Thursday, May 28, 2009

Sunniside double yellow lines not to be extended

Chapel goers in Sunniside, Gateshead, are being reassured that double yellow lines on Gateshead Road will not be extended outside the entrance to their building.

Traffic lights are to be installed next to Sunniside Methodist Chapel on the junction of Sunniside Road and Sunniside Front Street. The original proposals included extending the existing double yellow lines in front of the whole of the chapel.

“Chapel goers were very concerned that this would make it impossible for wedding cars and hearses to pull up outside the chapel,” said Cllr Jonathan Wallace.

“We raised this with the Council’s highways engineers and we can now assure chapel goers that the existing double yellow lines on the junction will not be extended.

“That means wedding cars and hearses will be able to pull up right outside the main doors to the chapel.”

The work on the traffic lights is expected to be carried out by the end of June.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Lib Dem councillors take parking charges battle to shoppers

Liberal Democrat Councillors in Whickham, Gateshead, have launched a petition against revised plans for parking charges in the village.

Plans to introduce charges in the car parks in the centre of the village were first announced three years ago. An angry outcry by residents, businesses and Whickham’s nine Lib Dem Councillors persuaded Gateshead Council’s cabinet to suspend the plans.

The time since has been used to put together revised proposals which allow for the first 20 minutes in the short stay car park behind the Library to be free. After that, a charge of 20p an hour will apply.

The car park behind the Gibside Hotel will be used for long stay with a charge of £1 a day.

Liberal Democrat Councillors set up a street stall in Whickham on Saturday 23rd May to collect signatures and copies of the petition were also places in local shops and businesses. They were also joined by Neil Bradbury, Parliamentary candidate for Blaydon, which includes Whickham.

“Whilst the free 20 minutes is a concession, it does not go far enough,” said Councillor Peter Craig. “It is too short a time and people will barely be out of their cars before they have to pay the charge.

“There are serious concerns about the impact of the recession on local businesses,” said Neil Bradbury. “Whickham has to compete with the Metrocentre where parking is free.

“There should be no charges introduced during the recession and if the Council does introduce a charge at a later date, it should at least make the first hour free.

“That will give the small shops in Whickham, many of which are locally owned, a fighting chance to compete with the Metrocentre.”

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Visit Gateshead!

Liberal Democrats in Gateshead are encouraging people to visit the borough as part of a tourism drive. And they have produced this video to tell people what's on and what to visit.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Nick Clegg visits Gateshead

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg MP visited Gateshead in early May to launch the North East European Parliament elections.
Nick in Baltic Square with Fiona Hall MEP and campaigners from across Tyneside.

Gateshead Councillor Ron Beadle greets Nick.

The Euro Team with Nick Clegg - Neil bradbury, Fiona Hall and Chris Foote Wood.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fewer job vacancies in Gateshead

Fewer jobs are available in Gateshead following the publication of vacancies available through Job Centres.

Vacancies in Job Centres based in Gateshead have fallen by a fifth in the year to the end of March 2009. There were 16,814 vacancies available at the Job Centres at Blaydon, Felling and central Gateshead, down 4,208.

Felling and central Gateshead have reductions of 19.5%. Blaydon has a larger decrease with a 23.1%.

Neil Bradbury, Lib Dem Parliamentary Spokesman for Blaydon, said, "The drop in the number of jobs available for residents of Gateshead is worrying but not surprising, given the state of the economy.

"The Government's VAT cut has failed to boost the economy. Gordon Brown should scrap it and use the money to invest in housing improvements and green schemes.

"And he should reform the tax system to take all those earning less than £10,000 a year out of income tax completely."

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Scrap VAT cut to boost jobs - Bradbury

A LEADING Liberal Democrat in Blaydon constituency is calling on the Government to boost job opportunities in the area after figures showed a worrying rise in the numbe r of jobless people in Gateshead.

Neil Bradbury is battling Labour’s David Anderson at the general election to be MP for Blaydon.

He said that the rise of 2,400 people without a job and on jobseekers allowance in Gateshead over the past year shows the Government’s decision to cut VAT has not saved jobs and businesses.

6,078 people in Gateshead were on Jobseekers Allowance in March, up from 3640 in March 2008.

“6,000 people on Jobseekers Allowance is not the full picture as many unemployed people are not on this allowance,” said Neil.

“What is clear though is that the Government’s hopes of boosting the economy by cutting VAT are having no effect at all.

“The cut should be scrapped and the money put instead into real jobs. Liberal Democrats are calling for the money to be used to insulate people’s homes. This will create jobs in manufacturing and renovation.

“But it will also help people struggling with higher fuel bills this coming winter.”

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Blaydon Lib Dems choose candidate

Liberal Democrats in Blaydon constituency have chosen Neil Bradbury as their candidate at the general election.

