Monday, November 14, 2011

Residents views sought on house building

A LIBERAL Democrat Councillor in Gateshead is carrying out a survey of residents of Dunston to find out their views about Gateshead Council’s proposals to build houses on local greenbelt.

Gateshead’s Labour Council are carrying out a “Strategic Land Review” under which local landowners have been invited to put forward bids to have their land used for house building.

One of the sites is to the south of Whickham Highway on Dunston Hill where the Labour-run Council are proposing 800 homes could be built.

Councillor Peter Maughan, who represents the area on Gateshead Council, delivered survey forms on Sunday 13th November and collected 140 replies in the evening.

“I am very concerned about these proposals,” said Cllr Maughan. “I have represented local people on Gateshead Council for many years and I have always fought to protect the greenbelt here.

“I decided to carry out the survey to find out the strength of opinion about Labour’s plans to build on the greenbelt here.

“We got a very good response over the weekend. However, I have already started to produce a report on the results so if residents want their views to be included, they should get their completed survey forms back to me as soon as possible.”

Alcohol Awareness hits the road

Gateshead residents will be able to get information, advice and support for alcohol related issues as a road show marks Alcohol Awareness Week (14 – 18 November).

Advice will be provided to residents on their doorsteps as the Safer Gateshead Partnership - consisting of Gateshead Council, Gateshead PCT, Northumbria Police, The Gateshead Housing Company and the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service - and Victim Support take to the streets throughout the week.

Starting on Monday 14 November, the Alcohol Awareness bus will visit sites across the borough including Gateshead High Street, Blaydon Leisure & Primary Care Centre, Springwell Community Centre, Tyne View Children’s Centre, Fewster Square and many more. A full list of locations is available at

This year’s Alcohol Awareness campaign focuses on the effects alcohol has on those around you. The road show will include information on a campaign led by Balance It, the North East’s Alcohol Office, highlighting the damage that alcohol advertising is having on children. Visitors to the bus will have the opportunity to sign the campaign petition to introduce a 9pm watershed in an attempt to stop alcohol advertising reaching children.

Gateshead Council cabinet member for community safety, Cllr Peter Mole, said: “Minimising the impact of alcohol-related harm has been one of the four strategic priorities that were identified for 2011/12 for the Safer Gateshead Partnership.”

“Alcohol Awareness Week provides an opportunity to raise awareness of all alcohol misuse issues, as well as to promote the work of alcohol treatment service providers across England and Wales. We’re all exposed to the second hand harms of other people’s drinking and the road show will offer people advice and support in how to deal with this.”

According to Gateshead PCT, there are around 4,000 hospital admissions each year caused by alcohol in Gateshead, with two thirds among men. In 2010, 55 deaths in Gateshead were also caused by alcohol.

As well as advice and support, the week long road show will also offer free NHS health checks for those aged 40 – 74 years, information on other support services available in the borough and more.

The Safer Gateshead Partnership is a collaboration of Gateshead Council, Gateshead PCT, Northumbria Police, The Gateshead Housing Company and the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, with the purpose of addressing community safety issues across Gateshead.

The Alcohol Awareness Week road show is supported by NECA, NERAF, SMART and Turning Point.