Monday, 22 September 2014

Get ready to Ride Further with new free guided cycle routes

Caption: The Ride Further series builds on the success of events like Sky Ride Leeds

Cyclists in Leeds will be able to take part in a series of new free guided rides in and around the city starting this week.

Guided rides on two new routes are being introduced as an extension to the successful Sky Ride Local programme delivered by British Cycling in partnership with Leeds City Council.

The new ‘Ride Further’ rides are aimed at cyclists who wish to challenge themselves on the roads or those who have been inspired to take up cycling by watching the Tour de France Grand Départ in Leeds in July and are now getting more confident to take on longer distances on the roads.

The rides in Leeds begin on Sunday 28 September, meeting at Golden Acre Park off Arthington Road at 9am. The free rides are all led by British Cycling-trained Ride Leaders, with the first guiding riders on a 40-mile loop through Wharfedale and North Yorkshire taking in Harewood, Wetherby, Sicklinghall and Weeton. Among the spectacular views on show will be the Arthington Viaduct, Almscliffe Crag and Chevin Country Park.

This route will repeated on Sunday 12 October and Sunday 26 October, again starting at Golden Acre Park at 9am.

The second route focuses on exploring north of Leeds, with rides taking place on Sunday 19 October and Sunday 2 November, meeting at 9am at the Lakeside Café in Roundhay Park.

The 45-mile loop heads from Roundhay Park to Wetherby and then to Spofforth, Harrogate, Norwood and Otley. Among the highlights will be the views across the reservoirs at Lindley Woods and Eccup.

The sessions are free to take part with anyone wishing to do so able to register at All participants must use road bikes, bring a basic repair kit and be competent and confident over the distance.

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

“It is great that these new rides will be taking place in and around Leeds, and they will be ideal for any cyclists keen to push themselves on, meet new people and enjoy seeing some fantastic scenery at the same time.

“This continues our fantastic relationship with British Cycling which helped us deliver another brilliant Sky Ride event this year plus the Sky Ride Local events and also the amazing Tour de France Grand Départ. We are sure these new rides will prove very popular with experienced cyclists and relative newcomers alike.”

British Cycling’s Director of Recreation and Partnerships Stewart Kellett said:

“The beauty of these rides is that they allow a bit more of a test to those people who are seeking to take their cycling further, while still providing a supported environment, led by our excellent Ride Leaders.

“We have seen such a huge growth in regular cycling in Britain over the last few years, and we realise that a key to this is being able to provide appropriate opportunities to everyone, whether that is an easy-going and gentle introduction or something more challenging over a longer distance.”

The ‘Ride Further’ series includes other rides in Manchester, Birmingham, London, Southampton and Bournemouth, and British Cycling’s Operational Support Manager Craig Myers said:

“‘We are really excited to introduce the Ride Further series to help us add an extra level of challenge, both for those who already cycle with us and those who maybe want to join a ride and find out more places to ride.”

The upcoming rides in Leeds: Wharfedale & North Yorkshire Loop – Sun 28 September at 9am, starting from Golden Acre Park, off Arthington Road, Leeds.

Wharfedale & North Yorkshire Loop – Sun 12 October at 9am, starting from Golden Acre Park, off Arthington Road, Leeds.

Explore the Wonders of North Leeds – Sun 19 October at 9am, starting from Lakeside Café, Roundhay Park, Leeds.

Wharfedale & North Yorkshire Loop – Sun 26 October at 9am, starting from Golden Acre Park, off Arthington Road, Leeds.

Explore the Wonders of North Leeds – Sun 2 November at 9am, starting from Lakeside Café, Roundhay Park, Leeds.

