Improving Framwellgate Moor Front St

We have been working on improvements to Framwellgate Moor Front Street. All the waste bins have been replaced with new ones. The old bins had broken doors, were cracked or damaged. We had three different types and most had no ashtray. Now all are the same and have ashtrays. We have already noted an improvement, but will have to wait until the start of the new college year in September to see the full impact. We have also been asking for more frequent cleansing of the street as pavement gullies have been clogged up with rubbish.

In addition, numerous bollards which were missing or damaged have been replaced and we are looking into further improvements in the coming months.

Ultimately we would like to see the pavements resurfaced however the Council says it doesn’t have the money. We offered to contribute to the cost but this was rejected.

County Durham Plan Issues and Options petition

We have launched a petition against Options 1,2 and 3 of the County Plan. Help us get signatures.

You can sign the petition on the Council website at:

You can download paper copies here:

County Plan Petition 2016

Please get as many signatures as possible and return to us by the deadline.

The Council’s Option 1 for the future of Durham City over the next 17 years includes building 9000 houses including at least 5000 on the greenbelt. Options 2 and 3 are not much better, so we have a petition for an improved version of option 4:


We the undersigned believe Options 1,2 and 3 of the County Durham Plan Issues and Options proposals will place unacceptable pressure on Durham City and the villages around it, damaging the Greenbelt and risking Durham’s unique status as a World Heritage City. Varying Option 4 to provide a more even spread of housing, with additional infrastructure, skills and investment to boost jobs and regeneration in all parts of County Durham would offer the best sustainable plan for the City and all of our County’s towns and villages.

Paths cut back at last

After numerous attempts to get the block trod path from Pity Me to Newton Hall/Finchale Road and the cycle/path to Rotary Way from Abbey Road cut back, the Council have finally got round to doing it. It really shouldn’t be necessary for us to have to raise this to director level. The council has to get to grips with paths in urban areas which are not next to the highway. It has no policy at present, but I am assured that it is being looked into.

County plan options and issues – Urgent consultation

Residents have until the 5 August to comment on the first stage of the County plan.

We are currently delivering 6000 leaflets explaining our views relating to the four options being offered by the Council.

It is essential that as many residents as possible tell the Council that Option 1 is unacceptable as it would place too much emphasis on house building around Durham City. It proposes large scale destruction of the greenbelt with as many as 9000 houses to be built in Durham City.

The report can be read here:

Please send in your comments to the Council.

You can respond in numerous ways including by email to:

We we will put more on the blog in the next few days.


Overgrown paths in Pity Me and Framwellgate Moor

I have now had to complain at Director level about two paths in our area which every single year get ignored by the Council and become so overgrown that it is practically impossible to walk or cycle along them.

The first is from the Vauxhall Garage on Abbey Road to Rotary Way and is supposed to be a cycle path. Its a complete mess with rose bushes almost touching the ground in the middle. It once was 1.8m wide, now the path is barely visible in places.

Different council departments blame others for who is responsible and it seems to fall on Public Rights of Way who it appears do not have any money.

The other path is very well used and is the Old Wagon Way/Black Trod. About 7 years ago Miller Homes paid a substantial amount as part of the Meadows development of the old council depot to upgrade the path from Pity Me Oxley terrace, right across to Old Pit Lane, connecting Newton Hall with Fram and Pity Me. Every year I have to ask for it to be strimmed, and right now it is less than 50cm wide in places. Many residents like to push prams or cycle along here, or simply walk along it. The Council has never yet put it on a strimming program despite even the new Chief Exec being asked for action and the surface has now almost disappeared. Hopefully now that these are on this blog and have been elevated to the top of the Council we will see some action. If the council wants people to walk more and cycle, the least it can do is keep some of the most well used paths in our area passable.

Canterbury Road shops car park a complete mess

Littering mess in carpark and overgrown areas:


canterbury road undergrowth







On a check around the area this week we have noticed that once again the car park is a disgrace.

We arranged with the Council to have the whole area strimmed some months back, after finally managing to convince them that it was Council owned. A good job was done of clearing the undergrowth by our clean and green team.

Unfortunately the next stage of getting all the grass cleared off, reseeded and maintained hasn’t happened and now the whole area is a mess again. It is also full of litter and a real eyesore.

Carpark Surface

We have spoken with managers in the clean and green dept and they are going to redouble efforts to get the littering cleared and the clearance of the undergrowth sorted once and for all.

We will be checking this again in the next few weeks and will be back on to the Council if there isn’t an improvement. We are also contacting the highways department as the surface of the car park is rapidly deteriorating with all the weeds and many years of use. It really needs major patching or resurfacing work before it gets dangerous.

Two of many potholes in the car park:

canterbury road car park surface

Helmsley Road Footpath rebuilding starts

Work on Helmsley Road cul-de-sac has started this week to remove flag stone paths and drive entrances and replace with tarmac/bitmac footpaths and entrance drives. The area has some of the worst paths in Newton Hall and we have repeatedly asked for action from the Council. Thankfully they have agreed with us and the area should look much better when it is completed in the next week or so.


Pity Me estate resurfacing success

Residents on The Avenue, Hudspeth Crescent and Hartside have a fully resurfaced road thanks to our constant pressure for action. The drain gullies will shortly be raised to complete the works.

The roads have been in a bad state of repair for some time. We had to elevate previous complaints to the Director for Neighbourhoods who ensured some urgent patching work was carried out a year or two ago, but thankfully our repeated requests for action have been successful and the whole estate has now got a much better road surface.

Another Lib Dem success for our area.

County Plan issues and options report to Cabient next week along with Sustainable transport plan (including Northern Relief Road) and Air Quality Action Plan

The first leg of the consultation on the County Plan starts next week.

Previously the Council simply published what it wanted and called it a consultation. This time they are providing options for consideration. The cynical will say they have already made up their minds and this time they are simply making sure the consultation appears to be above board.

The only way we can be sure that we get a better Plan for County Durham and for the Durham City area is for everyone to get involved and put across their views.

What I am absolutely certain of is that developers and land owners will inundate the consultation process with calls for huge housing developments around Durham City.

Collectively all residents must respond to this consultation making it known that we need a sustainable plan for the future which doesn’t flood the area with over-development of the greenbelt.

In addition to the plan there are two really important  reports also going to Cabinet – Sustainable Transport Strategy and Air Quality Action Plan.

I have been campaigning for the Council to get its act together on Air Quality for many years – they have failed catastrophically thus far, with an Air Quality Management Order being in place on the City for many years. Indeed were it not for the continued pressure from Lib Dem councillors I don’t think any plan would exist.

The second additional report is the Sustainable Transport Strategy. which includes recommendations for a Northern Relief Road. This very much links in with the pollution issues and the wider County Plan.

You can find the various documents going to Cabinet at this link:

We will be commenting in due course on all of this in more detail. With links to the Consultation pages.