Thursday, September 21, 2017

Whickham's Chase Park to reopen this weekend

Whickham windmill Mar 17

Major renovation work on Whickham's historic Chase Park has now been completed. To celebrate the £1 million refurbishment, Friends of Chase Park are holding a re-opening event on Saturday, 23rd September, from 11am to 3pm.

The Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr Pauline Dillon, will lead the re-opening ceremony. There will be lot of entertainment, activities and a fair.

Everyone is welcome to join in the celebrations.

Chase Park entrance renovation Jul 17

The renovation of the Park was the result of the Friends of Chase Park's campaign to restore it to its former glory. A partnership of the Friends and Gateshead Council saw a successful bid for £1 million made to the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Big Lottery Fund. The work was carried out during 2017 and includes:
•​Restoration of the listed windmill, entrance gates, paths and ornamental garden
•​Replanting of flower beds and trees
•​Remodelling and enhancement of the toddler play area
•​Resurfacing of the tennis courts and new table tennis installed 
•​New junior play area and skateboard park
•​Outdoor gym/trim trail 
•​Development of community garden 
•​New benches, signs and interpretations of heritage points of interest.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Labour Rebels Hand May a Blank Cheque - Wallace

Flying flag for Europe Gateshead Quays Mar 17 (42)

Liberal Democrats in Gateshead have accused the Labour Party of handing Theresa May a blank cheque over the UK’s withdrawal from the EU. A vote held on 12th September  on the EU withdrawal Bill saw 7 Labour MPs vote with the Conservatives, helping to boost May’s majority.

The Withdrawal Bill will pass all current EU laws and rules into British law and give Government ministers unprecedented powers to change them without requiring further legislation.

Lib Dem candidate for Blaydon, Jonathan Wallace, said, “Despite Labour flip-flopping over their stance on the EU and the Single Market, they at least had a definite position on this Bill, which was to oppose it. In the Commons, Theresa May blew away her majority at the snap General Election in June so even a small rebellion by the chaotic Labour Party saves the Conservatives.

“That’s exactly what’s happened here. Those Labour rebels, and those who abstained, in effect teamed up with the Tory Right and the DUP to hand ministers massive powers to by-pass Parliament.”

Tom Brake MP, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson, said, “This Bill will hand the Government unprecedented new powers. MPs, especially those who campaigned to leave the EU on the basis of ‘taking back control’ for our Parliament, should be ashamed.  They have abdicated their responsibility to scrutinise legislation and relinquished Parliamentary sovereignty to Theresa May’s unrepresentative cabal.

“This is a dark day for the mother of parliaments.  The Liberal Democrats will fight to amend the bill in Committee to stop this affront to democracy.

“Labour rebels have handed the Government sweeping anti-democratic powers.  A significant number walked hand in hand with the Tories and have given the Government extreme powers not seen since the Middle Ages.”

Friday, August 11, 2017

Swalwell Fayre

Swalwell Community Group are holding a summer fayre in Swalwell Park on Saturday 12th August from 12pm - 4pm. There will be fairground rides, animals, stalls and much more. All welcome. Funds raised will help pay for the Swalwell Christmas tree.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Insurance coughs up cost of repairing Blaydon footbridge

Last week at full council in Gateshead, Lib Dem Cllr, Jonathan Wallace, raised the issue of who paid for the repairs to the Blaydon Footbridge. Last August, a lorry driver drove into the bridge causing considerable damage. A section of the bridge had to be removed. The repairs and replacement of the missing section took place earlier this month. Cllr Wallace had previously raised concerns that the costs would fall on local council taxpayers.

"I'm pleased to report that the driver's insurance has paid for the repairs. Well done to the officers of the council who ensured the insurance of the responsible driver paid for the work," said Jonathan.

The start of the video above was shot in December 2016 when the central section was still missing with the 2nd half of the video being shot earlier this month when the missing section was installed.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Welcome for Gateshead Energy Plant

Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition in Gateshead, Jonathan Wallace, has welcomed the news that the Gateshead Energy Centre will be open for business shortly. Cllr Wallace's comments were made following a visit to the plant in central Gateshead recently.

The move by Gateshead Council to create an energy company and generate heat and electricity came about after Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government changed the law that prevented councils from setting up and running their own energy providers.

"The plant will generate electricity and hot water which will be pumped to other buildings in central Gateshead," said Jonathan. "Older power stations don't use the hot water from the electricity generating process. It is simply thrown away. In Gateshead it will be used to heat businesses, public buildings and people's homes.

"The profit will come back to Gateshead Council to support local services. We need to look now at how to set up similar plants elsewhere in Gateshead and to look at how renewable fuels can be used to generate power."

£1bn DUP deal could have paid for 10 extra teachers in Gateshead

Whickham School Mar 15 2

The government's £1bn deal with the DUP could have paid for at least one extra teacher for every secondary school across the UK, including 10 more teachers in Gateshead, research by the Liberal Democrats has revealed.

Official figures show there are 4,169 state-funded secondary schools in the UK and that the average cost of employing a teacher is £44,500. This means if the additional £1bn had been distributed evenly among the UK's schools, each would receive £240,000, enough to hire one additional teacher in each secondary school over the next five years.  

This would have meant an additional £2.4 million of spending on schools in Gateshead, enough to hire 10 teachers in each secondary school in the borough.

Liberal Democrat Leader of the Opposition on Gateshead Council, Jonathan Wallace, said, "The £1 billion Theresa May has spent on her deal with the DUP could have been spent employing 10 extra secondary school teachers in Gateshead.

"When it comes to the Tories clinging to power, it seems the magic money tree does exist after all. This simply won't wash with parents in Gateshead seeing their schools considering laying off teachers as a result of crippling cuts.

"The Conservatives must start investing more in our schools and not just on keeping Theresa May in Downing Street."

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Blaydon Bridge Section Replaced

Blaydon Bridge replacement Jul 17 (3)

The missing section of the Blaydon Footbridge was successfully replaced on Saturday 1st July. Work on the bridge caused the closure of the eastbound A695.

The damage to the bridge was caused in August 2016 when a lorry hit it. Gateshead Lib Dem Councillors have raised the issue of who pays for the repairs. An answer is awaited.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Road closure to install new Blaydon bridge

The eastbound carriageway of the Blaydon Highway and the adjacent Tyne Street will be closed to traffic on Saturday 1st July from 6am to allow contractors to install a new section to the footbridge over the A695.

The closure is required to allow the new prefabricated bridge span to be delivered on a low loader and also allow for the positioning of a crane to lift the new footbridge section into position.

A signed diversion route will be in place to divert traffic from the A695 Blaydon Roundabout via Shibdon Road onto the B6317 Chainbridge Road. The A695 Westbound highway will remain open to traffic.

The length of time required for installing the new bridge section will depend on weather conditions, but it is hoped that the work can be completed within the day.

Motorists are advised to seek alternative routes if possible and to allow a little more time for their journey.