To find out more about the Ride Further series and sign up for a place visit:


For more information, please contact:

David Ardill
Marketing and Communications Executive – Recreation and Partnerships
British Cycling, National Cycling Centre, Stuart Street, Manchester, M11 4DQ
Telephone: +44 (0)7720 593689 | 0161 274 2000 – ext 2287

About Sky Ride
British Cycling and Sky have come together to help get even more people riding their bikes and falling in love with cycling. However you ride, we've created a whole range of ways for you to get involved – from big traffic-free events, to local guided rides; from women-only rides and support, to tips, ideas and great routes. In 2012 we achieved our joint goal (a year early) of getting one million more Britons on their bikes and cycling regularly (once a month) by 2013.
Sky Rides are big, celebratory cycling events which take over a town or city centre so lots of cyclists of all ages and abilities can ride safely together on a traffic-free route. With a real festival atmosphere, they’re a fun, free day out for families and friends to enjoy, with loads to do both on and off a bike.
Sky Ride Locals are free, local bike rides guided by friendly British Cycling trained Ride Leaders along scenic planned routes. With different levels, there’s something for everyone – whether you’re building your confidence or already comfortable on a bike and looking for a challenge. For more information, visit

About British Cycling
British Cycling is the national governing body for cycling as recognised by the UCI – the international federation for the sport. Based in Manchester at the National Cycling Centre, British Cycling works across all levels and six disciplines of the sport (BMX, Mountain Bike, Cyclo-Cross, Road, Track and Cycle Speedway), from providing the support and encouragement people need to get riding their bikes for the first time, to being home to the hugely successful Great Britain Cycling Team. Continued success at the highest level is inspiring a boom in participation across the nation. There have never been more opportunities to ride a bike, be it for fun or sport, and British Cycling is at the heart of this growth. For more information, visit


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,

Nominations needed to recognise all that is child friendly about Leeds

People are being asked to nominate the organisations and individuals who they think epitomise child friendliness in Leeds, for the city’s second Child Friendly Leeds Awards.

Children and young people will be at the forefront of the awards, which are being organised by Leeds City Council in partnership with the Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds City Varieties.

A group of young people will be selected to plan and run the prestigious awards, which will take place on 29 January 2015. Young people will also form part of the judging panel.

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

The Child Friendly Leeds awards also recognise the lengths that people go to to make Leeds a great place to grow up, especially for those children who may have additional challenges – including children who are looked after by the council, or are particularly vulnerable, and those who have disabilities or additional needs.

People across the city are now being asked to nominate places, people and organisations in Leeds they think are particularly child friendly or make a big difference to the lives of children in Leeds. Nominations can be made at and the deadline for nominations is 31 October.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“We are delighted with the amount of support we’ve received so far for our child friendly Leeds ambitions, especially from our ambassadors and partners, and now is the time to celebrate all that people and organisations do, to make Leeds the best place to grow up.

“Becoming a child friendly city is not something, we, as a council can do alone. There are so many people across the city, who have really taken on board what we are trying to achieve, and these awards are a great opportunity for us to recognise and celebrate their great work and achievements.”

The awards are being sponsored by British Gas.

The awards will be split in to five categories:
Best place in Leeds for children and young people: This is the award for the places and spaces that children and young people love spending their time: it could be a shop, a venue, a school, a youth club or a local café that always makes children and families welcome - places across the city that set an example to others.

Children’s Champion (two awards – under 11 years old, and 11 to 18): This is the award to celebrate a child or young person who has done or achieved something exceptional. Whether it’s someone who makes a big contribution to their local community, or caring for a friend or loved one who needs extra support, every day our children and young people do amazing things and the council wants to hear about, recognise and celebrate their contributions.

Looking after children and young people: This is the award that recognises the people who care for, support and inspire Leeds children and young people every day. Nominees could include: a kinship or foster carer who has transformed a child’s life; a teacher who inspires the imagination of their pupils; or a parent who has done something incredible for their children. The awards will celebrate what adults do every day for individuals and groups of children, all of which help to make Leeds the best place for children and young people to grow up in.

Best overall contribution to making Leeds a child friendly city: This is the award for the business, organisation, team or individual that has shown true commitment and made a meaningful contribution to making Leeds the best UK city to grow up in. It could be a business with an exemplary apprenticeship programme, a school that has made a major contribution to improving the local community, a sports club that welcomes and celebrates children and young people, or a team from a public sector organisation that demonstrates outstanding results by improving outcomes for children. The council wants to hear about the numerous activities and initiatives across Leeds that give children and young people opportunities, inspiration and optimism for the future.

