In the middle of March life came COVID-19 and face to face meetings stopped and we gradually moved from phone to email and then Zoom and sometimes Skype.
My Ward colleagues have also been delivering food and prescriptions and white goods deliveries.
I have been home working!
My main tasks have been.
1. Assisting with the provision of information and resources to the Council and to the LS14 Community care HUB which was established in March. We have daily meetings by Zoom during the week.
2. Dealing with complex cases for people in vulnerable circumstances.
3. One concern has been peoples mental health and instances of isolation and loneliness pushing people to the verge of self-harm and suicidal thoughts… this has been a particular focus for the Friends and Neighbours staff and for carers of people with addictions. Referring recently bereaved to Cruse.
4. There are continual ongoing issues with resolving Kingsdale Court. Two blocks are being closed through the courts and sheeted to protect from vandalism. However when peoples flats have been broken into they have been ransacked.. We are looking at a solution…
5. The Gate pub has been demolished and there has been a hold on discussions about future plans.
6. We had a meeting at Queensview and Parkway Towers with Stuart Hodkinson from Leeds University about issues for residents in high rise blocks post-Grenfell.
7. We have provided some base funding for the Saturday night meals at St Richards Church. Thanks to Rev Mike Benwell for all he has done for the community before he leaves for retirement in Scotland.
8. Helping establish the provision of PPE for volunteers and staff in Seacroft to undertake their duties.
9. A time-consuming endeavour has been trying to balance the needs of the Travellers Community at Fearnville Leisure Centre and the concerns of the Fearnville estate residents. This has been delicate. In these difficult times, Travellers need a safe place to stay and that has been provided with washing and shower facilities at a leisure centre that is currently closed but in return, they have to respect the wishes of the surrounding community.
10. Ongoing casework unrelated to COVID has continued..blocked chutes; housing issues; repairs; rats because of hoarding; many benefits issues relating to Universal Credit claims; fly-tipping; noisy neighbours; waste dumping on Parklands Field; ASB at Boggart Hill shops; when will the tips reopen and dealing with garden waste; a rooster chicken that was keeping resident awake has been removed!!; Serene maintenance contracts; the need for dog walkers for isolated; ongoing Parking tickets at Tesco’s – now hopefully resolved!!; use of pension annuities; litter at the Blacks shops; grants for teaching BSL; request to speak on Chapel FM and an Asian radio station; commenting on the proposed petrol station on the Ring Road which we are opposed to; finding gardeners for people; sourcing fridges and fridge freezers via donations and an appeal on Chapel FM. Follow up on an NHS volunteer case for a man discharged from hospital who wasn’t at home!!
11. We have hotlines to the DWP and to the Council Housing Options teams and repairs and everyone has been fantastic in the way in which people have been helped. This is in spite of a system of UC that really is not fit for purpose as it automatically puts people into debt. Agencies like the Money Buddies – for the debt – and the Green Doctor – for fuel issues – have been great at resolving matters. I must say I have the utmost praise for the Council officers who have turned their hands to do anything to support the communities.
12. Citywide issues we have been asked to comment on have included a Universal Basic Income; the Leeds Bradford Airport Expansion; and locally the development of Crossgates Library.
13. Attending meetings of the Seacroft Local Care Partnership and we are setting up a meeting to discuss mental health issues in Seacroft.
14. Consultation regarding the proposed Toucan Crossing on York Road as part of the Serene KeepMoat development.
15. Resolving issues for Young people leaving care who are in transitional properties who have found life harder than ever.
16. People who are trying to escape drug dealers who they owe money to.
17. Nitrous Oxide canisters being littered and asking who is supplying?
18. We are in discussion with Seacroft Colts football club regarding S106 funding to provide security fencing and facilities for the club which has no changing rooms or toilets after 30 years!!!
19. Concerns about deaths in Care Homes in the area through COVID -19.
Cllr David Jenkins
Killingbeck and Seacroft Ward