Blackhall residents invited to virtual sessions to tackle housing and environmental issues

Jul 15, 2020 | Local News

Residents are being invited to a series of virtual engagement sessions to help identify and tackle housing and environmental issues in their community.

This week, Durham County Council’s Community Action Team (CAT) launched a 12-week project to address priorities raised by residents in Blackhall Colliery.

The project will see the team working alongside Durham Constabulary, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, the council’s neighbourhood wardens and other partners to tackle anything from litter and dog fouling, to doorstep crime and noise nuisance. The team can also help to implement energy efficiency schemes and deal with empty properties and the problems they can cause.

The project will begin with three weeks of public engagement sessions, which would normally have been held in community venues. However, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, these sessions have been moved online. Letters have also been sent to households in the project area encouraging people to join in the sessions, fill in a survey or contact CAT by email or phone.

The online sessions will take place on the following dates:

  • Thursday 16 July, from 1pm to 2pm
  • Tuesday 21 July, from 5pm to 6pm
  •  Friday 24 July from 10.30am to 11.30am
  •  Thursday 30 July from 1pm to 2pm

Residents will be able to join the meetings simply by clicking on a link on the CAT webpage at www.durham.gov.uk/cat. They can also choose to remain anonymous if they wish.

Paper surveys will be available at the Resource Centre in Blackhall Colliery and residents can request a phone call by contacting CAT on 03000 260 000 or communityactionteam@durham.gov.uk

Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “Our Community Action Scheme brings partners and residents together for a thorough and targeted response to housing and environmental issues in their communities. We are keen to build on the success of this project and so we are adapting our approach to ensure we adhere to social distancing guidance, while also providing ways for all residents to get involved safely.

“If you live or work in Blackhall Colliery, I would encourage you to attend one of our online sessions, fill in the survey or request a phone call. Your views and insights will help us to identify priorities for the work we carry out.”

The public engagement period will be followed by seven weeks of action, with activities carried out in smaller groups to maintain social distancing and keep people safe. During this phase, further online community meetings will be held from 10.30am to 11.30am every Tuesday, from 11 August to 15 September. The meetings will be a chance for residents and partners to review progress and discuss any new issues that arise. Links to join the meetings will be available at www.durham.gov.uk/cat

The final two weeks of the project will provide an opportunity to review the activities carried out and identify any further work that needs to be done. Feedback on the project will also be shared with the wider community.