A NEW neighbourhood warden has started working in a bid to tackle littering and problems with waste.

Nicola Shorten has been employed for five hours a week to try and reduce things like littering, low-level antisocial behaviour, dog fouling and graffiti.

The City of Durham Parish Council has agreed to fund the position, which is an addition to a full time warden employed by Durham County Council.

Parish clerk Adam Shanley said Ms Shorten was already making a difference.

He said: “It was in response to us getting a lot of complaints about littering and residential and business waste which we are keen to tackle.

“We did have some complaints about littering outside a house and Nicola has already been out and sorted out so it’s already making a difference.”

Neighbourhood wardens are able to issue fixed penalty notices for a number of offences, including dropping litter, cigarette butts and chewing gum, dog fouling, flytipping, graffiti, abandoned vehicles and low-level antisocial behaviour.

The parish council has entered into a service level agreement with the county council for a year and is paying £5,000 for the service.

It is applying for grants in the hope of securing a further five hours a week.

Ms Shorten, who started work this month, will be carrying out regular patrols in the city, dealing with issues as she encounters them or responding to complaints made by members of the public.

She reports to the neighbourhood warden manager at Durham County Council.

Reports by members of the public are reviewed three times a day to try and resolve them promptly.

Complaints and problems can be reported online, via the “do it online” service, which can be accessed via doitonline.durham.gov.uk.

Once reported, a reference number is issued and residents are contacted with feedback once the issue has been dealt with.

Problems can also be reported by calling 03000 261 000 or emailing help@durham.gov.uk.