LEAMS Seminar 2018

Workshops and Speaker Biographies

All delegates attended four of the eight available workshops, two in the morning and two in the afternoon.


Morning workshops

Commercial Waste Project, Better StreetScapes

John Foster, Seamus Connolly, Glasgow City Council

John and Seamus will guide you through Glasgow’s Commercial Waste Project (CWP), an initiative which has sought to address the challenging issue of waste containers being permanently stored on public space within the busy city centre. Following on from an initial pilot project the CWP will now be rolled out in phases to the whole of Glasgow with all areas compliant by March 2019.

Practical applications for LEAMS

Alex Fleming, Falkirk Delivers

The LEAMS scoring makes up part of Falkirk Delivers joint working agreement with Falkirk Council and is a great tool to help leverage funds, manpower or other resources. We all want our communities to be safe, clean and friendly spaces which we can all enjoy and be proud of. This workshop will focus on how to get the best from the information contained in the LEAMS report and will discuss local facilitation, the right partner for the right project and ever decreasing budgets. We will look at identifying quick wins from the report and where a longer-term focus may be needed.

Clean Up Scotland/ Litter Prevention Action Plans

Heather McLaughlin, Keep Scotland Beautiful

Following on from the successful Spring Clean 2018 Keep Scotland Beautiful (KSB) will be building on the existing Clean Up Scotland campaign to make Spring Clean 2019 a greater success. Recently, there has been additional investment into the campaign which enables further engagement with even more communities, schools and businesses across Scotland and support them with prevention and behaviour change campaigns. KSB will be looking to identify opportunities to work with communities and organisations to complete place-based Litter Prevention Action Plans building on Zero Waste Scotland’s methodology.

Data for change: How the LGBF can guide our questioning

Melissa Bakhsh, The Improvement Service

In a challenging economic climate, how can local data make a big impact nationally? Exploration of data at a local level and engagement with other councils are the first steps on the road to understanding variation in service provision, performance and satisfaction. With examples of tailoring the LGBF to specific strategic priorities, this session will provide attendees with straightforward information on how to use this tool effectively.  This workshop aims to provide guidance on how best to interpret LGBF data for your local authority, and explore the ‘whys’ behind the ‘what’.

Afternoon workshops

East Haven Together

Wendy Murray, Angus Clean Environments

Wendy will talk about events which culminated in a community led litter summit in Angus. Key achievements such as Adopt-A-Steet will be highlighted along with an insight into some of the challenges faced by communities striving to make a difference. Collaboration at all levels and across all stakeholders has underpinned the work carried out in Angus. 

A collaborative approach to campaign interventions

Georgina Massouraki, Keep Scotland Beautiful

The national roadside litter campaign relies on a variety of partners for delivery. All have different priorities, capacities, requirements and roles. Georgina will discuss what’s worked, what hasn’t and the plans and partnership opportunities for roadside litter prevention in Phase Two of the campaign.

Community Group Engagement

Ian Talboys, Simon Whitworth, Duncan McNeill, Aberdeen City Council

Aberdeen City Council has a long history of working with local communities to deliver a range of outcomes whether this is significant external funding to deliver large projects in partnership or an individual wanting to do their bit to clean up their neighbourhood or record the wildlife in their local greenspace. The Aberdeen City Council Environmental Services Team work with over 100 community groups across the City. 

Aberdeen was crowned RHS Britain In Bloom’s best city in 2018 and won the Growing Communities award for partnership work with schools and communities.

In this workshop Countryside Officer Ian Talboys along with two of the Countryside Rangers will discuss the range of projects and services, benefits, challenges, and constraints delivered through engaging effectively with local community groups across the Environmental Services remit.

Collaboration with community anchor organisations

Alan Benson, Milnbank Housing Association

This workshop will explore the potential for enhanced environmental outcomes through collaboration with community anchor organisations. Community based housing associations have been identified by the Scottish Government as anchor organisations because they are well placed to play a key role in the delivery of services at the local level. These organisations have a well-established track record of complementing their primary function as housing providers with wider role activities and have built a reputation for being about much more than bricks and mortar. The workshop will hear from one community based housing association and discuss whether collaborative working with this network would achieve greater local environmental benefits.

Speaker Biographies

Colin Bayes, Conference Chair

Colin Bayes is a Chartered Environmentalist with an extensive career dealing with environmental issues, latterly as Director of Environmental Protection and Improvement for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, a post he retired from in May 2010.

He is former chair of the National Advisory Group for river basin management planning, the Sustainable Urban Drainage Scottish Working Party and the Pollution Prevention and Control industrials’ forum. He was a member of the Metropolitan Glasgow Strategic Drainage Partnership Board and is now a board member of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park Authority and is a Charity Trustee for Keep Scotland Beautiful.

