Thursday, 12 December 2013

Plans to expand White Rose Shopping Centre approved

Proposals to expand Leeds’ White Rose Shopping Centre and build a new 12-screen cinema have been given the green light by planning chiefs today.

The plans, which also include extensions to the existing Primark store and Debenhams store, new restaurants and a new car park for employees, are expected to create around 1,000 new jobs and 195 construction jobs.

The planning application presented to the City Plans Panel today (12 December) includes an employment plan which focuses on recruiting staff from nearby areas of high unemployment such as Middleton, Belle Isle, Beeston and Holbeck. The employment offer is reinforced by proposals to extend bus services to these areas.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“I welcome this scheme taking shape and the significant benefits it will bring, particularly much-needed job opportunities in construction and retail and improved transport links. This is good news for the whole city but particularly for residents in the south Leeds area.”

Members of the City Plans Panel approved the expansion of the site, subject to negotiations with the developer to ensure there is sufficient financing for any further traffic improvements.

As is usual with this type of application, the plans will also be referred to the Secretary of State to see if he wants to intervene in the process.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472

Leeds International Film Festival hits the heights

In another record-breaking year, over 35,000 people packed into venues across the city to enjoy the 27th Leeds International Film Festival (LIFF27).

Movie lovers were treated to a rich, diverse programme of scintillating film, which included 318 features, documentaries and shorts from over 50 countries. In preparing for LIFF27, more than 2000 film entries from over 60 countries were received.

After an opening festival gala, which included two special preview 3D screenings of sci-fi thriller ‘Gravity’ featuring George Clooney and Sandra Bullock at the Everyman Leeds Cinema in Trinity Leeds, some of the most acclaimed films of the year were showcased as part of the 261 screenings that were held. These included Cannes Palme D’Or winner ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’, Berlin Golden Bear winner, ‘Child’s Pose’, Alexander Payne’s latest movie ‘Nebraska’ and a rare screening of György Pálfi’s unique ‘Final Cut: Ladies and Gentleman’.

The work of Polish animator and avant-gardist Walerian Borowczyk and the great Japanese director Masaki Kobayashi were also celebrated, along with cult classics, including the UK premiere of South Korean action blockbuster ‘Cold Eyes’. Timeless box-office hits such as ‘The Exorcist’, ‘Jaws’ and ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’, also proved to be a big hit with audiences at their Leeds Town Hall screenings.

Budding filmmakers once again had the opportunity to showcase their work, as over 80 short films by new talent were judged by a five member international jury in the Short Film City category. With LIFF being one of only 70 film festivals where winners of short film and animation awards are considered for an Oscar nomination, competition from film makers is always fierce.

Preparation is now underway for the Leeds Young Film Festival (LYFF) which will be held from 31 March to 11 April 2014. For more details, please see

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

"The Leeds International Film Festival is a fantastic event, and it is brilliant that this year over 35,000 people took the opportunity to enjoy its rich, diverse programme at venues across the city.

"The feedback we have received from the public has been extremely positive, and it is amazing to think that in the run-up to the festival more than 2000 entries from over 60 countries were received, which shows just how much the event is respected around the world by film makers of all ages and genres.

"Early next year we will also again have the Leeds Young Film Festival to look forward to, and I can’t wait to see what is on offer."

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

“You Can Leave Your Cap On” and recycle more

Leave your cap on to recycle more.

Leeds residents are being encouraged to leave metal screw caps on glass bottles and jars when recycling them at the city’s bottle banks.

People can screw the aluminium tops back on empty bottles before dropping them off at recycling points and centres located across the city.

The ‘you can leave your cap on’ campaign has been designed by Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) to make sure that the aluminium caps from glass bottles such as wine, spirits and olive oil bottles are recycled.

Eye-catching stickers are being applied all 864 bottle bank sites in the city explaining why simply screwing the lid back on glass bottles can help us recycle more, and benefit the environment.

All aluminium and glass packaging is 100% recyclable; so every screw top, bottle and jar deposited in a glass bank can be transformed into something new, including more bottles, drink cans, mobile phones and even cars.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“The recycling potential of aluminium is enormous. Recycling the screw tops from glass bottles and jars is just as important as recycling the glass itself.

“With the festive season now fast-approaching it’s the ideal time to get into the habit of screwing caps back on and helping to boost our recycling figures.”

