Tag Archives: Blaby

District Council agrees refuse and recycling changes

Blaby DC new vehicle rebrandPlans to move waste collections in the District of Blaby to alternate weekly have been approved by Councillors in response to a reduction of £745,000 of external funding.

Following the loss of £505,000 in recycling credits from Leicestershire County Council and £240,000 in a central government grant to run weekly recycling collections, Blaby District Council has spent a considerable amount of time looking at the options available to close the financial gap.

A four-week consultation in October-November 2017 was undertaken to gather resident’s views on the proposals.

Over 8,800 consultation responses were received during the consultation, with feedback vital for shaping the scheme.

Following consideration of residents’ needs and an in-depth study of the data, the new scheme will ensure all households have sufficient capacity to manage a move from weekly to alternate weekly collections.

The new scheme will begin in the summer of 2018.

Councillors approved plans at the Extraordinary Council Meeting on Tuesday 23 January, including:

  • Households in the district may be eligible for an increase in the capacity of their refuse bin depending on the number of permanent residents:
  • 1-3 residents can order up to 280ltrs, with a standard capacity of 140ltrs
  • 4-6 residents can order up to 380ltrs, with a standard capacity of 240ltrs
  • Households of up to 7+ residents can order up to 480ltrs, with a standard capacity of 380ltrs

Any bins ordered that take households over the standard refuse capacity will incur a one-off charge.

There may also be a need to make a one-off charge for orders of recycling bins which take households over the standard eligible capacity.

However, this will depend on the outcome of negotiations with Leicestershire County Council over a recycling incentive scheme authorised at their Cabinet meeting in September 2016.

Bins will be available to order in anticipation of the scheme in due course. This will be communicated to residents nearer the time.

Ensuring delivery of a “first rate service”

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said:

Cllr Terry Richardson
Cllr. Richardson

“Our new scheme will not only help us to close the financial gap left by the substantial loss in funding mentioned above, but it has been designed to ensure that we continue to deliver a first-rate service.

“The feedback from the consultation was extremely valuable to us, and I should like to thank all those residents who participated for taking the time to give us their views.

“Evidence from the consultation shows that a large proportion of residents will see no change in their bin size and for those who meet the criteria for larger bins exchanges will be arranged should they wish. In addition, where residents would like a larger bin, but do not meet the criteria, we will meet this request, but charges will/may be applicable.

“Change is never welcome but almost all councils now offer a service similar to the one we are moving to.

“What I can assure residents is that we have the quality of staff who will manage this transition efficiently, be available to address residents’ questions, and who will continue to deliver a service we can all be proud of.”

Full details on the new scheme and a frequently asked questions page will be available via www.blaby.gov.uk/waste2018.

Final plans on ordering any additional or replacement bins will be announced when finalised.

Have your say on how city and county will grow

PEOPLE are being asked to have their say on a plan setting out how Leicester and Leicestershire will grow in the future.

A draft Strategic Growth Plan is being developed by a partnership formed by Leicester City and Leicestershire County councils, the seven local borough and district authorities and the Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership (LLEP).

It puts forward proposals for the new housing and transport improvements that would be needed to attract jobs and investment to Leicester and Leicestershire from now until 2050.

The final version of the plan will provide strategic direction and help shape the Local Plans that the city, borough and district councils are or will be preparing or reviewing.

It will also be used to support bids for Government funding to deliver the infrastructure needed to support growth.

Now, people are invited to comment on the plan by taking part in a county-wide consultation, which runs from 11 January until 5 April 2018.

The plan estimates that Leicester and Leicestershire needs 96,580 new homes and 367-423 hectares of employment land from 2011-2031.

Some of these homes have already been built or have planning permission.

Beyond 2031, the plan identifies the need for a further 90,500 dwellings and additional employment land, which is why further land needs to be unlocked.

Local Plans will deal with the detailed allocation of which sites will be brought forward.

Draft proposals put forward in the Strategic Growth Plan include major infrastructure improvements on which new growth is dependent.

These include a new link road – the A46 Expressway – to the south and east of Leicester, running from the M69 and the M1 to the A46 north of the city.

The plans seek to relieve pressure around the busy M1 Junction 21 which frequently impacts on traffic in the Enderby area.

The A5 and A42 would also be upgraded to expressway status, supporting growth in these areas. Rail improvements are also proposed.

These road and rail improvements would require significant Government investment and would relieve congestion pressures along the M1 and more widely across the Midlands. It would also potentially unlock land for the required housing and employment.

Key areas for potential growth are the city of Leicester and the corridor of land around the proposed new road.

