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:
The January meeting of Stanley Town Council is the meeting where the budget will be set for 2018/19, which is the main item of business. Other business to be discussed includes Stanley in Bloom and the Policy working group. All STC meetings are open to the public. The meeting will be held at 6.30pm on Tuesday 22nd January 2019 at Stanley Civic Hall.
The agenda and papers for next week’s Full Council meeting are linked below. It will be a busy meeting, featuring presentations and feedback from Stanley Events on the Fireworks Display, an update from the STC Funded Advice Partnership which provides 5 day a week, face to face advice in Stanley and from County Durham Community Foundation in relation to a proposal to set up a new community fund for Stanley. There will also be a review of the town’s Remembrance Sunday events, proposals for the Civic Hall, Funding of local theatre groups and other business discussed.
All of our meetings are open to the public and residents are welcome to attend and may ask questions relating to the business on the agenda. Please notify the Clerk in advance of the meeting if you wish to ask a question.
The meeting will be held at 6.30pm in the Civic Hall.
FC November Combined Papers [8.8 MB, PDF]
Stanley Town Council has thrown its backing behind a campaign to protect the rights of workers with potentially fatal conditions.
It has signed up to the “Dying to Work” Charter, which is pressing for additional protection for terminally ill employees and is backed by the TUC, GMB and Unison.
The Charter was signed by Council Leader, David Marshall, who said he was proud to back a campaign that was seeking to protect those who require it most, and Beth Farhat, regional secretary of the TUC.
Cllr Marshall said: “We are trying to help protect people who fall victim to unscrupulous employers who utilise a loophole in the law to dismiss poor people who are dying due to illness. It beggars belief that people can sink so low as to do this, but they do.
“We believe that every person battling terminal conditions deserves the choice of how to spend their final months.”
Many workers will get a serious illness at some time in their careers, that may require time off, often for many months, to receive treatment or recover. Best practice guidance has been produced by the TUC and others to deal with cases of long-term illness or return to work for those who are disabled as a result of an illness or injury.
Beth Farhat said: “In cases where there is no effective treatment, an employee can face huge emotional stress, fear and uncertainty. When that happens, trade unions will try to remove any additional stress and worry.
“UK Social Security legislation defines a terminal illness as: “a progressive disease where death as a consequence of that disease can reasonably be expected within six months”, however many patients can have a terminal illness and survive much longer than that… and they deserve to be protected when they are at their most vulnerable.
“We already have cross parliamentary support for this campaign however we need to wait for domestic policy to progress in order for us to change legislation. To do that, we need to demonstrate that authorities and businesses across the country are supporting our cause.
“By having Stanley Town Council sign up to the charter, we’re doing just that. We’re delighted to have them involved and working together, are looking forward to changing the lives of people not just in Stanley, but across the UK.”
Sometimes the nature of the illness is such that the person is unlikely to be able to work again. In other cases, a person may decide that they do not want to work anymore and would rather spend their remaining time with family and friends, getting affairs in order, or simply doing what they want.
However, many workers with a terminal diagnosis decide to continue working as long as they can, either because they need the financial security or because they find work a distraction. Whatever the choice, they should expect help and support from their employer. Unfortunately, the experience of many workers is an unsympathetic employer who puts up barriers to them continuing in work.
Cllr Marshall added: “There are few things more traumatic than being told that you are going to die as a result of a disease for which there is no cure.
“But if a worker with a terminal illness loses their job they lose their income. They can also lose any death in service payments they have earned through a life-time of work – by backing the Dying to Work Charter, we are saying that we do not agree with this, that something has to change and that we, as a society, must do better to offer support to people when they need it most.”
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.email@example.com 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.
The agenda and background papers for next Tuesday’s Full Council meeting are linked below. The meeting will be held at 6.30pm at the Civic Hall and is open to the general public. Members of the public may ask questions in relation to the business on the agenda, please notify the Town Clerk in advance of the meeting. Contact Us
the business to be considered at the meeting will include:
An update from the CLLD Funding Officer; Fireworks; Civic Hall Business Planning; Beacons of Light; Neighbourhood Wardens Update.
Gordon was elected last Thursday as the new town councillor for the Havannah ward. Gordon told the Town Clerk that he’s really looking forward to the challenge and brings with him The experience of a career in business and a real desire to work with his Colleagues to help The community in his Shield Row ward and the wider Stanley area. welcome to STC Gordon!
Gordon’s contact details can be found on our Councillors page