Friday, December 22, 2006

Byermoor garages to be demolished

Work on demolishing the derelict garages in Byermoor is to begin on 11th January. The work will take about 2 weeks and will also involve the work on fencing and tree pruning.

Swalwell Roundabout improvements delayed

Readers may recall that Gateshead Council last year agreed to improvements to the Swalwell roundabout on Hexham Old Road, next to the new Lidl supermarket. Unfortunately, the work has been delayed but we are expecting it to start in early 2007.

“We are pressing Gateshead Council to carry out this work as soon as possible to ensure the safety improvements to this roundabout go ahead,” said Councillor Mary Wallace.

New sign for Hawsbury

A new sign for Hawksbury is to be placed on the entrance to Parkdale Rise in Fellside Park following confusion over the recently installed new sign on Whickham Bank for the street. The pedestrian access to Hawksbury is from Whickham Bank but the access for vehicles is from Parkdale Rise.

“Hopefully the new sign on Parkdale Rise will clear up some of the confusion,” said Councillor Chris Ord.

Neighbourhood Watch Appeal

Several residents have voiced concern over anti-social behviour in Swalwell. As a result, some have expressed an interest in setting up Neighbourhood Watch schemes. Please contact one of your local Lib Dem councillors if you are interested in joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. You can contact them by email

Graffiti removal in Lady Park

Residents of Lady Park have raised a number of graffiti problems with Lib Dem campaigner Susan Craig. The graffiti in question has been mainly on street and traffic signs. Susan has notified Gateshead Council’s Anti-Graffiti Team about them.

The Anti-Graffiti Team operates throughout the borough to remove racist or obscene graffiti by the end of the next working day following it being reported. Non-racist/offensive graffiti will be removed as soon as practical. The Team use a Gateshead Council vehicle equipped with some of the latest and most environment-friendly anti-graffiti technology.

Neighbourhood Wardens can issue a fine of £50 when dealing with graffiti offenders.

Residents can request removal themselves. To request the removal of graffiti please contact: Local Environmental Services on 433 7000 (24 hour line) or Susan on 488 0787 if you wish to report any problem areas. You can also report it via email on

Buses meeting

Whickham South and Sunniside Councillors Jonathan Wallace and Alan and Marilynn Ord have met with Go Ahead North East Director Martin Harris to discuss bus services in their ward. The meeting took place on Friday 15th December.

Following large changes to services in September, Jonathan, Alan and Marilynn carried out a survey of residents about the impact of the new services. Residents raised worries about the loss of direct services from the Sunniside estate to Sunniside Front Street, central Whickham and Dunston.

Residents of the Broadway estate in Whickham expressed concerns about access to Whickham village and Dunston.

“We feel the meeting was productive and we put forward a number of proposals to help solve some of the problems that have arisen since the services were changed,” said Marilynn.

“Mr Harris took away the proposals we put forward and said he would look into them.”

Whickham North Councillors Chris Ord, Mary Wallace and Peter Craig and Dunston Hill and Whickham East Councillors Yvonne McNicol, Allison Chatto and Peter Maughan are aiming to meet Mr Harris in the early New Year to discuss problems affecting their wards.

Hollywell Lane to be resurfaced

Hollywell Lane in Sunniside is to be resurfaced. The need to give the currently unadopted road a proper tarmaced surface was raised with the Leader of the Council and Chief Executive by local Councillors Jonathan Wallace and Alan and Marilynn Ord earlier this year (and on a number of occasions in previous years as well!).

There is as yet no timetable for the work but we will keep you informed of progress.

Green-it recycling

During December, January and February, collections of the Green-it garden waste recycling bins is monthly. In March, the fortnightly service returned. Don’t forget you can recycle your Christmas tree in January by putting it into your Green-it bin. The waste from the bins is turned into compost instead of going into landfill sites.

Lobley Hill Road Railway Bridge

Following constant problems of graffiti on the bridge, Network Rail have painted Lobley Hill Road railway bridge a new green holly colour. This colour makes it harder for graffiti to show.

Susan Craig, Leader of the Lib Dem Focus Team in Bensham and Lobley Hill, said, “I am pleased action has been taken by Network Rail. I have taken up a number of graffiti problems recently. Graffiti can ruin a neighbourhood and it is important that it is cleared up quickly.

“The police have worked closely with Network Rail on this matter and hopefully their efforts will discourage those who daub graffiti in the first place.

