Leeds trolleybus: New plans revealed – YEP

Trolleybus“TRANSPORT bosses have revealed details of the revised blueprint that they hope will win over Leeds’s trolleybus doubters.
The Yorkshire Evening Post has been given advance access to a 100-page, 30,000-word ‘statement of case’ that will be published in full online tomorrow.

It is one of a series of documents that have been prepared by trolleybus chiefs for the public inquiry that will decide the fate of their £250m scheme.

The documents set out more clearly than ever before how some journeys on the New Generation Transport (NGT) system would be nearly 40 per cent faster than those made by existing bus services.

They also reveal that the network would include a significantly greater amount of bus and cycle lane provision than previously thought.

Another section in the documents outlines how a £20m funding gap that has been hanging over the scheme would be filled by borrowing, to be paid back by operating revenues.

Other ideas in the updated paperwork include:

* The creation of a 3,500 sq m public park in Headingley;

* Environmental improvements to Hyde Park Corner and Monument Moor;

* Increased levels of planting to replace trees chopped down to make way for the system.

Jointly led by Leeds City Council and West Yorkshire passenger transport authority Metro, NGT has come under fire from opponents who claim it offers poor value for money and would damage the environment and people’s quality of life…”

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Good News on Wheelie Bins

Recycle BinsOn Monday this week the Twitter sphere and some local press were alive with rumours and misleading reports about Leeds bin collection.
Many people seem to have misread the Council’s proposals here – and jumped to a whole series of conclusions

-that Leeds is proposing that in future there will be no free wheelie bins provided

– that people will be charged for their wheelie bins.

-that heavy bins won’t be emptied

-that if rounds are not completed for any reason, the refuse-collectors will not return to pick them up.

Leeds City Council have issued the following clarification.

‘The council will continue to replace damaged or broken bins and provide bins to new properties free of charge.

Residents already have one bin provided for each of the services they receive. If a resident requests an additional green or black bin, this will only be provided if residents meet certain criteria, for example, if they are a large family.

It would undermine everyone’s efforts to reduce waste and recycle more if the council were to simply deliver extra bins on demand.

The council’s executive board have been asked to formalise these existing practices in a set of policies when they meet on Wednesday 22 January.

The policies complement one another so residents understand how the council collects their rubbish and recycling and what they need to do too.

Councillor Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said:
“We collect around two million bins a month and it is one of the most visible services we provide, so we need to be very clear on how these services are run and any changes we’re going to introduce.

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Leeds City Council’s £1 million housing crisis

Leeds City Council has spent just more than £1m on providing emergency accommodation for the homeless in the last year, the Yorkshire Evening Post can reveal.

Figures obtained under the Freedom of Information Act show the £1m spent by the council in 2012/13 was nearly twice the £540,000 from the previous year.

The cost been rising since 2010/11 – when it stood at £209,000 – as the housing crisis continues to deepen in the economic downturn.

Residents are put into emergency accommodation when deemed homeless in what is meant to be a temporary move – but figures show people have been going months without a proper home. One stay racked up 46 weeks in 2012/13, costing a total of £36,463.

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Leeds council tax set to rise as cuts bite

Leeds Town HallLeeds householders have been handed a council tax bombshell just two weeks before Christmas.

Plans to increase the local levy by two per cent next year, following a three-year freeze, were revealed last night by Leeds city council. Another 274 jobs at the authority are also set to be slashed to cut running costs.

Council leader Coun Keith Wakefield admitted it was a “dire financial situation”. He said: “We cannot continue to freeze council tax as it reduces our income to the point where it threatens our ability to support even the services we must provide by law.”

The current council tax for a band D property in Leeds is £1,316.39. A two-percent rise would equate to £26. The council has suffered Government grant reductions of £94m over the past three years, with £36m to be cut next year,

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Adel Crag added: Please bring this information to the attention of your friends and neighbours who may not have access to the internet.