Concerns raised over state of backyards

Surveying the backyards in Blyth.
Surveying the backyards in Blyth.
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Enforcement action is being taken against people who are failing to keep their backyards clean.

A number of complaints and concerns have been raised by residents in the Cowpen Quay area of Blyth, inluding sightings of vermin and concerns about health and safety.

Coun Kath Nisbet surveys the backyards in Blyth.

Coun Kath Nisbet surveys the backyards in Blyth.

Northumberland County Council is taking enforcement against some tenants and landlords in a bid to get the area cleaned up.

Council teams will be 
on hand to clean up areas if this is not done by the residents themselves, and will then be charging them the costs.

Coun Kath Nisbet said: “I have had a number of very concerned residents contact me. Unfortunately a small number of people who live there don’t seem to care what sort of mess their back yards get into.

“We also have cases of yards being used as general dumping areas and we have to get this sorted out.

“I have been talking 
to the neighbourhood services enforcement team and they are looking into appropriate courses of action as soon as possible.”

Landlords and tenants will be given a set period of time to clean their property up.

If they fail to do it the council will have to come in to put things right – but will be charging the costs of this back to those responsible for the property.

Coun Ian Swithenbank, policy board member for local services at the council, said: “One of our main priorities as a council is making sure that we can all live in an area where the local environment is clean and tidy.

“It is a real shame when a minority of residents allow things to slip like this – spoiling the area for others.

“We are working in a number of ways across the county to keep areas clean and green, and I would encourage people to let us know if they have problem areas like this.”

To report local environmental issues online, go to www.northumberland.gov.uk