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Clean up your act, urge waste watchers

Features by Adam No Comments »

Claire Blizzard (left) and Caroline Ballinger with the rubbish dumped
Photo: Cotswold District Council Environmental Wardens Claire Blizzard (left) and Caroline Ballinger with the rubbish dumped between Baunton and Calmsden

Litter louts are being urged to clean up their act by Cotswold District Council’s new waste watchers.

Caroline Ballinger and Claire Blizzard were astonished by the amount of rubbish they found dumped along a quiet country lane in the District.

In a mile-long stretch of road between the villages of Baunton and Calmsden, north of Cirencester, the Council’s two Environmental Wardens picked up:

  • A discarded fireplace
  • Nine car tyres
  • Fuel tank from a car
  • Concrete block
  • Number plate and wheel trim
  • Enough bottles and cans to fill two large boxes
  • Bin bag full of general litter
  • Broom, bicycle pump and three plants pots

“Most people who live in the District are really keen to keep the Cotswolds clean and to do their bit to reduce waste and to increase recycling,” said Caroline. “However, a small minority of selfish individuals can spoil the environment for everyone else.

“We were amazed by the amount of rubbish that had been dumped along this very short stretch of road – it completely filled the back of our van.
“We would urge these people to stop dumping rubbish in the first place. It’s a totally avoidable problem and Council Tax payers pick up the bill for cleaning it up.”
Fly-tippers can be fined up to £20,000 and one of Caroline and Claire’s roles will be to actively investigate offences.

They will also be encouraging community groups to join in Cotswold District Council’s annual Spring Clean this March and April to target local litter ‘grot spots’.

“We wouldn’t expect local community groups to pick up fireplaces or fuel tanks but litter-picking volunteers can make a big difference to their local environment in a very short space of time,” said Claire.

“Last year, nearly 50 organisations took part in the annual Spring Clean, including parish councils, schools, Scouts, Brownies and WI groups.

“We hope even more groups will join in this year’s clean-up. So why not make it a fun, community event and get everyone involved?”

The Council supplies waste sacks, gloves, tabards and litter-picking tools for the Spring Clean and events organised through the Council will be covered by its insurance.

To register for the Spring Clean 2008, please contact Cotswold District Council’s Waste Communications Officer Mike Harris on (01285) 623123.

Litter louts are being urged to clean up their act by Cotswold District Council’s new waste watchers.

Caroline Ballinger and Claire Blizzard were astonished by the amount of rubbish they found dumped along a quiet country lane in the District.

In a mile-long stretch of road between the villages of Baunton and Calmsden, north of Cirencester, the Council’s two Environmental Wardens picked up:

  • A discarded fireplace
  • Nine car tyres
  • Fuel tank from a car
  • Concrete block
  • Number plate and wheel trim
  • Enough bottles and cans to fill two large boxes
  • Bin bag full of general litter
  • Broom, bicycle pump and three plants pots

“Most people who live in the District are really keen to keep the Cotswolds clean and to do their bit to reduce waste and to increase recycling,” said Caroline. “However, a small minority of selfish individuals can spoil the environment for everyone else.

“We were amazed by the amount of rubbish that had been dumped along this very short stretch of road – it completely filled the back of our van.
“We would urge these people to stop dumping rubbish in the first place. It’s a totally avoidable problem and Council Tax payers pick up the bill for cleaning it up.”
Fly-tippers can be fined up to £20,000 and one of Caroline and Claire’s roles will be to actively investigate offences.

They will also be encouraging community groups to join in Cotswold District Council’s annual Spring Clean this March and April to target local litter ‘grot spots’.

“We wouldn’t expect local community groups to pick up fireplaces or fuel tanks but litter-picking volunteers can make a big difference to their local environment in a very short space of time,” said Claire.

“Last year, nearly 50 organisations took part in the annual Spring Clean, including parish councils, schools, Scouts, Brownies and WI groups.

“We hope even more groups will join in this year’s clean-up. So why not make it a fun, community event and get everyone involved?”