“The bridge is a well known landmark in Bensham as it carries the East Coast line across one of the busiest roads through this part of Gateshead.”

Dunston church hall disabled and buggy access

Dropped kerbs are to be installed on Willow Avenue, Dunston, next to the church hall, to make it easier for disabled people and parents with buggies to get into the building.

The issue was raised by Councillor Yvonne McNicol with Gateshead Council’s Highways officers and as a result they have agreed to install the new kerbs. Work will take place shortly.

Lobley Hill footbridge to be demolished

The landmark Lobley Hill footbridge is to be demolished in February when a number of changes to Lobley Hill Road and the junction with Whickham Highway take place.

The existing mini roundabout at the junction will be replaced with traffic lights. Pedestrian crossing will also be installed where the footbridge currently stands. Another crossing will be installed before the junction on Consett Road.
Local Lib Dem campaigner Susan Craig is carrying out a survey of residents of Lobley Hill Bank and other neighbouring streets on their views about the changes.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Morrison’s Blaydon plans

Despite the council’s plans to end free parking, Supermarket giant Morrisons are applying for planning permission to build a new store in Blaydon town centre. If given the go ahead by Gateshead’s planners, the bus station could also be upgraded and improvements made to the existing shopping precinct. If you have any views on the proposals, tell us about them. You can email us or write to us at the above address.

Petition launched against flats plan

LIBERAL Democrats in Whickham, Gateshead, have launched a petition against plans to build flats on the site of a garage on busy Fellside Road.

Three years ago, Gateshead Council granted outline planning permission for housing on the site of Fellside Road garage.

The granting of outline permission means that, in principle, housing can go on the site but a further detailed application is needed before any homes to be built. This application has now been received by Gateshead Council’s planners.

“When this site was first considered for housing three years ago, the original application was for 16 flats,” said Councillor Jonathan Wallace. “Gateshead Council granted outline permission instead.

“The new application is for an even higher number and we feel that neighbouring bungalows will be overshadowed by this development if it goes ahead. There could also be a loss of surrounding green area.”

The application is expected to come to Gateshead’s Planning Committee in the early New Year. In the meantime Councillors Jonathan Wallace, Marilynn Ord and Peter Craig have launched a petition against the application.

Over the weekend they collected over 200 signatures calling for the plans to be rejected.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Grow fuel instead of opencasting site

A LIBERAL Democrat councillor who led the campaign against a huge opencast site in Gateshead has called on the Government to put more effort into growing crops for energy.

Dr Jonathan Wallace, Councillor for Whickham South and Sunniside, wrote the petition and collected thousands of signatures last year which led to the defeat of the proposal to opencast half a million tonnes of coal and fireclay from Skon’s Park, next to the historic Gibside estate in the Derwent Valley.

The applicant, Halls of Durham, are now appealing against the decision.

“Opencast mining at Skon’s Park would be the thin end of the wedge,” said Jonathan. “It would be a precedent for other applications throughout the Derwent Valley.

“But in saying no to opencast mining at this location, we have to come up with a solution to our energy needs. This location, and many others like it, could be used for growing energy crops or bio fuels such as fast growing willow and elder.

“These could be cropped regularly and used as a fuel in small scale, local power plants. This will mean less pollution caused in transporting the fuel to large power stations, and less traffic overall.

“Overall, there would be no carbon emissions which are leading to global climate change. Any carbon dioxide produced by burning this bio fuel would have been absorbed from the air whilst the crops were growing.

“The government needs to take a lead in encouraging the use of energy crops. The government is already on record for saying there is not enough opencast mining in the country.

“My fear now is that they will relax the rules to make it easier for opencast applications to be passed.”

Battle against Post Office closures continues

Liberal Democrats in Gateshead have stepped up their campaign to save Post Offices from closure following the announcement by the Government of further massive cuts to the network.

Party campaigners launched their petition earlier this year calling on the Government to keep branches open.

The Government announced on Thursday 14th December that 2500 branches are to be closed. These are in addition to the 4000 that have already been axed since Labour came to power in 1997 and the 3000 that were closed by the previous Conservative government.

Liberal Democrat Councillor, Jonathan Wallace, who is co-ordinating the petition, said, “Though the Government has backed down on its plans to axe the Card Account, nevertheless, their attitude towards Post Offices is shocking. It appears they are washing their hands of the network.

