PRISON inmates are throwing their weight behind bars – by installing iron gates to combat fly-tipping.
Back yards in Horden have been blighted by fly-tippers and a Community Payback scheme is being put to good use to curb the problem.
Iron gates are being made by inmates before being installed in the village’s back streets to keep fly-tippers at bay.
Horden Colliery Residents’ Association is behind the scheme and 32 gates are being made to block off yards that have been prone to brazen litter-bugs.
They will be installed by offenders serving community orders with the Probation Service.
Fly-tipping has been a problem in the area, with many open yards becoming a magnet for criminals, creating health and fire hazards.
The first set of gates, made by prisoners in HMP Kirklevington, near Yarm, has been installed in Seventh Street.
Each will be embossed with the address of the property so that if they are stolen, they can be traced back to the house.
The project is being funded with £3,500 from the East Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP) and it is hoped the landlords and owners of the properties being improved will make a donation once they see the results of the work.
Residents’ association chairman John Barnett said: “These gates are cost-effective and when you think about how much they are and the benefit they will have, the money is negligible.
“What we are going to do as part of the project is photograph the gate and show it to the landlords, communicate with them, and we hope they will see how great it is and we’ll ask them to make a donation.
“If this is a success, and I have every reason to think it will be, it could be rolled out to other areas of the county.”
The project, which has also won the support of police and Horden representative on Durham County Council, Councillor Paul Stradling, follows on from the One Street at a Time campaign, where yards, back lane and land is cleared of waste.