Important work carried out by Northumberland County Council and town and parish councils has scooped a national award.
The Keep Britain Tidy Network Awards recognise and reward the best campaigning, service delivery and partnership working across England.
The council’s Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team (NEAT) and a number of town and parish councils in south east Northumberland have established a joint funded model to deliver improved frontline environmental services through partnership agreements.
These include well established partnership arrangements with councils in Ashington, Blyth, Choppington, Cramlington and Seaton Valley. Other areas are also following suit, with local authorities in Morpeth, Amble, Berwick, Corbridge and Haltwhistle all working with the county council to enhance the service in their town.
The arrangements enable the town or parish councils to enhance the core service provided by the county council to deliver a higher standard of grounds maintenance and cleansing.
Coun Ian Swithenbank, cabinet member for local services, said: “Keeping Northumberland looking its best is a priority for this council and that’s why we invest time and money in it. I’d like to thank all the town and parish councils who work in partnership with us to deliver these key frontline services and this national award is great recognition for the scheme.
“Working in this way makes such a positive difference to the quality of our local environments and I hope this award encourages other towns and parishes to join with us in developing similar partnerships for their local areas.”
The initiative also supports local people by providing apprenticeship and employment opportunities and promotes greater volunteering activity and civic pride.
Keep Britain Tidy chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The work that local authorities and others are doing to improve our environment, in the face of very severe budget constraints, is superb.
“I would like to congratulate all the finalists and winners for their creativity, innovation and commitment to delivering quality services for their residents.
“The innovative thinking that councils are demonstrating echoes Keep Britain Tidy’s own approach to tackling the issues of litter and waste and to improving public spaces.
“Our conference is the perfect opportunity to share ideas as well as recognising the hard work that is going on across the country, day in, day out.”