Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Proposals to build an ice-rink at Elland Road will be considered by senior councillors next week.

Proposals to build an ice-rink at Elland Road will be considered by senior councillors next week.

At a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board on Wednesday 22 July, councillors will consider an approach from one of the country’s biggest ice rink operators to build a rink at the Elland Road site near the football stadium.

Although in it’s early stages, the proposal could help kick-start a master plan to regenerate that part of south Leeds and facilitate an early start to work on the western end of a new loop road which would relieve traffic congestion on Elland Road.

The new road will also strengthen Leeds’s bid to secure Host City status for the World Cup 2018 as it would form part of the environmental improvements needed around the Elland Road site to meet the criteria to host matches.

The ice rink operator currently operates 8 ice rinks across the UK and runs educational sessions for schools at off-peak times. The Leeds proposal would be available for ‘pay-as-you-skate’ customers and the venue could have a resident ice hockey team with up to 2000 seats for spectators.

Councillor Andrew Carter, Leeds City Council’s executive board member with responsibility for city development, said:

“Although this is only a proposal, even at this early stage the benefits that such a development will bring to south Leeds and the wider city are clear.

“It will kick-start our plans to regenerate the Elland Road site, bring jobs to the area and a permanent city ice rink will fill one of the few remaining gaps in the city’s sporting infrastructure, at no cost to the council. In the middle of a recession, it is also a welcome opportunity for investment in an area of the city which has long been identified as being in need of regeneration. The proposals certainly merit careful consideration.”

If it goes ahead, the ice rink development, which will have its own dedicated parking, could kick-start redevelopment which would ultimately provide 2,750 parking spaces, the new loop road and a new bus terminus and park and ride facility.

Members of the council’s executive board will be asked to approve the proposals from the applicant and grant the company a period of six months exclusivity to progress its ideas for the development.

The full report will be presented to the Leeds City Council’s executive board on Wednesday 22 July. The meeting begins at 1pm and will be held at the Leeds Civic Hall. Advance copies of the report are available by calling the council press office on 0113 2243602.

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Notes to Editors:


1. In 2006 a review of the Unitary Development Plan, the city’s planning blueprint identified the Elland Road site as land reserved for leisure and tourism proposals which would enhance the regional and national role of the city.

2. In 2007 Leeds City Council developed a Masterplan for the Elland Road setting out a planning vision for developing the site, with the support and involvement of the local community, and which identified the eighteen and half hectares of brownfield land, as having potential for leisure and tourism development.

3. On 13 May 2009 and 17 June 2009 the council’s executive board received reports on the likelihood that Leeds could become a host city for the football World Cup 2018, should England secure the nomination form the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The Leeds bid is based upon games being played at Elland Road Stadium and is, due to the way in which the benefits of host city status would spread well beyond the Leeds MDC boundary, effectively a city region bid. The bid is supported by Leeds United and Yorkshire Forward.
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For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office(0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

A vision for day services for older people

Proposals to develop services for older people, so that they will meet the future needs and wishes of those who will use them will be discussed by Leeds City Council’s executive board next week.

Further plans to strengthen the city’s Neighbourhood Network schemes, which provide services and activities for older people and are managed by local people, will also be considered.

Councillor Peter Harrand, Leeds City Council’s executive board member responsible for adult health and social care said:

“The time has come for us to reflect a number of changes in the way older people want their support to be arranged.

“Reducing numbers of people attending our traditional day centres tell us that this service is no longer providing what people want. In addition, rapidly increasing numbers of people taking up dementia services tell us that this is a trend we must take urgent steps to keep up with.”

Senior councillors attending a meeting of Leeds City Council's executive board on Wednesday 22 July, will hear how overall attendance at the city’s 21 day centres for older people is falling, as the kinds of service they offer no longer reflect the range of activities and support the new generation of older people want.

Many older people have already ‘voted with their feet’ and are instead turning to support offered by their local Neighbourhood Network. Others have chosen to take up a Direct Payment and arrange, with help, a package of support that can be tailored exactly to the person’s unique needs, rather than the more limited range of options offered in day centres.

The current proposal builds on a strategy to modernise day services that was agreed in 2008. It suggests giving a new focus to the existing day centres which, if the proposals are accepted, would create a network of centres operating across the city. They will provide specialist services for people who have dementia and their carers and, for people who need help to regain their skills in independent living, a ‘re-ablement service’.

‘Re-ablement’ is as a programme of intensive support, where a person has over time lost confidence. It has been shown to lead to significant improvement in people’s motivation, mobility and self-reliance.