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

Equipment seized from council tenant after noise nuisance warnings ignored

A Leeds City Council housing tenant who ignored repeated requests to keep noise at the property to an appropriate level has had her noise equipment seized.

As part of an operation headed by the Leeds Anti-Social Behaviour Team (LASBT), a warrant was granted by Leeds Magistrates Court to remove a number of items from 112 Victoria Park Grove, after the tenant, Ms Nyarai Rosi, breached a previous Abatement Notice which was issued for frequent noise nuisance. The tenant can apply to obtain the goods back within a 28 day period, but will be required to pay the relevant costs to the council in order to proceed.

This is the second such seizure undertaken by LASBT staff in the Armley and Bramley areas during the past two months, and forms part of ongoing work currently being undertaken to tackle noise nuisance in communities across Leeds. As part of a re-launch of the service earlier in the year staff from the council and West Yorkshire Police, working under the banner of LASBT, joined forces to tackle noise nuisance and low-level anti-social behaviour across the city.

Any residents suffering from excessive and/or intrusive noise problems can get in touch with LASBT; to report in the daytime call 0113 222 4402 or out of hours on 0113 3950143 (between 6pm and 4am).

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for Safer Leeds said:

"We are determined with our partners at LASBT to use every power at our disposal to clamp down on noise nuisance in our communities, which can cause significant distress for residents.

"This particular council tenant was given ample opportunities to reduce the level of noise coming from their property, and when they breached the Abatement Notice, we did not hesitate to secure a warrant from the courts and remove noise equipment from the property.

"The re-launch of our LASBT service earlier in the year has improved the way we are working to tackle the blight of noise nuisance, and I would urge anyone who is experiencing from this problem to contact us as soon as possible."

Notes to editors:

As part of the LASBT re-launch in May, two mobile marked vehicles will also operate Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 6pm to 4am, with a reduced service being offered from Monday to Thursday, where one vehicle will be available.

The vehicles will be staffed on Monday through to Thursday by Anti-Social Behaviour Response Officers with an enhanced service put in place on a Friday, Saturday and Sunday when calls are at their highest to meet an increased demand for service. From Friday to Sunday, when calls for service are at their highest, Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will work alongside their colleagues from the anti-social behaviour response team to deal with noise related incidents

Rent arrears improvements despite tough national challenges

Announcing the latest figures for rental arrears, Leeds City Council has been praised for the level of payments made, after rent collection reached over 97.7 per cent, up one per cent from the previous year.

The money owed to the council from tenants is being carefully checked to make sure the most effective arrangements are put in place to deal with arrears and to see how government changes to benefits are having an impact.

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

“When we know there are 1,300 new arrears cases due to the introduction of what is commonly known as the bedroom tax, we know we need to help people to manage the changes properly and find ways to get their payments back on track. However, while we’re determined to make sure we collect rent that is due to us, we also understand that the changes made to benefit legislation have placed a significant burden on some of those in the city least able to pay.

“We’re not a soft touch, and will pursue arrears through the most effective and appropriate route for each case. But we’re committed to being fair, and we’ll also do our best to help people find ways to pay if they are struggling.”

Notes to Editors

The council’s Benefit Advisors can help people identify what benefits they can get to help with their rent payments and can be contacted at local housing offices or the One Stop Centre 0113 222 4404. More information about rent and money matters is available at:


For media enquiries, please contact:

Phil Morcom,

Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3602

Fascinating First World War event to be held at Leeds City Museum

Caption: This award was sent to the family of Private Moody, after his death in 1917. He served in the 10th battalion of the York & Lancaster Regiment and is buried in Somer Farm Cemetery in Belgium.

A special First World War themed event is set to take centre stage at Leeds City Museum this Saturday.

As part of ‘Exploring Leeds and Yorkshire in the Great War’, which will be held on Saturday 27 September from 11-4pm, a host of experts will be on hand to listen to people’s family stories and look at items of memorabilia. People are also being invited as part of this ‘road show’ styled event to be photographed with the items and share their own story. The experts will also discuss and take questions on a range of interesting and poignant First World War themes in a panel discussion in response to questions from the audience. A number of talks, children’s activities, musical performances reflecting the period, exhibitions and displays will also be on offer as part of a packed programme in different rooms of the museum throughout the day.

