Estate management 'hit squad' to bet set up by housing association with help from Job Centre

A 'Tidy' estate hit squad is being set up to tackle problems like graffiti on Chester-le-Street’s housing estates.

Cestria Community Housing has asked Job Centre Plus to help them recruit a team to clean up everything from graffiti to grass cutting.

The Chester-le-Street based housing association is setting up a new service for their tenants to improve the quality of the estates.

The housing association plans to recruit permanent/full time Community Caretakers who would deliver the following:

• Grass cutting and environmental maintenance on land owned by the Association.
• Path edging and shrub bed maintenance.
• Hedge trimming and tree pruning service.
• Void clearance and tidy garden service.
• Gardening service for OAP’s and people with a disability.
• Snow clearance for Category II bungalows and sheltered schemes.
• Weeding and relaying of slab paths.
• Provision of shrub and flower beds on sheltered schemes and bungalow complexes.
• Maintenance of landlocked areas.
• Graffiti removal.

Paul Stephens, Director of Housing and Communities, said: 'When Cestria was set up at the beginning of the year, one of its key commitments was to help improve the communities our tenants live in.

'Our multi-million pound investment in the Chester-le-Street district has always been as much about improving estates as improving homes. This Community Caretaker team will be critical in making a difference to our tenants’ lives and the communities they live in.'

North Durham MP Kevan Jones said: 'I am please to support this initiative. It demonstrates Cestria’s commitment not just to helping its tenants, but also recognising its broader community responsibilities.'

There will be an informal open evening held on Wednesday 29th October 2008 between 4pm – 7pm at Bowes Offices with Cestria and Job Centre Plus staff to discuss any issues applicants may have.

The association would particularly invite applications from people who are looking to return to work after a period of unemployment and ex-servicemen/women who live in the Chester-le-Street area.

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