Thursday, 31 October 2013

Residents to look out for new bin information pack

New bin service information packs landing on doorsteps soon.

Residents in west, north west and north east Leeds are being asked to be on the lookout for their new bin service information packs.

The handy guide to the new alternate weekly bin collections will be landing on people’s doorsteps over the coming weeks, with the service due to start from Monday 18 November.

The information packs are being delivered to around 100,000 residents who will be the next to benefit from the more frequent green bin collections.

The packs explain how people can recycle more with their green bins being emptied one week and their black bins emptied the next week. They’ll also receive information on the days and dates of their collections.

Once the service is rolled out to 80% of suitable residential properties across the city, the council will be able to save an estimated £2.5 million by recycling waste instead of having to pay taxes to bury the otherwise recyclable materials in the city’s landfill sites.

As well as making Leeds cleaner and greener, the money saved can be invested in other council services.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:

“The information pack is your indispensable guide to the new bin service. It contains everything you need to help you prepare for the upcoming changes and make the most of the opportunity to recycle more at home.

“Please do look out for yours. Anyone wishing to get a head start on their recycling journey can make full use of the wealth of information that’s also available on our website.”

In addition to the information pack and website, the council’s team of expert recycling advisers will be running roadshows and providing face-to-face support. You can meet the advisers on:

Saturday 2 November, 10am – 4pm at Asda Living, West Side Retail Park, Leeds Road, Guiseley
Tuesday 5 November, 2 – 4pm at Cookridge Methodist Church Hall, Otley Old Road, Cookridge
Thursday 7 November, 10am – 2pm at Bramley Library, Hough Lane, Bramley
Friday 8 November, 10am – 4pm at Asda Living, West Side Retail Park, Leeds Road, Guiseley
Saturday 9 November, 10am – 4pm at Bramley Shopping Centre, Town Street, Bramley
Monday 11 November, 10am – 4pm at the main shopping area, New Road Side, Horsforth
Wednesday 13 November, 10am – 4pm at the main shopping area, Town Street, Horsforth
Thursday 14 November, 11am – 1pm at the shopping area on Silk Mill Drive, Weetwood
Friday 15 November, 11am – 1pm at the shopping area on Iveson Approach, Weetwood
Saturday 16 November, 10am – 1pm at Pudsey Leisure Centre, Market Place, Pudsey
Tuesday 19 November, 10am – 4pm at Bramley Library, Hough Lane, Bramley
Wednesday 20 November, 10am – 4pm at Wetherby Market, Wetherby
Thursday 21 November, 10am – 4pm at Moor Allerton Library, Moor Allerton Centre
Saturday 23 November, 10am – 4pm at Otley Market, Market Square, Otley

Phase two of the new bin service will include all suitable homes in Adel and Wharfedale, Alwoodley, Bramley and Stanningley, Calverley and Farsley, Guiseley and Rawdon, Harewood, Horsforth, Middleton Park, Otley and Yeadon, Pudsey and Wetherby.

In addition, some suitable properties in parts of Armley, Kirkstall and Weetwood wards, along with a very limited number of properties in Farnley and Wortley and Ardsley and Robin Hood wards will be included in the next phase of the new service.

It is only those households who receive information packs that are to be included in this next phase of the scheme. Some properties may not suitable for alternate weekly collections but are to be included in future plans to improve recycling rates across the city.

Details of the new service can be found at www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/New-bin-service.aspx or www.facebook.com/leedswastedocs or by following @leedswastedocs on Twitter.

Bin collection days can be checked at www.leeds.gov.uk/residents/Pages/Check-your-bin-day.aspx.

For media enquiries please contact:
Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577
email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk

ENDS

Council reaffirms commitment to housing investment

The way council housing investment is delivered is changing, with a full city wide approach proposed for spending from 2014/15.

Historically the three Leeds ALMOs have delivered the council’s capital programme separately in the three areas that they worked in. Since the services have been brought back in house, work has been ongoing to pull together a citywide delivery plan to address issues such as improving housing energy efficiency, and remedial work to multi-storey flats whilst also maintaining stock to a decent homes standard.

Already over £55m has been identified for the start of works in 2014/15 and more funding will become available through the sale of Right to Buy properties and existing money available.

