Sunday, August 01, 2010

“End delays and sort parking” - Lib Dems tell Council

Frank and Ron on Durham Road Jul 10

Businesses and their customers in Low Fell have complained about the time it is taking the Council to sort out parking restrictions on Durham Road in Low Fell.

Over two years ago they asked the Council to allow some short stay parking at the shops, so that people could stop and collect their shopping without getting a parking ticket.

Councillor Ron Beadle said “Gateshead Council is letting everyone down. Last year it was agreed to make changes – but internal delays at the Civic Centre mean that tickets are still being issued, and local businesses are continuing to suffer.

“Labour Councillors say they are concerned about local people and the economy, but Low Fell is certainly one place where they aren’t showing it. We will keep pressing at all levels until this problem is dealt with.”

Photo: Councillors Frank Hindle and Ron Beadle on Durham Road, Low Fell, where they are pressing the Council to sort parking issues.

"Get Carter" gets demolished

Dave Fawcett and Frank HIndle car park Jul 10 2

WORK has restarted on pulling down an eyesore landmark building in Gateshead. Demolition teams moved back on to the site of the “Get Carter” car park in the town centre following the suspension of work last year.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Frank Hindle has welcomed the news that the building should be gone by the end of September. It was made famous by the 1970s classic film “Get Carter” starring Michael Caine.

Frank, who is Deputy Leader of the Opposition on Gateshead Council, also welcomed the news that Tesco have submitted a planning application for Trinity Square in Gateshead.

Frank said “People in Gateshead have waited a long time for the moment when the car park disappears from the skyline.

“I am glad that Tesco and the Council are making good progress towards developing a modern town centre that local people can enjoy, and that will draw in new business.”

Local resident and Lib Dem campaigner Dave Fawcett said, “Getting rid of the current part demolished centre and the eyesore of the old car park will be a vital and very welcome step.

“The decision by Tesco to go ahead with a major redevelopment and to invest a huge amount in our town centre is a vote of confidence in the economy that should boost jobs and incomes.”

Earlier this year Frank led an on-line campaign and petition at and calling on Tesco to get a move on with its plans for Trinity Square.

(Photo: Dave Fawcett and Frank Hindle outside the "Get Carter" car park on the day work began again to demolish it.)

Green policies “will boost Gateshead jobs” say Lib Dems

GREEN policies on which the Liberal Democrats fought the general election have been included in the Agreement that led to the creation of the Coalition Government. And Liberal Democrats say the measures will boost the local economy as well as save Gateshead households on energy bills.

Policies agreed by the Government include the setting up of a green investment bank and a reform of the banking system to make sure that banks lend to viable British businesses. There will also be measures to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses and support for low carbon energy production and an increase in the target for energy from renewable sources.

“Gateshead Council is considering plans to generate clean electricity in the borough from renewable sources,” said Councillor Jonathan Wallace.

“Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Energy, Chris Huhne, has announced that councils will now be allowed to sell any surplus electricity they create to customers via the National Grid. Under Labour they were banned from doing so.

“This will boost green energy production in the borough and help to create more local jobs. Plans to increase energy efficiency in homes through better insulation will also create jobs in Gateshead whilst the work is carried out. And that will also mean lower energy bills for households in Gateshead.”

Euro MP welcomes Metro upgrade

FIONA HALL, Liberal Democrat Euro MP for the North East of England, has welcomed the announcement by the Coalition Government that an upgrade to the Metro system will go ahead, costing up to £350 million.

In a message to residents of Gateshead, Fiona said, “The upgrade of the Metro system will lead to significant improvements for users of the service.

“Money is very tight at the moment. The new Government has inherited the worst financial situation in over 60 years. Even so, the Metro was a top priority for the Coalition and approval has been given for the project to go ahead.

“My hope is that once the improvements are made, more people will opt to use the Metro rather than drive. This will help cut congestion and pollution on Tyneside.”

Review of Marley Hill and Sacred Heart Primary Schools

Gateshead Council’s consultation with parents about the future of Marley Hill and Sacred Heart RC Primary School in Byermoor has now ended.

A report will be brought to Gateshead Council’s Cabinet in September once the results of the consultaiton have been considered.

Since the option of closing Marley Hill was first raised last year, many parents have decided to move their children to Washingwell School where there were surplus places.

The effect of this has been to increase the viability of Washingwell.
At the meeting in September, the Cabinet will take a decision on whether or not to keep Marley Hill and Sacred Heart open.

Solution found to unfinished house in Whickham

Gateshead Council has resolved a long-running planning dispute that left the large house on Swalwell Bank, Whickham, unfinished for 5 years.

In 2005 Gateshead Council’s Planning Committee authorised the removal of the third storey because of the impact on neighbouring homes. However, almost 5 years to the day later, the Committee discussed new proposals for the building which will see the replacement of the pitched roof with a flat one.

Pleas for the original decision of 2005 to be upheld were turned down. Conditions were also placed on the planning consent relating to landscaping and privacy issues.

Cllr Peter Craig said “Neighbouring residents were concerned about the height and mass of the building and an inadequate landscaping plan. They do not feel the latest decision addresses these concerns adequately.”

Welcome for Washingwell Woods restoration

Washingwell Woods Yvonne and Michael Jul 10 1

A woodland in a local country park is to be restored to its natural state. Washingwell Woods is popular with residents of Whickham, Sunniside, Dunston and Lobley Hill.

Over the next 5 years Gateshead Council are to work with the Forestry Commission and Natural England to restore the woods. Conifer trees will be harvested to allow the natural woodland plants to recover and trees to re-establish through the process of natural regeneration.

Restoration will be carried out sensitively and gradually to bring these woods back to life. The restoration of ancient woodland is a top UK biodiversity priority. Many of the footpaths within the woodland will be fully restored after the forestry works have been carried out.

“I am pleased that this work will be carried out,” said Lobley Hill Lib Dem campaigner Michael Ruddy.

“Washingwell Woods is an important green location which makes the area all the more attractive as a place to live.”

“The creation of Lotties Wood near Sunniside shows what can be done with a properly managed woodland,” said Cllr Yvonne McNicol. “A great wooded parkland can be created for all to enjoy as well as establishing an important haven for wildlife.”

(Photo: Cllr Yvonne McNicol and Michael Ruddy at Fugar Bar, next to Washingwell Woods)