Teams to Tackle Community Issues

Posted by: Caroline Smith on 27 January 2023 11:41


A new dedicated engagement team is set to tackle issues such as recycling, energy efficiency and crime and safety across South Tyneside.


Subject to full Council approval of the Medium Term Financial Plan next month, the three officers will be intelligence-led and focus on identified hotspot locations across the borough.


They will deliver a programme of engagement aimed at advising and educating residents on issues such as waste and recycling, community safety and crime prevention, supporting targeted campaigns. They will also maximise opportunities for wider engagement, such as at council events.


Cllr Tracey Dixon, Leader of South Tyneside Council, said: "The proposed community engagement officers will be deployed on a priority basis to target issues where they are needed most.


"For example, if we have data around high levels of recycling waste contamination, they will provide advice to residents about which materials can be recycled but will follow this up to ensure behaviour change, and if necessary, with enforcement such as issuing warning letters.


"The ethos of this team will be around education and prevention; they will be working hand-in-hand with residents, businesses and partners to resolve targeted local issues."


Alongside the engagement officers, a new business and community response team will be introduced for the next two years, thanks to the Council successfully securing £8.8m from the UK Shared Prosperity Fund. The team will receive a slice of the Fund's first year allocation.


The team will support and complement engagement activity, targeting hotspot areas both proactively and reactively and will be available to respond out of hours.


They will focus on reducing anti-social behaviour in the three town centres, parks and housing estates. Officers will be equipped with body cameras to help gather evidence as part of their enforcement role.


Cllr Dixon added: "Over the next two years, this team will enhance the activity of engagement officers and other council enforcement teams.


"They will support businesses, shoppers and residents on a daily basis and their work could range helping to reduce anti-social behaviour by engaging with perpetrators and directing them to diversionary activities; to monitoring and calling in environmental issues such as litter, to providing public reassurance at high-profile events."


Last modified: 27 January 2023 11:42