Friday, 27 June 2014

Media opportunity - VIP treat for Leeds pupils taking on the School Cycle Challenge

Pedal powered primary school pupils from all over Leeds will be descending on Temple Newsam Park next week to try to become the next Chris Froome at their very own cycling competition.

A host of international cycling royalty will be there to cheer on the sporty pupils, and present the prizes at the Leeds School Cycle Challenge, on Tuesday 1 July.

Olympic gold medallist Chris Boardman and five-time winner of the Tour de France Bernard Hinault, will be joined by Christian Prudhomme, director of Le Tour and Welcome to Yorkshire’s Gary Verity to meet and encourage the city’s next generation of cyclists.

Media opportunity:
When: Tuesday 1 July, 9am to 3pm (please see itinerary below for specific timings)
Where: Temple Newsam Park
Members of the media are welcome to attend the Leeds School Cycle Challenge. Bernard Hinault, will start the Yellow cycle race at 1.15pm. All VIPs will meet the children at around 2pm, and Chris Boardman and the Lord Mayor will present the winners at around 2.30pm.

The event which will unite pupils from 50 primary schools and five Specialist Inclusive Learning Centres (SILCs) across the city will have races suitable for all ages and abilities, including a scooter race and an adapted cycle race. The challenge brings the pupils together in the week leading up the Tour de France Grand Départ – taking place in Leeds on Saturday 5 July.

The pupils will be taking part in the ‘Yellow’ endurance race, a ‘Green’ sprint/ time trial, a ‘Polka Dot’ uphill race, a ‘White’ scooter race for younger children, a ‘Red’ scooter and assault course race, and an adapted cycle race for SILC pupils.

Chris Boardman who himself won three stages of the Tour de France, as well as setting numerous world records (some of which still stand) and is one of Britain's most successful cyclists to date, will present the jersey race winners with their prizes alongside Leeds City Council leader Cllr Keith Wakefield.

As well as the cycling ‘glitterati’ the event will also be attended by the Lord Mayor of Leeds Cllr David Congreve, the Leeds Children’s Mayor Charlotte Williams, and the council’s deputy leader Cllr Judith Blake.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor David Congreve said:
“I am very much looking forward to seeing a fantastic competition between all these schools; I hope everyone has been training hard!

“It will be an amazing experience for these youngsters, especially having some fantastic cycling celebrities in the audience.

“I am being accompanied by the Leeds Children’s Mayor, Charlotte, who will be seeing her manifesto aims come to fruition at this event – as her key ambition was to see more Leeds children taking up cycling. What an achievement!”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member for children and families said:
“I am delighted that these high profile cycling VIPs have taken time out of their very busy schedules, to attend our school cycle challenge. I am sure they will be an inspiration to all the children taking part, who will no doubt try their hardest to impress such important visitors.

“The Tour de France is such an important event to happen in our city, and the School Cycle Challenge will make sure that the pupils involved are able to share this wonderful experience. I hope even more children across Leeds are inspired to take up cycling thanks to the legacy of Le Tour coming to Yorkshire.”

Lucky pupils from Gildersome Primary School will also get their very own piece of Tour de France memorabilia, when they receive a signed jersey donated especially to them by Spanish cyclist Alejandro Valverde. The pupils will be presented with the Movistar team cyclist’s jersey at Tuesday’s event. The school contacted Valverde after they were allocated him as their ‘mascot’ to research as part of the challenge.

All schools participating in the event were invited to be included in a draw to have a potential 2014 Tour de France cyclist as their school mascot. The cycle mascot initiative has been arranged in order to inspire pupils to learn about their allocated cyclists through fun activities, the history of the Tour de France, the riders themselves and what they do to achieve becoming a top class cyclist.

The Leeds School Cycle Challenge has been organised by Leeds City Council’s influencing travel behaviour team, in partnership with children’s services and public health.

Itinerary for the school cycle challenge

Primary school races
9:30 – 12:40 White Jersey / Red Jersey / Green Jersey / Polka Dot Jersey races at various locations throughout the park
12:40 – 1:10 Pupil lunch
1:15 – 2:15 Yellow Jersey race
2:30 – 3pm Award presentations in the Amphitheatre

Adapted cycle race
10:40 – 12:30 Adapted cycle races
12:30 – 12:45 Pupil lunch
12:45 – 1pm Award presentations at the Oval Cinder track

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

Advisers on hand to help with new bin service

The council’s waste advisers are on hand to help people in advance of the new bin service starting in their area.

