Thursday, 9 October 2014

Council refuses Leeds suburban development plans

Plans for housing developments in Adel have been refused by a meeting of the council plans panel today (9th October).

The submissions by developers would have seen residential development of up to 80 dwellings at land east of Otley Road, and development of up to 46 dwellings at land east of Church Lane.

Councillor Jim McKenna, Chair of the City Plans Panel, said:

“There’s a wide range of issues behind our refusal, from transport and infrastructure availability, to the presence of the Church of St John the Baptist, one of the finest examples of twelfth century church buildings in the country. These decisions show we are committed to ensuring high quality housing development takes place in reasonable locations.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel, said:

“We’ve been listening to the local community and looking at the objections from a wide range of experts to these development proposals. We have a clear council belief that the city needs to have new homes over coming years, but we are equally clear that we want to make sure housing is provided in the right places at the right times.”

“Our priorities include planning for the provision of homes and jobs in sustainable locations, respecting local character and distinctiveness and maximising opportunities to recycle previously developed land, whilst minimising greenfield and green belt use.”

Notes for editors:

More details of the proposals can be found at:

Media contact:

Phil Morcom
Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3602
Fax: 0113 247 4736

First mobile specialist toilet purchased by Leeds City Council

Caption (L-R-): Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, support worker Juliana Makahamadze, Claire Roberts and Cllr Adam Ogilvie inspect the new mobile 'Changing Places' toilet.

Leeds City Council has taken delivery this month of its first mobile ‘Changing Places’ toilet catering for disabled people.

Bought by the council’s Learning Disability Community Support Service, the toilet has been specifically designed to meet the needs of people with profound and multiple learning disabilities who cannot use regular accessible toilets, and the carers who support them. This is the 19th Changing Places toilet to be made available in Leeds, all of which has sufficient space for up to two carers to support a disabled person to use the facility, and are fitted with specialist equipment including a hoist and adult-sized height adjustable changing bench.

Changing Places toilets have been installed in a variety of buildings across the city including leisure, community and shopping centres, but the mobile unit will give people with the most complex needs the opportunity to participate in a wide range of outdoor events too. The mobile facility will be managed by the Leeds Lights events team who will set the unit up on site at events organised by the council such as Classical Fantasia, the German Christmas Market and Learning Disability Week.

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

"We have a fantastic programme of arts and cultural events in Leeds and it’s always our aim to give as many people as possible the chance to attend and enjoy them and this Changing Places equipment is another huge step towards that.

"This new facility will give people with disabilities and their carers the added peace of mind of knowing there will be facilities on site tailored to their needs so that when they arrive they can relax and enjoy the show."

This work forms part of the council’s continuing work and ambitions, to make its activities and events programme more inclusive for the vulnerable and disabled. Earlier in the year, Leeds City Council was recognised as the first local authority in the UK to be recognised by a deaf and disabled people’s organisation for their on-going commitment to improving access at outdoor live music and arts events.

In receiving a Silver Level Charter of Best Practice award, the council has been praised by charity ‘Attitude is Everything’ for their work in making sure that their outside venues, festivals, and community spaces are inclusive to the needs of deaf and disabled people. As part of its Charter of Best Practice, the charity works with audiences, artists, the music industry and from this year local authorities, to identify and find new ways in which to drive up standards in accessibility across the UK.

Those groups and organisations such as Leeds City Council which have been deemed to meet the criteria required are then welcomed on to the charter through a Bronze, Silver or Gold level award. The council earlier in the year, also put its self forward for a Gold Level Best Practice award at one of its premier cultural events Classical Fantasia, and is currently awaiting a decision by Attitude is Everything.

For more information regarding the charter, and Attitude is Everything, please see:

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

"We are working extremely hard to improve facilities for the disabled, and I am delighted that the council has now purchased its first very own mobile Changing Places toilet which will be made available at our future outdoor events.

"This follows on from the council being recognised by a Silver Level Charter of Best Practice Award by the charity ‘Attitude is Everything’, for our continuing efforts to improve access at our live music and arts events for both the disabled and blind.

"There is still though a lot to do, and we certainly will not be resting on our laurels in our attempts to make sure that every council leisure event held outside if possible, is made more inclusive and accessible for everyone."

Suzanne Bull MBE, Attitude is Everything’s Chief Executive Officer said:

"Attitude is Everything is really excited to welcome the first Local Authority onto our charter. By signing up, Leeds City Council has shown that it is truly committed to making sure that their venues, festivals and community spaces can be accessed and enjoyed by everyone.

"Leeds City Council will be implementing new policies and procedures for events organised by the Council as well as setting a baseline level of requirements for promoters and producers wishing to hold events in Council locations. Deaf and disabled people make up 20% of the communities we live in and now Leeds City Council has a fantastic way of publicly demonstrating that everyone is welcome and that they are actively meeting people’s access requirements.

"We look forward to working with Leeds City Council in the coming years."

Notes to Editor:

Leeds Changing Places facilities are available in the following:

John Charles Centre for Sport
Tech North, Chapel Allerton
Lotherton Hall
Temple Newsam
Leeds Art Gallery & Shop, The Headrow
Pudsey Leisure Centre
Middleton Leisure Centre
Holt Park Active
Chevin Forest Park, Otley
Headingley HEART Community Centre
Hillside Community Centre, Beeston
West Yorkshire Playhouse
White Rose Shopping Centre
Armley Leisure Centre
Reginald One Stop Centre, Chapeltown
Morley Leisure Centre
First Direct Arena
Trinity Shopping Centre

Families can find out if there are Changing Places toilets in a location they wish to visit nationally by looking at the website, or by contacting 020 7696 6019.

Attitude is Everything improves Deaf and disabled people’s access to live music by working in partnership with audiences, artists and the music industry to implement a Charter of Best Practice across the UK.

