Wednesday, November 29, 2006
The Account is used by millions of elderly people to collect their state pensions via Post Office branches, many of which rely on the payment they receive for handling the cash to remain open.
“There are widespread fears Labour’s decision to axe the Post Office Card Account will lead to the closure of many Post Office branches,” said Councillor Yvonne McNicol.
“Residents of Whickham were very interested in the petition and were eager to sign. In total we have collected over 4000 signatures and many are still coming in.”
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Planning permission to replace an existing floodlight tower at Whickham Glebe Sports Club and replace it with a new 20 metre high telecommunications mast with 4 floodlights, 3 Vodafone antennae and 3 O2 antennae has been refused.
Tyne Valley Trading Estate roadworks
Work on installing a zebra crossing at Marquisway/Tenth Avenue should be completed by December.
Planning permission is being sought for an extension to Sacred Heart RC Primary School at Byermoor.
Broom Lane Housing application
A planning application has been submitted to Gateshead Council to demolish the house at 35A Broom Lane, Whickham, and build a new house in the rear garden area of 35 Broom Lane.
Whickham Industrial Estate
Planning permission is being sought to build an industrial unit on the vacant site to the west of Team Valley Brush Co at the Whickham Industrial Estate, Swalwell.
Swalwell flats plan
A planning application to convert the house at 39 Napier Road, Swalwell into 2 flats has been submitted to Gateshead Council.
Planning permission is being sought to build two blocks of stables on land to the rear of Old Ravensworth Farm Cottage, Ravensworth.
Sunniside Post Office cash machine
A planning application has been received by Gateshead for permission to install a cash machine on the front of Sunniside Post Office.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Gateshead and Newcastle Councils have entered an agreement to use “biodiesel” in some of their vehicles.
“Biofuel” contain a proportion of fuel produced from oilseed rape plants that are grown specifically for the purpose. The rest of the fuel is ordinary diesel.
“Biodiesel contains fuel from renewable sources,” said Dr wallace, “so it adds less polluting carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, to the atmosphere.
“But the government charges the same duty per litre on biodiesel as on ordinary, more polluting diesel. This means there is no direct financial incentive to use the cleaner, greener fuel.
“Were the duty on biodiesel to be less, it would encourage more people to use it and would create a bigger market for cleaner, greener fuels.”
Friday, November 17, 2006
1) Introduction and opencast mining
2) migrant labour
3) council tax
4) UK troops abroad
5) renewable energy part 1
6) renewable energy part 2
7) human rights
Thursday, November 16, 2006
The Government’s decision to phase out the Post Office Card Account will create difficulties for the five million pensioners who have chosen to receive their pensions via the Post Office rather than a bank account, which they will now be forced to use.
The decision to end the payment system is also likely to lead to the closure of thousands of Post Office branches.
Dr Jonathan Wallace, Councillor for Whickham South and Sunniside, has warned constituents in his monthly email newsletter that the decision by First Direct Bank to end free banking for those with less than £1500 in their current account will result in a bank poll tax for the elderly.
“Millions of pensioners chose to receive their pension via the Post Office rather than open a bank account,” said Dr Wallace.
“The government’s decision will force them to open bank accounts to get their pension but many will not have £1500 to keep in the bank to avoid charges.
“The Government must think again about ending the Post Office Card Account.”
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
And with national unemployment rising as well, concerns are being expressed about future job prospects on Tyneside.
In September 2005, 3,359 people in Gateshead were unemployed and receiving job seekers allowance. In September 2006 the figure rose to 3,564.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Jonathan Wallace said, “The recent rise in interest rates is likely to have a knock on effect on the economy and could mean fewer jobs being created. This is therefore a worrying trend.
“In addition, the actual level of unemployment is nearly double that indicated in the figures the government supplies. They only include those who are unemployed and on job seekers allowance. All others are excluded from the figures.
“The reality is that unemployment therefore stands at around 7,000 in Gateshead.”
There will be Blackjack, Roulette and other games. There will also be a 'game show' style quiz.
All welcome. If you would like tickets, please phone Susan Craig on 0191 4880787.
The survey is being led by Susan Craig who campaigned earlier this year against the decision by the Labour run Gateshead Council to close Lobley Hill Library.
Although Lobley Hill Library was eventually closed, a smaller part time library was opened in Lobley Hill Community Centre following Susan’s campaign and petition.
