Inconsiderate parking and driving behaviour on Newton Drive

Could all parents of children and students attending Framwellgate Moor Primary School and Framwellgate School Durham please bear in mind that Newton Drive and the roads around it are residential areas and that there are a lot of young people around. You’d think this was obvious but the behaviour of some people at the start of the new school year is less than acceptable. Blocking pavements and drives, parking on school zigzags, driving without due care and attention are all being clamped down on. This is now a 20mph zone for a reason.

I have spoken with the police and the council parking warden service and there will be a presence in the coming days and weeks in this area to make sure that it is safer for everyone.

Summer break that wasn’t a summer break

Whilst the weather was certainly summer like this year. The supposed August break failed to materialise for us as councillors. We have had to deal with a whole raft of issues across the area during this time including:

– ARRIVA BUS SERVICES – Problems with local bus services culminating in articles in the local press. We have had to challenge the Council and Arriva regarding the 64 service and indeed other services across the area. It seems Arriva have had a whole raft of problems. Although for many long term sufferers of the services on Newton Hall, this will come as no surprise, just that this year it seems to have been worse than ever. We continue to look for ways to improve services in our area.

– HIGHWAYS ISSUES At various locations including Mere Drive and Carr House Drive we have had to intervene over council work to footpaths where not all the work was completed. In ere Drive this was not the Council’s fault and was down to parked cars. On Carr House Drive, areas where were due to be rebuilt were completely missed due to council error. And ear the hospital we have had to repeatedly push with our colleagues form Neveille’s Cross for the footpath which was really dangerous to be resurfaced. This was done over the last weekend and a very good job has been done, so thank you to our highways teams for finally recognising the need for this work.

– PAVILLION AND KING GEORGE V WORKS – On a the Parish Council we have all been working hard to make sure that the work to the Pavillion could start this week, the £100,000 project includes replacement of the roof of the Pavillion including other structural works, new heating system, new lighting for the MUGA,Tennis court and pavillion access road. Parish Councillor Colin Hillary has been invaluable in making sure that this project reached this stage. I was put in charge of the fundraising and we managed to bring in significant funding from Sport England, S106 planning funds and AAP funding so that the parish council has only had to fund a small proportion of the works. The Parsih car park will be closed for 3 months and we have had to liaise with the Primary school, county council and police to ensure that problems in the local area are kept to a minimum particularly on Newton Drive.

– FRAMWELLGATE MOOR PRIMARY SCHOOL has opened with its wonderful extension, new windows, heating and car park works well on the way to completion. It is expected the works will take until April to completely finish. This has ensured that the area will have enough places for local children this year and that the primary school will now have far better facilities than before to support its outstanding status! We had to work hard with the school and County Council to ensure that the heating, parking and windows plans were improved.

– COUNTY HALL AND AKYLEY HEADS. We have had to intervene over the summer over the plans for the new county hall and next week Amanda will be raising concerns about the Aykley Heads masterplan at Cabinet. We do not believe that the County Council can be trusted to ensure that this area has the infrastructure in place to deal with the proposals for new jobs in this area and given the problems over the years which we have had to deal with since the redevelopment of Trinity School, we have sincere concerns about how traffic management, parking and other issues will be managed. The new county hall plans for the Sands car park have raised significant concerns in the community, and I have raised with Directors at County Hall my concerns that there is no sustainability assessment included with the proposals Many residents have contacted us about the plans for the new HQ. As I am on the planning committee I cannot give an opinion either way on the building but do feel that residents should have an extended period of consultation on this as all the information needed to consider the proposals is not yet available and the consultation period closed last week – this is clearly not acceptable.

BRASSIDE PARKING LAY-BYS – We have numerous issues which we have had to deal with in Brasside including discussions about the plans to rebuild the parking areas though the village. We are now hopeful of a start on site soon after making several amendments to the works to make them safer and more appropriate.

