Monday, 30 September 2013

Work starts on new recycling and energy facility

Construction workers are moving in to the Cross Green industrial estate this week to start work on the city’s new recycling and energy facility.

The east Leeds site is set to become a hive of activity as the work begins to lay the site roads and start piling works.

Between now and the end of the year, a tower crane will arrive on site, ground stabilisation works will be completed and excavation to make way for key parts of the building will start.

The council’s partner Veolia who will run the facility for 25 years, have appointed Clugston to build it.

**********Media opportunity**********
Media are invited to a ground breaking ceremony where Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment, representatives from Veolia and Clugstons along with some of the first local people to be employed on the site will be available for interviews and photos.
Please contact Amanda Burns at Leeds City Council on 0113 395 1577 to confirm your attendance and to ensure suitable safety equipment is available.
**********Media opportunity**********

Once operational in 2016, the facility will process up to 214,000 tonnes of black bin waste a year, saving around £200 million over 25 years compared to continuing send this waste to landfill. This will help the city to achieve its long-term target of recycling more than 60% of its waste.

Following employment events locally based people have been recruited to work on site and a number of Leeds businesses are now in the construction supply chain.

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

“Following many years of intense hard work, the real physical graft is beginning and we’re really looking forward to being able to see the fruits of these efforts literally coming out of the ground.

“As well as providing a long-term solution for managing waste, diverting substantial amounts of waste from landfill means we can save an eye-watering amount of money; money that can be spent delivering vital services for the people of Leeds. All of this adds up to a cleaner, greener, more sustainable future for Leeds.”

Paul Fowler, general manager, Veolia Environmental Services, said:

“We’re delighted to begin construction so the partnership’s plans to create new employment and training opportunities for local residents can come into fruition. The facility will be a real asset to the city of Leeds and will deliver employment opportunities in the short, medium and longer term.”

Steve Radcliffe, managing director, Clugston Construction, said:

“This will be our sixth project in the waste reduction and energy market in recent years and we have seen first hand how they benefit the local economy. The construction sector has suffered significantly in recent years and investment in schemes such as this has been instrumental in retaining and creating job opportunities in the industry.”

The main part of the facility will be a wooden-framed and glazed structure which will eventually become a living green wall covered in plants and will be the largest of its kind in Europe.

The building itself will be 42 metres in height, 125 metres long and 35 metres wide. It will feature a glass walkway and visitor centre.

Rubbish from household black bins across the city will arrive at a waste reception and mechanical pre-treatment building where it will be sorted. Here, any items that can be recycled will be removed.

Only the remaining waste, which would otherwise be buried costing millions in landfill taxes, will then be incinerated. Ash residue will be recycled for use in the construction industry.

Energy generated by the processes used at the facility would be enough to power around 20,000 homes.

Veolia and the council are investigating how heat produced as energy is generated could be used to heat homes and other businesses in the area.

Veolia are continuing to working with local residents as part of the community liaison group and will be keeping them informed throughout the construction process and once the facility becomes operational.

Local residents interested in joining the community liaison group can contact leeds.enquiries@veolia.co.uk or call 0800 085 8980.

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office - 0113 395 1577 or amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

and

Kevin Parker, Regional Communications Manager, Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Plc - 07909 883 226 or kevin.parker@veolia.co.uk

Leeds smokers given help to quit for Stoptober

Stoptober 2013– England’s mass 28 day stop smoking attempt - is being launched at Leeds Kirkgate Market on 1st October by Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council Executive Board Member for Health and Wellbeing, and Public Health expert Paul Lambert following its huge success last year which saw 160,000 people complete the challenge.

A giant red ‘Stop’ button is featuring in the campaign, and will be reminding people that the campaign is offering a range of support and help to the 23% of adults in Leeds who still smoke to help them quit.

Smoking remains the nation’s biggest killer with half of long-term smokers dying prematurely from a smoking disease and there are areas of the city where smoking rates are much higher.

Councillor Mulherin, said:

“We know more than one in five adults in Leeds still smoke and it is a priority for Leeds to reduce this number. For some areas of the least well off parts of the city, such as Middleton, that figure rises far higher. We know if you stop smoking for 28 days you are five times more likely to stay smokefree and Stoptober is a great opportunity to achieve this. You could also be saving over £150 a month and almost £2,000 a year, so it is good for the health of your bank balance as well as your body.”

The Public Health England campaign comes as new research shows the extra years of life that can be gained by giving up smoking, with someone who quits smoking for Stoptober and doesn’t smoke again, able to gain an extra seven days of life, every 28 days, for the rest of their life. As well as this if they stop smoking for 28 days they are five times more likely to stay smokefree and Stoptober’s ambition is to help smokers achieve this goal.

Smokers can get a range of free support including a new stop smoking pack, a 28-day mobile phone app and text support with daily updates and quitting advice, detailed tools and tips for coping, as well as the encouragement and support from thousands of people quitting together through Stoptober social media.

Stoptober 2013 starts on Tuesday 1st October and runs for 28 days. For more information and to join the biggest stop smoking challenge of its kind, search ‘Stoptober’ online.

- Ends -
Notes to editors

1. Councillor Mulherin and Paul Lambert will be at Leeds Kirkgate Market by the Leeds Healthy Living stall with the 2m red ‘Stop’ sign, available for photos and interviews from 10.00am until 10.20am.

2. Leeds City Council’s Public Health team are working alongside colleagues across the council along with the NHS and Public Health England to reduce smoking rates across the city.

3. Public Health England’s mission is to protect and improve the nation’s health and to address inequalities through working with national and local government, the NHS, industry and the voluntary and community sector. PHE is an operationally autonomous executive agency of the Department of Health

4. For more information on PHE visit www.gov.uk/phe and the Stoptober web pages http://smokefree.nhs.uk/stoptober



For interview requests or further information, contact:

Phil Morcom
Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council

E-mail: philip.morcom@leeds.gov.uk
Tel: Please use temporary number 0772 227 5370
Fax: 0113 247 4736
www.leeds.gov.uk

Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335

Festive panto fun arrives early in Leeds


Caption: The cast of this year's Leeds Carriageworks pantomime production of 'Sleeping Beauty'-(L-R)-Sarah Smith, Jez Edwards, Rob Stevens and Sean Smith.

Christmas came early to an ancient abbey in the city this month, as the stars of this year’s Carriageworks Theatre, Leeds pantomime gathered for the official launch.

The cast of 'Sleeping Beauty' made an appearance at Kirkstall Abbey to unveil the show, which will run at the Carriageworks Theatre from Friday 6 December 2013 until Saturday 11 January 2014.

In the line-up for this year’s production of 'Sleeping Beauty' are brother and sister singing duo Sean and Sarah Smith of ‘Same Difference’ fame and former CBBC presenter Jez Edwards, who is making his fifth consecutive appearance in the Carriageworks Theatre pantomime.

Hand-picked by producer Paul Holman Associates, Sean and Sarah, who were finalists in the popular TV show ‘X Factor’, said they were really looking forward to performing in pantomime in Leeds.

Sean, who will star as Prince Valiant, said: "We were brought up with panto, and I am really excited to be starring in this year’s production of 'Sleeping Beauty' at the Carriageworks Theatre.

"Leeds is a big cosmopolitan city, with some really beautiful places like the Dales close by, and hopefully we will get the chance to experience as much as possible during our time here."

Revealing they were on the lookout for somewhere to live in the city during their stay, Sarah, who is taking on the role of Lilac Fairy, said the show would be 'energetic, hilarious and glamorous'.

Sarah added: "Panto is such a brilliant Christmas tradition, and one of the best bits for me is seeing the excitement on the kids’ faces, especially on Christmas Eve.

"Sleeping Beauty really is great fun for the family, and this year we have a very big surprise in the show that I am sure the crowd will love."

Also ready to tread the boards at the Carriageworks Theatre once again is firm favourite Jez Edwards, who revealed that the enthusiasm of the Leeds crowd was one of the main reasons why he has returned for another year.

Jez, who this year will be playing Pickles said: "It is an enormous privilege and honour for me to be asked back to perform in the Carriageworks Theatre pantomime this year in Sleeping Beauty.

"I grew up with panto, and it was always my dream to be in one, so to star in five here in Leeds is a dream!

"We always receive such a warm welcome from the audience here and you can always guarantee that every show will be different, which, as a performer, is exactly what you want.

"My character, Pickles, will certainly need the support of the crowd as he continues to be unlucky in love, but lucky in laughter, and with some really great singers in the show this year, I can’t wait for it to begin."

