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.
Voting is open to everyone. People can cast their votes at: http://www.breezeleeds.org/pg/228/LeedsChildren'sMayor/ http://www.tinyurl.com/LCM2013 or by email to[firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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.
Leeds City Council has paid out more than £600,000 compensation claims caused by potholes in the last five years. More than 1,600 claims were lodged during that time - but only a fraction have actually been settled.
Last year, 355 claims were made by drivers for personal injury claims or car repairs - but only 55 have been settled. In 2010, one injury claim attracted more than twenty six thousand pounds.