“Many people are understandably disappointed with the replacement service,” said Susan. “It is part time and in a very small room which is little bigger than a cupboard.
“So we are asking people for their views and ideas and we will be putting in a report to Gateshead Council based on the results of the survey.”
Sunday, November 12, 2006
Councillors Jonathan Wallace, Allison Chatto and Peter Craig laid the wreaths at the War Memorial in Whickham on behalf of the Mayor of Gateshead and their constituents on 12th November 2006. The parade was filmed and you can view it here.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Readers may recall that Councillor Peter Craig fought a long running battle to stop planning permission for the sign being renewed.
Photo: Peter Craig next to the McCarthy and Stone sign in Whickham earlier this year. The sign has now been removed.
Thursday, November 09, 2006
The notorious junction leads many people to “rat run” through the Sunniside estate to get onto the main road through the village at the Coronation Road junction where traffic lights allow for better traffic flows.
Councillors Jonathan Wallace and Alan and Marilynn Ord had been calling for the traffic lights for a number of years. Earlier this year they put the case to the Council Leader and Chief Executive.
Plans to install the traffic lights were then agreed at the Gateshead Council cabinet meeting held at the end of October.
“This has been a long running campaign and the increasing amount of traffic passing through Sunniside means that this junction of two busy roads gets clogged up in the rush hour,” said Jonathan.
“Traffic lights will help to improve the situation and reduce the number of vehicles stuck in traffic jams in the village.”
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Doors are open from 9.30am to 11.30am. There will be stalls selling cakes and jams as well as a tombola.
All are welcome to call in.
Monday, November 06, 2006
"There have been problems especially with vans parking at this site," said Councillor Chris Ord. "The location is next to Front Street Primary School and there are many children crossing there every day. The parked vehicles were adding to the dangers."
Thursday, November 02, 2006
Residents are being urged not to allow strangers into their homes without showing proof of identity. Two vulnerable people have been robbed in recent months in the Dunston area after they allowed people into their homes claiming to be from Dyno Rod or the water board. In both cases no proof of identity was asked for.
Secure your garage and shed
There have been 12 break ins in recent weeks in the Dunston area, mainly to garages and sheds. In most instances the doors have been forced though in two cases, the doors themselves were not secure. Please do all you can to secure your property!
Have you seen?
There was a Suzuki motor cycle registration no T525BFT stolen from a shed in Knightside Gardens. In addition, police are also looking for a stolen white BMW car, registration Y736KBO. If you see either or have any knowledge of their whereabouts, please contact Whickham Police Station.
There have been two house burglaries in Lobley Hill recently. However a suspect has been identified and arrested.
Satellite Navigation Systems – police advice
Theft from vehicles is made easier when goods can easily be seen by passing opportunist criminals. Satellite Navigation Systems are expensive but a number have been stolen in the area recently. Some were left by their owners on the windscreen for all to see. As with all valuables in your car, the police are advising owners to hide away any valuables. Don’t showcase them for thieves to run off with!
The new extension to Clover Hill School was opened on Saturday 30th September by Deputy Mayor Councillor Malcolm Brain. It has created a bigger entrance for the children, a staff meeting/preparation room and a multipurpose activity room with food technology preparation area for the children.
Photo: Outside the next extension at Clover Hill School, left to right, Councillor Jonathan Wallace, Councillor Marilynn Ord, Councillor Peter Craig (Chair of the Governors) and Councillor Mary Wallace.
The aim was for children to design a waymarker to mark out a number of routes in Hedley Hall Wood. The final winner was St Patricks! The design will be added to finger posts in Hedley Hall Wood in the next few months. Funding for the Hedley Hall project was provided by Woodland Trust.
It is the first time the party in the North East has run awards for local campaigning and Liberal Democrats in the area won prizes in four of the five different categories.
“We have been producing Focus for 21 years in Whickham so it is great to be awarded ‘Highly Commended’ by the judges,” said Councillor Jonathan Wallace.
Jonathan also picked up the ward for Best Political Campaign for the battle against the plans to opencast a site next to Gibside Estate last year.
The Focus Team in Winlaton and High Spen won a ‘Highly Commended’ in the Best Election Campaign section for their campaign earlier this year that saw them win the seat from Labour.
And Lobley Hill and Bensham won Focus Team Achievement – members there fought a vigorous election campaign in May and slashed Labours majority from 900 to just 92.