Operation Spruce Up comes to Wingate

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 Wingate on Tuesday, June 20, and will involve council staff and other partners delivering a deep clean of the village.

Improvement work is planned for Wellfield Road, North Road, Salters Lane, Front Street and surrounding areas.

The scheme will involve the sweeping and clearing of footpaths; painting and cleaning of street furniture such as bollards, railing and benches; replacement of old bins; removal of weeds and chewing gum; replanting of shrubs and renewal of road markings.

A team of people will help support the taskforce, including local councillors, the council’s clean and green and civic pride teams, East Durham Area Action Partnership (AAP) and Wingate Parish Council.

Pupils and staff from Wellfield School will carry out a litter pick and youngsters from Wingate Community Nursery School will plant tubs outside of the nursery with summer bedding plants.

The civic pride team, assisted by anti-litter mascot Tidy Ted, will also deliver an assembly at Wingate Infant and Junior schools and run a poster competition for pupils to educate children on the importance of looking after the environment and disposing of litter responsibly.

Oliver Sherratt, the council’s head of direct services, said: “The Spruce Up programme continues to go from strength-to-strength, with positive feedback received from residents, businesses and members of the public.

“Our aim is to get Wingate looking ship-shape and it’s great to have nursery and schoolchildren, the AAP and parish council involved in different aspects of the campaign.”

Cllr Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships added: “It’s pleasing to see local residents, schools and partners in support of Spruce Up. Their diligent help, whether it be taking part in litter picks or joining in with the poster competitions, encourages others to keep our communities clean and tidy.”

Operation Spruce Up was launched in November 2016 and will take in one town or village per Area Action Partnership (AAP) each month until December.

Last month, the campaign focused on Evenwood, with work taking place in Swan Street, Jubilee Terrace, Raby Street, Evenwood Lane, Chapel Street and Copeland Lane.

Chewing gum was removed from footpaths, weeds and detritus was cleared, old bins were replaced and street furniture was re-painted.

More than 30 pupils and staff from Evenwood Primary School also took part in a litter pick of the local area, collecting 12 bags of rubbish, with a further 18 pupils planting shrubs and bedding plants around the school to brighten up the grounds.

The council’s civic pride team hosted an education assembly and anti-litter poster competition at the school, with the winning entry going on display in businesses and community buildings around Evenwood.

Members of the public are encouraged to dispose of litter responsibly and help keep County Durham tidy. Anyone caught dropping litter is liable to be issued with an £80 Fixed Penalty Notice.