Monday, 9 May 2011

Second phase of consultation on residential and day care for older people gets underway

Leeds City Council will start the second stage of its citywide consultation on the future of council-run residential and day care services for older people this week.

The consultation started in January, with care home residents and day care centre users, their families and carers, and the general public being invited to give their views about how the council can best continue to care for older people in the future.

With stage one of the consultation now complete, the information gathered will be supplemented by a more detailed consultation. This will focus on each of the council’s 19 residential care homes and 16 day centres, their service users and carers/families.

The first phase of the consultation asked for people’s views on proposals to reduce the number of residential care homes and day care centres for elderly people that the council runs. The needs of the most vulnerable elderly people would then be met by having a broader range of services in place including:

- possible redevelopment of some homes to provide specialist care for people with dementia and frail or disabled people;

- intermediate care to help people regain independence following a hospital stay; or

- respite care to give families and carers a break.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care explained:
“The council is faced with unprecedented financial challenges, which means that we have to look at all of our services. We are determined to do this in a fair, considered and transparent way, which is why we want to consult with as many people as possible.

“We realise that as the consultation becomes more focussed on individual homes and centres, people may start to feel more anxious. We understand this and are deeply sympathetic to people’s feelings, and I would like to assure them that everyone’s views will be listened to – and heard.

“I also want to emphasise that no decisions have been made yet. This will be the role of the council’s executive board after careful consideration of the outcome of the consultation. All changes that are made following the consultation will be managed with great care, and people will be kept informed and supported all the way.”

Senior officers have now completed an in-depth assessment of each home and centre, taking into account customer profiles, occupancy levels, the availability of similar facilities in the surrounding area, the cost of running and repairs, and the overall condition of the building.

As a result, options for each site are being proposed and these will be the subject of this second phase of consultation. These are, broadly:

- to recommission the home or centre as a specialist facility for those who are frail, disabled or living with dementia; or as an intermediate care centre; or

- to decommission the home or centre and find alternative services in the area.

Throughout the consultation, officers will continue to look for opportunities with the NHS and others for alternative uses or management arrangements of homes and centres.

The next steps will see senior managers consulting with service users and staff in each unit. Service users and their families/carers will be offered one-to-one meetings with dedicated members of staff to discuss the options for the unit they attend and for the individual. The consultation will run until August and decisions are expected to be taken by the council’s executive board in September.

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

LEPs working together for a better future

The Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) chairmen of York and North Yorkshire, Leeds City Region and Sheffield City Region LEPs have met and agreed to work together in order to achieve greater benefits for the wider economy.

Formal and informal co-operation between the York and North Yorkshire, Sheffield and Leeds City Region LEPs will focus on those matters where the individual LEPs believe that working together will help in growing their respective economies.

Neil McLean, chair of the Leeds City Region LEP said:

“Working in partnership with our neighbouring LEPs is crucial if we are to successfully drive sustainable economic activity and help our businesses and the wider economy grow.

“Issues such as transport connectivity and innovation are central to the business community and by working together across economic boundaries will ensure that future developments reflect the needs of our economies and benefit businesses and communities.”

Discussions will start shortly to identify areas where it would be more efficient and effective to work together. This might include the production and use of economic data, a common approach to sector networks, which already stretch across the three LEP areas and the coordination of certain large scale innovation projects.

It is also envisaged that the LEPs could work together to promote the benefits of joint projects in such sectors as transport or other major infrastructure developments.

The three chairmen also see value in a joint approach on some EU issues and, working together, will work to promote these issues on behalf of all businesses.

It is not intended to create any complex structures as the chairmen believe that much can be achieved simply by the LEP chairs and the LEP chief executives meeting on a regular basis.

Where appropriate, other neighbouring LEPs will be encouraged to join in on a similar basis on specific initiatives.



Ends


Notes to editors:


1. The Leeds City Region (LCR) Partnership brings together a group of 11 local authorities (Barnsley, Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Harrogate, Kirklees, Leeds, Selby, Wakefield and York, along with North Yorkshire County Council) with businesses and partners to support economic growth and a better quality of life for our communities.
2. The Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership area is the largest city region economy and financial centre in the country outside London. With a £51billion economy representing 5% of the overall UK economy, over 100,000 businesses and a 3 million population, the city region will continue to be at the forefront in both driving the economy of the North and accelerating national economic prosperity.
3. The Leeds City Region’s main objectives are: providing sustainable and affordable housing, better connected transport system, skills and training that reflect the needs of city region employers, creating the environment for businesses to innovate and supporting low carbon, sustainable communities.
4. For more information on the Leeds City Region Partnership please visit www.leedscityregion.gov.uk.

Ends
For press/media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Press and Media Manager
Leeds City Council Press Office Tel: 0113 22 43602

A first for Leeds landlords

A nationally recognised scheme that acknowledges good landlords in Leeds is to be the first to be run through a private and public sector partnership.

Leeds City Council’s Leeds Landlord Accreditation scheme (LLAS), which acknowledges good property management standards for all types of private rented properties across the city, is to be run by RLAAS from April 2011 under a five year contact.

This is the first time a local authority with such a large and well established accreditation scheme has chosen to work with the private sector. The idea behind it is to build meaningful partnerships with the private sector and keep the scheme going whilst also making savings for the council.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods and housing said:

“We are very hopeful that this unique contract can secure the future of this voluntary scheme during the current reductions to the local government budget. This scheme will not only make savings for the council but also still deliver on the benefits this accreditation can bring to the city’s rental market.”

Speaking for the Residential Landlords Association which owns RLAAS, Tom Toumazou said:
“We welcome the partnership forged with Leeds City Council and the opportunity to manage this scheme which is vital to upholding high standards amongst private sector landlords. The RLA has been at the forefront of establishing and promoting a rigorous accreditation scheme and encouraging all landlords to belong to this and we are delighted to have this endorsed by Leeds City Council.”

The scheme was launched in April 1997 and was based on the Unipol Code of Standards which was launched two years earlier for the student market.

The LLAS has continued to grow steadily since 1997 and today covers 20,461 bedspaces across all Leeds postcodes. The majority of the LLAS members properties are in LS6 (42.4%). The highest concentration after that are in LS11 (10.8%) and LS9 (10.8%)

Tenants seeking rental properties in Leeds with LLAS members can visit www.leeds.gov.uk/llas and follow the link to the RLAAS Ltd website or check the Leeds Homes webpages or flyer for LLAS members properties advertised there.

Notes to editors:

RLAAS is wholly owned by the Residential Landlords Association (RLA) which is the fastest growing landlord association in the UK having doubled its membership in less than 3 years

The LLAS was reviewed in 2001 and again in 2007 to continue to raise the standards in the private rented sector in Leeds. It was at the 2007 review that the concept to outsource accreditation to a suitable organisation was determined.


Ends

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