This weekend saw unprecedented numbers of visitors travel to the riverside areas in Gainford. We are not alone in this, with beautiful areas throughout the country experiencing the same.

Some of our visitors sadly, left a lot of rubbish behind. Many residents have helped collect rubbish. Thanks to everyone who has helped clear up.

I have requested that DCC provide an additional litter bin collection asap and they will do this.

I have also spoken with the footpaths team who advised that clearly we cannot and would not want to “close” our public footpaths and rights of way.

I have spoken with Durham Police. They were aware of several calls regarding issues experienced by residents over the weekend. Their advice to us all is to continue to phone them on 101 and report gatherings of more than 6, drug taking or anti social behaviour. I would reiterate this.

We cannot close our public spaces, if we did, we would not be able to use them either.

During lockdown, we all fully appreciated the beautiful place we live in and during this period of transition towards a “new normal” visitors naturally want to enjoy a degree of freedom and the fine weather.

We are lucky, we can walk beside the river every day and whilst not condoning anti social behaviour I would ask for a degree of tolerance.