Dryburn Hill footpath rebuild underway

The next part of Dryburn Hill footpath rebuild works has started. We have been working on getting the area done for many years and last year the first section was completed. This year after being told only part of what was left was being done we decided to provide some funding to get a bit more done.

After initially being given prices which were way over the top by the Labour-run council, we challenged the quotes and got the price halved, and now another stretch is to have the flagstones removed and get a full rebuild.

This leaves one more part which we will be pushing for action on in the coming year.

Teaching Assistants update – Labour caves in at last – Or so it appears

It would appear that the campaigning has paid off. A new deal may be on the cards for teaching assistants. Council officers will be visiting schools to determine what responsibilities TAs have in each school to find out if they are graded properly.

Something we suggested at the very beginning of this mess and which Labour flatly refused to do.

Well done to all those teaching assistants who have fought against labour’s dreadful attempts to cut their pay.

Of course this could just be Labour seeking to kill the story before the local elections, so as we have since the start Lib Dem councillors will continue to lead the political campaign until a fair deal is brought forward.

Labour in Teaching Assistants cover up – Refuse democratic debate once again

More shameful behaviour from Labour-run Durham County Council over the last week.

Not satisfied with their attempts to cut TAs pay by upto 23%, they have blocked a motion by my fellow Lib Dem councillor Owen Temple, which would have seen TAs reinstated until their new contracts are redetermined.

The council has used some ridiculous excuses in the past to stop democratic debate over this and other issues but this one really took the biscuit!

Firstly they wouldn’t allow the issue debated at full council next week because it was too political! Yes – a political meeting, where motions are put and debated can’t debate – the argument that its coming up to an election. Yet election restrictions don’t start until days after the full council meeting. A disgraceful attempt to stunt democracy by Labour. It’s getting like North Korea down there – except perhaps I’m not allowed to say that either……

The second reason put by the councils legal team on why they won’t allow the motion to be debated is that it might put Labour councillors at risk following the totally unacceptable death threat against them sent to Durham Police.

Hold on a minute – so someone sends a letter to the police and democracy is immediately shut down – No chance – we live in a democracy and we will not allow threats to stop proper democratic debate. And we will not go down without a fight. This is just an excuse so Labour councillors don’t have be forced to vote again in the appalling manner they have become used to – against teaching assistants, against the people of County Durham.

The final reason we can’t have a debate on this issue  – which we are still trying to get our heads round is that we can’t reinstate teaching assistants because we might make an unlawful decision.

Owen’s response to this is worth repeating here in quotes:

“If that is the case, how could we have been given a vote in the first place, because that carried exactly the same risk? And if the termination of contracts cannot be withdrawn, what exactly is the goal of the negotiations which council, unions and Teaching Assistants are currently engaged in? Is it any wonder that Teaching Assistants think their dispute has just been kicked into the long grass beyond the election, and that once the election is out of the way the Labour run council will just return to business as usual?”

Never a truer word spoken Owen – this is another attempt to shut this issue down, but I do not believe the public will accept it. Labour’s disrespect for these public sector workers begs the question:  What is the point of Labour? **

** There isn’t one!

Teaching assistants are set to march on the 25th through Durham to Redhills. Support them by joining them if you can. If you can’t make it, please help make sure you spread the word that regardless your political beliefs, in this May’s elections, a big message is sent by kicking Labour out of County Hall once and for all.

Lib Dem action gets MORE crossing safety improvements at Arnison Centre

Following on from getting the raised crossing near Frankie and Bennies sorted, we have managed to get signs and crossing markings for the crossing point which runs to the Underpass and on to Rosemount estate and Lidl.

It took a few weeks to find out who was responsible and the helping hand of an example of how dangerous it was from a resident to get this sorted but  we are grateful to Sainsbury’s for once again taking action to improve the area.

The other crossing point at KFC has also been remarked after our requests.

We ask motorists to take care at these crossings as they are very well used.

 

Richmond and Salisbury Play Park drainage / surfaces – Council failure to act

Last summer we asked for improvements to the surfaces at Richmond Park. The Council did replace one piece of old damaged equipment after 18 months of asking however the surfaces have still not been touched.

Following further complaints from the public we have again asked for action including sorting out the drainage. It really isn’t acceptable for Council owned play areas to be left in this kind of condition, especially given that we are told that there is money in the pot to carry out repairs.

We are increasingly concerned that it’ taking far to long for such repairs in our area and have complained again this week.

Over at Salisbury Road Play area, we have had to elevate complaints as well. It’s over 4 months since we asked for remedial action and still the Council has not even ordered the works.

Needless to say we are on the war path over this and will now be chasing the Council weekly for updates.

 

 

Pity Me patching works

A few times in recent months we have raised concerns about the break up of various main roads in the area. Today some repair works have taken place on Pity Me Front Street as a result. We also asked for work on Car House Drive and will be checking if this has been done too. Let us know about any potholes or where roads are starting to break up and we will try to get the Council to take action.

Work underway in Pity Me this week:

Chasing up on Rosemount estate cleanliness

On our extensive walkabouts we frequently find areas which haven’t been cleaned up by the Council. Sometimes its areas we’ve asked before for action on, frequently it’s first requests.

Generally the Council is very good at sorting these things if we go direct to officers, however we frequently find the automated system simply doesn’t work.

If you’ve reported anything like this in our area and have not seen action, please email us with photos and details and we will get right on to it.