CENTRAL Spennymoor is being put under the spotlight in the latest of a series of clean-up operations to target rundown neighbourhoods.

A community action team (CAT) led by Durham County Council is midway through eight weeks of action in Clyde Terrace and the surrounding rows of Craddock, Stratton, South, Baff, Edward and Flora Street.

By conducting weekly walkabouts and talking to residents it aims to identify and tackle environmental, housing and health issues.

Joanne Waller, the council’s head of environment, health and consumer protection, said: “We are working with our partners including the police, fire service and private landlords and agents working in the area to tackle issues which residents have raised as concerns.”

Since the work in central Spennymoor began on March 10, about 70 problem areas have been highlighted including rubbish in yards, blocked drains and houses in a state of disrepair.

The authority has issued 22 legal notices- 19 served on tenants and property owners for dumped rubbish and three relating to drainage problems.

Residents helped clear away rubbish from more than 20 properties and fly tipping has been removed from seven public areas.

Mrs Waller said the council is investigating the possibility of CCTV for such hotspots.

Firefighters have visited almost 200 houses and carried out home fire safety checks, which include fitting free smoke alarms, at more than 70.

Jennifer Jones, a senior environmental health officer who is coordinating the operation, said: “We look at areas with a degraded environment, where residents have complained and our partners have raised concerns, often they have a high number of privately let properties, poor housing maintenance and deprivation.

“Often the most vulnerable tenants are living in the most vulnerable housing so we want to get into those communities, to target resources to bring about change.”

Residents are urged to support the operation by reporting problems to the team by emailing communityactionteam@durham.gov.uk or calling 03000-261016.

A drop-in session will be held at St Paul’s Centre, St Paul’s Gardens, Spennymoor, on Thursday, April 17, from 4pm to 6pm.

Residents can report problems and there will be free health checks, energy advice and portable appliance safety checks on offer.