Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Drugs and alcohol services in Leeds to focus on recovery

Leeds City Council is reviewing its alcohol and drugs strategy in line with changes to national and local strategies.

The review of all commissioned drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services is currently being undertaken to ensure that there is a greater focus on recovery from substance misuse in Leeds and with a view to ensuring better value for money and integration of high quality services.

In November 2013, the council’s executive board agreed the draft drugs and alcohol strategy with a view to looking at how new services could be delivered in the city.

At a meeting of the council’s executive board today (Wednesday 22 January) members gave approval to proceed with re-commissioning of drug and alcohol treatment and recovery services to bring about the new service.

Key findings from the review to date show that the age profile and substance misuse habits of drug users in Leeds is changing and becoming more complex with an ageing population and an increasing proportion of people in treatment for drugs. The treatment system and the process of making referrals in Leeds is quite complex and may be limiting the outcome for people in treatment.

The new service will be focussed on recovery but retains a focus on harm reduction and includes treatment provision for a full range of people. This includes treatment for both drugs and alcohol. The service needs to be well integrated and offer easy access for adults and children and young people. needing treatment from a range of routes.

Councillor Lisa Mulherin, Leeds City Council executive board member for health and wellbeing said:

“We are aware of the need to invest in treatment and recovery services for drugs and alcohol abuse in the city.

“The consequences of addition can blight, individuals, families and communities. A new recovery0based approach to dealing with addiction will lead to improved health outcomes and a positive impact on communities in terms of reduced crime levels and fewer children having to be taken into care.”

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

“Our ambition in Leeds is to be a city that promotes a responsible attitude to alcohol and offers the right and effective help to those people who need it.

“We have carried out a full review of our services and spoken to our service users to ensure we are able to provide a new service which will better meet the needs of people in the city.”


Information about current services is available at: http://www.leedsletschange.co.uk/pages/alcohol-services-what-is-happening-near-me


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

Green spaces benefit from cash boost

A cash injection of £364,000 has been awarded to improve facilities at three green spaces in Leeds.

Lovell Park, Kirk Lane Park and Dunkirk Hill are all set to benefit from the funding.

The money has come from house builders as part of open space improvement contributions from new housing developments and will be used to improve the areas for use by local communities.

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

“It is important that developers in the city who do not, or are unable to, provide sufficient open space as part of their development pay a financial contribution, which can be ring fenced for projects in that area.

“The council has collected almost £12 million from housing developers over the last 10 years.”

This money has been invested in a wide range of improvement projects from woodland planting, new paths and park furniture such as bins and benches, new play areas, skate parks, grass playing pitches and hard surfaced games areas.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council executive board member for Environment and Parks, said:

“Leeds is a very green city and ensuring our open spaces are of high quality is a priority. These projects will make a big difference to the areas they’re in – providing more enjoyable spaces for communities to come together.”

Kirk Lane Park is up for a £118,000 chunk of the funding and will see more play facilities added thanks to a new multi-use games area being installed.

Along with refurbishment of the play area new furniture such as benches and bins will be added with work due to start in spring.

Lovell Park will also see improvements this year including the removal and relaying of foot paths, improvements to the entrances, drainage works, tree works, and installation of new benches and bins.

As part of the £154,000 project, the bowling green will be removed and remodelled to blend into the park landscape while providing better footpaths to the city centre and the arena.

Dunkirk Hill amenity next to Armley’s Leeds Industrial Museum gets £90,000 to open up the area for use by the community.

Trees next to the River Aire and canal will be removed or cut back, shrubs added as well as pathways constructed and safety rails installed on the steps towards the museum. New furniture such as seats, picnic tables, signage and interpretation boards will be installed to allow greater use of the open areas.

Notes to editor

Developer contributions can only be spent on the certain projects. They are secured by a legal agreement under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act (1990) between the local planning authority and developer. Developer financial contributions are often referred to as S106 monies.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk

Work begins on new visitor conservatory at Golden Acre Park

Caption: The new conservatory at the Golden Acre Park café when opened, will provide seating for an extra 40 people.

Work has now started on the refurbishment of a popular visitor café located in Golden Acre Park.

As part of the revamp, a new conservatory will be added to the upper level of the existing Bakery Café, through the scheme, which overseen by Leeds City Council’s parks and countryside department, includes funding of over £100,000 being provided from a sponsorship agreement with local company Franklin Windows Ltd. Support is also being provided by Mone Bros Ltd, who are supplying all of the building materials for the conservatory.

When completed, the conservatory will offer seating on the upper patio level of the café for 40 extra people, taking the capacity to 86 people who can be catered for indoors.

Also included in the project are proposals for a new ‘Changing Places’ toilet extension, which suitable for people with disabilities and providing a baby changing space, has been funded by £45,000 from the council’s adult social care service, with an additional £28,000 being committed by the council for materials and other costs.

During the refurbishment which is expected to last 10 weeks, the café or kiosk will remain open to the public but will offer a restricted service.

For more information on Golden Acre Park, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/leisure/Pages/Golden-Acre-Park.aspx

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member for the environment said:

"Golden Acre Park remains an extremely popular place for people of all ages in our city to visit, and we are delighted to be moving forward with Franklin Windows Ltd on the construction of a new conservatory at the café.

"Providing additional seating for 40 people on a new upper tier at the café, once completed this conservatory will add another dimension to the views of the park and be somewhere extremely relaxing to enjoy a drink and have something to eat.

"We will also be introducing a new toilet extension at the café, providing excellent facilities for people with disabilities and baby changing facilities that promises to be absolutely fantastic."

Josh Franklin, owner and managing director of Franklin Windows said:

"We at Franklin Windows Ltd are thrilled the project has now officially started. We are looking forward to transforming the Bakery Café with a new conservatory."

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