Friday, 16 September 2011

Better services means better lives for learning disabled adults

Alan at new service base Hillside in Beeston

Council chiefs have approved plans to push ahead with the wholesale transformation of day services for adults with learning disabilities in Leeds.

The modernised service will see people with learning disabilities across the city empowered to get involved in everyday activities in their own local communities, with services personalised to each individual’s own particular requirements. The council’s executive board unanimously backed the move at its meeting last week.

The first stage of the strategy, which was developed in close consultation with customers and their families, has already been successfully introduced for previous customers of the Moor End Day Centre in South Leeds, which is now closed. These adults now receive their services from the voluntary sector with support from adult social care staff at three small community bases in the local area.

Feedback from the 86 customers and their carers has been very positive. They all have individual support packages in place and are accessing a much wider range of activities than they were before including arts and crafts, keep fit, cookery, social and employment skills.

The council will now start to implement this programme across the rest of the city, which will allow resources that are currently tied up in buildings to be redirected into providing a much more personalised service for customers.

The programme will see the Fulfilling Lives centres at Horsforth, West Ardsley and Rothwell East close, to be replaced by smaller bases and services in existing community facilities. The centres at Bramley and Rothwell West will be refurbished to accommodate people with complex support needs. In Wetherby, discussions are taking place with customers and other stakeholders to find a suitable alternative to the current arrangements.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member with responsibility for adult health and social care said:
“This is another landmark in our drive to modernise services for people with learning disabilities. I’m delighted that the executive board backed the proposals, as people with learning disabilities have a right to feel that they are part of their local communities.

“This new strategy has already proved to be a great success with customers from the Moor End Day Centre, who we know have been empowered by the new opportunities that have been organised for them. It is absolutely right that we now make these available to service-users across the rest of the city.

"We will continue to work closely with our customers as we roll the programme out. This will ensure that we are putting in place the right activities and services to enable these vulnerable adults to fulfil their potentials and follow their own interests.

“I would like to thank our partners in the voluntary sector, as well as our own social care staff, for the part they have played in delivering this new service so far, and look forward to working with them in the future.“

Another key part of the transformation programme has been the increase in the number of Changing Places toilets in the city. Leeds now has eight , which are equipped and of an adequate size to enable carers to assist adults who need help with toileting, with another four to open in October 2011. A further six Changing Places are planned to be available in the future at new venues such as the Leeds Arena, Trinity Quarter Shopping Centre and the Holt Park Wellbeing Centre.

Case study
Alan attended Moor End Day Centre for many years, but has now taken full advantage of some of the many new opportunities open to adults with learning disabilities as a result of the modernisation programme.
He now attends the new service base at Hillside in Beeston two days each week, where he has become involved in the community radio station. He attends drama, literacy and Tai Chi classes run by Leeds Health for All’s “As One” project in Holbeck. He is also the co–chair of the stakeholder involvement group and works as a receptionist one day each week for Leeds People First at their “Leep 1” project. Asked how he felt about his very busy new timetable Alan said, “I’m loving it all”, and that he wished as part of his role with People First “, to tell people in other centres about how good the changes have been.”

Additional info

Currently 835 people with learning disabilities attend the council’s Fulfilling Lives centres between one and five days each week (as of June 2011). The council allocates 636 places each day and the average daily attendance is 520. Attendances at individual centres range from 107 people a day at the Bramley centre (72 per cent of capacity) to 28 people day at Wetherby (25 per cent of capacity).

Locations for the Changing Places toilets in Leeds were decided upon after consulting with parents and carers of children and adults with disabilities. The facilities are at the following venues:
• The Whitehouse Café, Otley Chevin
• Armley leisure centre
• Morley leisure centre
• John Charles Centre for Sport
• Headingley HEART Centre
• Tech North, Harrogate Road
• West Yorkshire Playhouse
• The Reginald Centre, Chapeltown
• Hillside Community Centre/Tiger 11 *
• Lotherton Hall *
• Temple Newsam *
• Terrace Bar, Leeds Central Library/Art Gallery *

* Due to open in October 2011

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

Leeds leads the way on new vision for local government

Leeds City Council is joining with other local authorities and national experts to look at new ways of providing local government services, with an emphasis on civic enterprise.

