Douglas is still streets ahead

Unregistered RawShooter essentials 2005 1.1.3 build 15
Unregistered RawShooter essentials 2005 1.1.3 build 15

A MORPETH man has been honoured after going the extra mile to help his local environment.

Douglas Hoblyn came to the aid of the former Castle Morpeth Council 10 years ago when he volunteered to design a system to map street sweeping routes in the area.

He used his professional administration skills gained during a 40-year career with the Bank of England to come up with an effective scheme.

With the introduction of local government re-organisation in 2009 he was asked by Andy Rutherford, head of highways and neighbourhood services at Northumberland County Council, to carry on with his work in mapping the routes and to roll out his system to the other parts of the county.

In appreciation for all of his efforts, the authority presented Mr Hoblyn with a LOVE Northumberland certificate.

“I drew up routes with maps, which could be kept in the cabs of the (sweeping) machines,” he said.

“The system was designed for 45 to 50 different areas and it was covered by two machines.

“It was also set up for drivers to feed back on a weekly basis. They were asked to report any problems, areas for action and non-urgent tasks for the future.”

Since he started his role with the county council, the 81-year-old has extended the system to Hexham, Prudhoe, Alnwick and Berwick.

Although he is thinking of winding down this work in the coming months, he is looking to see if he can help make improvements in other parts of the ‘street scene’ such as lighting, signage and footways.

And Mr Hoblyn will still be kept busy with his involvement at The Church of St Mary Magdalene in Mitford as well as spending time with his family, including wife Patricia, a son, a daughter and six grandchildren.

Mr Rutherford said: “Mr Hoblyn has been an invaluable ally, supporter and ambassador of our service.

“He has acted as a critical friend to ensure we always have the customer view of what local people think of the service delivery. I would like to personally thank him for his hard work during the past 10 years, which is very much appreciated.”