Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Have your say on primary school expansions

People across the city are being asked to share their views on the expansion of three primary schools in Leeds.

A public consultation is currently underway to discover people’s views on proposals to expand Guiseley Infant and Nursery, Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary and St Oswald’s C of E Junior schools.

The proposed expansions are part of a city-wide programme which is necessary to meet the increased demand for primary-age places caused by a rising birth rate and an increase in the number of families moving into certain areas of the city. Through this programme the council has already approved 1020 new reception places since 2009.

The latest proposals under consideration are:
• To expand Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School from a capacity of 315 pupils to 420 pupils with an increase in the admission number from 45 to 60 with effect from September 2015.
• To change the upper age limit of Guiseley Infant and Nursery School from 3 to 7 to 3 to 11 with an admission limit of 60 in reception with effect from September 2015, and expand its capacity from 270 pupils to 420 pupils.
• To change the lower age limit of St Oswald’s Church of England Junior School from 7 to 11 to 4 -11 with an admissions limit of 60 in reception with effect from September 2015, and expand its capacity from 360 pupils to 420 pupils.

The two Guiseley proposals are linked proposals as one cannot happen without the other.

People interested in hearing more about the proposals can attend one of the meetings detailed below where they will be able to view the consultation documents and ask questions about the proposals.

Guiseley Infant & Nursery School drop-in session
Wednesday 5 June 2.45pm-3.45pm

Guiseley Infant & Nursery School consultation meeting
Tuesday 18 June 6.30pm-8.00pm

Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School drop-in session
Thursday 13 June 8.15am-9.15am

Pudsey Primrose Hill Primary School consultation meeting
Thursday 20 June 6.00pm-7.30pm

St Oswald’s C of E Junior School drop-in session
Tuesday 11 June 2.30pm-3.30pm

St Oswald’s C of E Junior School consultation meeting
Tuesday 25 June 6.30pm-8.00pm

Local authorities have to provide a school place for every child in the city with no child having to make an unreasonable journey to get there.

Councillor Judith Blake, executive board member for children’s services at Leeds City Council, said:
“The increased demand for primary school places means we have to reassess the size of certain schools to ensure there will be places available to every child.

“Before making these decisions it is right that we ask for the views of the public as well as consulting with head teachers and governors at the schools involved.

“We want Leeds to be the best city to grow up in and since education is such a massive part of every child’s life it is vital that we provide children with the best possible start to their learning. These expansions will mean more children in these areas can access good quality education in their communities.”

The formal consultation period ends on Friday 12 July 2013 and all views will be noted and considered as part of the formal process. The council’s executive board will make the final decision as to whether to proceed with the proposals. If they get the go ahead the changes will take place in September 2015.

There is a public consultation document on each proposal which is available to download from www.leeds.gov.uk or hard copies can be requested from Capacity Planning and Sufficiency Team, 10th Floor West, Merrion House, 110 Merrion Centre, Leeds LS2 8DT or e-mail educ.school.organisation@leeds.gov.uk.

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

Leeds City Council reclassifies properties in the city

Leeds City Council is re-designating the number of bedrooms in a range of council homes across the city to ensure they offer the right layout and design for modern living.

The council is sending out letters to 837 households this week to make them aware of the changes that will be happening to their properties, along with an explanation of what this means for tenants.

Properties have been selected for re-designation on the basis of their build type, design and layout. For example some of the five bedroom properties with a downstairs bedroom will be reclassified as a four bedroom property to create a better layout for those occupying it.

These properties also have a higher incidence of under-occupancy and are therefore considered to be less sustainable in the long term.

The welfare changes along with the need to ensure housing stock is sustainable has prompted the move to reclassify a small number of properties across the city. Just under a third of the people in the properties that will be changed are affected by under occupation. Any tenants that have lost out on their housing benefits through under occupation of these properties will get a refund backdated to 1 April 2013.

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

“We have looked at a number of council properties across our portfolio to ensure that they are correctly designated with the right number of bedrooms for the size and layout of the house or flat.

“It seems that some of the properties are not sustainable moving forward and their layout does not support the current bedroom designation.

“The move to look at this change has been in part prompted by welfare changes and looking at ways to help all tenants across the city.

“Already we have been out and meet with a large number of our council tenants to explain to them how welfare changes will affect them, and what we can do to try and help them moving forward – be that through setting up a payment plan for paying back rent or any other help and advice they may need.”

Notes to editors:

As part of the new welfare changes that are now in place, those tenants under occupying a house will receive up to 14% less housing benefit if they are assessed to have one additional bedroom and up to 25% if they are assessed to have two or more additional bedrooms.

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