Thanks to modern recycling methods aluminium bottle tops are easier to recover for recycling when they are collected with the glass, so it is now possible to recycle and continue re-using this precious metal over and over again.

Rick Hindley, Alupro executive director, said:
“The market for aluminium bottle closures is growing rapidly, particularly for wine bottles, so it is important that we get in the habit of recycling them so that the aluminium can be re-melted and re-used. Simply screwing the top back on the empty bottle before recycling is the simplest and easiest way for people to do their bit in recovering this valuable, sustainable and recyclable material.”

Rebecca Cocking, Head of Container Affairs at British Glass, who are part-funding the Alupro campaign in association with the European Aluminium Foil Association’s (EAFA) Closure Group, said:

“We see this as an excellent campaign that both informs and helps the consumer to recycle as much as possible. It also highlights the important role bring banks play in getting good quality glass back into the system, helping saving energy and raw materials.”

So when you next recycle your empties from the night before, remember “You Can Leave Your Cap On!”


Notes to Editor:

• Funding for the “Caps and Closures” campaign is provided by the European Aluminium Foil Association (EAFA) Closure Group and British Glass, who are both seeking to improve the recycling rates of the materials (glass and aluminium).
• The Aluminium Packaging Recycling Organisation (Alupro) is a not-for-profit company which represents the leading aluminium packaging producers, reprocessors, foil converters, can makers, fillers and brand owners in the UK. Members include the full spectrum of the aluminium packaging ‘loop’.
• Alupro acts as a voice on behalf of its members on issues of government policy and legislative development. It works to meet the industry’s obligation to both achieve and exceed recycling rates for aluminium packaging, currently set for 70% by 2020.
• Ultimately Alupro’s mission is to promote, develop and sustain aluminium as the preferred sustainable packaging material.
• Initiatives focus on partnerships with local authorities, the waste management industry and the wider community recycling sector, to develop and stimulate the UK’s collection infrastructure. Current programmes include Every Can Counts, MetalMatters and the 2013 Caps & Closures campaign.
• For further information on Alupro, contact the organisation on Tel: 01527 597757, or visit

About British Glass:
• The British Glass Manufacturers’ Confederation represents the interests of all sectors of the glass industry in the UK. Its main activity is in representing the industry at European, national and local level on a wide range of topical legislative issues. It also conducts independent research into all aspects of glass production and technology.

Proposals to transform local decision making on Executive Board agenda

A range of proposals to boost the involvement of residents in local decision making is to be discussed by members of Leeds City Council’s Executive Board next week. This follows work undertaken by the council in the past year to identify how people across the city can become more engaged and contribute to key decisions that are taken in the areas where they live.

As part of recommendations which have been put forward for consideration, 10 area committees, which currently play a key role in the delivery of local key services and support for community groups, would be replaced and renamed by ‘Community Committees’.

Currently area committees set out detailed improvement plans for the areas they represent, and decide through a monitored service level agreement, where both street cleansing and environmental action should be targeted. The management and budgets of community centres are also undertaken, while funding is also provided to agencies, groups and organisations which support a range of important projects that are being delivered in communities.

The development of the ‘Community Committees’ concept would place a greater emphasis on making meetings more appealing for people to attend and make their voice heard in order to better influence the priorities and objectives that are set out by local councillors for the areas where they live. This would be delivered through an improved community engagement plan, which highlighting the activities and decisions taken by ‘Community Committees’ will target not just residents, but existing networks, forums and partners such as Parish Councils and the police.

If recommendations are supported by senior councillors at the meeting, a public consultation will be undertaken on ‘Community Committees’, prior to final arrangements being brought back to the executive board in May 2014.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

"We have worked extremely hard over the past year to investigate how we make sure that residents can have a bigger say in the key decisions that are taken by area committees.

"The area committees do an excellent job delivering key services and supporting vital local projects through the distribution of grants right across the city. Unfortunately however, residents are not always aware of what they do and the important role that they play.

"This needs to change, and we think ‘Community Committees’ could be the answer in better communicating the work that is being undertaken, increasing resident participation and strengthening our partnership working with key networks and organisations in areas across the city.

"If agreed by members of the executive board, this will give us the opportunity to undertake a full public consultation on the idea, and from here come back with some firm proposals later next year."

Notes to editors:

For more information, please see:

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