Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Garden bin collections re-start

Collections of garden bins across Leeds re-start in March.

From Monday 3 March, the normal fortnightly brown bin collections resume.

Residents who already have a brown bin will continue to have it collected on the same day.

If in any doubt about your collection day, you can check on the council’s website. You can also download a handy calendar to remind you of your collection schedule.

Using brown bins is an effective way of keeping garden waste out of landfill; helping to save money and cut carbon emissions.

Residents also have the option of composting at home. The council offers reduced price compost bins so you can turn your kitchen and garden waste into a useful resource to use in your garden.

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

“It’s back to business as usual for brown bin collections. Using your brown bin or composting goes a long way towards helping us reach our recycling targets.

“The goal of recycling 55% by 2016 and 60% in the longer term not only means that Leeds will be cleaner and greener, but it helps us avoid landfill taxes which is increasingly important in these difficult financial times.”

Brown bins can be used to dispose of grass and hedge cuttings, fruit which has fallen to the ground, leaves, dead house or bedding plants, weeds, twigs and small branches.

Brown bin contents are composted. Last year the council collected 41,610 tonnes of garden waste.

To help keep bin collections running smoothly, residents are asked to put bins out by 7am on collection day and taken back in as soon as is practical once emptied.

The city’s eight household waste sorting sites are open throughout the year to recycle a range of items including garden waste.

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


New council housing organisation paves the way for big savings

Huge changes to the way social housing in Leeds is run are starting to pay big dividends according to the latest Leeds City Council findings.

In June 2013 Leeds City Council decided to integrate housing management into the council in a way which meant that the ‘arm’s length management organisations’ (ALMOs) which had previously looked after the city’s housing stock would come back under the council’s direct control. Savings from the reorganisation of the ALMOs are already anticipated to reach £1.5 million in 2014/15, as the number of senior staff is reduced and the continuing financial benefits of integrating the three services begin to be delivered.

Projections show savings will rise to £2.4 million over the next two years and Leeds City Council have also been able to make use of over £6 million ALMO reserve funds to inject investment into the wider city capital programme. This will mean improvements for council tenants can be funded along with the council’s commitment to improving the quality of housing further and faster than previous government standards required.

With over a thousand staff moving under the council’s umbrella as the ALMOs were wound up and their business taken into the council, the council has prioritised ensuring that services were not only maintained, but built on.

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

“It has been a triumph of hard work, commitment and a desire to deliver the best for the city that has seen us moving as far and fast as we have. To have this amount of change and make sure that services don’t suffer is a real tribute to the staff and tenants involved.

“We are well on our way to making the significant savings from the reorganisation we planned, money we can reinvest in housing for the people of Leeds.”

Leeds City Council is also making sure that tenants and residents have an opportunity to have their say on the reorganisation and wider plans through an extensive engagement process. Following an extensive survey of residents, the first city-wide consultation meeting for them will take place this Thursday, 27th February.

For media enquiries, please contact:
Phil Morcom, Leeds City Council press office
Tel: 0113 394 3602
Email: philip.morcom@leeds.gov.uk

Giving tenants a stronger voice in decision making

Tenants and residents from across the city are gathering to share their opinions at a consultation meeting at Leeds Town Hall this Thursday (27th February). The first event of its kind in the city, the meeting will look at good practice in Leeds and elsewhere, see what can be done to make sure tenants and residents have a voice in the city’s housing and will celebrate local projects and community work. The evening will culminate with a special presentation to three tenants who between them have given almost a century of support to their local communities.

The Leeds City Council event comes after a year in which housing management came back under the council’s direct control. It will also provide an opportunity for a group of residents who have made a long-standing and significant contribution to their community to be recognised formally.

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

“We will be sharing results from a consultation exercise where we asked tenants how we could best work better together as one city to deliver the best housing. With 400 tenants involved in the consultation, our Thursday event will allow practical examples of how we can make this happen to be explored.

“It is also a privilege to be able to recognise the commitment of three of the longstanding tenants who have each made a significant contribution over so many years. They are a great example of the way thousands of people get involved, making a difference in our communities as well as of the way people in Leeds work for each other and make us such a great city.”

Notes for editors

The invitation only event will be held at Leeds Town Hall, between 18.00 and 20.00 hrs.
The results of over 400 survey responses from the community provided the basis for the themes being discussed at the event.

Details of the presentations and the people nominated will be available on the night.

For media enquiries, please contact:

Phil Morcom, Leeds City Council press office
Tel: 0113 394 3602
Email: philip.morcom@leeds.gov.uk

Major improvements for Thornbury Barracks junction

A notorious junction in Leeds is to get traffic lights thanks to an improvement scheme tackling congestion and safety concerns.

Thornbury Barracks roundabout on the A647, the main road between Bradford and Leeds, is the site of severe congestion at peak times which often causes long tailbacks.

It also has a history of accidents with 19 occurring there since 2008 – mainly caused by lane changing conflicts.

The proposed scheme, estimated to cost £3.4million, has been successfully awarded grant funding from the Department for Transport’s Local Pinch Point fund.

Works will include creating lanes through the middle of the roundabout in both main directions, traffic lights, reorganisation of the lanes, pedestrian and cycling facilities, bus stop upgrades and improved street lighting. The outdated subway will also be removed.

Installation of priority traffic lights for buses are furthermore expected to increase the reliability of First Group’s number 72 hyperlink bus service – a high frequency service which runs every seven minutes during the day Monday to Saturday.

Leeds City Council executive board member for the economy and development councillor Richard Lewis said:

“This scheme will vastly improve this badly congested junction, which we’re sure commuters will welcome with open arms. Works will cause some disruption but it will be short term pain for long term gain.

“We’re delighted this junction has received this sizable chunk of funding. The roundabout is on a major link with Bradford and is increasingly busy.

“Thornbury Barracks junction is also a key feature in our cycle network. We have been able to plan for the pinch point at the same time as the cycle superhighway meaning we have a joined up solution vital to a safe and working junction.”

The roundabout is a key feature of Leeds City Council’s bid to introduce a network of cycle routes across the city.

As construction of a cycle super highway connecting Leeds and Bradford by a 23km cycle track approaches, the opportunity is being taken to make the junction more cycle friendly.

Typically the signalisation of a roundabout like this can reduce the number of accidents by 40 per cent per year.

The Local Pinch Point Fund granted to this scheme is a Government fund worth £170m designed to remove bottlenecks on local highway networks, which are impeding growth.

The fund is designed to promote economic growth through rapid development of schemes for the removal of transport barriers.


For media enquiries please contact:
Dan Johnson,
Leeds City Council press office,
Tel 0113 247 5472
Email: daniel.johnson2@leeds.gov.uk