Thursday, 25 November 2010

Scrap your old boiler and save up to £800 on cost of replacement, thanks to Leeds City council and npower

Hundreds of homes could be warmer and more energy efficient this winter, thanks to a scheme to consign old boilers to the scrapheap and give some homeowners up to £800 to replace them with energy-efficient, eco-friendly ones.

The government’s national boiler scrappage scheme proved so popular earlier this year that the 125,000 vouchers, which offered a £400 rebate to replace an old boiler, were used up in just three months.

However, the Boiler Scrappage scheme from Leeds City Council and energy supplier npower gives selected private homeowners another chance to receive up to £800 to ditch their inefficient ‘G-rated’ boilers and replace them with new ones. A modern, energy efficient ‘A’ rated boiler could save each household up to £225 a year on their fuel bills and cut their carbon emissions too.

Under the scheme, Leeds City Council would provide a grant worth £400, which npower could match, dependant on chosen boiler, to give a total discount of up to £800.

Gas Safe registered npower hometeam engineers would carry out all the installations and there may also be extra funding for the over 60s thanks to a Warmfront £300 voucher.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental services, said:
“There’s no point throwing money away by keeping your old inefficient boiler, when there is help available to get it replaced.
“The national boiler replacement scheme proved so popular that I am delighted that we’ll be able to continue to offer this to local people who missed out.
“With savings of £225 a year on fuel costs and a big cut in each home’s carbon emissions, I’d urge people to get in touch and see if they qualify.”

Richard Cotton, Residential Marketing Manager, npower Energy Services said:
‘With the cold winter weather already here this is a great opportunity for householders to replace an old, inefficient boiler with a modern one they can rely on over the coming months. With npower’s long history in this area we are delighted to be working with Leeds City Council to offer this scheme’

To find out if you qualify for the Leeds City Council Boiler Scrappage scheme call FREE on 0800 980 5972 and quote code B023P LCC. Lines are open.

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

Leeds pledges support for equality and diversity

The leader and chief executive of Leeds City Council have pledged their support for equality and diversity across the city.

Councillor Keith Wakefield and Tom Riordan spoke about the importance of consulting with equality communities even during challenges times, at the first ever Equalities Assembly Conference in Leeds.

Delegates at the event were made aware that although the council is going through tough times, it is still important to talk to groups and communities across the city to ensure the authority takes people’s views onboard and makes policies more relevant.

The idea of Leeds being an inclusive city was high on the agenda, with the idea that an inclusive city can breed a better economy, as shown by some cities in Europe.

Chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan, spoke about how important the equality and diversity agenda is in Leeds.

He said:
“Bringing everyone together is a fundamental step towards us moving forward.

“As long as I am the chief executive of this council, equality and diversity will always be at the centre – not the periphery – of what the council does.

“I want to make sure we take onboard what people have to say and incorporate their views into what we do as a council.”

He also appealed for people to take part in a consultation on spending cuts which the council is currently running, saying:

“I encourage people across the city to get involved with the consultation we’re doing on the spending challenges we face in the future.

“We need residents’ ideas about how we can deal with the issues ahead.”

Tim McSharry, who spoke on behalf of the various equality groups in Leeds, told delegates that working in partnership was the only way forward.

He said:

“It is important that communities have a voice within the council especially with new projects such as the arena.

“We now have a great opportunity for communities to share their voice, and for us to work together as the city moves forward.”

ENDS

Notes to editors:
The equality assembly has been set up by Leeds City Council to strengthen the involvement of equalities communities in decision making processes and to challenge the council's progress on equality and diversity.

The conference took place on Thursday 18 November.


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For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk

City-wide action to end violence against women

Community organisations across Leeds are taking part in a series of events to mark ‘16 Days of Action’ to end violence against women.

16 Days of Action is an international campaign which runs from International Day to End Violence Against Women on 25th November until International Human Rights Day on 10th December. The dates are symbolically linked to emphasise that violence against women is a human rights issue.

