Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Council signs up to fire safety agreement

Caption: from left to right: Councillor Peter Gruen, Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council; Dave Walton, Assistant Chief Fire Officer West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue; Tom Riordan, Chief Executive Leeds City Council; Councillor John Hardy, Elected member lead for H&S Leeds City Council

Leeds City Council has signed a new four-year agreement demonstrating its commitment to improving fire safety arrangements across all areas of the council.

Last week, the council signed a “Fire Safety Concordat” agreement with partners West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority (WYFRA), agreeing to work together in partnership with the aim to making Leeds a safer place for people to live, work and visit.

The new four year agreement will ensure that increased awareness of fire safety is provided across all the council’s buildings, which will help the authority to continually improve on its fire safety arrangements.

Leeds is the largest Local Authority to sign up to the Fire Protection concordat in the country.

Councillor Peter Gruen Deputy Leader of Leeds City Council said:
“We welcome this partnership with the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority. We are working hard has an authority to improve on the council’s fire safety arrangements, with the aim to make Leeds a safer place, to live, work and visit”

Dave Walton Assistant Chief Fire Officer West Yorkshire Fire Service (WYF&RS) said:
“It gives me great pleasure to sign this concordat on behalf of the WYF&RS. Partnerships such as this one protect people’s safety by ensuring that fire risks in a changing built environment are properly controlled. We constantly seek opportunities to develop and use new interventions to augment our traditional approaches and I would like to thank all those individuals involved in developing this partnership.”

Notes to editors:

Derek Housley LCC Fire & Safety Manager is available to provide further technical information on 0113 2243645 or at


For media enquiries, please contact;
Laura Ferris, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 2475472

Victims of domestic violence urged to seek support

Victims of domestic violence in Leeds are being urged to not suffer in silence and take steps to access a wide range of support services available in the city.

Working with a range of partners, including West Yorkshire Police and the NHS, Leeds City Council’s Safer Leeds Partnership is providing help in a number of ways to tackle domestic violence, support victims and work with previous offenders.

Available 24 hours a day, the Leeds Domestic Violence Service (LDVS) phone line offers confidential support and advice from trained staff for all victims of abuse aged 16 or older.

Callers can be guaranteed they will be listened to and treated with dignity and respect and can be offered access to further services depending on their needs. This could include being provided with a number to call for additional help or being signposted for face to face support. Depending on personal circumstances, a place in a refuge may also be offered but at no time will pressure be put on any caller to leave their partner or home if they are unsure or do not want to.

The Leeds Domestic Violence Service can be contacted on: (0113) 246 0401.

Also available are a number of drop in-sessions, which are held three times a week at venues in the city centre. Funded by the NHS and delivered by Leeds Women Aid, a wide range of advice, support and signposting to specialist services is available. For more details, please ring LDVS: 0113 246 0401 or 07776 228196.

The Safer Leeds Partnership is also responsible for overseeing enquiries which are made as part of new legislation entitled ‘Clare’s Law’, which enables people to ask police if their partner has a history of domestic violence. The partnership uses a multi-agency approach to respond to women and/or their relatives who enquire about the past domestic violence offences if they are concerned the person may cause harm to a partner.

Six Clare’s Law applications have, to date, been discussed since February 2014 by the partnership, and as part of this work, a pro-active approach has been taken to inform partners about previous offences as well as offering support. Details and further information around Clare’s Law can be requested at the following email address: or by telephone: 0113 241 4180.

An innovative new pilot project working with men to improve their relationships with their children and partners and reduce their risk at home has also been launched in three areas of Leeds. This is a 17-week programme called ‘Caring Dads’. To find out more, please contact the Caring Dads team on: 0113 395 1377.

Councillor Mick Coulson, Leeds City Council’s lead member for community safety said:“We would urge anyone who is experiencing domestic violence to please seek support from the wide range of services available in Leeds.

“Nobody should have to suffer in silence, and we would like to reassure anyone who is thinking of contacting us that out trained staff will always listen, never judge and offer the best practical advice and support.

“We are working with dads on a pilot project to improve relationships with their children and reduce abuse to partners and I would urge anyone who would like to find out more to please contact our Caring Dads team.”
For further help and advice, there are also the following national numbers to call:

Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247 (for women)
Men’s Advice Line 0808 801 0327 (for men)
Jewish Women’s Aid 0808 801 0500 (for Jewish women)
Broken Rainbow 0300 999 5428 (LGBT on the keypad – for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people)
In any emergency, please ring West Yorkshire Police on 999, or for further help and advice call 101.

For media enquiries, please contact
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578

Food baskets help older people get back on their feet

Caption: Emma Strachan, (left) a health improvement specialist with Leeds City Council's public health team, and Jane Morrison, a support worker with the British Red Cross, deliver a home food basket to 71-year-old local resident Brian Munn.

Older people in Leeds are getting food baskets delivered to their homes to help them get back on their feet after a stay in hospital.

The baskets, which are delivered along with hospital discharge packs, are being put together by Leeds City Council’s Community Meals Leeds team.

The new support programme has been devised in a bid to make the difficult transition from hospital to home as easy as possible for some of the city’s vulnerable residents.