Also appearing in 'Sleeping Beauty' at Leeds City Council’s Carriageworks Theatre on Millennium Square, will be Lisa Kelsey (Fairy Carabosse) and Rob Stevens (Nurse Katy Cough-Drop) who will be joined by the SLP College and Junior Academy.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for leisure and skills said:

"The Carriageworks Theatre pantomime continues to be one of the real highlights in the city’s Christmas events calendar and this year’s production of Sleeping Beauty promises to be one of the best shows ever.

"The line-up is again fantastic, offering something that all the family can enjoy. This really is a show not to be missed and I would ask anyone who is interested in attending to book their tickets as soon as possible."

Tickets are now available for 'Sleeping Beauty' which runs from Friday 6 December 2013 to Saturday 11 January 2014 at the Carriageworks Theatre in Leeds. Book online at www.carriageworkstheatre.org.uk or call the box office on 0113 224 3801.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578
Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk



Public views sought for school expansions in Calverley and Farsley

People are being invited to share their views on proposals to increase the number of reception places at schools in Calverley and Farsley

A public consultation is currently underway to discover people’s views on proposals to create more school places by making changes at Farsley Westroyd Infant school, Farsley Springbank Junior School and Calverley Church of England School.

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:
• Changing Farsley Westroyd Infant School and Farsley Springbank Junior School into two primary schools, and;
• Expanding Calverley Church of England Primary School.
These changes would come into effect from September 2015 onwards. The proposals for the Farsley schools are linked, and the Calverley proposal is independent.

Leeds City Council has a legal duty to ensure there are sufficient school places for every child in the city, taking into account where those children live and which school they wish to attend. There has been an increase in the birth rate across Leeds for several years, as well as a rise in the number of houses being built in some areas. This means that the council needs to add more reception places to meet the additional demand.


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 have been working with schools and communities to create more school places since 2009 and schools which have already undergone expansion are progressing well. St. Bartholomew’s school in Armley which expanded in 2011 was named, earlier this month, as the top achieving school in the country compared to other similar schools.”

When developing proposals and deciding which schools to expand, the council must consider:
• local birth and housing data, to identify whereabouts in the city the extra places are needed;
• which schools have the physical capacity to be expanded;
• the availability of other council owned land and whether any of this land could contribute to the provision of places; and
• the impact that expanding one school might have on other schools in the area.

The formal consultation period ends on Friday 25 October 2013 and all views will be noted and considered and presented to the council’s executive board, which 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.

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

Housing services for council tenants move back in house

Leeds City Council will take on the responsibility for the management of council housing stock at the start of October.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board earlier this year it was agreed that the council will be the sole landlord for its housing stock, taking over responsibility for all arm’s length management organisation (ALMO) functions, including overall management, engagement with tenants and responsibility for any repair work needed.

The decision to create the new service, ‘ Housing Leeds’, came after an extensive review of all aspects of housing management, and a consultation with 70,000 tenants and other interested groups.

On October 1 the ALMOs will come to an end and all their staff will transfer to Leeds City Council. Tenants don’t need to do anything differently - the staff, the phone numbers, offices and emails - will stay exactly the same for now, and plenty of notice will be given before any change does happen.

Since the ALMOs were created, almost a decade ago, there has been a significant change to housing services, but also to how the council works. . In those ten years, 26,713 kitchens have been installed, 15,133 bathrooms and 30,887 windows replaced, with over £850million spent on council housing stock. The changes offer an opportunity to ensure that all tenants, irrespective of where they live, receive a consistent, value for money and high quality housing management service

As part of the new changes, a housing management board has been set up to agree the strategic direction for the management of council housing, oversee investment plans and monitor
performance. It will retain a mix of political, independent and tenant members, building on the successful model that has served the tenants well.

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

“As the council housing service moves into council control we will work hard to ensure that areas of existing best practice are replicated across the city to ensure we don’t lose what works well, but will also look to offer the best possible service to all tenants and leaseholders.

“The new service will offer greater consistency across the city and investment in areas where it is most needed. We will be a “listening” organisation which involves a partnership approach with tenants, elected members, contractors and other agencies.

“As we make these changes alongside the impact of the government’s welfare agenda, it is even more important that we strengthen tenant engagement and local delivery arrangements to ensure that we meet the needs of all tenants.

“We will off course keep all tenants up to date with any new changes to the housing service, but for now all contact details remain the same should they have any questions.”

Notes to editors:

The three Leeds ALMOs include West North West Homes Leeds, Aire Valley Homes and East North East Homes Leeds.

Ends

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