START OF NEW COLLEGE TERM – The state of Front Street last week with students from New College back for the new term was completely unacceptable and we intervened contacting the College, the Police and teh County Council. Wardens are patrolling, as are the police and the College has written to all students reminding them of their responsibility to treat the local area with respect. The amount of litter at the top of Newcastle Terrace last week was disgraceful We are going to me monitoring this going forward and I will be asking the County council to reconsider whether or not 16-18 year olds can / should be given penalty notices for littering as at the moment the Council does not do this.

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES – Across the area we have had requests for a variety of works including weed spraying, tree and bush cutting, clearing of flytipping and litter. We have also had to intervene because of the unacceptable behaviour of some of the shops on Framwellgate Moor Front street, the owners of which seem to think they can profit from the local community at the same time has leaving the outside of the shops looking a complete tip. Warning and enforcement letters have been sent and are being looked at further.

CLOSURE OF POTTERHOUSE LANE

We had to intervene and challenge the Council over this and their suggestion that this will be closed for months and months. For many years I have expressed concerns about the culvert running under the road near the chicken farm. It collapsed and when the Council said it was going to take so long to repair we have been putting pressure on and hope that the work will get finished more quickly to avoid unnecessary disruption.

Just a few of the things going on. Blog fully back up and running……..

Reporting issues around our area

Over the last week, whilst delivering our latest leaflet which provides details of the County Plan consultation, we have also ben reporting issues around our area. Some of these will be acted on quickly by the council, some will be booked in for future works program, and sadly some may not be actioned at all if Council doesn’t think they are severe enough or fails to properly investigate – this does happens sometimes and some of the reports we put in have to be it in more than once. Here’s a sample of some requests, if you spot anything like this anywhere else, please let us know.

Dryburn Hill – Road surface request for patching, leaves and detritus on footpaths and road.

Dryburn Road – Request for sweeping of road and paths

Sacriston Lane/Durham Moor – Various areas requiring sweeping

Durham Road/Durham Moor Crescent – Tree root trip hazards on pavement, detritus on pavement.

Holmlands Crescent – trip hazard on pavement

Durham Moor Crescent – Very poor state of pavement on part of the street

Path from Finchale Road to Newton Drive – overgrown/full of weeds

Various properties with rubbish in gardens or overflowing bins

25-31 Finchale Rd – road surface never resurfaced when rest of estate was done

Flytipping at various locations including Finchale Road, Beech Road, Newcastle Terrace, Garden Avenue, Front St Framwellgate Moor, Woodbine Road, Farnham Road, Durham Terrace

Dangerous structure (wall) on Finchale Road

Damaged footpaths on Finchale Road, The Forge,

High Carr Close – new estate – drainage gullies full of construction waste

Various issues with County Durham Housing Group properties

Overgrown paths/weeds on Caterhouse Road

Pavement issues on Lilac Avenue

Abandoned vehicles

Overgrown path at Bek Rd traffic lights

Various detritus issues on Old Pit Lane

Road defects Roman Drive, Carr House Drive, Aykley Vale

Overgrown path Newton Drive

Path from Potterhouse Terrace to the Forge overgrown

Blocked gullies – various locations

Farnham Road – tree root/trip hazards

Bede Way – bushes growing into road

 

 

 

Northern Relief Road thoughts

There will be a mixed reaction to proposals for the Northern Relief road. On the one hand Durham has a pollution and congestion problem and attempts to get people to change will simply not deal with it.

I imagine there will be a significant number of residents supporting a new road. However there will also be a significant percentage against a road at all. Then there will be residents who want a road but do not agree with the route.

One such resident sent me a video he has done which you may find interesting. See below.

Another interesting point is that when I asked officers for the analysis of all possible routes for a relief road, I found that there were only the two options running between Brasside and Newton Hall. No consideration of Cocken Road nor of going round the back of Brasside have been even analysed at a basic level – simply because decades ago this was the proposed route. I don’t think that is an acceptable answer.

Whilst I am inclined to support improved road links due to the congestion in Durham City, I am yet to be convinced that the route proposed is the only or best option.