In a contest between five people, Neil, 33, who lives in Prudhoe, won the hearts and minds of members at a meeting on Saturday 9th May.

Neil is a manager for the Citizen’s Advice Bureaux and is married to Donna. He is a councillor for Prudhoe on Northumberland County Council. He won his seat from Labour last year and is now looking forward to the battle to take Blaydon.

“It is a great privilege to be chosen to stand for the Liberal Democrats in Blaydon,” said Neil after the meeting. “Labour’s majority at the last election was down to just 5,000. That means the seat is within reach of the Liberal Democrats.

“Having already campaigned in the Chopwell and Rowlands Gill by-election in the constituency, and spoken to hundreds of people there, I know just how unpopular Labour are.

“People are desperate for change in Blaydon and they know they can only get it by voting Liberal Democrat.”

The previous Liberal Democrat candidate for the constituency, Peter Maughan, had to stand down due to business commitment.

Peter said, “I am delighted Neil has been chosen as our candidate. I know he will work hard for the area and will make a great MP for Blaydon. I am giving him my full backing.”

Highfield path needs urgent action - Lib Dem Ray

Lib Dem campaigner Ray Callender is calling for urgent action to prevent the path leading to the new Highfield Schools campus turning into an accident blackspot for children.

The path runs along the edge of a big drop but there are no barriers to stop anyone slipping over the edge - see the picture on the left.

"It’s a big drop and kids going to a fro from school could easily have an accident," said Ray. "Rather than waiting for an accident to happen, we are pressing for a barrier to be installed. Having spoken to many parents, I know how concerned they are about this site."
Ray Callender is pictured above at the site where a barrier needs to be installed near Highfield Schools Campus

Whickham School

The Comprehensive has been awarded a grant of £6,525 from the Big Lottery Fund to set up a range of after-school and weekend clubs catering for those not involved in mainstream sports. The aim is to help young people taking part to become fitter and healthier.

Whickham Hermitage Garden Restoration

The community group, based at the Hermitage Centre, Whickham Front Street, has been awarded a grant of £5,000 from the Big Lottery Fund. The award will be used to extend the successful Hermitage Garden restoration project and involve all sections of the community in creating and establishing a community garden for all to enjoy.

Next Gibside Farmers' Market

The next farmers' market at Gibside Estate in the Derwent Valley will be held on Saturday 16th May 2009 from 10am to 3pm.

You can get a taste of what is there with this video shot at the market held in March:

Byermoor extended school project

Planning permission is being sought to put up a 2.4m high steel palisade fence, with 2 single gates and double vehicular access gate on unused land next to Sacred Heart Primary School. The site is for use by the community as part of an extended schools project.

Whickham garage site plans approved

Plans for a new development on the site of the former Whickham Motor Company have been given the go ahead by Gateshead Council’s planning committee at a meeting on Wednesday, March 18th.

This followed successful intervention by Whickham Lib Dem councillors acting on behalf of local residents. Originally the draft proposals were objected to on grounds of the height and bulk of the building, but these were withdrawn following discussion between councillors, residents and council planners.

“Following a meeting with planners, it became clear that the main height of the building was to be towards Whickham Bank and the area nearest to residents would be single storey” said Cllr Peter Craig. “The residents were satisfied with this.”

Another reason for objection was the limited amount of space available for car parking and maneuvering of refuse collection lorries. A revised version of the plans increased the number of parking spaces and introduced a turning circle for the lorries. This addressed the concerns raised by residents.

The one remaining main objection was that the proposed entrance to the development conflicted with highways engineers’ plans for a new crossing facility on Whickham Bank.

The plan for a refuge island had been prepared following requests from Lib Dem councillors concerned over the safety of residents trying to cross Whickham Bank. However, this issue was resolved after discussions between Lib Dem councillors, planners and engineers resulted in a proposed new location for the crossing.

“We have actively campaigned for a crossing at this point,” said Cllr Mary Wallace, “and we are delighted that we have been able to resolve this issue. The crossing should be installed later in the year.”

Whickham & District May Fayre – 16th May

On Saturday May 16th, a host of local community groups and charity organisations will be coming together in Chase Park at the Whickham & District May Fayre. They will be joined by local school children competing in art and sports events, together with musicians and dancers who will be providing the entertainment.

For the 7th year, the event will be hosted and organised by 2nd Whickham (33rd Gateshead) Scout Group and they are looking for voluntary organisations, charities or crafters to join them for the event. There are very few events in Whickham district which bring together people of all ages from the local community and this is a perfect opportunity for you to raise funds, promote your activities or recruit members for your organisation.

If you are interested in taking part in the event, please contact Cllr Peter Craig on 0191 488 0787 or email him on cllr.ptcraig@Gateshead.Gov.Uk.