Cllr Paul Wray
Hunslet and Riverside Local News and Coronavirus Updates 4/7/20
This is my latest roundup of Coronavirus and local news updates for Hunslet and Riverside residents. There are several links to more detailed information from the Government, Council and others within the post and links to past updates.
Cases and Mortality
Care Home Staff Testing
Sector Based Guidance Updates
Council Budget Deficit
Schools Opening Update
Schools from September
International Travel Quarantine Changes
Council Museums & Galleries Reopening
Council Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms Reopening
Leeds Housing Update
Active Leeds Livestreaming Classes
Bulky Waste Charges Resume
Reopening of Hospitality
The Canary (formally The Dockside)
Hunslet St Mary's Spire
Hunslet Tenants and Residents Association Report
Hunslet Carr Residents Association Report
Rowland Road Pocket Park
Church Street Playground
Previous updates can be found here:
Local News Summary
Cases and Mortality:
In Leeds, as of 17:00 on the 2 July, the number of confirmed cases within Leeds stood at 3,588. To date, 26% of all deaths registered have been covid-19 related. There have been:
641 covid-19 related deaths registered so far
629 (98%) were Leeds residents
353 (55%) were in hospitals
255 (40%) were in care homes
12 (2%) in a hospice
21 (3%) in their own home.
Care Home Staff Testing:
From Monday care home staff will be
tested for coronavirus
every week, and residents tested every 28 days. Care homes for dementia patients and the over-65s will be prioritised.
Sector Based Guidance Updates:
Further to the guidance documents sent in last week’s briefing, the following new and updated guidance may be of use:
phased return of sport
Guidance on managing
urban and green spaces
Guidance on safely using
places of worship
small marriages and civil partnerships
Updated guidance on
Updated guidance for
Updated guidance on
looking after your mental health
Guidance on safe use of
multi-purpose community facilities
You will be aware of the situation in
, the first city to have a localised lockdown, meaning the planned reopening of venues in the rest of England will not take place there, non-essential retail will close and schools will only be open to vulnerable children and children of key workers. The situation in Leicester is something all local authorities will want to avoid. Fortunately Leeds continues to see a decline in cases and is in a relatively good position compared to other areas- the infection rate in Leicester is 135 per 100,000, compared to 8.6 per 100,000 in Leeds, down from 12.3 last week. Leeds remains below the Yorkshire and Humber average, and the highest city in Yorkshire is Bradford with a rate of 42.8 per 100,000. It will require the combined efforts of everybody in the city to continue to keep the number of cases down and avoid a situation like Leicester’s.
Council Budget Deficit
: The Local Government Secretary has announced a
further £500m of unringfenced funding for councils
to respond to spending pressures. This is accompanied by a scheme to help reimburse lost income from sales, fees and charge, whereby the government will cover 75p in every pound lost. Councils will also be able to spread their tax deficits over 3 years rather than the usual one year. Officer are working through the implications of the announcement, including seeking clarification from Government on the exact terms, but the Council still anticipates it will be left with a significant gap this year. We will continue to lobby government to address our financial pressures.
Schools Opening Update:
There has been a slow increase in the number of pupils physically attending in school, with 17,000 on Monday.
The DFE has confirmed there is no need for schools to open over the summer, but the plan is for all pupils to go back in September, in line with the
latest Government guidance
Schools have been provided with updated guidance about what to do when a pupil tests positive for coronavirus. The procedure is different depending on whether the pupil has been in school within 48 hours of developing symptoms- in a number of recent cases where pupils hadn’t been in school for 48 prior to developing symptoms, PHE have advised that bubbles didn’t need to be collapsed. Each case is treated on an individual basis based on PHE advice. Template letters for parents have been provided to account for situations where bubbles need to be collapsed, and for where bubbles aren’t collapsed but parents are informed of the positive case.
The Council has written a letter that schools can choose to issue to parents where there are grievances about children not being able to return to school. The letter reminds parents of the factors influencing the capacity of individual schools, and states that most schools are now in a position of being unable to receive more pupils. The letter clarifies that it is currently not possible to consider using other community venues for educational purposes- this is made clear in government guidance as there are significant resourcing, safeguarding and health and safety implications.
Schools from September:
The Education Secretary has set out the expectations around allowing
all year groups to return to school in September
, with current restrictions on group sizes lifted. Covid-secure measures and year group/class ‘bubbles’ will remain in place.
International Travel Quarantine Changes
: The requirement for travellers and holiday-makers to quarantine for two weeks after returning from over 50 countries, including Spain, Italy, Germany and France,
will be dropped from 10 July.
will be reintroduced from 1 August- those whose MOT test was due before 1 August will receive a 6-month exemption.
Council Museums & Galleries Reopening:
The Councils Museums and Galleries service has announced provisional reopening dates for its 9 sites across the city. (Museums are allowed to reopen from 4 July). These dates may still subject to change as the Council develop procedures to ensure the safety of all our staff and visitors. Some areas may also remain closed if they cannot accommodate social distancing etc. The provisional reopening dates are as follows (The Visitor Centre and Art Gallery Shop have already reopened):
July 17th: Lotherton House and Kirkstall Abbey
July 21st: Leeds Art Gallery
July 23rd: Leeds Discovery Centre
July 28th: Leeds Industrial Museum
Aug 2nd: Temple Newsam House
Aug 4th: Abbey House
Aug 11th: Leeds City Museum and Thwaite Watermill
Council Playgrounds and Outdoor Gyms Reopening:
Health protection regulations 2020 specified that playgrounds should be closed and they consequently have been since March. Following the recent Government
about the opening of playgrounds and outdoor gyms from the 4th July the Government has issued non statutory guidance in relation to reopening these facilities. This guidance has significant implications relating to risk assessment, cleaning and social distancing that need to be considered and arrangements put in place. Leeds City Council has 200 playgrounds and outdoor gyms comprising of over 2000 items of individual equipment located within its parks and open spaces and this provides significant challenges in terms of scale and risk prevention. Subsequently this means that opening sites on the 4th July is not possible. The council is currently assessing what cleaning arrangements could be implemented to allow some limited opening at those sites where staff oversight is possible. It is inevitable that the reopening of playgrounds will be delayed. More information will be provided when this is available.
Leeds Housing Update:
Housing Leeds continues to provide essential housing services to tenants and residents of Leeds, whilst also remobilising services as follows:
Having resumed the Council housing investment programme for communal, external and environmental works in early June, we are about to resume some activity in homes, including fire safety works.
From early July more repairs and adaptations will be carried out in Council homes but it will take some time to work through the backlog.
Health and safety and compliance work of Council housing has continued throughout lockdown.
Choice Based Lettings went live on 24 June, and we will gradually increase the number of homes advertised up to normal levels over the next few weeks. Lettings have started of Council homes allocated prior to lockdown, where the applicant is in a position to move.
Housing teams continue to take a supportive approach to Council Housing rent collection and arrears management at this time. Some more formal arrears action will begin in August where tenants are not engaging with staff.
Over the last 12 weeks teams have contacted 12k Council tenants over 60 to check their wellbeing and 2.2k tenants who are shielding.
Teams continue to make 10k telephone contacts per week to tenants living in the Council’s Retirement Life schemes. To ensure the continued safety of residents, communal lounges will remain closed – this will be reviewed at the end of July.
LHO have continued to provide housing options support to around 650 people per week during lockdown, and discharged its prevention duty with a positive outcome for 91% of cases. There are currently 143 people in the emergency hotel accommodation set up at the start of lockdown.
The Private Sector team continues to engage with landlords and tenants by phone, and is looking to resume more inspection activity in early July.
Active Leeds Livestreaming Classes:
these are proving hugely popular. In the last two weeks we have had 8,863 participants on the livestreaming classes which is an average of 147 participants on each class (the team is currently delivering 5 livestreaming classes as day). See the Active Leeds
Healthy at Home
website to find out more.
Bulky Waste Charges Resume:
From Monday 6 July normal charges will apply for the bulky collection service, although this will continue to be offered for free for residents in receipt of benefit payments. Also from Monday, charges will resume for inert waste (rubble, soil, hardcore, bricks etc) taken to the HWRCs. However, whilst social distancing remains a necessity on sites we will accept up to one 25l box/bag (or equivalent) of inert waste for free at each visit (normally £2.60 a bag).
Reopening of Hospitality:
Staff from across the Council have been working closely with city partners to prepare for the safe reopening of hospitality venues over the weekend, including:
Fast-tracking applications for street café licenses to aid with social distancing
Pavement widening where possible
A team of night time ambassadors deployed in the city centre for the next two weekends
Signage with social distancing messages, and sanitiser stations
Enhanced cleaning of touchpoints
Most venues will operate with reduced capacity, using booking systems or a first-come-first served basis. Public transport and taxis will have reduced capacity. We have recommended that table service is used, and no live performance or loud music will be allowed. WYP will also have extra resources over the weekend. We have provided a summary of the steps being taken to ensure public safety, along with a helpful infographic, in a
. Residents are reminded to use public transport only where necessary, to wear a face covering on public transport and to use contactless payments where possible. As a reminder, council parking charges will resume from 4 July.
I'm happy to attend public meetings and if you’re part of a community not current covered by a regular residents meeting and want one, please let us know.
Hunslet Moor Zoom Residents Meeting
Hunslet Green and Whitfields Zoom Residents Meeting
Past event can be re-watched here
. The next event(s) are below:
Guest Q&A with Hilary Benn MP
These are the Facebook links but they can also be watched on
(formally The Dockside)
Despite press releases, this application at Leeds Dock has not yet been approved
and the application has significant objection to overcome before it is.
Hunslet St Mary's Spire:
Surveys have now been done and the Spire is sound. Intrusive ground s
will now be done to make sure there are no remaining burials in the the former graveyard.
Leeds Dock Residents Forum:
Following a poll of members of the areas Facebook Group, there was a unanimous approval for the creation of local residents forum. Myself, Cllr Nash and Cllr Iqbal will now work with Council Officer to make this happen.
Hunslet Tenants and Residents Association Report:
Hunslet TARA Report July 2020
Hunslet Carr Residents Association Report:
Hunslet Carr RA Report July 2020
Rowland Road Pocket Park:
the long awaited community benches have now been installed and Parks and Country Officers will now works on future planning plans to improve local biodiversity.
Church Street Playground:
Upgrade work is due to restart within weeks after been suspended due to the pandemic.
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