Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Public to decide which pictures make final cut for photography exhibition

Caption: The Natural Beauty 2 exhibition will open on 7 February 2014.

Entries which just missed out on being included in a fantastic wildlife photography exhibition set to be launched at Leeds City Museum next month could be given a lifeline by the public vote.

Over 1,000 entries were submitted to the ‘Natural Beauty’ wildlife photography competition, which was divided into seven categories: Beautiful Yorkshire, Leeds Wildlife, Wild Yorkshire, Animal Behaviour, British Wildlife, World Wildlife and Beautiful Botany. The competition gave keen photographers of all ages and abilities the chance to showcase their work to a panel of expert judges, which included professional photographer Sara Porter and the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray.

After much consideration, just over 100 of the entries have been chosen to feature in the new 'Natural Beauty 2' exhibition and be considered for the top prize in each of the categories. The winners in both the 15 years and under and 16 years and over age ranges will be revealed when the exhibition opens early next month.

Such was the high standard of entries that were received as part of the competition, Leeds City Museum is giving the public the chance to decide which three pictures from a 20-strong shortlist that initially missed the cut for inclusion, should also be displayed at the exhibition.

Opening on Friday 17 January until midnight on Friday 31 January, people will be able to register their preference by taking a look at the dedicated photo album on the museum’s Facebook page and ’liking’ their favourite photographs.

The three photos with the most likes by 31 January will then be displayed alongside the yet to be announced winners and highly commended entries of the seven different categories in the Natural Beauty 2 exhibition, which will be officially opened to the public on Friday 7 February.

For more details on the exhibition and updates, please see: www.leeds.gov.uk/naturalbeauty, via Twitter @LeedsMuseums and on Facebook: www.facebook.com/LeedsMuseumsandGalleries

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

"The standard of photographs we received for the Natural Beauty competition was unbelievable, and I certainly did not envy the judges having to whittle down the shortlist to just over 100.

"We have now decided that 20 photographs which just missed the cut for inclusion in the exhibition be given a second chance, and it is going to be exciting to see which three pictures the public decides should join the winning entries and all of the shortlisted pictures in being displayed at Leeds City Museum.

"Due to the tight timescales judging is only open for two weeks, so please don’t miss out on your chance to vote for your favourite entry."

Notes to editors:

Natural Beauty is kindly sponsored by CC Imaging, Ark Display Graphics, Dale Photographic and Pictures Plus.

To find out more about Natural Beauty visit the webpage at www.leeds.gov.uk/naturalbeauty

Leeds City Museum is a free attraction located just up the steps on Millennium Square in Leeds city centre.

Admission free. Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays 11am-5pm), Tues, Weds and Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat and Sun 11am-5pm.

www.leeds.gov.uk/citymuseum

Millennium Square, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 8BH.

For media enquiries, please contact;

Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk

Traffic Signals at Horsforth Roundabout get the Green Light

Senior councillors in Leeds are set to give the green light to a £2.8million scheme tackling congestion at one of the city’s busiest roundabouts.

New traffic signals will be introduced this summer at Horsforth roundabout, which is currently the focus of severe congestion, especially during peak periods.

This congestion is due to high volumes of traffic approaching from both the A65 and the Outer Ring Road, which converge at the roundabout.

Leeds City Council’s highways and transportation team has developed a scheme to ease congestion which would see the introduction of new traffic signals managing traffic flow through the junction avoiding blockages from stationary traffic on the roundabout.

Initial works will involve some advanced diversion of underground services before the main highway works commence later this year – the main works are expected to take eight months to complete.

The need to tackle this issue has been ramped up by planning approval being granted for a major new housing development on the site of the former Clariant Works off Calverley Lane, which will result in an increase in local traffic levels.

Central Government funding has also recently been secured to contribute towards further signalisation work on Rodley Roundabout, at the adjacent junction on the ring road. The detailed design for this scheme is currently being draw up.

Leeds City Council executive board member for the economy and development Councillor Richard Lewis said:

“Horsforth roundabout can be a nightmare to traffic from all directions and regardless of the nearby development we would have taken action to improve conditions for road users.

“This is a huge scheme which will take some time to complete but it will transform a vital roundabout on our road network. I believe the scheme, along with the improvements planned for the Rodley roundabout, will prove transformational to the movement of traffic in west Leeds.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk

Council launches new scheme to free up housing stock

Leeds City Council is introducing a new incentive scheme to allow tenants to move between properties to free up much needed housing stock.

The council suspended its under occupation incentive scheme in June 2012 and recommended proposals for a new scheme to be developed in response to the welfare changes which came into effect in April 2013.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board next week (Wednesday 22 January) members will be asked to approve the report proposal for maximising the use of council homes to replace the old under occupation scheme.

The new scheme will seek to encourage moves which will allow for the release of one and two bedroom properties, along with adapted properties where the tenant no longer requires the adaptations. The council will also be looking to invest in council housing multi story flats to make them more attractive to a wider audience of council tenants.

With the introduction of welfare reforms in April 2013 the council has seen a sharp rise in the need for one bedroom properties.

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

“Since the introduction of the government’s welfare changes we have seen the demand for one bedroom properties increase dramatically and the demand for two bed multi story flats has decreased.

“We want to make the process of moving between properties flexible and ensure our tenants are all living in the right size property for their needs.

“If this scheme is put in place we will be able to maximise the use of council stock by releasing high demand properties and encouraging moves to properties which are experiencing lower demand.“

Notes to editors:

The previous under occupation incentive scheme assisted 527 council tenants to move to a smaller property, realising a total of 888 bedrooms, which were then re-let to customers on the waiting list.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk