Wednesday, 18 August 2010

Housing gets the gold standard for equality

Cheering for equality: ENEHL Chief Executive Steve Hunt celebrates on the steps of Leeds civic Hall with Diversity Champions, staff and tenants

One of the organisations that looks after Leeds’ council housing has gone for gold and won praise for its commitment to equality.

East North East Homes Leeds (ENEHL) has received the prestigious Committed to Equality (C2E) Gold Award accreditation for its commitment to equal opportunities as a housing services provider and employer.

The award recognises ENEHL as being in the top 10% of companies in the country for its equality achievements in terms of commitment, training, monitoring, knowledge, recruitment and HR processes.

The assessment took place over six weeks involving colleagues from all levels of the company and consisting of 22 comprehensive checks of different work practices. The six-week project was setup and mentored by staff from Equality Accreditation Services Ltd.
Keys areas where ENEHL passed with flying colours were in demonstrating fair employment practices, spending tax payers’ money with equality and diversity assured suppliers and ensuring a level playing field in employment for people from all backgrounds and abilities. This accreditation will help to demonstrate that ENEHL is an employer and service provider of choice.

Angelena Fixter, chair of East North East Homes Leeds Board, said:
“We take equality and diversity very seriously as a provider of housing services and as an employer.
“I’m thrilled and delighted to say we really stepped up to the mark to achieve the gold standard and demonstrate that we value being an inclusive organisation”.

Vivienne Duke, CEO of Equality Accreditation Services Ltd, said:
“ENEHL success in achieving the Gold Award is a clear demonstration of their commitment to be at the forefront of equality and diversity standards.”

James Russell, Equality Accreditation Services Advisor to the project, said:
“It was a pleasure to work with the Equality team and through their hard work and professional focus, they have achieved an outstanding result in a relatively short time scale”.

Notes to editors:
East North East Homes Leeds
is one of three Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO) which manage and maintain council housing on behalf of Leeds City Council. It is wholly owned by the council, which retains ownership of housing stock and sets rents.
East North East Homes Leeds manages 19,000 council-owned residential properties in Boston Spa, Burmantofts, Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Collingham, Gipton, Halton Moor, Harehills, Linton, Meanwood, Moor Allerton, Moortown, Seacroft, and Wetherby.

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937

Council seizes gadgets after noisy neighbour ignores warnings

A man who played music so loud that council officers heard it down the street has had his audio equipment seized.

Declan Finnegan of Beacon Avenue, Morley, will now be prosecuted by Leeds City Council after he ignored an order instructing him to keep the noise down.

Mr Finnegan plagued his neighbours with loud music, television programmes and shouting throughout the day and night. Council officers, supported by the police and officials from Aire Valley Homes, removed audio equipment, including a television, Playstation, DVD player and freeview console.

Neighbours in the same block of flats complained of very loud music, television programmes and shouting from the flat throughout the day and night. Complaints were made throughout December last year and the council quickly served a ‘noise abatement notice’ on New Year’s Eve.

However, breaches of the notice were witnessed by council officers on January, March and August. On one occasion, visiting officers could hear music blasting out as they turned into Beacon Avenue. He was also witnessed watching the TV programme “Mock the Week” at full volume.

The council will now prosecute Mr Finnegan the Environmental Protection Act 1990 for breaching the abatement notice.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental health, said:
“Residents should be able to live their lives without their sleep and family life being disrupted by neighbours making excessive and unnecessary noise.
“Where people’s lives are being made a misery by noise we will take action. If warnings are ignored, it is important that people understand they will end up in court.”

For media enquiries please contact:
Michael Molcher, Leeds City Council (0113) 224 3937