It is with great regret that we announce today that our Deputy Town Mayor, Councillor Geoff Graham passed away on 18th July 2017. The staff and members of the Council are shocked and saddened by the news. Geoff was co-opted onto the Council in 2015 after having been a Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for many years and volunteering to be a public representative on the Stanley Area Action Partnership. He was successfully re-elected in May for the Stanley Hall ward. Prior to his Council and voluntary service, Geoff had served in the Royal Artillery for 25 years and worked in industry locally. He was thrilled in May to have been chosen by his colleagues to be the Town’s Deputy Mayor and had thrown himself into his new role with his customary enthusiasm, good nature and ready smile. As a Councillor, Geoff was the driving force behind the Town Council’s decision to hold an Armed Forces Day celebration in 2016 and again this June and was deeply involved with all the planning for these events. He attended his last Council meeting on the day of his passing and stated he was looking forward to planning next year’s event. At the meeting Geoff had also spoken about his latest project, which was to see a wild flower garden created in East Stanley Cemetery, a project which his colleagues will no doubt see through on his behalf. Our deepest sympathy and condolences go out to Geoff’s wife Marcelle and all his family. Geoff was a passionate local Councillor who wanted no more than to put back into local community. He was incredibly supportive of the Town Council’s staff and his colleagues on the Council and was a genuinely good bloke. He will be missed by all of us.
The full results of last Thursday’s local elections showing all the votes cast for each candidate are attached below.
Three Councillors were elected unopposed in the Tanfield ward, all the other 17 seats were contested. The final balance of the Council for the next term is Labour 14 Councillors, Derwentside Independents 6 Councillors.
There is a full agenda for next week’s Town Council meeting. The Council will be approving the budget for 2017/18, considering the policy they will apply for the new grant budget of £55,000 which will be created. They will also be deciding whether or not to livestream Council meetings and reviewing terms and conditions for the Civic Hall.
The December meeting of Council promises to be an interesting one with several important decisions being made. The Council will be considering a draft business case and making a decision whether or not to bid for the old Stanley Urban District Council Offices in Front Street now that DCC have placed them on the market. They will also be considering a proposal to take over the Community Room in West Rd, Annfield Plain and seeking to approve the budget for 2017/18.
The budget being presented to Council by the Finance Committee will be proposing that the Town Council’s part of the Council Tax is frozen next year, whilst allocating a further £60,000 towards cash grants to support community groups and initiatives. More information about the Council Offices and the Community Rooms and the full draft budget are linked below.
PLEASE NOTE THIS MEETING WILL BE HELD AT THE MASONIC HALL, 6.30 pm ON TUESDAY 20th DECEMBER. THERE WILL BE MINCE PIES FOR ANY MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC WHO ATTEND
Last night the Town Council held it’s Annual Meeting. At the Annual meeting, members elect to key positions for the forthcoming year. Councillor Joan Nicholson was re-elected Chairman of the Town Council, having served as Chairman in 2015/16. Councillor William Nixon was also re-elected as Vice Chairman. Appointments to Committees were as follows:
Crime & Community Safety: Chair Cllr Christine Bell; Vice Chair Cllr Colin Thompson
Comms & Events: Chair Cllr David Mills; Vice Chair Cllr Mary Wilkinson
Finance: Chair Cllr David Walker; Vice Chair Cllr David Marshall
Personnel: Chair Cllr David Tully; Vice Chair Cllr Geoff Graham
Planning: Chair Cllr William Nixon, Vice Chair Cllr Alex Clegg
Members also considered whether or not the Chairman and Vice Chairman should adopt the style of Town Mayor and Deputy Town Mayor (an option available to all Town Councils) and decided against the change.
Tobyn Hughes, Chief Executive of Nexus has announced that the Tyne & Wear Metro will reach Stanley by 2022. In a statement issued yesterday, he stated that Nexus had reached an agreement with Sustrans and the North East Combined Authority that would see a new line being created across former North Eastern Railway lines that would link Washington, Chester, Beamish and Shield Row with the existing Metro line which terminates at South Hylton.
Mr Hughes said “It has always been our goal to extend the Metro into County Durham and thanks to Stanley Town Council’s investment of £1 billion into stations and infrastructure that is now possible”.
Cyclists who currently use the Sustrans route have been advised to try the A693 instead, which is apparently just as nice.
The Town Council has just learned that former Councillor Roy Mellor, who was one of the founder members of Stanley Town Council, has passed away. He was 77. Roy was born in Buxton in Derbyshire, and moved with his wife Sue to Stanley after retirement so that he could be closer to daughter Jane. Both Roy and Sue became involved in the local community and local politics and Roy was amongst those who campaigned to create the Town Council. Roy was involved with the St Stephens Centre and was a lifelong Rotarian. Colleagues remember a true gentleman with a brilliant sense of humour who was loved by his family and friends. The Town Council would like to send our condolences to his family.