Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Better housing standards for Leeds

As the need for more housing becomes more important on the national agenda, Leeds is seeking to make sure new homes in the city are built to standards which will make them among the best of their kind in the country.

The UK has a tradition of standards for housing which provide guidance on minimum standards for issues such as space, heating and ventilation. However, Leeds is setting out to make sure homes in the city match the best of their kind for decades to come.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel said:

“We are focussed at meeting one of the biggest challenges Leeds faces: providing quality, accessible homes to meet the city’s growing population, while protecting the quality of the environment and respecting community identity.

“There is a wealth of evidence of the benefits of ensuring that housing reflects people’s needs, with improved physical and mental health as well as stronger, safer communities. Increasingly we want to make sure homes are flexible, adaptable and accessible - and that they are comfortable, convenient and safe for tenants and visitors too.

“We have identified the need for 70,000 new homes in Leeds up to 2028. We have already made clear we want the right homes in the right places at the right times. We do not want to see poorly designed, small and second rate houses in Leeds.

“It is against this background we are creating the Leeds Standard for housing. We have committed to build our new council homes according this this standard. But we want to see consistency across all sectors. We will therefore be making our best endeavours to challenge the private sector to meet the Leeds Standard for housing.”

For media enquiries please contact:

Phil Morcom
Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council
4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 07891 276270
Tel: 0113 224 3602
Fax: 0113 247 4736
www.leeds.gov.uk

Ignored Burmantofts underpass given much needed refurbishment


Caption) - Present at the unveiling included Cllr Ron Grahame (member of the inner east community committee), Cllr Asghar Khan (chair of the inner east community committee), Kath Kipling, Yvonne Jarrett, Cllr Maureen Ingham (member of the inner east community committee), Vi Craig and Alison Gordon.

A previously neglected subway in Burmantofts has been given an eye-catching revamp by a community arts project.

Funded by the inner east community committee and local housing panel, a number of mosaic art pieces featuring trees, animals and other eye-catching designs now adorn the walls in in the Haslewood Dene underpass that were specially created by local groups and Seagulls Re-use Ltd.

As part of the refurbishment, which came from an initial idea by Burmantofts’ residents to a local forum, the subway was also given a welcome lick of anti-graffiti paint, and is now looking cleaner, brighter and more attractive. Local groups who have played their part in the scheme include; Burmantofts Senior Action, Lincoln Green Community Café, Ebor Gardens Primary School and St Peter’s Primary School.

Present at the official unveiling of the subway included chair of the inner east community committee Cllr Asghar Khan, local councillors and Burmantofts residents, which also included a mosaic making workshop along with afternoon tea and cakes at Ebor Gardens Community Centre.

Cllr Asghar Khan, chair of the inner east community committee said:

"We were delighted through our community committee to provide funding towards the refurbishment of the Haslewood Dene underpass, and it was brilliant to see the final results at the official unveiling.

"Working with Seagulls Re-use Ltd, local groups created some truly fantastic mosaic art pieces that now adorn the walls of the subway, which is now looking cleaner, brighter and more welcoming.

"The initial idea for this project was made by local residents, and this is a great example of what can be achieved by working with and raising an issue through our local forums and community committee."

Notes to editors:

The Haslewood Dene underpass is located just off Haslewood Drive, LS9 7PP.

Local councillors commissioned the scheme from their Inner East Community Committee Wellbeing budget and match funding was provided by Inner East Housing Advisory Panel. The project idea came from the local residents who attend the Burmantofts & Richmond Hill Community Leadership Team.

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



First flexible new council homes delivered at new Richmond Hill development

At a turf cutting ceremony at East Park Road, Leeds City Council will highlight opportunities for affordable homes for people who want to live in a property which matches their and their families’ needs.

East Park Road, is the first site to be developed under Leeds City Council’s ambitious “Council Housing Growth Programme”. It will deliver 32 one and two bed apartments which can be rented by applicants on the Leeds Homes Register.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel said:

“We know there are two key drivers which mean provision of single bed properties is vital: the housing needs of older people and the adverse impacts of the government’s welfare reforms. That’s why I’m delighted we are now making real progress with these properties, where development of flexible one bed apartments on the footprint of a two bed apartment means they can be converted to a two bed should there be a future need. They reflect the proposals we will be introducing with our Leeds Housing Standard. These new homes will be managed by Housing Leeds.”

The scheme’s design principles mean:
• Measures such as increased insulation and triple glazed windows will reduce heating and running costs for tenants.
• Overdevelopment is prevented.
• Delivering a scheme which has a positive impact on the existing neighbourhood.
• Providing open spaces which are low maintenance but attractive and useable.
• An emphasis on good quality materials which also represent value for money.
• Use of open plan living and dining areas to create spacious and well lit units.
• Ensuring there is an area internally where a lift could be fitted in the future to meet the changing abilities of residents.

Councillor Gruen added:

“The council will aim to make sure we create balanced, mixed communities in these new developments and are making sure local ward members have a say in local lettings policies. We’re also ensuring employment and training opportunities are provided during the construction programme.”

-ends-

Notes for editors:

Geo Houlton and Sons Ltd as the appointed contractor will be arranging a turf cutting ceremony on the site to celebrate the beginning of construction works. The ceremony will be taking place on:

Wednesday 17th September at 10am, on the site at East Park Road, Burmantofts
(At the Junction of East Park Road and Charlton Grove)

Please further information, please contact:

Phil Morcom

Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council
4th Floor West, Civic Hall, Leeds, LS1 1UR

Mobile: 07891 276270
Tel: 0113 224 3602
Fax: 0113 247 4736
www.leeds.gov.uk

Leeds Museums and Galleries sites hit new heights of educational excellence


Caption: Thwaites Mills Watermill is also the owner of a Sandford Award.

