Friday, 13 December 2013

Council to shutdown low demand buildings and services over the festive period

The council will be closing buildings and services that are in low or no demand over the Christmas period.

Non-essential services and those with very low demand will be closed to reduce energy and building costs from midnight 24 December 2013 to midnight 1 January 2014.

Services with high demand over this period will not be closed and staff cover will be in place to ensure services are maintained. Some children’s social care work and adult social care services will continue and the refuse collection, street cleansing and traffic management services will not be affected.

The council will still be contactable during this period with the contact centre and some of the one stop centres remaining open (closing only on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day).

For a more detailed list of affected services visit www.leeds.gov.uk

Councillor Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council said:

“Following last year’s trial closedown we have decided to make the same arrangements this year, which we’ve done in consultation with staff and trade unions.

“We’ll be ensuring services are still being provided whilst enabling the council to save public money by closing some buildings which are not used or are in low demand over this period. Rest assured although buildings are closed, the council is still contactable and will be well equipped if an emergency situation occurs.

“We are making sure that affected service users are being contacted to inform them of any relevant changes and alternative arrangements, and I would suggest visiting the website if anyone needs any further information.”

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk

Planning chiefs support plans for city growth, housing and jobs

Planning chiefs have supported a number of major planning applications which could bring about a major boost for jobs, homes and retail investment in the city.

At the meeting of the City Plans Panel yesterday, councillors discussed one of the biggest sets of proposals that the local authority has dealt with this year. Some of the reports included major schemes such as expansion plans for the White Rose Shopping Centre, the Thorp Arch Estate in Wetherby and the expansion of the gypsy and travellers site in Cottingley Springs.

Under the plans submitted for Thorp Arch Estate, up to 2,000 houses (including affordable homes) and a new relief road could be built. It would also bring about associated community facilities, sports pitches, primary school and open space.

The White Rose Shopping Centre application features a new 12-screen cinema, extension of the existing Primark store and Debenhams stores and new restaurants. The development is expected to create around 1,000 new jobs and 195 construction jobs. An employment and training scheme is recommended, with bus improvements aiming to carry new employees from the local area, including Middleton, Belle Isle, Hunslet and Beeston.

Also discussed on the agenda was an application to review the layout of the traveller site to provide 12 pitches and amenity buildings, parking and landscaping to land west of Cottingley Springs, Gildersome.

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

“This is a culmination of major steps for a number of developments that could provide a real boost to economic growth and jobs in Leeds. As an authority we are dealing with some complex and large scale planning projects across the city on a daily basis, which we always aim to do in a thorough, efficient and fair way.”

Councillor Neil Taggart, City Centre Panel Chair, said:

“We have worked through a series of major applications to reach decisions that have the best outcome from the city. In each case we are keen to work through the issues with all interested parties at every stage so that residents and the city can benefit as fully as possible.”


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For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council communications team (0113) 247 5472
Email: laura.ferris@leeds.gov.uk

Voter registration deadline fast approaching

Households across Leeds who have yet to return their register of electors form are being urged to do so before the deadline ends later next week.

As part of a legal requirement, householders must respond to the form in order to ensure that they are eligible to vote in the local and European elections that will be held on 22 May 2014.

The deadline to accept returns has now been extended by Leeds City Council until December 18 2013, and any household who fails to provide this information before or on this date, will receive by law, a home visit by officers.

If there are no changes to make to the information pre-printed on the form, you can respond by telephone, online or by text message. If there are changes to make, the form must be amended and returned by post.

You should include the names of everyone eligible to vote in your household. If there are no changes to your details you can let the council know by text message, online or by calling a special Freephone number.

Forms may also be returned free by post in the pre-paid envelope provided, although the council will save 30p for every household that uses text or internet instead. A visit by a doorstep canvasser costs the council approximately £2.50 per household.

Sue Wolfe, deputy electoral services manager, Leeds City Council, said:

"I would urge any household who has yet to return their register of electors form to do so as soon as possible, so we can ensure they do not lose their right to vote.

"In order to speed up the process, people can now respond in a number of different ways, which include via text or online if their details are unchanged.

“Any failure to return this form will result in a home visit, so please make sure that you respond by December 18.”

Notes to editors:

People with no changes should email electors@leeds.gov.uk call Freephone 0808 284 1450, text 07786 209 350 or visit www.elecreg.co.uk/leeds to confirm this.

If you have further queries you can call the LCC elections helpline on 0113 224 4411. It is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

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