowd for a match not involving a host nation of the tournament so far. The crowd is also the fifth highest of all time in the World Cup for a pool game not involving a host nation and the second biggest crowd for a World Cup game in Headingley’s history.

"It just goes to show how passionate we are about rugby league in Leeds and West Yorkshire, and I hope that people will come out in force again for next Friday's quarter-final match, where New Zealand will continue their defence of their world title against either Italy or Scotland. It promises to be another fantastic occasion and chance to show the world why Leeds is the best rugby league city in the UK."


For media enquiries contact
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council
(07712) 214223

Christmas lights switch-on event a big hit in Leeds

Caption 1: The new Leeds Children's Mayor Charlotte Williams with The Vamps.

Caption 2: Fireworks light up the sky after the switch-on.

It was another night to remember in Leeds, as the city centre’s Christmas lights were switched-on in style.

On hand to entertain the large crowd were up and coming boy band Rubylux, Australian singer Gabriella Cilmi, The Vamps, Same Difference and the winner of Leeds City Council’s annual Breeze Has Talent competition, Kirsty White.

A range of sporting stars also made an appearance, including Leeds United Manager Brian McDermott who was joined by Captain Rudy Austin and teammate Jason Pearce, the Leeds Rhinos and boxing Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams. Santa Claus was also present on stage to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Also present was the Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray, and the new Children’s Mayor, Charlotte Williams.

Enjoying their first time at the switch-on event and second time in the city were The Vamps, who said they were really looking forward to playing in front of such a big, excitable crowd.

Brother and sister singing duo Sean and Sarah Smith of Same Difference fame also gave fans a taster of what they can expect from their upcoming appearance in the Leeds Carriageworks Theatre pantomime production of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, with a fun-filled performance.

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

"The Christmas lights switch-on was a brilliant event, and it was fantastic to see so many people attend on the night and enjoy the wide range of entertainment on offer.

"This is always a great way to kick-off the festive season, and with a number of events also being held right across the city centre as part of our Winter WonderLeeds’ programme, this promises to be a very special Christmas."

Notes to editors:

For further information regarding Winter WonderLeeds, please visit:

Tickets are now available for the pantomime ‘Sleeping Beauty’ which runs from Friday 6 December 2013 to Saturday 11 January 2014 at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds. Book online at or call the box office on 0113 224 3801.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

New Leeds Children’s Mayor wants more children to get on their bikes!

Picture caption: "The new Leeds Children's Mayor: Charlotte Williams from Rufford Park Primary in Yeadon"

Picture caption: "The ten finalists in the Leeds Children's Mayor competition."
After four weeks of voting and more than 6,800 votes cast, the new Leeds Children’s Mayor has been announced as Charlotte Williams from Rufford Park Primary School in Yeadon.

Charlotte, who is in Year 6, won the competition after people across Leeds voted hers as their favourite of the 10 manifestos in the final.

Each of the manifestos submitted had to be based on one of the 12 wishes for Leeds becoming a Child Friendly City and Charlotte’s linked to the wish “Children and young people can make safe journeys around the city”. Charlotte’s manifesto, ‘Life Cycle of Leeds’ aims to promote cycling to children in Leeds, and was inspired by Paralympian cyclist Dame Sarah Storey.

As well as promoting cycling by improving cycle access to places like schools, leisure centres and the city centre, Charlotte also proposes to provide safe areas to lock-up bikes and ‘borrow-a-bike’ schemes. In her manifesto Charlotte also considered how she could raise money for the project.

As her first official engagement, Charlotte accompanied the Lord Mayor of Leeds to the switching on of the Leeds Christmas Lights last night. Charlotte will also have the chance to present her manifesto at a full council meeting in January amongst many other duties she will be involved with over the next year.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray said: “The calibre of the manifestos this year was excellent, and the pupils all came up with some great ideas. It is fantastic that so many people voted this year too – there were double the number of votes cast than last year.

“Charlotte’s manifesto was great - very thorough and current – with the Tour De France starting in Leeds, next year will be a very exciting time to be the Leeds Children’s Mayor.

”All the young people have done extremely well to get through to the final of the competition and I hope they all continue with their interest in local democracy.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “What a marvellous achievement for Charlotte. She has shown some great ideas with her manifesto and I can’t wait to work with her in the future.

“As the new Leeds Children’s Mayor, Charlotte will get the chance to be an ambassador for all children in Leeds and help us achieve our aim to be a Child Friendly City.