Leeds has set up a commission to consider the role of local government in the 21st century and explore how councils can work with business and the voluntary sector to ensure people receive the best quality of service provision.

The leader of Leeds City Council, Cllr Keith Wakefield, will chair the commission which includes national figures such Lord Laming, Will Hutton, Lord Adebowale and Dame Jo Williams.

The commission will explore practical actions to enable councils to become more enterprising, support businesses to play a more active role as corporate citizens and facilitate significantly more involvement from the third sector.

The commission’s report will suggest practical actions to revitalise local democracy and enable greater civic responsibility from businesses, public agencies and the third sector.

It is hoped it will springboard a debate with national government and others about how government can support and encourage these developments.

Cllr Wakefield said:

“We all know that local authorities are facing unprecedented financial challenges as well as pressures created by demographic changes.

"Because of this we need to look afresh at what our role is and how we work with individuals and organisations in our cities. That’s why we have established this commission.

"In Leeds we recognise that councils can no longer deliver services alone – instead we must look to find creative new ways to work with individuals and organisations in our cities in order to ensure quality service delivery and to encourage economic growth.

"We want to bring together the best of all sectors – the accountability, fairness and public ethos of local government, the connection with local people of the third sector and the efficiency and dynamism of the private sector.”

Leeds City Council’s chief executive Tom Riordan said:

“Some councils have chosen just to look at their own structures to achieve cost-savings, but in Leeds we accept we can no longer deliver our services and objectives through traditional means or outsourcing.

“This is an important debate for local government and services to local people. I’d like to thank everyone who has agreed to be part of the commission and we look forward to working with them.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office Tel:0113 2243937

Notes to editors:

The commission members are:

Councillor Keith Wakefield Leader Leeds City Council, Chair
Gordon Matheson Leader, Glasgow City Council
Jon House Chief Executive, Cardiff Council
Will Hutton Executive Vice Chair, The Work Foundation
Dame Jo Williams Chair of Care Quality Commission
Lord Laming Particular interest in social services and child protection issues
Professor Sir Tim Brighouse London Schools Commissioner
Professor David Begg Chairman of the Commission for Integrated Transport
Lord Victor Adebowale Chief Executive, Turning Point
Tony Travers Director of the Greater London group at the London School of Economics
Emma Maier Editor, Local Government Chronicle
Andrew Murphy Retail Operations Director, John Lewis Partnership
Baroness Margaret Eaton Ex-Chair of LGA
Helen Bailey Chief Executive, Local Partnerships
Sally-Anne Greenfield Chief Executive, Leeds Community Foundation
Christine Adshead Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers

‘Masti’ arrives at Kirkgate market

The spice is right for Leeds shoppers this Sunday as Kirkgate Market will be transformed into a Bazaar.

Shoppers will be able to browse a fabulous Asian-themed market and buy a range of goods from India, Pakistan, the Middle East and elsewhere.

The event is being organised in association with Sunrise Radio, and will also include live artists performing all afternoon.

Named ‘Masti in the Market’ - Masti is an Urdu word for fun and frivolity. This annual event will run between 12 noon and 6pm on Sunday 18 September 2011.

Last year’s Masti was a huge success, attracting thousands of shoppers from Leeds and further a field.

Traders from around the city and the region have already booked stalls for the day, selling a verity of things from Indian music and fashion to Arbaic scarves and jewellery.

There will also be a huge variety of food, including, exotic spices, marinades, olives, stuffed vine leaves, somasa chaat, pokoras and halal burgers.

Some great bands will also be playing including:

• Binder Passla
• Spice Entertainment
• Revive
• UK Shox
• Abdul Hamied Qawall
• Niaz Mohammed and Party
• Nasir Khan
• Jindh Mahi
• Plus more

Visitors will also be able to sample traditional Indian head massage and henna painting.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for development said;
"This year’s Masti will no doubt provide another fantastic and unique event for the city.

“This is the seventh Masti in the Market and will offer a great range of free entertainment. It’s a fantastic family day out with plenty to do and see and lots of amazing and exotic food from India, Pakistan and the Middle East.

“I am sure that people from all communities in Leeds and further a-field will want to come and enjoy a wonderful day out.”

For more information visit


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