A new project aiming to make local neighbourhoods cleaner and greener is underway across County Durham.
Launched by Durham County Council, Find and Fix involves the council and community working together to tackle a range of unsightly issues in the community such as graffiti, chewing gum, or clearing pathways.
The new Find and Fix teams are part of the council’s £31 million investment in frontline services agreed earlier this year to enhance the services valued by residents and which are important in maintaining communities as nice places to live; in which people feel safe and protected.
In addition to the council’s normal green maintenance and street cleaning work, the project aims to fix cleanliness concerns spotted by the teams or raised by communities as soon as possible.
Work will differ depending on the needs of each area but the teams will be able to proactively assist with a wide range of activities. These include cleaning road channels, gullies and weeding; de-greasing pavements and removing chewing gum; removing graffiti; painting seating, benches, bollards and railings; sweeping areas where machinery can’t reach; and, repairing boundary walls and sculptures.
Teams can also prune trees causing safety concerns on roads, verges or pavements, tidy up areas in need and educate businesses on responsible waste management.
The Find and Fix teams have already started work on several projects across County Durham: improving an adventure lane play area in West Rainton; removing broken fencing and dangerous trees at Romaldkirk Cemetery and reinstating paths there; as well as bringing paths back into use and removing waste from Butterwick cycle path.
Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of environment, said: “We have four Find and Fix teams who are ready to work across the county, helping to proactively address issues raised by residents and work with them to make their communities cleaner. They will also be seeking out these small scale projects through knowledge of their own area.
“Each team comprises of three people who will adhere to the current social distancing regulations. However, once the scheme is more established, they will be supported by apprentices and trainees as we look to work with residents and grow Find and Fix to continue to ensure that County Durham is a great place to live, work and visit.”
Cllr Simon Henig, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “I’m delighted that we are able to invest in the Find and Fix teams. They are going to bring many benefits across County Durham, helping to ensure that our communities become cleaner and greener places to live.
“It’s important that we are able to work alongside local residents and respond quickly to any concerns that residents may have about their own area. I’d encourage people to let us know of any issues in their neighbourhood, which we will aim to fix as quickly as we can. Alongside other new investments such as increased numbers of neighbourhood wardens, we are aiming to make real improvements across the county.”