Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Cleaner communities get in the zone

A project testing a new approach to improving the cleanliness of streets has been so successful that it’s now being used in other parts of Leeds.

The combined effect of education and enforcement in a test ‘environmental improvement zone’ in Harehills has made significant inroads to ensuring streets are cleaned and stay clean.

Staff are now following the same approach in 20 other neighbourhoods in the inner north east and inner east of Leeds.

Throughout the trial run, enforcement staff focussed their efforts on educating people on how to deal with waste. Staff went door-to-door round businesses and homes offering advice on how to store and dispose of waste properly and making sure they understood the consequences of failing in their legal duties.

New litter bins were installed and council staff collected over 50 bags of litter from paths and streets during a community clean up.

This was followed with swift enforcement action if people were found to be ignoring their duties or deliberately flouting the law.

Members of the local area committees in inner east and inner north east Leeds agreed to try the new approach as people were fed up with particular streets in the area suffering from continuous litter and fly tipping. Despite repeated cleaning, it didn’t take long for streets to be strewn with rubbish again.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment said:

“If we don’t tackle attitudes and behaviours towards waste and rubbish then we are going to be put in a position where we are using up limited pots of cash continually cleaning up after others when they ignore their responsibilities.

“I sincerely hope that the success achieved in Harehills can be repeated across other communities. But ultimately, if the approach is to have long term success, it will be down to residents and businesses to work with us and take on board their own responsibilities.

“While educating and helping people is the most fundamental part of making the zones work, we still have the full force of the law behind us and we won’t hesitate to use it to stop environmental crime.”

The zones are made up of small groups of streets or specific public areas and are being targeted as they have a history of litter and waste issues.

Enforcement staff have been visiting the new environmental improvement zones, explaining what they’ll be doing, providing advice and support and outlining the council’s zero tolerance approach to environmental crime.

As they go round communities, staff are asking people living and working in those areas what they think about the state of their streets and what the council and residents themselves could do to make things better.

A key to the success in some of the zones will be identifying and working with landlords to ensure their properties and land are kept acceptably clean.

Notes to editors:

The primary environmental improvement zones are located in (others will be added if different priorities arise):

Gipton and Harehills
• Back Hilltop Mount
• Markham Avenue and Arlies
• Coldcotes shops
• Hovinghams and Dorsets
• Karnacs, Rossals and Nices
• Lambtons
• Sandhursts

Chapel Allerton
• Savilles and Mexboroughs
• Hamiltons and Granges
• Beckhill Approach

Burmantofts and Richmond Hill
• Bellbrookes
• Cross Green
• Ivy Street shops
• Kitsons, Dents, Clarks and Oxleys
• Lincoln Green Square
• Nowells

Killingbeck and Seacroft
• South Parkways shops
• Boggart Hill Drive shops
• Ramshead Hill shops
• Dib Lane shops

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577


Oulton pupils open new school building with summer celebration

Picture caption "Pupils from Oulton primary school with their new school building."

To celebrate their fantastic new school building, Oulton Primary School is holding a Grand Opening and summer fair next week.

Pupils, staff, families and members of the community are all invited to the event on Saturday 30 June from 12 noon to 4pm. (Members of the media are also welcome to attend).

The Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle will officially open the new school building with a ribbon cutting ceremony and the unveiling of a plaque.

Staff and children will be on hand to give visitors official tours around the new school buildings, which include one brand new building and the refurbishment of an existing building.

Visitors to the school will be able to enjoy a variety of stalls including books, cakes and candles as well as a café and barbeque. There will also be plenty of activities for children to take part in.

Jo Smithson head teacher of Oulton Primary School said:

“We are really excited to be holding our grand opening celebration – all the staff and children are very proud of our new school building and can’t wait to show everyone around.

“The children have been sending out invitations to celebrities to see if they would like to attend and officially cut the ribbon to open the new building. The Queen might be a bit too busy this year though.”

Building work on the new school building started in April 2011, with the first phase being completed in November. This involved a whole new building being constructed, containing eight new classrooms (two of these being double classrooms for team teaching) and a large central area for the library, computers and cooking.

The classrooms are colourful and spacious, with large windows to allow for as much light as possible. Almost all the classrooms have covered areas to allow for outdoor learning.

The refurbishment of the original building, involved extending the current hall, so it can be partitioned and used as two separate halls for PE, lunchtime and assemblies. Also within this building are two classrooms, nursery and reception class and rooms specifically for extended services facilities which can be used by all schools within the cluster. A Magic Garden has been created to provide outdoor provision for the younger children.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Emma Whittell, Leeds City Council press office, on (0113) 2474713