Pete Leonard, Operations Director, Keep Scotland Beautiful

Before joining Keep Scotland Beautiful, Pete was Corporate Director for Communities, Housing and Infrastructure at Aberdeen City Council. He has over twelve years’ experience at a senior level in the authority and he has held responsibilities for education, social work, housing and regeneration and environmental and infrastructure services.

In recent years, he has provided “Place” leadership in terms of community planning and neighbourhood working and in relation to economic development and sustainable development. Pete has been active in the field of Future Cities strategy, particularly in the areas of digital infrastructure, municipal energy and carbon reduction.

Pete is passionate about improving the quality of life in local communities and understands the positive benefits that a quality environment can make to improved life chances. He also recognises the positive role that communities can make in meeting the challenge of climate change by embedding sustainable development goals into everyday activities.

Ian Talboys, Aberdeen City Council

Ian Talboys is Aberdeen City Council’s Countryside Officer and manages the award-winning Aberdeen City Council Countryside Ranger Service.  As one of the Environmental Services team managers he is also involved with many community groups around the city helping and supporting them deliver projects ranging from establishing orchards, developing way marking and interpretation for greenspaces to building and improving path networks and community clean ups.

With over 30 years’ experience working in Ranger Services across the UK, Ian is passionate about wildlife, working with communities and sharing his knowledge with other people from pre-school children to members of the Royal Family! 

Simon Whitworth, Aberdeen City Council

Simon is a Countryside Ranger and has worked for many years with community groups and individual volunteers helping to manage countryside sites in Aberdeen. He has worked with volunteers with mental health issues for many years and has seen the benefits for volunteers and the team.

Duncan McNeill, Aberdeen City Council

Duncan is a Countryside Ranger and has worked for many years with community groups and individual volunteers helping to manage countryside sites in Aberdeen. Duncan organises a mid-week team of volunteers who go out for two days each week to work around these sites.

Wendy Murray, Angus Clean Environments

Wendy Murray lives in the village of East Haven in Angus where she has been an active community volunteer for 25 years. She is heavily involved in leading the village charity, East Haven Together, which this year won the RHS Britain in Bloom best coastal village award. In 2017 Wendy led on the Angus Litter Summit and developed a new group, Angus Clean Environments. East Haven Together received the Scottish Resources Award 2017 for the Best Litter Prevention project.

John Cassells, East Renfrewshire Council

John has worked within local authorities for the past 28 years.  He first started his career with Renfrewshire District Council 1991 -1996, prior to reorganisation to East Renfrewshire Council from 1996 onwards.  John is a full member of the Chartered Institute of Waste Management and has worked closely with Keep Scotland Beautiful on LEAMS process from 1997 onwards.

Alex Fleming, Falkirk Delivers

Alex joined Falkirk Delivers, the town's Business Improvement District, in 2010 as Assistant Manager, leading on "Taking a Pride in Falkirk" strategic initiative. With a strong background in marketing and advertising, she became BID manager in 2015. Alex's focus is to create a town centre which is a vibrant and welcoming place to work, to visit, to live and invest.

Alex sits on strategic steering groups which are delivering a £5.5m investment through a townscape heritage initiative, an accessibility and equalities group, and the Healthier, Greener Falkirk group which focuses on sustainable growth and infrastructure change.

In 2016 Alex led the BID to its 3rd term, the first BID in Scotland to achieve this. Other recent accolades include being a gold award winner and 2017’s BID category winner at the Beautiful Scotland Awards, The Association of Town & City Management’s 2017 BID of the Year and a gold award winner at the 2018 Britain in Bloom competition.

Seamus Connolly, Glasgow City Council

Seamus Connolly has been in local authority employment, in a variety of roles, for 26 years. He is the Principal Officer for the Glasgow City Centre Strategy 2014-19, which is a wide-ranging and high-profile initiative that seeks to address key structural and policy impediments to the city centre’s sustainable growth.

Previous management responsibilities have included developing and establishing the Councils Stalled Space Initiative which subsequently went on to receive international recognition by winning the prestigious City to City Barcelona FAD Award in 2013. The project has since been rolled out, with the support of the Scottish Government, to other local authorities.

With a background in environmental regeneration Seamus is also a qualified training instructor and has managed employability projects in partnership with several local authorities.

John Foster, Glasgow City Council

John Foster has worked for Glasgow City Council for 15 years, the last 5 of which have been with DRS City Centre Regeneration. He has led on or supported a number of initiatives and interventions such as the City Centre Mural Trail, Festive Lighting Improvement Programme, City Centre Healthcheck, Independent Retail Fund, and the Commercial Waste Project.

