Operation Spruce Up to arrive in Leadgate

A programme to clean up and green up County Durham communities is moving to its next destination.

Durham County Council’s Operation Spruce Up arrives in Leadgate on Tuesday, July 4, and will involve council staff and other partners carrying out a deep clean of the village.

Improvement work is planned for St Ives Road, Watling Street, Durham Road, Front Street and surrounding areas.

The scheme will involve the sweeping and clearing of footpaths; painting and cleaning of street furniture, such as bollards, railings and benches; old bins removed and replaced with new bins; weeds and chewing gum removed; street markings renewed and the planter and Cenotaph replanted with summer bedding plants.

In addition, the teams will return after the removal of summer bedding plants to remove older brick planters and replace with new beds, including sustainable planting to provide year-round colour.

A team of people will help support the taskforce, including local councillors, the council’s clean and green and civic pride teams, Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership (AAP), local community group Leadgate Taskforce and staff and volunteers from Sustrans.

Alongside this work, the civic pride team is hoping to work with the local primary schools, carrying out educational assemblies and a poster competition to teach children how to dispose of litter responsibly and take pride in their environment.

In addition, staff and volunteers from Sustrans, a charity that aims to make it easier for people to walk and cycle, will be joining forces with local residents and businesses to carry out a litter pick along the Coast-to-Coast cycle path.

Oliver Sherratt, Durham County Council’s head of direct services, said: “The Spruce Up programme will involve a range of volunteers coming together alongside the council to give the area a thorough clean up.

“This particular scheme will see a major litter pick carried out along the stretch of the cycle track, so we’re confident this will make a positive improvement to that area for cyclists and local residents.”

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, added: “It’s always impressive to see how many residents, schools, organisations and partners want to get involved in the Spruce Up programme. We’re grateful that their involvement helps shape the local area and encourages others to do their bit for the community.”

Operation Spruce Up was launched in November 2016 and takes in one town or village per AAP area each month until December of this year.

The campaign saw activity in Wingate, East Durham, during June with work taking place in Wellfield Road, North Road, Salters Lane, Front Street and surrounding areas.

As well as cleaning up the area and carrying out improvements, youngsters from Wingate Community Nursery School planted summer bedding plants donated by Wingate Parish Council outside their nursery, while pupils from Wellfield School carried out a litter pick.

And the council’s civic pride team hosted an education assembly and an anti-litter poster competition at St Mary’s RC Primary School, with the winning entry to go on display in businesses and community buildings around Wingate.

Residents, businesses and communities can find out more about Operation Spruce Up by emailing the civic pride team at civicpride@durham.gov.uk

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