HOUSING and environmental issues are being tackled through a programme hoping to improve the area.

Durham County Council’s community action scheme – which sees the authority team up with emergency services – began work in Bishop Auckland focusing on problems highlighted by residents.

The community raised concerns on issues including empty homes, accumulations of rubbish, privately rented properties and dog fouling.

Michael Yeadon, the council’s environment and health protection manager, said:

"We are delighted that our community action scheme is still going strong in 2019.

"The participation in the engagement events at Bishop Auckland was good with some really positive suggestions.

"We have taken these on board in the strategy we have developed, and we are looking forward to delivering on it."

The initiative began with two weeks of speaking to community groups and residents, with two engagement events organised to allow priority work areas to be set.

The 11-week project is running in the area covering 830 properties either side of Cockton Hill Road, where a high number are privately let.

The scheme has been tackling housing and environmental issues across County Durham since 2013, following a successful pilot programme in 2012. It has visited more than 30 locations.

The partnership has invited members of the public to drop-in and speak to the team about the project and report any issues of concern.

Residents have also been invited by the council on a joint walkabout on Friday March 1, meeting outside Woodhouse Close Leisure Centre at 10.30am.

The final two weeks of the project will be spent reviewing the work undertaken.

To find out more visit durham.gov.uk/article/3939/Community-Action-Scheme-s-current-project