Whatever your views on this and the other County Plan issues, please make sure you attend the consultation events.

 

County Plan – the basics

Greenbelt – A big success – building on the greenbelt has been dramatically reduced in the new plan. Originally anything up to 6000 houses were planned. This is now 1900.

A huge area stretching almost to Sacriston was originally proposed, this has been cut back significantly.

The greenbelt to the North of the Arnison Centre is removed from development.

The Western bypass

this is set to go ahead in the plan, paid for by a levy on the new housing.

Northern Bypass

This is in the plan with a route between Brasside and Newton Hall passing through Low Newton Junction nature reserve and coming out near Belmont. No funding is identified yet but the Council is actively working on this.

Country Park

Whilst we have reservations about building on the greenbelt, we explained to officers that we needed to ensure that any development was for the benefit of all. We proposed a park running through the Sniperley Housing development and this has been confirmed in the plan. There will be a ark running the whole length of the development area, with Caterhouse Pit nature area protected.

Aykley Heads

Redevelopment of the area once the COuncil has moved to the City Centre is likely to be contentious if traffic and parking issues are not addressed. Proposals for 5000 new jobs are admirable but if the infrastructure is not in place then there will be serious problems.

Infrastructure Changes

We have secured a commitment that the Salutation mini roundabout area will be made far safer for pedestrians, and indeed other roundabouts including PIty ME A167, Blackie Boy, Sniperley and Aykley Heads will all have upgrades as part of the plan.

On all these issues and more need you to comment at the consultation events.

County Plan – Important update – Consultation Dates

Durham County Council’s cabinet passed the County Plan for consultation on Wednesday. The plan looks at what the County needs in terms of housing, employment and infrastructure until 2035.

We have three consultation events arranged in our area – originally one until we complained.

They are on the following dates:

Framwellgate Moor Community Centre – 27th June from 3.30pm to 6.30pm

Abbey Leisure Centre – 5th July from 4pm to 7pm

All Saints Church Newton Hall – 19th July from 4pm to 7pm

There will also be an event at the Town Hall tbc.

 

Grass cutting issues

We have had some complaints about grass cutting in the area. As anyone with a lawn will know, we had some pretty fast growth in recent weeks and this caused problems for the Council, trying to keep on top of it.

That said, there have been areas missed which we have reported to the Council. If there is an area not currently being cut please let us know. We have reported the following areas: Canterbury Road shops, front of Bede Lodge Club, parts of Abbey Road, Rear of Finchale Road Brasside (Issue with parked cars).

We have also mentioned that some of the guys are working a bit too quickly, missing edges etc. Clearly the staff are working hard, but we also need to make sure we keep on top of the standard to.

Please do let us know about any local issues

Disabilities event at New College

People with physical and learning disabilities and their carers can find out about everything from health, employment and training to social activities and holidays at an event this week.

The next Fulfilling Lives event takes place at New College Durham on Thursday, 31 May between 10am and 1pm.

As well as 80 stalls offering information on health, social activities, education, sports, leisure and staying safe, the event will also include six specialised zones with interactive games and a free prize draw for the best poster designed by people who have physical and/or learning disabilities to encourage others to stop smoking. The poster will be circulated across all independent providers in County Durham.

This ninth Fulfilling Lives event is dedicated to achieving a Smoke Free Durham and the Smoke Free County Durham team will be on hand to encourage people to sing their favourite songs at the event in order to pass on public health messages about the risks associated with smoking. The department for Work and Pensions and Job Centre Plus Disability Employment Advisors will be on hand to share the latest information on the support available for those seeking employment and training.

Lee Alexander, Durham County Council’s head of adult care, said: “Fulfilling Lives is a great way for carers and people with physical and/or learning disabilities to come together for one day to seek the latest information, advice and support from across an extensive regional network.

“There are so many organisations doing a tremendous amount of good work in our communities, offering great opportunities for all people, it’s just knowing where these activities are and how to access them.”