Thursday, 1 March 2012

Council homes completed with help from apprentices

A project to deliver 47 new homes in west Leeds has been completed with the help of two local apprentices.

A total of 25 two bedroom council houses and 22 houses for public sale have been built across three sites in west Leeds, including Marsden Street and Evelyn Place in Wortley, and the former Waterloo Infants school site in Pudsey.

Leeds City Council worked in partnership with developer Keepmoat Homes, West North West Homes Leeds and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), who have part-funded the venture to produce the developments.

As part of Leeds City Council’s commitment to creating employment opportunities, the council tries to ensure that any developer they work with offers a number of jobs and apprenticeships to local people. Keepmoat offered apprenticeship opportunities to two young local lads Joe Thrush and Ryan Springer, students from Leeds College of Building, who started working on the scheme in March 2011.

Keepmoat have been impressed with the progress and commitment shown by Joe and Ryan during the last 12 months and have since offered them an opportunity to continue their apprenticeships with the organisation on another site now this scheme is complete.

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All media are invited to the Waterloo Road (Marsh View) site on Friday 2 March at 13:00pm to see the two apprentices presented with a gift as a token of appreciation for their contribution towards the scheme. Councillor representatives, the apprentices and representatives from Keepmoat will be available for interview.

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Each property features full gas central heating and an enclosed rear garden with a shed. There is off street parking, and plenty of energy saving features including solar panels and low energy lighting to ensure that the environmental impact of the development and residents running costs are kept to a minimum.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, housing and regeneration said:

“It is great to see two young lads from Leeds gaining valuable experience from building homes for local people.

“These three sites have been finished to a high standard and it is good to know that almost all the council housing stock has already been allocated.

“A key aim of these development was to assist with the council’s aim to reduce current levels of under occupation in the city by stating that priority is given to those applicants who are over the age of 55, and who are under occupying a family home near the new sites.”

Cathy Clelland, chair of the West North West Homes Leeds said:
“It’s great that we have these three new developments in Marsden Street, Evelyn Place and the former Waterloo Infants School site, creating 47 new homes in west Leeds 25 of which are available as social housing.

"Keepmoat share our commitment to creating jobs and training opportunities in the West North West homes Leeds area. We are delighted that this led to two apprenticeships which started in March 2011."


David Ward, Managing Director for Keepmoat Homes Yorkshire, said:

“Community engagement is a priority for Keepmoat Homes wherever it builds. What better way to do this than giving young people like Joe and Ryan the chance to make positive difference to local neighbourhoods?

“We’ve been really impressed with the lads and are delighted to be able to offer them the chance to continue developing their skills, gaining experience and furthering their construction careers with Keepmoat.

“The properties at all three sites have been finished to the highest of standards and will provide fantastic homes to the new residents.”

Dilys Jones, area manager at the HCA said:
“It is fantastic to see how our £400,000 investment has helped Leeds City Council develop these new homes at the same time as providing much needed apprenticeships.”

Notes to editors:

The Keepmoat group of companies will be merging with the Apollo Group later this month.


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

Garden waste collections resume across Leeds

The regular emptying of garden waste from brown bins in Leeds will start again next week.

The service was suspended over the winter months – the time of the year when demand is traditionally low.

From Monday 5 March the service will be back up and running, and residents are being urged to put out their brown bin on their normal scheduled collection day ready for emptying.

Residents who are unsure about when their next collection day is can use the council’s website to check. Go to www.leeds.gov.uk, enter the phrase ‘bin days’ into the search box (top right hand corner) and click the double arrow icon.

There are over 190,000 brown bins in Leeds and, since the scheme started in 2006, more than 100,000 tonnes of garden waste has been collected and sent for composting rather than being buried in the ground. This has saved around £4million in landfill tax payments over the same timescale.

They can be filled with grass and hedge cuttings, fruit which has fallen to the ground, leaves, dead house or bedding plants, weeds, twigs and small branches.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive board member with responsibility for environmental services, said:
“With spring already in the air, its great timing that our regular cycle of brown bin collections will be up and running again next week.

“Brown bins are crucial in helping us to reduce the amount of rubbish that is sent to landfill. Burying our waste is bad for the environment and it costs more as well, which is a burden that the tax payers of Leeds shouldn’t have to bear.”

Brown bins are just one of the ways that waste from across Leeds is kept out of landfill.

The council has set itself the target of recycling half of the city’s waste by 2020, and it is on course for this by achieving an average of almost 40% so far this financial year, compared to 22.3% in 2006/7 when existing targets were set.

One of the ideas being looked at for 2012 is a pilot of fortnightly rubbish and recycling collections to encourage people to put more in their green bins and less in the black ones. People can recycle materials such as paper, cardboard, empty drinks cans and aerosols, and some plastics in their green bins.

There are also 480 ‘bring sites’ across the city to enable the recycling of a range of materials locally including glass, paper, cans, aerosols, textiles (clothing), plastic bottles and plastic bags.

In addition, nine larger household waste sort sites accept many items for reuse and disposal. They are at east Leeds, Ellar Ghyll, Grangefield Road, Holmewell Road, Kirkstall Road, Meanwood Road, Milner’s Road, Stanley Road and Thorp Arch.

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For media enquiries, please contact;
Claire Macklam, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1578
Email: claire.macklam@leeds.gov.uk