Monday, 5 December 2011

Affordable new homes unveiled in Tingley

Local landlord Accent Foundation working in partnership with Leeds City Council have unveiled 25 affordable new homes for the over 55s in Tingley.

Eastleigh Mews, which was completed earlier this month, is a development of 20 two bedroom apartments and five, two bedroom bungalows.

Accent, a locally based housing association providing homes for over 3,500 residents across Yorkshire and Humberside, and has built a number of new homes in partnership with Leeds City Council.

Eastleigh Mews is the penultimate scheme in what is a major build programme with the council, which has created over 200 new homes across the city of Leeds in the last two years. The scheme cost £2 million to develop, and funding was provided by the Homes and Communities Agency, the government’s national regeneration agency for England.

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

“We have worked with Accent to deliver over 200 homes across the city recently and it is great to see a number of new homes for the over 55s being offered for social rent. As a council, we are committed to providing homes as and where we can, and these new build properties are a good example of this.

“The present affordable homes building programme is now drawing to a close, but we are determined to continue to explore every avenue to provide as many affordable homes as possible in Leeds to bridge the current gap between supply and demand.”

Accent Foundation Managing Director Claire Stone said:

“I’m very pleased to see the completion and opening of Eastleigh Mews. Throughout the planning and building work, we have worked closely with Leeds City Council, our main contractors ESH Property Services, and the Homes and Communities Agency to ensure the homes are built to the best modern design standards and meet the needs and aspirations of the local people who will be living in them.”

For more information, please contact the Accent press office on 01274 536 096.

Editor’s Notes

Accent Foundation

Accent Foundation is part of Accent Group, a housing association providing over 19,000 homes to around 34,000 families across the UK. Accent Foundation manages over 3,500 of these homes and employs over 100 staff from its Bradford city centre office.


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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

Response to Ombudsman report (STRICTLY EMBARGOED)

STRICTLY EMBARGOED UNTIL 00:01 HRS 6 DECEMBER 2011

Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust deeply regret the distress caused to Ms B.

Both organisations acted swiftly to take action to address the issues raised by this case, where practice failed and led to the chain of events described in the Ombudsman’s report.

The council and the trust have issued a joint apology to Ms B, offered a sum in compensation and also offered to pay for a memorial seat in commemoration of Ms B’s mother’s life, to be placed at a location of her choice.

We welcome the Ombudsman’s recognition of the constructive steps taken since the mistakes occurred between December 2008 and February 2009.

Sandie Keene, director of adult social services added:
“The Ombudsman’s report describes a standard that, on this occasion, fell well below what the council expects when dealing with such a sensitive situation. On behalf of Leeds City Council, I extend deepest apologies for the distress Ms B has experienced.

“Immediately after the events, we commissioned an independent review of our safeguarding practice. This discovered that this was an isolated series of errors and misjudgements, which I am relieved to say was not the result of fundamentally flawed policy within our joint care services.

“We have learned a number of important lessons in communication, training and management. Together with colleagues in the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust, we will continue to ensure that these lessons are used to strengthen the quality of our services.”

Rob Webster, chief executive of the Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust added:
"We are deeply sorry for the distress caused to Ms B and send our sincere condolences for her loss.

"We accept the findings in the report and its recommendations in full.

“I am reassured that the Ombudsman recognises that we acted quickly to make improvements and deal with the issues raised. Cases like this are a reminder that we must work tirelessly to ensure we provide the highest quality care.

“We are committed to working jointly with our colleagues in Leeds City Council to improve the delivery of health and social care for families across the city.”

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Notes to editors

Ms B’s mother’s placement in the nursing home, where she died in 2009, was arranged and managed by a Joint Care Management Team staffed by social and health-care professionals from Leeds City Council and Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust.

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

Temple Newsam's Home Farm remains closed

Temple Newsam’s Home Farm remains closed as clearance work continues following the recent fire.

The clean-up began on Friday and will continue this week with specialist equipment and machinery being used.

The position will be reassessed on a day-by-day basis with the hope being that the farm can reopen by this weekend. For the latest information visit the website at www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsamhouse or call 0113 264 5535.

ENDS

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

Taxi marshals enlisted to keep order over Christmas

Safer Leeds is enlisting the help of taxi marshals in the city centre for the festive season to ensure order is kept in taxi ranks.

The marshals are part of a range of measures being put in place by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire Police, who are working with Health and Business Against Crime in Leeds (BACIL) to ensure safety and reduce crime in the city centre.

The marshals will be located at three taxi ranks across the city -- Leeds Railway Station, Call Lane/Corn Exchange and adjacent to the Oceana nightclub on Woodhouse Lane.

Each rank with have three marshals working from 10.30pm - 3.30am each Friday and Saturday night up to and including New Years Eve.

The marshals will ensure that members of the public queue up in an orderly fashion whilst waiting for a taxi.

The taxi marshals will be in close contact with West Yorkshire police to report any issues that need police attention. They will also be working alongside the recently introduced street marshals who are patrolling the areas outside nightclubs as well as Police Community Support Officers and police volunteer constables.

Cllr Peter Gruen, Chair of Safer Leeds and Leeds City Council's executive board member for community safety said:

"We know from experience that taxi marshals make a real difference to safety in the city.

