The Annual Meeting of electors will take place next Friday, 22nd March 2019 at the Venue, Tyne Road, Stanley. There will be tea and coffee served from 6pm for a 6.30 pm start. The Council will be launching the new Stanley Community Fund at the meeting, which is a new source of grant funding to support local groups and organisations which will provide £100,000 of support for local community organisations in the year from April. The fund is a true partnership and will see every pound invested by the Town Council matched from contributions from other funders, including Kevan Jones MP who will be speaking at the launch. All local community groups who rely on grant funding or would like financial support should come to the meeting to get full details of how and where to apply for funding. The Council will also give an overview of the work it has done in the last year and our plans for next year.
Next week’s Full Council meeting will see the Council considering proposals for a new Community Funding strategy for the Town, discussing a new ‘Miner’s Sunday’ Event to be held on the August Bank Holiday weekend together with other mining heritage initiatives. The meeting starts at 6.30pm on Tuesday 26th February 2019.
All Town Council meetings are open to the public and the public are encouraged to attend.
Saturday 16th February 2019 will be the 110th Anniversary of the Burns Pit Disaster, one of the worst mining tragedies in British History. The Council is holding a Remembrance Ceremony at the memorial as it does every year (in front of NDA at the site of the pit) to remember the 167 men and boys who died that day and all the men who worked underground in terrible conditions to build our communities. As the anniversary falls on a weekend this year, we hope many residents will be able to attend
Council Budget set for 2019/20
A SERIES of investments, events and initiatives have been greenlit by Stanley Town Council after it agreed its annual budget tonight (22 January).
The Council backed the 2019/20 Budget and has brought forward an ambitious programme to help breathe new life into the town and surrounding villages.
Amongst projects approved are the popular summer “Play in the Park” events for children and parents during the summer holidays, the purchase and upkeep of two new police vehicles to support local policing teams and the town’s Christmas lights, not to mention Stanley’s spectacular annual fireworks extravaganza.
The Council is also developing a new approach to grant funding by creating a Stanley Fund, which will help to deliver more than double the current level of grant support to Stanley groups and organisations at no additional cost to residents by bringing in match funding from local businesses, local MP Kevan Jones and the Police and Crime Commisioner Ron Hogg.
Leader of Stanley Town Council, Cllr David Marshall, said that the new budget would help the town and outlying villages add to the progress made since the make-up of the authority changed in the 2017 local elections.
“Last year was the new council’s first opportunity to look at investment priorities for Stanley and ensure that every penny spent is aimed at making things better for the people of our area,” said Cllr Marshall.
“For too long the Council had not been addressing long-term needs, so we asked the people who voted for us to tell us what their priorities are and how their money should be spent. From that feedback, we created the Medium-Term Plan to help us focus our budget in areas of maximum need where our spending will have the most beneficial impact.
“There is no doubt, the Government’s harsh and unrelenting austerity measures continue to be felt across County Durham and the wider region, but Stanley Town Council will continue to fund projects that improve the lives of people in the Stanley area.”
The Council has been forced to increase its precept by 3% from the level set in the 2018/19 Budget.
“We don’t take lightly any rise in taxation, especially in these challenging times,” added Cllr Marshall, “however we are determined to support our communities in the most meaningful way we can.”
Last year, the Council’s funding enabled Stanley residents to benefit from a five day a week face to face debt management and advice service provided by the Advice in County Durham partnership in what is seen as a model service in the County. The Council secured a new building for the Just for Women Centre, a multi award winning project supporting vulnerable women in the heart of our community.
The Council launched a new dedicated community wardens service to support commnuities and improve the environment, provided a detached youth service to engage with young people and continued to support PACT House, which has become a vital community resource since it began operating 3 years ago.
“As a Council, we have agreed that these services which are vital to our residents need to continue to be funded. But there is more work to be done”.
Now agreed, the Budget will allow the Council to roll-out of its new festive lighting programme to villages and outlying communities within the parish, as well as improve its heritage and events offer with the creation of a ‘Miner’s Sunday’ celebration and greater support for memorial events within the Town Council area and the new Beacon of Light in future years. The Council is also planning to bring community cinema back to the Town by re-commissioning the cinema capability of the Civic Hall.
Chair of the Finance Committee, Cllr Mark Davinson, said: “This Budget allows us to press ahead with our ambitions of making Stanley a better place to live, work and visit. There is fresh impetus running through this Town with the recent investment in our retail offer and the raft of environmental improvements the Town Council has been able to introduce, and long may that continue.