In a news item highlighting the Strategic Plan, BBC East Midlands Today featured the New Lubbesthorpe Development as it reported on the agreement of local councils to the future (post 2031) development of roads, homes and businesses being developed ‘together’. (See also statement by Cllr. Terry Richardson below)

Secondary areas for growth are identified in the north and the south of the county – there would be a ‘northern gateway’ close to East Midlands Airport, and a ‘southern gateway’, close to Magna Park.

Last night (Wednesday 10th January) Harborough District Council turned down an application by the owners of Magna Park for a large expansion to the existing (already large) distribution centre. Councillors were reviewing a decision by the Planning Committee the originally approved the development.

Growth is also proposed for Melton and Lutterworth, where it would support transport improvements and relieve congestion in the towns.

New housing would be built closer to where people work, to minimise congestion from commuters.

Cllr Terry Richardson
Cllr. Richardson

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said:

“Over the last few years we have been working with partners to produce this Strategic Growth Plan, with the aim of producing a strong framework to determine how Blaby and the wider area will meet its housing and employment needs over the next three decades.

“Too often growth has not been supported by the necessary infrastructure and the plan seeks to address this point and thereby provide for sustainable development.

“As well as the A46 expressway, the proposed Southern Gateway in the district will open up opportunities to develop sustainable housing, employment and infrastructure. This will ensure that we can protect the character of our existing villages and settlements.”

Cllr. Sheila Scott
Cllr. Sheila Scott

Councillor Sheila Scott, Portfolio Holder for Planning, Partnerships and Economic Development, said:

“We have worked with our partners to produce the Strategic Growth Plan and are now asking residents and businesses for their views.

“Through this plan we can ensure that growth can be delivered at the right time, in the right places, with the essential infrastructure that it needs. The Strategic Growth Plan will inform future Local Plans that the Council will produce and so it is important that the public has their say now.

“There are some exciting opportunities for the District: the proposed A46 expressway will reduce congestion on main routes through the District and attract investment that will continue to make Blaby an excellent area to live and work in.

“This is a long-term plan which demonstrates that the City and County are proactively working together to plan on how to accommodate growth and attract inward investment to the area in the future.”

To take part in the consultation, please see the website llstrategicgrowthplan.org.uk or contact any of the local authorities or the LLEP.

Local consultation events are also being planned.

Details will be on the website.

Lightbulb project shortlisted as LGC Awards finalist

FinalistsBlaby District Council has been selected as a shortlisted finalist in the Public/Public Partnership category in the 2018 LGC Awards for the Lightbulb project.

The awards, run by Local Government Chronicle (LGC), are the biggest and most prestigious awards ceremony for the local government sector.

The winners will be announced in a ceremony at London’s Grosvenor House venue on 21 March 2018.

The service is spearheaded and hosted by Blaby District Council, which first piloted the scheme back in 2015. The programme includes all seven Leicestershire district councils, Leicestershire County Council, and all three Leicestershire CCG’s, as well as the Leicestershire Partnership Trust.

Lightbulb has now been fully rolled out supports vulnerable people to ensure they can live in their homes as safely as possible.

The project has already been a success, with analysis on 357 patients experiencing improved care and an 84% reduction in NHS costs, worth up to £550,000 in savings over a one-year period.

As a result of Lightbulb’s work so far, a reduction of just one fall for every 17 residents saves the local health and care economy £21,000 per year.

89% of service users have reported and improvement in their physical and mental health under the new scheme.

Back in September, Lightbulb was named ‘Best Collaborative Working Initiative’ by the Association for Public Service Excellence and Commended at the Home Improvement Agency Awards.

Nearly 100 organisations have been shortlisted as finalists in the coveted awards, which recognise the best of local government innovation and service delivery.

The high quality of this year’s entries demonstrates local government’s enthusiasm to innovate in an era in which councils’ budgets have been cut.

The awards seek to identify and recognise local government’s greatest innovators, whose achievements are often under reported.

With budgets at the forefront of priorities, it is even more important this year to shine a spotlight on the achievements of those councils whose pioneering best practice can inspire other councils to improve services.

LGC editor Nick Golding said:

“To be shortlisted for an LGC Award shows a council service is among the country’s most innovative, and doing the most to support the needs of local residents as councils face continuing budget cuts.

“We should salute the council officers and councillors doing the most to ensure our vital public services thrive in the era of austerity.”

Winners will be announced on 21 March 2018 at Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane which will be attended by 1,100 people from local government and its partner organisations.

The full list of finalists can be found at awards.lgcplus.com.

