Monday, 2 March 2009

Long serving Leeds architect retires

Following 34 years of dedicated service at Leeds City Council, Tony Scott, architectural manager at the Strategic Design Alliance, will retire on Friday 27 February.

Tony joined the department of architecture and landscape of Leeds City Council as an assistant principal architect in January 1975, working alongside Barry McCarthy, Steve Kilburn, and Martin Oldfield in division three. After a number of years at Dudley House, the office relocated to Sweet Street, and then Merrion House, prior to the eventual refurbishment of Adams Court.

Tony was promoted to principal architect in the housing group in 1982, undertaking new-build housing and sheltered housing with assistance from Barry. In 1987 he took the opportunity to take responsibility for the newly formed CAD bureau, which became heavily involved in creation of the DALPLAN housing range, as well as the new Leeds Magistrates Court. He was appointed assistant chief architect in 1992, working closely with John Thorp, before being promoted to chief architect and then architectural manager.

More recently, Tony has been involved in award winning projects such as the Tiled Hall, Leeds and New Bewerley Community School.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader and executive member for city development said:“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Tony for his many years of dedicated service. Thirty four years in public service is a fantastic commitment and Tony leaves behind him a legacy of fine buildings of which he can be justly proud."


For media enquiries please contact:
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 395 1578

Leeds: The Housing City - The EASEL apprentice building homes in his own community

He’s the local lad building council homes for local folks and, with jobs across the country becoming scarcer as recession bites, is proof that a £1.2bn Leeds regeneration scheme is creating work for local young people.

David Reynolds is the latest local apprentice to start work on homes for his own community as part of the East and South East Leeds (EASEL) scheme, run by Leeds City Council and developers Bellway.

The 19-year-old from Seacroft was chosen by Bellway from several aspiring youngsters put forward by Leeds College of Building, managers of the locally-based Construction Skills Training Centre. He is now working on the development at ‘The Oaks’, off Oak Tree Drive in Gipton – which will include council houses.

The news of his recruitment to the EASEL scheme comes after Leeds City Council announced a £2m investment in the scheme’s house-building programme, which has already begun to pay off in terms of sustaining employment and training opportunities in the face of challenging economic difficulties.

David joins the first EASEL apprentice, Nathaniel Welsh from Gipton, who was recruited last year. David’s positive attitude and achievements put him way ahead of the competition and he sets a great example to other young people who might be thinking about training for a career in the construction industry.

Currently working towards his NVQ Level II Modern Foundation Apprenticeship in joinery, David attended John Smeaton Community College where he successfully completed his GCSEs. When he’s not wielding saw and chisels, David's interests focus on sport, especially football.

Keeping several teams of construction workers in employment, the continuation of the EASEL house-building programme demonstrates the confidence the council has in the partnership, confirming that it is well-placed to withstand the impact of the recession.

As part of EASEL’s promise to improve housing quality and choice, the sites on which work has started – Parkway in Seacroft and the Oaks in Gipton – will include a total of 10 new houses which will be taken over as council houses while 10 will be developed for a ‘rent to mortgage’ option. They will all be managed by East North East Homes Leeds – one of the three Arms Length Management Organisations that manage the council’s housing stock. the remaining 33 from the sites will go on the market, and a range of affordable purchase options is currently be developed.

Cllr Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for housing, said:
“David’s arrival is proof of the council’s commitment to making sure that the EASEL Regeneration Initiative and in particular Bellway Homes’ house-building programme can continue to benefit local people despite the economy’s problems.
“In particular, our young people deserve the best services we can offer to help them reach their full potential.
“As well as enjoying a first class training opportunity on his doorstep at the Construction Skills Training Centre, David will be well placed for the construction industry job market as it recovers. I wish him all the best with his apprenticeship.”

Notes for editors:
Leeds: The Housing City
is a campaign highlighting Leeds City Council’s commitment to providing affordable housing for the people of Leeds.

Last week, council leaders publicly declared that housing was the number one priority for the city in increasingly dire economic times. The campaign will raise awareness of the good work that is now going on in the face of economic crisis – the very time that people need help. Bold new measures designed to encourage developers to continue building homes, pumping millions into existing schemes and providing new ways to tackle council housing waiting lists were announced, including:
• A £3.78million kick-start for the building of affordable homes through the Strategic Affordable Housing Partnership, which will see homes built on 87 acres of public ‘brown field’ land – with work on 86 properties starting this year
• Encouraging developers to build affordable housing by waiving the Section 106 planning contribution for housing developments that are 100% affordable
• Spending £2.4million to buy 27 properties, 10 of which will become council houses and the others becoming affordable rented properties.

The new policies follow other innovative moves brought in since the end of last year, as the housing crisis began, including:
• Raising the amount of affordable housing a developer must provide from 15%-20% to 30%, which will be introduced as part of supplementary planning guidance but in the current climate is being dealt with on case-by-case basis
• Reducing the under-occupation of the largest council homes by giving tenants £1,000 for every bedroom that they release in a downsize
• Commissioning Re’new to develop a strategy for the city’s 19,500 back-to-back houses, with the council leading on development of a city-wide strategy to encompass back-to-back and other old, poor quality housing
• Becoming the most successful authority in the country at returning empty property to use
• The levying of 100% Council Tax charge on empty properties
• Helping people who are at risk of losing their homes with a mortgage relief scheme through the Golden Triangle Partnership, working towards a city-wide approach with potential support from central government
• Developing a city-wide approach to improve access to and provision of housing advice, and increase the options available to all the people of Leeds.

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