“However, we are not resting on our laurels. If we are asking for more from our residents, it is because we must deliver more. If there is something in your community that needs to be addressed, tell us. We will do all we can to make things better for the people of our parish.”
Full details of the budget are linked below:
Two hundred and thirty three miners are named at the gates of South Moor’s First World War Memorial Park. Behind each name is a tragic story of loss and bereavement but perhaps none more so than that of Lance Corporal Peter Goggins who volunteered for Kitchener’s Army in 1915. Goggins, like many Durham miners of short stature was recruited to a ‘Bantam’ Battalion of the DLI as a specialist tunneller. Keen to leave the mines of South Moor he saw action at Ypres and the Somme winning promotion to Lance Corporal and marrying his South Moor sweetheart in 1916.
Goggins fortunes would change on the 26th of November 1916. Isolated in a forward location as a German detachment advanced to over-run his trench his Sergeant ordered a withdrawal, jamming his rifle across the trench to slow the attack. Goggins left his position rapidly falling back. On re-joining his company he was immediately questioned, accused of desertion and jailed. Court martialled on Christmas Eve he was sentenced to be shot by firing squad, in spite of supporting evidence from his Sergeant. At dawn on the 16th January 1917 Private Peter Goggins was executed alongside 2 other DLI comrades.
Now residents and visitors can walk round a South Moor and Quaking Houses First World War heritage trail that marks the homes and collieries of the fallen miners such as Goggins. The trail funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, and Stanley Town Council links to a dedicated website www.southmoorheritage.org.uk hosting the individual stories of all two hundred and thirty three fallen miners and documents life in South Moor at the time of the First World War.
In remembrance of Peter Goggins and his miner comrades Horrible Histories Author Terry Deary and Derwentside Athletic Club have organised The ‘Goggins Comrades Run’ starting at 9am on the 11th November at the Haven on Pine Street. Fun runners from across Durham will join Terry on the 5 mile route around the rural heritage trail finishing in The South Moor First World War Memorial Park. ‘The story of South Moor and Private Goggins is the story of every mining village and every mining family in Durham. None escaped tragedy and loss in the First World War. Sunday’s armistice centenary is testament to the wars lasting impact and I am delighted to support this tribute to Goggins and his surviving family’
Terry Deary’s latest book ‘Terrible Trenches’ uncovers the hidden horrors of the First World War. Relatives of miners named on the South Moor memorial, including Peter Goggins, are invited to attend the South Moor Park remembrance service at 10.45am on the11th November. Organisers are also so keen to add the stories, photographs and letters of South Moor soldiers to the website contact Adrian Cantle-Jones project manager by emailAdrian.firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 03000 265259.
Picture: Horrible Histories author Terry Deary pictured with junior members of Derwentside Athletics Club
1.45 Tesco Car Park meet up.
2pm Service at Annfield Plain Central Methodist Church.
2.30pm March from Church to Memorial in Park
2.45 approx Wreath laying in Park at Memorial
Also in Annfield Plain, ceremonies are held at the Memorial in the Avenue, Greencroft, at 11 am and at the Loud Bank Memorial, also at 11 am.
6.45pm “Battles Over” Beacon Lighting Ceremony on Catchgate Village Green (adjacent to the Crown & Thistle)
10.45 at the War Memorial
10.45 Memorial Park
9.45 Service at St Andrews Church
10.45 at the Memorial in St Andrews Church
6.45pm “Battles Over” Beacon Lighting Ceremony on Stanley Front Street
9.00am for service at St Margaret’s Church with wreath-laying.
Stanley Beacon of Light to remember fallen heroes…
A BEACON of remembrance will be lit in Stanley on Armistice Day to remember those lost in World War I.
Stanley will be illuminated by a Beacon of Light – one of over 1,000 that will be ignited at 7pm on November 11, across Britain – as it falls silent to honour the millions who fought and died in the conflict, which ended 100 years ago.
Stanley Town Council, which has funded the Beacon in Front Street, will light its brazier as the last post is played by a bugler.
