Cash boost to help clean up Sunderland streets

Clean Streets is an Echo campaign calling on the city to be kept litter-free.
Clean Streets is an Echo campaign calling on the city to be kept litter-free.

A new dedicated post to boost efforts to clean up Hendon and tackle flytipping has been created due to extra funding by Sunderland City Council.

Hendon ward’s three councillors Victoria O’Neil, Michael Mordey and Barbara McClennan teamed up with Back on the Map - which has used £25,000 from the Strategic Initiatives Budget to create a part-time environmental officer for the next 18 months.

Coun Victoria O'Neil, Nicky Rowland (Enforcement Manager, Sunderland City Council),  John Johnston, Victoria Patterson (Enforcement Officer, Sunderland City Council) and Coun Michael Mordey

Coun Victoria O'Neil, Nicky Rowland (Enforcement Manager, Sunderland City Council), John Johnston, Victoria Patterson (Enforcement Officer, Sunderland City Council) and Coun Michael Mordey

The councillors, who secured the funding from the East Area Committee, have long campaigned against the small minority of people who dump their rubbish leaving others to pay to clean it up.

Environmental officer John Johnston, a Hendon resident, is three months into his new role and says he is enjoying doing his bit to make Hendon, the East End and Grangetown a cleaner place to live and work.

“I have volunteered on many of the litter picks and community cleans ups that Back on the Map have organised for a couple of years now, so when I heard that the local councillors were looking to fund a dedicated environmental officer for our area – I jumped at the chance to apply,” said John.

Read more: What Clean Streets has achieved so far in Sunderland

“Hopefully by the end of the 18 months of the project, we’ll have made some headway in tackling the flytipping and litter problem.”

The funding for the new position is in addition to the £1.5million that Sunderland City Council has committed to frontline environmental services in each of the next three years.

Coun Michael Mordey said: “As local councillors we acknowledge that we have issues in some parts of the ward with rubbish and flytipping, particularly in the backlanes in the Long Streets and Middle Hendon.

“We absolutely take the matter seriously as local councillors and this is our latest attempt to tackle the problem.

Related: Echo’s Clean Streets campaign hailed as tougher fines for litter louts are agreed

“With the increased resources that the council are putting in on the ground across the city and also the increased enforcement activity we are seeing, I genuinely believe we will see a noticeable difference in the cleanliness of the backlanes in particular in the months ahead.”

The Echo’s Clean Streets campaign is calling on Wearsiders to be more responsible for their own waste in an effort to build a cleaner, more inviting and more welcoming city.

Anyone who sees items they think have been fly-tipped on a street or green space can contact Sunderland City Council to arrange its removal either by reporting it online at sunderland.gov.uk or by calling 0191 520 5550.