Clean, safe and sustainable neighbourhoods
Thriving communities outcome: cleanest, safest and most sustainable neighbourhoods in the country
In September 2018 the Council’s Low Emission Strategy (LES) was approved to address the health impacts of poor air quality. The main aim of the LES is to reduce vehicle emissions. We can do this by promoting sustainable transport, which includes the use of low emission vehicles and technology, and discouraging the use of high emitting vehicles where possible. The LES is based upon three key principles to reduce emissions - shifting modes of transport from cars to public transport, cycling or walking, avoiding emissions by reducing how far people drive and reducing emissions from stationary vehicles, chimneys and construction and, finally, improving use of the latest technology to reduce emissions, specifically low-emission vehicles. Clean Air Day in June 2018 saw the Council offer free Park and Ride travel all day in Chester to encourage greener modes of transport.
Pollution and air quality
Chester Household Waste Recycling Centre
The new Chester Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC) opened in May 2018 and is one of the largest in the borough offering a more efficient service, greater capacity to increase recycling levels than the city's former centre, and improvements to traffic flow. The former HWRC site has been transformed into a new trade recycling centre, which opened in July 2018. The new HWRC dealt with 9,214 tonnes of waste in 2018-19, and 58.7 per cent of this was recycled. Customer satisfaction with the new centre is more than 95 per cent.
Chester recycling centre
Love Your Streets campaign
The Love Your Streets campaign was launched on St Valentine’s Day to help make the borough’s streets the cleanest and safest in the country. The campaign focuses on how the Council and communities can work together to make a difference. Dedicated officers have been recruited to tackle environmental issues in communities as well as a new rapid response team, which will respond to requests quickly and effectively so existing officers are not called away from day-to-day operations. The new Area Streets Information and Solutions team (ASIST ) officers have worked with community groups and volunteers to arrange events, including supporting the Great British Spring Clean.
West Cheshire Your Streets
RSPCA PawPrint Awards
The Council was recognised in the 2018 RSPCA PawPrint Awards, picking up a Gold accolade for the seventh year in a row. We achieved the Gold Community Animal Welfare Footprint Award for exceeding legal requirements in the way we handle stray dogs. The award recognised our clear procedures and education programmes as well as linked initiatives like dealing with anti-social behaviour in failing to clean up after dogs.
Rules affecting dog owners
New rules affecting dog owners were introduced following changes to anti-social, crime and policing legislation. These streamline by-laws and orders that already existed in different areas of the borough. Instead of a wide-ranging requirement for dogs to be kept on leads, dog walkers must put a dog on a lead if asked to by an authorised officer and, responding to complaints, we have limited the number of dogs that can be walked by one person at any one time to six.
Shopping trolley scheme
A new scheme was launched in October 2018 to stop trollies being taken from three Ellesmere Port supermarkets and left elsewhere in the town. Trollies at Asda, Aldi and Iceland were fitted with devices which lock a wheel if they pass over any car park entrances or exits. Asda funded the installation of technology in the car park, and the scheme was implemented by the Council. Before the scheme launched, trollies were found up to several miles away and during one three-month period 462 trollies from 11 different supermarkets were collected by Council officers.
North West in Bloom competition
Ellesmere Port was given an award in its first entry to the North West in Bloom competition. The town was entered into the non-competitive ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ category which saw a judge visit in July 2018. They were given the Level 4 - Thriving award in November. This award paves the way for a full entry in the 2019 competition.
Victory Garden competition
We held a Victory Garden competition to mark the centenary of the end of the First World War. Schools grew their own vegetables and fruit from seed in the competition, which was sponsored by ESSAR. During the summer, our StreetCare team created flowerbed designs to commemorate the centenary using a planting method called carpet bedding, which dates back to the Victorian era but has never been used by the Council before.
Wild flower habitats
Our StreetCare and Green Space teams have created wild flower habitats on verges across the borough to protect biodiversity. The wild flower verges were created after residents raised concerns that grass cutting reduces potential habitat for bees. The Council plans to increase the number of wildlife habitats in future years.
Wild flower habitat locations
Avenue Services is a joint venture between the Council and Sanctuary Group. It provides services including grass cutting, caretaking, cleaning, housing management, neighbourhood planning and youth services across Blacon, as well as being responsible for the management of Blacon Adventure Playground.
In 2018-19 Avenue Services:
- delivered £85,000 of investment in 32 community projects in Blacon’s neighbourhood plan
- increased the proportion of Blacon residents on its workforce to 44 percent consulted on a new health hub for Blacon, which will be located next to the Parade Enterprise Centre
- completed the refurbishment of three play areas in partnership with the Council, including Graham Road, Cairns Crescent and Canterbury Road
- secured an extra £40,000 of funding for Canterbury Road play area from Waste Recycling Environmental (WREN).
Avenue Services’ plans for 2019-20 include:
- the 50-year anniversary of Blacon Adventure Playground
- supporting Sanctuary Housing and the Council to develop a health hub and apartments, aiming to start work on site in January 2020
- delivering the 2019-20 neighbourhood plan with increased investment of £90,000 – this includes working with Edsential to deliver an activities and food programme providing free food to school-age children during the summer holidays.