OVER 500 residents responded to a survey as part of Copeland Council’s efforts to encourage improvement in the borough.
The Council launched its Pride of Place campaign last week to encourage residents and businesses to share their pride in the area.
As part of this, residents were asked to complete a survey to share their views on Copeland and the issues that blight the borough such as fly-tipping, littering and dog-fouling.
In total 519 residents responded to the survey, with 31 per cent of respondents saying they were proud to live in Copeland. A further 51 per cent said they were proud at times and only 18 per cent said they were not proud to live in the borough.
Pat Henderson said: “A beautiful place with fantastic people.”
Chris Walton said: “Stunning scenery, friendly people, interesting history.”
Rhiannon Cooper said: “There is a great sense of community and the scenery is beautiful.”
Over 42 per cent of respondents said that littering was the most common issue in Copeland, with Whitehaven being the worst affected area.
30 per cent of respondents thought that rural areas were the worst affected by fly-tipping, with Whitehaven coming in second at 18 per cent.
23 per cent of participants said that Egremont was worst affected by dog fouling with Whitehaven and Cleator Moor coming in second and third, with 21 per cent and 14 per cent respectively.
Over 33 per cent of respondents feel that higher penalties should be issued to try and deter people from committing the offences. Copeland Council has recently increased fines from £200 to £250 for fly-tipping offences.
The Copeland Pride of Place initiative aims to encourage locals to take pride in their area and work towards making Copeland a better place to live, work and visit.
Mike Starkie, Mayor of Copeland, said: “I’m extremely proud to be the Elected Mayor of this wonderful part of the world, and Copeland Council are delighted to be leading this campaign to harness a sense of civic pride in our towns and villages.
“Copeland has such a tremendous sense of community spirit, and the people here are the finest anywhere. We have scenery on our doorstep that is second to none, with two-thirds of the borough sitting in the Lake District National Park, a World Heritage Site.
“We have high hopes for the campaign and our aim is for it to be embraced by all corners of the Copeland community. The initial response has been overwhelming, with schools, businesses, churches, town and parish councils, charities and sports clubs all signing up to play their part.
“It’s easy to be critical of local authorities, but the truth is that we all have a role to play in improving our surroundings and shining a light on those who detract from it. Whether that be reporting offences, supporting our campaign or simply setting a good example.
“We are asking people in our community to shout up loud about why they are proud of Copeland – why they’re proud to live, work, visit or go to school here – and we’ll be sharing and promoting examples of pride and good citizenship throughout the campaign.
“At the same time, we’ll be putting the focus on some of the negatives that blight our communities, such as fly-tipping, littering and dog-fouling. Our ambition is to improve the behaviour of the minority who do not share our sense of pride in Copeland.”
The campaign is an extension of the £1 million Pride of Place Town Centre Regeneration project that was launched by the Mayor in the summer. The council is offering grants to businesses for improvements to their premises and the response from the business community has been extremely encouraging with over 150 enquires so far.
For more information including details on how you can support the campaign, or how to apply for a Town Centre Regeneration grant firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.copeland.gov.uk/content/copeland-pride-place