The Council supplies waste sacks, gloves, tabards and litter-picking tools for the Spring Clean and events organised through the Council will be covered by its insurance.

To register for the Spring Clean 2008, please contact Cotswold District Council’s Waste Communications Officer Mike Harris on (01285) 623123.

Volunteer staff happy in new Moreton home

Features, Places by Adam No Comments »

Staff at the North Cotswold Voluntary Help Centre will continue to play a crucial role in Moreton in Marsh in 2008, thanks to a helping hand from Cotswold District Council.

The High Street branch of the NCVHC found itself under almost four feet of water after the July floods, but found temporary sanctuary at Cotswold District Council’s Moreton Area Centre.

Less than a week after the floods had hit the NCVHC offices – ruining computers, equipment and furnishings – they had moved into offices just down at the Centre in the High Street.

And although the NCVHC was insured against the damages, staff soon settled in their new location and it wasn’t long before they decided to make the arrangement permanent.  A tenancy agreement was signed in early December and the small team of staff now operates from a spacious office within the Moreton centre.

NCVHC chairman Chris Stevenson said:

“We needed to set ourselves up in temporary accommodation, and CDC did that for us within days – they were very helpful.

“Ultimately, this new location will work very well for us and it’s a very positive move for us to be making.”

The North Cotswold Voluntary Help Centre provides transport to anyone in the community who may need a lift somewhere, be it the doctors, dentist, hospital or an eye appointment, charging just 30p per mile for the service.

It is open from 9.30am–1.30pm five days a week and also offers advice and information, a shopping service for the house-bound, and a sitting service to offer respite to carers.

Anyone wanting to contact the service should phone them on 01608 651115.

Gloucestershire County Council seeks Education Appeal Panel volunteers

Features by Adam No Comments »

Are you interested in education and consider yourself fair and impartial? 

If you think you are, Gloucestershire County Council is seeking volunteers to sit as Panel Members on Education Appeal Panels.

Education Appeal Panels hear appeals against the decisions made by Gloucestershire County Council, as the Admissions authority (in respect of community or voluntary controlled schools) to either refuse admission to a child or to permanently exclude a pupil.

Membership of Panels must include a member with experience of education and this means parents of registered pupils at a school.  Appeal Panels are normally held during the working day at Shire Hall in Gloucester with the majority taking place in June and July.  The amount of time spent hearing appeals varies and, on occasions, some may have to sit for up to six days. The county council will pay reasonable costs and one day of training must be completed before sitting on a Panel.

Panel members must hear all appeals for the annual intake for a particular school and have no personal or professional interest in any case which they hear.  For that reason, panel members may not serve on panels for their local schools or for any child who is a relative or friend.

Councillor Joan Nash, Cabinet Member for Schools, said: “Appeal Panel members play a vital role in ensuring that appeals are independent, fair and impartial.  I hope that parents will come forward and take an active role in contributing to Gloucestershire’s education system.”

Applications for appointment as members of Appeal Panels with experience in education can be made in writing to:
Mrs J Cleaver
Democratic Services
Shire Hall
Westgate Street
Gloucester
GL1 2TG
or by telephoning 01452 425096 or email jane.cleaver@gloucestershire.gov.uk

Council seeks local views on dog controls

Features by Adam No Comments »

Dogs could be subject to stronger controls in the Cotswolds later this year following the outcome of the current public consultation by the District Council.

The Council is considering adopting new powers under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (2005), which allow local authorities to introduce Dog Control Orders. The Orders could cover the following:

  • preventing fouling of land by dogs
  • requiring owners to keep dogs on leads
  • excluding dogs from specified land
  • controlling the number of dogs a person can take onto specified land

Before introducing any orders, the Council wants to find out which towns and villages are experiencing dog-related problems and how the orders might improve the situation.

A questionnaire has been sent to all town and parish councils in the District and residents, land owners and businesses are encouraged to contact their local town or parish council to let them know of their concerns.  The community can also give their views by filling in a short survey on the Council’s website at www.cotswold.gov.uk.

