Housing

Council shortlisted for two national awards

Staff outside Freedom Centre

Posted on: 11 November 2019

Two North Devon Council projects have been shortlisted in a prestigious local government awards scheme.

The Clear Messages campaign, which was designed to reduce environmental anti-social behaviour, and the Safe Sleep project to help North Devon’s rough sleepers have both been shortlisted in the Local Government Chronicle (LGC) Awards.

The council’s submission for its work on the Clear Messages campaign was shortlisted for an award in the ‘Environmental Services’ category. This initiative was the brainchild of the council’s Environmental Wardens, Ray Jones and Alan Kyle. Their intention was to raise the profile of and reduce anti-social behaviour such as dog fouling, littering, fly tipping and abandoned vehicles. The campaign launched in 2017 and attracted national media attention, with both officers featuring in Channel 5’s Life of Grime programme in July this year. It also succeeded in encouraging residents to get involved by challenging and reporting such incidents to the council. As a result:

  • reports of dog fouling by the public rose by 40%
  • fixed penalty notices for dog fouling more than doubled
  • fixed penalty notices for all other offences linked to the campaign more than tripled
  • cases of flytipping reduced by 15%
  • reports of abandoned vehicles reduced by 24%

The Safe Sleep project was an initiative run in collaboration with adult social services, drug and alcohol treatment services, the police and Freedom County Alliance, a Barnstaple-based charity that supports vulnerable people. The collaborative approach of the council’s housing team gave more than 100 rough sleepers a safe place to stay during the winter months and helped more than a third of those who used the service into permanent accommodation.

North Devon Council’s Head of Environmental Health and Housing, Jeremy Mann says: “I am delighted that the efforts of our housing and environmental health teams have been recognised in this way. Both teams have worked doggedly to make some incredibly positive changes to benefit the local community. The Safe Sleep initiative literally changed lives and we are pleased that we are able to reinstate the service again this year. Our Environmental Wardens are extremely passionate and hardworking and the Clear Messages campaign yielded some very positive results, which have made a positive difference to the environment of North Devon and its residents. I am proud of what we’ve achieved and the impact it has had in our area, and it’s fantastic that this has been recognised by the LGC.”

The awards ceremony will take place in London next March.

More information about the council’s housing services is available online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/housing. Residents can report flytipping, littering, abandoned vehicles or dog fouling online at www.northdevon.gov.uk/environment or by calling 01271 388870.

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