Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Residents prosecuted for failing to deal with rubbish

Five Leeds residents are counting the cost of falling foul of environmental laws.

Four of the five were found guilty at Leeds Magistrates Court last week for failing to deal with rubbish properly while the other contravened a Dog Control Order.

Julie Thompson of Brompton Row was fined £200 for throwing loose items of household waste straight into her garden at a previous address. When rubbish was bagged it was also left to accumulate in the garden instead of going in the wheeled bin provided. She was also ordered to pay a £20 victim surcharge and costs of £403.63.

Rubbish from refurbishment works left to pile up in the front garden of Shaida Misri’s Atha Street property ended up with a £400 fine for the Cross Flatts resident. Costs of £481.77 and a victim surcharge of £40 must also be paid.

Another £400 fine was handed out to Andrea Dutton of Tempest Road when she left rubbish to build up in her yard. She was also ordered to pay £548.50 in costs and a £40 victim surcharge.

Hayley Kitson of Manor Farm Drive, Middleton, left furniture and waste piled up in her garden. She also allowed dog faeces to accumulate to such an extent it caused a public health issue. Both offences resulted in a £675 fine plus a £40 victim surcharge and £400 costs.

In each case, the defendants were given ample time and advice to move and deal with the waste. Failure to do so resulted in legal notices under sections 46 and 92a of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 being issued as well as s79 of the Public Health Act 1936 in Kitson’s case. Ignoring these in all cases lead to prosecution.

Deborah Hooton of Thorpe View, Middleton allowed her dog to roam unattended on a public highway. This contravenes Leeds’ Dog Control Orders designed to keep dogs and road users safe and to ensure owners pick up after their pets. Having pleaded guilty, Hooton was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay a £15 victim surcharge along with costs of £629.33.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for cleaner, stronger and safer communities, said:

“These residents have displayed a real disregard for their neighbours and communities by failing to sort out their rubbish or letting their pets wander. Waste left to accumulate like this is not just unsightly; it can become a magnet for pests and can encourage flytipping while dogs straying and fouling is simply unacceptable.

“We’ve always said that we are happy to work with people and we have services to help but we can and will take legal action to nip this type of negative behaviour in the bud.”

Information on waste services and clean streets can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/waste.


For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

Takeaway closed due to hygiene concerns

Environmental health officers have taken urgent action to close a Leeds takeaway due to serious concerns about cleanliness and public health.

Upon inspection earlier this month, officers found evidence of rats as well as housekeeping and hygiene issues in RFC at 11a Cherry Row. A Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Notice was served forcing the business to close.

The council has now applied for and been granted a Hygiene Emergency Prohibition Order at Leeds Magistrates Court. The order means that the takeaway must remain closed until officers are satisfied that the risk to public health has been removed.

Officers have been working with the business owner to bring hygiene and food safety standards up since an original inspection in July 2014 raised concerns.

A follow-up inspection earlier this month indicated that general hygiene had not improved and rat droppings were found on surfaces, in equipment and food handling areas as well as food display areas.

Business owners must now take action to resolve the issues. Only once environmental health officers are satisfied that there is no longer a risk to public health will they issue a certificate that states the health risk condition no longer exists and the business re-open.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for cleaner, stronger and safer communities, said:

“While we don’t like closing businesses, clearly this business can’t continue to trade whilst there is such risk to public health.

“Environmental health officers are our eyes and ears behind the scenes in kitchens across the city, ensuring businesses comply with food safety legislation and helping them to improve standards. Customers of these businesses can access the results of the officer’s hard work through the food hygiene rating scheme.

“Customers can also rest assured in the knowledge that where a business falls short of the required standards, then we will quickly take action.”

Leeds City Council regulates all food businesses in Leeds and environmental health officers regularly inspect restaurants, takeaways and other eateries to ensure they comply with strict food safety legislation.

The outcome of these inspections is a rating based on the Food Standard Agency’s national food hygiene rating scheme.

Potential customers can check how clean their chosen eatery is by viewing ratings at http://ratings.food.gov.uk/.

Businesses can contact the food safety team at Leeds City Council for advice and residents can contact them to report any concerns on 0113 247 6286 or food.safety@leeds.gov.uk.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

Rosemont future under review

Council Deputy Leader Councillor Peter Gruen has held an urgent meeting with residents at the Rosemont in Bramhope following recent confusion caused by a letter being sent out in error by Leeds City Council.

The council have concerns about the quality of the accommodation and the feasibility of converting it in a way which would meet basic standards for privacy and mobility, and are therefore looking at future options for the site.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods, Planning and Personnel said:

“I wanted the chance to meet with residents to confirm that there will be a six week consultation period to ensure they are able to make their views known about the proposals. We will fully consider their views and take them into account in the decision making process. I also want to let them know personally that I was neither aware of, nor had authorised the letter which was sent to residents telling them Rosemont was to close. I was profoundly disappointed to find out that it had been sent in error.

“I have explained we don’t want to force anyone to move out, but I also wanted to point out that significant investment of almost £10 million has been made in sheltered housing in the area and the opportunities this presents for better, warmer, safer accommodation.

“We are not convinced Rosemont’s bedsit accommodation provides good enough quality facilities for the future, with many residents required to share bathing facilities and use very small kitchens. In our view the building layout and the fact that it is on a very steep slope, makes it not practical to upgrade to current standards for access for people with disabilities. We are of course also aware of the Building Regulations relating to DDA compliance.

“I absolutely understand that the idea of moving when you have lived somewhere for a while and feel settled can be daunting, in the event we make the difficult decision to close we will provide tailored personal support to all tenants to meet their housing and support needs.”

For further information contact:

Phil Morcom
Communications and Marketing team
Leeds City Council

Tel: 0113 224 3602
Fax: 0113 247 4736
www.leeds.gov.uk

Statement on recommendation for West Yorkshire Combined Authority to be considered for ‘Devolved City Status’


The Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield has made the following statement responding to a recommendation by the City Growth Commission today that the West Yorkshire Combined Authority should be considered to be given unprecedented levels of devolved powers and responsibilities.

Leader of Leeds City Council Councillor Keith Wakefield said:

“We very much welcome the historic recommendations of the City Growth Commission report and especially the findings of independent experts that we are ready to be trusted with unprecedented levels of decision-making, fiscal powers and responsibility.

“We have said all along that we need to be able to shape our own destiny rather than continue to be dictated to and held back by Whitehall, and these recommendations would enable us to make the major improvements we need. These powers would give us the ability to strengthen our communities and make real and long-term improvements to people’s prospects and their lives. The Leeds City Region would become a net contributor to the UK economy within five years.

“The debate over whether or not devolution should happen is over. Let's get on and make it a reality and show that the confidence placed in us is more than justified to usher in a bright new future for the people of Leeds and the wider region.”

To see the full report by the City Growth Commission, go to http://www.thersa.org/unleashing-metro-growth

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde,
Leeds City Council press office,
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk