The environmental services department covers all the areas people consider 'basic' provisions of a council. When Northumberland Conservatives were first elected to county hall, this council fell short in many areas. I am determined that before anything else, this council will be built on a solid foundation of delivering services well for the whole county.
Getting the basics right means making sure bins are emptied on time, the grass is cut, the streets are swept, and the weeds are controlled. And despite the ravages of the winter our roads and pavements are repaired when needed.
This effort to make our County look and feel a great place to live and visit is inbuilt in our staff and also to a huge contingent of volunteers and groups.
Last week 22 different schools, organisations and individuals from across the County were celebrated at our LoveNorthumberland awards night at AlnwIck Gardens.
As well as this, all nine of the Parks we entered for Green Flag status won the award. This shows the quality of parks we offer for Northumberland. A lot of work went into achieving this and I'd like to congratulate everyone involved.
However sometimes things happen to spoil our County, and when they do I want us to try and put them right. Like badly behaved dogs and owners who don’t clean up after their pets. To deal with this we have introduced the hugely successful Green Dog Walkers scheme to encourage responsible dog owners. But when we need to be tough and so far we have been. Last year we handed out 85 fixed penalty fines for dog fouling which is the highest number issued by any of the seven North East Councils.
One of the biggest blights on our countryside is roadside littering. We are taking this seriously and I want to tackle littering in our county, particularly along roadside verges.
This won’t be easy but we will do our best to keep Northumberland clean and green!