Thursday, 28 January 2010

Proposals for Kirkstall transfer station ‘not value for money’

Kirkstall should not be the home of a dedicated transfer site for Leeds’ new waste treatment facility, according to a recommendation being put to councillors.

Officials assessing bids by contractors looking to run the treatment facility for the city’s non-recycled waste are recommending to Leeds City Council’s Executive Board that plans to develop the Kirkstall waste site to include a dedicated transfer station are not good value for money and should be dropped.

The existing facility on Evanston Avenue, off Kirkstall Road, is currently a Household Waste Sorting Site as well as a transfer site for a range of recyclable materials and other specialist wastes.

Expanding the site to include a transfer station had been considered to provide another point for the delivery of black bin waste collected from households before being sent to the main treatment facility in east Leeds.

However, an independent analysis of the costs of redeveloping the site showed doing so did not represent good value for money and most of the city’s waste is already delivered directly to the Skelton Grange landfill site in south east Leeds, in close proximity to the two possible sites for the proposed treatment facility.

The Kirkstall site will, however, continue to receive waste and act as a sorting site for household waste. It currently handles around 26,000 tonnes a year

Councillor James Monaghan, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:

“We have been able to look at the costs quoted by contractors in the running to develop the waste treatment facility and we can see it just wouldn’t be good value for money to put a further dedicated transfer station at Kirkstall.

“The process of finding a way to deal with our non-recyclable waste has been open to a whole range of different options that we have to examine one-by-one, from different sites to different kinds of technology.

“This is just one option we have looked at and rejected as not value for money.”

Notes for editors:

In April 2008 the council secured PFI credits worth £68.9million from the government towards the development of a waste treatment facility.

A part of the related approval process, the council identified the former wholesale market site in the Cross Green industrial estate as the ‘reference’ site for the main treatment facility and the Kirkstall site as the transfer station location.

However the council has made clear that it has no preference for a particular site or technology, and has designed the procurement to enable a range of different sites and technology options to come forward from bidders.

The programme for the project is likely to be that procurement, which began July 2008, will see a contract awarded in around March 2011. It is anticipated that planning permission for the treatment facility will be submittted, by the contractor in March 2011, which will require consultation with local communities, and a detailed Environmental Impact Assessment. Construction and commissioning will take place between 2012 and 2014. It is anticipated that the technology will become operational during 2014.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Council watchdog calls for more children’s social care staff

A council watchdog is calling for more children’s social care staff to be included in Leeds City Council’s spending proposals for 2010.

The Scrutiny Board for Children’s Services has made the call in an interim report of a year-long investigation into safeguarding services for children in Leeds. The full report will be published later in the year.

The board agreed to publish the interim report so it could make clear recommendations on children’s social care staffing resources before the council’s budget decisions are finalised in February for 2010/11.

Councillor Bill Hyde, chair of the Scrutiny Board (Children’s Services), said:
“We felt that children’s social care staffing was such an important issue that it was crucial we were in a position to guide and influence the council’s spending decisions in this area as early as possible.

“While we have been encouraged by some of the new children’s social care recruitment initiatives in Leeds, large numbers of staff still have extremely high case loads to deal with and this has been added to by the recent increase in referrals following the publicity surrounding cases such as baby P.

“We will be producing a final report and making further recommendations in the near future. Our final report will cover the full range of areas that we have examined during our inquiry, which has included 17 visits and meetings so far. However we felt that it was urgent that we make this recommendation before the budget is set for next year.”

The board is making the following recommendations:

• That Leeds City Council’s executive board includes an increased resource for children’s social care staffing in the budget proposals to be put forward to council in February 2010.

• That the costings for an assessment caseload of 20 cases are used as a minimum starting point for working towards a children’s social work service with sufficient staff to ensure a reasonable caseload.

Copies of the interim report, entitled, Scrutiny Inquiry report Safeguarding – Interim Report are available from the Scrutiny Support Unit: scrutiny.unit@leeds.gov.uk.

Ends
Notes to editors:


1. In January 2009 the Leader of Leeds City Council asked the Scrutiny Board for Children’s Services to undertake an inquiry into safeguarding arrangements for children in Leeds.

2. The board agreed to focus on two key areas: whether the council had adequate children’s social work resources to meet core child protection responsibilities and whether it’s safeguarding duty and preventative work was effective, particularly at a wedge level.

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

Local Young People Show Racism the Red Card

Issued on behalf of Show Racism the Red Card

CONTACT: Jo Wallis
ORGANISATION: Show Racism the Red Card
PHONE: (0191) 257 8519/ 0708 815 732
EMAIL: jo@theredcard.org
WEBSITE: www.theredcard.org

EVENT: Anti-Racism Educational Event
Lord Mayor’s Banquet Hall, Leeds Civic Centre, LS1 1UR
WHEN: Tuesday 2nd February 1pm-3pm

PHOTO/PRESS OPPORTUNITY: 2.50pm

ATTENDING: Former Leeds players Brian Deane, John Hendrie and Chris Kamara (TV presenter and football analyst)
Former Coventry City player Mick Ferguson
Bradford City player Zesh Rehman

Young people from Leeds primary schools have been invited to a Show Racism the Red Card event on Tuesday 2nd February in partnership with Education Leeds and Leeds United FC. They will take part in an educational workshop and view a screening of Show Racism the Red Card’s DVD, featuring top footballers. Former Leeds players Brian Deane, John Hendrie and Chris Kamara as well as Bradford City’s Zesh Rehman are amongst those attending the event. These footballers will form a Q and A panel and answer questions on racism from the young people.

