The John Connell Awards are named after the NAS’ far-sighted founder John Connell OBE, who lobbied the Noise Abatement Act through Parliament in 1960 when noise became a statutory nuisance in the UK for the first time. These annual awards, known as the ‘Noise Oscars’, are now in their 14th year. They acknowledge the importance of the quality of sound in our lives, and champion vital advances in reducing the negative impact of unnecessary noise for the public benefit. Over 150 recipients from local authorities, industry, organisations and individuals have been honoured for the significant impact they have made to improve the aural environment.
The 2015 John Connell Awards Ceremony, held on 3rd November, at the Palace of Westminster, and kindly hosted by Bob Neill, MP for Bromley & Chislehurst, was attended by local authorities, acoustics experts, companies committed to providing quieter products and services, high profile individuals who campaign for a more peaceful environment. Speakers included Rory Stewart MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Environment and Rural Affairs, and Duncan Price, Department of Transport.
The John Connell Award winners for 2015 are:
- LOCAL AUTHORITY AWARD
Winner: ISLE OF ANGLESEY COUNTY COUNCIL; Highly Commended: SWALE BOROUGH COUNCIL
Controlling unwanted noise in the community is one of the many tough responsibilities of Local Authority Environmental Health Teams. This Award, sponsored by DHL, recognises services, campaigns and programmes that are shining examples of community co-operation, education and creative solutions to solving noise nuisance problems.
The Anglesey Motor Racing Circuit contributes millions of pounds to the local economy, but it is situated in an area of natural beauty and close to rural villages. In response to noise complaints, the Isle of Anglesey County Council introduced a Noise Control System and established a Liaison Group involving the Authority, the local community and the racing circuit, to foster greater understanding of each stake holder’s position. This collaborative process has enabled the circuit to function successfully, whilst giving Anglesey residents a strong method of redress should noise nuisance occur.
Swale Borough Council has carried out a thorough review of its residents’ needs regarding noise disturbance. It has implemented highly effective new measures, despite financial challenges, to provide a comprehensive responsive noise service, liaising with the Community Safety Unit to target peak complaint periods, tackling major noise issues with immediate effect. Feedback shows that three quarters of the responders feel that the service offered is excellent.
- ENTERPRISE IN QUIET LOGISTICS AWARD
Winner: ABBEY LOGISTICS
This Award, sponsored by the Freight Transport Association, recognises advances in low noise technology in transport, to facilitate quieter delivery and services.
Abbey Logistics Group operates liquid and powder tanks, and palletised trailers, throughout the UK and Europe within its three logistics divisions. One of the company’s core concerns is to lessen the impact on the environment of the movement of its vehicles. As Abbey Logistics makes many deliveries in and around London, it has introduced the first ‘Silent’ DAF trucks to the UK, which provide a quieter drive by and reversing solution. These trucks are used with Abbey’s Command and Steer Urban tanker to minimise noise impact when delivering to hospitals, hotels and businesses.
- SILENT APPROACH AWARD
Winner: BROXTOWE BOROUGH COUNCIL and TERBERG MATEC UK
This Award, sponsored by Brigade Electronics UK, recognises significant initiatives to reduce noise nuisance for the benefit of the community, to improve the environment.
Broxtowe Borough Council’s initiative, as part of the Nottingham Consortium of Councils, in purchasing Terberg Matec UK quiet and efficient electric bin lifts with their waste collection vehicles, has been successful in mitigating the noise of waste collection and improving service care for its local residents. This is a great example for local authorities in other areas to follow.
- TECHNOLOGY AWARD
This Award, sponsored by ROCKWOOL, recognises the crucial role that industry plays in the reduction of noise pollution and the positive impacts that result.
DHL’s bespoke concept delivery truck, with its high build specifications, has been designed to be safe, clean and quiet. It runs on a blend of natural and bio-gas, with the capability of running each fuel independently, which will represent a 68% reduction in particulate matter and a 39% reduction in nitrogen oxides. Extremely quiet, the vehicle is a vision of the future for anytime urban delivery without noise disturbance.
- INNOVATION AWARD
Winner: BRIGHTON & HOVE CITY COUNCIL
This Awardencourages the development of new schemes to resolve noise pollution and recognises pioneering approaches that address this issue from unique standpoints.
Brighton & Hove City Council has won this Award for its unstinting commitment to researching, testing and implementing a ‘Soundscape’ approach to the built environment, and helping to train the first generation of urban sound planners. Soundscape projects take into consideration the views of all ‘stakeholders’. These may include residents, local authorities, architects, town planners, landscape designers, businesses and venues. By setting up discussions and encouraging collaborations, resolutions can be achieved which protect the interests of all.
- SOUNDSCAPE AWARD
Plantronics, the electronics company which produces audio communications equipment,haswon this Award for its new headquarters, the Soundscape Building, in Hoofddorp, near Amsterdam. Opening in 2016, the beautiful building was conceived by architect William McDonough and chemist Michael Braungart, as part of their Park 20/20 development. It features internal and external designed acoustic zones, to encourage inspired living and working, thereby increasing productivity and wellbeing. An inspiration for office spaces of the future.
- QUIET MARK AWARD OF DISTINCTION
Winner: John Lewis
Quiet MarkTM is the international mark of approval awarded by the Noise Abatement Society for excellence in quiet design and solutions to improve the aural environment. The special Quiet Mark Award of Distinction is given to a company which has shown outstanding eco-quiet values and innovation.
John Lewis was one of the first retailers to acknowledge the effect of noise in our everyday lives and the importance of giving customers more information about the sound of the products they purchase for their homes. The Award also recognises John Lewis’ commitment to work with Quiet Mark to set a benchmark in sound quality, part of its company ethos for consumer care.
- LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Winner: Professor Lex Brown, Griffith University, Australia
This Award honours 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.
Photos of the event are available here