Council Leader, David Marshall, himself a veteran, said: “Every year, we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice and honour them with silent prayer. With 2018 marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, we felt it was appropriate to join with cities, towns and villages across the country in lighting a Beacon, not only of remembrance, but also of hope for a peaceful future. The Beacon of Light will symbolise the ‘light of hope’ that emerged from the darkness of war. The four-metre Beacon will become a permanent fixture on Front Street, only moving during the December weeks when we light-up and display the town’s Christmas tree.”
The service will also feature a dedication to the memory of Private Michael Heaviside, a Craghead pit hewer who was awarded the Victoria Cross for valour during the conflict.
The 36 year-old soldier crawled 60 yards across No Man’s Land under heavy fire to bring water and first aid to a wounded soldier lying in a shell hole during the Battle of Arras, risking his life to bring him back to the trenches.
On July 12, 1917, Stanley ground to a halt as locals afforded him a hero’s welcome. Days later, the Durham Light Infantry soldier was presented with his Victoria Cross by King George V.
Stanley Town Mayor, Alexander Clegg, said: “Stanley and the surrounding villages lost many good people in World War I, and while we remember them all, it’s also important we do the same for those who exhibited extraordinary heroics in the face of grave danger. It will be an honour to stand alongside the descendants of Michael Heavisides and recognise the act of uncommon valour of someone who saved a life by putting his own at risk.”
Over 1,000 councils, communities and other organisations nationwide have confirmed their involvement by lighting WWI Beacons of Light.
Everyone is invited to the Remembrance Sunday event, which will take place on Stanley Front Street (in front of the old board school) from 6:40pm on Sunday, November 11, 2018.
Linked below is the agenda and supporting papers for next week’s Full Council meeting of Stanley Town Council. Business being discussed includes Feedback from the Council’s funding of the SHAID Homelessness Support service, Review of the Council’s Medium Term Plan and a proposal for a heritage plaque to mark the birthplace of Matthew Kirtly.
All Council meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held at the Civic Hall from 6.30 pm.
IT WAS almost midnight on August 22, 1947, when tragedy struck a North Durham town, costing the lives of 22 men and shaking a community to its core.
The two dozen miners were underground in the “fourth north district”, between the Louisa Pit and the Morrison North Pit, in the area of Kyo bogs when a huge explosion of firedamp, most likely a pocket of methane gas, ripped through the pit workings.
Of the 24 men working the coal seam, 22 were killed, including two “Bevin Boys”.
The two pits were linked underground, so the men were from both collieries and had descended from both ends of the shaft.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the disaster, and remember the men lost that day, local historian Jack Hair and then vicar of St Aidan’s church, Annfield Plain, Revd. DE Jenkins, raised funds for a permanent memorial in the grounds of the church, which was dedicated with family members and descendants of the deceased present on August 23, 1997.
However, the memorial was placed under threat, when it was announced in February 2016 that St Aidan’s church was to close.
Stanley Town Council moved quickly to honour the men who died in 1947 and save the memorial. Following lengthy discussions with the church and with help from Mr Hair, whooriginally commissioned the stone, the Council is funding the relocation of the stone, which will now sit outside the Louisa Centre, near the site of the old Louisa Colliery.
Town Mayor Alex Clegg said: After almost two years of negotiations, we finally got the green light to relocate the stone, just in time for the 71st Anniversary of the disaster and it is fitting that now sits so close to where some of those hardworking men made their final journey underground.
“This disaster was an important part of our area’s mining history and it’s right that the men should be remembered.
“I’m delighted that we have not only been able to secure the future of the memorial for future generations but that we have been able to place it in a prominent location so that many more people will be able to see the memorial in the setting of the former site of the Louisa Colliery.”
Leader of Stanley Town Council, David Marshall, said: “Like most this part of County Durham, the town of Stanley was hewn from the coalface – our proud history inexorably linked to the coal mining industry.
“It is only right and proper that we continue to educate people about and pay tribute to the brave souls who gave their life down the pit. They worked for long hours in horrendous conditions for a modest income all to make sure there was food on the table for their families…we will remember them and make sure others do for generations to come.”
The Town Council is planning an event on August 23, the anniversary of the disaster to re-dedicate the memorial in it’s new setting.
Next week the Council is holding two Committee Meetings:
Tuesday 8th May, 6.30 pm – Projects & Initiatives
Wednesday 9th May, 6.00 pm – Finance & Governance
Both meetings will be held at the Civic Hall, Front St Stanley and are open to members of the public for attendance. The agendas are linked below for information. Background papers will be uploaded when they are available.