Thursday, 3 March 2011

Care taken to make clever savings

An organisation that manages council housing in Leeds are set to save thousands of pounds by changing the way their caretaking teams work.

West North West homes Leeds (WNWhL), one of the Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs) that manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council is relocating their equipment store and has found a new, cheaper supplier for their equipment for caretakers.

Recently WNWhL have launched an improved neighbourhood caretaking service to make sure their estates are maintained to a high standard. As the economic climate as taken a turn for the worse, the caretakers service have changed their supplier for tools and have found new ways to save time on jobs.

WNWhL will be using equipment manufactured by STIHL, an industry leader in powered garden machinery. The equipment will be purchased from the Chippindale Plant Ltd, based in Wortley, Leeds. By choosing to buy here the ALMO will receive a reduction of around 15%, which over the course of a year could see the ALMO save as much as £1500.

Cathy Clelland, chair of the West North West Homes Leeds board, said:
“I am very pleased that we have been able to make these savings in times where squeezing budgets is so important.

“As well as saving money, the location of the Chippindale Plant in west Leeds will save valuable time as caretakers have previously had to travel further distances to have their equipment maintained.

“It is also great that we are supporting a local plant in the process of these savings.”

“Through this agreement with Chippindale Plant Ltd we save money at the same time as providing our neighbourhood caretaking teams with the tools necessary to deliver an excellent service to our customers.”

Chippindale Plant Ltd have also agreed to provide professional instruction in the use of STIHL powered garden machinery and handheld equipment free of charge. It would cost WNWhL around £4000 to send all of its caretakers for this instruction usually.

The neighbourhood caretaking teams have moved their Stores to a modern, secure facility in Stanningley. This relocation will save up to 1,200 staff hours travel time per year. This means more time for the caretakers on site maintaining the estates

Notes to editors:
West North West Homes Leeds is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. They are wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents.
West North West Homes Leeds covers the areas of Otley, Pool, Bramhope, Guiseley, Yeadon, Cookridge, Rawdon, Holt Park. Tinshill, Horsforth, Kirkstall, Burley, Armley, Bramley, Pudsey, Woodhouse, Wortley, Farnley, and New Farnley.

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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

Proposals to change the Aberford conservation area

People are being asked for their views on plans to amend the Aberford Conservation Area.

Aberford, in east Leeds, was first designated a conservation area in 1969, with subsequent amendments in 1983. This is the first time in over 25 years that Aberford’s conservation area has been reviewed.

The conservation area helps to protect Aberford’s unique architecture and historical attractions from inappropriate demolition and development.

Aberford dates from at least 1176 when it is first documented, but there is evidence for human activity in the area dating from prehistoric and the Roman period. Aberford in fact developed around the Roman Great North Road.

Under the plans the conservation area will be enlarged slightly. To the north it will be extended to include the historic Royal Oak pub, and the south it is proposed to be extended to include the converted Hicklam Mill and the Hookmoor Lodges which are a focal point when entering the south of Aberford village.

A conservation area appraisal and management plan will be produced to ensure the special interest of the conservation area is documented.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member responsible for city development, said:

“These proposals will help safeguard the special architecture and character of the Aberford and protect important buildings from demolition.

“We welcome people’s views on the proposals.”

The draft proposals for Aberford’s conservation area are available on-line throughout the consultation, at: www.leeds.gov.uk/conservation.

The public consultation will run until Friday 11 March. The proposals will then be taken to council officials for approval in March 2011. People can respond to this consultation by emailing the conservation team at building.conservation@leeds.gov.uk.

Buildings within a conservation area are protected from unauthorised demolition, and new developments have to meet higher standards of design than elsewhere. Other planning rules are slightly different and permission from the council is needed for certain activities such as tree felling.

During the consultation period people can also request a copy of the draft appraisal from the conservation team at: Sustainable Development Unit, Leeds City Council, Leonardo Building, 2 Rossington Street, Leeds, LS2 8HD

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For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk