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.
No doubt soon to blow over the Front St. I have yet again had to ask for enforcement action. It’s really taking the mickey that these businesses continue to get away with this.
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:
The one property which hasn’t been renovated on Garden Avenue after the fire last year is an utter disgrace.
We have asked the Council to take urgent action against the owner to ensure the site is safe and cleaned up and will be chasing this up very regularly. It is simply not acceptable to have sites like this anywhere in the County.
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.
We reported last week that we’ve had no litter picks from Friday afternoon to Monday on Framwellgate Moor Front Street for the last month and it’s really been noticeable.
The Labour-run council made these changes without any consultation or even telling us as councillors.
As soon as we found out we kicked into action and I’m very pleased to say that the afternoon litter pick on a Friday has been reinstated so bins will not be overflowing all weekend and litter will not be left flying around the place.
If we hadn’t intervened as your Lib Dem councillors Framwellgate Moor would have started to go back to as it was when we had Labour councillors. Those who lived around here 10 years ago will remember the horrendous state of the litter. It’s never possible to get it perfect but our actions on this and on the takeaways should continue to keep it tidier than would otherwise be the case.
If there are any areas with litter in Newton Hall, Framwellgate Moor, Brasside, Pity Me or Finchale Abbey Village please let us know so we can get it sorted quickly.
Houses and flats along Brackenfield Road which are owned by Durham City Homes (Former Council houses) are currently getting new driveways and parking areas installed thanks to the work of your Lib Dem councillors.
The street has horrendous parking problems, to the extent that its almost impossible even to get a road sweeper or refuse wagon safely down it on many days. All this is now changing and should make life much easier for all residents on the street. It follows our success in getting similar schemes in Lilac Avenue, Hudspeth Crescent and The Avenue.
This should have been done when Labour were running council housing, but like so many things it didn’t. We continue to work with Durham City Homes (Durham Housing Group) to improve our area and hope for more successes in the future.
Finchale Training College will be knocked down to make way for new housing.
We have secured various concessions to this after finding issues with the proposals.
- The Council repeatedly refused to agree to reduce the speed limit past the site. I had to intervene and speak with the Director of Regeneration at the Council over this, otherwise I would not have been minded to support the application. The speed limit is 60mph and there is a difficult bend. This speed limit should have been reduced years ago but the council refused. I’m happy to report they have not only agreed to go out to consultation before development starts but also that the developer will pay for the costs of implementing this. 1-0 Lib Dem councillors.
- Development sites require a contribution towards various improvements in the area. Developers always try to get all of this inside the site, leaving nothing to improve the local community. We have been successful in making sure that public art and open spaces funding can be spent in the wider electoral division as well as near the site, and that this money cannot be used to pay for other improvements the developer wants – they’ll have to use their own money. 2-0 Lib Dem councillors.
- Whilst most of the site is brownfield/already developed, it is surrounded by greenbelt and it was essential that proper conditions were placed on ensuring trees and landscaping on the site were retained and improved. Following our intervention this has been conditioned and residents will be consulted on the final landscaping plans. 3-0 Lib Dem councillors.
All in all a good day, with 20% affordable housing also included and funding for the charity safeguarded, as well as a cast iron agreement that the charity will have its new headquarters within County Durham!
On Tuesday we met with owners and estate managers of the Arnison Centre as well as senior council managers and traffic experts to discuss problems raised by residents over HGVs using Finchale Road, Old Pit Lane, Front St Pity Me and Framwellgate Moor and Abbey Road.
Residents on these streets are being plagued with vibrations from large HGVs. I have personal experience of the damage from vibrations with cracks in plaster, however other residents have far more serious issues with damage to properties, sleepless nights as well as concerns about highway safety.
In a few weeks time, the access between Rotary Way Bypass and the Arnison Centre/Lidl roundabout will be closed off for widening of this area. This should result in an improvement in access to and from the Centre and was requested by us as part of the expansion of the Centre. However for 6-8 weeks from around the end of March we are going to find major traffic problems including more vehicles including HGVs coming through the Pity Me, Framwellgate Moor and Newton Hall areas.
We have asked for various options to be considered to reduce the impact of this.
So for a while there will be an increase in HGVs, however we have a commitment form the Arnison Centre owners that once this necessary improvement work has taken place, they will work to ensure that all the businesses on the site get the lorries delivering goods to use the A167 Pity Me bypass and Rotary Way as it was originally designed. We will be monitoring this after the roadworks have taken place and will be asking residents to help us identify those business not adhering to the agreement.
We are keen to hear from you with suggestions of projects and ideas to boost involvement in the community or events for more senior residents. At the moment we do a great deal to assist older residents with council related issues and community programs but we want to do more.
Amanda currently helps to run the Luncheon Club at All Saint’s Church in Newton Hall which provides a meal on Mondays to 40-50 local residents who are retired, with ages ranging from 65 to nearly 100!
We also provided funding to the WI for a senior citizen’s Christmas party in December in Framwellgate Moor.
We have also been campaigning to keep local health services such as podiatry in the area.
We also support all the community buildings in the area which have groups and access for retired residents. And of course we respond to many requests for help each week, ranging from issues which all residents contact us about to concerns with assisted refuse collections, requests for dropped kerbs and social care concerns. Recently we assisted a Durham City Homes resident to improve their mobility access for example. We also helped another resident get access to the Council’s Link2 bus service to get to hospital.
Let us know if there is something missing for older residents in our area or perhaps an idea you feel will help senior members of our community. There may also be funding available for local groups which aim to help older residents.