Residents take control of village clean-up

Residents of Monkton Village working on their local environment to make it a better place to live.
Residents of Monkton Village working on their local environment to make it a better place to live.

Residents in Monkton Village are in line to receive recognition for improving their environment.

Since its formation in 2015, the Monkton Village Association has been working to tidy the area and improve the quality of life to make it a better place to live.

Flowers at the entrance sign to Monkton Village.

Flowers at the entrance sign to Monkton Village.

Now the association’s members are in for recognition from the Royal Horticultural Society’s (RHS) ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ programme.

In September last year, resident Gerry Fionda was inspired by the South Tyneside Public Health’s ‘Better U’ campaign, and called a meeting in the Marquee of the Lord Nelson to look at how the village could be improved.

More than 50 people turned up and it was agreed set up the Monkton Village Association.

Since then, members have carried out weekly planting, weeding and tidying around the village including every Wednesday a group spend two hours carrying out maintenance work – shaping verges, litter picking and cutting back out of control planted areas

They have also cleaned up street signs and filled planting boxes around the village.

Other jobs undertaken include painting out graffiti on litter bins and street furniture, cleaning up the grassed areas next to the Monkton Memorial prior to the Remembrance Day Parade, reporting fly-tipping and dog fouling to the council, working with council housing manager Eric Crammon to ensure other improvements and support, and worked with local councillors to get a range of improvements including new automatic speeding signs, improved pathways and enabling local residents to plant on the council verge areas outside houses.

The association has recently been awarded £700 for planting out hanging flower baskets from the council’s Hebburn Community Area Fund.

In addition the association has a village history group, which has collated and catalogued photographs, information and other documents with the intention of creating an interactive website which will help local people understand the history of Monkton Village.

Chairman of the association, Mr Fionda, said: “This has really taken off and with the support of local people, the council and local organisations, we are looking to build on the great work done so far.

“Local people are meeting with each other, socialising and joining together to all improve our neighbourhood.

Secretary Mark Overton added: “We are seeking substantial funding from many sources to hopefully further improve the village, it surroundings and increase the wildlife and planted areas.”