The recycling experts are making their way around communities that are due to switch to the more frequent green bin collections from 28 July.

A further 34,000 homes – all suitable properties in Crossgates and Whinmoor, Killingbeck and Seacroft and Temple Newsam and suitable properties in parts of Burmantofts and Richmond Hill, Gipton and Harehills and Roundhay – will have their black bins emptied one week and green bins emptied the next.

Residents can chat to the friendly, helpful waste advisers at a series of information events.

Residents can ask any questions about the new service, get advice on how to adapt to the change and make the most of their green bin.

Residents can find the waste advisers on:

Saturday 28 June, 12:30-4pm at the Seacroft Summer Gala, Seacroft Village Green, Seacroft
Monday 30 June, 9-11am at the South Seacroft One Stop Centre, Moresdale Lane, Seacroft
Monday 30 June, 1-4pm at the North Seacroft One Stop Centre, Seacroft Green Shopping Centre, Seacroft
Tuesday 1, Friday 4, Friday 11, Monday 7 and Monday 14 July, 10am-4pm at the Seacroft (East Leeds) recycling site and Revive Leeds Re-use shop, Limewood Road, Seacroft
Saturday 5 July, 10am-4pm, at the Crossgates Shopping Centre Square, Cross Gates
Saturday 12 July, 10am-4pm at the Morrisons supermarket, Harehills Lane, Harehills
Saturday 19 July, 9-11am at the Oakwood Clock, Oakwood Farmers Market, Roundhay Road, Oakwood
Saturday 19 July, 12-4pm at the Asda supermarket, Harehills Lane, Harehills
Saturday 2 August, 1-4pm at the Swarcliffe Gala, St Gregory’s Youth and Adult Centre, Stanks Gardens, Swarcliffe.

Details of these and new events can be found on the council’s website and by following the recycling advisers on Twitter @LeedsWasteDocs.

Results from areas already receiving the new bin service show that people are recycling more and putting less rubbish in their black bins.

Since the phased roll out of the new bin service started, black bin waste going to landfill has been cut by 6,500 tonnes saving the council £500,000; money that can be invested in delivering other vital services.

With people having the opportunity to recycle more at home, they’ll be able to help the council reach its target of recycling 55% by 2016.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for cleaner, safer and stronger communities, said:

“If you are in any doubt at all about what can or can’t go in your green bin or how the new service will affect you, please do pop down to see the recycling advisers.

“The recycling advisers are on hand to make this a seamless transition to the new service. With their support, we know that Leeds residents can help us smash our recycling targets and save vast amounts of money too.”

Residents will also be receiving a handy information pack to explain the new service in more detail.

The council’s website also provides information on the introduction of the new bin service and a helpful calendar to let people check their bin day.

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


Rousing prom concert at Leeds Town Hall to celebrate arrival of the Tour de France

Picture caption: Leeds Town Hall will be hosting a fantastic 'Tour de Proms' concert.

The very best of French and British classical music is all set to light up the stunning setting of Leeds Town Hall as the imminent arrival of the Grand Départ is celebrated with a traditional rousing prom concert: ‘Tour de Proms’ on Wednesday 2 July.

In what promises to be a brilliant night of entertainment, those in attendance will be first taken on a magical journey through France with Bizet’s fiery Carmen Suite, Fauré’s popular Pavane and Saint-Saëns’ glorious Organ Symphony. The music will then move across the English Channel as a range of unforgettable pieces are played including Wood’s Fantasia on British Sea Songs, and in what promises to be an unforgettable finale, the roof will be raised with a performance of prom favourites Land of Hope and Glory and Jerusalem!

Featuring the Orchestra of Opera North conducted by Christopher Seaman, pianist Louis Schwizgebel – Second Prize Winner at the 2012 Leeds Piano Competition, and City Organist Simon Lindley, the Tour de Proms is the perfect way to join in the festivities this summer, and if you feel in the mood why not wear a yellow jersey?!

Tickets for this concert are priced at £9.50 - £27.50 and are available from the Box Office on 0113 224 3801 or book online at Don’t forget that 50% discounts are available for under 18s, full-time students and unwaged.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"We are extremely excited about the imminent arrival of the Grand Départ and our ‘Tour de Proms’ concert at Leeds Town Hall is the perfect way in which to get into the mood for this once in a lifetime event!

