Action week lifts community spirit

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A MATLOCK housing estate has been ‘transformed’ after several police raids, evictions and lots of litter-picking have resulted in anti-social behaviour falling and community spirit rising.

The ‘respect week’ took place on Hurst Farm Estate, in Matlock, last month and involved a number of organisations including Dales Housing – who own and manage many of the homes.

The aim of the week was to tackle issues identified by residents during previous consultations, including problems with litter and anti-social behaviour.

With help from partners and the local community, rubbish was cleared from gardens, garages and alleyways – with ten tonnes of garden waste removed in one day alone.

In the run up to the event, Dales Housing and the police carried out a number of joint raids, with tenancy enforcement notices being served to numerous problem tenants.

Dave Jarvie, tenancy and income manager from Dales Housing, said: “Our tenants on the estate told us there were certain issues they were concerned about and the aim was to team up with our partners to address these in one fell swoop.

“Already the feedback has been really positive and residents have told us they have noticed a drop in anti-social behaviour and are really impressed with how the estate is looking.

Other organisations involved in the event included the police, Community Payback, Derbyshire County Council’s Street Scene department, Jigsaw, Vale Contracts and Sainsbury’s.

The week culminated in a celebration event at Hurst Farm Community Centre, which included a Punch and Judy show, face painting, rock climbing and free hot dogs for local children.

Help and advice about managing money was on hand from the organisations taking part, with staff from housing improvements company Keepmoat handing out free plants to brighten residents’ newly-tidied gardens.

Leigh Nurse, contracts manager at Keepmoat, said: “It was wonderful to see the whole community coming together to make a difference to the area in which they live. There was a real sense of community pride in what had been achieved.

“It goes to show what can happen when everyone gets stuck in and works together.”