Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Residents pay price of forgetting to bring bins in

Leaving bins lying around in the street has proved a costly experience for a group of residents in Headingley during the area’s environmental action campaign.

Leeds City Council recently ran a six-week education and enforcement campaign to heighten awareness of environmental issues in the Headingley and Hyde Park areas.

However, despite environmental teams sending out information leaflets and letters and door-knocking around local streets to remind people of their responsibilities, five residents have had to be issued with fixed penalty notices.

After ignoring warning notices outlining how they should store their household waste and present it for collection, the five people in one house in Langdale Terrace, Headingley, each received a notice to pay £75 (reduced to £60 if paid within seven days).

A further six properties in the street have also been issued with warning notices for not bringing their bins in when they should.

Officers intend to return to the area in the New Year once residents start returning after the holidays to the largely-student areas. If necessary, further enforcement action will be taken.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services, Leeds City Council, said:
“Our environmental action teams put a lot of effort into making sure that local residents were well-informed about their responsibilities before the enforcement part of this campaign began.

“I went out door-knocking with them myself and got plenty of positive feedback from people living in the area, so it’s disappointing to see people failing to so something as simple as bringing their bin in after it’s emptied. We hope that they will learn from this and remember it’s up to them to ensure their neighbourhood is kept nice for everybody or we won’t hesitate to take action.”

The campaign was intended to address problems with littering, poor parking and other environmental issues. It began by focussing on the bins belonging to 3,400 households. Addresses were stencilled on them and letters were posted through doors with reminders about how the local environment could be improved.

They included tips on how to get large items picked up for free by the council’s bulky waste collection service, information about local recycling points, how to report littering- which can attract fines of up to £75- and how to park safely and responsibly.

Officers then went out knocking on doors to reinforce these messages before they started handing out the warnings about fixed penalty notices. There will be follow-up activity in the area throughout the year.

In the months building up to the campaign work on environmental improvements to the area took place. The probation service helped with binyard clearances and a programme of graffiti removal took place. Communal bin points are also being introduced in areas where space is tight.

A variety of partner websites are also being used to host year-round messages to back up the themes of the campaign.


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


ENDS

Call for Leeds to be inspired gets underway


Picture caption: Leeds Inspired logo

A brand new cultural programme in Leeds designed to focus all creative talent in the city around a single theme is now underway.

The programme entitled ‘Leeds Inspired’ which is being led by Leeds City Council is open to any creative, cultural or sporting organisation, group or individual to put forward their ideas for events and activities to showcase talent and culture in Leeds.

All of the proposed ideas need to be based around a single yearly theme, which for the first year has been inspired by the London 2012 Olympic Games and the broader ideas of performance, creativity and excellence it stimulates in people of all ages and backgrounds.

The home page of the official website - www.leedsinspired.co.uk - which will act as the focal point for the programme is now live, with more information and application forms available for anyone keen to get involved to present their ideas and apply for funding to carry them out.

The website, which will go live in Feb 2012, will offer a pick-and-mix collection of cultural happenings across Leeds, including both mainstream and fleet-of-foot, do-it-yourself, community-led projects and events, to make the cultural landscape in Leeds easy for people view and find their way around.

Total funding of approximately £400,000 is available for Leeds Inspired, with support of up to £15,000 on offer for each potential idea. The deadline for the first round of applications is Friday 20 January 2012, with a second round to follow with a deadline of Tuesday 20 March.

As the project is to run all year, there will also be a smaller funding pot entitled ‘Leeds Inspired Rapid’ available at any time to offer support quickly to ideas which are generated once the programme is up and running.

‘Leeds Inspired’ represents the first time any such attempt to focus all creative and cultural talent in the city around a single theme has ever been undertaken.

Leeds City Council's executive member for leisure Councillor Adam Ogilvie said:

“Our city is jam-packed with creative talent which is adventurous and passionately independent. Leeds Inspired is the city’s new annual cultural programme that will combine brand new commissions with well-loved events to create a cultural and sporting calendar that will be bursting at the seams.

