COUNCIL staff and emergency services will team up to tackle housing and environmental issues affecting residents in a village.

The Eldon and Dene Valley area, near Bishop Auckland, is the focus of an 11 week operation under Durham County Council’s Community Action Scheme, which was set up in 2012 to identify and then address local issues.

The community is the 33rd visited by the council’s Community Action Team and partners, which include Durham police and County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, and they will work in an area covering about 900 homes in and around the village.

The work, which started on Monday, begins with two weeks of priority setting during which the team will speak to residents and community groups to gauge concerns and find out what action they want to see.

On Tuesday, October 22 events will be held at the One Stop Shop, on High Street, Eldon Lane, between 10.30am and 11.30am, and at Eldon Community Centre, on Main Road, from 5pm to 6pm, to give local people their say on community priorities.

Following the public sessions, a strategy will be agreed between the partners prior to seven weeks of action. During the action weeks there will be project work and walkabouts.

Residents can join the walkabout which takes place on Thursday, November 21 meeting at 11am outside the One Stop Shop.

Surgeries will also be held to give residents and landlords the chance to speak to the team about the project and report any issues, every Tuesday at alternate venues.

These take place at One Stop Shop on November 5, 19 and December 10, from 10.30am and 11.30am, and at Eldon Community Centre on November 12, 10.30am to 11.30am, November 26, 5pm to 6pm, and December 10, 10.30am to 11.30am.

The final two weeks will see the team reviewing work done and feeding back to relevant parties.

Eldon and Dene Valley is the fourth location visited by the community action team in 2019, following schemes at Cockton Hill Road in Bishop Auckland, Grange Villa and Crook.

Joanne Waller, the council’s head of community protection, said: “Our community action scheme is all about speaking to local people, finding out what matters to them and then working with our partners to come up with a plan of actions which we then seek to deliver on.

“I would encourage anyone with an interest in Eldon and the Dene Valley to come along to the events we have next week and the surgeries, to ensure that the work we will be doing reflects what the community wants.”

For more information about the community action scheme visit durham.gov.uk/cat