Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Freezing temperatures prompt insulation checks

With temperatures plummeting this week, people are being urged to look for the tell tale signs that means they need to wrap up their home.

The council backed Wrap Up Leeds project is advising people to look out for frosty, or if there have been any flurries, snowy roofs.

How quickly frost or snow disappears is a good indication of how well your loft is insulated. Frost or snow will vanish quickly as heat leaks from homes with little or no loft insulation at all.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:

“Weather like this really hammers home the purpose of Wrap Up Leeds. When the temperature drops some people reach for the thermostat but others don’t have that choice as it's just too expensive. We want people to live in warm homes and not have to spend a fortune heating them."

Councillor David Blackburn, chair of the council's cross-party environment and climate change working group said:

“Checking your roof during cold or snowy spells is one of the easiest ways to see if you're losing heat from your loft. If you've got no frost or snow on your roof while your neighbours do, it’s a fairly accurate sign that you could benefit from loft insulation. If you’re feeling the effects of this chilly weather, please do contact Wrap Up Leeds.”

Wrap Up Leeds is offering free loft insulation and will even top up your loft insulation if you have less than 160mm currently. Cavity wall insulation is also provided free of charge. Both are subject to a free, technical survey and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Installing cavity wall and loft insulation in your home can help you save around £300 each year from rising fuel bills. That’s based on figures provided by the Energy Saving Trust for an average three bedroom semi-detached home.

If you think your home needs insulation, call Wrap Up Leeds on 0800 052 0071 or go online at www.wrapupleeds.co.uk and book your free, no obligation technical survey.

Notes to the editor

Images are available upon request.

About Wrap Up Leeds
• Wrap Up Leeds is available to all homeowners and privately renting tenants (where landlord’s permission has been granted) in the Leeds City Council area only.
• Free cavity wall insulation, loft insulation (where less than 60mm of loft insulation currently exists) and loft ‘top up’s’ (where more than 60mm but less than 160mm of loft insulation currently exists) are available under the scheme.
• A free, technical survey of the property will confirm that the work will definitely be free as much larger properties or those that need extensive scaffolding may be asked to pay a contribution towards the work.
• The project estimates to help householders make total cumulative savings of £1,653,750 on energy bills based on installing cavity wall insulation in 6,000 homes, laying insulation in over 3,000 empty lofts and ‘topping up’ a further 5,850 lofts.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 5704
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk
Ellie Lyon, Yorkshire Energy Services marketing team on 01484 352010
Email Ellie.Lyon@yorkshireenergyservices.co.uk


New council housing scheme moves forward

Leeds City Council today announced that it is in a position to move forward with the highly anticipated Little London, Beeston Hill and Holbeck housing PFI project.

The £180m project, which will deliver 388 new homes and refurbish 1,200 more, has been beset by delays since the government announced it would be subject to a value for money review in November 2010. The council received approval to move ahead with planning the scheme in October last year, and since then have been working with their preferred bidder, Sustainable Communities for Leeds (S4CL), to secure the final elements of funding for the project.

However, the delays have proved costly – each month that has passed has seen the cost of the project soar by nearly half a million.

It has now been confirmed that everything is in place for the project to move forward. The council now hopes to shortly be in a position to sign the contract with S4CL, with a view to starting work on site in the summer.

Cllr Peter Gruen Leeds City Council executive board member for neighbourhoods, housing and regeneration said:

“The delays to this scheme have been very frustrating for us all, but I would like to assure residents that we are making progress and we are almost there.

“The government’s value for money review has set us back as we had hoped to start on site last year, but constant delay means that we are now a year behind where we wanted to be. We have also, reluctantly, had to remove some valuable aspects of the project at the government’s demand to reduce the cost, for example the community hub in Little London.

“This is all the more frustrating as the delays have pushed up the overall cost of the scheme by around half a million a month. Despite this, we remain committed to providing high quality homes and environmental improvements for people in these areas, who have been left in limbo for too long. We are now confident that there is light at the end of the tunnel and people will soon see work start on site.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk

Landlord prosecuted for poor home standards

A private landlord in Leeds has been found guilty for failing to protect his tenants against fire and dampness in the house they are renting.

Mr John Michael Laurie of Copt Grove Road, Yeadon, Leeds, was found guilty at Leeds Magistrate Court on Thursday 26 January 2012 and was fined £3000 and ordered to repay costs of £2179.18 with a £15 victim surcharge.

Laurie’s tenants contacted the council after he refused to make repairs to a leaking roof that was causing damp in the house. Officers from the council’s housing regulation team visited the house and served an Improvement Notice to the landlord after confirming dampness and more importantly finding that the house had inadequate fire safety measures in place for the occupants.

As part of the improvement notice, Laurie was required to install a mains wired automatic fire detection system throughout the house, fire doors and a fire escape window on the first floor. The roof leak was also to be repaired.

Laurie failed to undertake the necessary improvements, which led to court action.

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

“The fines imposed by the court are a reminder to landlords of the seriousness of failing to protect the safety of their tenants.

“It is not acceptable for tenants to live in houses that do not meet simple safety regulations – I would encourage any tenant who feels the property they are living in is not up to standard to contact us.”

Notes to editors:

Leeds City Council provides guidance to landlords and agents on fire safety design principles and how to undertake a housing health and safety risk assessment to ensure their properties are adequately protected and safe for occupancy. These documents can be accessed free of charge by following the links at www.leeds.gov.uk/hmo

If you are a tenant and your Landlord or Agents are failing to resolve your properties defects you can contact the Housing Regulation team for assistance or advice at prs.housing@leeds.gov.uk or 0113 2477594.


For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk