Friday, 1 February 2013

Update on refuse collections

The recovery plan to get bin collections back on track is well underway.

Due to the snow affecting usual collections of around half a million bins each week; there was a total of over 900 operational hours to recover due to the adverse weather.

We have already completed 700 extra hours this week for both recycling and household waste collections

Most of the outstanding work is expected to be completed today and tomorrow, however if necessary we will deploy some crews on Sunday.

From Thursday all spare resources have focused on collecting black bin waste.

Residents who normally have their black bin emptied on a Saturday are being asked to put their bin out as usual this Saturday 2 February.

If bins haven’t been emptied by 5pm on Saturday residents should leave them out and refuse collectors will endeavour to collect them on Sunday 3 February.

It is expected that collections will return to normal from Monday 4 February.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:
“I would like to commend all our refuse collectors for their hard work and continuing dedication to get bin collections back on track this week.

“I’d also like to reassure everyone that all available resources are being targeted at getting things back to normal.

“We’re grateful to residents for bearing with us while we catch up. Please be assured the progress of the service will be monitored closely over the next two days.”

Household waste sorting sites are open to take any extra waste.

Information about waste services can be found on the council's website.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

All you need to know about changes to benefits

People who may be affected by the Government’s changes to benefits are being invited to attend a roadshow in their local area.

Leeds City Council has organised more roadshow events over the next two months, to make sure anyone with any concerns or questions can speak to an expert advisor in person and take away any information they may need.

This is the second phase of roadshows, the first, which were held towards the end of last year have already proved successful with many residents obtaining help and advice on all welfare reform issues.

The first roadshow is being held at Little London neighbourhood housing office this Monday (4 February) between 10am and 2pm followed by one on Wednesday 6 February at Chapel Allerton Library between 10am to 3pm.

Further welfare reform roadshows will be held at:
Hawksworth children’s centre – Thursday 7 February (2pm to 4.30pm)
Wortley neighbourhood housing office – Monday 11 February (10am to 2pm)
Moor Allerton Library – Wednesday 13 February (10am to 4pm)
Kirkstall neighbourhood housing office – Monday 25 February (10am to 2pm)
Garforth One Stop Centre - Monday 4 March (9am to 3pm)
Rothwell One Stop Centre – Monday 11 March (9am to 3pm)
Bramley neighbourhood housing office – Monday 18 March (9am to 3pm)

Later this year the Government is bringing in a number of changes which will affect the amount of benefit people get. The changes include:
Housing benefit – Nationally the amount of Housing Benefit paid to working age tenants who live in council or housing association properties will be reduced, where they have more bedrooms than the family needs under the regulations.
Benefit Cap - There will be a national cap on the amount of benefits a single person or family can receive. The cap is limited to £500 per family, and £350 for a single person.
Council Tax Benefit – The Government has reduced funding for local council tax benefit schemes and this means will see most working age customers receiving less support.
Universal Credit - Universal Credit will replace the following means tested benefits; Income Support, Income Based Job Seekers Allowance, Income Related Employment and Support Allowance, Housing Benefit and Tax Credits. It will be paid as a single monthly payment of benefits and be paid in arrears.

In order to help everyone be as prepared for these as possible the council has arranged these roadshows where information and advice will be available from council benefits advisors on all aspects of the government’s changes to welfare provision.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:
“I am deeply concerned about the impact that the full range of welfare reforms is going to have on many people across the city.

“As a responsible council and social landlord, we want to make sure all affected people are fully aware of the impact this may have on them as early as possible so that they can make informed decisions about how to cope with the changes.

“These roadshows will provide a great opportunity for anyone with any concerns or questions to speak to people who can hopefully offer a solution or reassurance.

“It is sadly inevitable that some people will need to adapt to receiving less benefits than they do now, and some may need to move to a smaller property but rest assured we have teams in place ready to offer support and advice to help minimise any confusion and disruption as far as we possibly can.”

For further information and any updates on new road shows please visit leeds.gov.uk/benefits.

ENDS
For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713
Email: emma.whittell@leeds.gov.uk

Businesses encouraged to ‘Spring into action’ this March


Pic: from left: Pete Mills of Calls9 will present his enterprise journey, so far, at the event Also pictured is business partner Adam Roney

Entrepreneurs, small business owners and managers are being encouraged to boost their results by attending a free business support fair, on Wednesday 6th March 2013 at Leeds Central Library.

‘Spring into action’ is a free, one day event designed to help small businesses, start up companies and anyone with ideas around starting a new business, to move their ideas and their businesses forward.

Leeds-based entrepreneur Pete Mills will start the day with a keynote presentation describing his experience and the challenges of starting and running a business. Pete is the director and co-owner of digital agency Calls9 and launched the agency in 2010 along with his business partner Adam Roney.

