After a successful planting of 1300 daffodil bulbs (part donted from Homebase and part from my own money in January), I have now ordered 20 half oak barrels using some of the City Council discretionary fund. These will be spread around Pity Me, Framwellgate Moor and Brasside in April or May, underneath our Village entrance signs and on grassed areas.

If anyone would like to assist in watering them or has a suggested location, please call me on 01913725866.

Finchale Training College is filling the tubs and we should have flowers all summer long, and through next winter as well, with bulbs also coming up in Spring 2010.

Picture is an example of what they may look like.



I was out over the weekend litter picking and taking photos of the old railway path in Pity Me which I am trying to get funding for upgrading. this path is well used and if it can be linked up with the path to New College will make an excellent improvement.

Work was done last year on the other side of the path and I feel this is a priority for the vilage.

I have meetings over the coming weeks with various officers and organistions to try and secure the funding and will report back if I am successful.

Green Waste Update

Anyone who wants a compost bin at a discounted rate will shortly be able to buy one – especially useful if you care not to be in the initial roll out of green waste collection, don’t want another wheelie bin or would prefer to make your own compost. Check back here and i will update on when they will be available.

Success – Expanded Green Waste Collection!

The District and County councils have been working on rolling out green waste collections. Councillors were asked their views last month and after viewing the proposals for Framwellgate Moor division I requested a considerable increase in the number of houses receiving the service in our area.

At present around 67,000 homes have green waste collections across the County. An additonal 60,000 are to be added, leaving around 50,000 without the service. Many parts of our area were not to be included in the roll out, however after discussions between myself and officers I can now confirm that hundreds more homes will be added to the round in our area including Taylor, Cook, Ritson and Kingston Avenues and all the streets running off Newton Drive in Framwellgate Moor.

I asked for maps of the areas which will receive the new service and these can be seen below:

Bearpark Green Waste

Framwellgate Moor green Waste

Pity Me Green Waste

Witton Gilbert Green Waste

I will continue to push for further expansion within our area and have been told that once the roll out is completed, priority consideration will be given to providing the service to those areas not yet included, such as Brasside, Institute Terrace and Aldin Rise in Bearpark and Front St in Witton Gilbert.

I have also been asked for the Terraces behind Front St in Fram to be added.

Anyone who does not want to join up to the service can ask to opt out. It is expected to start  after Easter around the 14th April. If your house isn’t on the map and you want green waste collection (and have a garden) let me know and I will ask for it to be considered.

Citizen’s Advice Bureau Outreach Extension

We can now confirm that  the CAB Outreach program will be extended from April through to August after your Lib Dem councillors allocated additional resources to the CAB.

Later dates will be added here. Remember that you can go along to any of the outreach services and don’t need to wait until there is one in your village.

Each poster has a map showing where to go and details of all  the dates until April when the service is running. We will add new dates when finalised.

If you can’t open the files you need to download Adobe Reader, which can be done for free by clicking here. Otherwise send me an email and I’ll let you know the dates for your area.

Bearpark CAB Outreach

Flambard Road/Framwellgate Moor CAB OutreachBearpark CAB Outreach

Pity Me Woodbine Road CAB Outreach

Witton Gilbert Fyndoune CAB Outreach

Durham Herald Online

You can now view a copy of our latest Durham Herald Newspaper electronically whenver you want. I will keeping a copy of all Herald’s as published on my site. Simply click on the Durham Herald link on the left.

If you want to look at our latest local Focus leaflets these can also be found on the left.


On the 4th February my fellow Lib Dem councillors across County Durham put the following motions to full council:

  • The reinstatement of salting on some roads in Esh Winning and Waterhouses
  • The need for decisions to take the needs of all the county into account, not favoured areas, and that this would best be achieved by a Cabinet made up of councillors from all current districts within the county
  • Protecting services at Bishop Auckland Hospital
  • Continuing  support for town and parish councils on the new Unitary Council
  • Applying 30 mph speed limits to all villages in the county
  • Reintroducing a staff suggestion scheme at County Hall to take advantage of employees’ good ideas

I have become accustomed to Labour simply voting against everything – I honestly believe they will vote against everything which any opposition member puts forward – full stop. We will of course continue to push for imporvements in County Durham. I was most surprised at the Labour member for Deerness abstaining in the vote to get a 30mph zone for Broompark and Brancepeth.



At the full council meeting on Feb 4th I raised the issue (again) of the chronic waste at county hall. Over a twelve month period the council buys in excess of 19 thousand glue sticks. They allow staff to purchase both the designer Pritt Stick brand and a non-designer brand.

The designer brand is charged at 96p the non-designer brand at 12p. This is costing the council over £2500 more than they need to spend – and that’s before anyone questions why we need to order 19,000 of the darn things.

The response I got to my request to stop this was that the non-designer brand don’t work properly. Interesting answer – I have not been told why we buy over 6600 of the non-branded version though – when the porfolio member says they don’t work

Published 10th Feb


Bus Shelter on Front St Pity Me

Below are details of some of the sucesses from the work of your local Lib Dem Councillors in January 2009

The new bus shelter for Pity Me Front St was approved, ordered and fitted in record time between December and January. After I searched for funding, the County Integrated transport budget came up trumps working with the City Council and we now have a brand new bus shelter to make it a little easier to stand waiting. All this in just a few weeks.



On 29th January the cabinet at Durham County decided to raise Council Tax by 2.94% overall.

I spoke out against this and the Labour leader of the council accused my challenge to this of being “fantasy” and “headline grabbing”. Perhaps he should consider the fact that last year when Labour forced the new Unitary Council upon us they said there would be no increases in council tax – strange how it can go from being Labour policy to fantasy in such a short period of time.

On 27th February I would urge all residents to attend the full council meeting at 10am to listen to our alternative budget proposals which will be based on an overall average 0% rise in council tax. This will be fully funded and explained to the Council although we do not expect Labour will listen to us or the people of County Durham – why change a habit of a lifetime.

Published 10th Feb.