We have two two events on Friday 24th November at our Caring Together premises, 127 Woodhouse Street in relation to the buses in Leeds. that we hope you can make.
See below for details: 1pm Cllr Kayleigh will be with us to listen to your concerns/grievances around the current bus services in our area, the infrequency and inconsistency of services and the re routing of the 38 & 39 due to works in the area. and then at
1.30pm Bus Reform – Join the consultation with The West Yorkshire Combined Authority that will inform a decision by the Mayor of West Yorkshire in whether or not to introduce the Proposed Franchising Scheme in March 2024.
The renovation work on Charing Cross Square – outside Caring Together is starting today and is expected to last about 12 weeks.
The plans involve resurfacing the square, adding trees and a new sign, putting steps at the front of the square to the pavement (near the bus stop) and changing the steps at the back of the square—taking away part of the large step area to create more space as you enter the square from the back and repairing the steps to make them safer.
We hope that, when finished, this will be a big improvement to this area, but it is bound to create some disruption in the short term. We have been promised that access to the shops and to Caring Together will be maintained throughout the works.
Here at Caring Together we have lots of activities happening over this time and we are intending to continue these as planned if we can. If you are planning to visit us, or attend an event/activity, and you have any concerns about it, please contact us.
As we enter the new year, we know that the increase in cost of living continues to touch many people, and some may only be starting to feel the impact.
We will continue to do all we can to support anyone affected. As well as our regular email updates, please remember you can visit our Cost of Living website for support and advice on housing, food, fuel and health, as well as details of events taking place across Leeds to support local residents.
Leeds City Council
Energy discount vouchers for pre-payment meters
If you use energy pre-payment meters, you should be receiving energy bill discount vouchers from the first week of the month, through either text, email or the post (using your registered contact details).
You will need to redeem these at your usual top-up point, such as your nearest PayPoint or Post Office branch.
Warm Spaces across Leeds offer a welcoming and safe warm place for anyone to use for free, particularly if you’re struggling with the cost of heating your home during cold weather. Opening hours have now returned to normal after the festive period.
A reminder that community hubs and libraries offer warm spaces and a warm welcome. You can also access additional services including help with job applications, claiming benefits you could be eligible for and money saving tips and budgeting. You can find your local community hub here.
A leading doctor in West Yorkshire is calling on people who haven’t yet had their flu and COVID vaccinations to come forward as soon as possible. You can read more here
Help with childcare costs
Over a million families in the UK are entitled to support with the cost of childcare from the government. Find out whether you’re eligible for tax-free childcare or 30 hours per week of free childcare at www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
Could you be a foster carer?
If you’re considering fostering, joining Foster4Leeds means you can help the council keep Leeds children in their local area, and you’ll receive a huge amount of support from our amazing fostering service and other local foster families.
Leeds 2023 is a year-long celebration of culture. It kicked off earlier this month with The Awakening at Headingley Stadium, featuring music, poetry, dance, comedy and more. You can find out more about Leeds 2023 here.
And finally… Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield are made freemen of Leeds
This week Leeds added a new chapter to a remarkable story of courage and comradeship as the city awarded its highest civic honour to Rob Burrow and Kevin Sinfield.
Rugby league legends Rob and Kevin have both been given the freedom of Leeds in recognition of their heroic campaigning and fundraising for all those affected by motor neurone disease (MND).
Our first soup and a roll get-together was very well attended last week and everyone enjoyed the homemade carrot and coriander soup.
There’s another one today and every Wednesday until the end of March. At the Caring Together premises, 127 Woodhouse Street. Drop in any time between 11am and 2pm (soup usually served from around 12 noon) – or come and join us for the full 3 hours if you wish.
Warm soup, warm building and a warm welcome for all!
We won’t tell you what today’s soup is, you will have to come along to find out, but we are sure it will be delicious.
Today – 10/10 is World Mental Health Day and we are sharing with you ‘Take10’ from Mindwell Leeds for some calm, mindful time which might might help. Here are 10 activities you can do for 10 minutes or 10 seconds.
And also some information about where to access mental health support or find resources to help you better understand your mental well being
Please be aware of energy rebate scams which are circulating. There are fake texts and emails going round which appear to be from gov.uk or from Ofgem – the energy regulator and these are asking people to click a link to register for the £400 energy rebate.
The links will go to a site that is designed to collect your personal details for the scammers. Some of these sites look very much like the real government website but they are fake – you do not need to register to get this discount, or give anyone your personal details, your energy company will be automatically applying it to your bill. They should have already been in touch to let you know how they will be doing this.
If a suspicious text message is received it can be forwarded to 7726 free of charge, and the suggestion is for it to be deleted.
If someone suspects they have been a victim of a scam and unwittingly shared personal financial details, they should notify their bank ASAP and also report the matter to Action Fraud 0300 123 2040.
There is also the possibility that criminals may attempt to approach people via cold calling at the door, under the guise of this official support scheme. If anyone receives an unsolicited knock on the door regarding any discount scheme or refund please be vigilant.
How you’ll get the discount:
Households will start to receive the discount from October
You do not need to apply for the discount, and there’s no need to contact your energy supplier.
The discount will be applied to your monthly household electricity bill for 6 months starting in October 2022. You’ll get:
£66 in October and November
£67 in December, January, February and March
You’ll get the discount monthly, even if you pay for your energy quarterly or use a payment card.
Traditional prepayment meter users will get equivalent vouchers that you will need to redeem.
Government today announced the new energy price guarantee. This will start on 1st October and will cap the energy costs for a household with ‘typical’ use at £2500 (it is currently £1971). The Energy Price Guarantee limits the amount households can be charged per unit of gas or electricity. So your exact bill will continue to depend on how much energy you use.
If you have fixed your tariff you can either stay on this, or can leave and switch to the new subsidised tariffs with no exit penalties. There will be some discount applied to existing fixed rates as part of this scheme so you may have to work out which tariff benefits you most.
The £400 payment to all homes this winter will still be paid – this is to be spread over 6 months, as a credit on your bill, a reduction in direct debits or by voucher for those on pre-payment meters.
For those who pay electricity costs via their landlord, equivalent help is promised but there are no details yet.
The other, previously announced, cost of living payments for those on means tested benefits, people over state pension age and those who receive disability benefits will go ahead as planned.
While this is welcome news compared to the £3549 cap that was due to come into effect in October it is still an increase of more than 25% on top of the already extremely high cap. If you are struggling to afford your energy bills please reach out for help.
Contact your supplier first – they have an obligation to try and help you and many suppliers have set up hardship funds.
Caring Together members – or anyone over 55 in Woodhouse, Little London or Leeds city centre – speak to us and we will help you to explore your options re getting help with your bills or seeing if you are entitled to any additional income.
We will also be hosting some information sessions with the Energy Efficiency Worker from Green Doctor Leeds, where you can come along and have a cuppa and have a chat about your current energy bills and energy efficiency:
Monday 12th September at Caring Together premises, 127 Woodhouse Street – 11am -12.30pm
Thursday 27th October and Thursday 24th November at Little London Community Centre 2.30pm-4pm
An update on Student Changeover, the period when many students in the area all move house. We have had 6 enforcement Officers patrolling the whole area from 8am until 4pm since 20th June. They have been advising residents on what to do with waste, handing out warnings for presenting waste in the street and issuing fines where necessary. This is planned to be continuing until 6th July by which time the vast majority of people moving house in this period will have done so. We have been working on educating students, landlords and letting agents since the beginning of this year in preparation for this student changeover period. In regards to waste clearance we have put in as much extra resource in Headingley, Hyde park and Woodhouse as possible – obviously yesterday and today are the days when most people move so we should be reaching a peak with everything improving over the next few days. Our Cleaner Neighbourhoods Team operatives are working up until 7pm every day in this period, doing extra hours to alleviate as much pressure as possible. As local Councillors we too are supplementing this with ward walks and reporting in flytipping and waste – we are also reporting in all that is sent to us over email or text. If you are moving, please do not leave items out on your wall or in the street in the hope that people will want to take your things. 95% of these sort of items will not get taken and then the rest becomes illegal flytipping. Please dispose of your waste properly, either through acknowledged donation channels or thrown away properly. There is a huge amount to get through, so please bear with us over the next few days, and do contact us if you think there’s a street or area being missed. And thank you to all those residents for their patience in this annual difficult period! Cllrs Walshaw, Pryor & Garthwaite
Two online maps have been launched to help Blue Badge holders and other road users navigate around Leeds city centre as major road improvements are carried out and completed.
The disabled parking map shows the on-street locations where Blue Badge holders can park, with 111 spaces allocated across 21 different locations in the city centre. How to access the spaces and the direction of travel to them is shown on the map in blue, whilst the exit routes are shown in yellow. Everyone registered with the council as a Blue Badge holder will also receive a link to an online version of the and can request a physical copy of the map.
The second map shows which roads have restricted access and at what times. Where there are no restrictions at any time, roads are shown in green. However, others including The Headrow, Vicar Lane and Call Lane restrict access to certain road users at specific times of the day. For example, a large section of Vicar Lane is restricted to only buses, hackney carriages and cycles between 7am – 10am and between 4pm – 7pm.
The new restrictions will be enforced by cameras and Penalty Charge Notices will be issued for infringements. Some of the restrictions are already being enforced. Cameras for several of the new restrictions will be activated over the coming months and the public will be notified when new cameras are to be activated. All funds from this will be reinvested into making improvements to the Leeds transport network.
The maps have been created following discussions with stakeholders, to help ensure people can find their way around the city centre during the ongoing major improvements. These changes are part of the £173.5million Leeds Public Transport Investment Programme as part of Connecting Leeds, that aims to dramatically improve public transport and cycling and walking infrastructure across Leeds. It has been shaped from public consultations including the Transport Conversation in 2016, the City Centre consultation in 2018 and consultations on the Headrow and Corn Exchange improvements in 2019.
In these consultations, members of the public asked for:
priority for buses, pedestrians and cyclists above private vehicles
the retention of access routes to city centre public car parks and delivery routes for businesses
easy access for blue badge parking
bus gates to increase the reliability of buses travelling through the city centre (A ‘bus gate’ is a short section of road where access is restricted to buses, hackney carriages and pedal cycles only at certain times (as specified by the signage)).
enforceable and meaningful restrictions for private vehicle users
access maintained to important Leeds landmarks such as the first direct arena, the universities, Leeds General Infirmary, and Leeds Playhouse.
The maps will be further updated once future city centre improvement works have been delivered.