It’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ at the council

Community Payback scheme
Community Payback scheme

The council’s new Neighbourhood First team got their teeth into their first community project on Wednesday, cleaning up the litter and undergrowth along Cross Levels Way.

The clean-up was done jointly with a Community Payback team. Surrey and Sussex Probation Trust’s Community Payback involves offenders working unpaid as part of their punishment from the courts. The Neighbourhood First team was launched on Tuesday and are based in three zones around the town. They are there to answer questions, report and resolve environmental issues and put residents in touch with the right people and services within the council. More importantly, they will also be working proactively with residents and other organisations to improve the standards in their neighbourhoods.

The Cross Levels Way clean-up project demonstrates this concept in action: an immediate response to the environmental issue – getting things cleaned up to a high standard; partnership working with the Community Payback team, and a longer-term initiative of engagement with the local businesses, schools and college to eliminate the causes of the litter problem in the first place. This could include activities such as educating the shoppers and students who use the area as a thoroughfare and assessing the number of litter bins needed in the area.

If you would like to talk to Neighbourhood First about projects in your neighbourhood you can stop a neighbourhood advisor out and about in your zone – they are easy to spot in their blue Neighbourhood First uniforms. Alternatively you can email them at

Future Community Payback projects will be led through Neighbourhood Panels.