Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Statement regarding industrial action on 30 November 2011

Leeds City Council has now had official notification from ten trade unions that their members have voted in favour of a co-ordinated day of industrial action on Wednesday, 30 November.

Around 60% of council and school staff are members of a trade union, so the impact of this strike action is expected to be felt across all council services.

Please keep an eye on the council’s website (www.leeds.gov.uk) for updates about affected services and any building closures.

Leader of Leeds City Council, Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“We understand the concerns that our employees have about government proposals to change public sector pensions, and respect their right to strike.

"No one welcomes strike action, least of all the staff themselves and clearly we would much rather that this dispute was settled through negotiation. I hope that the government will sit down with the trade unions again very soon so that an amicable agreement can be reached."

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council said:
“This day of industrial action could potentially have a huge impact on our services, as we may simply not have enough staff in work to deliver them.

“We are putting plans in place to try minimise the impact of the strike on crucial services for our most vulnerable residents. However, it is inevitable that some of our buildings will have to close and some of our services will be disrupted.

“I would ask people to bear with us, and as soon as we have information we will provide updates via the Leeds City Council website. Parents should contact their children’s school to find out if they are affected, as it is at the discretion of headteachers and chairs of governors as to whether individual schools will be closed.”

Ends

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

Further statement on fire at Temple Newsam's Home Farm

A Leeds City Council spokesman said:

“As a result of this morning’s fire at Temple Newsam’s Home Farm, unfortunately a number of animals which could not be rescued from the Cow Byre and Bothy building sadly died. These were two Berkshire sows and their litters of 16 piglets, along with 14 rabbits and two young chicks.

“The loss of these animals is very sad and distressing news, but we would also like to pay tribute to the efforts of the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Leeds City Council staff who successfully rescued many more animals.

“The building itself is of great historical importance as it is one of the original farm buildings which dates back to the 19th century. It also contained historic farm equipment and machinery much of which unfortunately has been lost in the fire.

“A full investigation is now being carried out along with a structural check of the buildings affected. A decision is likely to be taken later this week as to when Home Farm can reopen to visitors.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

Statement on fire at Temple Newsam's Home Farm

A spokesman for Leeds City Council said:

“We can confirm that a fire was discovered at Temple Newsam’s Home Farm at approximately 5am this morning. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service and Leeds City Council staff were quickly on the scene with the fire having broken out in the central Cow Byre and Bothy building.

“The quick thinking and bravery of both fire officers and council staff enabled a number of animals to be moved to safety, but sadly some of those inside could not be rescued and have died as a result. There has also been significant damage caused to historic machinery and equipment which were on display in the building.

“An investigation into the fire has already begun and the farm will be closed until further notice.”

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council, Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk