Friday, 31 January 2014

Top care advisor to visit Leeds adult social care projects

One of the country’s top care experts will visit Leeds to find out about projects making a difference to the city’s vulnerable residents.

Dame Philippa Russell DBE, who is the chair of the government’s Standing Commission on Carers advisory panel, will travel to the city on a two-day fact finding exercise next week.

Dame Philippa will be meeting with officials from Leeds City Council’s adult social care team and partners in a bid to learn more about the work being done locally to help those with mental health needs and their carers.

The visit will begin on Tuesday (Feb, 4) with a presentation about the council’s Peer Support and Personalisation Project.

The project works to boost the number of service users in Leeds receiving focused support, which can include setting personal budgets and getting dedicated peer support from people with their own experience of mental health issues.

The event will continue on Wednesday (Feb, 5) with a visit to the adult social care team’s Killingbeck offices.

There Dame Philippa will hear about the Carers’ Emergency Plan service, which can provide a replacement for a family carer for up to 48 hours in a crisis.

Over the two days, Dame Philippa will also visit charity Carers Leeds as well as some of the council’s healthcare partners.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“We’re really looking forward to welcoming Dame Philippa to Leeds next week.

“High profile visits like these not only allow us to show some examples of the great work that’s going on in our city, they also give us the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience of someone with a real insight into the issues and challenges facing adult social care in the UK.

“Sharing our progress and ideas, as well as learning from each other through events like this, can give a big boost to our efforts to ensure vulnerable people in Leeds have the best possible care and support.”

As well as being chair of the of government's Standing Commission on Carers, Dame Philippa is also a member of the Cross Government Programme Board for the Carers Strategy and of the Ministerial Advisory Group on the Mental Health Strategy.

She is a member of the Programme Board for the Think Local, Act Personal Partnership (TLAP) and of the TLAP National Co-Production Advisory Group, representing carers' interests.

The mother of a son with a learning disability, Dame Philippa was also formerly a commissioner with the Disability Rights Commission and Director of the Council for Disabled Children.

In 2005, she was awarded the RADAR (Royal Association of Disability and Rehabilitation) Lifetime Achievement Award for the furtherance of the human and civil rights of disabled people.


For more information, contact:

Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

Further work to be completed at Tropical World

Due to continued refurbishment work, the Arnold and Marjorie Ziff Tropical World in Roundhay Park is now set to reopen on February 17.

The site is presently undergoing some essential maintenance including significant electrical improvements and the annual spring clean.

Once completed, this work will be followed later in the year by phase 2 of an overall £720,000 refurbishment project. These improvements will help ensure that Tropical World continues to be a venue which is enjoyed by an estimated 300,000 visitors each year.

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

First ever Child Friendly Leeds champions announced

Caption: Winner of The Children's Champion Award, Nathan Popple with carer Chantal Terry

The winners of the first ever Child Friendly Leeds awards were announced in a glittering ceremony last night (Thursday 30 January) at Leeds City Varieties.

The awards, led by Leeds City Council with support from British Gas and Leeds City Varieties, celebrated some of the people, places and organisations helping to make Leeds a child friendly city.

Over 300 nominations came in for inspirational children and young people, child friendly places, people who go the extra mile, and great organisations, with the winners announced at tonight’s special event.

The awards showcased the talent, achievements and energy of the city’s children and young people, as well as highlighting and celebrating what people, places and organisations are doing to make Leeds a child friendly city.

It was a particularly proud night for Y Productions – the group of young volunteers aged between 10 and 19, recruited through the council’s Young Advisors programme and the City Varieties theatre group – who planned and ran the event from start to finish. Thanks to their hard work the audience were treated a night to remember with performances from a variety of Leeds-based stars-in-the-making that included dancing; magic; confetti and a film première.

The children’s champion award went to Nathan Popple, 17, from north Leeds who created the website to review accessibility in Leeds venues and campaign for change.

Winner of the looking after children and young people award was John Forbes, a foster carer and chair of the Foster Carer Liaison Group for many years. He has made a difference to many children’s lives in Leeds and inspired others to become foster carers.

The title of best place for children and young people, receiving many nominations for the activities and support they provide, was First Floor, West Yorkshire Playhouse.

Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL) were given the prize for best overall contribution to child friendly Leeds and closed the show with a fantastic performance.

Eighteen months after HRH Queen Elizabeth II helped launched the city’s Child Friendly Leeds ambitions at Leeds City Varieties, it was fitting that the venue hosted the first child friendly Leeds celebratory awards.

Nadia Maumonait, from the Y Productions planning group, explained how much working on the awards meant to her and the team.

Nadia said:
“I enjoyed the fact that I got to work with lots of new people and I had the opportunity to get involved and make a difference in something as big as this.

“I have learnt how to be a really good team member and how anyone can get involved to be a part of Child Friendly Leeds.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“The awards received hundreds of nominations, which goes to show how much fantastic work is going on in Leeds to make it a great place to grow up. Congratulations to all the winners and nominees, they are shining examples of what it really means to be child friendly: great places for children to play and learn and listen to their voices so we change what we do, to make our city better.

“Becoming a child friendly city is something that everybody can get involved in. So many people across the city have got right behind our ambition and these awards are a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate their great work and achievements.”

The awards themselves reflect the growing partnership between different organisations to promote the child friendly city work. Particular support was received from British Gas, who sponsored the whole event and City Varieties who hosted the event at no cost and supported the young people’s planning group to run the event through workshops, training and much more. Leeds First Direct Arena also donated prizes and gave the members of Y Productions a special treat for their hard work organising the event.

Cllr Blake added:
“The success of this event owes a huge amount to the support of several businesses, who have shared our enthusiasm for celebrating people in our city who are helping to make Leeds a great place to grow up.

“We always welcome more businesses that are willing to make a pledge about they can help make Leeds a great place to live for all our children and young people.”

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive member responsible for leisure and skills and chair of the City Varieties Music Hall board said:
“I am delighted that the theatre is playing such a vital role in the Child Friendly Leeds Awards. With its extensive Learning Programme for young people and a very successful youth theatre it is a perfect venue for such an event.”

Alison Bush from British Gas in Leeds, said:
“We employ over 2,000 in Leeds, many who will be parents themselves, which is why we are sponsoring the awards for the first time this year. I was impressed not only by the number but also the quality of the entries. I’d like to congratulate all the winners and finalists who help make Leeds a safe and secure place for children and young people to live in and enjoy.”

For more information about how to get involved see and

The Child Friendly Leeds campaign is backed by the Yorkshire Evening Post. They recently threw their weight behind the vision of Leeds to be the best city in the country for children and young people to grow up in.

The Yorkshire Evening Post has launched a survey aimed at improving the lives of youngsters across the city and to give them a voice. The paper is also calling on the business community to sign a pledge to give their assurances they will provide opportunities to brighten the prospects for every child living in Leeds.

A full list of the shortlisted nominees:

Children’s champion
Francis Edwards (17, North Leeds): a member of Leeds Youth Council, Francis campaigns for wheelchair access and volunteers at a riding centre for disabled children.
Natasha Raistrick (15, South Leeds): volunteers at Breeze on Tour, Breeze Friday Night project and a local summer camp.
Nathan Popple (16, North West Leeds): created to review accessibility and campaign for change.
Paul Cowling (16, North East Leeds): organised a youth forum leading to the development of a skate park and holiday activities in Swillington.
Zak Kershaw (13, South Leeds): a member of Youth Matters, Zak gets involved with everything from interviewing staff to supporting the minibus driver.

Looking after children and young people
Kathy Burgess: a deaf blind communicator in Leeds, her support changes children’s lives.
Angela Morris & Julie Calvert: as foster carers, the commitment, love and security they show supports children in their care to succeed.
John Forbes: a key member of the Foster Carer Liaison Group and a dedicated foster carer for many years, he has made a difference to many children in Leeds.
Abdul Ghafoor Ratyal: a governor and supplementary school teacher, Abdul supports children through education and cultural activities.
Mandy Brown: a travel buddy for young people with additional needs, Mandy’s compassionate approach gains fantastic feedback.