All Leeds Museums and Galleries sites across the city are now the proud holders of a prestigious education honour.

This follows Lotherton Hall becoming the latest recipient to be granted a Sandford Heritage Education Award, which recognises the quality of learning programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles.

Councillor Lucinda Yeadon, Leeds City Council’s executive member for digital and creative technologies, culture and skills said:

"It is really fantastic news that Lotherton Hall has received a Sandford Education Award, which completes the set of Leeds Museums and Galleries sites in the city to be given this honour.

"We are working extremely hard to put together a range of activities and events at our museums and galleries that are both educational and fun, and I would like to thank every member of our fantastic learning team for their tremendous efforts in helping us achieve this accolade."

Sites already granted the award in the past two years include: Leeds City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Abbey House Museum, Temple Newsam House, Leeds Discovery Centre, Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Thwaites Mills Watermill and Kirkstall Abbey.

In making their adjudication, the judges have been full of praise for the learning programmes that the Leeds Museums and Galleries’ sites offer. These have been described overall as providing “programmes which ‘are engaging and well put together’ and offering ‘imaginative and engaging learning experiences especially for younger children through ‘engaging and highly skilled staff.’

Around 250,000 children and young people visit Leeds Museum and Gallery sites annually and the numbers of school children taught each year is now over 40,000. The innovative ‘MyLearning’ website also reached 285,115 users last year.

Abbey House Museum has been described as providing ‘a thoroughly engaging and highly polished experience for schools, using enablers of great experience and ability’, while Leeds Art Gallery ‘offers a wonderful experience for young people to engage creatively with contemporary art.’ An experience of a visit to Leeds Discovery Centre has also earned great acclaim, offering ‘inspiring sessions’, while at historic Temple Newsam House a trip is’ both memorable and educationally effective’. The collections and learning staff at Leeds City Museum were also praised as being ‘enthusiastic and highly skilled.’

Quality rubberstamped for five years by the Sandford judges who called this particular award, ‘well deserved’, Lotherton Hall, which continues to be one of the city’s most popular attractions, offers a range of family themed activities and events which are ‘both educational and fun.’

This includes a range of rare items and collections coupled with an interactive approach for visitors to enjoy hands- on experiences in a country house by exploring the story of Lotherton’s Hall’s creators and landed family: the Gascoignes, and find out more about their travels around the world from the 1700s onwards as well as what life was like for both servants and masters at the turn of the Twentieth Century. Additional interactive elements include: a dressing-up room and the latest in computer animation technological tactile interpretation.

The grounds of the estate are also a haven for a wide range of wildlife and feature a range of attractions including two play areas, a deer park, bird garden, shops and stables, a gift shop and café.

For more information regarding Lotherton Hall, please see: http://www.leeds.gov.uk/museumsandgalleries/Pages/Lotherton-Hall.aspx

Sue Davies, Head of Learning at Leeds Museums and Galleries said:

"I am extremely proud that our ambition to raise the standard of excellence of our educational programmes at our museums and galleries over the past 10 years has resulted in all of our sites now earning a Heritage Education Sandford Award.

"We certainly will not be resting on our laurels however after reaching this landmark, and will be continuing to investigate all avenues as part of our ambition to improve even further the educational programmes that we already offer. It is testament to the hard work, dedication and expertise of our staff that we hold these awards for which they need to be justly praised and recognised."

Notes to editors:

The Sandford Award is an independently judged, quality assured assessment of education programmes at heritage sites, museums, archives and collections across the British Isles. For more information, please see: http://sandfordaward.org/

Other sites to be also given the Sandford Award include; Leeds City Museum, Leeds Art Gallery, Abbey House Museum, Temple Newsam House, Leeds Discovery Centre, Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills, Thwaites Mills Watermill and Kirkstall Abbey.

In the last 3 years 99% of all Leeds primary schools and 97% of all Leeds secondary schools have visited the Leeds Museums and Galleries Service. In terms of the reach extending beyond Leeds 63% of total visits were from Leeds schools and 37% were from non-Leeds based schools. The Artemis School Loan Service is reporting a tripling of the numbers of teachers accessing their service through use of the Picture Loan Scheme.

Lotherton Hall:

Lotherton Hall Estate is a charming Edwardian house and country estate. A single entrance price allows access to the house, with its wonderful collections of fine and decorative arts and a dedicated fashion gallery, and extensive grounds with an abundance of activities to keep everyone busy. Lotherton Hall has undergone numerous changes over the last few years since becoming one whole visitor attraction. With this new and larger audience the house has adapted by improving access and introducing a new range of family-friendly facilities. Other recent improvements have seen the re-opening of the Servants’ Rooms on the ground floor following a major restoration last year.
Lotherton Hall has been displaying fashion since its early days of being a museum in 1968, showing fine examples of both historic and more contemporary fashions.

Address: Lotherton Lane, Aberford, Leeds, LS25 3EB
Tel: 0113 378 2959
Email: lotherton.hall@leeds.gov.uk
Web address: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonhall
See our member’s page for year round entry: www.leeds.gov.uk/lothertonmembers
Summer opening times (March to October) House, café, shop and bird garden: 10:00 to 17:00 with last entry at 16:15. Estate gates: 07:30 to 20:00.

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