Friday, 8 May 2009

Clean up that fosters a little pride in the community is champion

Crime and grime in an area of Gipton took a well-deserved battering when local children and a host of agencies came together to smarten things up for the community.

Gipton Approach, Brander Grove, Brander Road, Brander Street, Brander Drive and Brander Close were all targeted on Thursday 30 April by staff from East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL), estate caretakers, members of the council’s Partnership Team and Groundwork along with children from Wykebeck Valley Primary school.

Operation Champion aims to tackle crime and grime by getting agencies such as ENEHL, West Yorkshire Police, Safer Leeds, Leeds City Council’s Anti Social Behaviour Unit and Area Management to work together to target and improve an area.

ENEHL staff from its Gipton housing office tackled various overgrown areas throughout the estate and tenants and residents were provided with skips to dispose of unwanted household items. The children from Wykebeck Primary school helped plant bulbs in planters on Brander Drive.

One of the children participating said:
“I really enjoyed planting the bulbs it will make the estate look nice and it means I have put something back in the area where I live”.

Area Panel Member Andrew Wasikie who also participated in Operation Champion said:
"I am delighted to see the children participating within the local community and making a difference for all those who live in the area"

Angelena Fixter, chair of the East North East Homes Leeds Board said:
“We are committed to helping residents make a difference in their communities and recognise that how an area looks is vital to how people feel about their neighbourhood. Getting residents involved in something as simple as a litter pick, can make a big difference in fostering a sense of pride in the community.”

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member responsible for community safety and chair of Safer Leeds said:
“Operation Champion is an excellent initiative, sweeping areas across areas of Leeds to deal with problems and make neighbourhoods safer and cleaner. All of the partner agencies are to be congratulated on this joint approach to tackling crime and grime.”

Notes for editors:
East North East Homes Leeds
is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents. East North East Homes Leeds covers the areas of Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.

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

July date for Leeds’s bar ‘Oscars’

The date of the annual awards to recognise Leeds’s safest, most welcoming and best-managed pubs and bars has been announced today.

Leeds’s ‘Best Bar None’ ceremony is due to take place on Sunday 5th July 2009 at Alea Casino, Clarence Dock, Leeds.

The event, which is organised by Safer Leeds, the city’s crime reduction partnership, is now in its 3rd year.

55 pubs and bars have been entered for the awards, which include categories for best bar, best club, best pub, best door team, a listeners’ award run by Radio Aire and an overall winner.

Many pubs and bars in Leeds will be providing information on how customers can vote for their favourites.

Best Bar None rewards licensees who provide good management and a safe environment for customers. It encourages licensees to act responsibly and take pride in their premises and surroundings.

Councillor Les Carter, executive board member for community safety and chair of Safer Leeds said:
“Leeds has some of the best bars and clubs in the country, and we want to keep it that way.

“The Best Bar None awards give us the opportunity to recognise and reward licensees who provide good management, a safe and enjoyable environment for customers, discourage binge drinking and prevent alcohol-related crime.”

Notes for editors:

• Safer Leeds is the Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership (CDRP) dedicated to tacking drugs and crime in the city. It is a partnership organisation between a number of local agencies including Leeds City Council, West Yorkshire Police, NHS Leeds, West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and West Yorkshire Police Authority.
• Best Bar None is a UK-wide scheme, which is backed by the Home Office. It was piloted in Manchester in 2003 and has since been adopted by over thirty other Towns and Cities with great success.

For further information contact:
John Donegan
(0113) 247 4450 (mon-wed am) (0113) 395 1510 (wed pm-fri)

Tailored services to support disabled children across Leeds

Families of children with disabilities are being introduced to new support services this week, which will ensure each family gets a service tailored to meet their specific needs.

At a launch event today (Friday 8 May) at Leeds Civic Hall, the families will be joined by professionals to find out about the Leeds Inclusion Support service and Early Support in Leeds

The idea behind ‘Early Support’ is to coordinate services for parents of disabled children, as soon as the child is identified as needing additional help. It brings together education, social care, health services, and the voluntary sector to meet the specific needs of the family.

