Friday, 21 August 2009

Leeds City Council reaction to GMB/Unison strike ballot

A Leeds City Council spokesman said:
"We note with interest the results of the Unison and GMB ballots - in particular the fact the figures show significantly less than half of the membership of both unions have voted in favour of a strike.
"Clearly, industrial action is regrettable and we are disappointed Unison and the GMB have chosen this course of action.
"We have contingency plans in place, and will do our best to keep any disruption to services to a minimum where possible.
"As soon as we know what actions the unions will take, we'll write to residents to inform them of our plans."

More state-of-the-art play areas to be announced

Six more exciting new play areas are expected to get the go ahead next week.

Council chiefs will discuss the locations of the final six sites to benefit from the £1.1 million ‘Playbuilder’ scheme at a meeting of the executive board next week (Wednesday 26 August).

A total of 22 play areas will be created or renovated as part of the scheme, which will focus on providing safe and exciting play spaces for children between eight and 13. the first 16 sites were agreed at the executive board meeting in June.

The funding has come from the Department for Children, Schools and Families Playbuilder programme, which was announced last December. Some of the money will be used to create new facilities and some to revamp existing locations.

The Playbuilder programme provides the council with a unique opportunity to address play issues as a key part of other wider initiatives for regeneration, health and wellbeing across the city’s diverse neighbourhoods, building on the local partnership’s strong capacity and its successful track record for creativity and innovation.

The new play areas will provide children with stimulating equipment and landscaping and will be accessible to children with disabilities. All 22 sites will be ready for March 31 2011.

Councillor Stewart Golton, executive board member responsible for Children’s Services, said:“Outdoor play is such an important part of a child’s life and has a great impact on their future development so it is vital that we are able to provide good quality, accessible and exciting play areas.
“The Playbuilder project will mean we will soon start to see huge improvements at playgrounds right across the city. “

The proposed locations for the new play areas are all within wards which currently do not have good access to play spaces for children, they are:
Cross Flatts Park
Seacroft Gardens
Horsforth Hall Park
Cookridge Holy Trinity Primary School
Tinshill Gardens
Butcher Hill

These projects will only go ahead subject to community support and consultation as well as the adoption of long term maintenance and health and safety requirements. Residents’ views and input from children and young people will help form the design of all the proposed sites, if there is community support.

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

ALMO team hit for six in community-building match

As England’s Ashes dreams hang in the balance, West North West Homes Leeds have been trounced by a team from Armley Mosque in a 20/20 cricket match held at New Farnley Cricket Club.

The match was the culmination of relationship-building cricket sessions held at St Bartholomew’s in Armley – part of a process to build relations between West North West Homes and the Mosque, which will enable them to better understand and assist the housing needs and tenancy priorities of the Muslim community within the area.

West North West Homes Leeds (WNWHL) is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO), which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council.

The final score of the well-attended match at New Farnley Cricket Club was a hotly debated topic, however WNWHL’s was forced to accept defeat. They have challenged Armley Mosque to more matches to try and claw back some wins and hopefully improve their game.

The match raised money to buy cricket equipment for young people at the Mosque and a donation is to be made to the British heart Foundation.

Housing information surgeries have been established at Armley Mosque for the local Muslim community, traditionally a hard to reach group for the ALMO, to get advice from local housing staff on all aspects of their tenancies and on how to apply for a council home. WNWHL is now looking to repeat this success in initiating dialogue and interaction with other faith groups and under represented communities.

Cathy Clelland, chair of the West North West Homes Leeds board, said:
“A great day was had by all and I’m sure the staff will bounce back and give their opponents a run for their money in the future.
“This cricket match was a great way to bring us closer to the communities we serve, enabling us to reach people we normally wouldn’t have contact with.
“West North West Homes Leeds needs to engage with all the communities in its area, and we will continue to try fun, interesting ways to do so.”

Notes for editors
West North West Homes Leeds
is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) 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.
West North West Homes Leeds covers the areas of Otley, Pool, Bramhope, Guiseley, Yeadon, Cookridge, Rawdon, Holt Park. Tinshill, Horsforth, Kirkstall, Burley, Armley, Bramley, Pudsey, Woodhouse, Wortley, Farnley, and New Farnley.

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