People who take pride in their local community are being asked to step forward to inspire others to follow. The simple measures can range from cutting back hedges to keep pathways clear to reporting broken street lamps or joining litter picking groups.
The Cleveland Fire Brigade appeal comes in a clampdown on nuisance fires and making it harder for would-be arsonists to be a blot on the landscape and divert resources away real emergencies here lives may be at risk.
The “Love Where You Live” campaign will run throughout July in partnership with Zetland FM is focused on the hotspots across the Redcar and Cleveland area. Arson cost this district £4.8m in 2018/19 with the key causes being rubbish and grass fires. The worst affected wards are South Bank, Eston and Grangetown and crews regularly attend incidents on the Eston Hills and Guisborough and Errington Woods.
Steve Johnson, Area Manager, Prevention, Protection and Engagement, said: “The current pandemic has harnessed a great community spirit where we know the majority of residents and businesses are actively involved in keeping their local environment clean and tidy. This is making a huge difference as removing rubbish and other hazards removes the fuel for fires, maintains a sense of pride and helps us reduce nuisance fires.
“We are asking people to step forward and show others exactly how small contributions collectively can keep our communities safe, clean and tidy. We have recently donated lots of litterpicking equipment to local groups and supported a range of events.”
Redcar and Cleveland’s Cabinet Member for Highways, Neighbourhoods and Transport, Julie Craig, said: “The ‘Love Where You Live’ campaign has our unwavering support. All of us want to enjoy our area and not see it ruined by litter or vandalism. It has been particularly distressing to see the number of fires occurring as a result of arson over the last couple of years, for example the one in Guisborough Woods last year, which destroyed an expanse of the forestry and an area which was previously enjoyed by many nature lovers, walkers, riders and cyclists in the area, not to mention home to local wildlife. The Fire Brigade’s resources are much better deployed elsewhere, so everyone who is able should play a part in preserving and protecting where they live.”
Zetland FM are running a competition alongside the campaign, people who email photos in to firstname.lastname@example.org to showcase their activities will be entered into a prize draw and the chance to win an Echo dot.
The Brigade has also shared information on apps such as Fixmystreet which can be used to report issues such as broken street lights or fly-tipping and the what3wordsapp which pinpoints location and makes it easier to report problems. You can help by:
- Cutting back hedges that border footpaths
- Clearing rubbish and tidying boundaries on to public footpaths to aid visibility
- Disposing of bulky items via a registered service (check: www.gov.uk/environment-agency)
- Reporting issues like broken street lights
- Reporting issues such as fly-tipping in your area to www.fixmystreet.com or your local council
- Reporting incidents anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111
- Putting wheelie bins out only on the day if collection and bring them in as soon as possible
- Storing bins and refuse securely and away from property
- If you are out and about follow the countryside code and take your rubbish home