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Saturday, February 24, 2024

Leeds noise complaint service to be scrapped to save £72,000

Council to scrap out-of-hours witnessing

An overnight noise complaints service is set to be scrapped under cost saving plans by the council.

Leeds City Council is planning to abolish its out-of-hours noise witnessing service, which operates between 5pm and 4am, to save £72,000 a year.

The service receives thousands of noisy neighbour complaints each year and is normally staffed by the equivalent of seven full-time officers.

The plan is part of wide-ranging spending cuts being proposed at the authority, which is trying to balance its budget as it faces a multi-million pound shortfall.

The council said householders would be advised that mobile phone recordings and CCTV could be used to gather evidence of noise nuisance.

A council revenue savings report said: “Complaints are currently received when noise is emanating from a domestic or commercial property that complainants feel is excessive.

“On receipt of the call an assessment is made which is based on severity and on occasion does lead to officers being dispatched to abate the noise.

“The operational view is that the loss of the noise witnessing service subject of this proposal will have minimum impact on how we respond to complaints of noise nuisance.”

Councils are required to investigate complaints that could be a statutory nuisance and can issue noise abatement notices.

A council spokesperson said a new computerised complaints system would make it easier for householders to report noise nuisance. They said: “Noise nuisance is to be the first complaint type to use this new system.

“We will also be advising customers that we can now use their mobile phone recordings or any capture on CCTV to assist in the evidence gathering.”

The out-of-hours service received 7,480 calls during 2022/23, the council said.

The proposal to scrap it does not affect a separate noise nuisance service funded by the city’s two main universities which investigates noise caused by students.

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