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PRESTIGIOUS AWARDS FOR TACKLING ANTISOCIAL NOISE

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Doncaster MBC's innovative scheme to tackle noisy neighbours and ...
Doncaster MBC's innovative scheme to tackle noisy neighbours and

other nuisance noise has won a top award which will be presented

tomorrow, 25 September, by environment minister Michael Meacher.

The annual John Connell Awards were established by the Noise

Abatement Society (NAS) to encourage local authorities to develop

schemes to raise awareness of noise problems and to mediate and

settle conflicts arising from noise complaints.

Mr Meacher said: 'This awards scheme is an excellent way to encourage

and promote innovation in helping to solve local noise problems. This

complements government strategies to increase public awareness of the

problems posed by noise and to help educate people about the effects

noise may have on their lives, and what they can do about it.

'Surveys published recently by DEFRA show that outdoor noise levels

have not increased during the past decade, which is encouraging. But

what is worrying is that eight per cent of those questioned said that

noise spoils their home life, and many more suffer regular

disturbances. We all have a part to play in tackling the problem,

whether it is through framing legislation, developing innovative

local schemes or by being considerate to our neighbours.

'I am sure that John Connell would be immensely proud of the work the

Noise Abatement Society is doing to help the many people suffering

from problems caused by noise.'

The Noise Abatement Society this year received 282 entries for the

John Connell Awards.

It chose Doncaster MBC for its scheme to tackle noise problems:

persistent disturbances are recorded with digital equipment, and the

recordings analysed in a laboratory where they can be played back to

complainants, the noise makers and, if necessary, magistrates; those

creating the noise can be confronted with an objective demonstration

of the impact of their behaviour on others.

Because of the high quality of entries received, additional awards

have been made to Leeds City Council and Kensington & Chelsea RB.

Leeds' night-time noise investigation service, called 'Out of Hours',

improved services to residents and helped city police save nearly

£47,000.

Kensington & Chelsea RB's innovative Junior Citizen scheme

encouraged schoolchildren to learn about the effects of noise on

their health.

Peter Wakeham, director for NAS, said: 'Doncaster MBC is a very

worthy winner. Its 'sound lab' system is one that all councils

should seriously consider adopting as it can both significantly

improve the service offered to local people while saving the

council money.'

Notes:

1. John Connell formed the NAS in 1959. He was a lively businessman

who wrote regularly to the Daily Telegraph when it published

complaints from readers about noise. He received hundreds of letters

from all over the country from people whose lives had been blighted

by noise. After his death, the NAS was not as proactive as it had

been but involvement in noise issues grew again with the help of his

daughter, Gloria Elliott,a trustee, and his widow, Trude.

2. The award was first presented last year, to Blackburn with Darwen

BC for a scheme to promote and raise noise awareness among children.

3. This year's presentation will take place tomorrow (Wednesday 25

September) at 2.30pm, in Dining Room C at the house of commons.

4. DEFRA has recently published three major reports on the effects of

noise on people's lives:

- The UK National Noise Incidence Study (NIS) showed that changes in

noise levels and noise exposure between 1990 and 2000 were small

and trends were subtle. Background outdoor sound levels had

decreased, though were slightly worse at night.

- The UK National Noise Attitude Survey: 69 per cent of respondents

said they were generally satisfied with noise levels in their

environment while 8 per cent said their home life was spoilt either

'quite a lot' or 'totally' by noise.

- A review of legislation and enforcement across the European Union.

5. For more information, please call Peter Wakeham, Noise Abatement

Society: 01273 682223.

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