Thursday, 17 January 2013

Extra funding makes Wrap Up Leeds+ go further

Even more Leeds residents will benefit from energy efficient home improvements with extra funding just announced.

£150,000 awarded to Leeds City Council from the Department of Energy and Climate Change will be added to the Wrap Up Leeds+ project to make heating homes more affordable.

Wrap Up Leeds+ is providing grants and interest free loans to homeowners and private tenants so they can carry out energy saving upgrades to their homes to make them warmer and cheaper to heat.

The amount of grant funding provided depends on each individual’s circumstances, the qualifying criteria of the grants and the level of the work required. Now, a successful bid for extra money means that people struggling with their fuel bills, but who might not have got help before or who are refused a loan, won’t miss out.

Insulation, new doors and windows, boiler repairs and replacements and new central heating systems will be provided for free if they are recommended by a Green Deal assessment.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“With a cold snap upon us, the cost of heating will be on many people’s minds, but getting an energy saving home revamp through Wrap Up Leeds+ will bring benefits for people now, and for years to come.”

“This is a welcome boost to a project that will dramatically change the lives of many vulnerable people.

“We’ll be making great use of the funds by providing an effective safety net for anyone wrestling with rising fuel bills.”

Wrap Up Leeds+ is being managed by YESprojects on behalf of Leeds City Council.

The scheme works on a first come first served basis. Homeowners and those renting privately can register their interest by calling free on 0800 052 0071 (calls from mobiles may be charged so people can call 01484 351 550 instead) or complete a pre-assessment at

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Leeds sports pitches closed

Due to the current frozen ground conditions and severe weather expected, all Leeds City Council-managed sports pitches will be unavailable for use this weekend.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Mental health support in schools to be available city-wide

A project which supports children and young people with mental health needs is being rolled out to all schools in the city.

Leeds City Council’s Targeted Mental Health in Schools (TaMHS) Project has been running a successful pilot in over 120 Leeds schools. The project, developed and managed by the Healthy Schools and Wellbeing Service, develops schools’ emotional wellbeing and mental health provision while providing young people with swifter and easier access to mental health professionals.

The project has already demonstrated measurable improvements in the mental health of children and young people, family issues, school improvement and keeping children and young people safe from harm.

Due to this success further short term setup funding from Leeds City Council’s children’s services, NHS Leeds and School’s Forum has been sourced to expand the project to all schools in Leeds.

In order to find out more about what is on offer and to meet potential providers, professionals from schools across the city attended an information event earlier this week which:
• gave an overview of the TaMHS programme;
• outlined the funding offer and requirements;
• allowed schools to meet potential providers and existing TaMHS clusters, and;
• gave attendees the opportunity to ask questions.

The event was well attended by representatives from all remaining clusters of schools in the city and eight potential service providers including Barca, Black Health Initiatives, CAMHS, Leeds Counselling, Relate, The Beck, The Place2Be and Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service. In addition representatives from Northern Gas Networks came to find out more about the project from a range of speakers including Sarah Sinclair, Chief Officer for Strategy, Commissioning and Performance of Children’s Services.

Emotional wellbeing and mental health play a key part of a person’s ability to learn effectively, contribute positively to the community and be resilient to problems when they arise. One in ten children aged between 5 and 16 years has a mental health problem, and many continue to have such issues into adulthood. Half of those with lifetime mental health problems first experience symptoms by the age of 14 and three-quarters before their mid-20s.

TaMHS works with school age children and young people to improve their emotional well-being and mental health by intervening earlier, tackling problems faster and working preventatively.

Children and young people, and sometimes their families or carers, are able to access specialist counselling and other mental health services, but the project also helps to promote social and emotional skills for all pupils.

Ensuring children in Leeds are safe from harm and doing well in learning are two of the priorities of the Leeds’ Children and Young People’s Plan (CYPP). Emotional wellbeing and mental health support contributes to these priorities by helping to resolve such issues which can get in the way of doing well at school and leading a happy life.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“It’s vital that we recognise how important a child’s emotional well-being and mental health are for their education and development. By rolling this out city-wide means even more children and young people will be able to access the help they need.

“Schools are well-placed to spot difficulties as they arise but sometimes in the past staff have felt they lacked the expertise to deal with emotional and mental health issues and referrals for specialist help could take time.

“The beauty of this project is that it gives school staff the skills and support to deal with many of the issues themselves but specialist mental health professionals are also available so children who need this help can get it much faster.

Clusters are organised groups of schools and other services and partners, who come together to pool services to their local communities and pupils. The clusters are also putting significant funds into the project, with a longer term commitment to sustain the project, demonstrating a commitment from all parties to joint investment in mental health.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713

Tour de France 2014 Leeds Grand Départ details announced

Caption: The 2014 Tour de France will start in front of the iconic Leeds Town Hall

Details as to the route the Tour de France will take when the world’s largest annual sporting event begins in Leeds in 2014 have been announced today.

