Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Abandoning HS2 will not deliver alternative transport options for the North

Cancelling HS2 will leave the North without transport alternatives, says a new report welcomed by Leeds’ transport chief.

The chair of Metro, Cllr James Lewis has welcomed a report by the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group, published yesterday, which argues that cancelling HS2 would see the North miss out on huge numbers of jobs and significant economic development.

The report claims that cancelling HS2 would not, as critics claim, leave the DfT with a huge fund to plough into alternative transport investment, but would instead see the majority of projected funding going to pay off national debt. The remaining funds would be insufficient to address the needs of the North’s cities for increased capacity and connectivity.

The report puts paid to claims that the £42bn allocated to fund the major project, which will see a north-south high speed train line, would be better spent on regional transport projects. It highlights the need for a line to ease pressure on the aging West Coast and East Coast mainlines.

The report highlights the importance of Northern cities such as Leeds in boosting the UK’s economic growth alongside London. Report lead Jim Steer, Director of Greengauge 21 said:

“Strong regional centres are essential for the UK’s economic growth, creating a better balance with an economy that doesn’t rely solely on the capital. This report shows that without HS2 our regional economies will not benefit from connectivity which would boost jobs, tourism and development in cities across the North.”

The chair of Metro, Cllr James Lewis welcomed the report’s findings, saying:

“HS2 affords Leeds and the wider city region with the opportunity to accelerate growth, create thousands of jobs and increase prosperity – on a scale we have never seen before. This new report supports the argument that HS2 is the only way to ensure that Leeds can continue its rapid development and continue to be one of the major driving forces behind the wider UK economy.”



About the report:

The report, written by the High Speed Rail Industry Leaders Group, was published on Tuesday 4th March 2014. A copy of the report is available here:

For media enquiries please contact:

Laura Ferris,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel. 0113 2275472

Apprentices and employers honoured at Leeds Apprenticeship Awards 2014

Caption: Winners of the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards on stage last night with Councillor Judith Blake (far left), deputy leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, the council's executive member for leisure and skills, and Cllr Ron Grahame, lead member for employment and skills for the Inner East Area Committee (both far right)

Apprentices and employers enjoyed a night to remember at the Leeds Apprenticeship Awards.

At last night’s (Tuesday's) prestigious ceremony, held at Leeds Civic Hall, ten local apprentices and four employers were recognised for the outstanding contribution they have made to the Leeds economy.

Now in their third year, the council-run awards welcomed His Royal Highness The Duke of York KG, who met a number of the nominees at a special reception ahead of the main ceremony.

The reception was part of The Duke’s visit to the Leeds City Region, which was organised to encourage more small businesses to recruit apprentices.

Both the awards and The Duke’s visit took place during National Apprenticeship Week, which runs from March 3-7.

Among last night’s award-winners was 20 year-old Jasmine Cawkwell, who was named Higher Apprentice of the Year.

Jasmine, who works at local law firm Gordons LLP, was praised by the judging panel after her appointment to the Leeds Junior Lawyers division, a role which has never been performed by a non-solicitor before.

Joining Jasmine among the winners was Graham Walters, 22, an apprentice at engineering, IT and facilities firm NG Bailey, who was named an Advanced Apprentice of the Year.

Judges highlighted Graham’s ability to take on tasks usually associated with more senior staff as well as his “fantastic personal skills”.

Winners of the Intermediate Apprentice of the Year awards included Leeds City Council’s Nathan Stevens, 20, who judges said had made a positive impression on everyone around him, and Sandinista Ltd’s Tamsyn Barker, 21, who was recognised for her commitment and determination.

The awards also saw the city’s small, medium and large employers honoured.

The Bright Screw Company Ltd were named Small Employer of the Year, along with Nexus Telecommunications Ltd.

Arena Group were awarded the tile of Medium Employer of the Year while Large Employer of the Year went to BAE Systems.

Speakers at the awards ceremony included Councillor Judith Blake, deputy leader of Leeds City Council, and Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, executive member for leisure and skills.

Speaking after the awards, Cllr Yeadon said:

“Once again these awards have given us a chance to celebrate the vital contribution apprentices and their employers make to our city and its economy.