John has also been involved in progressing strategic regeneration through the Districts Strategy, and the City Deal funded “Avenues” programme. He also currently leads the City Centre Management Group which seeks to identify and facilitate methods to improve operational effectiveness.

Melissa Bakhsh, The Improvement Service

Melissa started at the Improvement Service in August 2018, working as part of the Benchmarking Team to organise and facilitate learning events for various service areas across local authorities. Previously, Melissa worked in front-facing roles supporting young people on the autistic spectrum; most recently running the second year of the employability programme Project Search in West Lothian.

Martin Burrows, Inverclyde Council

Martin is a Senior Technician with Inverclyde Council’s Environmental and Commercial Services section whose main duties are grounds and streets asset management including associated GIS maintenance.  Martin has been involved with the development of the LEAMS methodology since Inverclyde’s early participation and continues to help steer the future direction of litter monitoring in Scotland by trialling an updated approach along with five other local authorities

Georgina Massouraki, Keep Scotland Beautiful

Georgina joined Keep Scotland Beautiful in 2015 working as a community projects officer on the #NeatStreets project and various community activities. She now leads the delivery of the anti-roadside litter campaign. Georgina is responsible for the day to day project development and delivery, utilising her interests in behaviour change, effective communication and community engagement.

Before joining Keep Scotland Beautiful, Georgina worked in project development and engagement in social enterprise, local authority and a variety of education environments. She has also spent time as a researcher studying animal behaviour, ecology and evolution.

Heather McLaughlin, Keep Scotland Beautiful

Heather joined Keep Scotland Beautiful in 2017. She works on a range of projects in the community projects team.

Before coming to work with us, Heather spent time with Aberdeen City Council on the recycling team helping with community engagement and education activities. She also volunteered as a community researcher for The Children’s Hospice Association Scotland and with the Sedimentary Ecology Research Group on a range of studies.

Alan Benson, Milnbank Housing Association

Alan Benson is Director of Milnbank Housing Association, a community-based housing provider operating in the east end of Glasgow. He has extensive experience of wider role activity linked to housing provision. These include social, economic and environmental initiatives. Alan is also actively involved with the Glasgow & West of Scotland Forum of Housing Associations and the Third Sector Interface in Glasgow.

Ken Gray, Refrewshire Council

Following 18 years working in Dept. of Work and Pensions, Ken joined Renfrewshire Council as a Business Manager, managing all administrative functions for the largest secondary school in Renfrewshire, including the transition of the school into a new purpose built secondary.

Ken moved into project management and led the council through the expansion of the Leisure Trust into a Cultural and Leisure Trust and joined Environment and Infrastructure as StreetScene Manager.  Within Renfrewshire, StreetScene was introduced in 2012 becoming an integrated grounds and street cleaning service and Ken is currently working closely with Zero Waste Scotland and Keep Scotland Beautiful and others on the CoPLaR developments through the Monitoring and Adoption Group.

Jill Cronin, Scotland's Towns Partnership

Jill Cronin has served for many years in the public sector at a senior level - firstly as a housing professional and then in the last 6 years as a chief officer responsible for Planning, Economic Development, tourism, culture and leisure. Since retiring in March this year Jill has established her own consultancy business and has been contracted to Scotland's Towns Partnership since April to carry out a review of strategy and governance. 

Steven Gray, Wheatley Group

Steven took up his current role in August 2016 as Neighbourhood Support and Frontline Lead for the Wheatley Group, the largest registered social landlord in Europe. He has worked in housing for over 20 years and has a strong operational track record in housing management and, more recently Neighbourhood Environmental Services. Steven leads a team across a wide range of functions with a strong emphasis on performance and customer service.

Emma Leel, Zero Waste Scotland

Emma works with Zero Waste Scotland and has been working in the Litter and Flytipping programme for 5 and a half years. As sector manager she is responsible for engaging with a wide range of external organisations to promote Scotland's preventative approach to tackling litter and flytipping and supporting delivery of Scotland's national litter strategy - Towards a Litter-Free Scotland. This includes leading on the review and implementation of the revised Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse 2018 (CoPLAR); research and opportunity finding and providing audience insight from within the sector; engaging with stakeholders to seek out and action potential projects and contribute to best practice gathering and knowledge sharing and to embed prevention into service delivery; providing technical and professional advice to the sector.

Emma has over 12 years' experience in the resource management sector including the oil and gas sector, local authority waste management, behaviour change and policy development.


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