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications]

Consultation on waste collection changes opens

Blaby DC new vehicle rebrandA four-week consultation is to be launched on Blaby District Council’s plans to change its refuse and recycling collections from June 2018, following a substantial reduction in funding.

£740,000 will be lost from June 2018, including £505,000 in recycling credits from Leicestershire County Council. The remaining £235,000 of a five-year, £2 million Central Government grant awarded in 2013 to run weekly recycling collections will also come to an end.

The four-week consultation will run from Thursday 19 October and close at midnight on Friday 16 November. New proposals include:

  • Moving to an alternate weekly collection
  • All households with four or more occupants, eligible to receive a replacement 240 litre refuse bin and recycling bin free of charge, an increase from the current 140 litre standard bin.
  • Households under four persons can order a replacement 240ltr recycling bin for free, and a 240ltr refuse bin for a small one-off cost.

Councillor Terry Richardson, Leader of Blaby District Council, said:

“We realise that these proposals will result in a change for residents, but we want to ensure that a high quality waste collection service is maintained as it is so highly regarded by residents.

“We have worked extremely hard to come up with the best possible proposals which will still enable us to provide a quality service, as well as maintaining the many other services which are equally valued by our residents.

“However we need to hear our resident’s views on the service that will work best for them from June 2018.

“Many might ask if we could simply increase our element of the Council Tax to make up this shortfall in funding. However, the Blaby District Council element of the total Council Tax that residents pay would need to be increased by over 15% to do this.

“Only 6% of councils now run a weekly collection service, and we will ensure that changes to our service are dictated by the overriding need to continue to provide a first rate service along with reducing waste to landfill and further increase the district’s recycling rate.

“I strongly encourage as many people as possible to let us know their views during the consultation period.”

Residents can visit www.blaby.gov.uk/waste2018 to find out more and have their say.

Paper copies will be available at local libraries and on request.

All views will be gathered and taken into consideration before a final decision is made by Councillors at a meeting planned for early 2018.

Residents will be kept up-to-date with all future plans before full implementation of any changes in the summer of 2018.

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications]

District Council to consult on Refuse and Recycling proposals

Following the meeting of Blaby District Council on Tuesday 19th September, the Council are now finalising the consultation which they hope will get as much resident response as possible.

The Council has not yet made a decision to make alterations to the manner in which refuse and recycling is collected. However, as reported, it is something that is currently being considered.

The District Council wishes to consult on, amongst other things, that the current weekly refuse and recycling service will change from its current configuration to one of an alternate weekly basis. This means that one week refuse will be collected and the alternate week the recycling will be collected

Going forward, the Council says it wants to ensure that residents receive a sustainable, quality refuse and recycling service.

In order to do this, the Council need residents to tell them both about their current situation and what might work best for them.

The new scheme proposals are designed to make necessary savings for the Council but also to encourage residents to recycle more.

The history…

In November 2012 Blaby District Council was successful in being awarded
£2M funding from the Department for Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) to
carry out weekly refuse and recycling collections from June 2013 for a period
of 5 years.

This funding enabled the Council to purchase 5 new recycling
vehicles, additional recycling bins and allowed £235K per year to underpin the
revenue cost of weekly collections. The final £235K of revenue funding ends
in March 2017/18 financial year.

In September 2016 Leicestershire County Council (LCC) Cabinet agreed to
use their statutory powers of direction to procure capacity for all
Leicestershire Waste Collection Authorities and direct them to use it when
their current arrangements end.

Blaby District Council’s current arrangement for processing dry recycling is with Casepak and this ends on 31st May 2018.

Once LCC use their powers of direction, they no longer have to pay Dry Recycling Credits to each Waste Collection Authority. For Blaby District Council this means a loss in income of £505K per year. This coupled with the loss of the revenue funding from DEFRA means that the Council’s Refuse and Recycling Service will lose £740K of funding per year.

In addition the Council currently provides a number of ‘bring sites’ which are community recycling facilities to support the current recycling service. A feasibility study of these sites will be considered as part of this project to assess future need.

Larger bins

The District Council wishes to stress that current plans include giving residents the option to upgrade their bin from the standard 140ltr to 240ltr.

The proposal is that there will be increased capacity for recycling with the issue of larger recycling bins at no cost to residents should they require the extra capacity.

Look out for more information on the consultation to have your say.

When the consultation launches there will be a FAQ, online form and details of plans.

The Council say they are in the early stage of proposing the changes and residents input into that ‘redesign’ is very important to them.

Those affected can view the proposals discussed at Tuesday’s meeting by viewing the public document and reading from page 19.

[Source: Blaby District Council Communications and Council Agenda item 11 (19th September 2017)]