A major operation has been launched to clean up part of an East Durham village.
Work has begun on the numbered streets area of Horden to address issues including large amounts of rubbish being left in alleys and back yards, by Durham County Council and partners including Durham Constabulary, and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service.
With financial support from Horden Colliery Residents Association and local councillors, work began this week to provide bins to people who do not have them and to carry out pest control.
Teams are clearing waste from alleyways and yards, with residents and landlords helping with this activity on Monday, and closing off open drainage systems.
Oliver Sherratt, the council’s head of direct services, said: “The clean up across the numbered streets in Horden has already seen some dramatic improvements, and is being welcomed by residents, a number of whom were helping out on Monday.
“The next stage of this initiative will be to ensure buildings in the area are as secure as possible, which will not only help to improve public safety and reduce arson, but also to cut the amount of fly-tipping in those which are empty.
“Working with partners, we will be engaging with residents and landlords over the coming weeks to explore ways of achieving this.”
Coun June Clark, one of those to provide funding for the work through her neighbourhood budget, added: “The challenge now will be to help keep the area looking as tidy as possible.
“Residents and landlords have a key role to play in this, and I look forward to further engagement with all interested parties to ensure we build on the momentum we have gained.”
Pat Barnett, chair of the residents’ association, said: “Working alongside local residents in cleaning up the area will hopefully encourage a more pro-active response to reporting future fly-tipping.”
The fire and rescue service’s district manager for Easington, Phil Innes said: “Fire crews are actively supporting the initiative in Horden this week and encourage members of the community to ensure any rubbish they would like removing is made available to the teams. Fire crews will also be carrying out Safe and Wellbeing visits and fitting free smoke detectors, please make sure you have working smoke detectors in your property and either request a visit from the crews or call 0845 223 4221.”