The Council’s housing solutions service provides advice to anyone facing housing problems including:
Anyone who is homeless or sleeping rough
Those who are struggling to pay their mortgage or rent,
Anyone living in unsuitable accommodation
Anyone at risk of abuse or harm
Anyone struggling to keep warm or to pay their bills.
If you or anyone you know is facing any of these issues, contact 03000 268 000. The Council offices are closed from today until 2nd January, however there is an out of hours number for those who cannot wait to get help by calling 01388 722 538.
Members of the public can report anyone who is sleeping rough to the national organisation StreetLink on 0300 500 0914 or at www.streetlink.org.uk
They will try to find the person and offer them help.
We have secured a really good deal on 200 decent sized trees and are seeking views from residents on the areas you want them. We already have various locations suggested either by us or residents, so please let us know. Current suggestions are:
Durham Moor Crescent to replace lost cherries.
The green area outside the police houses in Pity Me on the Front St
The bullring at Newton Drive
The playing field on Canterbury Road near Peterborough and the meadow area between Cotherstone and Featherstone Roads.
We have various Cherries, Oaks and fruit trees and a number roof other varieties too.
We are pleased to be able to confirm that we have come to an agreement with the Council to get the next phase of Brasside parking regeneration done.
Plans have been agreed which will see a further 80m stretch upgraded.
The current state of the verges through the village is appalling. We are angry that the Labour-run council has refused to put any funding in to the village to deal with these problems and improve residents lives.
We are therefore using local neighbourhood funding to carry out this important regeneration project after our requests for matched funding were again rejected.
The project is currently on hold after we found out there was a chance that Northumbrian Water would be coming in and replacing the main pipework through the village. Had we not asked for this to be checked out the Council may have done the work only for it to be dug up again!
We have secured repairs and replacements for a number of bus shelters around the area.
Many shelters are being cleaned, and damaged perspex and glass is being replaced.
This includes the one at the entrance to Brasside on Finchale Avenue and the one near new college where we have also secured work to improve the crossing point for new college.
The one outside Vets for Pets and those near Beech Close and Priory Road on Finchale Road in Framwellgate Moor are also getting new glass installed.
The old brick shelter opposite the Newton Grange pub is also being replaced with a new clean one which should also deter people taking toilet breaks in it!
Another thank you: for electing all seven Lib Dem candidates to the parish council. Whilst this means we will have overall control of the council we aim to work for the benefit of everyone as closely as possible with the three independent and one Labour councillor also elected.
Next Thursday we are standing for re-election as your Lib Dem County Councillors. Please vote for Mark Wilkes, Mamie Simmons and Amanda Hopgood on Thursday 4th May.
We are getting a great response on the doorstep, with many residents also contacting us by email to confirm they are supporting us.
We also hope to get elected to the Parish Council along with our Lib Dem colleagues Nigel Martin, Grenville Holland, Colin Hillary and Clive Beddoes.
We have been on our regular walkabouts and reported issues across the area, including trip hazards on pavements, potholes, build up of leaves and other rubbish on paths, flytipping to name a few.
Please do let us know if there are any areas which are not up to scratch so we can get action.
We reported last week that we’ve had no litter picks from Friday afternoon to Monday on Framwellgate Moor Front Street for the last month and it’s really been noticeable.
The Labour-run council made these changes without any consultation or even telling us as councillors.
As soon as we found out we kicked into action and I’m very pleased to say that the afternoon litter pick on a Friday has been reinstated so bins will not be overflowing all weekend and litter will not be left flying around the place.
If we hadn’t intervened as your Lib Dem councillors Framwellgate Moor would have started to go back to as it was when we had Labour councillors. Those who lived around here 10 years ago will remember the horrendous state of the litter. It’s never possible to get it perfect but our actions on this and on the takeaways should continue to keep it tidier than would otherwise be the case.
If there are any areas with litter in Newton Hall, Framwellgate Moor, Brasside, Pity Me or Finchale Abbey Village please let us know so we can get it sorted quickly.
Finchale Training College will be knocked down to make way for new housing.
We have secured various concessions to this after finding issues with the proposals.
- The Council repeatedly refused to agree to reduce the speed limit past the site. I had to intervene and speak with the Director of Regeneration at the Council over this, otherwise I would not have been minded to support the application. The speed limit is 60mph and there is a difficult bend. This speed limit should have been reduced years ago but the council refused. I’m happy to report they have not only agreed to go out to consultation before development starts but also that the developer will pay for the costs of implementing this. 1-0 Lib Dem councillors.
- Development sites require a contribution towards various improvements in the area. Developers always try to get all of this inside the site, leaving nothing to improve the local community. We have been successful in making sure that public art and open spaces funding can be spent in the wider electoral division as well as near the site, and that this money cannot be used to pay for other improvements the developer wants – they’ll have to use their own money. 2-0 Lib Dem councillors.
- Whilst most of the site is brownfield/already developed, it is surrounded by greenbelt and it was essential that proper conditions were placed on ensuring trees and landscaping on the site were retained and improved. Following our intervention this has been conditioned and residents will be consulted on the final landscaping plans. 3-0 Lib Dem councillors.
All in all a good day, with 20% affordable housing also included and funding for the charity safeguarded, as well as a cast iron agreement that the charity will have its new headquarters within County Durham!
On Tuesday we met with owners and estate managers of the Arnison Centre as well as senior council managers and traffic experts to discuss problems raised by residents over HGVs using Finchale Road, Old Pit Lane, Front St Pity Me and Framwellgate Moor and Abbey Road.
Residents on these streets are being plagued with vibrations from large HGVs. I have personal experience of the damage from vibrations with cracks in plaster, however other residents have far more serious issues with damage to properties, sleepless nights as well as concerns about highway safety.
In a few weeks time, the access between Rotary Way Bypass and the Arnison Centre/Lidl roundabout will be closed off for widening of this area. This should result in an improvement in access to and from the Centre and was requested by us as part of the expansion of the Centre. However for 6-8 weeks from around the end of March we are going to find major traffic problems including more vehicles including HGVs coming through the Pity Me, Framwellgate Moor and Newton Hall areas.
We have asked for various options to be considered to reduce the impact of this.
So for a while there will be an increase in HGVs, however we have a commitment form the Arnison Centre owners that once this necessary improvement work has taken place, they will work to ensure that all the businesses on the site get the lorries delivering goods to use the A167 Pity Me bypass and Rotary Way as it was originally designed. We will be monitoring this after the roadworks have taken place and will be asking residents to help us identify those business not adhering to the agreement.