Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hermitage Lane

Whickham has a new address - Hermitage Lane. Over a year ago, the lane
between the Hermitage and Whickham Community Centre was resurfaced to aid access to the Community Centre and the Whickham Community garden.

Recently, it was decided that the newly resurfaced lane should have a name. Formerly it was known as 'the back of Fellside Court'. So, members of all of the groups that meet at the Community Centre were asked to suggest a name for the lane. A shortlist was then prepared; to get onto the shortlist names could not be similar to other exisiting street names in the area.

The winning name was announced by Councillor Peter Craig last Saturday at a special 'Lane Naming' fayre organised by the Community Centre groups. This was organised to coincide with an event held in the Community Garden for Heritage Weekend.
Photo: Councillor Peter Craig announces the new name of the lane at "the back of Fellside Court" - Hermitage Lane

Call for Halls to pay cost of abandoned opencast appeal

HALLS of Durham should pay the costs clocked up by Gateshead Council over an abandoned opencast planning appeal, claims the Liberal Democrat Councillor who fought the plans.

Halls wanted to opencast half a million tonnes of coal and fireclay from a site near Whickham, next to the historic Gibside Estate.

The plans however were rejected by Gateshead Council in 2005 and the company lodged an appeal with government planning inspectors to have the decision overturned. But nine months after lodging the appeal, Halls withdrew it.

Councillor Jonathan Wallace’s ward of Whickham South and Sunniside contains the location of the proposed opencast mine. He said it was time for Halls to cover the costs incurred by Gateshead’s council taxpayers in fighting the appeal.

“The costs of preparing for any planning appeal can be considerable, especially those on the scale of the one that was expected to go ahead for this application,” said Councillor Wallace.

“Halls have now walked away from the appeal but they should not be allowed to walk away from the costs. Gateshead Council taxpayers should not have to pick up the bill for this.”

You can see our latest video, filmed in August 2007, about the opencast proposals on the following link: Opencast news

Flying the nest – Derwent Valley kite update

Good news from the Derwent Valley where the project to re-introduce the red kite has resulted in 9 offspring being raised in the valley this year. One pair even nested close to the Tesco store in Rowlands Gill.

The Northern Kites project is run by the RSPB and Natural England in partnership with Gateshead Council, Northumbrian Water, the National Trust and the Forestry Commission.

During the summer, 9500 people visited the Derwent Walk Countyr Park to view the nesting birds.

Red kites have been absent from the region for about two centuries.

Whickham North and Swalwell ward tour

Councillors representing Whickham North and Swalwell on Gateshead are to carry out a tour of the ward with senior council officers to look at problems, issues and concerns. Councillors Mary Wallace, Peter Craig and Chris Ord will carry out the tour on 18th September.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Lib Dems in Gateshead head for conference

Brighton is bracing itself for the arrival of thousands of Liberal Democrats for the party’s conference next week and amongst those attending will be local campaigners from Gateshead.

Councillor Peter Maughan will be heading to Brighton along with the Gateshead Lib Dem campaign team to take part in the debates and brush up on skills in training sessions.

Amongst others going are Councillor Jonathan Wallace and Councillor Ron Beadle.

“The theme of our conference is the environment,” said Councillor Maughan. “The big debates will focus on the need to cut down on pollution and to shift the burden of tax from income and onto greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our plans will mean national income tax will be cut from 20p to 16p in the pound and council tax will be scrapped. We will pay for these by shifting the tax burden onto the most polluting, gas-guzzling cars and onto aircraft that cause environmental damage.

“Over the next three weeks, people in Gateshead will see all three party conferences in action. What is different about ours is that members take real decisions on policy. The Conservatives have discussions but no votes whilst at Labour conference, the Labour leadership either ignores votes or has stopped debates from taking place.”

Friday, September 07, 2007

Gateshead Town Centre consultation

Consultation of residents of the borough about the future of Gateshead Twon Centre are to be carried out on the following dates and locations:

Wednesday, 19 September –
· 12.00pm – 2.00pm, Foyer, Civic Centre
· 1.30pm – 7.30pm, Trinity Community Association Church Hall, High Street

Thursday, 20 September –
· 11.00am – 3.00pm, Pioneer Centre, Derwent Street, Chopwell
· 5.00pm – 8.00pm, St Nicholas Church Hall, Ellison Road, Dunston

Friday, 21 September –
· 11.00am – 3.00pm, Wrekenton Methodist Church, Springwell Avenue, Wrekenton
· 5.00pm – 8.00pm, Athletics Hall, Gateshead International Stadium, Nielson Road

Residents are encouraged to give their views about the plans to redevelop the area.