Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Leeds City Council clarifies bin policies

Leeds City Council is seeking to clarify misleading reports and rumours about charging for bins.

The council will continue to replace damaged or broken bins and provide bins to new properties free of charge.

Residents already have one bin provided for each of the services they receive. If a resident requests an additional green or black bin, this will only be provided if residents meet certain criteria, for example, if they are a large family.

It would undermine everyone’s efforts to reduce waste and recycle more if the council were to simply deliver extra bins on demand.

The council’s executive board have been asked to formalise these existing practices in a set of policies when they meet on Wednesday 22 January.

The policies complement one another so residents understand how the council collects their rubbish and recycling and what they need to do too.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“We collect around two million bins a month and it is one of the most visible services we provide, so we need to be very clear on how these services are run and any changes we’re going to introduce.

“However, we are not and have no plans to charge for bins. People have taken to social media today to express their anger and concern about this myth and other issues, like missed or heavy bins.

“I can offer a complete reassurance that replacement bins are still being provided at no charge and if people meet certain criteria we are providing additional bins, again at no cost to residents.

“Our website contains all the latest information on how we collect bin and what residents should do if they experience any problems.”

Some of the concerns raised on social media have been around heavy bins.
While residents may be able to wheel a heavy bin to its collection point, in some cases, the bins are full of rubble, soil, hazardous or contaminated materials and are so heavy that they simply can’t and won’t be lifted onto or by the vehicles.
The policies also explain the council’s approach to missed bins.

When crews can’t collect bins, for example due to access issues, resources will be identified so bins can be collected within two days.

However, if an individual bin hasn’t been put out on time, crews won’t return to collect it. Crews wouldn’t be able to complete their rounds if having to return to pick up individual bins out of the thousands they collect six days a week.

To make services run smoothly, the council is asking people to put their bins out by 7am on collection day and return it as soon as is practical once emptied, that the right materials are put in the correct bins and report bins if they are missed so the right advice or appropriate action is taken.

Information on the full range of recycling services, bin collections and recycling centres can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk

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


Civil servants go behind the scenes at front line projects

Civil servants have been getting a look behind the scenes at key projects helping some of Leeds’ vulnerable residents.

Two officials from the Department of Health (DH) got a closer look at work being done by staff on the front line of Leeds City Council’s adult social care team.

Simon Thompson, deputy director of workforce capacity and information and Julie Hall, deputy director of group financial management, were visiting as part of the DH’s Connecting programme, designed to help civil servants become more connected to the experiences of patients, people who use services and health and social care staff.

They began last week by shadowing staff based at the council’s Killingbeck office, where social care workers look to ensure service users get the best possible help with support and rehabilitation.

Simon and Julie also visited the South Leeds Independence Centre (SLIC) in Beeston, which opened last spring.

The 40-bed, short-term community rehabilitation unit is used when a person does not need to stay in hospital but cannot be supported safely in their own home.

The pair then went to St James’s Hospital to see the work done there by the Learning Disability Service, supported living and Safe Places, which works to ensure adults with learning disabilities have somewhere to go to help them cope with any distressing incidents.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care met with Simon and Julie during the week.

He said: “This is a great initiative that gives staff from different branches of the public sector a chance to meet up, talk and experience the work and challenges faced by their colleagues.

“Our adult social care team and staff in the health service are both working towards the same goal of helping people to live better, healthier lives for longer.

“In Leeds we’re doing some excellent work towards that goal and sharing our ideas and experience through programmes like these can only help us all to develop a more complete understanding of how to accomplish even more.”

In December it was announced that Leeds had been recognised for its pioneering work integrating health and care services.

Leeds is one of only fourteen areas chosen from over 100 around the country to become pioneers, and the only city to be recognised in this way for demonstrating innovative approaches to delivering integrated care.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, chair of Leeds Health and Wellbeing Board, said:

“The better we can share knowledge and experience between all of those responsible for delivering health and social care, the better we can provide the services and meet expectations for everyone who needs to use them.

“Leeds is determined to see the best examples of health and care practice being an integral part of our commitment to being the best city for health and wellbeing.”

As well as the Leeds visit, the Connecting programme has also given civil servants an opportunity to shadow staff across the health and social care spectrum, from doctors and health care workers to hospital porters, staff working on reception desks or those staffing helplines.

Speaking after the visits, Julie said:

“We are very grateful to the city council for arranging such an interesting and varied programme which has allowed us to see some of the great work going on to support people using adult social care services in the city.

“We would particularly like to thank the dedicated and committed staff we have met, who have been generous with their time in allowing us to gain a better understanding of how services are being delivered on the front line.”

Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt added:

“To understand more about what patients and service users need and the issues which are important to them, civil servants need to walk a mile in their shoes.

“For the department’s leaders to hammer home the importance of putting patients first, they need to see for themselves what that actually means.”


For more details contact:
Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937
Email: stuart.robinson@leeds.gov.uk

email connecting@dh.gsi.gov.uk

Scott Hall Road closed for essential maintenance

Motorists are being advised to plan ahead this weekend due to the closure of a major road in Leeds.

The A61 Scott Hall Road in Moortown will be closed this weekend (January 25 and 26) for essential maintenance.

From Stainbeck Lane roundabout to Stonegate Road/Harrogate Road roundabout will be shut to traffic. King Lane is also due be closed from Stonegate Road and from Harrogate Road but should not prevent access to properties.

Work to resurface the road has been condensed in to just two days in order to minimise disruption to the public.

Restrictions will be in place on Saturday 25 January between 7am and 9pm and on Sunday 26 January between 7am and 5.30pm with diversion routes sign posted.