Best place in Leeds for children and young people
Abbey House Museum & Kirkstall Abbey: a unique and delightful place for children to learn and have fun.
The ArtBug Studio: an art studio just for children and young people.
First Floor, West Yorkshire Playhouse: music, drama and art activities for children and young people
The Beck: one-to-one support, group work, sports activities, parent/carer support, counselling and more!
Herd Farm Activity Centre: activity sessions, educational courses and weekend stays for children and young people in a beautiful setting.

Best overall contribution to child friendly Leeds
Out 2 25: activities, support and a non-judgemental meeting space for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning young people.
Dance Action Zone Leeds (DAZL): an inspirational and inclusive dance group in Leeds.
The Grand Theatre & City Varieties Learning Team: arts and performance opportunities from backstage tours to youth theatre, holiday activities and more.
Trinity Leeds: Leeds’ latest shopping centre, the team have supported exciting projects benefitting the city’s children and young people.
Catering Leeds provides an enjoyable, healthy and child-centred lunchtime experience for children and young people in Leeds schools.

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

Work starts at Elland Road park and ride

Picture caption: Councillors Richard Lewis and James Lewis kicking-off work at the Elland Road park and ride scheme

Heavy machinery has arrived at Elland Road to begin work on a £2.8m congestion-busting scheme.

Construction of the city’s first major 800-space park and ride scheme is underway this week seeing installation of a new high quality surface, bus waiting facilities, shelters, lighting, signage, ticketing machines, fences, CCTV and landscaping.

Collaboration between Leeds City Council, Metro and First Group will see express double-decker buses running every 10 minutes between the new park and ride facility and Boar Lane in Leeds city centre.

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

“The Elland Road park and ride is just part of our future plans to offer Leeds residents better, cheaper more efficient travel options. It is a fantastic use of existing car parking space and a hassle-free alternative to parking in the city centre.

“We are committed to driving down congestion and this project will certainly help bring the number of cars in the city down.

“Thanks to this initiative motorists can leave their cars behind knowing they will be safe and secure and enjoy a short, cheap ride into the city centre. Leeds has not had a purposed-built bus-based park and ride of this size before and it brings us on par with some of the other major cities we are surrounded by. It is not before time and I look forward to other schemes in the near future.”

Return fares will be around £3 making it cheaper than parking in the city centre and self-service ticketing kiosks will enable passengers to top up smartcard tickets with the advantage of smartcard discounts and special offers.

Journeys will take around six minutes with additional stops in the south of the city centre for the fast-growing numbers of people working in that area. Operated by First Group, the services will run from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday apart from Saturday match-days when Leeds United Football Club play at home.

Metro Chair Councillor James Lewis said:

“Providing people with quick, comfortable and frequent journeys between an easily accessible park and ride site and the heart of Leeds will help to reduce the numbers of cars on city centre roads.

“As well as improved air quality, reduced congestion means the easier flow of goods which benefits businesses and the local economy.”

Work on the new scheme is expected to be completed by mid-June in time for the Tour de France Grand Depart.

Bob Dorr, service delivery director for First in West Yorkshire>, said:

"We are delighted that work has started on this important Park and Ride project and we look forward to welcoming customers on board our vehicles later this year.”

Forming part of a wider ‘Elland Road masterplan’ the scheme was first outlined in 2007 with the intention of regenerating the area around the football ground along with Beeston and Holbeck.

Future plans will see a new permanent ice rink being created adjacent to the proposed park and ride area scheduled to open in autumn this year. Construction is also underway at Elland Road on the new divisional headquarters for West Yorkshire's Police and Crime Commissioner

Highways improvements will aid access to the main Elland Road entrance to the park and ride site, which will include 15 dedicated disabled parking spaces.


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

Lotherton Hall set to become home of new Fashion Galleries

Picture 1-Selection of 1950’s dresses from the Dress & Textiles collection to be displayed from March 2015 in the new Fashion Galleries.

Picture 2-Alexander McQueen coat 2012, part of the current exhibition Dressed for Battle, displayed until Sept 2014.

One of the city’s most popular museums has been awarded £150,000 of funding to refurbish its exhibition spaces and become the home of the new Fashion Galleries.

Awarded from the Department for Culture Media and Sport and Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund, this investment will support Lotherton Hall in one of its key ambitions to become a major museum of fashion and textiles. As part of the planned work, several rooms will be refurbished and a new lift installed so visitors can have full access to the much loved country house as well as the exciting modern exhibition spaces.

