Residents in a County Durham community are being encouraged to share their views and opinions as part of a project to tackle housing and environmental issues.
Durham County Council’s Community Action Team (CAT) will be carrying out a Community Action Scheme in South Moor from 5 July to 17 September. The 11-week scheme will see the team work with local police officers, firefighters, housing associations, Groundwork North East and Cumbria, Stanley Town Council and elected members as well as local community groups and residents to look at improving issues which affect members of the public.
Residents are being sent letters about the project and how they can get involved. The focus area within South Moor covers around 900 properties, which have a high proportion of private lets with environmental issues, as identified by partners. All residents in South Moor are welcome to be involved in the project, however the focus area is where proactive walkabouts will be carried out.
Cllr Mark Wilkes, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and climate change, said: “This is a great opportunity for our partners and ourselves to make improvements to the local community for the benefit of everyone. But we really do need residents’ help, which is why I’d encourage anyone living in the area to provide their views on the important issues we’re focusing on as part of the project.”
Residents will be asked to let the team know their concerns and priorities in a number of different ways. People can fill in an initial resident survey which is available via:
- using a weblink, or QR code, on the resident letter to access it by mobile phone
- through the CAT webpage
- through a social media link
- the council’s customer services team will also be able to help residents complete the survey over the telephone.
Residents will also be invited to meet members of the CAT at a Covid-safe face-to-face resident engagement event on Tuesday 13 July, from 4pm to 6pm, at South Moor Methodist Church, in Park Road, at which residents can give their views and help decide project priorities.
A virtual resident engagement session will take place via TeamsLive. This will be an unmanned session that can be viewed during the engagement period. Residents can access this through the link at www.durham.gov.uk/cat
Residents can email also the team at firstname.lastname@example.org or request a phone call back from a CAT officer, either by emailing email@example.com or calling the customer service team on 03000 260 000.
A live chat function will be available on the webpage to help signpost residents.
Stanley Town Council’s local warden has already begun four weeks of litter picks with pupils at Greenland Community Primary School, which will coincide with the start of the project.
Following the engagement period, priorities will be agreed and a plan put in place for seven weeks of action focussing on the issues. During the action weeks there will be weekly walkabouts, project work and other actions depending on the priorities chosen.
Stanley Town Council is also planning a Play in the Park event, which local residents can attend and at which partners will be present to promote their services. This will take place on Wednesday 11 August, from 10am to 3pm on the field next to Greenland Community Primary School.
During the project residents are welcome to attend a mid-action resident surgery where they will be updated on work being carried out in the area. Covid-safe measures will be in place at the event, which will be at South Moor Methodist Church on Tuesday 17 August from 4pm – 6pm.
At the end of the project, all work undertaken will be reviewed and an exit strategy put in place. Feedback will also be given, including letters to local residents and property owners.
For more information about the Community Action Scheme and the work of the CAT go to www.durham.gov.uk/cat