Spring-clean spruces up our neighbourhoods

BAG IT UP ... Coun John Anglin with South Tyneside Homes business administration apprentice, Matthew Clark, 19.

BAG IT UP ... Coun John Anglin with South Tyneside Homes business administration apprentice, Matthew Clark, 19.

WHAT a difference a few hours can make to our neighbourhoods.

Wards across South Tyneside are once again receiving a spring spruce-up.

The environmental clean-ups have involved a variety of goodwill work, incorporating litter picking, graffiti removal, minor repairs, painting fences and seating, and a general tidy up of green spaces.

South Tyneside Council, together with its housing organisation South Tyneside Homes and its Improving Communities partners, are committed to beautifying areas and neighbourhoods throughout the borough.

In one of the largest clean-up areas, 40 bags of rubbish were collected in just a two-hour period. And on average about 25 bags have been collected during each main event.

Shrubs and grassed areas have been a particular focus, alongside paths and those locations situated “off the beaten track” that aren’t necessarily visible all of the time.

Plastic bags and bottles have been a key concern, and painting has taken place on benches at West Park, South Shields, fences at Cornthwaite Park in Whitburn, and at a number of estates in Jarrow. The Spring Clean teams also recognised the issue of dog fouling waste.

But this is something that is being currently addressed by the council’s dog fouling awareness initiatives, which are being delivered across the borough

The clean-up drive has also seen councillors, residents, volunteers and apprentices visit a number of locations, including Harton village, Glenthorpe House in South Shields and Boldon Newtown.

Coun Tracey Dixon, the council’s lead member for area management and community safety, said: “It’s always encouraging to see how passionate people are about their local community; and wonderful to see the ways in which they are working closely with the council and our partners to help improve the local built environment.

“This is part of a longer-term approach to environmental improvements that the Improving Communities partnership would like residents, businesses, schools and organisations to become involved in. This is just a taste of what we can all achieve if we work together.”

Coun Neil Maxwell, a Labour ward member for Harton, said: “The Spring Clean programme has given people the opportunity to target key problem areas in their local community, and has been a way for individuals and groups to work together to make a real difference.”

Labour’s Coun Allan West, who represents Westoe, said: “The clean- up scheme has enabled the council to work closely with its partners and other groups to enhance the existing maintenance and tidying schemes that already take place in the borough.

“It also gave people the chance to not only improve the outdoor areas but also various local residential and community buildings. The Spring Clean has been well received by residents for across the area.”

Coun Alison Strike, Labour’s ward member for Boldon Colliery, added: “The Spring Clean has been very well received by residents from across the borough.

“It has also provided a valuable opportunity for young apprentices to work closely in the local community and gain experience for their current placements.”

The Improving Communities partners helping with the Spring Clean include: Groundwork South Tyneside & Newcastle; South Tyneside Homes; CVS South Tyneside; Northumbria Police; Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue; Public Health and South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group; Regional Equality Forum; and Probation Service.

If residents or businesses would like to take part in any of the future Spring Cleans, they should contact the council on 0300 1236633.

More information about the work of South Tyneside Council can be found by visiting www.southtyneside.info

Twitter: @shieldsgazpaul




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