Monday, 22 November 2010

Statement about government housing proposals

Responding to the social housing consultation document published today by the Department of Communities and Local Government, Councillor Peter Gruen - Leeds City Council’s executive board member for neighbourhoods and housing - said:
“Tenants have the right to expect security and stability from their council homes but these proposals will put that at risk.
“There is little detail here that explains quite how flexible tenancies will work in practice, and there is still frustratingly little information about all-important reforms to council house finance.
“We will await more detail from the government, but to make council house tenancies more insecure would be to the detriment of the vulnerable and would damage the ability of local people to have a say in how their council housing is run.
“While there are certainly people in council homes who could move on to private housing, the real solution would be to allow us to build more council housing and affordable homes for the people of Leeds.”

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

Armley Gyratory roadworks Monday/Tuesday night

Motorists are advised there may be delays at Armley Gyratory tonight and tomorrow night (Monday and Tuesday November 22/23) between 8pm and midnight due to pothole repairs.

During a routine inspection at the gyratory several potholes were identified as needing urgent work to stop them becoming dangerous to road users.

This is one of the busiest junctions in Leeds, so to minimise disruption Leeds City Council will be carrying out the repair work between 8pm and midnight. We apologise for any disruption this may cause.

School speed check by youngsters

Pupils at a school in Leeds will be keeping an eye on motorists speeds tomorrow.

Year six pupils from Shakespeare Primary School will be reminding motorists driving past their school to slow down, and checking their speeds with a radar device.

The event is one of a series organised by Leeds City Council as part of Brake’s Road Safety Week.

******************** Media opportunity ********************

All media are invited to Shakespeare Primary School to see the pupils testing the speed of cars from 10am on Tuesday 23 November. The pupils will be using a radar activated Speed Indicator Device to survey vehicles driving past their school. Members of West Yorkshire Police and the council’s road safety team will also be available for interview. Please call the press team on 0113 2474450 to arrange attendance.
******************** Media opportunity ********************

Pupils will work alongside the council’s road safety team and West Yorkshire Police to monitor the speed of traffic and to encourage slower and careful driving near their school.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive board member with responsibility for development and regeneration , said:

“It’s really great that the children are taking such a keen interest in helping promote road safety within their own community.
“I hope that this activity will encourage all motorists to think about the speed at which they are travelling and slow down where appropriate.”

Becky Prosser, Leeds City Council’s road safety manager said:

“Speed limits indicate the maximum speed that may be driven on a stretch of road and are not a target that must be reached. Depending upon the location and road conditions, it is often more appropriate to drive at a speed well below the limit and give yourself plenty of time to react to the unexpected.

“We are proud to support Brake Road Safety Week. As well as a excellent opportunity for the pupils who will learn about staying safe near the roads and judging vehicle speed, this activity provides children with a voice within their local community and helps them to promote safe driver behaviour in a really positive and memorable way.”

In addition to the speed checks that the year six pupils will be undertaking, youngsters in reception classes at the school will also be given a lesson in road safety, with a special reading of ‘Risky Roads’ - a tale all about staying safe near roads - by the deputy Lord Mayor, Councillor Patrick Davey.

Notes to editors

The Speed Indicator Device (SID) is a radar activated device which, when located at the roadside displays the speed of approaching vehicles. If the vehicle is travelling in excess of the speed limit then the display shows a "frowning face" alternated by the actual speed being driven at. If however the vehicle is travelling within the speed limit the sign displays a "smiley face" and alternates this with the actual speed being travelled at.

‘Risky Roads’ was written and produced by the road safety team for use with foundation stage and KSI pupils to explore age appropriate issues surrounding pedestrian safety.

On the way to Grandma’s house, Kerby the hedgehog learns lots of important facts about staying safe near the roads.

The short, repetitive text capture children’s attention, encouraging them to join in with the story and the colourful pictures stimulate their imagination and inspire discussion points to elaborate upon the safety messages within the text.


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

Public asked for help to identify tyre flytipping van

To download the video file, right click on this link and select 'save as'

The public are being asked to help identify a vehicle after more than 100 tyres were dumped on a public road.

The flytipping incident took place on 5 November at 6.15pm on Royds Lane, near to the ring road at Wortley. More than 100 car tyres were dumped by a distinctive van, which the drove off.

Leeds City Council is asking the public for help to identify the vehicle and has appealed for anyone who recognises the vehicle, has had wheels and tyres taken away by a similar vehicle or who has other information to get in touch.

Anyone with information should call 0113 395 1765 or e-mail

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“I would ask members of the public who might recognise this distinctive vehicle to contact us as soon as they can.
“This is a serious offence of flytipping and such cases cost the council thousands upon thousands of pounds to clear up.”

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

A sporting chance for vulnerable adults in Leeds

Darren Blackman playing tennis at the John Charles Centre for Sport

As part of the modernisation of day services for people with learning disabilities, adult social care have opened a community base in the John Charles Centre for Sport.

The base will enable people with learning disabilities to access the excellent, sporting facilities at the centre, and provide an attractive alternative to attending a traditional day centre.

It has been established in partnership with the council’s sports and leisure department, and now has ten learning disabled people using it each day. This number is steadily increasing as the scheme is proving to be extremely popular with former users of the Moor End Day Centre, which has now closed.

The base offers a fantastic range of activities including tennis, Bodyline Gym, indoor bowling, swimming, adapted cycling and access to the athletics track. Staff work closely with customers to make sure that the activities chosen suit their needs and requirements.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
“People with learning disabilities have every right to feel part of their local communities, and be supported to do things that will enhance their quality of life – things that the rest of us take for granted.

"This way of delivering services is light years away from the traditional route of being based in an old-fashioned day centre for five days a week, and will help our customers to grow in confidence and ability.

"What we have provided so far as an alternative to the Moor End Day Centre has been received really positively by our customers there, and they are as keen as us to make sure that their peers are offered the same kind of opportunities across the city.”

Darren’s story
Darren Blackman attended the Moor End Day Centre from leaving school, but found that there were few activities of interest to him. When it was announced that the centre would be closing, care managers carried out individual planning sessions with every customer to find out what kind of activities they would be interested in taking part in. Darren’s plan identified his love of sport and how he would like to be able to become more involved with it. Thanks to the new adult social care base at the John Charles Centre for Sport, Darren has already been supported to join the gym and play tennis every week. He hopes to make good use of more of the excellent sporting facilities at the centre in the coming months.


Additional info

The strategy to transform day services for adults with learning disabilities was approved in January 2009, with agreement to start implementing the changes in south Leeds. Moor End Day Centre has now closed and its service replaced with a range of voluntary sector provision and adult social care support delivered from three new small community bases at the John Charles Centre, Technorth and Hillside. These have provided a much more varied and personalised menu of activities, which were developed in consultation with customers and carers. Feedback from Moor End’s customers has been extremely positive, with one group advocating for the changes to be made available to their peers across the city.

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