Monday, 25 October 2010

Entertainment was better in the old days

Picture caption: Temple Newsam's opulent Picture Gallery where the unique concert is to take place

Merry-making with friends while enjoying some music is now the norm, but a concert at Temple Newsam will reveal how the fashion began.

The Thursday 28 October event, “Music in the Pleasure Gardens, Opera and Concert Halls”, offers an authentic eighteenth century experience.

It sees classical music performed on period instruments in the historic house’s Picture Gallery – a venue which would have traditionally hosted this type of elegant event.

The unique event celebrates eighteenth and nineteenth century revolutions in commercialised leisure activities which Yorkshire’s elite young ladies and gentlemen attended in order to see and be seen.

Of course music was required to bring these events to life and provided a wealth of opportunity for composers and musicians to express their creativity.

Music and songs, some of which were specifically composed for Temple Newsam, feature in the programme which is interspersed with stories of individuals and families of the time.

Leeds City Council’s principal keeper at Temple Newsam House Bobbie Robertson said:

“This concert will evoke ghosts of the past by recreating the vibrant atmosphere of these fashionable public entertainments through music eighteenth and nineteenth century Yorkshire aristocrats would have listened and danced to.”

The programme will include songs and music from the eighteenth century Pleasure Gardens by Arne, Boyce, Chilcot, Viola da Gamba solos by Abel, Sonata for cello and keyboard by Geminiani, German arias for voice, violin, cello and keyboard by Handel and opera arias and duets by Mozart, Bellini, Verdi and Donizetti.

Performers include Jane Troughton, a music historian and soprano who has sung with choirs and as a soloist throughout her career, pianist Mark Hutchinson and cellist Sam Stadlen.

Tickets cost £10, £6 concessions and can be ordered by calling 0113 2647321 or via email the concert starts at 7.30pm.

Notes to editor:

• Temple Newsam House, Leeds LS15 OAE
• Opening times: winter: (from November 2 - March 2011) Tues-Sun, 10.30am-4pm.
Last admission 45 minutes before closing. Closed Mondays, except bank holidays. Visit
• Temple Newsam is one of the country's great historic houses and estates. Situated in 1500 acres of stunning parkland it is home to outstanding and nationally designated collections of painting, furniture, textiles, silver and ceramics. It has an ever-changing programme of exhibitions and events.


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email:

Restaurant owner handed bill for ignoring licensing act

A restaurant owner is now facing a bill of £1,515 after ignoring advice and refusing to get a premises licence authorising regulated entertainment for his property.

Mr Farooq Ahmed, the owner of Barakas restaurant on Queens Road in Hyde Park, ignored several warnings from council licensing enforcement officers and police officers about the need to obtain a premises licence or temporary event notice for his restaurant, or he should cease all licensable activities.

At Leeds Magistrates’ Court on Friday 22 October, Mr Ahmed was found guilty, convicted and fined. He has been fined £500, with £1,000 costs and £15 victims’ surcharge for the unauthorised provision of regulated entertainment and for intentionally obstructing a council officer the right of entry to the premises to investigate licensable activities.

The unauthorised entertainment activities taking place at the premises included DJ decks, recorded music and dancing facilities. There were posters displayed on the inside walls advertising entertainment as well as advertising on the internet.

John Mulcahy, head of licensing and registration for Leeds City Council said:
“It is very important that restaurants and other businesses within the Leeds area are aware of the various licenses they need for their premises if they choose to undertake certain activities.

“In this case the owner was warned on numerous occasions as to how he could rectify the situation, but failed to listen.

“This conviction shows how important it is for businesses to have the right licences for their premises.”

Leeds City Council entertainment licensing officers and West Yorkshire Police have visited the restaurant Barakas on four different occasions over the past two years, and on each occasion the premises was being used for unauthorised licensable activities such as the playing of recorded music, even with the prior warnings.

After the first inspection on 25 September 2008 the defendant attended council offices and obtained a premises licence application pack, but to date, an application for a premises licence authorising regulated entertainment has still not been made to the Council’s Entertainment Licensing Section.

Mr Ahmed was cautioned by council officers on a second visit in August 2009 and advised that licensable activities cease until such time as a Premises Licence had been granted or Temporary Event Notice issued.