"As part of the performance timeless pieces of both French and English music will be played, and we would urge people to book their tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment."

Notes to editors:

For further information please contact:

Alison Stockwell
Music Officer
Arts Planning Team
Leeds International Concert Season

Tel. 0113 247 8336
Fax. 0113 247 8334
Leeds Town Hall, The Headrow, Leeds, LS1 3AD
Follow us @LeedsConcerts

Listing information:

Wednesday 2 July, 7.30pm
Tour de Proms
Orchestra of Opera North
Christopher Seaman conductor
Louis Schwizgebel piano
Simon Lindley organ
Programme to include:
Bernstein Overture: Candide
Bizet Suite: Carmen
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Fauré Pavane
Saint-Saëns Organ Symphony: Finale
Walton March: Crown Imperial
Arnold Four Scottish Dances
Wood (orch. Zalva) Fantasia on British Sea Songs
Elgar Pomp and Circumstance March No 1 (Land of Hope and Glory)
Parry (orch. Elgar) Jerusalem
Tickets: £27.50, £24, £22.50, £18, £14, £9.50 (discounts available)
Box Office: 0113 224 3801 / Book online

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

New injunction order granted against persistent beggars in Leeds city centre

Persistent beggars face tough action if they continue to operate in the city centre after a new injunction order was secured by Leeds City Council.

Granted at Leeds County Court, any individual served with the injunction will be unable to beg in any part of the city centre or central train station. If they breach this order, hearings will be fast tracked to the county court, where they could face a range of sentencing including prison or a fine.

The securing of the injunction order follows a range of work currently being undertaken by Leeds City Council’s Safer Leeds team and West Yorkshire Police to crack down on begging, and specifically target those people who are not homeless and do not have to live on the streets, but continue to ask the public for money despite support services being made available to them.

Councillor Mick Coulson, Leeds City Council’s lead member for community safety said:

"Working with partners and a wide range of groups and organisations across the city, we are determined to do everything possible to help anyone living on our streets that desperately need our help. This remains one of our continued aims, and we would urge anyone who is homeless to contact us as soon as possible to find out the support that is available.

"What we will not tolerate however are those people who have absolutely no reason to beg, refuse any offers of help, and instead decide to continue begging in the city. This is completely unacceptable and the reason why we have gone to court to secure this injunction order which will give us tougher powers to stop these individuals begging in the city centre or train station."

In January 2013, a campaign was launched by Leeds City Council and partners to remind members of the public that giving money to any individual begging in the city centre is a crime, and to instead donate their money to those services providing free, meaningful support to the homeless. This forms part of a wider strategy currently being delivered by the council and partners, which is providing meaningful support and services to those people who really need help and undertaking a range of initiatives to both prevent and tackle begging.

Councillor Bill Urry Leeds City Council’s lead member with responsibility for homelessness said:

"If you are thinking of giving money to beggars, we would instead urge you to donate to those services in Leeds doing a tremendous job providing free food, shelter, advice and support. This will ensure that your money is reaching those people that really need your help."

Superintendent Sam Millar, West Yorkshire Police said:

"Begging in the city centre is an issue that prompts concerns and regular complaints from the public, and the police have been working closely with the council and homeless organisations to develop long-term solutions that will have a longer term benefits on the problem.

"The injunction awarded to the city over the last few days gives us another tool with which to address the behaviour of some hard-core of beggars who we know are not homeless and are in receipt of monies. It is part of a wider partnership approach to tackle the issue while also recognising that those with addictions or mental health issues are more likely to receive the help they need if they are encouraged to move away from begging activities and engage with services available to them on the street.

"Leeds City Council and key partners have commissioned a range of services to support the individuals in Leeds who feel the need to beg on the city’s streets and our aim is to break the cycle of begging, with all the threats that poses, and help individuals make decisions to enhance their quality of life."

Notes to editors:

For more information on the free services provided to rough sleepers in Leeds please visit the following websites:

- CRI Leeds Street Outreach Team
- St Georges Crypt
- St Anne’s Community Services
- The Big Issue in the north Trust
- Emmaus Leeds
- Simon on the Streets

Anyone concerned about someone sleeping rough can call the CRI Street Outreach Team on
Tel 0113 245 9445 or during out of office hours the Council Emergency Duty Team on Tel: 0113 2409536

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