“We have already seen the closure of six branches in Gateshead since 1999. Liberal Democrats are seriously concerned that local residents will lose more branches in coming years under Labour’s closure plans.

“We have already collected 4000 signatures on our petition calling for Post Offices to be saved from closure. Following the government’s announcement, we have stepped up our campaign and we will be looking to collect thousands more signatures over the coming weeks.”

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

News Snippets

Greenside house plan

Planning permission is being sought to build a house on land to the rear of Fair View and Field View on Lead Road, Greenside.

Blaydon filling station plan approved

Planning permission has been granted to build a new vehicle dealership at the former Metro Filling Station on Derwenthaugh Road, Blaydon.

Blaydon shops to flats plan

Gateshead Council have received a planning application to convert 2 shops into 4 flats at 20/20A Shibdon Road, Blaydon.

Crawcrook beauty salon plan

Planning permission is being sought to convert the house at 4 Jubilee Terrace, Crawcrook into a beauty salon.

Blaydon Coop Creamery

Planning permission has been given to build an additional warehouse and office accommodation at the Coop Creamery, Chainbridge Road, Blaydon.

Chopwell sports improvements

A planning application has been approved for the site next to Chopwell Primary School to improve the existing outdoor sports area. Plans include installing lights, replacing the all weather pitch with a rubberised surface and construction of a footpath from the Pioneer Centre.

Composting plant refused

Planning permission for a composting plant at Building Farm, Stannerford Road, Crawcrook has been refused.

Highfield Community Centre

Planning permission is being sought to build an access ramp at Highfield Community Centre and buggy store. Additional windows will be added to the building.

Rowlands Gill industrial unit

Gateshead Council has received a planning application to build an industrial unit ar site 19 on Whinfield Way, Whinfield Industrial Estate, Rowlands Gill.

Greenside house building application

Planning permission is being sought to build 16 homes on the site of Underfloor Tipping Gears, Spen Lane, Sunniside.

Divert considered for High Spen path

A rights of way inspector is to look into the designation of a path which runs between North View Bungalows, High Spen and the allotments. Several residents want to close it and divert to the path running through the allotments.

A rapid conversion on the road to Westminster

What a rapid conversion on the road to Westminster for Blaydon’s Labour MP Dave Anderson! The left wing firebrand and former trade union boss before the election turned at startling speed into loyalist supporter of Tony Blair’s government.

From the man who claimed in The Journal on 8th March 2004, “I wouldn't describe myself as an identikit New Labour person”, we have, since his election as Labour MP for Blaydon, seen him slavishly back the government on all key issues and votes.

And now, despite his protestations of opposition to the war, he defends his support of the Blair government line on Iraq, even writing to The Journal (6th November 2006) to back the occupation.

Indeed, he went even further when speaking in Parliament on 25th October to oppose withdrawal from Iraq. In the debate he stated, “We should not be listening to armchair theorists, political opportunists or enemies of democracy, who would tell us to get out.”

So Mr Anderson, those who question the Iraq war are enemies of democracy? It is unlikely that the many thousands of his Blaydon constituents who believe the war was a huge mistake would share that view.

On 13th October the Head of the Army, Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt, said that the presence of UK armed forces in Iraq "exacerbates the security problems" and they should "get out some time soon". (BBC) Is he an armchair theorist, Mr Anderson?

Meanwhile, it has been revealed that the current cost to the British taxpayer of the occupation and war in Iraq is £2.36million a day. (BBC) That is the equivalent of a brand new local primary school, or a hospital ward, for each day the Iraqi occupation continues.

With most people believing the presence of the occupying forces is adding to the problems in Iraq, the Liberal Democrats (who opposed the war from the start) have argued that there needs to be a phased withdrawal and a timetable to achieve it.

Meanwhile, in losing support in Blaydon, Dave Anderson has at least gained support in Westminster where he has just been rewarded for his loyalty to Tony Blair by being appointed to the first rung of the government ministerial ladder as a Parliamentary Private Secretary.

Liberal Democrats have no intention of being churlish however and we wish Mr Anderson well in his new career as part of the Blair/Brown government.

Unhappiness at Bleach Green road closure

Residents of Bleach Green have mentioned to local Liberal Democrat campaigners that they are not too happy because the new housing development will close off the route along what was Whitehall Road to the cut that leads to Blaydon Bank and therefore Blaydon West School.