On 20th October 2009 officers from Entertainment Licensing visited the premises again to conduct a follow-up check. The provision of facilities for regulated entertainment was being provided without the benefit of a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice. The owner was verbally and physically obstructive towards a council licensing enforcement officer. He was cautioned and advised to cease all licensable activities until such time as a Premises Licence had been granted or Temporary Event Notice served.

Notes to editors:

A person guilty of an offence of providing unauthorised licensable activities is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding £20,000, or to both.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Family fun day for Aireborough Leisure Centre

The search is on to find Aireborough’s fittest family with the help of a fun day at one of Leeds City Council’s leisure centres.

A family fun day at Aireborough Leisure Centre will not only give families the chance to compete against each other in swimming and rowing challenges, but also to try new activities and swim for free.

On Sunday 31 October two adults and two children can swim against the clock or see who can row the furthest in 60 seconds and win free access to the swimming pool for a whole month.

Chances to try exciting new activities like karate, judo, Aikido, diving and giant inflatable fun are also on offer. Families can swim for free from 8am until 5pm (for admission purposes a family is deemed to be an adult with one or more juniors).

But the action does not stop there as limited places still remain to try scuba diving and rock climbing on the specially designed climbing wall with qualified instructors.

Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“Here families have a great chance to get together, have fun and compete against each other to win free unlimited access to the pool for a month helping parents and children stay fit and healthy.

“Adults and children alike can come together and hopefully meet people who have similar interests or discover a new activity together. So get down to Aireborough Leisure Centre for a fresh way to keep fit for less.”

For more information about activities on the day, booking and much more please contact Aireborough Leisure Centre on 01943 877131, email or visit

Notes to editor:

Owing to the large numbers expected sessions in the junior pool will be organised into hourly sessions.

The time table of events for the family fun day at Aireborough Leisure Centre on Saturday 31 October will be as follows:

8am – 1pm General swimming
10am – 11am Aerobics class (16yrs+)
10am, 11am, 11.30am Giant inflatable football matches
11.30am – 12.30pm Karate demo and taster session
2.15pm – 3.45pm Fun swim
1pm – 1.30pm Judo demo
1pm – 2pm Pudsey Pearls Synchronised swimming demo
2pm – 3pm Aikido demo and taster session
4pm – 5pm Sub aqua club try dive (10yrs+)


For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson, leisure communications officer, tel: 0113 247 8285, email:

Audio equipment seized over music ‘so loud the floor vibrated’

A man who played music so loudly that the floor of his neighbour’s flat vibrated has had audio equipment seized from his flat.

Officers from Leeds City Council seized the equipment from Paul Sherry of 6 Bismark Drive, Beeston, last week after persistent breaches of an order banning him from making excessive noise.

Neighbours originally complained to the council in May of loud music and shouting coming from the flat.

Despite warnings by the council to keep noise levels down, officers were called out in August and could hear the music before they even entered Bismark Drive. Tracks playing were Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” and Marvin Gaye’s “What’s going on”, Procul Harem’s “Whiter shade of pale”.

The music was so loud that the floor of his neighbours flat vibrated and their television could not be heard over the noise, even when at full volume.

A noise abatement notice was served on Mr Sherry but was breached on occasions in September and October.

As a result of this persistent and extremely loud noise nuisance a warrant was obtained from Leeds Magistrates Court and council officers, supported by West Yorkshire Police, gained entry to the property and removed all noise-making equipment.

Mr Sherry will also now be prosecuted by the council for breach of the abatement notice.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental health, said:
“Residents should be able to live their lives without their sleep and family life being disrupted by neighbours making excessive and unnecessary noise.

“Where people’s lives are being made a misery by noise we will take action. If warnings are ignored, it is important that people understand they will end up in court.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937

Change a life forever – adopt a disabled child

Loving homes are urgently needed for disabled children in Leeds.

Out of 93 children currently looked after by Leeds children’s services who are waiting for a permanent loving family, at least 26 have some form of disability or special need. However a recent campaign focused on adopters for disabled children resulted in no potential adopters coming forward.

As part of National Adoption Week 2011 (1 – 7 November) (organised by BAAF) Leeds City Council’s adoption service is again highlighting the need for adopters, particularly those who are able to adopt a child with additional needs. This week is also an opportunity to challenge the false myths and negative stereotypes that mean many disabled children are unable to find a family.

A special information evening has been organised for people interested in finding out more about adopting disabled children on Monday 1 November at Leeds Civic Hall(7pm to 9pm). Experienced adopters and social workers will speak about the realities of bringing up a disabled child – the work, the joy and the ordinariness of parenthood, as well as the support available for adopters and the needs of the children who are currently waiting for a permanent family.

