‘Noise Oscars’ Winners Announced

Winners of the 10th annual John Connell Awards, dubbed the ‘Noise Oscars’, were announced by the Noise Abatement Society (NAS) last night at a packed awards ceremony in the House of Commons.

The awards are designed to recognise and promote innovative ideas and initiatives from Local Authorities, industry, individuals and organisations that have made a positive impact on the reduction of excessive noise in the community, helping to improve the aural environment.

They are named in honour of the Society’s founder, John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK.

Gloria Elliott, chief executive of the Noise Abatement Society, said:

“We live in an increasingly noisy society and many of us are unaware of the destructive effect that noise pollution can have on health, learning, productivity and quality of life.

“Each of the winners of the John Connell award categories have made an outstanding contribution to creating practical solutions to help reduce noise pollution, enabling us all to benefit from a more harmonious environment.”

The awards were hosted by Mike Weatherly, MP for Hove and Portslade, on behalf of the NAS Trustees. The award winners and categories are:

Local Authority Award, sponsored by quietrevolution™ – this award celebrates initiatives, campaigns and schemes that are shining examples of community co-operation, awareness raising and creative solutions for reducing noise pollution and improving quality of life in the community.

Winner: Sheffield City Council, for its unique way of working with the South Yorkshire Police force to provide a non-uniformed officer to accompany the Council’s Environmental Noise officer when responding to noise complaints. This partnership has enabled strong links to be built with the Local Authority and also with complainants. Since this service has been introduced demand has increased by 58% as the public has become aware of its existence.

Highly commended: Cardiff Council and North Lincolnshire Council

Enterprise Award – this award is given in recognition of exemplary partnership working for the public benefit. In particular it recognises the exceptional dedication of individuals within their roles who go above and beyond accepted standards – those who forge a path for others to follow.

Winner: Thames Valley Police and Neighbourhood Action Groups, for their enterprising cooperation to work together to ensure community priorities were addressed.

Andi Cunningham, Chair of a Vale of the White Horse Neighbourhood Action Group and Andy Boyd, Chief Inspector Thames Valley Police LPA Commander each receive an award for their collaboration which actively tackled problems that were disrupting their communities, such as illegal raves. Their activity lead to positive convictions, making the Vale of the White Horse in Oxfordshire one of the safest place to live in the country.

Innovation Award – this award aims to encourage the development of new solutions to resolve noise pollution problems, using a pioneering approach that addresses this issue from a unique standpoint.

Winner: Joint Local Authority Regulatory Service (JLARS) for its co-operation between local authorities and developers in the construction of the Olympic Park, and to ensure the legacy of collaboration continues long after 2012. JLARS includes the London Boroughs of Hackney, Waltham Forest, Newham and Tower Hamlets and the Olympic Delivery Authority to co-ordinate and standardise local authority regulatory service delivery. JLARS has delivered new ways of cross boundary working, and is being used as a template for other partnerships across the country. Joint working protocols like these can help local councils save money and ensure that they operate more effectively and efficiently in the future.

Technology Award, sponsored by The Institute of Acoustics – this award applauds the vital role that industry can play in reducing noise pollution in our environment.

Winner: Tenant Green Machines for its innovative Green Machines 500ze, a piece of cleaning equipment with a Lithium-ion powered battery pack. It reduces carbon emissions and improves air quality. The Green Machine produces no exhaust fumes or CO2, and its clean air and near silent operation is ideal for enclosed or crowded pedestrian areas such as city centres.

Highly commended: Container Centralen

Trude Adler Award – this award celebrates the unsung heroes who make our world a better – safer, healthier, quieter – place to live and to whom we all owe a debt of gratitude.

Winner: Venetia Allan for her invaluable work in helping the Society to raise awareness of the dangers to hearing loss due to MP3 Player misuse and, in particular, developing the UK’s first Key Stage 3 curriculum to help the Society to educate young people about safe listening and hearing health.

Winner: Dominique Czoper for the Boileroom community approach / Live music venue – for her tireless and exemplary work with residents, local authority and community stakeholders to establish and run a thriving music venue with sensitivity, insight and consideration for the local community; and additionally for the curriculum developed to help make musicians and venue owners aware and informed about noise control procedures.

Silent Approach™ Award, sponsored by Brigade Electronics – this award encourages development in the area of reducing noise to the benefit of the community whilst enhancing the environment.

Winner: Southwark Borough Council, Temple and Mace for the glass Temple and Mace ‘Shard’ building, which will be the tallest iconic building in Europe, a “vertical city” with a mix of hotel rooms, offices, apartments and viewing galleries, sited adjacent to Guys Hospital and London Bridge station.

Its construction over a period of three years London Borough of Southwark’s environment protection team played a lead role in trying to minimise the noise impact of the building project on local residential and business communities.

Significant consultation with the council and collaboration with Temple and Mace has resulted in a series of best practice procedures to address the problem of disruption and noise disturbance in a dense urban situation. This has also become a template for other major construction sites in the future.

Europe Award – this new award recognises important initiatives undertaken in Europe to improve the aural environment for the benefit of all. It aims to encourage and disseminate good practices that can assist other European countries embarking on aural improvement programmes, especially in urban environments. The winner of this award is nominated by the Noise Abatement Society.

