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Your Local Update 11/1/21

My first roundup of local news, pandemic information and my Councillor work of 2021! There are several links to more detailed information below. In this update you will find:

[1] Cases, Mortality, Infection Rates and Outbreak Management

[2] Vaccine Inequalities Plan

[3] International Travel Testing

[4] Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Guidance

[5] Leeds City Council Services Update

[6] Volunteering

[7] Business Support Measures

[8] Donated and Recycling Laptops and Devices

[9] Playground and Gym Guidance

[10] Primary School Applications

[11] Updated Guidance Documents

[12] Education

[13] Leeds City Centre

[14] Hunslet Tenants and Residents Association Report

[15] Hunslet Tenants and Residents Association Meeting

[16] Meadow Lane Major Roadworks

[17] Bund and Tree Removal - Rocheford Garden

[18] Community Hub & Library Opening Hours Consultation

[19] Seasonal Bedding and Floral Decorations Consultation

[20] You & Me, Me & You

[21] In The News

[22] MICE Grants

[23] Meetings and Visits

[24] Upcoming Local Meetings, Events and Q&As

Previous updates can be found here. Thank you for reading in advance. Please consider making a donation now to support the cost of this website.


[1] Cases, Mortality, Infection Rates and Outbreak Management: Infection rates in Leeds have continue. Whilst it is impossible to be definitive about prevalence of the new variant. An estimate of around 1/5th of cases in Leeds (although there are lots of caveats on this estimate). As of the 9/1/21:

  • The Leeds infection rate is was 327.1 and the rate in over 60s is up to 209.3

  • Test positivity was 14.2%

  • The latest R rate for the UK is 1.0 to 1.4, this means that on average, every 10 people infected with Covid-19 will infect between 10 and 14 other people.


[2] Vaccine Inequalities Plan: Public Health, working closely with Primary Care Networks, the third sector and wider partners are working to ensure that vaccine uptake is maximised in areas of deprivation and to those vulnerable groups who are at increased risk from Covid-19. The approach starts with the JCVI prioritisation list and local insight gained from working with communities during the pandemic. This will involve:

  • Rapidly developing a summary of insight from local communities to inform the approach

  • Developing local systems to monitor vaccine uptake with a focus on deprivation, age, ethnicity

  • Supporting PCNs to target underserved communities/accessible access, identifying barriers and effective interventions

  • Developing a training pack for third sector and community volunteers to increase confidence in answering questions regarding the Covid vaccine out in the community (door knocking)

  • Developing an age friendly resource for PCNs to assess barriers to attending for vaccinations

  • Producing accessible, culturally sensitive, easy to read information

  • Identifying key local leaders such as faith and community leaders, GPs, Age Friendly Champions

The new variant of Covid-19 is thought to be 70% more infectious, which means it moves through communities very quickly. The main way to stop the spread of the new variant is to minimise contact with other people, and so it is imperative that everybody follows the lockdown restrictions and stays at home for all but essential purposes.


[3] International Travel Testing: From next week, anybody arriving into England, including UK nationals, will need to present a negative Covid-19 test taken up to 72 hours prior to departure, with fines of £500 for those who fail to comply. All passengers arriving from countries not on the travel corridor list will still be required to self-isolate for 10 days, regardless of their test result.


[4] Clinically Extremely Vulnerable Guidance: The guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 has been updated. Only people identified as clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to shield, and others living in their household are not advised to follow the guidance. We shared local messaging on this in an update earlier this week.


[5] Leeds City Council Services Update: Information on service changes during the lockdown can be found on our website.


[6] Volunteering: Volunteering is an exception and permitted under the lockdown rules, although consideration needs to be given to the risks involved and whether it is wise given the aim is to reduce contact.

  • Volunteering opportunities in Leeds can be found here.

  • For organisations looking to recruit volunteers, can be found here.


[7] Business Support Measures: A £4.6bn package of extra grants for firms affected by the new lockdown. Closed firms in retail, hospitality and leisure are to receive a one-off grant worth up to £9,000, as follows:

  • £4,000 for businesses with a rateable value of £15,000 or under

  • £6,000 for businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000

  • £9,000 for businesses with a rateable value of over £51,000

The grant is to be provided on a per-property basis and is expected to benefit over 600,000 business properties. A further £594m will be available for Local Authorities and the devolved assemblies to support firms that do not qualify for these grants. We will be in touch with more information later this week.


[8] Donated and Recycling Laptops and Devices: A list of local schemes is available on the 100% Digital Leeds website.


[9] Playground and Gym Guidance: Guidance for owners and operators of playgrounds and outdoor gyms has been updated to enable their use during the national lockdown.


[10] Primary School Applications: A reminder that parents and carers have until 15 January to submit their applications for their child’s primary school reception place for September 2021.


[11] Updated Guidance Documents: he following Government guidance documents have been updated in light of the national lockdown:


[12] Education:

  • GCSEs, A- and AS Level exams will not go ahead this summer, and that a form of teacher-assessed grades will be used, with training and support provided to ensure fair and consistent grading. Schools and colleges can continue with the vocational and technical exams that are due to take place in January, where they judge it right to do so. Statutory key stage 1 and key stage 2 tests and teacher assessments planned for summer 2021, including the key stage 2 tests in reading and mathematics, will not take place.

  • Ofsted will inspect schools – of any grade – where it has serious concerns about the quality of remote education being provided.

  • Where schools cannot offer food parcels or use local solutions, a national voucher scheme will be put in place so that every eligible child can access free school meals while their school remains closed.

  • Here is the Government’s definition of vulnerable children, and critical worker roles, to advise which children are eligible to attend school in person during the lockdown. We are aware that demand in some areas is higher than the risk assessment would allow. We have shared a letter with schools today to use for parents and carers to explain the position and ask for their cooperation in keeping their children at home if it is safe to do so. This is attached so that you have a copy. Guidance today from government emphasises the need to limit attendance in order to bring about a reduction of the overall number of contacts.

  • All secondary schools have been invited by the Government to order laptops and tablets through the ‘Get help with technology service’ to support remote education. Primary schools will be invited to order devices over the coming weeks, starting with the most disadvantaged areas. Support is also available to help families get internet access, including 4G wireless routers provided to schools and LAs by DfE, and a number of mobile network providers are offering free data increases to families.


[13] Leeds City Centre: All non-essential retailers in the city centre have now closed, and hospitality businesses continue to only offer take-away. Take-away alcohol is no longer allowed. Leeds Market and all three district markets remain open for essential retail only- this means fresh food, cafes (takeaway only), bike shops, plant shops and repair services (computer/phone). Non-essential retail can only trade by offering a click and collect service. Opening hours will be reviewed during the lockdown period in consultation with traders.


[14] Hunslet Tenants and Residents Association Report: The report is here.


[15] Hunslet Tenants and Residents Association Meeting: The recording of the meeting is here.


[16] Meadow Lane Major Roadworks: Details of the roadworks are here.


[17] Bund and Tree Removal - Rocheford Gardens: Details can be wound here.


[18] Community Hub & Library Opening Hours Consultation: You can have your say here.


[19] Seasonal Bedding and Floral Decorations Consultation: You can have your say here.


[20] You & Me, Me & You: Amazing new public art work on The Calls.


[21] In The News


[22] MICE Grants: In the last two weeks I agreed the following grants:


[23] Meetings and Visits:


[24] Upcoming Local Meetings, Events and Q&As:


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