Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Decision day for proposals over new controls on dogs

Proposals that place new controls on dogs and responsibilities on their owners across Leeds are unveiled today, after a city-wide consultation produced thousands of responses.

Leeds City Council has responded to the views raised by the consultation over Dog Control Orders and proposals are to go before the Executive Board next week (Wednesday 3 November).

The proposals are:
• To limit the number of dogs which can be walked by a single person to six
• Exclude dogs from children’s play areas in some parks
• Give council staff the power to direct any owner to put their dog on a lead if it is causing a nuisance or annoyance.


Almost 2,000 responses were received to the consultation over what the council should do with its new powers, including formal responses from local parish councils and The Dogs Trust.

It will be a criminal offence to breach the new orders. On conviction the offence can result in a fine of up to £1,000 or an offender can choose to pay a fixed penalty to avoid prosecution.

During 2009/10, the council received 684 complaints about dog fouling in the city, issued 96 fixed penalty notices for dog fouling and prosecuted 11 people.

Almost three quarters of all the responses were from dog owners, with a similar number supporting curbs on the number of dogs that could be walked at the same time, while eight out of ten agreed that dogs should be banned from playgrounds and ornamental gardens. Although there was less than 30 per cent in support of an order requiring all dogs across the city to be put on leads, 74 per cent agreed that it should be an offence not to put your dog on a lead when directed to by a council officer.

Councillor Tom Murray, Leeds City Council’s executive board member for environmental health, said:
“We want to promote responsible dog ownership but there is a minority of owners who do not take those responsibilities seriously.
“Dog dirt, nuisance dogs and strays should not be allowed to blight our streets and these proposals will help us tackle these problems.
“Most importantly, the plan would ban dogs from children’s play areas – protecting youngsters from picking up potentially dangerous infections from dog dirt.”

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

Leeds Arena – councillors to give green light for the next phase

Senior councillors will meet next week to approve the detailed design and cost plans for the Leeds Arena.

At a meeting on Wednesday 3 November, members of Leeds City Council’s executive board will be told that the scheme is progressing well, on time and within budget and due to be completed at the end of 2012 in time for the venue opening early 2013.

The report also comes on the back of news that the scheme has been awarded an entertainment premises licence which means the venue can legally operate as an arena when the building is complete.

Councillor Richard Lewis, executive member responsible for city development, said:

“It is fantastic that, as planned, we are now in a position to move forward into the next phase of the Leeds Arena project, in anticipation of building work starting on site early next year.

“In these difficult economic times the Leeds Arena project will boost the construction industry and bring jobs, training opportunities and economic investment to the city,

“It will act as a catalyst for the regeneration of the northern quarter of the city centre and landowners are now starting to bring forward proposals to take advantage of the economic opportunities arising from scheme. This is will improve both the quality and diversity of the area and its linkages between the city centre and Little London.

“We will continue our work to create an acoustically and visually excellent performance venue, while ensuring the whole city benefits from the economic, social and cultural opportunities the arena will bring. “

Excavations of the city centre arena site at Clay Pit Lane are now complete, hoardings are up and initial survey work has been completed. The building’s external designs were published in August and have now been finalised.

Construction work is expected to start in early 2011. And for people who are keen to see the arena take shape, a small visitor centre will be set up on the site for people to watch progress.

The executive board report reveals that it is expected the venue will attract at least 1 million visitors a year to the city, providing in the region of 330 new jobs and bringing around £25million a year to the city’s economy.

Further details on the internal design reveal that the venue will be a fan or theatre style with all seats facing the performance area. The lower bowl will have around 7,000 seats, with around 900 seats and 15 rows of retractable seating to create a large standing area.

The upper bowl will have around 5,300 seats. Spectators will be much closer to the stage than other traditional bowl venues.

The building will also have several environmentally friendly features: 31per cent of the building’s heat will come from low and zero carbon sources; it will have a special system which collects rainwater for water, responsibly sourced materials and a green sedum roof.
Ends

Notes to editors:
The Design and Cost Report – Proposed Leeds Arena Capital Scheme Number: 13307/COM/000 will be presented to a meeting of Leeds City Council’s executive board on Wednesday 3 November. Copies of the full report are available on the council’s website using the following address: http://democracy.leeds.gov.uk/ieDocHome.aspx?Categories=

The report also outlines how the scheme has now been developed to RIBA Stage D+ and fits within the design and cost parameters previously agreed by the executive board.


Ends

For media enquiries please contact:
Sara Hyman, Leeds City Council press office tel: (0113) 224 3602
Email sara.hyman@leeds.gov.uk