Events and campaigns are held around the world during the 16-day period to raise awareness about the issue and promote an end to violence against women.

In Leeds there will be 12 events, all coordinated by Leeds City Council’s domestic violence team. Two of these events are open to all women – Kentmere Community Centre in Seacroft on November 25th and at Fairfield Community Centre in Bramley on December 6th.

The days run from 10.30am till 2.30pm and include sessions on healthy relationships, self defence, healthy eating, and art. Alternative therapy treatments will be available - including Henna Painting and Massage.

Speakers from the organisation ‘Behind Closed Doors’ will talk about the support available to women experiencing domestic abuse.

The Seacroft and Bramley events are funded by Well-Being Fund grants awarded by local ward members through the Inner East and Inner West Area Committees.

Councillor Peter Gruen, chair of Safer Leeds and Leeds City Council’s executive board member for community safety said:
“The 16 days of action are aimed at raising awareness of the violence which women face, both here in Leeds and around the world.
“It’s important that we all say, loud and clear, that this violence is not acceptable and that women who face violence know how to get the help they need . That is why the council is supporting and funding these events.”

For more information about the campaign go to www.whiteribboncampaign.co.uk.

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

Adult social care services in Leeds performing well

Leeds City Council has welcomed news that its adult social care service has been judged to be performing well by the government’s social care watchdog, the Care Quality Commission.

Its performance has been rated ‘excellent’ in three out of seven areas of service – and described as ‘performing well’ in the other four.

The report, published today, is the formal outcome of an annual assessment process and describes the service in Leeds as one which is performing well in its services for older, vulnerable and disabled people.

The council was awarded the highest rating of ‘excellent’ in three areas:
• delivering improved quality of life;
• helping people using care services make a positive contribution in society; and
• ensuring freedom from discrimination or harassment among its service users.

It was awarded ‘performing well’ for improving health and emotional well-being, increased choice and control, economic well-being and maintaining personal dignity and respect.

Singled out for particular praise were:
• The Independent Living Project for people with learning disabilities and mental illness, which has delivered 300 new flats and apartments, replacing old, hostel-style accommodation.
• Increased investment in the city’s neighbourhood network schemes.
• Improved performance in safeguarding vulnerable adults by enlarging the safeguarding team and supporting this with training for staff and improved safeguarding practice for front line staff.
• Using new technology to help people remain in their own homes for longer.

The report has also highlighted some key areas for further improvements. These include further work to provide services that are personalised to the individual and increase the use of adaptations to people’s houses to help them remain at home safely.

It also recommends that Leeds continues work to embed the local approach to partnership commissioning, makes improvements to its social care records management systems and continues to develop safeguarding reporting mechanisms with partners.

Sandie Keene, director of adult social care said:
“I’m delighted that our performance is judged as ‘excellent; in three key areas of our work.

“The commission’s report is confirmation that the processes we have put in place to improve services for our most vulnerable adults are delivering the right results.

“It is a tribute to the tireless hard work and dedication of our staff, and they should be very proud of what they have achieved.

“Plans are in place to make sure that all the areas identified for improvement are addressed in the coming year, which will help us to achieve excellence across the whole of adult social care in Leeds.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult social care said:
“This is welcome recognition of the tremendous hard work of our staff to make sure that we provide a high quality service for vulnerable adults in Leeds, and I would like to thank them for their efforts.

“I am delighted that the commission has recognised the importance we place on engaging with our customers and carers to make further improvements to our services.

”We are already looking at how we can make further improvements, as we strive to achieve excellence in all areas of adult social care in the city.”

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Additional info

The Care Quality Commission is the independent regulator of health and social care in England.

They regulate care provided by the NHS, local authorities, private companies and voluntary organisations, aiming to make sure better care is provided for everyone - in hospitals, care homes and people's own homes. They also seek to protect the interests of people whose rights are restricted under the Mental Health Act.

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