New parking restrictions in Framwellgate Moor – A step closer

There were no formal objections to our plans to put Double Yellow lines and no loading no waiting on the pavement/road opposite the shops in Framwellgate Moor.

As Lib Dem councillors we have listened to residents and acted to stop the pavement parking – there is no excuse for this as there are plenty of car parks and parking bays in the area now.

The single width pavement from near the doctors surgery down towards the bus gate will now get the new markings installed. New signs are being ordered and we hope this will all be in place very soon. We are chasing the Council to get this done asap.

Once in place it will reduce the amount of pavement parking and also allow for far better enforcement against offenders. Of course we will also be pushing for very regular enforcement once the new restrictions are in place.

For anyone doubting the parking provision, you can currently park:

In the club carpark, the business centre car park behind Sainsbury’s, King George’s Carpark (next to the play area), in the car park behind the Community Centre, in the parking bays running the entire length of Front St and in Coop (Salutation) car park – and of course you can always walk to the shops or take the bus too.

Framwellgate Moor Takeaways

We are continuing to report the unacceptable practices of certain takeaways in Framwellgate Moor. Over the last few months not a week has gone by without overflowing bins or cardboard boxes lying around. We have now reported over a dozen times this problem and will continue to do so. The Council is now finally taking it seriously and some legal orders have been issued. If you notice any overflowing business waste bins or dumped commercial waste anywhere in the area please report it to us immediately.

Rosemount Broadband Saga Drags on

Just when we thought we were getting somewhere with the broadband issue for the estate, along comes another blockage. We’ve had to battle to get a box installed for the equipment, then battle to get BT to agree to get the electric to it installed, and now there is a dispute over a licence to dig up and install the electricity supply to the box. This is apparently currently somewhere between the lawyers of the Arnison Centre and BT/Northern Powergrid. The Council and ourselves are pushing hard now to get this final hurdle dealt with. It sometimes feels as though someone hidden from view is deliberately seeking to stop residents getting a decent broadband supply. Whilst I’m sure that’s not the case, it is quite remarkable in this day and age that it can take literally years to get a working broadband box installed. I’m sure if this was a connection to the Prime Ministers house things would be moving much more quickly! We will continue to email, telephone and request meetings until this sorry saga has been fixed.

St Cuthberts Hospice – Fireworks Display at Framwellgate School – Supported by your local councillors – Saturday 5th November – Display at 8pm, gates open at 6pm

Have you got your tickets yet for the fireworks display?

It’s in the grounds of Framwellgate School Durham on Saturday 5th November – Display at 8pm, gates open at 6pm.

As your local councillors we have provided funding towards the cost of running the event so that it can go ahead in our area and so that ticket prices can be kept reasonable and some money raised for the hospice.

You can get tickets by calling the hospice on 0191 386 1170 Extension 5 or visit eventbrite:

Full details:

St Cuthbert’s Hospice Family Fireworks Night
5th November 2016

The skies of Durham will be brought to life with an explosion of colour as St Cuthbert’s Hospice celebrate Guy Fawkes Night on Saturday, 5th November 2016 with our second fireworks extravaganza. There will also be fairground rides and catering vans to ensure fun for all the family. 

Event Timings:
6:00pm Gates and fun fair open
8.00pm Firework display

Ticket prices:
Adults (Aged 16 and over) £5
15 & Under £3
Family (2 Adults, 2 Children aged 3 to 15) £14.
*Please note children aged 2 years and under are free.

This event is sponsored by Ramside Hall Hotel Golf & Spa and kindly supported by County Councillors; Amanda Hopgood, Mamie Simmons and Mark Wilkes.

Arnison Centre Car park safety issues

We have contacted the Arnison Centre management company a number of times since August over the new carpark. Whilst it is set to increase capacity and in many ways is much better for shoppers, we are concerned about the safety of the junctions opposite Frankie and Bennies as well as a few other issues.

Cars going towards M and S and coming off the main part of the road into the car park are going to fast.

IMG_6473The new crossing has not yet been installed to get to the restaurants and it seems that this is the cause for the speeding traffic. I have already noticed one accident here between two cars and another near miss. Once the raised crossing is in place this should reduce speeds – perhaps this should have been installed first – or even over a year ago when we first raised issues about safety on the old crossing – which subsequently someone was knocked over at.

Additionally the left turn/carriageway (in the photo) at this point is simply not wide enough. This can be seen clearly by the fact that almost every car ends up hitting the kerb. The kerbs are already cracked up after just a few weeks.

1Finally the bollards protecting people who are walking through the carpark on the new pathway are not installed properly. We asked for the pathway from M and S into the car park to improve safety, however it seems as though just about every bollard has been installed using faulty materials and many are already very loose – the cement/concrete used has cracks all over the place. We mad them aware of this on the 22nd August and notified the council on 22nd September when nothing had been done about it.

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If someone accidentally reverses quickly into one it could hit a pedestrian using the new path. We informed the Council’s relevant officers a week or so ago, as well as the owners of the Arnison Centre.

It is very clear to us that the new crossing should be installed immediately and the bollards repaired as a matter of urgency. I also think the turning into the carpark in the photo should be altered so that drivers can safety get round without hitting the kerb. Hopefully the Arnison Centre owners will take this matter seriously and the Council will put the necessary pressure on too.


Do you walk your dog in Pity Me – Help tackle fouling – PLUS Help us get stronger enforcement

If you are one of the majority who go for a walk each day with your dog and pick up after it, you can help us. There are a small number of dog owners letting everyone else down. If you spot anyone letting their dog foul and then leaving it, please let us know the name of the person or culprit, the time, location and type of dog. We are trying to find those who are spoiling it for everyone else in the area.

We have recently targeted Newton Hall and now are trying to do the same in Pity Me. Indeed if you spot anyone anywhere leaving dog waste let us know the details.

We have asked for large signs to go up as a deterrent. Ultimately, people can face a large fine.

The Council has agreed with us that stronger measures are needed. They have a consultation running until 5th December aimed at having stronger powers of enforcement. Please respond to it by visiting this link:

Lib Dem success: Better opening hours secured for Abbey Leisure Centre – PLUS Open weekend in October and New Functional training room

We’ve been working with the Council and listening to users to make Abbey Leisure Centre even better.

Users wanted the centre to open earlier so we had discussions with the Council and discovered that there was a period in the morning for setting up which wasn’t necessary, and a possible business case for longer morning opening hours.

Morning hours have been extend from 8.30-10.30 TO 8.00-11.30. (Mon-Fri). The afternoons have been adjusted to open at 3pm instead of 2pm as this time was very quiet. The new opening hours start from 1st October – Monday coming.

The Exciting New Functional Training Room looks great.

There is an Open Weekend on Friday October 21st and Saturday 22nd with loads of free sessions on Sat 22nd October: Inflatable session, soft play session, kids street dance, table tennis, squash, badminton, street dance, metafit, zumbatone, boxercise, functional training, stretch n tone.

Over the last few years we have helped to turn Abbey into one of the best leisure centres in the County. To think that Labour councillors wanted to shut it down! there’s still more to do, however over the last few years we have provided and helped secure funding for new gym areas, a refurbished reception and corridors, kids gym equipment and much more.

Now we have morning hours which should tempt in more users, particularly in the morning. Call in and take a look around!!

(It’s worth remembering that the Labour-run council aimed to shut the Centre. If it were not for users and your local Lib Dem councillors fighting to keep the centre open, it might not be there now.)

Pity Me path works – another Lib Dem success

Footpath resurfacing works have started today on The Avenue, Hudspeth and Hartside. We have been pushing for this for a number of years and are very pleased our repeated pressure has finally paid off and the paths will get the first work to them for decades.

Woodbine Rd, Folly Terrace and Red Briar Walk are also set for work and we are working with the Council to get a number of others in the area done too.

Planning application for new social housing submitted – Lib Dem social housing success

The planning application for new social housing on Woodbine Road / Folly terrace has been submitted. We are delighted that our hard work has paid off and the village is to get new affordable housing. This follows years of the Labour-run council refusing to help improve this area of Pity Me.

Durham City Homes’ proposals will make the area look much better, and as your Lib Dem councillors we have managed to secure a local lettings policy, so local people will get first chance to apply for one of the homes through Durham Key Options.

In addition, our pressure will mean that most of the footpaths in the area will be resurfaced this year, further enhancing the village.


New bus shelters in Newton Hall – progressing well

A new bus shelter which was requested by residents during our survey earlier this year, is close to completion, thanks to our speedy action.

The shelter on Rothbury Road will help make it easier for local residents, particularly the elderly after we managed to get some extra steps installed as well!IMG_6131

Another shelter requested for Finchale Road, Newton Hall outside the school is currently under consultation. Numerous residents asked for one at this location and we are hopeful that it can be provided.

Over many years we have managed to get a huge number of new and replacement shelters, including scrapping many of the old brick ones which used to cause anti-social behaviour. Indeed I can hardly remember the last time we had a report of anti-social behaviour or noise in one of our bus shelters – other than some broken panels on Fram Front St.