Your Durham County Councillors – WHAT HAVE WE DONE?  12 MONTHS ON

1. Festival Walk:

A meeting was held yesterday to update on progress since site investigative work was carried out. The results of this work is still awaited and a further update will be provided within the next two weeks.  A public consultation event will be  arranged within 6-8 weeks of final plans being drawn up.

2.  Bandstand area, Festival Walk:

Suggestions for use of this area will be published at the same Public Consultation event as (1) above, looking at this area as being in a key position in the Town to hold community events.  Meanwhile steps have been repaired and the area swept.

3. Land adjacent to the Library on Cheapside.

Neighbourhood funding of all County Councillors has been allocated to clean up this entire site around June 2018.  This will be followed by a further allocation of neighbourhood funding to provide new screening for the area.

4. Leisure Centre, ‘Witches Hat’ area.

There has been a clean up of the area to remove graffiti, leaves and litter with steps also repaired.  If is recognised that there are roof repairs needed and new coping stones also required.  Improvement plans are under discussion currently.  Finance has been set aside.

5. St Andrews Road

A flooding problem identified as water seeping from blocked and broken drains has been resolved after several years of problems.. Thanks go to officers from DCC for their perseverance in finding a solution to this difficult job.

6.  20  mph Zones

Implementation of 20 mph Zone areas across the township, notably Beech Avenue, Chestnut Avenue, St Paul’s Gardens, Rosa Street, Dundas Street, North Road areas to name a few, and within the next two weeks at Ox Close, King Street and outside of St Charles RC on Durham Road. Primary school children have received safety training and drawn up their own ‘keep children safe’ signs. More zones will be created as funds become available.

7. Victoria Gardens

Unadopted roads and paths on this housing estate have been highlighted as an issue for many years.  One of our first jobs was to lobby for these to be adopted and improvements made to the highways.  This work is now agreed and funding has become available. We expect this will start in the next 2-3 months.

8. Nevilles Close

Removal of bushes and extension of 3 car parks at Nevilles Close with drainage and road surface improvements – work now in progress.

9. Dean Lane – Durham Gate

Birds eye fencing installed at Dean Lane to protect grass verges.

10. North Drive – Middlestone Moor

Discussions to move forward on a new and enhanced play area at North Drive.

11. Planning Policy 

Following Spennymoor Independents meetings with Planning officials a new planning policy has been written and introduced COUNTY WIDE to ensure that going forward developers commit at the planning approval stage to a green areas maintenance programme on their developments with enforcement strategies for non compliance. We continue to lobby for a solution to existing developments where green area maintenance standards are a problem.

12. Parking – Spennymoor Town Centre

Traffic regulations have been amended to regularize no parking restrictions across the high street where different no parking times previously applied.

13. Youth Activities – Middlestone Moor

Funding Support from County Councillors, Livin and the Football foundation – the community arm of Sunderland FC to promote football opportunities and community activities at Middlestone Moor Community Centre.

14. Town Wardens

Early meetings of County Councillors to seek out information on a locally financed Part time Neighbourhood Warden to target litter and dog fouling across the Township. This has now been taken forward by Spennymoor Town Council.

15. Speeding drivers in Spennymoor

Investigations into speeding issues at Grayson Road and assurance from police to closely monitor this area (this same problem now identified at Dean Lane and under investigation).

16. Planning Committees

Attendance at planning committees across the County and locally. In particular lobbying for more and improved health services, school places, parking facilities and job opportunities going forward for our Town to cope with the existing infrastructure and still to be built 1700 houses planned for Spennymoor.  All County Councillors voted against plans to extend the stage 5 proposed housing development at Whitworth by an extra 25 per cent due to this lack of infrastructure. We lost the vote but put up a good  case.

17. Walkabouts and reporting

Regular walkabouts to identify areas of litter, dog fouling graffiti and fly tipping, most recently working with DCC’s Community Action Team at ‘The Terraces’ including Craddock Street, Baff Street etc; with Livin on walkabouts at Middlestone Moor and with DCC officers at sites across Tudhoe and Spennymoor.

18. Rear Whitworth Terrace – road surface

Road surface improvements at back of Whitworth Terrace.

19. Doctors surgery in Byers Green

All County Councillors for Spennymoor and Middlestone made representation for an extension of a planned closure deadline of Byers Green Surgery as we did not consider adequate notice was given. Meetings were held and a leaflet drop took place across the Village.  Only 3 objections came forward and the surgery closed, however we did agree concessions for residents.

20.  School Crossing – 4 Lane Ends Middlestone Moor

Objections have been submitted against the planned removal of the road crossing patrol officer at the four lane end junction off Whitworth Terrace and reliance on the traffic light pedestrian crossing signals. Justification for this proposal has been requested – further updates will follow

21. Housing developements

We are continuing to lobby on a regular basis for all unadopted housing developments to be adopted.

22. Winter salt provision

The unprecedented winter weather gave us an opportunity to pilot placing a small number of grit bags in key problem areas across our Town. This proved of huge benefit to some of the local communities severely affected by the weather conditions.

23. Carr Lane Road Improvements

Lastly, after several years of pushing for a solution we negotiated for the chicanes to be removed at Studley Drive entrance on Carr Lane and road surface improvements completed down to the High Street junction. The Rosedale chicane is planned for removal in June/July 2018.

 

We have been busy – further updates will follow..

This list is not exhaustive and does not include the case work and time spent at DCC scrutiny committees and working groups.  Further Information on a number of working groups looking at key strategic issues (eg Town Centres) will be provided when reports are released.

 

Please be assured that we are focused as a Team on doing all that we can to help our residents and improve our  local Community.

 

Councillor Liz Maddison

Durham County Council – Spennymoor Independent Group Leader

For and on behalf of County Councillors Kevin Thompson, Geoff Darkes, Neil Grayson, Alan Gardner, Liz Maddison

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