Nigel Richardson, director of children’s services at Leeds City Council says; “It takes much longer for us to find an adoptive family for a child with a disability than one without and many will never be found families. Yet for those who make the commitment, they soon find rewards easily outweigh the challenges.”

In a recent survey of potential adopters “Able” disability magazine found that just one in eight (13%) would willingly take on a child with a learning disability or other mental health impairment, only one in 5 (20%) would say yes to a child with a physical impairment and under half (47%) would consider a child with a long term medical condition.

However Becky Gillespie, who has adopted two children through Leeds City Council’s adoption services has no regrets:
“Our family have adopted two children and it completed our family. It is one of the most worthwhile and rewarding commitments we have ever made. It is so important to be able to help with a child's security and support their special needs - they are happy and thriving and are now so settled in our family.

“There are many more children in Leeds who need the security of adoption or fostering - adoption has changed our family life and can be such a rewarding experience. We have had great support from our adoption worker and specialist advice to help us achieve this so you would not be alone in making such an important commitment.

“If you have an interest in helping a child by adopting and can find space in your family, contact Leeds now and find out how you can help like we did.”

Councillor Judith Blake executive board member responsible for children’s services said:
“Adopters of disabled children need to have the same skills and attitudes of any prospective adopter; they need to be nurturing, resilient and have a strong sense of empathy, as well as making their child their top priority, just as any parent would.”

“Adopting a child is life-changing and incredibly rewarding commitment. Our dedicated and experienced adoption staff in Leeds will do everything possible to make sure adopters have all the preparation, training and support they need.”

The children who need families may have learning disabilities, health problems, physical disabilities or autism. What they all have in common is the need for love, security and family. Disabled children will return love and affection just like non disabled children and many will go on to lead independent or semi-independent lives.

Potential adopters may be single, married, partners but unmarried, divorced, remarried, childless or have children already. Enquiries are welcomed regardless of income, gender, religion, sexuality, disability or race. Age is not necessarily an issue – people of all ages adopt with us. The key issue is being able to provide a stable, secure home for a child up to adulthood and beyond.

Leeds City Council provides comprehensive specialist advice and support (including financial and therapeutic support) for those making a adoption commitment to disabled children.

People who would like to attend the information evening should contact the council’s adoption service on 0113 2243988. Further information on adoption can be found at

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

Taxi marshals take to the streets ahead of Christmas and New Year

Caption: Councillor Peter Gruen with Andrew Russell of AMR Services Ltd, which will be running the taxi marshal scheme in Leeds

Taxi marshals will begin patrolling the taxi ranks in Leeds next weekend in the run up to Christmas and New Year

The marshals are part of a range of measures being put in place by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police to ensure safety and reduce crime in the city centre.

The marshals will help maintain order at three taxi ranks - Leeds Railway Station, Call Lane/Corn Exchange and adjacent to the Oceana nightclub.

There will be nine marshals, three at each location, from 10.30pm - 3.30am on Fridays and Saturdays from this Friday (30 October 2010).

The marshals will also be present on Christmas Eve, Boxing Night and over the New Year weekend. They will ensure that members of the public queue up in an orderly fashion whilst waiting for a taxi.

The initiative is led by Safer Leeds, the city's crime fighting partnership, and the taxi marshals will be in close contact with West Yorkshire police to report any issues that need police attention.

They will be working alongside the recently introduced street marshals who are patrolling the areas outside nightclubs as well as Police Community Support Officers and police special constables.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds and Leeds City Council's executive board member for community safety said:
"We know from experience that taxi marshals make a real difference to safety in the city.
"We want people to come into Leeds at night and we want them to have a good time.
"It's important that people know they can enjoy the Christmas season and be safe at the same time.
"So I say to everyone - 'Come into the city. Enjoy yourselves. But be sensible as well’. Always use a licensed cab and queue up where there are taxi marshals."

Chief Inspector Vernon Francis, from West Yorkshire Police's City and Holbeck Division who is responsible for policing in Leeds city centre, said:
"Our city is becoming even safer, and it is thanks to the many schemes which run in the city centre such as the taxi marshals.
"These schemes will be in action throughout the festive period to ensure that people can enjoy the party season safely, and feel safe too."

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937