Thursday, 25 April 2013

CBBC announces CBBC Live in Leeds

Issued on behalf of CBBC
This summer, CBBC will be packing its bags and taking the channel on holiday for a live weekend of events in Leeds City Centre.

CBBC Live in Leeds will kick off the summer in style. For one weekend only, the channel will be bringing some of its biggest stars and shows to Leeds for three days of fun-filled activities and everyone is invited.

Taking place in Millennium Square from 25th-27th July, the event is a collaboration between BBC North and Leeds City Council.

Blue Peter, Newsround and CBBC presentation will all be broadcasting live from Leeds over the three days. And, as well as watching their favourite shows live, kids will have the chance to meet some of the biggest stars of children’s television and take part in ‘hands on’ activities in a variety of interactive zones.

Activities will include preview screenings; science workshops and the opportunity to have a go at presenting and try new digital content. And, for younger family members, there will be a CBeebies zone to keep the little ones entertained.

CBBC Controller Cheryl Taylor says: “We’re so excited to be taking the channel on holiday to Leeds this summer. We’re hoping to put on an amazing weekend of events for children that will inspire kids in the city and throughout the country to make the most of the summer holidays.

“As a Yorkshire girl myself, I’m also delighted to be able to showcase this fantastic city to the rest of the UK.”

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member for children’s services in Leeds, says: “We are absolutely delighted that CBBC are coming to Leeds this summer! Our ambition is to make Leeds a child friendly city, putting children and young people at the heart of everything we do.

“This exciting event will be the perfect start to a summer full of fun and activity for all children, young people and their families. I can’t wait to share the very best of Leeds with CBBC in July.”


Fostering for Leeds showcased at the Buy Yorkshire event

Business leaders from across Yorkshire will be encouraged to think creatively about how they can help the city recruit and retain foster carers, at a major conference this week.

The Buy Yorkshire Conference is one of the biggest business events in the regional calendar and this year a team from Leeds City Council’s Fostering and Adoption service will be on hand to talk to businesses about how they can support the vital contribution that foster carers make to the local community.

In the extreme cases where the local authority has to take a child into care the costs can be considerable and are much greater if the council has to use private care providers to support those children. So recruiting more carers for the council benefits not only the individual children they support, but also the city as a whole. Supporting this work is also a positive way for businesses to show their commitment to social responsibility and keeping children safe.

Employers from across the city and the region will be encouraged to think about how they can adopt more foster-friendly policies for their employees, raise the profile of foster care at company events and sponsor promotions and opportunities to attract, support and celebrate carers.

The council is keen to attract a wide range of different employers to this initiative as part of the drive to make Leeds a Child Friendly City.

Leeds City Council has been working to make its own HR policies more flexible, revising foster carer allowances and is also working on a corporate offer for carers which uses the council and wider partnership resources to offer further incentives and rewards.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said:
“We urgently need foster carers and adopters to provide happy and secure homes for hundreds of children and young people in Leeds. Businesses have an important role to play in helping us find the people we need as well as looking at how they support existing carers.

“The Buy Yorkshire event is a fantastic opportunity for our fostering and adoption team to speak directly with local businesses and encourage them to get on board, help us recruit some top class foster carers and to help us achieve our aim to become a Child Friendly City.”

Len Cruddas, Chief Executive, Leeds, York & North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce:
“If we are to fulfil our ambition to be the best city in the UK then this should include being the best city for children. Business leaders, many of whom will be parents themselves, have a central role to play in this regard.

“Some of our members already have policies in place and are “foster family-friendly employers”, but we would encourage all businesses to be open to conversations on this subject and we can provide support to them in developing appropriate policies for their business”.

The Buy Yorkshire Conference is the North of England’s biggest B2B conference and exhibition and is being held at the Royal Armouries in Leeds on 24 and 25 April 2013.

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

Council to consider transfer of South Leeds Youth Hub to the community

Leeds’ flagship youth hub could soon be run by a community organisation after senior councillors gave the go ahead to start looking for potential providers.

