Friday, 15 November 2013

Comment from Leeds City Council following New Zealand's win over Scotland at Headingley Carnegie Stadium on 15 November 2013

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills said:
“It’s been another fantastic RLWC2013 night at Headingley Carnegie Stadium, with a great win for New Zealand, who have now booked their place in the semi-finals.

“I hope that Scotland felt the warmth of the Yorkshire welcome they were given here in Leeds, and commiserations to them as they now exit the competition, but with their heads held high.

“On behalf of everyone in Leeds I want to wish the Kiwis all the very best for the rest of the tournament as they continue the defence of their world title.

“The NZ squad and coaching staff took part in lots of community events and activities whilst they were here and I want to thank them for doing so. It really helped to generate a buzz and excitement about RLWC2013 coming to Leeds, and made it a really memorable occasion for so many people.

“Over the last two years partners from across the city have worked collaboratively to deliver a memorable world cup. I would like to thank the many sporting and cultural organisations who helped to create a really special and successful event that has shown why Leeds is the best city in the UK for rugby league.”


For media enquiries please contact
Claire Macklam (07712) 214223

Peer support group on song with arts award win

Picture shows Ken and Beth Hindley with items during a workshop held at West Yorkshire Playhouse

A peer support group for people living with dementia in Leeds has been hitting the high notes by winning a local arts award.

The Cultural Partnership group, part of Leeds City Council’s Peer Support Service, won the Arts in Health award at the recent Love Arts Leeds festival.

The group runs a programme of activities at arts and heritage venues including the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre and the Leeds Central Library.

A recent project saw the group, for people in the early stages of dementia and their carers, share their favourite memories of hit musicals they had seen.

Members also met theatre staff and crew members and even created and recorded their own song as part of the Musical Memories scheme.

Other projects the group has been working on include their current series of Wild World workshops, looking at animals and the natural environment, which has seen the group study the collection at the Leeds Museum Discovery Centre.

Deborah Marshall, a peer support co-ordinator who works with the group, said: “Everyone involved with our cultural partnership is very proud that we’ve won this award.

“For our Musical Memories project, we looked back on some of our favourite musicals and talked about our memories of them which everyone really enjoyed.

“Our partnership work with the Playhouse has given participants a chance to meet with some of the cast of their productions and the full partnership has supported the creation of our own theatre programme.”

She added: “The idea of all our cultural projects is to open up opportunities for people living with dementia to engage with the arts, history, new learning and reminiscence in a supported environment.

“The sessions can provide an opportunity for people to re-engage with things that are important to them, things that can often be limited or lost during the experience of dementia. Confidence, wellbeing and self-esteem are improved for many people living with dementia attending the groups.”

The Cultural Partnership group meets once a week and currently has around 20 members.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said: “Our peer support service plays a hugely important role in helping to reassure those with dementia that there is support there from people with a real understanding of what they are going through and that they don’t have to cope alone.

“The Cultural Partnership is a wonderful example of some of the fun and innovative work being done by the service and they thoroughly deserve this award.”

The Love Arts Awards recognise the contribution of people, groups and organisations in Yorkshire who have made a difference to people’s mental wellbeing through the arts.

For more information on the council’s peer support service, visit

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

Statement from Leeds City Council regarding recovering court costs from former chairman of Montpellier Estates Ltd

A spokeswoman for Leeds City Council said:
“It is very disappointing that despite giving us a written undertaking that she would personally pay any cost order that her company, Montpellier Estates Ltd, could not meet, as well as the High Court making an order for her to pay interim costs of £2m by the 14 November 2013 – Jan Fletcher has as yet made no payment to us. No credible proposal for paying our costs has been brought forward either.

“In the circumstances, where we have had to defend a case which the Judge said should “never have been brought”, we have been left with no option but to enforce the order against Jan Fletcher to recover the public money we are due.

“We would be failing in our duty to the council tax payers of Leeds if we did not actively pursue these very large costs.”

Legal proceedings background:
On October 17 2013 Mr Justice Supperstone granted permission to Leeds City Council to pursue former Montpellier Estates Ltd (MEL) chairman Jan Fletcher for its legal costs in defending the company’s failed Leeds Arena court case.

Mr Justice Supperstone also issued an order that Ms Fletcher pay interim costs of £2 million before November 14, pending a final decision on the total amount due. This was after he agreed an application from the council at the High Court in Leeds to join her into its claim for costs against MEL.

The council’s application was based on an earlier personal undertaking from Ms Fletcher to cover the costs should the company be unable to do so. She gave the written undertaking to the council in July 2012, guaranteeing payment in the event of MEL both losing the case and not being able to pay up.

The council then served a winding up petition on the company in July and announced it was still seeking to recover legal costs from their former chairman Ms Fletcher

On April 25 2013 Mr Justice Supperstone, sitting in the High Court in Leeds, awarded Leeds City Council interim costs of £2m against Montpellier Estates Ltd (MEL) following their failed attempt to sue the council over the awarding of development rights to the £60m Leeds Arena. The costs were an interim payment pending a future decision on the total amount to be paid.

Mr Justice Supperstone had originally handed down a ruling on February 6 2013 dismissing entirely claims for more than £43.5 million in damages for alleged deceit and flawed procurement under European regulations brought by MEL against the council.

He also rejected allegations of fraud and dishonesty against eight named individuals connected to LCC and the arena project.

The judge said that the council was perfectly entitled to bring the competitive tendering exercise to a close when other bids were found not to be good value for money and then develop the arena itself. The original hearing took place in London’s High Court over nine weeks towards the end of 2012.

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