Friday, 23 April 2010

Response to canal wharf protection plans “overwhelming”

Proposals to protect vital canal wharves in Leeds, potentially getting thousands of tonnes of freight off the roads and on to the canal network, have received overwhelming levels of support.

Leeds is blessed with a remarkably well-connected and still navigable canal network and, while most people now associate them with pleasure cruises and walks, our canals could once again become major transport links.

Leeds City Council has proposed to give canal wharves and railway sidings protection under planning regulation to protect them from inappropriate development, thereby depriving the city of sites that could be used to transport goods into and waste out of the city.

A consultation on the council’s proposed Natural Resources and Waste Local Development Framework received an overwhelming level of support for protecting canal wharves. As a result, the council is doing further work on planning for freight by canal and rail to try and sort out some issues over land use.

A single barge can carry up to 750 tonnes of goods – taking a staggering 35 lorries off our roads and reducing the impact on the environment.

However, traditionally there hasn’t been sufficient protection for sites adjacent to the canal and rail sidings and, as a result, they have been lost to ‘higher value’ uses such as housing.

Following the response to its consultation, the council has now approached Network Rail on developing a plan and hopes to work with the Commercial Boat Operators Association to see what its members’ needs are. The council will work with the owners of these sites and interested parties to ensure that any development is appropriate, and although not all sites may be suitable for longer-term use as freight depots it is hoped that where possible these may be retained. It is hoped protection for these wharves and sidings will continue into the final proposals due later this year.

Councillor Andrew Carter, leader of Leeds City Council and executive board member for development, said:
“These canals once carried the lifeblood of Leeds and we hope that by protecting wharves from development they may once again have a big part to play in our city’s prosperity.
“It is pleasing to see that many others support these proposals as well.
“As alternatives to road and air transport become increasingly important, we believe it is vital that we preserve wharves which could be used by companies to bring goods into and export waste out of our city.”

ENDS
For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937
e-mail: michael.molcher@leeds.gov.uk

Chance to kit out your baby in real nappies for free in Leeds

One lucky family in Leeds will win the chance to kit out their baby in free environmentally-friendly nappies as part of a big push to mark Real Nappy Week.

Leeds City Council is supporting the national campaign with a series of activities and promotional events around the city from April 26-May 2.

Around three billion disposable nappies are thrown away in the UK each year, with the vast majority going straight to landfill. The Real Nappy Information Service, also known as Go Real, estimates that parents can save around £500 per child by using washable nappies.

Staff from Leeds City Council’s recycling communications section will be helping promote Real Nappy Week and encouraging people to enter a free prize draw to win a £200-plus birth to potty pack of Tots Bots real nappies and accessories.

They will also be promoting the council’s real nappies incentive scheme, where parents can get a free pack to try with their baby. If they decide to continue using them they can claim £30 cash back when they spend £50 on real nappies.

Susan Upton, head of waste management at Leeds City Council, said:
“We are working very hard to find ways to minimise the amount of rubbish we send to landfill. Disposable nappies not only take up a great deal of space, they also take a very long time to decompose. We are committed to supporting the use of real nappies, both through our incentive scheme and via Real Nappy Week.”

National Real Nappy Week organisers Go Real are this year using a wide variety of social media to get their message across, with video and audio content on their website and the use of interactive activities.

Real Nappy Week events in Leeds are as follows:
Sun 25th April 11am-4pm, Mum, Dad, Toddler and Baby Show, Elland Road Conference Centre
Mon 26th April 10-11am, Rothwell Children’s Centre, Stay and Play drop in, at the Rose Lund Centre, Sixth Ave, Rothwell
10am-12pm, Crossgates Shopping Centre, Crossgates.
2pm-4pm Mothercare, Crown Point Retail Park.
2pm-4pm, Blue, Pink, Green Shop, Unit 3 Swinnow Court, Stanningley Road, Bramley.
Tue 27th April 10am-12pm, Blue, Pink, Green Shop, Unit 3 Swinnow Court, Stanningley Road, Bramley
1.30-2.30pm, Swarcliffe Children’s Centre, Langbar Road
Wed 28th Apr 10am-12pm, Mothercare, Crown Point Retail Park.
2 -4 pm, Boots store at Colton Retail Park
Thur 29th April 10-11.30, Otley Clinic drop-in, Manor Square
10am-12.30, Baby Direct, 96-98 New Road Side, Horsforth
2pm-4pm, Blue, Pink Green Shop, Unit 3 Swinnow Court, Stanningley Road, Bramley
5-6.30pm, Aireborough Extended Services drop-in event, Aireborough Leisure Centre.
Fri 30th April 11am-1pm, Crossgates Shopping Centre.
2-4pm, Baby Direct, New Road Side, Horsforth.
2.30-4.30 pm, Mothercare, Crown Point Retail Park.
Wed 5th May 1-3 pm, Rothwell Children’s Centre weigh-in at the Rose Lund Centre.

Notes to editors:
For more information in Leeds about real nappies and the incentive scheme, email info.recycling@leeds.gov.uk or call 0113 395 0778
• For the Leeds City Council free prize draw, entries are limited to one per household, and to parents or guardians of babies under 12 months old, or pregnant women who have a MAT B1 form. The winner will need to prove the above, and will be invited to take part in publicity. Competition not open to Leeds City Council staff. Entries must be received on the postcards, which are available at the above events and at children’s centres across Leeds. For full terms and conditions and details about the council’s incentive scheme and other information about real nappies, go to www.leeds.gov.uk/nappy
• Go Real provides support and advice to parents, local authorities, community nappy projects, manufacturers, retailers, health and childcare professionals on choosing and using “real”, washable nappies, see www.goreal.org.uk

Nappy Facts from Go Real:
Parents can save over £500 by using real nappies as opposed to leading disposable brands, more if they are used for subsequent children.
Three billion nappies a year- eight million a day- are thrown away in the UK. They are estimated to weigh 690,000 tonnes and 90% end up in landfill.
A recent Government report stated that real nappies are 40% better for the environment than disposables when simple washing guidelines are followed.


For media enquiries please contact:
Donna Cox, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3335
e-mail: donna.cox@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

Have your say on airport noise reduction

Leeds City Council is urging residents around Leeds Bradford Airport to have their say about reducing noise.

The draft noise action plan, set out by the airport, is set to finish on April 27, which leaves residents less than a week to have their say about the control of noise from aircrafts for the next five years.

The consultation sets out measures the airport want to adopt to keep noise under control, and how they will achieve this, identifying positive engagement with the local community as key in looking at new ways to improve the effectiveness of its communication towards reducing noise impact.

The airport is keen to hear the views of local communities and suggestions for ways in which the action plan can be improved.

Councillor Chris Townsley, chair of the Leeds City Council outer north west area committee said:
“It is important that local residents have their say about the noise action plan proposed by the airport to ensure their voices are heard and suggestions listened to.”

There are already measures in place to limit noise generated through activities and operation at the airport, but further measures are to be developed to reduce the impact of noise.

The Draft Noise Action Plan can be found on Leeds Bradford Airport website at: http://www.leedsbradfordairport.co.uk/airportcompany-environment-noiseactionplanconsultation.php


Ends
For media enquiries, please contact;
Cat Milburn, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 4450
Email: Catherine.milburn@leeds.gov.uk