“The year ahead is very exciting and I am sure Charlotte will be involved in many of the events including the Remembrance Sunday Service and the first Child Friendly Leeds awards in January.”

Charlotte’s full manifesto can be found here:'s_Mayor_Candidate:_Rufford_Park_Primary_School

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

Making school meals healthy and fun

Picture caption (l-r): "Helen Yafet, Lionel Cerberak and Mehvish Rafiq from Harehills Primary School - who use a family style service where older children serve the school dinners to the younger ones."
Children across Leeds are being invited to design their own healthy and fun school lunch as part of a competition run by Catering Leeds for National School Meals week.

Leeds City Council’s catering team, Catering Leeds, is asking all schools in the city to get involved in the competition which could see one pupil’s meal be included on the menu for all schools who are catered for by the service.

National School meals week is now in its 20th year and this year’s theme is celebrating all that is great about school lunches.

The children will complete a fun activity sheet which will help their understanding of a great school lunch as the children get to design their own idea for a school meal. There are three prizes up for grabs:

1st prize: A class trip for 60 children to the Stockbridge Technology Centre to learn about food production

2nd prize: Either a cookery demonstration for parents on how to make great, healthy food on a budget or a cookery lesson for children from Catering Leeds’ Executive Chef.

3rd prize: £100 towards equipment and seeds to kick start a ‘Growing Club’ in school.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “The competition is a great way for children and young people to get involved in school meals and gives them the opportunity to have a say over what they would like to see on the menu.
“Nutrition plays a vital role in young people’s well-being and how they perform at school. I would encourage more pupils to think about having school meals as they really do make such a difference to the school day.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said: “The work being done by our catering service to increase the uptake of school meals is fantastic. They encourage schools to look beyond lunchtime and include healthy food and nutrition in the whole school day by promoting growing clubs whose produce is then used in the school kitchen.

“School meals week is a great opportunity to further demonstrate the great work the team do to make school meals interesting, healthy and fun.”

Margaret Broughton, head teacher of Harehills primary school said:
"Here at Harehills, we believe that school meals are an important part of our learning curriculum. Through family service our childrne learn to be a family where older chidlren take care of the younger younger children on their table daily. Serving food and supporting each other."

Catering Leeds is at the forefront of school meals provision, with two members of the team being part of an expert panel which developed the national ‘School Food Plan’, which was unveiled in July.

Myles Bremner, director of the School Food Plan visited Leeds during National School Meals week to discuss how Leeds can further contribute towards meeting the School Food Plan and its objectives.

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

Lunch hour with a difference thanks to Leeds meals on wheels team

People in Leeds will get a taste of the award-winning work done by the city’s meals-on-wheels team next week.

Leeds City Council’s Community Meals Leeds team will be out around the city, showing their support for National Community Meals Week, which runs from Nov 11-15.

The week recognises the vital role the service plays in the lives of local elderly and vulnerable people.

As part of the week’s activities, the Community Meals Leeds team will bring one of their vans to Dortmund Square in the city centre next Thursday.

They will be offering lunchtime shoppers and workers a chance to sample some of the 124,000 meals they provide to more than 500 local residents every year.

To kick off the week of events, Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, will be delivering a meal to a customer on Monday as well as handing out important information about staying warm and safe this winter.

The Community Meals Leeds team will also be working with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service in a bid to help reduce fires in the homes of vulnerable older people.

Cllr Ogilvie said: “Our dedicated community meals team makes a massive difference to the lives of residents across Leeds each and every day and National Community Meals week is a great way of highlighting the excellent work the team does.

“The service not only makes sure vulnerable residents have a hot meal, it also helps to make sure they don’t become isolated and gives them the added reassurance of knowing they will have a regular visitor.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“The hard work of our community meals team here in Leeds means that hundreds of vulnerable local residents have the important extra support they need to live independent lives in their own homes.

“I hope that National Community Meals week will help to highlight the positive impact this service has on tackling isolation and keeping our residents safe, happy and healthy.

“Earlier this year Community Meals Leeds was announced as the winner of the National Association of Care Catering’s (NACC) National Community Meals Award. The prestigious award recognises the authority, business or individual who has proved themselves the best at providing the vital resource to elderly and vulnerable residents.

“The service has also been delivering hot meals to Leeds residents for more than 40 years.”


-Media are invited to Dortmund Square on Thursday, November 14 at 12 noon. Members of the Community Meals Leeds team will be giving people a chance to try some of their meals and will be available for photographs.

- For more details, contact:
Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937