Included in the road show, which will be in the Brodrick Hall from 11am-2pm, is the chance for visitors to be given help by specialists to identify any medals in their possession and have any questions answered regarding their historical military, social or artistic context.

Topics including‘100 years of theatre and cinema’, ‘letters from the front’, ‘Yorkshire rugby in the First World War’, ‘medals’, ‘music of the time’ and ‘a personal story’, will also feature in a programme of talks led by experts that will sit aside displays and exhibitions focusing on ‘Project Bugle’, ‘Leeds Pals’ and how the Yorkshire Post covered the war on its front pages. As part of a ‘personal story’, those in attendance can personalise their families stories and introduce their items to those taking part. In what also promises to be one of the real highlights of the event, Professor Alison Fell, (University of Leeds Legacies of War project leader) will chair an expert panel, which will see guests including John Roles (Leeds City Council’s head of museums and galleries), Dave Stowe (local historian), Andrea Hetherington (Friends of Lawnswood Cemeteries) and Jonathan Ferguson (the Royal Armouries) discuss an assortment of diverse topics which will be submitted by members of the public.

Also held throughout the museum during the day will be impromptu performances from ‘Oh What a Lovely War’ and roving poetry recitals from the period, while in the Denny Room, youngsters can explore First World War objects and poems with guest writer Mary Cooper and Alison Glew.

Organised in partnership with the University of Leeds, Yorkshire Post Newspapers, and the WW1 Nidderdale: Leeds Pals, POWs and the Home Front - a regional Heritage Lottery Fund project, this is an event not to be missed by anyone with an interest in the First World War. This event forms part of the city’s centenary commemoration of the First World War.

For more information on Leeds Museums and Galleries First World War Programme, please see:

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

"As part of the 100 year commemorations marking the start of the First World War, we are delighted to be hosting with partners this special event at Leeds City Museum, which will offer a diverse and interesting programme of activities for people of all ages.

"On offer will include the chance to chat and listen to experts on a wide range of different themes through a panel discussion and public talks, and take part in a road show where you can discover more about memorabilia from the conflict that may have been passed down from generation to generation in your family.

"With live performances of poetry also set to be undertaken on the day, children activities and exhibitions and displays, this promises to be a real highlight of our First World War events and activities programme."

Alison Fell, professor of French cultural history at the University of Leeds, who oversees its Legacies of War centenary project said:

"We are delighted to be working with Leeds Museums and Galleries on what promises to be a great opportunity to share some of the things we have learnt about the war’s many different aspects, and to showcase some of the research projects the Legacies of War team have been supporting.

"Dozens of projects will be highlighted and there will be talks with a broad appeal for people interested in the war and how it affected people from Leeds and the rest of Yorkshire."

Notes to editors:

For more information on the global commemoration of the First World War Centenary, please see the Imperial War Museums website at: or the University of Leeds:

Leeds City Museum:

Admission free. Mondays closed (except bank holiday Mondays 11am-5pm), Tues, Weds and Fri 10am-5pm, Thurs 10am-7pm, Sat and Sun 11am-5pm.
Millennium Square, Cookridge Street, Leeds, LS2 8BH.

Leeds Museums & Galleries:

Established in 1821, Leeds Museums & 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. They care for 1.3 million objects which are used to inspire, educate, entertain and challenge the people of Leeds and visitors to the city. Leeds Museums & Galleries run nine historic sites and visitor attractions, which welcome over one million visitors each year, approximately 25% of all museum visits across Yorkshire.

Leeds City Museum is situated in one of Leeds' much loved civic buildings - the Leeds Institute building on Millennium Square. The Leeds Institute is one of the City's most important historic buildings and was completed in 1862 by Cuthbert Brodrick, who also built Leeds Town Hall and the Corn Exchange. From the middle of the last century until 2005 it also housed the Civic Theatre where amateur theatrical groups staged public performances. It has been home to the City Museum since 2008.

The City Museum is one of the flagship sites for the service, and is home to four floors of interactive and exciting galleries showcasing the story of Leeds, as well as the Leeds Mummy and our Designated Natural History collection.

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