Final approval for the creation of the city’s first major bus-based park and ride scheme will be considered by senior councillors in Leeds next week.
At its meeting at Civic Hall on Wednesday 6 November, the council’s executive board will be asked to give the go-ahead to the £2.8million project to create a new park and ride scheme to be run from the council-owned car parks to the west of Elland Road Stadium.
The plan and designs have been drawn up by Leeds City Council and Metro, with the scheme seeing the introduction of an express bus service running every 15 minutes to and from Boar Lane in Leeds city centre.
The service would run from 7am to 7pm Monday to Saturday, excluding Saturday matchdays when Leeds United are playing at home. Running initially for a five-year period, the service would provide parking space for up to 800 vehicles.
Work on site would see a formal parking area being put in place along with bus waiting facilities, a shelter, lighting, signage, ticketing machines, fences, CCTV and landscaping .
Planning permission was granted last week, so should executive board approve the plans work would be expected to start on site in February 2014 with the service scheduled to start operating three months later in May.
Essential strengthening work on Woodhouse Tunnel in Leeds is set to begin next month after funding approval was confirmed today.
The work can now go ahead after the Department of Transport formally approved funding of £16.34million for the project, which is part of a wider £24.96m maintenance scheme of improvements to the Leeds Inner Ring Road (A58M).
The project is expected to last approximately two years, with the majority of the works being carried out at night from 7pm-6am Sunday to Thursday during which times the tunnel will be fully closed.
Ten Leeds school children who are taking their first steps into politics are now campaigning hard to win votes to become the new Leeds Children’s Mayor. Voting is now under way in this year’s competition, which saw the most entrants ever, with 28 primary schools submitting their best manifestos.
Year 6 pupils in primary schools were invited to enter the Leeds Children’s Mayor programme, by writing a short manifesto saying how they would improve Leeds if they were the Children’s Mayor.
The manifesto had to be based on one of the 12 wishes for a more child friendly Leeds, which include; travel, healthy lifestyles, safe play areas, jobs and learning.
Last year, thousands of people voted and Oliver Larking from Bardsey Primary school was elected as the 2012-13 Children's Mayor of Leeds.
The ten finalists’ manifestos have now been uploaded to the Breeze website allowing people across the city to vote for their three favourite entries. Voting is open until 5pm on Monday 4th November.
The ten finalists will be invited for tea with the Lord Mayor on 7th November where the winner will be announced, who will then accompany the Lord Mayor to the turning on of the Leeds Lights – which will just be the start of a year of exciting opportunities representing the children of Leeds.
The next phase of a one million pound face lift for Tropical World in Leeds was approved today.
The city council gave the go ahead for a further 5 hundred thousand pounds to be spent on refurbishing the wildlife visitor attraction. Areas which will now be revamped include the reptile enclosure and the aquarium.
Free parking on Sundays and evenings in Leeds could be scrapped. The council will decide today if to introduce charges which it's thought would generate an extra 2 hundred thousand pounds a year. Leeds is currently one of only 3 cities offering free off peak parking.
A charity that works with some of the poorest people in Leeds says it is worried that a further £55m of budget cuts at Leeds City Council will affect some of the most needy people in the city's communities. Mark Law from Barca says they will hit low earners and lone parents, among others.
The leader of Leeds City Council says this year's budget is the hardest one he was worked on. Councillor Keith Wakefield says some of the decisions about reducing services to find £55m of savings would have been previously unthinkable.
Leeds City Council says it needs to find an extra 55 million pounds worth of savings over the next 12 months. Some services could be cut back and charges for using others could be increased as officials try to balance their budget. James Webster's been looking at the figures.
Leeds City Council will discuss details of its budget for the next financial year at a meeting on Friday 15 February before it is approved later in the month. Current proposals to help find a further £54.9m of savings include:
Increasing council house rents, garage rents and service charges by 5.9%
Children's nursery fees to be increased by £2 a day
Above-inflation rise in council fees and charges
Sport charges to increase by around 4%
School clothing allowances to end
Bereavement charges to increase by 7.5%
Review of evening and Sunday parking charges
Review of adult social care services which are currently free
New or increased charges for council events
End some elements of free home to school/college travel from September 2013
Seasonal closures of heritage facilities
The council says its decisions have been influenced by a survey of 2000 people who called for culture and leisure services to be cut the most. Those questioned wanted children's services to be protected and said parking and leisure centre prices could generate more income.
This has been by far the hardest budget to set in my time on the council and we want to be up front with people about the scale of the challenge we are facing and what these changes will mean. Making decisions which we know will be unpopular over price increases and budget cuts is not something any of us wanted to make, but the position is now so difficult we have had no choice but to look at areas we had previously avoided.
– Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield
Leeds City Council's leader has warned of painful decisions trying to find a further £55m of budget cuts over the next financial year. Councillor Keith Wakefield says the key theme of spending for 2013/14 will be "protecting essential services by making painful decisions we can no longer avoid."
In the two years since the government began its public spending review Leeds City Council has found £145m of savings. During the next financial year £54.9m extra has to be saved from the budget. 334 full time jobs will go and other proposals include service reductions and extra charges.
Again this year the statistics show that Leeds has been hit harder than all the other core cities except one in terms of funding from the government. As a result in order to do all we can to protect essential services we have had to look at making decisions which previously we would have considered unthinkable. We are doing all we can to keep the impact of these changes to a minimum, but at the same time we also have a firm commitment to growth, embracing new ideas and working together to deliver a strong future for Leeds.
– Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield