Monday, 26 July 2010

The spice is right at Kirkgate Market

‘Bazaar’ things will be happening at Kirkgate market next week as a new market aimed at customers who have an interest in Asian fashion, food and culture is launched.

A little taste of Asia will be coming to the open market as the ‘Bazaar at Leeds market’ opens on Wednesdays to compliment the recently introduced all day Wednesday opening of the indoor market.

The launch of ‘The Bazaar’, will take place on Wednesday 28 July, and will operate every Wednesday thereafter. Entertainment at the launch will be provided by traditional bhangra dancers, Waris Punjab De and Dhol player Rani Taj. There will also be face painting, balloon art and children’s rides amongst the many stalls selling handbags, clothes and jewellery.

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Media are invited to the launch of the Bazaar at 1pm on Wednesday 28 July on the open market at Kirkgate. There will be an opportunity to take photos of the various performances and interview Leeds City Council market staff and organizers of the Bazaar. Please call the media team on 0113 247 4450 to arrange attendance.
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There will also be the chance to win 50 free suits, one for each of the first 50 customers to return a leaflet.

With the recently introduced all day Wednesday opening of the indoor market the Bazaar will provide additional interest for existing and new customers including an eclectic mix of stalls selling Asian sweets, fabrics and clothes.

As an added incentive there is free parking after 2pm on Wednesdays in the market car park if you take a receipt for over £5 to the market office you can claim back your parking money.*

Cath Follin, head of city centre and markets said:

“It is great that we are going to have the addition of the Bazaar market to compliment the fantastic offer already available in the indoor market and also to support the all day opening of the indoor market on Wednesdays.

“The Bazaar will provide a great injection of colour to the open market and ensure that the whole market is offering a great shopping experience.”

Hassan Ali, director of The Bazaar, said:
"We wanted to bring something new to Leeds and this is completely different. It will be like a real bazaar like you get in India or Pakistan.

“We will have lots of food stalls selling samosas, kebabs and chanaa chaat (spicy chickpea salad) and Bradford's Regal Cafe will be making fresh hot jalebis (Asian sweets)."

Notes to editors:

The Bazaar market will open every Wednesday in the outdoor area of Kirkgate market from 10am – 6pm.

*Parking charges will be reimbursed up to the sum of £4.80.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450

Glowing report for Leeds fostering service

Leeds City Council’s fostering service is good and getting better according to government inspectors.

Following an inspection last month, the latest Ofsted report stated that all aspects of the fostering service were rated as good, which resulted in an overall rating of ‘good’ – a huge two point rise since last year, when it was rated as ‘inadequate’.

Inspectors commented that the council’s fostering service is “a strong service that provides good outcomes for children. It is well managed by an authority that is committed to its continued improvement. A significant investment of resources and management input has resulted in significant improvements and demonstrates a strong capacity to improve further.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“This is a fantastic achievement thanks to the hard work and dedication of a great team of people who go the extra mile on a daily basis for the city’s most vulnerable children and young people.

“It is especially pleasing that the inspectors commented that the service has a strong capacity for further improvement, however we will not rest on our laurels, there is still work to be done and further improvements to be made. “

The report highlighted that the fostering service works very effectively with health and education services, which helps produce some very good outcomes for children and young people in the city. Children are supported to have appropriate contact with family members and arrangements to help them in the transition to adulthood work well.

Inspectors commented that new developments within the fostering team supports the more effective recruitment of foster carers and assessments of new carers are thorough and of a good standard.

At the last inspection the council was asked to do a number of things to improve the service it provides, the report acknowledges that “all these matters have been given rigorous and thorough attention by the fostering service and have all been addressed fully and comprehensively. These, along with other developments and improvements, have resulted in a service that is much improved and meets children's needs well.”

Cllr Blake added:
“Just over a year ago this was a service with an ‘inadequate’ rating. It has been through joint endeavour, a commitment to quality, a willingness to change and the desire to improve the lives of the children and young people in our care, which has driven such impressive and speedy improvement.”

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

New way of providing adult social care services gets go ahead in Leeds


Paul with his mum Olive

Council chiefs have given the green light to plans to roll out a brand new way for people to receive social care in Leeds from next month.

The new system, called ‘self-directed support’ (SDS), is designed to be fairer, more flexible and more transparent than ever before, and is the result of decades of campaigning by disabled people and social care reformers. It will give people more say over their care – from assessment right through to choosing what kinds of services they use, and who provides them.

Instead of being slotted into the ‘one-size-fits-all’ social services model of the past, people eligible for community-based support will now have the chance to be a bit more creative. Personal social care budgets can be received and managed by the individuals themselves, allowing them to pick and mix from a range of services from the council and independent care providers to best suit their needs.

Crucially, from now on people will know exactly how much money is available to spend on their personal support. It can be used to pay for any services or items which genuinely help to improve people’s quality of life and address specific needs.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
“Personal budgets are a new way of delivering social care support, and will give people more choice and control over how they live their lives.

“They are much more flexible than traditional direct payments, allowing people to mix and match the support they get using council services and independent providers.

“We are positive that this new system will give our customers more freedom and flexibility and provide them with a service that fits their lives rather than them having to fit their lives around the service.

“People will still have the option to continue to access services via the traditional route if they wish to do so.”

SDS has been trialled in Leeds for the past year, so some people have already started to experience the benefits for themselves – like 66-year-old Tizzy, who has multiple sclerosis.

Tizzy took the opportunity to be one of the first people to have a personal budget in Leeds because she was tired of being dependent on her husband David for day-to-day support.

Now, the extra flexibility of self-directed support means she can employ personal care assistants to take some pressure off David, which has worked well for both of them. Tizzy can get out and about more, and spend time with her grandson – and David has more free time to pursue his own interests.

Tizzy says:
"Being able to do what I like, when I like is a novel experience for me. Being able to expect that the service will fit my needs rather than me having to fit in with what the service can offer. Now David can enjoy time by himself, and when we’re together we can enjoy being together. This has given us back our lives.”

This view is echoed by Paul, who lives in Wetherby and helps care for his mother, Olive (89). Olive was diagnosed with Alzheimer's five years ago. For the last nine months, Olive has been using a personal budget to employ a team of personal care assistants.

Paul found that this made a big difference in both their lives:
“The main difference is that we were able to dramatically improve Mum's quality of life during the day – and there’s a lot more flexibility.

“Now Mum gets up to all sorts of activities with her daytime personal assistants (PAs) – reading and looking through books, singing along to the old timers, doing jigsaws – even feeding the ducks on the Wharfe or visiting the garden centre. Compare that to just sitting staring at the TV!

“The PAs are hand-picked and really care – and Mum gets to see the same friendly faces, rather than there just being a procession of strangers who watch the clock and rush in and out. This is the best thing I have ever done for my mum!”

And it’s not only social care customers who will benefit. As they start working with the new model, many social workers are finding that it gives them more freedom to use their skills to offer better support to people.

Trevor Stephenson, a social worker who was involved from an early stage in the SDS pilot in Leeds, and has become an enthusiastic champion of the new system said:
“This represents a whole culture change. Our role has traditionally been to come up with solutions to problems, selecting the best fit from a limited range of options. The whole process was very much led by us.

“In the self-directed support model, once we’ve looked at what someone’s eligible needs are, we can help them to look beyond ‘the problems’ and discuss how they want their life to change.

“Instead of directing the process, our role is now more about suggesting things to consider and explore, opening up possibilities – as well as pointing out possible pitfalls and risks. This is the bit that feels like real social work again.

“I think that we should all welcome SDS, not just because of the opportunities it offers people to have a life and run it themselves, but also because it gives us, as social workers, the chance to be what we’re supposed to be.”

There are three different ways that people can choose to receive their personal budgets. The options are as follows:
1. Have the cash paid directly into a bank account and manage it themselves (known as ‘direct payments’).
2. Have the budget paid to, and managed by:
a) a family member or group (known as a ‘trust’)
b) a local care provider (known as an ‘individual service fund’)
c) a support broker.
3. Continue to let the council manage the budget.

People will be asked to show how they plan to spend their budget in a support plan which must be agreed by the local authority. Strict controls are in place to make sure that taxpayers’ money is being spent responsibly.

How to find out more
If you’re already a Leeds adult social care customer, speak to your current care manager or social worker.

If you’re not already using social care in Leeds, or would like information on behalf of a relative, call our customer services team on 0113 222 4401, textphone 0113 222 4410. Further information, including fact sheets, frequently asked questions, leaflets and film clips, is available at

Speak to people who already direct their own support
A group of ‘expert’ volunteers who use personal budgets already have started up a peer support network called ‘Free to Live’, to help other people who might need information or advice. Contact Free to Live via Leeds Centre for Integrated Living on 0113 214 3594, email or visit their website and discussion forum at

Additional info
What’s changed – in a nutshell

For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578