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North Devon Council is proud to announce teams of finalists in two categories for the prestigious LGC Awards ceremony, the biggest celebration of excellence in local government. 

The council’s work in preventing environmental crimes through formal and informal innovative controls using social media has been recognised in the Environmental Services category. The multi-disciplinary team of people who help rough sleepers through the 'Safe Sleep' project is a finalist for ‘Team of the Year’, the team is made up of people from the council as well as both statutory and voluntary sector organisations.

Clear Messages was the brain child of the council’s Environmental Wardens. Disheartened by the disregard of people for our beautiful area, they wanted to raise the profile of these issues and crack down on the behaviour through a programme of education, awareness and enforcement.

The campaign was aimed at combating negative behaviour across the various topics associated with a clean local environment:

  • Litter dropping
  • Fly tipping
  • Dog fouling
  • Abandoned vehicles

The overarching message that people could make a difference by getting involved and challenging and reporting this behaviour and that the council were serious about taking action against it.

The Safe Sleep team provided 1,857 nights of accommodation, over the 2018/19 winter, for more than 100 rough sleepers, helping over a third of the group into accommodation. The team comprised of individuals from North Devon Council, Adult Social Services, Drug and Alcohol Treatment Services, the Police, and Freedom Community Alliance (FCA), a charitable organisation based in Barnstaple. Mid way through the project, the team was further enhanced with the addition of a full-time Mental Health Community Psychiatric Nurse, the Safe Sleep team also engaged with homeless people to find out what help they really needed.

Councillor David Worden says, “I am very proud that our staff have been shortlisted for these awards. I think this is a wonderful opportunity to pay tribute to all the people and organisations who are looking after our community at this difficult time.”

The awards ceremony, which is being held virtually this year, will take place at 4pm on Wednesday 28 October.