Did you know there are council tax discounts available for special circumstances. Please read below and let friends and neighbours know about this if you think it could apply to them.
Homes which include someone with severe physical disabilities could be eligible for reductions and carers may also be excluded when calculating council tax depending on the circumstances.
Care leavers under 25 who pay council tax or who live with someone who pays council tax are able to reduce the amount they pay by applying for a discretionary reduction.
People living with dementia and those who care for people with a severe mental impairment, such as Alzheimer’s, may also be eligible for a discount or exemption.
Students are also exempt from paying council tax, while those aged over 18 who are the sole resident in a property are entitled to a 25 per cent single occupier discount.
Universal Credit claimants are reminded that they need to make a separate claim to Durham County Council if they are having difficulty paying council tax, as this isn’t included in the housing costs element of the new Universal Credit system.
To find out more about the range of council tax discounts and exemptions available, call 03000 260 000 or visit www.durham.gov.uk/counciltax
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.
Durham County Council has scrapped a gritting route in our area. They made this decision because of parked cars blocking the route LAST YEAR.
Yet at no point over nine months did they bother to try and fix the problem by speaking to residents or even letting us as your local councillors know about it.
The route ran around Lindisfarne, Cotherstone and Featherstone Roads.
The Council only told us about the route being scrapped when the gritting season was about to start and after printing the new gritting leaflet. AND THEY STILL HAVEN’T NOTIFIED RESIDENTS DESPITE THE RISK SOMEONE COULD GET HURT. This is a total disregard for public safety.
We have now logged this as a formal complaint after our repeated attempts to get the Council to reinstate the route and try and find a solution were ignored. The Director has said nothing more can be done. We disagree.
We think the council should have consulted with residents 9 months ago and sought solutions through the summer.
They could have tried to get people to park differently so that the gritting wagon could get through and temporarily use a smaller vehicle. We might have been able to find other solutions if we had the time, but when you don’t know about something it makes it rather difficult.
We will update residents on our complaint when the Council comes back to us. If the complaint doesn’t find a solution then we will consider the next possible options.
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.
At the end of summer we attended the opening of the new sports hall at Framwellgate School Durham. It really is a fantastic facility and is available to the public for use as well.
There is an amazing climbing wall which I was one of the first to try and climb. Making it to the top without falling – although I was attached to wires!
As part of the building work we secured funding for a sculpture from s106 public art funding outside the centre. It really does look great and we would recommend taking a look.
We are pleased to be able to confirm that we have come to an agreement with the Council to get the next phase of Brasside parking regeneration done.
Plans have been agreed which will see a further 80m stretch upgraded.
The current state of the verges through the village is appalling. We are angry that the Labour-run council has refused to put any funding in to the village to deal with these problems and improve residents lives.
We are therefore using local neighbourhood funding to carry out this important regeneration project after our requests for matched funding were again rejected.
The project is currently on hold after we found out there was a chance that Northumbrian Water would be coming in and replacing the main pipework through the village. Had we not asked for this to be checked out the Council may have done the work only for it to be dug up again!
As many of you will know, Labour councillors produced and forced through a flawed report on 20mph zones following our success in getting the Council to change its policies and agree to allowing 20mph zones. Shame on Labour for playing with Child safety. This meant that schools with fewer accidents in areas like Chester-le-Street where the council leader lives were prioritised over our area.
We secured a review and this showed that schools in our area should have been programmed in first.
The Council is now implementing this and is currently finalising consultation on the project. As part of this they did not plan to include schools in Newton Hall. We have used local funding to make sure that all the schools in our area are included.
This means that near all schools in our area from next year there will be flashing signs and 20mph zones at drop off and pick up times and at lunch times where appropriate.
We hope that this will help to bring down average speeds not just at school times but throughout the day making our area safer for pedestrians.
We are working with the Council on additional projects which will enhance the scheme and also help reduce speeds.
We have secured repairs and replacements for a number of bus shelters around the area.
Many shelters are being cleaned, and damaged perspex and glass is being replaced.
This includes the one at the entrance to Brasside on Finchale Avenue and the one near new college where we have also secured work to improve the crossing point for new college.
The one outside Vets for Pets and those near Beech Close and Priory Road on Finchale Road in Framwellgate Moor are also getting new glass installed.
The old brick shelter opposite the Newton Grange pub is also being replaced with a new clean one which should also deter people taking toilet breaks in it!
All Saint’s Christmas lights once again looks fantastic. We provided the Christmas Tree again this year, bought from Pity Me Nurseries with 200 additional trees at a super discount we negotiated. We we are planning to plant the trees around the area so if anyone has a suggestion on where they would like to see some trees we have 200 decent sized trees ready for planting after the new year, weather permitting. Big thanks to the volunteers who put up the lights and tree at the Church.
The new lighting we have secured for the underpass at the Arnison Centre has now been installed and what a difference! And its led energy saving so has cut the costs of the Council.