“This is an opportunity to lift the city’s cultural scene and make it even more visible, to increase its growing connectivity and to support our many cultural pioneers. So I would encourage anyone interested in getting involved to visit the website and apply with their own ideas.”

For more information visit the Leeds Inspired website at www.leedsinspired.co.uk, on Twitter @LeedsInspired and the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/LeedsInspired


ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, Leisure media relations officer,
Tel 0113 247 5472 Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk

City partners join forces to tackle big issues in Leeds

A city-wide debate about how to deliver a “stronger, healthier and more prosperous future” for Leeds was such a success it will now become an annual event.

The first State of the City meeting this month brought together key figures from the public, private and voluntary sectors, along with young people and councillors, to consider how to pool the city’s talents to tackle some of the biggest issues facing Leeds.

There was a strong contribution from the young people, who had the opportunity to talk to decision-makers face-to-face about the issues that matter most to them, such as transport and work opportunities.

Such was the positive buy-in to the pioneering initiative at Leeds Civic Hall, hosted by Leeds City Council, that council Leader Councillor Keith Wakefield has announced it will now become an annual event.

Topics for debate this year included how organisations could work together to:

• stimulate and support economic growth;
• deliver affordable housing and regeneration;
• deliver jobs and training;
• reduce child poverty;
• ensure quality care for elderly residents.

Having started the debate, the State of the City meeting will continue to allow partners to assess how their efforts are affecting the lives of people in communities throughout the city as an annual fixture in the council calendar.

Councillor Keith Wakefield said:
“Locally, regionally and nationally we are facing an unprecedented financial challenge, that affects everyone involved in the public, private and voluntary sectors. If we are to secure the best deal for people living and working in Leeds in response to that challenge, joint working is going to have to be at the heart of what we do.

“The State of the City meeting provides an opportunity for figures from organisations including the NHS, police, Chamber of Commerce, voluntary groups and local businesses to meet with the city’s councillors to debate what action we can take on some of the biggest issues facing Leeds.

Partnership working will also be at the heart of huge changes to the way the council itself does business, according to Cllr Wakefield, who has just set out plans to save a further £55m in 2012/13.

Leeds has a proven track record of successful joint working, which it is hoped the city can now build on.

Neighbourhood Networks, for example, set a national standard by providing a model of good practice, while delivering much needed, community-based care for older people. Most recently, work with the private sector has substantially boosted apprenticeships in the city, with young people benefiting the most from the rewards of this.

Councillor Wakefield continued:
“We have started the debate but I want to make sure we have the opportunity each year to really assess how our joint efforts are impacting on residents in Leeds. This year’s meeting cannot be a one off– we need a long term commitment to partnership working if we are to jointly deliver a stronger, healthier and more prosperous future for this city.”



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

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Anti social behaviour caught on camera

CCTV images have helped catch and fine three people behaving antisocially at Seacroft Tower Blocks.

On a number of occasions residents living in Parkway Court, Parkway Grange, Marston Mount and Ramshead Heights or visitors to tenants, were found urinating in communal areas/lifts.

Using CCTV evidence, the perpetrators were identified and given an £80 fixed penalty notice plus a £100 cleaning bill. The tenants of the flats were also issued with a final warning and will face eviction if any further antisocial acts are committed.

East North East Homes Leeds are also investigating other incidents in other blocks through CCTV footage. Residents have been warned that if their visitors are found committing any antisocial behaviour, they will face the fixed penalty notice and final warning on their home.

East North East Homes Leeds, who manage the flats on behalf of Leeds City Council have been working closely with the Leeds Anti Social Behaviour Team and the police to resolve the problem.

Angelena Fixter, Chair of ENEHL Board, said:

“Nobody wants to live in a place affected by antisocial behaviour. We put the needs of the community first and will continue to work hard to eradicate this problem to help make our neighbourhoods peaceful, safe and pleasant areas to live.”

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for community safety said:

“This kind of behaviour is disgraceful and it is important that we work to stop this. The tenants have been warned that we will not tolerate this behaviour and that further action will be taken if they or their visitors act in this way.”


Ends

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