Friday, 24 September 2010

Tag Rugby festival touches down at Headingley Carnegie Stadium

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All media are invited to a filming/photocall opportunity for the National Disability Tag Rugby Festival at Leeds Carnegie Stadium on Tuesday 28 September at 1.30pm.
The Leeds Rhinos have been invited down on the day with Super League match officials to referee the games along with RFL Scholarship referees. Carnegie Stadium is located on Saint Michaels Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire LS6 3BR.

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Hundreds of children from across the UK will be attempting to dummy pass their way to victory at the home of Leeds rugby – Headingley Carnegie Stadium

The National Disability TAG Rugby Festival taking place on Tuesday 28 September is organised by Leeds City Council’s Sport Development Unit, and supported by both the Rugby Football Union (RFU) and Rugby Football League (RFL).

It is aimed at ambulant players with a learning disability and or moderate physical or sensory impairment. Teams are comprised of seven players with up to three substitutes and twenty six teams competing on the day.

The Leeds Rhinos and the mascots from both Rugby League and Union teams have been invited down on the day with Super League match officials to referee the games along with RFL Scholarship referees.

Leeds City Council executive member for Leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“This festival is ensuring that sport is accessible to everyone The game is an excellent way of keeping fit and healthy and the number of people taking part is really encouraging.”

Tag Rugby uses a minimal contact version of rugby, excluding scrums, line-outs or tackling. Tackles are made by removing material tag attached to each player’s belt and the game requires a lot of skill.

The festival aims to promote both codes involved in rugby union and rugby league as well as national disabled sport.

-ENDS-

For media enquiries please contact: Daniel Johnson,Civic Hall,
tel: 0113 247 8285,email: daniel.johnson1@leeds.gov.uk

Senior councillors see the 'workplace of future’ in Killingbeck

Some of the most senior councillors in Leeds have been shown how council staff are working in new ways, which are improving how services are delivered.
 
Leader, Cllr Keith Wakefield and his colleagues Cllrs Richard Lewis, Judith Blake, Tom Murray, Lucinda Yeadon and Bernard Atha were given a tour of new offices being used by social workers in Killingbeck.
 
Staff were moved from their old accommodation into a brand new building as part of a pilot for a project the council is calling ‘changing the workplace’. It is designed to radically alter the way the council works over the next few years, to make it more efficient and flexible in the way it delivers services.
 
The old accommodation used by the social workers had become increasingly unsuitable and was falling into disrepair.
 
But the relocation was more than just a shiny building and new desks.
 
Staff were given the equipment they needed to work from anywhere, so were allocated things like laptop computers and mobile phones.
 
For the social workers – who spend the majority of the time ‘on the road’ - it meant they didn’t have to return to the office all the time to do paperwork or update records.  It could be done from wherever they were.
 
Other members of staff were given the option to work from home.
 
Crucially, it meant that the new offices didn’t need to be so big.  There are fewer desks than there are people.  Workstations now have to be shared and a clear desk policy applies so personal belongings have to be put away at the end of the day.
 
It’s a model Leeds City Council is hoping to introduce elsewhere in the city as it looks to try and reduce its office accommodation and improve the flexible working opportunities for its employees.  It is anticipated that many millions of pounds could be saved.
 
The councillors also met some of the people who’ve been testing the new ways of working.  Feedback was very positive with staff saying how it had meant they have been able to spend more time with the people who need their help, had improved their work/life balance and how they were more productive.
 
They did admit – however – it was difficult, at first, to give up their own desk.
 
Cllr Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member for adult social care said:
 
“Gone are the days when staff did their jobs from behind long rows of desks.
 
“This project has shown that services can be better delivered if our social workers are given the tools to operate from anywhere.
 
“It doesn’t make sense that we should expect them to keep coming in and out of the office just to do simple tasks like paperwork and updating records.”
 
Cllr Keith Wakefield, leader and executive board member for resources said:
 
“The potential benefits of working these new ways are numerous in terms of improving how we deliver services while saving money.
 
“The feedback from the staff has been fantastic – they say their lives have been transformed by these new arrangements.
 
“I can see there is potential to roll this out across the whole of the council and I look forward to hearing how successful this pilot has been in delivering improvements and cutting costs.”

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