The redevelopment will create an up to date 21st century gallery space; with modern cases, improved lighting and the chance to utilise technology, which will allow opportunities to include new elements like film and sound in the galleries.

When completed, Lotherton Hall will become one of the largest spaces in the north of England to provide a regular programme of fashion and textile exhibitions by having a changing show each year. The flexibility of the new galleries will allow for more of the collection to be displayed, with the new modern cases creating greater hanging space for larger textiles. In addition, the improved lighting and security mean Lotherton Hall can now look to borrow other fantastic pieces from other museum’s collections.

Work will begin behind the scenes this summer and the current exhibition, Dressed for Battle will close in September with the view to launching the Fashion Galleries in March 2015 with a debut exhibition showcasing fabulous fifties fashions from the collection.

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

"It is really fantastic news that one of our city’s most popular visitor attractions Lotherton Hall has been awarded this funding, which will aid our ambition to make the museum a major venue for fashion and textiles.

"A range of refurbishment work will be undertaken as part of the project, and we can’t wait to see the final results when the Fashion Galleries are re-launched at Lotherton Hall in March 2015.”

Paul Ramsbottom, Chief Executive of the Wolfson Foundation said:

"We are pleased to be working with government to fund outstanding projects at museums and galleries across England. The DCMS/Wolfson Fund is an excellent example of how a funding charity and government department can work productively together. The projects supported this round are impressive, and will help inspire visitors to the country’s wonderful museums and galleries."

Notes to editors:

Lotherton Hall:

Lotherton Hall Estate is a charming Edwardian house and country estate. A single entrance price allows access to the house, with its wonderful collections of fine and decorative arts and a dedicated fashion gallery, and extensive grounds with an abundance of activities to keep everyone busy. The estate grounds include wildlife walks, formal gardens, the Bird Garden, historic stables, a deer park, playgrounds as well as gift shop and café. Lotherton Hall has undergone numerous changes over the last few years since becoming one whole visitor attraction. With this new and larger audience the house has adapted by improving access and introducing a new range of family-friendly facilities. These include the popular dressing-up room, curiosity cabinets and new this year is the Gascoignes Abroad interactive with stories of six family travels to different lands and sound and smell activities in the historic rooms. Other recent improvements have seen the re-opening of the Servants’ Rooms on the ground floor following a major restoration last year.

The dress and textiles collection at Leeds Museums and Galleries is recognised by the Arts Council’s Designation Scheme as a collection of national and international importance because of the quality and range of the items. From Elizabethan textiles and eighteenth century ladies dresses, to the latest Alexander McQueen coat, the collection gives us insight into 500 years of fashion and furnishings. As the main gallery for displaying Leeds Museums and Galleries’ dress and textiles collection and as one of the few places left in the region with a dedicated space for such displays, these galleries will be a unique feature for both Lotherton Hall and the people of Leeds.

Lotherton Hall has been displaying fashion since its early days of being a museum in 1968, showing fine examples of both historic and more contemporary fashions. In the late 1960s it was decided to build on the collection by acquiring more contemporary British designs and fashions. It is at this time that Lotherton Hall gained a reputation for curating innovative displays looking at contemporary fashion and showcasing British designers such as Jean Muir, Bill Gibb and Vivienne Westwood. There is now everything from high end fashion items collected for their excellence in cut, construction and aesthetic beauty - to items that have been collected because they have a unique and local significance to the area of Leeds and the surrounding Yorkshire region.

Address: Lotherton Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB
Tel: 0113 281 3259
Web address:
See our member’s page for year round entry:
Summer opening times (March to October) House, café, shop and bird garden: 10:00 to 17:00 with last entry at 16:15. Estate gates: 07:30 to 20:00.
Winter opening times (November - February) House, café, shop and bird garden: 10:00 to 16:00 with last entry at 15:15. Estate gates: 07:30 to 17:00. (limited entry to house during January and February)

Arts Council Designation Scheme:

The Arts Council Collection England Designation Scheme identifies the pre-eminent collections of national and international importance held in England's non-national museums, libraries and archives, based on their quality and significance. These inspiring collections represent a vital part of national cultural and artistic heritage. The scheme was launched in 1997 and now recognises 140 collections held in museums, libraries and archives, it recognises that organisations with Designated collections care for a significant part of England’s cultural heritage and sets out to raise standards across the sector. See for more information.

