Thursday, October 15, 2015

New Sands Allotment Show

Another garden show taking place recently was the New Sands Allotments' in Swalwell. The show was held in the Sun Inn and funds raised went to the Swalwell Community Group.

Whickham Flower Show

Whickham in Bloom's Flower Show was held in September. Well done to everyone who helped organise the event in St Mary's Church Hall and congratulations to everyone who won prizes.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Repairs taking place to Swalwell Pipebridge

Northumbrian Water are carrying out renovation work on the Victorian Pipebridge over the Derwent River in Swalwell, which still carries 25 million litres of water a day. Cllr Jonathan Wallace was given access to the bridge recently to film and photograph it.

Work is on-going to replace some of the pipe supports and brackets and some reinforcement work is taking place before the painting of the bridge is carried out.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Chase Park a Lotto winner as £1 million Lottery bid approved

Chase Park May 09 no 11

The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and Big Lottery Fund have awarded just under £1 million (£922,900) to local community group Friends of Chase Park (FoCP) and Gateshead Council on plans that will see them work together on the restoration and improvement of Whickham’s historic Chase Park.

This is fantastic news for the group which was established by Cllr. Peter Craig in 2009 and has worked tirelessly towards this objective since then. The award will mean that residents will be able enjoy many more facilities. The existing toddler play area will be improved, tennis courts resurfaced and teenage play and skateboard areas built.

Plans over a three year period also include a restoration project for the windmill, entrance gates, paths and ornamental gardens, installation of an outdoor gym and trim trail, development of community garden and orchard and installation of new street furniture, signs and interpretations/artworks of heritage points of interest.

A Lottery award of £66,000 was made in Spring 2014 so that the Friends of Chase Park, working with Gateshead Council, could work up the bid from the HLF. A master plan for the park was drawn up in consultation with local award-winning landscape architects Southern Green.

Chair of Friends of Chase Park, Alan Scott said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded this HLF and Big Lottery Fund grant and look forward to working with Gateshead Council and Southern Green to see the plans for the renaissance of our beloved Chase Park come to fruition.

“Returning the park to its former glory will be something the whole community can be proud of for many years to come.

“So many people have worked hard to get us where we are today and I give huge thanks to everyone involved for the effort and contributions made. Who would have dreamed we would be in this position as we set out on our journey all those years ago.”

Cllr. Peter Craig, Founder of the Friends group said “I would like to thank everyone who has made this possible, with a special thank you to the individuals who have stuck with this.

“It has taken us 6 years to reach this point and we are delighted that our bid has been successful, so that a rejuvenated Chase Park can continue to play an important part at the heart of our community.”

Pictured above: the historic windmill in Chase Park, Whickham, which will undergo restoration.

Gateshead set to lose £1 million due to Labour inaction

In 2012, Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government ensured local councils took control of public health from the NHS - and had a budget to go with the new powers.

They argued that councils are far better placed to address public health issues than the centralised, top down targets created by the previous Labour government.

After 2012, when the powers and the budgets were handed over, the only complaints came from Labour who attacked the Lib Dems for “not spending enough” on public health.

Sadly for Labour - and the residents of Gateshead - Labour’s agenda of all talk and no action has now put at risk £1 million of Gateshead’s public health money.

The Coalition Government gave Gateshead £12 million in 2014-15 for public health. The money can be spent only on public health. Labour inaction on the health issues facing Gateshead meant £1 million was left unspent.

And with the Conservatives now in government without the restraining hand of the Lib Dems to guide them along a liberal direction, George Osborne is planning a raid on unspent public health cash. And that could mean Gateshead handing back £1 million to the Treasury.

“Our area has significant public health issues such as alcohol and drug abuse, obesity and tobacco related diseases,” said Cllr Jonathan Wallace, Leader of the Opposition on Gateshead Council. “I find it quite shocking that Labour cried foul when the money was awarded to Gateshead. I find it even more shocking that, having claimed they had insufficient money, they then left £1 million unspent which we may now have to return to the Government.”