Tuesday, 2 March 2010

CORRECTION: Faulty fire alarms land landlord in court

A Leeds based property management and letting agent has been found guilty in Leeds Magistrates Court for failing to properly manage a licensable House in Multiple Occupation.

YourStudentHome.com Ltd, based in Headingley, was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay £516 costs on Thursday.

The firm had pleaded guilty to the charge that the smoke alarms provided at the five-bedroom shared student house at 17 Claremont Avenue were not maintained in good working order.

The case came about as a result of an inspection of the property by an officer from Leeds City Council. They found that the fire alarms were not working, putting the five tenants at serious risk if a fire had broken out.

In order to protect the tenants the council officer arranged for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service to visit the property and provided temporary smoke alarms.

Under the Housing Act 2004 all Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMOs) are required to have fire alarm systems and there is a legal duty on managers of these properties to ensure that fire alarm systems are maintained.

Councillor Les Carter, Leeds City Council executive board member for housing, said:
“The majority of landlords in Leeds take their responsibilities to their tenants seriously, but when we find any that do not we will not hesitate to take action.
“Our HMO licensing scheme is there to protect tenants, help landlords maintain standards, and make sure that rented accommodation in the city is safe.”

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

Governors at Bramham and Shadwell primary schools announce federation plans

Governors at Bramham Primary School and Shadwell Primary School have announced plans to create a federation where both would share a management team and governing body.

Proposals have been made to create the federation from September 2010 and a consultation with parents and all interested parties will now take place to gather opinion before a final decision is made.

The proposals have been made because the governors believe that both schools would benefit from working together, delivering a high quality education to every child as part of the 21st Century Schools idea which promotes partnership working.

At a joint governing body meeting last month, governors from both schools voted in favour of the proposals and agreed for a formal consultation to take place. If the plans go-ahead, it would create the Federation of Bramham and Shadwell Primary Schools.

The federation proposals mean:
• Admission numbers and arrangements for each school will stay the same.
• Children will continue to be educated in their current school.
• Facilities will be shared to the advantage of children at both schools.
• The headteacher and deputy headteacher at Shadwell will be shared across both the schools.
• The two schools will continue to have budgets set based on the number of pupils at each school but will have an opportunity to share resources.
• A new joint governing body would be established for both schools.

Sue Morgan, chair of governors at Bramham Primary School, said:
“Being a small school presents some challenges in delivering both the curriculum and extended activities. Being part of a federation would provide Bramham primary with access to more resources and staff expertise which will only help our children. All governors at the school are confident that this would be a very positive and exciting development for the school.”

Martyn Stenton, vice chair of governors at Shadwell Primary School, said:
“Having discussed possible options at length with a number of other governors and education professionals, I see the option of federation as a positive step forward for Shadwell.

“It will allow us to build on our current successes and strengths which include the leadership and management of the school. Working more formally with governors at another school will help us to be more outward looking and find new ways to respond to the changes and challenges ahead. As governors we believe this will help both Bramham and Shadwell to become more successful learning environments.”

Chris Edwards, chief executive of Education Leeds, said:
“Schools are facing bigger challenges than ever before. These schools’ governors have announced these innovative proposals as they feel the changes would help provide even better education and opportunities for all the children. It’s important for children, parents and local communities that this proposal is given full consideration.”

The consultation will run until 5pm on 19 April 2010 and all parents and interested groups are urged to take part to ensure their opinions are considered.

Written comments can be made to both schools, the addresses of which are: Shadwell Primary School, Main Street, Shadwell, Leeds, LS17 8JF; or Bramham Primary School, Clifford Road, Bramham, Leeds, LS23 6JQ.

Comments can also be emailed to: shadwellps@leedslearning.net or bramhamps@leedslearning.net.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Make your efforts count towards elections results

People are getting the chance to play an important part behind the scenes in the forthcoming local and national elections as Leeds City Council begins its search for vote counters.

With local authority elections to take place on Thursday May 6th and the announcement of a General Election due in the near future, more counters than usual will be required.

Around 550 people in total are expected to be needed for the important task of checking and counting the votes and anyone over the age of 18 can put themselves forward. Fees will be paid.

Leeds City Council’s elections manager Alex Meek said:
“Many council staff will be helping out at the elections but members of the public are vital to the overall effort. This year in particular we will need a significant number of counting assistants as we will be hosting both local and national elections.”

In addition to the large number of counters required the council is also recruiting the extra people needed for a variety of other elections posts. They include poll clerks to work at polling stations and postal vote opening clerks.

To find out more about applying, call 0113- 395 2858 email electors@leeds.gov.uk
or visit the Leeds elections employment section on the council’s website, where you can also download an application form.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

International footballer to be special guest at sports day

The captain of the England partially sighted football team is to be a special guest at this year’s Visually Impaired Team Sports Day.

Steve Daley will lead a session at the John Charles Centre for Sport on Thursday (March 4) afternoon and will talk to the young people about his experiences.

**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********
Media are invited to the John Charles Centre for Sport on Thursday 4 March. Events will take place in the indoor athletics hall between 12.45pm and 3pm and awards presented between 3pm and 3.15pm. Please ask for Kathryn O’Doherty at reception.
**********MEDIA OPPORTUNITY**********

All children and young people with a visual impairment in Leeds aged 8+ have been invited to the sports day which will run between 10am and 3pm. They will have the opportunity to try a range of activities including Ju-Jitsu, goalball, football, athletics and cricket. The day has been organised in partnership with Leeds City Council, Action for Blind People, and the Federation of Disability Sport and is part of the No Limits programme run by Education Leeds’ Visually Impaired team.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Jon Crampton, Leeds City Council press office, 0113 3951577
Email: jon.crampton@leeds.gov.uk

Help make a difference to children and young people with disabilities

A glamorous gala ball is being held to raise awareness of disabilities which can affect children and young people – and your help is needed to make it a success.

The Raising Profiles Gala Ball - organised by the Leeds North West Specialist Inclusive Learning Centre (Penny Field and Green Meadows Schools) - will take place at Harewood House on Thursday 22 July to raise money and understanding for disabilities which affect children and young people in Leeds.

Christa Ackroyd and Harry Gration, from BBC Look North, will attend on the night and will be giving the ball their full support to raise the profile of coping with disabilities and to help raise as much money as possible.

30 tables, each sitting 10 guests, will be available and each will be themed around a film which has helped to raise awareness of a particular disability.

For example, one table will be named the ‘Rain Man’ table, based on the 1988 film starring Dustin Hoffman, which raised the profile of autism, while another will be the Forrest Gump table, based around the 1994 film starring Tom Hanks which looked at cerebral palsy and autism.

Each table will paired with a charity supporting a particular disability and will include souvenir bags with copies of the film and information about the disability and how it can be helped through fundraising and support.

The NW SILC is looking for local businesses to get involved and support the evening by buying tickets for the night, providing prizes, sponsoring the night or helping with anything which will help to make it a success.

Malcolm Kleiman, community governor the North West SILC, said:
“We all have a collective responsibility to help make the education and life experiences of every child with a disability as happy and beneficial as possible.

“This gala ball will raise the profile of children with disabilities, celebrate the achievements of every child and provide help to provide every opportunity to enable them to fulfil their potential.

“We really want it to be a success and would welcome any support from local business which will help us achieve it. From buying tickets, donating prizes, or doing anything which will help us make a real difference, any support would be gratefully received.”

To find out more about the gala ball, to pledge your support or to buy tickets please contact Malcolm Kleiman on 07774816918 or email kleimam01@leedslearning.net

ENDS