Delivery of the baskets, which are filled with ingredients to make easy snacks and meals, also allows a member of staff to check that discharged patients are coping with their recovery.

Councillor Adam Ogilvie, Leeds City Council’s executive member for adult social care, said:

“The first few days after leaving hospital can be a very difficult time for anybody. But for a vulnerable, elderly person with little or no support, it is even more uncertain and every bit of extra help in making the transition can mean all the difference.

“These food baskets will help older people who have suffered an illness or crisis back onto their feet, giving them the reassurance of knowing they will have much-needed meals and snacks as they recover whilst also making sure someone will be visiting to check on their progress.”

The pilot scheme will see staff at hospitals in Leeds identifying patients over the age of 65, with no carer or family living close by.

As well as the food basket, residents will also get some simple financial advice and fuel poverty information.

The Community Meals Leeds service is working closely with the Leeds Community Healthcare intermediate care teams, volunteers from the British Red Cross and the Royal Volunteer Service to ensure support gets to those who need it most.

Councillor Peter Gruen, the council’s executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services, said:

“This new pilot project is yet another example of our award-winning Community Meals Leeds service being prepared to go that extra mile to make sure that some of our city’s most vulnerable residents feel safe and comfortable in their own homes.

“We have consulted across a whole range of services when putting together this pilot scheme and we have found that there is a real need for this type of emergency food provision within the community.

“The Community Meals Leeds service is ideally placed to help, by providing not only food, but also the promise of a friendly face and some reassurance for residents who might otherwise feel isolated and alone.”

Funding is currently in place to deliver the first 200 baskets and discharge packs and the council is working with a number of local neighbourhood networks to help distribute the baskets.

Dr Ian Cameron, director of public health in Leeds, said:

“There’s good evidence to say that making sure people have nourishing and healthy food when they return home from hospital is a really effective way to reduce hospital readmissions, dehydration and malnutrition.

“We’re trialling this project to see what the evidence is about how best we can help those with the least get the most from the health and care support they need.”

Community Meals Leeds, run by Leeds City Council, delivers and estimated 124,000 meals every year to more than 500 people around the city.


Stuart Robinson
Communications Officer
Leeds City Council
Tel: 0113 224 3937

Leeds move is 'growth solution’ for OPM Labels

A print packaging and labelling company has relocated its operations to newly refurbished premises in Leeds, with help from a £90K grant from the Leeds City Region business growth programme.

OPM (Labels and Packaging) Group, run by husband and wife team Chris and Susan Ellison, completed the move from bases in Bradford and Keighley to the 56,000 sq ft manufacturing plant, located on Gelderd Road, Leeds, in December, as they aim to double turnover of the £9.4 million business over the next six years.

In the process they have invested upwards of £2 million in the relocation, premises fit out and new equipment. Centrepiece of the Leeds operation is a brand new FA-6 printing line, manufactured by NilPeter.

The new machine uses the latest electronically-controlled technology to print flexible packaging, sachets, films, laminates and self-adhesive labels for the food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, health, beauty, automotive and dietary markets.

A grant of £90,000 was received towards the cost of the £1.1 million machine – the only one of its kind in Europe – through the business growth programme administered by Leeds City Council’s business support team.

The £20 million business growth programme was set up with Government backing to help businesses like OPM Group expand and create employment. In just three months the workforce has grown from 55 to 69 but Chris and Sue Ellison see scope for further expansion in both the business and the workforce

Cllr Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s lead member for development and the economy said:

“Leeds has always been a major regional and national centre for the printing industry, with a highly skilled workforce, and it is great to see OPM Group building on that skills base to grow the business and create new employment.”

Managing director Chris Ellison said:

“One of the key attractions of Leeds is a ready-made workforce with people who have worked in the industry. Although we’ve had to do a lot of retraining because of the specialist nature of what we do, the biggest factor in moving was the ability to recruit.

“The FA-6 enables us to offer additional services to our clients. It combines unrivalled speed and accuracy with the ability to print at larger packaging sizes and will handle a greater range of materials.
“Long term there’s room to bring in another four printing lines, with the potential to take the business to a turnover of £25 million at the new location.”

Roger Marsh, chair of the Leeds City Region enterprise partnership said:

“The printing industry is fiercely competitive and continuous innovation is a vital ingredient in driving growth. As OPM Group demonstrates, success ultimately depends on developing new solutions to meet changing consumer habits and the requirement of new markets. This demands continued investment in people, skills, technology and processes, which we are delighted to have been able to support.”

Notes for editors
1. Pictured: managing director Chris Ellison and commercial director Susan Ellison at the new Leeds plant of OPM Group.

2. The Leeds City Region business growth programme is a £25 million fund supported by the Government’s regional growth fund. It offers grants of between £10,000 and £1 million to support business expansion and employment creation. Already, more than 200 SMEs have been assisted through the programme, which will help to create over 2,000 jobs. For more information, call 0113 247 5401 or email:

3. Media contacts:
David Baggaley, Marketing Manager, Leeds City Council
T: 0113 247 7851
or contact Leeds City Council press office on 0113 395 0244