At a press conference held in Paris this morning, race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) and dignitaries of the successful Leeds and Yorkshire bid revealed further information about the Grand Départ of the legendary cycle race when it begins in the county in July 2014.

A similar press conference and celebration event will be held at Leeds Town Hall later today (Thursday), where details of the first two stages to be held in Yorkshire will be announced before the race heads for Cambridge and London for stage three, the final day of the three the race will be in the UK.

The Leeds element forms part of the regional bid led by Welcome to Yorkshire in partnership with local authorities and regional bodies which last month was confirmed as the winning bidder to host the Grand Départ.

The world’s leading riders will line up in front of Leeds Town Hall on Saturday 5 July 2014 for the start of the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France. The opening stage will cover 120 miles and travel through Harewood, Otley and Ilkley before heading through the Yorkshire Dales and finishing in Harrogate.

The second stage begins in York, and will be a hilly 125-mile test featuring the challenging climb of Holme Moss before finishing in Sheffield. Day three sees Le Tour head south, starting in Cambridge and heading to London passing the London 2012 Olympic Park with the stage finish on The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

It is estimated that 98 per cent of the population of Yorkshire will be within an hour of the route during its two days in the county, with the economic benefit expected to be in excess of £100m.

When the race began in London before heading for a stage through Kent in 2007, the event generated an estimated £88million of economic benefit to the two areas, attracted over three million spectators and publicity valued at £35m with more than 20,000 pieces of media coverage being produced by the world’s media covering the race.

As host city for the Grand Départ, Leeds will be the focal point of attention in the days leading up to the start with the competing teams being presented to the public, while there will also be cycle shows, displays, market stalls, competitions and a range of cultural events in celebration of Le Tour’s arrival.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“As a city we are absolutely thrilled to be hosting the start of the world’s largest annual sporting event in 2014, and speaking personally as an avid fan of the Tour de France and keen cyclist for over 25 years, I am incredibly proud and excited that Leeds has been given the honour of starting this amazing and legendary race.

“Together with Welcome to Yorkshire and our partners across the county, a tremendous amount of work has gone into winning the bid for Leeds to host the Grand Départ and for the county of Yorkshire to be showcased to a huge global audience, so I’d like to say thank you to everyone involved and also to the race organisers Amaury Sport Organisation for entrusting us with starting the greatest event in cycling.

“The Grand Départ is going to be a real celebration for everyone in the city and our very special guests from all over the globe to enjoy, highlighting the best that Leeds and Yorkshire has to offer for a few days that none of us will ever forget.”

Tour de France Director Christian Prudhomme said:

“Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breathtaking landscapes whose terrains offer to all kind of riders the opportunity to express themselves. When we build the route of Le Tour, we look at both sporting aspects and the beauty of the route. I knew Yorkshire was a nice region but I didn’t imagine it corresponded so well to what we need for a perfect Grand Départ.

“We wanted two different stages to begin with, two different challenges for the riders. The first stage, the one that will gives the first Yellow Jersey, might be perfect for sprinters, the second however will be probably be more suited to attackers and climbers, and the repetition of the hills in the last part, like in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, will definitely be worth seeing.”

Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity said:

“The routes of the Grand Départ will showcase some of Yorkshire’s iconic cycling climbs and the county’s stunning land and cityscapes. The peloton will be technically tested as they tackle some challenging terrain in what are sure to be two exhilarating days of racing in the county. The British public’s response since the news broke that the 2014 Grand Départ would be hosted in Yorkshire has been overwhelming and I am sure the route announcements today will encourage even more people to come to the county to experience for themselves the phenomenon that is Le Tour.”

For more information visit or follow @letouryorkshire on Twitter.


For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, ,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

Leeds woman falls foul of dog roaming charges

A Leeds woman has been dealt a substantial fine after allowing her dog to roam unattended, breaching the dog control order in force across Leeds.

Caroline O’Connor of Simmons Way, Gipton, was fined £200 along with a £15 victim surcharge and ordered to pay £398.44 in costs. O’Connor allowed her dog to wander unsupervised and failed to take heed of warnings.

The pet was spotted roaming along the street by a dog warden working for Leeds City Council on Simmons Way in June 2012.

The warden explained to O’Connor it was an offence to allow her dog to roam. Dog control orders came into effect a year ago, under section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005, making it illegal to allow dogs off their lead on footpaths and verges adjacent to roads.

This order is to prevent dogs running into the road which can cause traffic accidents and to help prevent fouling and other nuisances unattended dogs can cause.

O’Connor was issued with a fixed penalty notice by the warden; however after neglecting to pay the case was sent to court, where she was found guilty.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive member for the environment said:

“These control orders are in place to protect the welfare and interests of the community. Unfortunately there is a small minority of dog owners who persistently behave negligently which has a wider impact on the community.

“This recent case highlights the importance of being a reliable dog owner to avoid enforcement action being taken against you.”


For media enquiries please contact:
Rhianne Cutts,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 224 3937