Thursday, 11 August 2011

Leeds children’s centres get active with the fun generator

"The kids at Chapeltown Children's Centre have a great time trying out the activities on the Fun Generator"

11 August 2011

Children at one Leeds children’s centre have been showing how easy it is to get active and have fun, all for free this summer.

Children at Chapeltown children’s centre have been trying out activities from the Change4Life online Fun Generator to see what they can do to stay fit and healthy over the summer holidays.

The fun generator has more than 100 activity ideas to generate a little fun for families this summer. Simply input whether you want to play indoors or out and how many people want to play, the generator will work its magic to deliver a range of suitable activities. From Shadow Tag and Hula Hula to Pineapple Fun and Mystery Tour, each Fun Generator activity comes with simple instructions or a quick video to explain how to play.

Cllr Judith Blake, Leeds City Council’s executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“There are some great ideas for children and young people of all ages on the fun generator so I hope lots of families across the city will log on and have a look.

“Keeping active is not only a great way to stay healthy and keep fit it is also great for families to spend time together playing and having fun.”

Alison Cater, Health Improvement Specialist for NHS Leeds said:
“The fun generator helps families keep their kids up and about in simple fun ways. It is a great way to take small steps towards a healthy life-style. Kids should be active for at least 60 minutes a day which might seem a lot but can be easily achieved by playing games such as the ones on the website.”

Joanne Howieson deputy manager at Chapeltown children’s centre said:

“We are promoting the campaign within the children’s centre and have played lots of the games that are on the fun generator. Any active play is really good for kids - from building a den at home to a trip to the local park. We are also encouraging families to sign up to Change4Life as they will get a pack and lots of ideas to support them to eat well and move more.”

Schools, children’s centres and nurseries across the city have been giving out Change4Life activity leaflets to give children and families lots of free ideas to get started with.

The fun generator can be found at

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Consultation closes about older people’s services in Leeds

The citywide consultation about the future of local authority residential and day care centres for older people in Leeds ended last week (5 August).

Over 600 completed questionnaires have been received by council officers following one-to-one discussions with customers of the care homes and day centres affected, and their families. These have been used to gather views about how the proposals could affect individual customers and identify their ongoing care needs.

In addition to the questionnaires, the council has received signed petitions from supporters opposing proposals to close Knowle Manor, Spring Gardens, Dolphin Manor, Grange Court, Kirkland House and Rose Farm Day Centre.

The council has also had a considerable amount of correspondence from carers, elected members, members of the public and organisations with an interest in current and future accommodation and care provision for older people in the city. This includes the NHS and stakeholders from the voluntary, community and private sectors.

All of the information gathered will now be pulled together to form a report of final recommendations, which will be presented to the council’s executive board in September, when a decision will be made.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“I would like to thank our customers and their families for taking the time to talk to us about these proposals, and help us to shape how services will look in the future.

“This has been a difficult time for the people involved, but I want to assure them that getting their views has been a really important part of the process and these will be used to inform the recommendations that we will be presenting to executive board in September.

“The general public have also shown considerable support for the services we provide for older people, which is testament to our wonderful staff who have played a vital role in this process.

“Leeds City Council is committed to modernising and improving services to ensure that we are able to meet the needs of older people in the city now and in the future.”

The consultation process started in February 2010, when care home residents, day care centre users, their families and carers, and the general public were invited to give their views about how the council should care for older people in the future.

The second, more detailed stage of the consultation started in May with individual meetings taking place with the older people and their families who could be directly affected by proposals to close six care homes and four day centres in the city.

This part of the consultation saw the process being widened-out to include discussions with elected members, key partner organisations and other stakeholders with an interest in current and future accommodation and care provision for older people in the city, including the voluntary, community and private sectors.

Leeds City Council has a vision for the future care and support of older people in the city. This will provide high-quality, long-term support for the most frail or disabled people, and those that need extra care because of dementia. Increased support to help older people regain and maintain their independence will also form part of this.

Because of the huge financial challenges that the council currently faces, it has had to look closely at the cost of all its services, and try to find ways to do things differently whilst making sure that support is available when people need it most.


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

Duo plead guilty to over £35,000 benefit fraud

A man who claimed to be in need of council tax and housing benefit who was actually living rent free in his brothers house has been given a one year suspended sentence.

Me Peter Walsh and his cousin Sandra Fowler were sentenced at Leeds Crown Court on Tuesday 9 August after pleading guilty to claiming housing benefit fraudulently between September 2000 to February 2010. Fowler was fined £10,000 in compensation and ordered to pay costs of £300 to the council. She was also given a six month suspended sentence over two years.

Walsh was found guilty of False Accounting on five separate counts between 1995 and 2001, and both Walsh and Fowler were found guilty of False Accounting on six separate counts between 1998 and 2002.

Walsh, with the help of Fowler was caught defrauding the council of over £36,749.50 of housing and council tax benefit after Leeds City Council received information from Walsh’s brother, John, to say that he was the owner the house and allowed his brother to live their rent free.

Walsh had received housing benefit for 14 Eastfield Crescent Woodlesford, which he claimed he was renting from his cousin at £60 a week. However, a detailed investigation conducted by Leeds City Council revealed that his ‘landlord’ was actually his brother Mr John Walsh who has never asked for any sort of rent.
Mr Walsh was interviewed under caution on 26 February 2010. He confirmed that the tenancy was contrived to take advantage of the benefit system from the outset. He admitted that he had acted dishonestly and that others would consider him to have acted dishonestly.

Steve Carey, Leeds City Council chief officer for benefits said:
“This is a great result for the council and sends out a message that our officers are keen to detect anyone trying to defraud the council.

“Benefit fraud is not just a crime, it is also taking money that could be better used helping people in genuine difficulty.”


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