With a growing team, the agency has recently moved to new offices at Broadgate in the centre of Leeds.
Their clients include, Gordons LLP ,Bradford Grammar School and Manchester United and England footballer Tom Cleverley.

Pete will chart the highs and lows of running his own company including how to build a client list, the challenges of being a start-up and gaining credibility, how to manage cash flow and some of the things he wished people had told him ‘before’ they started!

The day will feature presentations, workshops and the opportunity to talk to a full range of business support providers. This enables people to get all the business advice they need in one place.
Information, practical help and advice will also be available from the councils Business and Patent Information Service, based at Leeds Central Library.

The programme includes two practical workshops; ‘Introduction to accountancy and bookkeeping’ with Jane Tindall of accountancy firm WGN and ‘How to make your marketing work for you’ with Deborah Goodall of Aer8 Marketing.

Also included are presentations from Tina Boden of Enterprise Rockers on ‘Business networking – nightmare or necessity?’, HMRC’s Michelle Allard on ‘Being your own boss’ and Ged Doonan of the Business & Patents Information Service on ‘Protecting your ideas‘.

Organised by Leeds City Council’s Economic Development service, Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce and Europe Direct Leeds, the open format for the day enables delegates to meet with support providers, find out what is relevant to their business needs and network, with other local business owners.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council executive board member for development and economy said:

“There’s an excellent range of providers at this event able to support local businesses and provide information on areas such as sourcing finance, an introduction to intellectual property and patents, finding premises, growing a business and start up advice.

“Conditions are very tough for small businesses and are likely to remain over the coming year. We’re hoping this event will arm business owners and entrepreneurs with what they need to know, not only to survive but to spring, leap or launch their businesses into a successful 2013 and beyond.”

Workshop places are limited so early booking is essential. Anyone interested in attending individual sessions can book online by visiting: http://springintoaction2013.eventbrite.co.uk



For media enquiries please contact:
Leeds City Council press office, 0113 395 0244
Email communicationsteam@leeds.gov.uk

Kalpna Mistry on t: 0113 247 0000,
Email: kalpna.mistry@yourchamber.org.uk


ENDS

Consultation begins on how council housing should be run in Leeds

A consultation to determine how council housing should be run in Leeds starts today (Friday 1 February 2013).

Leeds City Council is looking at two new options for delivering housing management services, one being a move to a single company model, such as one ALMO, and the other being to transfer all services to be integrated within the council.

Both options will ensure that services will continue to be delivered at a local level and that tenants are involved and have a strong voice in how services are run on their behalf.

All council tenants will receive a leaflet in the coming weeks– ‘Your home, Your say’ which will give details about the two options, what each would mean if it was put in place, and how they can get involved in the consultation.

The consultation will run until Friday 29 March 2013 when all the information will be analysed and the final result will be presented to the council’s executive board in the spring.

The consultation questionnaire is available at www.leeds.gov.uk/yourhomeyoursay or people can post back their views in the envelope provided with their leaflet. There will also be seven road shows and four public meetings across the city which are detailed on the council website and in the ‘Your home, Your say’ leaflet.

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

“We want to get the views of tenants, leaseholders and other key stakeholders during this consultation to ensure all views are collated.

“It is important that tenants lie at that the heart of any future model, and that the excellent work already developed by the current ALMOs is retained in whichever future model is chosen.

“I would encourage everyone to take the time to have their say and attend the road shows or public meetings if they have any questions.”


Ends

Notes to editors:


Public meetings

Fearnville Leisure Centre - Tues 12 Feb, 6:30–8pm
St Chads, Otley Road,LS16 5JT - Tues 26 Feb, at 6:30–8pm
Sullivan Room, Leeds Town Hall - Thurs 7 Mar, at 6:30–8pm
Tenants Hall Enterprise Centre, Middleton -Tues 12 Mar, at 6:30–8pm

Roadshows

Moorside, Bramley - Tues 12 Feb, 12pm–2pm 4–7pm
Holt Park Library,Holtdale Approach - Wed 13 Feb, 12pm–2pm 4–7pm
Kirkgate Market,28-34 George Street, Thurs 14 Feb, 9am–4pm
Wetherby Town Hall,Market Place – Thurs 21 Feb, 12pm–2pm 4–7pm
Northcall Community Centre, 53-55 Cranmer Bank - Tues 26 Feb, 12pm–2pm 4–7pm
Morley Town Hall,Queen Street - Thurs 28 Feb, 12pm–2pm 4–7pm
Woodhouse Hill Community Centre, Woodhouse Hill Avenue -Thurs 14 Mar 12pm–2pm 4–7pm

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