It is proposed that there will be three lead dementia resource centres, supported by dementia day respite centres. Similarly, three lead re-ablement resource centres will be supported by re-ablement day centres.

If the proposals are accepted, six of the present day centres will not continue with their current services. An earlier phase of day centre modernisation, concluded in December 2008, successfully supported the transfer of people attending four under-used day centres to take up other activities or move to other day centres. People in the six centres which are likely to be affected in the current proposals would receive the same practical and sensitive support.

Any running costs left after re-allocating the use of day centres will be invested in community services, particularly services providing self-directed support.

Next steps will be to hold a wide ranging consultation among day centre users, staff and others with an interest in day services. Centre members will be asked what they value about their day service and what future options they might wish to take advantage of. All will be reassured that no decisions will be taken about the centre they attend until the consultation is complete and they have had a chance to contribute.

To support the move to increasingly specialised day services, a second report sets out how the council intends to support the Neighbourhood Networks to further develop their services in the light of the increase in demand for support for older people.

A review of the organisations, which started in 2007, has led to proposals for future funding provided by the council and NHS Leeds to be allocated according to a carefully calculated formula. This takes into account local conditions including levels of deprivation and the age profile of the resident population.

This will address inequalities in funding that have grown up over the years. It will also introduce quality assurance arrangements that will allow the council to commission from the Neighbourhood Networks services that will support older people in the long term.

Councillor Harrand added:

“The changes we propose work together in a way which we believe will meet the diverse future needs of our elderly population. People are living longer and there is a growing cohort of older people who need a high level of support. This is what our day services must concentrate on providing. There are also growing numbers of older people who can live an active and independent lifestyle with different kinds of support, which the Neighbourhood Networks are so good at giving. We believe our proposals will give Leeds’s older people a service that is fit for the future.”

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Notes for editors

The six unallocated day centres are: Woodhouse, Naburn Court (Whinmoor), Doreen Hamilton (Osmondthorpe), Otley, Holbeck and Bramley Lawn.

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For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office(0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk

Lord Mayor highlights the dangers of drink driving

The dangers of drink-driving will be highlighted by the Lord Mayor of Leeds on Friday when she carries out a police impairment test while ‘under the influence of alcohol’.

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott, will don a pair of ‘drink goggles' which simulate the effect of alcohol by altering the wearer’s visual perceptions of what’s happening around them.

She will then be asked to perform a number of recognised police impairment tests - including walking in a straight line and standing on one leg - to see how the glasses affect her reactions.

******************** Media opportunity ********************
Media are invited to the courtyard entrance of Leeds Civic Hall at 11am on Friday 17 July, to meet the Lord Mayor of Leeds, and try out the ‘drink goggles’ themselves. Members of the road safety promotion unit and a senior officer from West Yorkshire Police will also be available for interview/comment.
Please contact the press office on 0113 395 1578 to arrange.
******************** Media opportunity ********************

The simulation is part of Leeds City Council’s road safety promotion unit’s summer campaign to highlight the dangers of drinking and driving.

Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Judith Elliott said:
”It’s really important that people aren’t tempted to drink and drive this summer or at any other time. These ‘drink goggles’ allow us to demonstrate just how much a person’s judgement is impaired under the influence of alcohol – thankfully without the fatal consequences that are often a result of drink-driving.”

Councillor Stuart Andrew, lead member for road safety said:
“The temptation to drink alcohol is very high during the holiday season, particularly when visiting family and friends. However there is no safe way to estimate the level of alcohol in your blood so it is simply safer to never drive after you have had a drink and always make use of public transport, book a taxi or make sure you have a designated driver.”
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Additional info

The council’s road safety promotion unit aims to educate the people of Leeds about road safety and offers a comprehensive service to nurseries, schools and colleges. It offers advice to parents, drivers and pedestrians and is involved in local, regional and national campaigns.

The unit can be contacted on 0113 247 5804, or by email to road.safety@leeds.gov.uk or on the council’s website at www.leeds.gov.uk/roadsafety

The legal limit in the UK is 80 milligrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. There is no way an individual can tell if they are over that limit as it can depend on many factors such as the amount and type of alcoholic drink, your weight, sex, age, food intake and metabolism. It is simply safer to NOT drink and drive at all.

Driving or attempting to drive whilst above the legal limit or unfit through drink carries a risk of imprisonment, a fine of up to £5,000 and a minimum 12 months driving ban.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk