Focusing on the feelgood factor with flowers, flags, and events

Stanley Town Council has its focus firmly on the feelgood factor, having signed-off a budget aimed at adding colour, lifting spirits, and enhancing the environment.

The cautiously optimistic budget was created with flexibility to allow for unforeseen changes to COVID19 guidance, but it is geared towards providing the area with something to look forward to.

Among the projects bringing colour to the streets will be the return of Blooming Good Fun, a competition encouraging residents to show off their gardens, yards, window boxes, hanging baskets, tubs, open spaces, and businesses. The contest is running for the fourth time and will be the prelude to the town’s entry into Northumbria in Bloom, which was cancelled last year.

Talks are currently ongoing with the idea to restore the Stanley Flower Mine, an earthwork memorial commemorating the 1909 Burns Pit Disaster, which cost the lives of 168 men and boys. The memorial designed by Ken Turnell is one of a series of pieces of public art built along the Coast to Coasts (C2C) cycle path, where seasonal daisies show and fade as the light changes on the natural memorial.

The Council will also be issuing messages of unity following the implementation of a new Council Flag policy that will see the Council flying a variety of flags to coincide with designated days and months as a sign of unity, support and respect.

As well as the return of socially distanced movies and, eventually, shows, funding has also been allocated to bring the Pantomime back to the Civic Hall. A further announcement will be made on the details in the coming months, but it promises to be the biggest and best performance the venue has staged.

Council Leader, Les Timbey, said: “As a Council, we pride ourselves in putting the people of Stanley and the surrounding areas at the very centre of everything we do and every decision we make. That is why we made our pledges to them when the Council was formed, that is why we will consult with communities on the town’s priorities for its masterplan and that is why we are so focused on providing some much-needed positivity in 2021.

“The Government’s COVID recovery roadmap provides us with a rough timeline for what we can do and when, but as each stage of the recovery unfolds, we want to ensure we provide people with something to look forward to and also enhance the environment with flowers, repairs and removal of anything that may cause community blight.”

Stanley Town Council will also add colour to the Civic Hall, embracing a variety of countries, cultures and events via their flag displays. The Union Flag will fly throughout the year from as the first flag, whilst the second flagpole will mark national days like St David’s Day, when the Welsh flag will fly; St Andrew’s, when the Scottish Saltire will be raised; the Rainbow for Gay Pride Month; the County Durham colours for St Cuthbert’s Day; and the Armed Forces flag for Armed Forces Day, to name but a handful.

“COVID19 tore through Stanley and many paid a terrible, unjust price,” said Stanley Town Mayor, Carole Hampson. “But the one thing that pulled us through was the way communities came together to help each other and how we mobilised to support the most vulnerable in our society.

“We want to continue with that spirit of unity by honouring the days of our neighbouring countries, marking the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, standing with LGBQT allies and generally embracing the colours of other countries, cultures and organisations. To truly recover from the pandemic, 2021 must be the year when we all put aside bias and differences and come together to heal and recover.”

COUNCIL BACKS BUDGET TO BUILD ON STANLEY SUCCESS

THE AMBITIONS, concerns and passions of people in Stanley are placed at the heart of the 2020/21 budget, agreed this week [21 January] by the Town Council.

Councillors threw their weight behind the 2020/21 Budget, which includes a plan to carry out the most thorough consultation exercise ever carried out in the town and its surrounding areas.

“Three years ago, we made a pledge to the people of Stanley that their views would be listened to and acted upon,” said Council Leader, Les Timbey. “What we want to do now is take that even further – we want to engage with them directly and learn not only what we can deliver for them as a Town Council, but what changes people want to see beyond our remit.

“We want to know about their ambitions for the town, what makes residents concerned, we want their views about their children’s education, how care is provided…we want to create a Stanley Knowledge Bank and leverage the collective weight of the Council, councillors and officers to become agents for positive change, building on the success we have had over the last three years.”

Investment has been made available for a series of regeneration projects in and around Stanley, all of which will be included in a “Stanley Masterplan”, providing a blueprint for regeneration and development across the area.

Extra provision has also been made available for the voluntary sector, which is increasingly relied upon to bolster public service or, in some extreme cases, replace ones cut from public sector budgets.

The Town Council has also pledged to bring a Pantomime back to the Civic Hall in 2020, and has recruited a professional production team to stage the popular Christmas curtain raiser.

Among other projects approved is continued support for the popular “Play in the Park” events for children and parents during the summer holidays, Stanley’s spectacular annual fireworks extravaganza and continued investment in the community wardens and environmental caretakers service.

The Council is also continuing with the Stanley Fund, that has delivered thousands of pounds of grant support to Stanley groups and organisations, since it launched last year.

Cllr Timbey explained how the new budget was once again designed to protect the most vulnerable, enhance the town’s offer, but most of all put Stanley residents at the heart of decision-making.

“Every pound and penny we spend is done so with the sole intention of making things better for our residents, communities and businesses,” said Cllr Timbey.

“We keep getting told by Government that its cruel and unrelenting austerity measures are over, but they are still being felt in Stanley and across County Durham.

“This Budget shows that Stanley Town Council will continue to back projects that have a significant impact on the lives of people in the Stanley area. Our focus remains on enhancing the environment, improving safety, supporting community projects and, once again, asking people what they want to see in Stanley and working with our partners to make sure the projects are delivered.”

The Council has been forced to increase its precept by 2.99% from the 2019/20 Budget to keep in step with inflation.

“Any rise in taxation is not something we take lightly,” added Cllr Timbey, “but we are confident what is a relatively small increase will deliver huge benefits for the community”

Deputy Leader, Cllr Mark Davinson, said: “I am proud of what this Council has achieved over the past three years and I wholeheartedly believe this Budget empowers us to build on the progress we’ve already made.

“While great strides have been made in public engagement, we expect the forthcoming consultation exercise to once again deliver some real key priorities for us to act upon.”

Greenland School Application withdrawn

The Town Council has just been informed that the Planning Application to turn the old Greenland School into a care home which the Council lodged an official objection against has been withdrawn by the applicant.

Stanley Town Mayor Cllr Carole Hampson said “I would like to thank everyone who attended the public meeting and for the continued support. I would also like to thank the planning officer for writing a comprehensive report, it was well researched”

Blooming Good Fun Awards 2019

Last night (21st October) Stanley Town Council hosted the 2019 Blooming Good Fun awards, a gala evening to award prizes for the most beautiful gardens, yards and business in the Stanley area and to thank the people and organisations from around the Stanley area who contributed to the Town Council’s first entry of the town into Northumbria in Bloom.

The winners of the three categories were Alan Gleghorn for best garden,

 

Kathleen Gibson for Best Yard, and

Stanley Park Care Home for Best business.

The overall winner was Alan Gleghorn, see below being presented with his award by Town Mayor Cllr Carole Hampson

Speakers included Oliver Sherrat, Head of Environment at Durham County Council, discussing the importance of partnership work in improving the street scene, Nathan Hopkins from the Woodshed Workshop – a social enterprise based in Sacriston which works with people who are long term unemployed, taking mental or other health issues and uses reclaimed materials to make bespoke furniture and Cllr Les Timbey, the Leader of the Council who outlined how working together with residents, charities and community groups had made the project such a success.

At the event, Town Mayor Carole Hampson re-presented the Tanfield in Bloom group with the Percy Boydell Cup for overall winners of Northumbria in Bloom which they won, beating off the likes of Durham City, Hexham, Corbridge and Saltburn-by-the-Sea to take the trophy. Tanfield are competing in the National Britain in Bloom finals in Friday in London and we wish them all the very best.

A raffle was also held for the Town Mayor’s chosen charity, PACT House, which raised £171.

HEDLEY HOUSE OPENS THE DOORS FOR VULNERABLE YOUNG PEOPLE IN DURHAM

Yesterday Hedley House, a new supported accommodation project for young people at risk of homelessness in County Durham, celebrated its official opening (Wednesday 9 October).

The project, based in Park Road, South Moor Stanley, is provided by a partnership of Changing Lives, Durham County Council Housing Solutions and Children and Young People’s Services.

It provides safe and secure accommodation for vulnerable young people, facing difficult life circumstances and that are at risk of becoming homeless.

The project was officially opened by Councillor Carole Hampson, Town Mayor of Stanley.

In celebration of the launch Changing Lives hosted an afternoon tea, which was prepared by the young residents. The event was well attended, with our CEO Stephen Bell welcoming guests from Durham Police, Durham Housing solutions and Durham County Council.

Northumbria in Bloom 2019

This year has seen Stanley Town Council’s first entry in the Northumbria in Bloom competition in the large town category. As we shared earlier, some of the groups and organisations we worked with this year received their own recognition in Northumbria in Bloom as well as being a part of the town’s overall submission.

St Josephs School in Stanley received a GOLD award in the Schools category; the Just for Women Centre has received a SILVER award in the Special Awards category and PACT House Stanley has received a BRONZE in the Commercial Premises category! Copper Beech community garden in White le Head received a SILVER award and the Town was awarded an overall SILVER.

There were also special mentions for the Haven, Catchgate Partnership and Annfield Plain Infants school in the “It’s your neighbourhood” category

These are fantastic results Congratulations to all our partners who worked with us to deliver our In Bloom entry this year and brighten up the town.

This is a great achievement for our first entry and the fact that so many of our partners also received separate recognition is a great thing for our communities.

STC Seeking Horticulture Apprentice

Stanley Town Council has partnered with East Durham College (Houghall campus) to create an apprenticeship within its Environmental Caretaker team, which will support the successful candidate to achieve a level 2 NVQ in Parks, Gardens and Green Spaces.

For more information about the apprenticeship and to submit an application, please CLICK HERE (opens an external link)

Announcing Blooming Good Fun 2019!

The Town Council are announcing the return of the ‘Blooming Good Fun’ competition for 2019, this time to support our application for an award in the Northumbria in Bloom competition.

We are hoping to encourage gardeners from right across our Parish to make a special effort to brighten up their surroundings – and everybody else’s by bringing colour and floral displays to Stanley.

Entry is FREE and there are CASH PRIZES to be one.  There are awards for the best garden, tubs, window boxes, back yard, open space or communal space and  businees so it’s open to everybody.

To get an entry form, see our Blooming Good Fun page

PLAY IN THE PARK 2018

Stanley Town Council is delighted to announce the dates for this year’s Summer Play in the Park Events. As always, all the rides and activities will be FREE so get the dates in your diary now.

The dates are:

Wed 1 Aug – View Lane Park

Sat 4 Aug – Oakies Park

Wed 8 Aug – South Moor Greenland School Playing Fields

Sat 18 Aug – Annfield Plain Park

Wed 22 Aug – Craghead Millennium Green

All events are from 10 am to 3 pm