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

“A lot of preparation has happened to ensure this maintenance work is carried out in the shortest possible time. This is a busy and congested road and we want to minimise disruption as much as we can. We appreciate this will inconvenience some motorist but it is essential maintenance and we are doing everything we can to complete the work quickly.”

Traffic will be diverted to Harrogate Road, Stonegate Road and Stainbeck Lane. Congestion is set to be managed at he signalised junction on Harrogate Road through remote monitoring.

Affected bus services are being noticed at stops and include route numbers 7A, 7S and X7. More details are available from Metroline on 0113 245 7676.


For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472

First Grand Départ road closure information released


The first road closure details for the historic two days when the Tour de France begins in Yorkshire this summer have been released today.

Initial information related to roads on the route or directly connected to the route of the Grand Départ has been announced as the next phase of the preparations for the world’s largest annual sporting event which comes to the county on July 5-6 before heading to Cambridge and London on July 7.

The information follows on from the release of the stage one and two race timings last week and is designed to help residents, businesses and visitors begin to plan well in advance of the Tour’s arrival.

The roads concerned hosting stages one and two in Yorkshire are expected to be closed for a minimum of eight hours, with most anticipated to be closed from early morning. Such a length of time is necessary to install and remove the facilities needed to enable people to enjoy the event safely, as well as to accommodate the Tour’s unique promotional ‘caravan’ of vehicles which entertains spectators before the riders arrive.

Stage start and finish locations are expected to be closed for longer to allow for the additional Tour infrastructure to be put in place and removed afterwards.

The first stage on Saturday 5 July begins in Leeds and passes through Otley, Ilkley, Skipton, Hawes, Reeth, Masham and Ripon before the finish in Harrogate.

Stage two on Sunday 6 July starts in York before passing Knaresborough, Harrogate, Silsden, Keighley, Haworth, Hebden Bridge, Huddersfield and Holmfirth with the finish in Sheffield.

The opening three stages of the 2014 Tour de France in England are expected to attract several million spectators to watch the race, bringing in more than £100million to the economy while also being seen by a television audience in the billions across the world.

North Yorkshire County Council, which has more than half of the first two stages on its roads, is the first local authority today to release details of which roads will be directly impacted. The other authorities the route passes through will release their own information in the coming weeks as local traffic management schemes are finalised, which will be able to be seen at www.letouryorkshire.com/roadclosures.

The road closure requirements have been prepared following extensive multi-agency discussions involving all emergency services, the NHS, highways agencies, local authorities, the government-created company overseeing planning and delivery TdFHUB2014Ltd and the Tour de France organisers Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO).

Chair of TdFHUB2014Ltd Sir Rodney Walker said:

“The Tour de France Grand Départ is going to be a spectacular event which people will remember for a lifetime. Such is the popularity of the Tour it will be watched on the roadside by millions and by billions on television worldwide.

“In terms of logistics it presents a unique and significant challenge as it takes place over vast areas and on public roads with people able to watch for free all along the route so the multi-agency planning required is immense.”

More precise timings for closures will be provided as detailed traffic management plans are refined taking into account factors such as the race timings, dedicated spectator ‘hubs’ and expected spectator numbers along the route.

All residents and businesses directly impacted by the route will receive further details from their local authority.

As well as full road closures, the plans will also see temporary traffic systems put in place to facilitate the safe movement of motorists, pedestrians and cyclists on each day.

In addition, parking restrictions will be in place along the route, with organisers advising where possible to plan journeys across the weekend in advance.

Sir Rodney added:

“This will be the biggest sporting event to come to Yorkshire – ever. We will see a massive influx of visitors to experience our beautiful countryside, so both on the route itself and on surrounding areas the Tour will have a major impact. It is worth remembering though that this is one weekend in a lifetime and the overall benefits will last well beyond this July.

“We are working to release all the road closure details as early as we can so people can start planning their weekend accordingly. We will do everything we can to help with timely information, and ask people to work with us in the next few weeks and months to ensure we get this right. Together, we can make the Tour a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone.”

- Ends -

Notes to editors:

1. In 2014, the Tour de France returns to the UK for 3 stages. The Yorkshire Grand Départ comprises two stages - Leeds to Harrogate and York to Sheffield - before the Tour moves south for a third stage from Cambridge to London.
- Saturday 5th July - Stage One: Leeds - Harrogate: 190km (118 miles)
- Sunday 6th July - Stage Two: York - Sheffield: 200km (125 miles)
- Monday 7th July - Stage Three: Cambridge - London 170km (106 miles)
2. TdFHUB2014 Ltd is a not-for-profit company set up by UK Sport to co-ordinate the Government’s budget and the delivery of the Tour de France Grand Départ in the UK. It is based in Leeds and will be dissolved after the Tour.
TDF 2014 Ltd’s board includes representation from Yorkshire and Cambridge local authorities, British Cycling, Transport for London and UK Sport. The board is chaired by Sir Rodney Walker, the former chair of UK Sport, and is joint vice-chaired by Councillor Keith Wakefield, the Leader of Leeds City Council, and Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire.
3. As previously announced there are three separate budgets to support planning for the three English stages of the Tour, which total £27m. The budgets are held by local authorities, TdFHUB2014 Ltd and Transport for London. TdFHUB2014 Ltd manages the £10 million of Government support.
4. The Tour de France Grand Départ will form part of UK Sport’s Gold Event Series, an ambitious programme to bring up to 70 world class sporting events to the UK by 2019 to help build on the outstanding success of London 2012. http://www.uksport.gov.uk/pages/gold-events-series/

For further media queries contact:
Roger Boyde TdFHUB2014 Ltd on 07891 270 580 or email roger.boyde@tdfhub2014ltd.co.uk