Thursday, 22 December 2011

Extra funding to keep Leeds warm this winter

It should be a welcome warm start to the New Year for some of Leeds’s most vulnerable residents with the announcement of extra funding to make sure they don’t go cold this winter.

Leeds City Council, along with NHS Airedale, Bradford and Leeds, Care and Repair, Groundwork Leeds, Yorkshire Energy Services and Leeds Community Foundation have been successful in securing nearly £169,000 from the Department of Health’s Warm Homes Healthy People fund.

The organisations will use the cash to provide a co-ordinated, all-round health and warmth service, stopping people falling ill and having to be admitted to hospital.

Boilers will be serviced to keep people’s heating systems in tip-top condition. However, if they do break down, emergency repairs and temporary heating will be provided so people won’t be left out in the cold. Both services will be provided by Care and Repair and will be available to vulnerable people who own their own homes but suffer from cold-related illnesses or don’t have adequate heating.

The funding also means Groundwork Leeds can expand their popular energy efficiency ‘Green Doctor’ service, providing people with practical advice on getting the best out of their heating system. And if residents need more than just advice to keep cosy, Groundwork Leeds can provide things like draught proofing, pipe insulation (lagging) or secondary glazing.

As each organisation is already working with vulnerable people or people at risk from cold related illnesses, help will be provided immediately through existing referral routes. However, if you know someone whose health is suffering from the effects of cold please contact the Energy Saving Trust on freephone 0800 512012.

Going one step further, the funds will be used to set up a special grant scheme run by Leeds Community Foundation so local groups can access the money too. Community groups will be able to bid for grants averaging £2,000 for projects to help their members or clients through the winter. Details about the new grants scheme will be announced early in the new year.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environment services at Leeds City Council said:
“Having inadequate heating can have dire consequences for people so we’re delighted to be able to put these funds to such good use. The services this money will provide are a fantastic example of how different organisations can work together to maximise the benefits for some of our most vulnerable residents.”

Bill Rollinson, director at Care and Repair said:
“This is really good news for people in Leeds who are having problems keeping warm and well this winter.”

Sally-Anne Greenfield, chief executive at Leeds Community Foundation said:

“This extra investment for local community groups is excellent news. They operate right at the heart of local communities throughout the city and are often best-place to be able to respond quickly to the needs of local people. The application process will be a simple one as we want to get the money out as quickly as we can.”

Adrian Curtis, executive director at Groundwork Leeds said:
"I am delighted that we have the opportunity to expand our popular Green Doctor service. Fuel poverty is an incredibly serious national and local issue. The extra practical advice and work this funding will allow us to deliver will be a real boost for those struggling to pay their energy bills this winter."

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335

Owner fined for “eyesore “trailer

The owner of a riding school has been fined after repeatedly leaving an advertising trailer on a public road.

Damien Midgley, owner of Newthorpe Equestrian Centre, South Milford, Leeds was found guilty at Leeds magistrates on 19th December 2011 of repeatedly leaving a trailer advertising the equestrian centre on Selby Road, Garforth. The trailer was seen as an eyesore and a road traffic hazard.

Officers from Leeds City Council served a notice on Mr Midgley in October 2010 to remove the trailer from the highway. However the trailer was seen on numerous occasions in different locations across Leeds. In February 2011 the council took action to seize the trailer and tow it away.

Magistrates fined Mr Midgley £200 with costs to the council of £491.98. Mr Midgley appealed against the guilty charge but the appeal was dismissed.

Cllr Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for environmental services, said: “ The trailer was an eyesore and a road traffic hazard but Mr Midgely took no notice of our requests to remove it. This should serve as a warning that we will take action when people choose to flout the law.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Annie Goodyear Leeds City Council press office (0113) 2243937