Appearance matters for new council team

A dedicated new team is on patrol, tasked with making sure the district remains a welcoming and attractive place to live, work and visit.

AREA OFFICERS MAIN AND THUMBNAIL PIC

Four new Area Officers are now on duty as part of Folkestone & Hythe District Council's commitment to keeping the area clean and safe. They will act as the Council's eyes and ears, dealing swiftly with issues such as graffiti, litter, and vandalism, and working with businesses and community groups.

Cllr David Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Special Projects, said the project had huge potential.

We know from talking to residents that littering, dog mess, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour are among the top issues they want us to tackle, and that's exactly what this team will be doing.
They will be on the spot to deal with any issues they see, reporting or resolving them as necessary.
Ward councillors will also be able to highlight particular problem areas that need attention.
We have set them some ambitious targets but I am confident they will exceed them and make a real difference across the whole district. Cllr David Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Special Projects

As well as tackling issues themselves, the Area Officers aim to empower communities to help themselves by increasing the number of volunteer clear-ups, as well as events led by local businesses.

Several district employers including Saga, Swiss Re, and Holiday Extras already take part in corporate social responsibility events, where staff are encouraged to hold a litter-pick or clean-up. The team hopes to encourage other firms to get involved.

A new community payback scheme will be introduced, allowing people sentenced to community service placements to spend time clearing an area of litter or graffiti.

The Area Officers are already making a fantastic difference - on their first morning patrolling they were able to clear litter left by a bin in Hawkinge, and clean graffiti and grime from a bus shelter.
The team was joined by an enthusiastic bunch of volunteers including pupils from Brockhill Park school, Rotarians and Council members, who took part in a litter pick at Hythe beach.
These sort of issues make a huge difference in helping make sure areas look tidy and well cared-for, which research has shown can help reduce litter and graffiti. Cllr David Godfrey

If you'd like the Area Officers to investigate a problem area where you live, or if you'd like to join a community litter pick, speak to your ward councillor. You can find out who that is and how to contact them via the 'my area' section of the Council's website: www.folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/myarea

Published on 15 October 2018