Congratulations to Martin Haswell, who has won an incredible by-election to get elected to Sunderland Council. He increased the Lib Dem vote in the Ward from around 4% to 53% getting more votes than the other four candidates combined.
This was a solid Labour seat until last night.
Our complaint about the removal of the gritting route and the way in which it was done have been disregarded by the Council as has our formal complaint. We now have a meeting with the Director and Head of Service set up for tomorrow. We will update residents after this meeting.
If anyone knows of any accidents which have happened since the gritting route was scrapped please let us know. We are aware of two accidents one involving two car and the other three cars. We have also been told of a near miss.
We urge all residents on these streets to write to the Council and complain about their actions and demand the route be reinstated.
As well as the big things we do also chase up on the smaller things. Such as damaged bollards which are currently looking a bit of a mess on Framwellgate Moor Front Street:
Sometimes we also have to go out in the rain and dark to get proof that the Council hasn’t fixed problems despite saying they have or saying there isn;t an issue. One such issue is the collapsed or blocked drain on Framwellgate Moor Front Street which I have reported numerous times. So last week when it was chucking it down I decided to get out there and photograph it. Hopefully now that the Council’s highways manager has been sent a copy we will see some action.
Durham County Council has scrapped a gritting route in our area. They made this decision because of parked cars blocking the route LAST YEAR.
Yet at no point over nine months did they bother to try and fix the problem by speaking to residents or even letting us as your local councillors know about it.
The route ran around Lindisfarne, Cotherstone and Featherstone Roads.
The Council only told us about the route being scrapped when the gritting season was about to start and after printing the new gritting leaflet. AND THEY STILL HAVEN’T NOTIFIED RESIDENTS DESPITE THE RISK SOMEONE COULD GET HURT. This is a total disregard for public safety.
We have now logged this as a formal complaint after our repeated attempts to get the Council to reinstate the route and try and find a solution were ignored. The Director has said nothing more can be done. We disagree.
We think the council should have consulted with residents 9 months ago and sought solutions through the summer.
They could have tried to get people to park differently so that the gritting wagon could get through and temporarily use a smaller vehicle. We might have been able to find other solutions if we had the time, but when you don’t know about something it makes it rather difficult.
We will update residents on our complaint when the Council comes back to us. If the complaint doesn’t find a solution then we will consider the next possible options.
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!
As many of you will know, Labour councillors produced and forced through a flawed report on 20mph zones following our success in getting the Council to change its policies and agree to allowing 20mph zones. Shame on Labour for playing with Child safety. This meant that schools with fewer accidents in areas like Chester-le-Street where the council leader lives were prioritised over our area.
We secured a review and this showed that schools in our area should have been programmed in first.
The Council is now implementing this and is currently finalising consultation on the project. As part of this they did not plan to include schools in Newton Hall. We have used local funding to make sure that all the schools in our area are included.
This means that near all schools in our area from next year there will be flashing signs and 20mph zones at drop off and pick up times and at lunch times where appropriate.
We hope that this will help to bring down average speeds not just at school times but throughout the day making our area safer for pedestrians.
We are working with the Council on additional projects which will enhance the scheme and also help reduce speeds.
So what has DCC got to hide on the day there are reports about mileage claims in the papers?
Take a look at the members expenses page. For some reason the 2016/17 councillor allowances page has been replaced by a picture of Rory Bremner. I know DCC has been referred to as a comedy act in the past, perhaps they are trying to have a laugh over the use of taxpayers money.
The link is http://www.durham.gov.uk/membersexpenses
Not a clue how long it will take to change it.
Please support Amanda on Thursday. It’s time to end decades of Labour MPs being elected in Durham City and have a proper opposition MP to the Tories instead of one of Corbyn’s Labour MPs.
Needless to say I have raised this as a complaint. The road is in a right state and needs urgent patching work as a minimum. Update: Pity for the Council that its right outside the polling station!
A few years ago we managed to get the Council to agree to a major program of changes to tackle sickness absence and attendance management issues at the Council.
The good news is that sickness absence is falling, although it is still way too high at over 10 days per employee a year.
The bad news, no the appalling news, is that over 200 managers still have not completed the compulsory training they are required to: 12 months after being told to do it. This training makes sure that they understand when to refer someone for example to occupational health and how to deal with a sick employee in a proper manner. Previously some employees were not referred for months when there were clear issues – one employee wasn’t referred to occupational health for 300 days!!
The Council is continuing to let down employees by not making sure that all managers are properly trained. Surely 12 months is long enough for a manager to have done the compulsory training. Personally, apart from holidays and their own sickness, a month should have been long enough to book a few hours of time in to do the course on the council’s computer system. It’s not a huge ask to put the computer on and do it after all.
I am absolutely certain that not a single manager will have seen any serious repercussions from failing to carry out the training.Offiers at today’s meeting could;t answer what the repercussions were for someone failing to do the training. Compulsory means compulsory. Any manager not having done the training is letting down their staff and this County. The Labour cabinet members responsible should get off their gold plated chairs and have a right go at senior management, much as I did today at our Scrutiny meeting.