how i make the difference
. . . solving neighbourhood problems
If you live in the Riverside area of the city, take a good look at the man pictured on this page.
Eric Neilson is worth looking out for, because he is employed by Hull City Council to make sure your neighbourhood problems are solved.
"It could be disputes caused by antisocial behaviour, fly-tipping or graffiti," says Eric.
"Whatever is causing problems for people in Drypool, it's my job to help resolve them.
"I get a real buzz out of the work, and I'm often taken aback by how grateful people can be. That makes me want to do even more for them. I make a difference by helping to fix the many things that can go wrong in a local neighbourhood."
An important part of Eric's work is to arrange neighbourhood forum meetings, which might be held in community centres or school halls.
The meetings are advertised in advance to encourage people to attend them.
By doing so, they can meet their local councillors, representatives from the police and fire services, and Hull City Council officers who have responsibilities that cover all manner of issues, from housing to waste management and highways. And, of course, Eric (whose job title is community participation officer) will also be there.
"When people come to the meeting as individuals or as part of community groups to raise a problem or need, that's when I take up their case," he says.
"We are presented with all kinds of requests, from trimming overgrown trees and bushes to working with the fire service to stop arson attacks on vacant buildings.
"I take the issues away with me and get to work on them on people's behalf. I work with all sections of the council, and crack the whip where necessary to make sure people in Drypool get the services and help they need, as soon as possible.
"Then I go to the next neighbourhood forum meeting and report back on progress made and jobs done."
Eric, who has been in the job for five years, recently helped to organise Bring Out Your Rubbish Days, where householders brought their unwanted items into the street to be collected free of charge by the council's waste management and recycling team.
In just one day, in the Abbey Street area, 26 tonnes was collected.
"I'm becoming a recognisable face to people in Drypool - they simply know me as Eric, their man in the council," he added.