A recent focus leaflet from the LibDems suggested that no Councillor from Spennymoor Town Council was interested to respond to their public question on a highways issue on Oxford Road, Spennymoor, when they raised a question at a recent Town Council meeting.
At the time an officer of the Council highlighted this is a Durham County Council responsibility. This is the same situation as the public question raised on 14/2/17 at the Facilities and Recreation Committee of Spennymoor Town Council; Council rules prevent Councillors from speaking when a public question is asked, only the Chair or Clerk can respond to the public question. These rules have been developed and updated over time and implemented by members of the Council’s majority Labour Group – we believe to stifle debate – and also consider these rules need to be changed. We do have the facility to present a motion to take the question to another Committee but need a majority vote to do this.
The LibDem question followed a Spennymoor PACT (Police & Communities Together) meeting when Durham County Council’s Town Centre Regeneration Manager (TCRM) was invited to attend to provide an update on Festival Walk, the North Eastern and Town Centre regeneration plans, all concerns raised many times by members of the public.
A regular attendee at the PACT group raised concerns at the crossing adjacent to the Home Bargains store and I also highlighted road safety issues when articulated lorries had to reverse from Oxford Road into the delivery bays of Iceland, the Coop and Home Bargains. I asked what plans were in place for offloading vehicles should another supermarket re-position onto the Kingfisher site. It has been documented in PACT minutes that the Regeneration Manager would update PACT members following the Spennymoor Neighbourhood Plan being discussed by Durham County Council’s Cabinet in January 2017. Cllr. Darkes, Chair of Spennymoor PACT has now received an update that the Spennymoor Neighbourhood Plan will be discussed at the next Spennymoor AAP meeting to be held on 16th March 2017.
Spennymoor Independents are pleased that representatives from other groups are able to highlight in their community leaflets what we raise as issues at PACT discussions and in Town Council debates. We will continue to get on with the job in hand representing our residents, asking questions and chasing up on answers to key issues affecting our Town and Parishes that will ultimately benefit everyone in our Community.