County strikes gold over litter

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EFFORTS to make sure Northumberland has low levels of litter have seen it gain top honours in a national competition.

The county achieved a gold award and was rated a five-star authority in the Clean Britain Awards, with judges commending the council on maintaining a high standard across such a wide and diverse area.

Each entrant faced anonymous inspection visits to assess 13 key criteria, including general litter, chewing gum and smoking-related litter, fly-tipping, graffiti and litter bins.

The inspection covered coastal and inland areas and two locations achieved a perfect score. Northumberland received its accolades for the large authority category for councils with a population of over 200,000.

Judges did comment that in some areas there were minor vegetation problems, but this was not a widespread issue.

Council Executive Member for Highways and Neighbourhood Services Alan Thompson said: “This is a fantastic result for Northumberland and very well deserved for all our teams who work so hard to keep our county clean and green.

“Through the LOVE Northumberland campaign we have been working closely with local communities to make sure that we know where any litter hot spots are and encouraging residents to report issues to us as soon as they are aware of them. Credit must go to local community volunteers and partner agencies too, who work closely with us to ensure that our county is pristine for the benefit of residents and visitors alike.”

“The growing relationship between our residents and the council and that spirit of co-operation assists in enhancing the reputation of Northumberland.”

The Clean Britain Awards are run by the Chartered Institution of Wastes Management in association with the British Cleaning Council and are open to all local authorities and other organisations involved in managing public spaces.