"We want people to come into Leeds at night and we want them to have a good time. Taxi marshals make it easier to do that, so I would like to thank our partners in the police, the NHS and Business Against Crime who have helped us fund the marshals this year.

"It's important that people know they can enjoy the Christmas season and be safe at the same time, so just a reminder to people to always use a licensed cab and queue up where there are taxi marshals. "

Chief Inspector Vernon Francis, of City and Holbeck Division, who is responsible for policing the city centre, said:
"Leeds city centre continues to be a very safe place to enjoy a night out. The reassuring presence of the taxi marshals in the run-up to Christmas and the New Year will complement the work we and are partner agencies are doing to help people enjoy the season safely."

Grace Lee, Business Crime Coordinator at Business Against Crime in Leeds said:

“The taxi marshal scheme is seen as a vital part of Leeds night time economy management; our members see a direct benefit from it in terms of dispersal and customer safety. BACIL support the scheme whole heartedly and hope for its every success on the run up to Christmas and the New Year”


Brenda Fullard, Head of Healthy Living and Health Inequalities for NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds says:
“We support this initiative because we know it will be effective in reducing injuries. It will also get people safely home faster and contribute to reducing the cost of alcohol related ambulance call outs and accident and emergency services. The cost of these services is about £5 million per year in Leeds. We hope that it will also improve the quality of life for people working in the city centre and for people enjoying their evening‘s leisure time.”


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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

You’re hired – apprentice numbers in Leeds increase by almost 100%

Recent figures from the National Apprenticeship Service show that there has been an increase of nearly 100% in the take up of apprenticeships in Leeds.

There were 6,798 apprenticeship starts in Leeds from August 2010 to July 2011, which is a 98% increase on the previous year.

There is plenty going on across the city to help young people get into work – in the last two years over 800 young people in Leeds have been supported to secure employment through a national job programme –the Future Job Fund, and also the most recent programme –Youth Inspire aims to help a number more.

Leeds City Council has invested over £400,000 with matched funding from Leeds City College and the Skills Funding Agency as part of YOUth Inspire programme, managed by Learning Partnerships which will support 580 young people aged 16-24 to access the support and skills training needed to help them secure a job, apprenticeship or further work-related training.

The Future Jobs Fund programme which commenced in Leeds in December 2009, and finished earlier this year, has enabled Leeds City Council, working with 19 key partners and over 130 employers, to help a number of young people in the city get jobs. Close to half of the young people who took part in the scheme moved into permanent work following their involvement on the programme, and an additional 38 have progressed into further education or training.

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

“Helping young people into work is a key priority for the city, and we are very pleased with the huge increase in take up of apprenticeships.

“There are plenty of things happening over the next few months for young people and employers across the city, including our first ever apprenticeship awards, which will showcase what is happening across the city.

“With the large amount of development in the city, now more than ever is a good opportunity for young people to take advantage of working in the city.”

Councillor Judith Blake, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for children’s services said:
As part of Leeds aspiring to be the best city in the UK, we want to be able to help and inspire the younger generations who will be key thinkers in the city in the future.

“It is so important that we do all we can to help reduce the numbers of young people classed as NEET in the city, and getting young people into apprenticeships is one way of doing this.

“I would like encourage any young person with an interest in getting an apprenticeship to visit the website apprenticeships.org.uk or get in touch with Learning Partnerships for advice.”

As part of the commitment to young people in Leeds, earlier this year The Leeds Apprenticeship Challenge took place with the first milestone being to achieve 100 employers, recruiting 100 apprenticeships in 100 days. Leeds signed up 162 employers who were willing to offer 375 apprenticeship vacancies, which smashed all targets that had been set.

Recently the ‘Build my future; Build my Leeds’ competition took place, which offered two young people the opportunity in an apprenticeship with the Leeds Arena and Leeds Trinity. The winners of which will be decided in December 2011.

As part of the ongoing work with apprentices and to celebrate the success of apprenticeships in the city, the council will be holding the first Apprenticeship Awards during national Apprenticeship Week on the 8th February. Nominations have already been submitted, and winners will be announced on the night.

All apprenticeships offered within the city are advertised at www.apprenticeships.org.uk. And for more information on the YOUth Inspire programme contact Learning Partnerships on 0113 3806839


Notes to editors:

To be part of the YOUth Inspire Programme, you must be either 16-18yrs old and not in education, employment or training OR 18-24 years old and claiming JSA. To find out more and register, please contact your Jobcentre or Connexions advisor.

The Future Jobs Fund was a government initiative launched in May 2009 as one of a number of measures that would make up a ‘guaranteed offer’ for all long term unemployed young people.

The jobs were aimed at providing training and work experience for young people aged 18-24 who had been unemployed for six months or more, with the aim to significantly improve their long term employability.
Leeds City Council working in partnership with the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS) and Guiseley School held a Sixth Form Higher Apprenticeship Event on 16th September 2011, with over 200 students attending covering a range of sectors, Engineering, STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), Retail, Construction/engineering, Business Administration & Law and Accountancy. Due to this success Leeds City Council will now extend this model across other school sixth forms in Leeds, events taking placing in 2012.


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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