Monday, 16 December 2013

Leeds Schools Shine Bright

(picture caption)The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress Councillor Tom Murray and Mrs Edna Murray with pupils of Highfield Primary Moortown.

Eleven Leeds schools have been rewarded for their stellar performances reducing congestion on the city’s roads while keeping pupils fit and active.

The schools achieved bronze and silver awards under the national Modeshift STARS scheme, which stands for Sustainable Travel Accreditation and Recognition for Schools.

Each school reduced the number of children travelling by car through fantastic efforts promoting walking, scooting, cycling and public transport despite them all seeing an increase in pupil numbers.

They received their awards during a special ceremony held at Leeds Civic Hall on Thursday 12 December.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s Executive Board Member for Development and Economy, said:

“At a time when travelling to school by car is increasing nationally, these Leeds schools are doing a great job helping to reduce congestion and encouraging children and families to lead healthier more active lifestyles, while making sure they stay safe on our roads.”

Councillor Jane Dowson, Leeds City Council’s Lead Member for Children’s Services, said:

“It is great to see more children gaining the valuable experience of travelling to school with peers from their local area. This scheme is all about helping young people to travel more actively, safely as well as independently and we are very happy to see all these schools receiving awards today.”

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Councillor Tom Murray and Mrs Edna Murray, attended the ceremony to present the schools with their awards.

The children were treated to a special performance of The Gift of Life pantomime. The play used fun, festive characters to deliver serious road safety messages about the importance of staying safe on or near the city’s roads.

Modeshift is a national membership organisation that specialises in active and sustainable travel and provides behaviour change support for those working with children, young people, families, school communities, educational establishments and places of work.

The STARS scheme monitors travel to school patterns locally, regionally and nationally. It gathers data on travel patterns, carbon reduction and improvements in physical activity levels.

STARS is an online system that reduces the amount of time and work schools are required to undertake on travel planning, freeing them up to focus on delivering actions that make a difference to travel patterns on the journey to and from school.

The system makes it easy for schools to plan their activities and upload evidence of actions resulting in nationally recognised accreditation.

Note to editor
Below is a list of the schools which attended the ceremony and the award they received.

Brodetsky Primary School BronzeCobden Primary School SilverCookridge Holy Trinity Church
of England Primary School BronzeEbor Gardens Primary School BronzeGildersome Primary School BronzeGreenmount Primary School BronzeHighfield Primary School BronzeHorsforth Newlaithes
Primary School BronzeIreland Wood Primary School BronzeSeven Hills Primary School SilverVictoria Primary School Bronze


For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Changes to polling arrangements in Leeds

New arrangements for some polling districts as well as governance of parish and town councils have been agreed by Leeds City Council.

They affect polling stations, polling districts and arrangements for town and parish councils.

The new scheme will come into effect on Tuesday 1 April 2014. A map and supporting information about the changes are available at

Hard copies of the map and supporting information can be seen at Electoral Services, Level 2, Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds LS1 3AD, during normal office hours.

People inspecting documents at the Electoral Services office are advised to make an appointment so necessary arrangements can be made. Appointments can be arranged by calling 0113 3952858 or by emailing

This scheme has been drawn up following a public consultation which began in February.

The joint review of polling districts, places and stations will not affect Leeds City Council’s boundary, the boundaries of its eight parliamentary constituencies or its 33 city wards.


For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

New apprentices begin work in council’s parks and countryside team

Caption:-Cllr Lucinda Yeadon (front, second left) and Cllr Mark Dobson (front, centre), are joined by the new Leeds City Council parks and countryside apprentices.

Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside team has welcomed 12 new apprentices to its ranks this month.

Ranging from ages 16 to 31, the new starters, who will divide their time at the council with studying for a Level 2 or Level 3 qualification at Leeds City College, have been given an opportunity to learn their trade over a two-year period in areas across the parks and countryside service. This includes 11 apprentices beginning work in the gardening team and one in business partnerships.

The apprentices, who fought off competition from over 240 other applicants to earn a place on the scheme, will be based in a number of locations across the city, including Lotherton Hall, Middleton Park and Roundhay Park.

This is the first formal apprenticeship programme to be undertaken by the parks and countryside department since the last set of recruits arrived in 1984. Many of these apprentices still work for the council today, which includes the current head of service Sean Flesher, who is a graduate of the scheme.

As part of the programme, each apprentice will have access to a skilled mentor offering advice, guidance and support and be given the opportunity to develop their skills in other areas including forestry and golf course maintenance.

On hand to meet and welcome the apprentices to the team at Golden Acre Park was Leeds City Council’s executive board member for the environment, Councillor Mark Dobson and Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure & skills.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:

"I am delighted that as part of our new apprenticeship scheme, we have welcomed our first 12 recruits to the council’s parks and countryside team.

"A number of former apprentices are still working in the service, and when you consider that our chief officer is a former graduate, it just goes to show what can be achieved through programmes such as this one."

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

"This is great news, and we are looking forward to providing all our apprentices at the council with the opportunity to not only learn a new trade, but also work closely with a skilled mentor offering advice, guidance and support."

Sean Flesher, Leeds City Council’s chief officer for Parks & Countryside said:

"Carrying out an apprenticeship with the parks and countryside service here in Leeds gave me the perfect start in the landscape industry and it is fantastic to see through this new programme more young people being given the same chance I had."

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