Salute the street champions

A STREET Champions scheme has been officially launched in Torridge. Street Champions are local volunteers interested in helping people build safer, closer communities and improving the area in which they live to benefit themselves and their neighbours. T

A STREET Champions scheme has been officially launched in Torridge. Street Champions are local volunteers interested in helping people build safer, closer communities and improving the area in which they live to benefit themselves and their neighbours.The scheme in Torridge is being piloted for the next three months in East-the-Water, Bideford West and Morwenna Park, Northam, before being rolled out into other areas. It follows the launch of a smaller scheme in the Frankmarsh and Gorwell areas of Barnstaple last year.The 30-strong Torridge volunteers have received advice from a number of agencies at their initial training session, including Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service, Tarka Housing, Torridge District Council, the police and Safer North Devon. They will have access to the same resources as Neighbourhood Watch members, such as a community messaging system, allowing the police to keep them up to date with any problems in their street or area.Street Champions will help report and monitor issues such as crime prevention, anti-social behaviour, waste collection and recycling, fly-tipping, dog fouling, noise nuisance and emergency contacts.Clare Lemmy, Project Officer for Safer North Devon, said: "It's really important that communities know and understand the information that is available to them to help them resolve issues in their area. We are not asking Street Champions to do the work of other agencies, but to work with them and share responsibility to ensure we live in a pleasant environment. The learning from both the North Devon and Torridge pilots will help to deliver this as a model of best practice across Devon and Cornwall."Inspector Shaun Kenneally said: "I am pleased that my neighbourhood beat teams are able to support and deliver this pilot scheme. It's also important that communities can see that working with all agencies we can all help to ensure a cleaner and safer place to live"Cllr Barry Parsons, Torridge lead member for environmental health and public protection, said: "The Street Champions initiative breaks new ground in partnership working and communication. It is with some pride that - both here in Torridge and North Devon - members of our community are pro-active in not just their thinking, but their actions towards improving and safeguarding our way of life and our environment. I thank and congratulate everyone involved for the demonstration of real care and commitment on behalf of us all and look forward to the expansion of the Street Champions scheme across our region."For more information on the Street Champion scheme contact Clare Lemmy on (01271) 341200 or email info@safernorthdevon.co.uk

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