Monday, 21 January 2013

Council services affected by snow

Despite the snow, council staff have been working in difficult conditions around the clock to keep the roads moving and people safe.

Snow falls throughout the week had initially been lighter than expected but double the amounts of forecasted snow fell on Sunday night.

Gritting crews battled conditions throughout the night to treat primary routes and will be moving to secondary roads this afternoon.

To assist the gritting crews, staff from parks and countryside have been helping to clear footpaths and fill grit bins and staff from other departments have been supporting staff at the depots.

All council leisure and sports centres, art gallery, libraries and one stop centres are open as usual. The mobile library service is offering a reduced service.

Adult social care services including home care services are continuing without major issues and all meals at home are being delivered, on foot where necessary.

Older people’s day centres are closed, but staff are visiting all customers who would have attended to check on their well being. Learning disability day centres are open and staff are contacting customers who are unable to attend to check on their well being too.

The majority of Leeds schools have been affected by the snow. Around 140 schools closed on Monday morning.

Bin services have been severely disrupted. Some collection crews are making rounds and will be emptying green recycling bins where possible so people don’t have to wait another four weeks for a collection. If black bins were due to be collected today, residents are being asked to take these back in and put them out on their next scheduled collection day.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“I’m immensely proud of the efforts of our staff who have done their utmost to keep people safe in incredibly difficult circumstances.

“We’ll continue to direct our resources where they are needed most, keeping the city moving and supporting our vulnerable residents.

“With the cold snap set to stay with us for a few days, people should take care when travelling and check on elderly or vulnerable family or neighbours to ensure they are getting any help they need.”

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


Takeaway owner £18,000 out of pocket for not having a licence

A west Leeds takeaway is counting the cost of not obeying licensing regulations after being fined £15,000 plus costs at Leeds Magistrates’ court today (Friday 18 January).

Jawaid Mahmood, owner of Italian Pizza Bar & Village India, 209 Stanningley Road, Leeds LS12 was found guilty and convicted in his absence of selling hot food without a licence. He was fined £15,000 and ordered to pay costs of £2967.53 and a £15 victims’ surcharge.

Leeds City Council’s Entertainment Licensing section first received a complaint alleging that the takeaway was selling hot food beyond midnight - the time they were authorised to – in December 2011.

The takeaway even advertised the opening hours of the business as 4pm until 12.30am Sunday to Thursday and 4pm until 1.30am Friday and Saturday.

Despite receiving warning letters advising him that he must cease selling hot food after midnight until a licence was in place, Mr Jawaid Mahmood continued to allow hot food to be sold at the premises.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive board member responsible for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“It is not acceptable that any food outlet conducts business without the correct licence.

“Businesses need to make sure they take notice of council advice so as to avoid large fines and to ensure they are operating within the law. In this case it is clear that the owner has deliberately ignored a number of reminders.

“By making sure these premises apply for a licence, it gives local people the chance to put forward any objections or to raise any concerns.

“The licensing process is designed to give not only the responsible authorities but also local residents the opportunity to raise concerns or support for applications. People who serve late night refreshment without a licence are not allowing people to have their say and are breaking the law.”

Note to editors:

Since the 24th November 2005 the provision of late night refreshment between the hours of 11pm and 5am is a licensable activity under the Licensing Act 2003. Premises providing hot food refreshment during these hours require a Premises Licence or Temporary Event Notice authorising the activity.

A person guilty of an offence of providing unauthorised late night refreshment is liable, on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months or to a fine not exceeding £20,000, or to both.

Between December 2011 and February 2012 licensing enforcement officers conducted undercover test purchases on three separate occasions. On each occasion hot food was purchased by officers after midnight.

Following the positive test purchases, enforcement officers wrote warning letters to the business premises, informing Mahmood of their findings advising them to cease providing late night hot refreshment after Midnight. This was ignored, so Leeds City Council took Mr Mahmood to court.

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

Update on Leeds school closures

Try this link for  regularly updated school closure info: 

Apologies for council website issues, we are working on it.