A draft three year capital programme is being developed which will focus on the key priorities for the council including increasing the supply of council housing through a mixture of new build and bringing empty properties back into use, ensuring strong links between housing and the full council plan and remodelling unsustainable housing stock to better meet future needs.

Councillor Peter Gruen, Leeds City Council executive board member with responsibility for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“We understand that investment in council housing stock is important in achieving our aims of being the best city to live in. I am committed to using our capital to make real improvements for Council tenants. This includes us identifying priority programmes, including meeting commitments we have made to communities to complete certain works. We are also prioritising the maintenance of a very high level of decency in these properties and providing sustainable investment to improve the energy efficiency of our properties.

“In the past, there has been a tendency to deliver specific works in one area of the city and not look at the wider city angle, and this is now changing to include a far greater understanding of our city’s housing stock needs.

“We are currently drawing up a three year plan which will address our main priorities of increasing the supply of council housing, developing a sustainable asset base and ensuring we maximise the resources available to us to fund investment.”


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

Register to vote before November 1 deadline

People in Leeds are reminded that tomorrow is the deadline for registering to vote in the local and European elections in May 2014.

In total 340,000 registration forms have been sent out to all households in Leeds and details should be confirmed with Leeds City Council by November 1 to ensure everyone eligible to vote can do so.

If there are no changes to your details you can let the council know by text message, online or by calling a special Freephone number. Forms may also be returned free by post in the pre-paid envelope provided, although the council will save 17p for every household that uses internet, Freephone or text registration instead.

Doing this on time will also save the council further costs in sending out reminders by post or following up with visits to homes to check details, as required by law.

People with no changes should email electors@leeds.gov.uk , call Freephone 0808 284 1450, text 07786 209 350 or visit www.elecreg.co.uk/leeds to confirm this.
If you have further queries you can call the LCC elections helpline on 0113 222 4411. It is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.


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

ENDS

Evening and weekend parking charges come into effect

Charges for city centre parking in the evenings and on Sundays come into effect in Leeds on Monday 18 November.

A £2 flat rate from 6pm until 10.00pm seven days a week will apply.

On Sundays, parking for less than four hours will cost £1 and over four hours will cost £4.

The decision to introduce the charges was taken by the council’s executive board on 19 June this year. Having now completed the relevant legal processes the charges can be implemented.

Council parking charges and policies in Leeds are in line with, and in many cases considerably better, than other major cities in the UK. They remain considerably cheaper than private car park operators which already charge for Sunday and evening parking.

The charges will initially apply to 2,400 council-controlled on-street parking spaces which have not increased in four years.

Plans to bring council controlled off-street car parks into line with on-street parking are also underway.

The proposed changes would apply to eight car parks which have varying operating hours. It is proposed that the operating hours of these car parks would be standardised at 8am to 10pm Monday to Saturdays and 10am to 10pm on Sundays.

The flat rate £2 evening charge from 6pm to 10pm would apply at these car parks seven days a week. Sundays would also be charged at £1 for less than four hours and £4 for over four hours. The evening charge would also apply.

With the opening of developments like Trinity and the first direct arena, demand for city centre parking is on the increase.

Population growth alongside other new city centre developments, such as the Victoria Gate, means that more and more people are and will be travelling to the city centre putting increased pressure on the availability of parking spaces.

The extended charges for on-street and proposed changes to off-street car parking hours and the application of extended charges are designed to help ensure an appropriate turnover of parking spaces while continuing to support the city centre economy.

In addition, the council wants to ensure that people are aware of the upcoming charges so they’re not caught out if wishing to park in the city centre during the evening or on Sundays.

A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said:

“Car parking has an important role to play in supporting any vibrant city centre economy.

“The modest charges provide a very competitive offer. The charges mean we can create a turnover in all pay and display spaces in the city centre and help the evening and Sunday economy with better management of parking.

“While we acknowledge that charging for something that was previously free isn’t going to be popular, we must find a delicate balance between managing the increasing demand for parking alongside the need to keep traffic and the economy moving and encouraging people to make the most of public transport.”

Higher charges for shorter periods of time on Sundays had been proposed initially, but having listened to people’s concerns, the fee has been reduced for a longer period of time.

Blue Badge holders will still be able to park for free in council-controlled pay and display spaces as long as badges are used and displayed appropriately.

ENDS

Notes:
City centre parking is designated to provide short-term, high turnover parking to ensure that the city continues to attract visitors, shoppers and business opportunities.

Onsite surveys and observations have identified that Sundays can often be busier than Saturdays for parking and that demand for evening parking in some areas exceeds the day time demand. This is deterring short stay visitors from visiting the city centre as on street parking is being occupied by vehicles belonging to people parking for much longer periods, often all day.

The eight off-street car parks where standard hours and extended charges are proposed are:
Kirkstall Road
Burley Road
Hunslet Lane
Leeds International Pool
Meadow Lane
Quarry Hill
The Markets
West Street

For media enquiries please contact:
Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 0244

City businesses hit the heights in Leeds in Bloom awards

Green fingered businesses and the fantastic gardens of residents living in Leeds were among those honoured as part of the city’s latest ‘in bloom’ awards.

Local businesses were recognised for their efforts in keeping their premises and surroundings looking so fantastic, while the best gardens of residents living in communities’ right across the city, along with schools, youth groups, churches, public houses, residential, hospices and care homes were also presented with prizes.

A record 175 entries in total were submitted as part of 10 categories. These included; Best Public House; Best Restaurant, Café; Best Hotel; Best Small Office/Business; Best Large Office/ Business; Best Small Retail Premises; Best Large Retail Premises; Best Retail Park; Best Residential Complex; Best School / Youth Group.

As part of the awards, groups were recognised with a range of spring and summer in-bloom medals ranging from gold, silver, bronze and highly commended.

Gold award winners in the community group summer section included St Gemma’s Hospice, St George’s Crypt at and the Vale Day Centre, while in the hotel section, Thorpe Park Hotel & Spa and Four Gables hotel also scooped the same accolade.

In the school category, Rothwell Haigh Road infant school, St Anthony’s Catholic school and Pudsey Lowtown primary school also earned gold in the summer section, while in the small retail premises group, some of the city’s fish and chips’ restaurants came to the fore, as Hillycroft Fisheries, Park Fisheries, PJ’s fish & chip shop and The Regent fish & chip shop secured gold awards.

As part of the large office/business premises, six companies earned gold including the Bartlett Group and Turner & Townsend, while nine pubs were also awarded gold. Featuring on the gold list were The Bridge, The Junction and the Three Horse Shoes. The Lord Mayor of Leeds Councillor Thomas Murray, was on hand to hand out the awards to all the winners in the business categories.

It was also a night to remember for residents living in 19 communities’ right across Leeds, as they were presented with ‘in bloom’ awards for the tremendous standard of their gardens by Councillor Jack Dunn and Alderman Frank Robinson.

Councillor Jack Dunn, Leeds City Council’s lead member for the environment said:

“We are extremely keen through our ‘in bloom’ awards to recognise those residents, groups and organisations that do such a great job in keeping our communities looking so great.

“This time it was the chance specifically to celebrate a range of groups including our green fingered businesses, churches, schools, care homes and residents who keep their gardens looking so great across the city, and once again the entries we received really were of the highest standard.

“We are extremely fortunate as a city to have thriving ‘in bloom’ network, and I look forward to seeing the wide-range of work that is being undertaken continuing to grow even further in the future.”

Notes to editors:

The full list of area winners in the Leeds in bloom garden competition are:
Dennis & Heather Court Rawdon
Mr Michael Galley Wortley
Mrs Lesley Dove Allerton Bywater
Carmela Stead Cottingley
Sylvia Bramma Bramley
Mr Ivan Harvey Gipton
Mrs Ann Hill Chapel Allerton
Mr & Mrs Carol and Michael Abbott Cookridge
Audrey and Michael Jeal Garforth
Mrs Brenda Clark Crossgates
Mr & Mrs B Radcliffe Meanwood
Mandy Cohen Hunslet
Carolynne and David McAteer Moortown
Mr Peter Hill Morley
Kit Hemsley Bramhope
Mrs Audrey Sylvester Farsley
Mrs Alice Robinson Woodlesford
Mrs Ann Irish Barwick in Elemet
Rona Rowsby Wetherby

For a full list of winners in the business in bloom competition, please contact Colin Dickinson at Leeds City Council communications.

For media enquiries, please contact;
Colin Dickinson, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 39 51578
Email: colin.dickinson@leeds.gov.uk