Wednesday, 23 May 2012

New leadership arrangements for Leeds City Council

Jobs, skills and training along with better transport links, development and stronger local powers are high on the agenda for Leeds City Council as new leadership arrangements are announced after the recent local elections.

The ruling Labour administration has laid out its priorities for the next couple of years, focusing on equipping the city and its people to cope with current financial challenges and on developing for the future.

Key areas include getting young people into work; introducing the concept of Leeds being a Child Friendly City; promoting a low-carbon economy; improving locality (local area) working; improving health, equality and work opportunities for everybody.

Councillor Keith Wakefield has been re-confirmed as Leader of the council, along with deputy leaders Cllrs Judith Blake and Peter Gruen. All existing executive members with responsibility for specific areas of the council’s work have been re-appointed.

There is also a new executive board member, Cllr Lisa Mulherin, who will lead the council’s work in public health, responsibility for which will switch from the NHS next year.

Leeds City Council Leader Cllr Keith Wakefield said:
“These are very difficult economic times and it is our absolute priority to do our best for the city and its citizens to enable them to be resilient to current challenges and to develop potential for the future.

“Leeds, in common with most other major cities, has to cope with the knock-on effects of severe financial constraints and these will only be compounded by further deep cuts over the coming years.

“However, we are determined that ours will be a city that survives and thrives and we expect an announcement soon on new powers from government in areas such as training and transport in order to under-pin these ambitions.

“I am also optimistic about the economic development of the city with new projects such at Leeds Arena and Trinity Leeds due to open next year. Gaining new responsibilities for public health from next year will also allow us a much greater influence on the wellbeing of our residents.”

While executive member portfolios have remained the same, some service areas have been switched between departments to enable priority areas of work to be better addressed. The new arrangements are as follows:

Cllr Keith Wakefield Leader
Cllr Judith Blake Deputy Leader/Children’s Services
Cllr Peter Gruen Deputy Leader/Neighbourhoods, Planning
& Support Services
Cllr Adam Ogilvie Leisure & Skills
Cllr Richard Lewis Economy & Development
Cllr Mark Dobson Environment
Cllr Lucinda Yeadon Adult Social Care
Cllr Lisa Mulherin Health & Wellbeing

Each of the executive members will also have a cross-cutting champion role to ensure the priorities are embraced by all departments of the council and not just in their own specialist area.

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


Wrap Up Leeds introduces recommend a friend bonus

High street shopping vouchers are on offer to anyone who recommends a friend to Leeds’ free insulation scheme.

The £20 vouchers will be given to people if a friend or family member they refer to the Wrap Up Leeds team goes on to have loft or cavity wall insulation installed.

People don’t have to have benefitted from the scheme already themselves or even live in Leeds to receive the free gift.

All people have to do is get permission from their friend or family member to pass their details on to the Wrap Up Leeds team. If that person then goes on to have loft or cavity wall insulation installed, the referrer will earn £20 worth of high street shopping vouchers for every successful recommendation.

The free insulation scheme run by Leeds City Council in partnership with Yorkshire Energy Services and EDF Energy is helping Leeds homeowners and people renting privately to tackle rising fuel bills. The Energy Saving Trust estimates people will save up to £300 a year when fully insulating an average three bedroom semi-detached home.

The Wrap Up Leeds offer is available to 15,000 homes until September this year and to make sure as many people as possible contact the team, the refer a friend offer was created by Yorkshire Energy Services.

Wrap Up Leeds project manager for Yorkshire Energy Services, Katie Baker said:

“Word of mouth is one of the fastest and best ways people can find out about this great offer. We can only insulate 15,000 homes so want as many people as possible to spread the word and benefit from doing so too.”

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“Unfortunately not all homes are suitable for insulation. With the recommend a friend scheme, we can offer people a little bonus for helping their family or friends save money on fuel bills and cut damaging emissions.”

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

“Wrap Up Leeds is already a great scheme with multiple benefits. This is an added incentive for people to get in touch.”

£20 worth of shopping vouchers will be paid for each recommendation that results in insulation being installed and there is no limit to how many friends you can refer. Any friends or family members referred will receive a free technical survey to see if they can benefit from home insulation. The vouchers, which can be used in over 100 shops, will only be sent once the property recommended is insulated with at least one measure.

To refer your friend contact Wrap Up Leeds on 0800 052 0071 or email with your and your friends contact details, confirming your friend has given permission to pass their details to us.

The 0800 number is free from most landline providers, but may not be free from mobile networks. If you would prefer, please call Wrap Up Leeds on 01484 351 779.

Notes to editors:

About Wrap Up Leeds
• Wrap Up Leeds is run in partnership by Leeds City Council and Yorkshire Energy Services, with funding from EDF Energy.
• 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 and 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 made 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) 395 1577


Ellie Lyon, Yorkshire Energy Services marketing team on (01484) 352010