It is currently being opened for the kids at school times but will soon be permanently closed meaning that people will have a long walk to get to Blaydon or the school. Many people feel their community has been cut in half.

Grants to groups

The following local groups have been awarded grants by Gateshead Council to help with their work in the community: 1st Chopwell scout Group £700; Blaydon Writers £500; Blaydon Methodist Arts and Craft Group £1,400 and the Winlaton Ramblers £255.

Big Clean in Spen Burn Woods

On 17th September ITV carried out a national campaign to clean up areas across the country. He event was called the ‘Big Clean’ and Spen Burn Woods was one of the areas chosen to take part.

The aim of the event was to encourage volunteers, mainly young people, to spend a day helping to clean up the wood. As a result, 100 volunteers collected 3 skip loads of rubbish including old bikes and vacuum cleaners, typewriters, lawn-mowers and, would you believe it, an old litter bin!

A big thank you to everyone involved.

Barmoor mini-hub to be axed

Nexus looks set to demolish the Barmoor mini-hub, which was built only 5 years ago as a pilot scheme for transport in rural areas. The mini-hub rural transport project has cost £1.6 million.

The mini-hub was built despite strong opposition from local residents who said the project would not work. What a pity Nexus and Gateshead Council didn’t listen at the time.
Local Lib Dem Councillors have put forward alternative uses for the building, such as a base for the police, but have been told that there is no funding available.

Focus celebrates 21 years

LIBERAL Democrats in the Whickham area are celebrating the 21st birthday of their community newsletter Focus.

The newsletter was launched in 1986 as a way of keeping in touch with residents. It has since grown to become the main outlet for community news in Whickham, Swalwell, Sunniside, Dunston and Lobley Hill.

Regular Focus newsletters are also produced in Winlaton, High Spen, Ryton, Crawcrook and Greenside. More recently, Liberal Democrats in Rowlands Gill and Blaydon have launched their own Focus leaflets.

Editor Councillor Jonathan Wallace said, “Though Focus is 21 years old in the Whickham area, we have been doing community newsletters there for 25 years. Before Focus it was simply a news sheet called Newsletter.

“People now rely on Focus to keep them informed about local issues. And it has also grown with changing technology. We now produce email and video versions as well.”

Winlaton Mill, Lockhaugh and Barlow play consultation

Consultation to take place about fixed play facilities at Winlaton Mill, Lockhaugh and Barlow Village. “Funding was originally for very young children but it can now be used for older kids as well,” said Councillor Brenda Osborne. “So proposed equipment will be more adventurous than originally envisaged1”

Northumbria and Britain in Bloom awards

Towns in western Gateshead were successful in the recent Northumbria in Bloom awards. Rowlands Gill was the winner of the Urban Community and Ryton picked up the silver medal in the Town category. Chopwell won bronze medal in the Small Town Category and Path Head Watermill in Blaydon won the Best Conservation Project.

Following this, Rowlands Gill went on to win the Silver Medal in the national Britain in Bloom Awards in the Urban Community category. Congratulations to everyone involved.

Winlaton Front Street Crossing

Winlaton and High spen Councillors Brenda Osborne and Andrew Graham have put in a request for a formal crossing facility across Winlaton Front Street opposite the Garths. “We have a gap in the railings but no zebra stripes,” said Brenda. “There is no marked crossing area at present. Installing one would improve road safety.”

Still on Front Street, there are still problems with double parking and parking on double yellow lines along its length. Brenda is looking into the matter.

Council to look at Rowlands Gill junction

Gateshead Council are monitoring the Station Road/Burnopfield Road junction to consider improvements following the handing in of a petition signed by 500 residents calling for improvements. Investigations into traffic and pedestrian flows at the junction are to be carried out.

Once the monitoring is over, the results will be used to consider what if any changes are needed. The petition was carried out by Liberal Democrat campaigner Councillor Jonathan Wallace.

He said, “Let’s hope this will lead to improvements.”
Photo: Councillor Jonathan Wallace at the Station Road/Burnopfield Road Junction in Rowlands Gill

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Good response to library survey

Many thanks to everyone who has responded to the Lib Dem survey on Lobley Hill library services.

Following the closure of the library building earlier this year, residents contacted Lib Dem Focus Team Leader Susan Craig and Councillor Yvonne McNicol to voice their concerns regarding the new facilities. One resident said, "It's a disgrace, no more than a cupboard." This prompted the headline in the recent Lobley Hill Focus - "The Library, the Switch and the Wardrobe". A survey form has now been delivered to every home in Lobley Hill.

Susan said, "Several residents have contacted me voicing concerns over the reduced service, but we would like to know the views of other residents. Now that the new library provision is in place, I am conducting the survey of residents' views".

Residents' responses will be used to compile a report that will be sent to Gateshead Council.

Knightside Gardens traffic review

Gateshead’s Highways Department has agreed to monitor traffic movements at the bend on Knightside Gardens and the adjacent junction with Maple Ave over the coming months. This follows a new build that has cut the visibility on the road.

Councillor Yvonne McNicol said, “I have had site visits made by council and police with myself to look at the dangers now posed on this part of the road. At this point the Council have simply agreed to repaint the "slow" signs already on the road to make them clearer.

“Following their monitoring of the area, which will be over by April 2007, engineers will look at installing road signs if they feel they are necessary to indicate oncoming traffic due to the tightness of the bend.

Update on Traffic Concerns in Lobley Hill

Readers may be aware that residents living in Lobley Hill have asked Liberal Democrat action team member Susan Craig to help with an issue with traffic on the Coach Road.

Residents continue to be worried about the volume and speed of traffic which uses the Coach Road between Lady Park & Lobley Hill as an alternative to the A1.

In 2003, Gateshead Council consulted local residents over the introduction of a scheme to restrict the use of Coach Road by motorised traffic and to improve the highway for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders.

Following further consultation in Lobley Hill and Lady Park in 2005, this scheme was rejected because not enough support was received to give the Council a clear mandate to proceed. However only 31 written responses were received from residents.

A petition collected by Susan Craig and local residents earlier this year has attracted over 50 signatures from residents of Lobley Hill and Lady Park and demonstrates that there continues to be widespread concern over the issue. Susan is now in the process of carrying out a survey of residents so that other possible solutions can be identified.

A speed survey was installed on Coach Road on Sunday 11th November. This stayed in place for one week and monitored the speeds of traffic using the Coach Road.

Remembrance Day Wreaths laid

Councillors were present at all of the memorial services in the Whickham and Dunston area in November, representing the Mayor of Gateshead.

Cllr Yvonne McNicol laid a wreath at Dunston cenotaph. In Whickham, wreaths were laid by Cllr Allison Chatto (Dunston Hill and Whickham East), Cllr Peter Craig (Whickham North) and Cllr Jonathan Wallace (Whickham South and Sunniside).

Meanwhile, Cllr Mary Wallace laid a wreath at Swalwell and Cllrs Alan and Marilyn Ord laid wreaths at Marley Hill. In the afternoon, Cllr Peter Craig attended the memorial service in the Metro Centre where a wreath was laid by the Deputy Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr Malcom Brain.

You can view the video of the Whickham Remembrance Day procession on the following link: Whickham Remembrance Day
Photo: Councillors Peter Craig, Jonathan Wallace and Allison Chatto present wreaths at the Whickham War Memorial.

Xmas fayre

Liberal Democrats in Crawcrook will be holding a Christmas fayre on Saturday 9th December at Holy Spirit Church Hall 9:30 to 11:30am. There will be stalls selling gifts, cakes, jams etc.

Santa Claus is expected to make a special appearance at 10:30.

Below average cash increase for Gateshead

The government announced on 4th December the cash support that will be given to councils to help pay towards local services. Approximately three quarters of the money spent by councils comes from the government. Gateshead is getting a rise of 2.7% - in other words, an increase of £2.53 million on last year.

The figure does not include government money for schools which, rather confusingly comes via a different government grant. Councils have to hand this money on directly to schools.

How does Gateshead’s cash support compare with other councils? Well, not too well. The average increase in the money the government has given to English councils is 3.8%. Were Gateshead to receive the same increase, it would mean over £1 million extra to pay for the cost of local services.

Costs of services and running the council that are not met by the government have to be paid out of council tax, though some money is raised through charges (eg when using the swimming baths).

Gateshead Council is already warning that “The below average settlement will continue to put pressure on the Council’s budget.” This is another way of saying there may well be some cuts and the council tax rise, as in most previous years, will be as high as the council can get away with.