Their many successes to date include working with Festival Republic on all of their UK Festivals, supporting Academy Music Group and National Arena Association venues to sign to our Charter, and using the Charter of Best Practice as an event standard for all festivals taking place on Victoria Park. Attitude is Everything wrote the ISAN Access Toolkit: Making Outdoor Arts Events Accessible to All, which was awarded the London 2012 Inspire Mark.

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

Steampunk Market to take over Leeds museum this weekend

Caption: Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is hosting the Steampunk Market this weekend.

A popular city museum is once again ready to host a unique market event this weekend.

Held on 11 and 12 October 2014, visitors to Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills will have the opportunity from 11am-5pm to enjoy the delights and browse a range of stalls at the Leeds Steampunk Market.

On offer at the interactive event will include films and live entertainment, a birds of prey flying display, tea duelling and photographers who are set to be joined by a number of authors and The First Tea Company. In what also promises to be a real treat, the Mill Engine at Armley Mills will be ‘steaming up’ on both days, and afterwards, why not have a cup and tea and slice of cake at a vintage cafĂ©. Entrance to the market is free but normal museum admission charges apply.

To find out more regarding the Steampunk Market, please see:

For more information regarding events and activities at Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, please see:

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

"We are delighted to be once again hosting the Steampunk Market at Armley Mills, which is always a great day out for all the family.

"On offer will include a range of entertainment and stalls, and in what promises to be something not to be missed, we will also be steaming up our very own mill engine for visitors to enjoy!"

Notes to editors:

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills:

Housed in what was once the world's largest woollen mill, Leeds Industrial Museum houses a wealth of gems located in a beautiful riverside setting. Step back in time to learn about the industrial history of Leeds from manufacturing textiles and clothing to printing, engineering and locomotives, which the city was world famous for.
There is no additional charge for visiting this exhibition. Normal admission charges apply.

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills is open at the following times:

Monday: Closed except for bank holidays. Bank holiday Mondays 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
Tuesday to Saturday: 10:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00
Sunday: 13:00 - 17:00. Last admission at 16:00

For further information visit our website

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

Community hub pathfinders show the way for a new city wide network

As part of its Citizens@Leeds aspirations, Leeds City Council is looking to develop a new network of community hubs across the city providing places where local people can access a wider range of council and partner services much more easily and simply.

Following on from the success of three path-finding community hubs launched earlier this year in Middleton, Harehills and Armley, the council is now looking to roll this approach out across the whole city and provide both physical places and ‘pop-up’ services within local communities where council and partner services can be accessed.

The council’s executive board will be recommended to approve the adoption of a city-wide community hub model at a meeting next week (Wednesday 15 October).

The network of hubs will offer access to the full range of council and partner services in a much more streamlined way, ensuring that customers’ needs are resolved at the earliest opportunity. The council will re-use existing local one stop centres, libraries and housing management offices within the city to create the new network which will link locally with the newly launched Community Committee approach and the council’s desire to improve local democratic engagement and decision making.

The current pathfinder community hubs have already demonstrated areas of real success. West Yorkshire Police have now co-located a number of their local police officers and PCSOs into the hubs. A number of local community groups have taken advantage of the new approach and are now meeting and providing help and support to local people at the hubs. The creation of a single front-of-house team from existing resources to help local people visiting the hubs has worked exceptionally well, allowing the hubs to extend opening hours of key services and providing more scope and capacity to help and advise more people. The hubs have also been used to engage with local employers and are already playing a key role in helping local people into work.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“Bringing together all existing community based one stop centres, libraries and housing management offices together will allow for a more integrated and more efficient approach to the way we deliver services in local communities as well as providing opportunities for local communities to use the hubs for local community activity. The hubs will provide a great opportunity to improve service delivery across a range of services as well as providing greater capacity to support those people most in need of support and advice.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for people to access the services they need and to make the community hub network a real local asset for citizens and communities across the city.

“We are already seeing great success through the three path-finding hubs and we are keen to ensure this new approach is rolled out across the whole city city as soon as possible so that all communities and partners can benefit.”

Chief Superintendent Paul Money, Leeds District Police Commander, said:

“West Yorkshire Police really welcomes this new innovative approach being developed in Leeds. The changes arrive at a time when we have redefined our model of policing for the Leeds District and provides an excellent opportunity to work closely with key partners to ensure that local policing is even more responsive to local needs. We are fully committed to working with the council to integrate services and make community hubs a real success”.

For further information contact
Cat Lindley, Leeds City Council communications team
Tel: 0113 247 4450

Leeds residents reminded to register to vote

Leeds residents who are yet to register to vote will receive a reminder letter through the post over the next few weeks reminding them about the biggest change to the electoral registration system in nearly 100 years.

The new system is being introduced to replace the old Victorian system where the “head of household” registered everyone living in a property. Now, each individual will be responsible for registering themselves, and this can be done online.

Of the 550,000 people receiving letters in Leeds, 470,000 residents will automatically move onto the new electoral register, however some will need to take action to join or remain on it.

Each letter details the action needed to be taken by the specific individual, whether it is to do nothing, change their details or simply register to be on the electoral roll.

Although a large number of people have already taken the action they need to, there are still a number of individuals that either need to register or update their details.

Tom Riordan, Leeds electoral registration officer, said:

“It is important that everyone in Leeds who is eligible to vote signs up to the electoral roll.

“The council has already sent out a large number of letters informing people of what they need to do to ensure they are moved over onto the new electoral register or if they need to register their details.

“I would encourage people to look out for their reminder letter if they have not already taken action to ensure they are on the register.”

For more information visit 


For further information contact
Cat Lindley, Leeds City Council communications team
Tel: 0113 247 4450