At yesterday’s meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board, members agreed that officers could start the Community Asset Transfer process for the South Leeds Youth Hub to a ‘not for private profit’ organisation.

The South Leeds Youth Hub (SLYH) in Middleton, is run by Leeds City Council as a high quality venue with a range of activities for young people including both educational provision during the school day and out of school activities. It was built in 2008 with funding from the Big Lottery’s ‘MyPlace’ initiative. As part of the original application it was proposed to move the building to a ‘community ownership model’ as part of the future plans for the centre.

Earlier this year the SLYH board agreed for an investigation to begin into alternative models of management and governance for the building, as per the original Myplace application. Consultation with key stakeholders, including children and young people, indicated a high level of support for a community ownership model as a way to increase positive outcomes for young people through more flexible use of the Hub.

The council is bound by the terms and conditions of the original MyPlace agreement for 20 years, which includes a stipulation that the building must continue to be used for the purposes for which the grant was awarded. Therefore the council’s aim is to create a new civic enterprise which will enable the building to be used to its full potential providing top class facilities for young people whilst increasing user numbers.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive member responsible for children’s services said: “This presents a unique opportunity for the right organisation to take on a fantastic building with state of the art facilities. We would be looking for an organisation that has the needs of children and young people at its heart, is keen to help up achieve our aim to be a Child Friendly City, and is able to offer a proposal which would see the Hub become fully self-sufficient and sustainable.

“Transferring the Hub to a community organisation would help maximise the existing excellent facilities and help even more children and young people from across the city benefit from what the Hub has to offer.”

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

Leeds City Council awarded interim £2m costs in failed arena court case

A High Court judge has awarded Leeds City Council interim costs of £2m after a court case he said “should never have been brought” by a would-be developer of Leeds Arena.

Mr Justice Supperstone, sitting in the High Court in Leeds today, made the award against Montpellier Estates Ltd (MEL) following their failed attempt to sue the council over the awarding of development rights to the £60m Leeds Arena.

In awarding the costs- which are an interim payment pending a future decision on the total amount to be paid- the judge criticised MEL for pursuing the deceit element of their claim in the first place.

Mr Justice Supperstone said:
“I am left in no doubt that the claim for deceit should never have been brought.”

He ordered MEL to make the interim payment within 28 days and turned down their application for an appeal on the procurement element of their failed case* against Leeds City Council.

He also refused their application for a stay on payment of part of the costs pending a possible appeal to the Court of Appeal from them over the procurement issue only.

Leeds City Council leader Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“We welcome the judge’s decision and council taxpayers will be pleased to hear that we are well on the way to recovering £2m of public money and will now be looking towards further recovery of our costs, which were well in excess of £4m.”

Leeds City Council chief executive Tom Riordan commented:
“We also note the judge’s comments about his feeling that the deceit claim should never have been brought in the first place. This further reinforces the integrity of the council’s conduct on the decision to cancel the competition to develop the arena."

In his original ruling on the case in February Mr Justice Supperstone said that the council was perfectly entitled to bring the competitive tendering exercise to a close when other bids were found not to be good value for money and then develop the arena itself.

Leeds City Council last week formally handed over the completed arena building to SMG Europe, who will operate the venue. They will spend the next couple of months fitting it out to their requirements ahead of its first show by Bruce Springsteen on July 24.

Notes to editors
*Mr Justice Supperstone handed down a ruling on February 6 2013 dismissing entirely claims for more than £43.5 million in damages for alleged deceit and flawed procurement under European regulations2 brought by Montpellier Estates Ltd (MEL) against Leeds City Council (LCC).
He also rejected allegations of fraud and dishonesty against eight named individuals connected to LCC, including senior officers, a former council leader and professional consultants.
In a hearing in London’s High Court lasting nine weeks towards the end of 2012 18 LCC witnesses were cross-examined over the allegations which were then dismissed in their entirety under February's judgment.
The judge said that the council was perfectly entitled to bring the competitive tendering exercise to a close when other bids were found not to be good value for money and then develop the arena itself.