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive member responsible for Children’s Services said:
“Parents who find out their child has a disability have such a lot to deal with that it is vital we are there to provide the coordinated support they need. At what is often a very frightening and confusing time, the early support programme is not just about meeting the needs of the child, but also those of their parents, and their brothers and sisters as well.”

The Early Support programme brings all professionals together to work on one single plan that best meets the needs of the child and their family, and recognises that parents’ knowledge about their child is second to none.

As part of the programme parents receive a family pack so they can have, in one place, all the information they need relating to the care, support and development of their child. The pack includes information about the child’s particular disability, a family service plan to help coordinate help for the family, as well as details of what to expect from the professionals that the families and children will encounter.

Parents of disabled children have been involved in the design of the Early Support programme and its materials, to ensure that their needs and priorities are met.

After years of being a ‘virtual’ team the Leeds Inclusion Support Service has now been revamped to provide a ‘one point of contact’ for families with a child with a disability or special needs as well as professionals and service providers.

Offering advice and support on play and childcare from birth to 19, and helping families to access other services. The team will also continue to offer grants to groups to support inclusion and access to equipment, and will provide training to settings on inclusion and early support.

Friday’s event, held in the Banqueting Suite at the Civic Hall, will be a celebration of what support is available in Leeds for families with a child with a disability. The morning session consists of a series of presentations to provide both a national and local prospective of Early Support. The afternoon will be an open ‘market place’ session where parents, carers and professionals will be able to browse information stalls from service providers.

The Leeds Inclusion Support Service is part of the Pre-school Learning Alliance – an educational charity working with early years educators, childcare providers and families. For referral to the service, parents should contact the Inclusion Development worker on 0113 2243927, or email

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

Council first to win top award for community work

Picture: (from left to right) Terry Hodgkinson (Chair of Yorkshire Forward), Thea Stein (Yorkshire Forward), Lesley Sharpe (Leeds Ahead), Stephanie Burras (Leeds Ahead), Maura Brooks (Leeds City Council), Lelir Yeung (Leeds City Council), Sally-Anne Greenfield (Leeds Community Foundation) and Matthew Pinsent CBE (Guest Speaker)

A project – led by Leeds City Council – to put more back into community and the environment, has scooped a prestigious award.

The project, called ‘Leeds by Example’, has been honoured in the Creating Better Futures awards which are organised by the development agency, Yorkshire Forward.

The council, in partnership with Leeds Ahead and Leeds Community Foundation, is the first public sector organisation to win the accolade.

Leeds by Example is the name given to the authority’s corporate social responsibility programme. It is all about new ways of working, new ways of being involved and new ways of bringing about social good across the city. For example, the council is looking at how it can use its size, influence and wealth of experienced staff, to make a bigger difference to the people and communities of Leeds.

The judges were particularly complementary about the work the council has been doing to make a difference as the council presented details of projects already underway in the city.

They include:

Slivers of Time, which enables people who can only work short periods of time to get work matching their skills and availability with the council’s need for temporary staff, helping people back into work.

Volunteering programmes are being investigated through Leeds Ahead to help the council and other organisations across the region to volunteer staff time and skills to help children, communities and charities.

Work is underway to help voluntary and community groups get better access to money by ‘unlocking’ cash currently held in various trust funds totalling an estimated £650,000.

Payroll giving encourages staff to donate from their earnings before tax to help support organisations and projects across the city.

Several ‘green’ projects are looking to reduce council’s environmental impact.

Cllr Richard Brett, joint leader and executive board member with responsibility for corporate affairs said:

“It goes without saying that this is fantastic news and winning this award is the result of the hard work of our staff, and our innovative thinking, and I congratulate them.

“Being corporately and socially responsible isn’t new for us – it’s what we do as a council; but I also know there’s more that can be done.

The council has great resources and influence that it can wield and this is the start of a new way of making a difference to the lives of the residents of our city.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Andy Carter, Leeds City Council Press Office (0113) 395 0393