Friday, 10 February 2012

Council takes the lead on River Aire flood defences

Innovative measures look set to be introduced on the River Aire in the near future following decisions taken today by Leeds councillors.

Existing weirs at Knostrop and Crown Point would be removed and replaced with moveable weirs while Knostrop Cut would be removed to widen the river by merging the canal and the River Aire.

These measures, together with other defences, could be the first phase of providing flood defences in the city.

Subject to further surveys and design work, the aim is to have these elements in place by end of 2015.

Members of Leeds City Council’s Executive Board agreed today to the council taking a more major role in the project and to committing £500k of its £10m contribution to the scheme to progress further work.

The proposals announced today follow the shelving of the £180m scheme to provide flood defences to a one in 200 year standard last year. This scheme, which would have provided defences between Newlay Bridge and Woodlesford, failed to attract sufficient government financial support.

A phased approach is now being proposed following further work by the Environment Agency, Leeds City Council, British Waterways and other partners including Yorkshire Water, with the aim being to see improvements in place within two to three years.

Phase one has been estimated at costing £75m by the Environment Agency and would see flood defence measures to a 1:75 year standard introduced in the city centre between the railway station and Knostrop.

A delegation of local councillors and MPs is set to meet the Secretary of State for DEFRA in the near future to discuss the latest proposals and secure funding.

Future phases, which are to be confirmed, would increase the standard of protection close to the one in 200 year standard achieved by the original comprehensive scheme.

Councillor Richard Lewis, Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Development and the Economy, said:

“This is good news, bringing flood defences for the city centre a step closer. In recent years, the city centre has come close to flooding on a number of occasions. This scheme is therefore vitally important to the city.

"It was a great disappointment to us that the previous and more comprehensive scheme was not affordable. We hope that these pragmatic proposals will be supported by government to enable progress as soon as possible. This change of direction signals our clear intent to protect residential properties and businesses on the waterfront”.

Ends

Note to editors: A 1:75 flood risk refers to a one in 75 year Standard of Protection (SOP), which means that,on average, the city would only be expected to flood once in every 75 years, or twice in every 150 years


For media enquiries, please contact:
Annie Goodyear, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 224 3937
Email: anniegoodyear@leeds.gov.uk

CCTV evidence convicts woodland flytipper


A Leeds man was in for a big surprise in court after being found guilty of dumping rubbish in local woodlands.

Adrian Lockwood, 18, of Halton Moor Road was found guilty at Leeds Magistrates Court this month of flytipping.

He was fined £50 and ordered to pay £250 costs as well as a £15 victim surcharge.

Mr Lockwood was spotted on CCTV leaving his home on 7 May 2011 with a wheelbarrow loaded with garden waste and household items. Cameras followed him as he pushed the wheelbarrow along the Halton Ring Road and eventually through the trees at the side of the road.

CCTV footage shows Mr Lockwood re-appearing a few minutes later with an empty wheelbarrow.

CCTV operators alerted Leeds City Council’s locality team who dispatched an enforcement officer to the area.

Despite being caught on camera, Mr Lockwood was adamant that the council wouldn’t be able to prove his involvement. But the CCTV evidence, along with that gathered by the enforcement officer, was used to successfully prosecute Mr Lockwood under Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for environmental services said:
“Cleaning up illegally dumped waste costs us hundreds of thousands of pounds every year. So we’ll use all the tools at our disposal to bring people to account for this environmental crime.

“Thanks to our CCTV, locality and enforcement teams working so closely together we can continue to send the message that we won’t tolerate flytipping in Leeds.”
ENDS


For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 247 5704
e-mail: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

Newborn trio set to steal the show at Home Farm




Caption: The new arrivals can now be seen at Temple Newsam's Home Farm

Temple Newsam's Home Farm has welcomed some early new arrivals with three Portland lambs born in the last fortnight.

The new lambs will be among the star attractions for half-term next week, with the trio expected to be joined by further newborns in the forms of saddleback piglets and Belted Galloway and Irish Moiled calves in the coming days.

The new lambs are currently a brown colour which will naturally lighten as they get older.

For further information on Home Farm, visit www.leeds.gov.uk/templenewsamhouse or call 0113 264 5535.

ENDS

For media enquiries please contact:
Roger Boyde, senior communications officer,
Leeds City Council,Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: roger.boyde@leeds.gov.uk