The initial consultation, which runs until the end of January, will also include short telephone surveys with randomly-selected callers to the Council.

All the responses will be analysed and depending on the results a series of draft Dog Control Orders will then be drawn up.  A more detailed public consultation will then follow in Spring or early Summer 2008.

The Council anticipates rolling out the Dog Control Orders in September 2008 but this will depend on the feedback received through the consultation phases.

Public Protection Manager Kate Bishop said: “We recognise that dog fouling and other dog-related matters are emotive issues and we would like to hear the public’s views on the subject before deciding whether or not dog control orders are needed in the Cotswolds.

“Dog fouling in particular can create a potential health hazard.  Whilst we currently have some laws in place to deal with this, the new powers could provide us with additional tools such as fixed penalty notices to deal with this unsociable matter”

Anyone who breaches the terms of a Dog Control Order faces a fine of up to £1,000 or the opportunity to pay a fixed penalty notice.

Cirencester Visitor Information Centre to join forces with Museum

Places by Adam No Comments »

Cirencester’s Visitor Information Centre (VIC) will receive a new lease of life in 2008 when it moves from the Market Place to the Corinium Museum in Park Street.

Plans for the move were approved by Cotswold District Council in December and, under the new proposals, the VIC will move into the Museum’s shop, offering a combined service.

The VIC currently operates from the Corn Hall, which was sold by the District Council to Wildmoor Properties in Summer 2007.

The move will see a range of benefits for both services, including new Sunday opening for visitor information to tie in with current Museum hours, lower running costs for VIC services, and multi-skilled staff, who will be able to cater for both museum and tourist enquiries.

Customers will be able to enter the shop at the front of the building for visitor information without having to pay to visit the Museum itself.

There will be no change to the service offered by the VIC, which includes travel information, information on local attractions, souvenirs and books .

Cllr David Fowles, Cotswold District Council Portfolio holder for Sport, Culture and Enterprise, said: “This move is really exciting and will offer CDC the opportunity of continuing to provide visitor information services in the recently-refurbished Corinium Museum.  It will hopefully encourage more visitors to visit the Museum’s fantastic collections at the same time.

“The changes will offer a new perspective to an already efficient service, and it’s a very positive and encouraging move for the VIC to be making.

“Exciting developments are on the way in the streets around the Museum and the VIC’s new location will help to attract visitors to this changing part of Cirencester.

The move is expected to take place during the first six months of the year.

A recycled Christmas cardboard mountain

Features by Adam No Comments »

Keen environmentalists in the Cotswolds have been recycling unprecedented amounts of card and cardboard over the Christmas period.

There are now eight large cardboard recycling containers sited across the Cotswold District and one of them – at Kingsmeadow Tesco, Cirencester – was full up within just two hours of being emptied last Friday (28th December).

“We have been overwhelmed by the success of our cardboard recycling during 2007,” said Ralph Young, Cotswold District Council’s Director of Environmental Services.

“During the year, we increased the number of cardboard banks from two to eight and have seen the amount of cardboard being recycled in the District increase from around two tonnes to 20 tonnes per month.

“The amount of card and cardboard being recycled reached unprecedented levels over Christmas due to all the extra packaging and staff from the Council and our contractors have been working very hard to keep up with the demand.

“There have been a few occasions when the recycling banks have overflowed but we have now increased the frequency of collections at all sites and are confident we will stay on top of the situation in the New Year.”

A small minority of residents made the Council’s job more difficult over the Christmas holiday period by dumping general household waste at recycling sites.

Mr Young added: “The vast majority of Cotswold residents are keen recyclers and most of those who use the recycling banks are doing a great job. However, there are a few people who abuse the facilities by dumping non-recyclable waste. We would urge this small minority to stop acting selfishly.”

To find out more about recycling services in the Cotswolds and information on your nearest recycling banks, visit www.recycleforgloucestershire.com

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