Ged Grebby, Chief Executive of Show Racism the Red Card said:

“Show Racism the Red Card is proud to host this event in Leeds. One of the best ways to change racist attitudes is for role models, such as professional footballers, to engage with young people on the issues and present an anti-racist message. Our events have a lasting positive impact on the young people”.

Chris Edwards, Chief Executive of Education Leeds said:

“We want our children to appreciate and value the cultures, faiths and beliefs that make up our great city. We want to build respect, tolerance and understanding and help young people recognise the part they can play in eradicating racism in our schools and in our communities.

"This brilliant event will be a great opportunity for these young people find out how they can help change attitudes and promote the importance of treating everyone fairly and equally.”

All of the young people will leave with a goody bag of Show Racism the Red Card’s resources including this season’s football team poster, signed by the guest panellists.

--END--

Note to Editor
Show Racism the Red Card was established in 1996 with the aim of harnessing the high profile of professional footballers to combat racism in society. They produce a range of tools and resources to combat racism through anti-racist education – these are used in thousands of schools across the country. The SRtRC team deliver anti-racist workshops both in the classroom and through events at regional Football Clubs.

Shoppers rewarded for staying local

Shoppers in Armley and Pudsey will soon be rewarded for staying local thanks to a new reward card scheme being launched this week.

The ‘Shop Local’ reward card is a first for both towns and is designed to encourage more shoppers to use the local retailers.

Media opportunity:
The Shop Local reward card will be launched on:
Friday 29 January 2010 at 11am outside the library in Pudsey and at 12 noon at the compass forecourt in Armley.
Nigel Conder the Town Centre Manager for both towns will be joined by local councillors, businesses and retailers to launch the new shop local card. Members of the media are invited to attend to find out more about the scheme.


Shoppers can collect a reward card from participating retailers and will then need to collect six stamps from six different retailers over the month. Once their card is full they either post it back or bring it in person to either the Armley or Pudsey One Stop Centre and post it in the box provided. At the end of the month a draw will take place and the winner will receive £50 of vouchers to spend in their respective towns at participating retailers.

People can enter as many times as they like, so there is no limit to the number of chances to win, and there is no minimum spend limit to receive a stamp.

There are 30 retailers who are supporting the scheme in Pudsey and 32 in Armley. Retailers who are participating in the scheme will display a poster in their shop so they can be easily identified.

Nigel Conder, Town Centre Manager for Armley and Pudsey said:
“This is a one of a kind scheme which not only gives local shoppers a chance to win vouchers every month, it will also encourage more people to use our excellent local retailers and in doing so, boost the local economy.”

In addition to the new reward card scheme businesses in the Pudsey Business Forum have developed a Pudsey shop local magazine and website.

Steve Lightfoot, Chairman of Pudsey Business Forum said:
"2009 was a tough year for retailers in Pudsey and especially small independent retailers.

“We needed to do something to counteract all the negatives and working together seemed to be the right way to go about it. So businesses got together to form the small business forum and we decided, with help from the Pudsey Town Centre Manager, to launch three projects. A magazine which would be produced at cost price to promote the shops, a website which will have free advertising for local shops and a reward card scheme where shoppers can win £50 worth of local shopping vouchers. As far as shops are concerned it only costs £20 to get involved in all three projects.”

The business forum meets every month and any shop owner or manager can come along to the meetings. Meetings are every last Wednesday in the month at Café Atlanta in Pudsey.

The website shopinpudsey.co.uk is being launched on Friday 29th January and will enable members of the public to find out more about what shops Pudsey has to offer. The website will give members of the public plenty of information but the best way of course if to make a visit to the shops themselves.

The new quarterly magazine, Shop Local, is aimed at building the profile of shops and businesses in and around Pudsey. The magazine has been complied on a totally ‘not for profit’ basis by members of the forum themselves, in order to give businesses a chance to advertise to the local community in a full size glossy magazine.

Nigel Conder, added:
“There are some great shops in Pudsey, some old established businesses and some very new ones, the magazine and website will be great tools for these businesses to demonstrate what this town has to offer.

“Pudsey has a wealth of skills and services and the forum members are working hard to raise the profile of their town. The magazine and website show just how committed they are to doing this. They have given their time freely to produce these in record time”

Because there are no design fees or sales people to pay, every single penny goes into printing costs. The first edition – launched in December 2009 was 12 pages and took 3 weeks from start to finish. 4000 copies were produced and are being distributed around LS28, in bars, waiting rooms, shops, Dentist and Doctors surgeries, the library, One Stop Shop, and the Leisure Centre.

Rachel Jolley from Red, an embroidery and print business in Pudsey – who have produced the magazine, said:
“The magazine speaks for itself and businesses can see that they are getting true value for money. We would like to build on the distribution over time, and make it something that the community look forward to getting hold of.”

The forum will be releasing four issues per year, and aim to, if possible increase distribution to at least 20,000 by the end of the year. The next issue will be out in March 2010.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council Press Office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk