Your Weekly Hunslet and Riverside Residents Update 25/10/20

This is my latest roundup of local news and Coronavirus updates for Hunslet and Riverside residents. There are several links to more detailed information from the Government, the Council and others within the post. In this update you will find:

[1] Covid-19 Cases, Mortality, Infection Rates and Outbreaks

[2] Covid-19 Schools Update

[3] Covid-19 Support for Local People

[4] Free School Meals

[5] Retirement LIFE Communal Lounges

[6] Leeds Economic Recovery Framework

[7] Remembrance Sunday

[8] Leeds International Film Festival

[9] Leeds Christmas Lights

[10] Baby Week Leeds

[11] Housing Leeds Estate Walkabout: Bismarcks, Disraelis and Moorville Close

[12] Meetings and Visits

[13] Latest Councillor Newsletter

[14] Upcoming Community Events and Meeting

Previous updates can be found here: Local News Summary. Thank you for reading in advance. Just to mention this website is not paid for by the Council,and costs time and money to run. Please consider making a donation now and support me to keep it delivering you local news.

[1] Covid-19 Cases, Mortality, Infection Rates and Outbreaks: Our shared aim in the city is to help more people, to do more of the right thing, more of the time, because they choose to. So, remembering that restrictions are only one part of the jigsaw, and that the overall aim is to reduce contacts to help break the chain of the virus, please:

  • Make space and stay 2m away from people you do not live with;

  • Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds;

  • Cover your face in enclosed spaces; and

  • Isolate when you need to/are advised to, and getting a test if you have symptoms.

The latest infection rates are 401.2 per 100,000, with the Leeds 7 day positivity test rate of 14.1%. Only two city wards have a rate of less than 200 per 100,000 and 12 wards have a rate over 400 per 100,000. The rate of over 59s, has gone up to 283 per 100,000.

There are currently 25 care homes with infections, of which four have two or more residents affected. An agreed protocol is in place to have proactive clinical support in cases of an outbreak, and we are reinforcing infection protection control training for staff. Thank you to all the care home staff working through these challenging times.

The biggest current outbreak in the city is in HMP Leeds, with an outbreak of 16 positive cases of staff, with this being well supported.

University case number continue to fall and are around 20% lower than the previous week. A plan is being jointly developed for the Christmas holidays for student departure from the city and the January return.

Regrettably, the rate of deaths has started to rise again, with the latest figures showing 719 Covid-19 related deaths registered so far:

  • 704 (98%) were Leeds residents

  • 404 (56%) were in hospitals

  • 273 (38%) were in care homes

  • 13 (2%) in a hospice

  • 29 (4%) in their own home

A reminder of the new national dashboard for Covid-19 data, that is being developed and an experimental version of the page is available on the gov.uk website here. This data set shows daily as well as cumulative cases and offers the functionality to search by area. The data set includes a new interactive map of 7 day rolling average Covid-19 cases by local area (Middle layer Super Output Area).

[2] Covid-19 Schools Update: Across Leeds as of 14:00 on 23/10/20, 7,168 pupils (out of 126,976 – just over 5%) and 739 education staff (out of 13,910 just over 5%) are self-isolating. 124 bubbles or year groups remain closed (although please note that secondary schools have been sending home high numbers of pupils without closing a bubble or year group). No schools are fully closed.

In terms of cases, 32 secondary schools have live cases; 20 have more than 10 cases; and of these 4 have more than 30 cases. 88 primary schools have live cases, of which 59 have more than one case; of these 20 schools have more than 5 cases. Six special schools or sites have live cases; 4 of these have more than one case.

The impact on schools continues to be closely monitored with advice and support provided to schools where needed. The Council (and indeed myself) wish to thank all the schools staff for their efforts and hope they get a break over half term.

[3] Covid-19 Support for Local People: We are monitoring the need for support to vulnerable residents with contingency plans are in place to step up support if demand significantly increases.

  • The Covid helpline is currently being automatically ported to the Local Welfare

  • Support Service line (0113 3760330), which currently has good capacity. Should calls to the line increase significantly, contingency plans are in place for frontline

  • officers to support with answering calls.

  • A system is being implemented through DEFRA to allow LWSS staff to book priority supermarket slots for vulnerable customers, and is expected to be in place this month.

  • Fareshare’s emergency food supply, provided by DEFRA and national suppliers, came to an end in September. Supported by the Council, FareShare will continue working to source food from surplus sources with their food supply returning to pre pandemic levels. If there is evidence that more emergency food is required the Council, Voluntary Action Leeds and Fareshare will ensure that this is raised with government and national suppliers, and in addition the Council has earmarked funding to purchase food if necessary.

  • The Community Care Volunteer Hubs remain in place with funding until the end of 2020. Voluntary Action Leeds have implemented a platform to allow for flexible recruitment of volunteers to meet the requirements of the hubs.

  • Active communication with around 36,000 people within the clinically vulnerable people (previously in the shielding group) is in place to ensure people are aware of ways to manage their risk and access support if needed. Preparations are underway to ensure that the right kinds of support.

  • As I shared with you last week, a Self-Isolation Support scheme is now in place for eligible individuals to access a £500 lump sum to allow them to self-isolate.

[4] Free School Meals: The city has responded to the government’s decision not to provide free school meals during the half term break in a positive way by coming together, including a contribution from LUFC players, to ensure that provision is in place for anyone who needs it. Here is a media release about the Council and its partners working together, building on the excellent work of the Healthy Holidays programme.

[5] Retirement LIFE Communal Lounges: In response to Leeds moving into the tier 2 High alert level, Housing Leeds have taken the decision that Retirement Life communal lounges will remain closed until further notice in accordance with the local restrictions to reduce social contact and slow the spread of infection. Tenants living in Retirement Life schemes are particularly vulnerable to the virus and it is important that additional precautions are taken at this time. This decision will be reviewed subject to further changes to government guidance. Tenants will be made aware by email and wellbeing contacts, and signage will be refreshed in schemes.

The Council fully recognises the impact of restrictions on the health and well-being of our tenants and the increased risk of social isolation and we are doing all that we can to support them as we plan for the winter months ahead. Housing Leeds will continue to support Retirement LIFE tenants through our telephone welfare contacts, doorstep visits and general presence on schemes to undertake essential health and safety activity. In addition, we are looking at a series of options to meet the needs of different tenants within schemes, and this could include a combination of the following:

  • Offering some virtual activities via digital technology, e.g. scheme zoom meetings. We have recently done a tenant survey and 30% of our tenants were interested in this.

  • Using our wellbeing telephone calls / visits with tenants to proactively discuss health and wellbeing at a 121 level.

  • Working with the neighbourhood networks and other voluntary / community groups to support health and wellbeing activity.

  • Sharing information with tenants on ‘bubbles’ and how these can be used to reduce isolation.

  • Promoting to tenants a toolkit / checklist of things to keep themselves physically and mentally active.

  • Sharing some of the important winter planning messages with tenants as part of the wellbeing contacts with tenants, e.g. checking that tenants have had their flu jab, have enough medicines etc.

[6] Leeds Economic Recovery Framework: Following the Councils Executive Board, its Economic Recovery Framework was launched and for those interest, a briefing note containing a range of useful information is attached.

[7] Remembrance Sunday: We have continued to update you on our work around Remembrance Sunday, and we released a press release for our residents this week.

[8] Leeds International Film Festival will be taking place from 3rd to 19th November in venues across the city, and, for the first time, via a new online platform, Leeds Film Player, to allow people to enjoy the festival from their own homes. See the Festival Guide for the programme and more information.

[9] Leeds Christmas Lights: Here is a press release on behalf of Leeds City Council updating residents on our first ever virtual Christmas lights switch-on.

[10] Baby Week Leeds: Baby Week Leeds is back for the fifth time between 9 – 15 November 2020 with many amazing events and this year the theme is “stay safe, stay connected”. Baby Week Leeds aims to raise awareness of a baby's important growth and development, mentally and physically, in order to give the best start.

Over the week there will be a half-day free conference for all professionals focused on promoting the best start, maternity, mental health and health inequalities, and the experiences faced by parents, health professionals and the local authority during COVID-19.

There will also be a Q&A session with experts for new and expectant parents so local residents have a chance to ask questions, share their ideas and experience. Our partners have put a fantastic schedule of free taster sessions and there are plans to plant a tree for every baby born in Leeds developing a Baby Week Forest!

For more information about the programme of events for #BabyWeekLeeds and visit www.babyweek.co.uk.

[11] Housing Leeds Estate Walkabout: Bismarcks, Disraelis and Moorville Close: You can read the finding of this estate walkabout here.

[12] Meetings and Visits: As part of my many different roles I attend meetings with:

This is on top of my doing casework for residents via email, telephone and social media.

[13] Latest Councillor Newsletter: Here is a digital copy of our latest newsletter.

[14] Upcoming Community Events and Meetings:


26/10/20: Friends of the Aire - Foundation Meeting (Zoom)

1/11/20: GoodGym Hunslet Common Bulb Planting

6/11/20: Ask Your Councillor (Live Stream - Past event can be re-watched here)

17/11/20: Leeds Dock Residents Meeting (Zoom)

If you have a community event you'd like me to share, please let me know. The events must be non-party political and for the whole community. I'll also offer to host the Facebook event page if your group does not have its own Facebook Page etc. to do so.

Thank you for reading in this weekly update. This website is not paid for by the Council and costs time and money to run. Please support it by making a donation now.