A COMMUNITY action scheme aimed at improving housing and the environment for County Durham residents has taken to another village.

Durham County Council’s community action team (Cat) is visiting Grange Villa for an 11-week project to tackle housing and environmental issues.

The initiative works in one town or village at a time, identifying key issues and how best to use resources.

The Cat team, made up of planning, housing, and environment, health and consumer protection (EHCP) team members, works alongside emergency services including Durham Constabulary, County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and other partners.

The scheme will begin at Grange Villa with two weeks of engagement, speaking to community groups and residents to best gauge current concerns and prioritise work areas.

All are invited to two engagement event on Wednesday 1 May, from 10.30am to 11.30am, at the Grange Villa community centre.

Following this, the team and its partner services will agree a strategy to address prioritised problems over seven action weeks.

Previous projects have included tackling issues such as empty properties, rubbish, noise concerns and cold calling.

Throughout the action period, weekly resident surgery sessions will be held at the community centre where all residents and landlords can speak to the Cat team about the project and report any issues.

The impact of the community action scheme aspires to continue after the 11-week project period. To encourage this, the final two weeks will review the work undertaken, give feedback and encourage long-term improvements.

Joanne Waller, the council’s head of EHCP said: “The community action scheme is unique as it really is an inclusive effort, involving residents and our specialised teams and partners.

“We really value having the views of people who live in each location, and this is a key part of establishing an improvement strategy designed specifically for the area.

“We visited Grange Villa in 2014, tackling issues such as improving housing standards and the removal of rubbish dumped in back yards. This fresh initiative will build on previous project work to make the area an even healthier place to live.”

The community action scheme has visited more than 30 locations since it started in 2013.

Dates and times of the sessions are:

• Wednesday May 8 from 10.30 to 11.30am

• Friday May 17 from 10.30am to 11.30am

• Wednesday May 22 from 5pm to 6pm

• Friday May 31 from 10.30am to 11.30am

• Wednesday June 5 from 10.30am to 11.30am

• Friday June 14 from 10.30am to 11.30am

• Wednesday June 19 from 10.30am to 11.30am

For more information visit https://www.durham.gov.uk/cat.