For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Communications Manager, Press & Media Relations
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335


South Leeds Independence Centre opens its doors

A pioneering new Leeds service designed to avoid unnecessary admission to hospital or residential care and to support people to leave hospital sooner opened its doors to patients this week.

The South Leeds Independence Centre is the city’s first intermediate care unit, providing 40 community intermediate care beds. The centre, which was formerly a council-run residential care home, has been extensively refurbished and will provide person-centred care, focused on rehabilitation and promoting independence.

The team at the centre is made up of health and social care professionals including nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and care assistants, with access to dieticians, joint care managers and medical practitioners for specialist input. Through joint health and social care commissioning and by staff working together more closely in a community setting, it is hoped fewer people will need to go to hospital or residential care and those who do will receive support and care so they can live more independently for longer in their own home or local community.

The unit is jointly commissioned by Leeds City Council and NHS Leeds South and East CCG, with Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust as the lead provider.

The new integrated team has been on site since mid-March undertaking training and getting the new facility ready to receive patients. As a team they have developed a set of patient care standards, which they have all signed up to and will be a key part of how they deliver the new service.

Talking about the new SLIC today, Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, executive board member responsible adult social care in Leeds said:
“I am delighted that the South Leeds Independence Centre has opened its doors to patients this week.
“The SLIC is a really big step forward in achieving our aim to provide services that are responsive and proactive in preventing older people from needing more intense care and support services following an illness or stay in hospital.

“Leeds City Council is committed to creating better lives for older people in the city, and will continue to work in partnership with our partners in health to deliver improved outcomes for people in our care.”

Rob Webster, chief executive at Leeds Community Healthcare Trust said:
“We know that it is really important for people to get the right care in the right place from a team that is well trained to look after them and get them back on their feet. Having this resource is fantastic for the city and the people of Leeds. It enables us to provide excellent care and show how partnerships can make a difference.”


Notes to editors
Harry Booth House was earmarked for re-commissioning during the first phase of the council’s reshaping of older people’s residential services in 2011.

The South Leeds Independence Centre (SLIC) is a 40 bed facility in Beeston, south Leeds.

The aim of the centre and this new model of working will be to provide more intensive rehabilitation and reablement care in a community setting to prevent the condition of patients deteriorating and needing to go into hospital. The centre will also be a bridge between hospital and getting patients into their own homes sooner, with all the support they may need.
The centre will include a multidisciplinary team of staff from LCH, including nurses, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, doctors with non-registered staff coming from Leeds City Council to form an integrated health and social care team.
Press office contacts:

Leeds City Council: Claire Macklam, telephone 0113 395 1578, email:

Leeds Community Healthcare NHS Trust: Gillian Neild, telephone 0113 220 8524 / 07950 128221, email:

MMR catch-up programme welcomed in Leeds

New figures published by Public Health England (PHE) today show that, despite high numbers of confirmed measles cases in England for the first three months of 2013, the number of cases in Leeds is low.

However, seven cases were recorded in Leeds between January and March this year, compared with just one case for the same period in 2012.

Experts believe that the rise in measles cases can be mostly attributed to the proportion of 10-16 year olds who missed out on the MMR vaccination in the late 1990s and early 2000s, when concerns around the now discredited link between the vaccine and autism were widespread.

To address the national increase in confirmed measles cases, PHE, NHS England and the Department of Health have today announced a catch-up programme aimed at increasing take-up of the MMR vaccination in children and teenagers across the country.

Local health partners will work together to produce a tailored plan for Leeds to identify and give MMR to unvaccinated and partially vaccinated 10-16 year olds through GPs and/or school programmes.

Dr Ian Cameron, director of public health in Leeds said:
“Although the number of measles cases is low in Leeds, it is worrying that there are a large number of 10-16 year olds who have not been vaccinated.
“Measles is a very unpleasant illness that can lead to serious complications, but the good news is that it is entirely preventable.

“We fully support the catch-up programme announced today, and will be working with NHS West Yorkshire, local GPs and PHE to make sure that anyone in Leeds who missed out on the vaccination is able to have it as soon as possible.”


For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578