“All our award-winners are shining examples of how hard work, passion and dedication can see young people accomplish their goals and be successful in whatever career they choose.

“I hope seeing what our apprentices and employers have accomplished here will encourage even more businesses and individuals in Leeds to get behind the apprenticeship programme both now and in the future.”

For details about apprenticeships and opportunities in Leeds, visit


A video highlighting the benefits of apprentices for businesses in Leeds is available at:

Full list of award-winners:

Intermediate Apprentice of the Year

-Holly Buxton
Gordons LLP
Training Provider - Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

-Paul Atkinson
Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust
Training Provider - Leeds City College

-Tamsyn Barker
Sandinista Ltd.
Training Provider - Leeds City College

-Edward Green
New Wortley Community Centre
Training Provider – ESG

-Jessica McCulloch
Professional Creations Ltd.
Training Provider -Leeds City College

-Nathan Stevens
Leeds City Council
Training Provider - Harrogate College

Advanced Apprentice of the Year

- Graham Walters
NG Bailey
Training Provider - Leeds College of Building

-Lucy Paine
Training Provider - Partnership Development Solutions Ltd.

-Jacob Saunders
Sulzer Pumps UK Ltd.
Training Provider – Appris

Higher Apprentice of the Year

Jasmine Cawkwell
Gordons LLP
Training Provider - Chartered Institute of Legal Executives

Small Employer of the Year

-The Bright Screw Company Ltd.
-Nexus Telecommunications Ltd.

Medium Employer of the Year

-Arena Group

Large Employer of the Year

-BAE Systems

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

Leeds Museums and Galleries chief to reveal favourite pieces from collections in new book

Caption: Pieces from collections chosen by Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries John Roles will feature in a new book.

A new book that will reveal which pieces from collections to grace the city over the years have been chosen by John Roles, head of Leeds Museums and Galleries as his own personal favourites, is to be published this month.

With over 30 years of experience in museums, John, who has been Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries since 2004, will reveal his own selection of appealing and interesting pieces from the council’s collections, and provide a personal insight and commentary into the reasons why he chose them, as part of a new ‘Director’s Choice’ series by publishers Scala. Also set to feature in this Director’s Series includes ‘Chatsworth by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire’, and ‘Mauritshuis by Emilie Gordenker’.

With an estimated 1.3 million objects in its rich and diverse collections which have a reputation for their quality, depth and unique nature, John was faced with a number of difficult decisions when making his choices, as he considered displays which have graced sites across the city over the years.

John Roles, Head of Leeds Museums and Galleries said:

"It is a real privilege for me to be given this opportunity by Scala Publishing to select my own favourite pieces from the wonderful collections’ which have featured at Leeds Museums and Galleries over the years. Making a decision on which pieces should be included was extremely difficult, and did result in a couple of sleepless nights!

"I hope people find the book an insightful and interesting read, and I look forward to hearing their thoughts on my choices, and questions as to why I left other collections out!"

Notes to editors:

Leeds Museums and Galleries cares for some of the finest collections in the country with their fine arts, decorative arts, natural history and industrial collections having been given Designated status by the government, because of their national or international significance.

Many of the objects and works of art featured in the book are on display across the city at Leeds Art Gallery, Leeds City Museum, Lotherton Hall, Kirkstall Abbey, Temple Newsam House, Abbey House Museum, Thwaite Mills Watermill and Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills. Others are being cared for at Leeds Discovery Centre, the service’s state of the art custom built museum store which is open to the public for tours on Thursdays.

The book Leeds Museums and Galleries – Directors Choice by John Roles will be published in March and available to buy from Leeds Museum and Galleries gift shops priced at £9.50.

Leeds Museums and Galleries is the largest local authority-run museum service in England and has one of the larger and most significant multidisciplinary collections in the UK.

Leeds museums and Galleries exists to collect, preserve and interpret historic, cultural and scientific collections and historic sites and use them as inspiration for educating, entertaining and inspiring the people of Leeds as well as visitors to the city.

For more information about the service and its nine attractions visit

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