I chased up today on the litter situation on our country lanes, in particular Potterhouse Lane (past the tip), Rotary Way, along the back roads and down to Cocken.
They are in a really bad way. Some work will be done soon but some will have to be delayed as Cocken will apparently require a road closure for safety reasons.
I will keep chasing this. Sick and tired of takeaway rubbish on these roads.
We have had a few residents get in touch about the state of the roads. The Council has been working round the clock to keep our main roads in a good condition and despite the horrendous conditions most main roads have been passable with care most of the time.
We have one outstanding issue. Finchale Abbey Village is still wanting for a grit delivery despite my original request on 12 December and repeat requests since. We have been given assurances that there will be some delivered tomorrow.
My attempt to get down there today was not fruitful and I turned back. This suggests to us that many residents will be struggling to get out of the village, and if the forecasts are right the village may well be cut off completely by morning. Not great considering its just a couple of miles from Durham City.
When the annual review of winter maintenance comes round there will be some earnest and frank discussions about this particular element of the winter maintenance program from us as your local councillors and these problems will definitely not happen again that’s for sure.
Other than this issue, the Council is doing a good job in difficult circumstances.
All staff are working round the clock and deserve praise for their efforts. It certainly isn’t easy driving a 40 ton truck of grit on ice with near snow blindness, so please bear with them if service levels are not quite to the standard you would normally expect.
We will also see significant disruption to bin collections for the next few days and into next week, so time to compact down those bins!
We are currently working with the police to deal with some antisocial behaviour issues in Framwellgate Moor.
If anyone spots anything across our area which they feel is inappropriate such as flytipping, excessive noise, littering, dog fouling, overflowing bins, properties with a lot of rubbish lying around etc please do let us know or contact the police on their 101 number if it’s something more serious such as a drug related issue or crime.
The Council is getting round as quickly as it can but the snow is causing delays. If your bin isn’t emptied leave it out. Todays missed collections will be collected on Saturday or Monday weather permitting.
The access we secured to the A167 through the end of Potterhouse Terrace looks great. We asked for this as well as the new access at the bottom of Woodbine Road because it was a muddy mess and looked so unsightly before. The access is for cyclists and pedestrians and links to the newly widened path along the Pity Me bypass.
The path at Woodbine Road linking the A167 was completed at the same time and now means that instead of walking across 20 or so metres of grass and mud we have an excellent new access. And its much better in the evenings too as you can actually see where you are going and not trip over mole hills.
The police commissioner is proposing to raise the police element of the council tax by 7%. I have some sympathy with his view that if the government cuts funding then requires pay rises for police he has to find the funding from somewhere.
7% is a high percentage and when added to other rises in cost of living it clearly will have an impact on many people.
For that impact to be acceptable we need to see an increase in visible police presence across the County.
Unfortunately I have a feeling that we will not see this.
Press release from the police commissioner Ron Hogg:
In response to pressure from Government, Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Ron Hogg has decided to increase the amount of Council Tax which goes to the police service, known as the precept, by 7.09%. This equates to an increase of £8 a year, or 15p a week for a property in Council Tax Band A. Members of the public are being asked to comment.
Ron Hogg said: “The Government has reduced the funding for policing in Durham and Darlington every year since 2010. We now have around 360 fewer officers than in 2010 – a reduction of 1 in 4.”
“I have been lobbying the Government for some years, to fund policing fairly. I did not expect the Government to respond by placing an additional burden on Council Tax payers. However, in my view they are abdicating their responsibility to protect our communities. This has put me in a position where, if I do not introduce this increase, I will be reducing the income of Durham Constabulary this year, and for every year afterwards. It will inevitably mean fewer Police Officers in the community, preventing and solving crime. I cannot do that without risking the safety of the community. The Government’s decision to relax the cap on the precept equates to an extra 15p per week for a property in Council Tax Band A.”
“Durham Constabulary is already the most efficient force in the country according to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services. That’s a consequence of the force’s commitment to innovation, making the very best use of the money available. We continue to challenge every facet of our business in order to find further efficiencies, but this gets harder every year. I welcomed the Government’s recent announcement of pay rises for Police Officers, but they have not provided me with the funding for this.”
Councillor Lucy Hovvels, Chair of the Police and Crime Panel said:
“Panel Members understand current financial pressures placed on policing budgets and support the Commissioner’s approach to seek comment from residents on this proposal”
Notes for editors:
For more information or to arrange an interview with the PCVC please contact email@example.com or 07814174417
The public are able to comment on this proposal until Wednesday 31st January 2018. Residents are can provide their views in a number of ways, including:
- Through my website www.durham-pcc.gov.uk
- Through Facebook or Twitter (search for Durham PCC)
- On telephone on: 0191 375 2001
- At the AAP Boards during January 2018
o 10th January 2018 – 4together AAP Board
o 16th January 2018 – East Durham Rural Corridor AAP Board o 18th January 2018 – Spennymoor AAP Board
o 22nd January 2018 – Chester Le Street AAP Board
o 24th January 2018 – Teesdale AAP Board
o 24th January 2018 – Derwent Valley AAP Board
o 24thJanuary2018–BishopAucklandandShildonAAPBoard o 30th January 2018 – GAMP AAP Board
We are please to report that the footpath/cycle link from Woodbine Road to the A167 which we asked for has now been completed.
Previously residents had to walk across a very muddy grassed area and the path wasn’t accessible for cyclists.
A great improvement.
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.
After a real battle with the council I am pleased to be able to report that the missing footpath on Porterhouse Terrace in Pity Me has now been installed.
The short stretch of missing path which I have repeatedly asked the council to intervene and fix for two years was finally done after I raised the issue to the most senior officers in the Council and logged a complaint.
As I see it if you push and push, eventually, if you are right on something you will get it fixed.