Winner: City of Stockholm, Soundscape & Acoustic Ecology Pioneers for its work in promoting the importance of soundscape in urban planning and design. Its close collaboration with Stockholm University and the definitive soundscape research group, the city has been host to a number of influential conferences and installations that are leading the way on acoustic ecology and confirming Stockholm as European Green Capital 2010.

Winner: Department of Environment, The Netherlands; PIEK Quiet Delivery Programme for its commitment to the PIEK Scheme, by developing quiet technology so that deliveries during off-peak hours are now possible. This has led to more efficient and considerate delivery methods. The technological enhancements to equipment and the documented best practice techniques of trained staff have also helped to make out of hours deliveries a reality in several other European countries.

10th Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award – in recognition of our founder, John Connell OBE, and the 10th Anniversary of the Awards in his name, the NAS will honour key individuals who have made outstanding contributions to raising the profile of noise pollution as a critical environmental issue and who have worked tirelessly over the course of their careers to effect solutions for the public benefit.

Winner: Alan Blissett – for his commitment and achievement of 47 years in noise mitigation and prevention. Alan is an Environmental Health Officer in London’s Southwark Council, working tirelessly to effect solutions for the public benefit.

With a sense of commitment and community beyond measure, Alan has worked around the clock mitigating noise for the benefit of local residents. This experience and skill has led him to deliver agendas on Air Quality, Land Remediation and Noise Reduction.

As such he has been a leading member of working parties responsible for production of London Air Quality & Planning Guidance, London Best Practice for Construction Emissions, and EPUK Biomass Guidance.

Winner: Stephen Stansfeld, for his continuing work on the effect noise has on health. Stephen’s research interests include the effects of the physical and social environment on mental health. He completed his PhD examining noise sensitivity and psychiatric disorder in 1989 and has subsequently been involved in many studies examining environmental noise and mental health. He led the West London Schools Study and the Bypass study in North Wales, and more recently was the principal investigator in the well-known European RANCH study on noise and children’s health and cognition.

Winner: Colin Grimwood, for his outstanding services to the acoustics profession. He has been involved with and managed major research projects and he has assisted in the development of some of the most important legislation, guidance and policy documents produced in this country in that time. These include the National Noise Incidence Study, the National Noise Attitude Studies, Planning Policy Guidance document 24 – Planning and Noise; Approved Document E of the Building Regulations and the 1996 Noise Act. More recently he has worked on the development of the Noise Action Plans and the Noise Policy Statement for England that were published earlier this year.

He is currently a technical director at Bureau Veritas as a technical director and is a key member of the group that provides technical advice to the noise and nuisance team at Defra.

For more information on the Awards ceremony, winners and finalists, or to see more photographs of the evening, visit www.noiseabatementsociety.com

ENDS

Media contacts: Sarah Whelband or Emma Batchelor 01732 779 087 or sarahw@westgatecomms.com

Notes to editors

Brigade Electronics – Sponsors of the Silent Approach™ Award

Brigade Electronics is the market leader in vehicle safety systems. Established in 1976, it single-handedly promoted the cause of reversing safety, bringing the very first reversing alarm and rear detection system to Europe and the first rear view camera monitor system to the UK. Today they are still the only company in the world to provide a full range of reversing safety systems for all types of commercial vehicle and mobile plant machinery to protect driver, passenger and pedestrian. For more information visit www.reverseinsafety.co.uk

The Institute of Acoustics – Sponsors of the Technology Award

The Institute of Acoustics is the UK’s professional body for those working in acoustics, noise and vibration. It was formed in 1974 from the amalgamation of the Acoustics Group of the Institute of Physics and the British Acoustical Society (a daughter society of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers). The Institute of Acoustics is a nominated body of the Engineering Council, offering registration at Chartered and Incorporated Engineer levels. The Institute has some 3000 members from a rich diversity of backgrounds, with engineers, scientists, educators, lawyers, occupational hygienists, architects and environmental health officers among their number. For more information visit www.ioa.org.uk

quietrevolution™ – Sponsors of the Local Authority Award

Developers and promoters of wind turbine solutions and the role they play in helping combat climate change. quietrevolution’s aim is to play a leading global role in the local energy revolution and has developed an elegant and innovative vertical axis wind turbine. This cutting edge technology has been designed in response to the growing demand for renewable technologies and demonstrates that turbines can be elegant, quiet and a long-term, cost effective solution for generating energy. For more information visit www.quietrevolution.com

About Noise Abatement Society

The objective of the Noise Abatement Society is to raise awareness of noise and noise-related pollutants (for example, light disturbance and air pollution). Its work helps to find solutions and relieve the physical and mental distress and ill health which noise and related pollutants cause and which profoundly affect public health, productivity, the quality of life and marine and wildlife. The Society was established in 1959 by John Connell OBE, who successfully lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960, establishing noise as a statutory nuisance for the first time in the UK. The Society operates a free advice helpline for those people that are suffering from noise nuisance, and don’t know where to turn to find a solution to the problem. The number to call is: 01273 823 850 or email info@noiseabatement.org

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