The Northern Echo has turned the tables on the Government’s drive to root out ‘neighbours from hell’ and is instead searching for ‘neighbours from heaven’.
In the week that the Government announced new measures to control bad neighbours, the Echo decided it was time to ensure that good neighbours weren’t forgotten.
It will be handing out OBSAs – Outstanding Behaviour Special Awards – instead of ASBOs (Anti-Social Behaviour Orders) for the initiative.
Editor Peter Barron said: “With so much focus on anti-social behaviour in the run up to the General Election, I felt there was a danger that the problem could get out of perspective.
“For every bad neighbour, there are a lot more good ones out there who deserve recognition. It is a question of redressing the balance and generating some positive stories.”
Anne-Marie Horsley, from the paper’s promotions department, sourced a sponsorship deal from travel company Going Places to provide a first prize of a cruise worth up to £1,500 for the North-East’s best neighbour.
Nominations have flooded in since the launch of the initiative and the paper will be running heart-warming examples up to the closing date of June 1.