Across the River Tyne in Lib Dem controlled Newcastle, the council, for the 3rd year in a row, are to set a council tax rise that is at or below the rate of inflation. Newcastle Council is getting the same increase in government cash as Gateshead.

So whilst Liberal Democrats are unhappy with the unfair way the government have treated councils on Tyneside, at least in Newcastle the controlling Lib Dems are not using it as an excuse to bring in inflation busting council tax rises.

Welcome for by-election boost

LIBERAL Democrats in Gateshead have welcomed the party’s election winning performance in council by-elections held in November.

At a meeting of members where campaign plans for next May’s local elections were stepped up a gear, Lib Dem campaigner Councillor Jonathan Wallace said the results showed that Labour had everything to fear from a Lib Dem challenge.

“The Liberal Democrats ended November with the most gains,” said Jonathan. “The Conservatives made no gains at all from Labour in November whilst the Liberal Democrats gained 4 from them.

“In large parts of the country, the Conservatives are irrelevant and barely exist. This is especially the case in large cities and urban areas where it is the Liberal Democrats who are challenging Labour hard.

“Former Labour voters are turning to the Liberal Democrats. They see the Conservatives as all spin and no substance. And they find David Cameron’s sudden conversion to the environment to be completely unconvincing.

“Here in Gateshead the Conservatives are third or fourth in every council seat and they have no hope at all of making any gains. There is absolutely no campaigning from them at all. They have disappeared off the face of the borough.

“Liberal Democrats head towards 2007 in great confidence. Recent by-elections show people are turning to us rather than the Conservatives as the main challenger to Labour.”

The net changes in seats contested in the November by-elections were:
Liberal Democrats +6
Conservatives +4
Labour -3
Independents/other -7

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Dunston, Lobley Hill and Bensham new snippets

Dunston shop to tanning studio plan

Planning permission is being sought to convert the shop at 14 Kensington Terrace, Dunston, into a tanning salon.

Tyne Valley Trading Estate roadworks

Work on installing a zebra crossing at Marquisway/Tenth Avenue should be completed by December.

Dun Cow application

Gateshead Council has received a planning application to convert the stable and store at the Dun Cow Inn on Ellison Road in Dunston into three bedrooms and a self contained flat.

Repairs to Dunston bollards and road humps

Road humps and bollards have been repaired at Cypress Crescent and Knightside Gardens.

Lobley Hill shop extension

Planning permission is being sought to extend the Kular Stores on Rothbury Gardens, Lobley Hill. The application is for a single storey extension at the side of the store.

Dangerous trees removed

Gateshead Council has removed a large conifer tree on Myrtle Avenue adjacent to the Holmeside Club in Dunston as it was beginning to cause damage to neighbouring properties. A tree on Ede Avenue, Dunston, has also been removed for safety reasons.

Dunston House Plan

An application has been submitted to Gateshead Council to convert the house at 18-20 Church Street, Dunston into two flats.

Ash path lighting

Extra lighting has been installed on the Ash Path in Dunston that runs through Dunston Hill Estate to improve safety for residents. Some concerns were raised by some residents about the positioning of some of the lights but most of these were resolved by moving the lights a couple of metres.

Dunston motor store plan

Gateshead Council has received a planning application to build a motor part sotre and mail order distribution centre on derelict land beside Team Street and Clockmill Road in Dunston.

Bensham Barclays

Planning permission is being sought to install a cash machine at Barclays Bank on Coatsworth Road, Bensham.

Team Valley application

An application has been submitted to Gateshead Council to demolish the factory/warehouse at the former Dunlop Hydraulic plat on Earlsway on the Team Valley and to build 15 commercial units on the site.

Ravensworth Road Estate future to be reviewed

Gateshead Council are to consult with residents on the future of the Ravensworth Road Estate in Dunston. As a main shopping area for Dunston, local Liberal Democrat councillors are concerned to ensure the area is a vibrant centre with shops and services for people living in the area. We do not yet know what the timetable for the review is but we will keep readers in touch when we get further details.

New signs in Dunston

Councillor Yvonne McNicol has asked Gateshead Council to replace a number of street signs in Dunston that are damaged or worn out. As a result, the signs at Percy Gardens and Maple Avenue have already been replaced.

Signs have been made for Whickham Avenue, Wilson Street and Valley Drive and are waiting to be installed. Signs at Woodburn Gardens and Hawthorn Terrace are awaiting inspection by highway officers to see if they need replacing.