Monday, March 29, 2010

Phone mast plan opposed in Whickham

Glebe Mast site Mar 10 1
A planning application for a phone mast on a prominent location in Whickham, Gateshead, has sparked opposition from local Liberal Democrat Councillors and campaigners.

The Glebe Sports Ground has been the location for a number of masts in recent years but local Liberal Democrats are saying, “Enough is enough.”

Local Lib Dem Councillor Peter Craig said, “I have objected to the application on the grounds it is visually obtrusive, is close to the Whickham Conservation Zone and other masts in the area could be shared.”

The phone mast, if given planning permission by Gateshead Council’s planning committee, would be built next to Rectory Lane, one of the main roads in Whickham.

The plans can be viewed on-line at Observations about the planning application can be made in writing to Iain Armstrong, Development Control, Gateshead Civic Centre, Gateshead, NE8 1HH. You will need to quote reference number DC/10/00242/TELFUL.

Photo: left to right Cllr Peter Maughan, Cllr Neil Bradbury, Cllr Peter Craig, Cllr Mary Wallace and Sonya Hawkins)

Residents unhappy with Lobley Hill Bank changes

LH Bank Michael Ruddy Frank HIndle Mar 10 2

Residents of Lobley Hill, Festival Park and the top of Dunston Hill in Gateshead are unhappy with traffic changes on Lobley Hill Bank, according to a survey carried out by local Liberal Democrats.

In 2009, Gateshead Council brought in a series of changes on Lobley Hill Bank including traffic lights at the bottom, changes to access from side roads and a longer bus lane.

But residents very quickly contacted local Lib Dem campaigners about growing problems they had, especially driving onto the road from Beechwood Gardens, Oakfield Rd and Whickham Highway.

“We carried out the survey to find out how people were coping with the changes,” said Michael Ruddy from the Liberal Democrats’ Lobley Hill Focus Team.

“We found the overwhelming view of respondents was that they had been inadequately informed of the changes, the changes had made traffic conditions worse, and they did not support the changes.

“Many people commented that they felt the changes had made travel more dangerous and increased the risk of accidents.

“Even amongst those travelling mainly by public transport two thirds of people were strongly opposed to the changes.”

Lib Dem Councillor Frank Hindle is asking the Council’s traffic engineers what analysis they made of the effect of the changes, and what actions they are proposing to take to reduce the congestion and inconvenience that has been created.

Photo: Michael Ruddy and Frank Hindle on Lobley Hill Bank

Saturday, March 27, 2010

recycling NR Mar 10

The system of recycling across Gateshead is about to be changed with the introduction of new wheelie bins.

The new blue bin will take all the material currently put out for recycling. In addition, it will take cardboard and plastic bottles.

A box that goes on the inside of the bin will be used to hold paper. The bins will be emptied fortnightly, on the same cycle as currently in place. The first bins will be provided in May.

Recently, Gateshead had one of the worst recycling rates in the region. Lib Dem run Newcastle has a recycling rate far ahead of the Labour run council on this side of the Tyne.

Photo: Councillor Noel Rippeth with one of the new wheelie bins and paper boxes.

We need a fair budget, not Labour's let-down: Bradbury

North East Lib Dem conference Oct 09 no 26

Prospective Liberal Democrat MP for Blaydon, Neil Bradbury, has attacked the Budget as a "let-down that will do nothing to create a fair society."

In a message to local residents he said, "Like many other local residents I watched the Chancellor present his Budget wondering whether Labour would come clean on the chaos over which they have presided and the cuts they know they will have to bring in if the nation’s books are to be balanced.

"What we got was a Chancellor who is incapable of coming clean about where spending cuts will have to fall. And the Budget did nothing to make Britain a fairer society.

"People on low and middle incomes pay too much income tax. That’s why Liberal Democrats are campaigning for fair taxes, lifting millions of people out of income tax altogether. We will ensure no one pays tax on the first £10,000 of income.

"Labour however have gone in the opposite direction. In the Budget, the Chancellor froze personal allowances, meaning everyone will see a real increase in their income tax bill.

"The Chancellor didn’t mention this tax increase in his speech to Parliament. We had to read Labour’s small print to find out what they were doing.

"Meanwhile, the recent call by the Labour MP for Blaydon, who I hope to defeat in the general election, for a further increase in VAT will hit family budgets even more."

Photo: Neil Bradbury with Vince Cable on a recent visit to Gateshead. Neil said Labour's Budget would do nothing to create a fairer society.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Closure of Durham Road

Part of the main A167 Durham Road will be closed to traffic on Sunday 28 March to enable a pedestrian footbridge over the road to be dismantled.

A section of the road between Shipcote Lane and the start of the Gateshead flyover will be closed to all traffic in both directions from 6.00 am to enable engineers to dismantle and remove the footbridge at the junction of Durham Road and Whitehall Road.

The metal bridge dates from the 1970s and is being removed because it does not meet the legal requirements for disabled access. Its stepped construction makes it extremely difficult for cyclists and people with pushchairs to use, and almost impossible for wheelchair users. The bridge is being replaced with a light-controlled pedestrian and cycle crossing which will be activated as soon as the bridge has been removed.

A clearly-marked diversion route will be in operation throughout the day, with traffic being directed along Prince Consort Road, Arthur Street and High West Street.