Thursday, 30 January 2014

Council secures funding towards PCSOs in city

A response by the Leader of Leeds City Council Leader Cllr Keith Wakefield and Cllr Peter Gruen to the news that the Police and Crime Commissioner for West Yorkshire has agreed a funding package for PCSOs in the city for 2014-2016.

Councillor Keith Wakefield, Leader of Leeds City Council said:

"Due to the significant reductions being made to our budget, we are as a council having to make some extremely difficult decisions regarding which services can continue to be delivered by us in the future.

"A key element of how we are meeting this tough budgetary challenge is by working closely with our partners to see how further support and funding for important council initiatives and services across Leeds can be found.

"I am pleased therefore that having listened closely to our case, the Police Crime Commissioner has agreed to contribute to the part funding of our PCSOs over the next two years. The PCSOs play a very important role in combatting anti-social behaviour, and this funding will help ensure that their visible presence remains in Leeds.”

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

"As a council we are putting in a lot of hard work to tackle anti-social behaviour, and a key strand of how this is being achieved is through the deployment of PCSOs in our city.

"Due to the extremely tough financial challenge the council faces, it is simply not possible to fund all of the services that have been provided previously, but we were extremely determined to find a way to continue to fund our PCSOs.

"It is then extremely positive news that the Police Crime Commissioner has provided this financial support towards the cost of our PCSOs and we look forward to them continuing their vital work in our city."

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

Leeds joins forces with Yorkshire and Humber region to banish tenancy fraud



Caption: The campaign poster that will be used regionally to encourage people to report tenancy fraud across the region

Leeds is working with councils across Yorkshire and Humber to raise awareness of tenancy fraud across the region.

A week long campaign running from Monday 3 February will encourage people to report tenancy fraud with the strapline “it’s not right and it’s not fair”.

In July 2013 Social Landlords in the region joined forces to create the Yorkshire & Humber Tenancy Fraud Forum (YHTFF) and launch a campaign to tackle tenancy fraud.

Through the tenancy fraud initiative, Leeds City Council has successfully recovered 119 council properties since 2008 from tenants who have been investigated.


Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, housing and support services said:
“The vast majority of tenants in Leeds behave within the rules and expect their neighbours to do the same. We will not stand for tenants committing fraud in Leeds as it is not right and not fair on those tenants that do follow the rules.

“When somebody with a council or housing association home rents it out without permission or obtains a home through providing false information, they are guilty of housing fraud. They are using up valuable housing spaces and depriving families and vulnerable people on the waiting list. In this small number of cases we will take action in order to make sure houses are available to people who need them.

“This week will hopefully highlight to the people of Leeds that they too can help in the fight to catch tenants behaving fraudulently.”

The council will be working closely with eight other housing association partners during the fraud awareness week including Chevin Housing, Home Group, Leeds Federated Housing Association, Places for People, Sanctuary Housing, Together Housing, Yorkshire Housing and Your Headrow.


To report tenancy fraud in Leeds, residents can call the below numbers

Belle Isle Tenant Management Organisation 0113 378 2188
South and South East 0113 378 1410
East and North East 0113 247 6681
West and North West 0113 378 2530


Notes to editors:

Across the UK it is estimated that 98,000 housing association and council homes are occupied by someone who should not live there or has obtained their tenancy fraudulently either by unlawful subletting, obtaining a home by deception or wrongly claiming succession after someone dies.

In July 2013 Social Landlords in the region joined forces to create the Yorkshire & Humber Tenancy Fraud Forum (YHTFF) and launch a campaign to tackle tenancy fraud.

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

Winter warmth packages delivered to elderly in south Leeds

Caption: (L-R-Back)-Steve Hall, Transport Manager, Holbeck Elderly Aid, Elissa Newman, Interim Manager, Holbeck Elderly Aid, Cllr Kim Groves, member of the inner south area committee, Claire Holmes, Neighbourhood Support Worker and Sue Cawthray, Interim Manager, Holbeck Elderly Aid.

Caption: (L-R-Front)-Cllr Mohammed Iqbal, member of the inner south area committee, Cllr Angela Gabriel, Chair of the inner south area committee, Betty Broadhead, one of the recipients of the winter warmth packages, and Cllr David Congreve, member of the inner south area committee.

Winter warmth packages are currently being delivered to 1,000 elderly people living in south Leeds, thanks to funding provided from the local area committee.

As part of the project, key essentials including soup and stewed meat, blankets, bed socks, scarves and gloves, will be provided as part of the Winter Warmth Package scheme to support vulnerable and hard to reach residents living in three wards of south Leeds, including Beeston & Holbeck, Middleton Park and City & Hunslet.

Supported by local Neighbourhood Networks who are distributing the packages to the elderly, funding for the £15,000 initiative has been provided from the inner east area committee’s wellbeing fund (£9,000) and the Inner South Housing Leeds Area Panel (£6,000).

Councillor Angela Gabriel, chair of the inner south area committee, said:

"Supporting the elderly in our communities remains a key priority of our area committee, and we did not have to think twice therefore when we were given the opportunity to provide funding towards 1,000 winter warmth packages that will be provided to some of our most vulnerable residents.

"The packages are currently being delivered with the fantastic support of our Neighbourhood Networks that do such a great job helping our elderly, and we look forward to supporting similar schemes in the future."

Notes to editors:

10 Area committees across the city, play a vital role setting out detailed improvement plans for the areas they represent, and decide through a monitored service level agreement, where both street cleansing and environmental action should be targeted.

The management and budgets of community centres are also undertaken, while funding is also provided to agencies, groups and organisations which support a range of important projects that are being delivered in communities through their wellbeing fund.

Holbeck Elderly Aid provides a range of services to support and enhance the life of Older People (60 or over).

For more information, please contact Holbeck Elderly Aid at: (0113) 2455553.

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