Department for Culture Media and Sport and Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund:

The Fund aims to provide capital funding for museums and galleries across England to deliver projects in one or a number of the following key areas:
a. Renovation and improvement of the display of exhibits in permanent galleries and exhibition spaces;
b. Improvements to public spaces and access to the collection;
c. Physical improvements to access for disabled visitors;
d. Physical improvements to collection interpretation;
e. Improvements to environmental controls in public access spaces and galleries, in the context of improvements to visitor experience.

There are four categories of institution which are eligible to apply for grants from the DCMS/Wolfson Fund. These are: museums and galleries directly sponsored by DCMS; designated university-based collections; museums/museums services with designated collections; and museums/museums services with non-designated collections which have either been part of a Renaissance Regional Hub or which became a Renaissance Major Partner in 2012.

The Wolfson Foundation is a charity that was established in 1955. The Foundation supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science and medicine, health, education and the arts & humanities. All funding is based on expert peer review. Over £750 million (£1.25 billion in real terms) has been awarded in grants to some 10,000 projects over the last 58 years.

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

Lord Mayor message on Chinese New Year

The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray would like to wish the Chinese community of the city a Happy New Year, as we enter the year of the horse today, January 31.

As part of the celebrations, the Lord Mayor will be present at two events in Leeds to bring in the Chinese New Year. These will include on Sunday 2 February joining the Leeds Chinese Community Association at the Leeds Town Hall, and on Tuesday 4 February, attending the Oriental City Chinese restaurant, as part of an occasion organised by the Leeds Wah Kwong Chinese Association.

The city of Leeds is continuing to build positive links with China, which includes becoming a partner city with Hangzhou, and in 2012 hosting the Chinese Olympic Team as part of the London 2012 Olympics.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Thomas Murray said:

"I would like to take the opportunity to wish the Chinese community of Leeds a very happy and fruitful New Year.

"This is always a fantastic occasion, and I am really looking forward to attending two events in our city with the Chinese community as the celebrations of the year of the horse begin."

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

Takeaway owner sentenced for gas safety failures

A Leeds takeaway owner has been handed a suspended prison sentence for serious gas safety failures.

Khalid Hussain, owner of Wajs Pizza Bar on Leeds Road, Allerton Bywater, appeared at Leeds Magistrates' Court.

Following a guilty plea, Magistrates sentenced him in relation to him eight separate counts yesterday (Thursday, Jan 30).

Hussain was sentenced to four months in prison, suspended for 12 months. He was also ordered to complete 300 hours of community service, and ordered to pay £200 towards costs along with an £80 victim surcharge.

Initial investigations by Leeds City Council environmental health officers in October 2011 uncovered significant issues with the gas cooker, gas system and gas catering equipment.

Flame failure devices had been overridden on the gas cooker and there was no flue extraction system in the premises for gas operated equipment. Pipework and equipment fell significantly below current safety standards and were posing an imminent risk.

A number of enforcement notices were served on Hussain requiring him to immediately fix the defective appliances and pipework. He consistently failed to call in the relevant experts to make the repairs leaving staff and customers at risk from the dangerous appliances.

Council environmental health officers accompanied by a specialist inspector from the Health and Safety Executive revisited the property in June 2012.

Officers were so concerned about the hazardous conditions they found, that the gas appliances were seized and dismantled and the gas supply disconnected.

When disconnecting the supply it was discovered that someone had tapped into the gas supply illegally by removing the gas meter from the premises.

The business has now ceased trading.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“Blatantly disregarding the health and safety of your staff and customers in the pursuit of profit seriously calls into question your standing as a reputable business person.

“There is no excuse for putting people at such risk. This isn’t about red tape or bureaucracy, but keeping people safe and adverting potential disasters.

“Our staff will continue to offer their advice and expertise to help keep businesses on the right side of the law, but we won’t hesitate to take action should they be found flouting the rules and putting people at serious risk.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577