A message from The Leader on COVID-19

A message from Stanley Town Council Leader, Les Timbey:

These are unprecedented times.

As the situation with Coronavirus unfolds across the world, we face a crisis of unparalleled proportions and one that we all hope we will never have to overcome again as a global community.

And while we keep a concerned eye on the worldwide situation, it is beholden on us to look more local in our response.

Stanley is a town that has had to prove its resilience time and time again. Our communities are adept at coming together to support each other. Offering kindness, care and working together to pull us through. It is these values, that we live by, that will help us in this uncertain time, emerging stronger and closer-knit than we’ve ever been.

Stanley Town Council must now show leadership and offer a calm, measured and assured response. We have to ensure our response is swift, decisive and helps those that we serve – our residents – as best as we possibly can during what is a fast-changing situation.

We need to innovate and find new ways of delivering support to people and organisations who need it most in and around Stanley. And I hope that tonight, we will come together as a council and agree clear priorities and an immediate course of action.

Today we approved a £63,000 emergency support package to ensure our community facilities can keep their doors open and continue to to deliver the vital services they help provide.

In total, 23 buildings and organisations will be assisted with this fund, helping people across Stanley and the surrounding areas.

The Stanley Town Council workforce has also agreed to help the voluntary groups effected by COVID 19. I’m immensely proud and grateful that our employees are volunteering to assist these groups. To them, I say thank you on behalf of myself and the Town Council. We will not forget your dedication.

 

The health and wellbeing of our residents is paramount.

We must support our friends at PACT House to deliver food, support and resources to our most vulnerable residents and also those who have been hit with a drop-off in work due to quarantine procedures. We must prioritise funding for our community buildings, so they can stay open and help the people who rely on them. We must use our own human resources and utilise our workforce to help those who can’t help themselves.

We are a caring Council and it is incumbent upon us to act immediately.

We will protect our most vulnerable and at-risk families. We will support them through this worrying time.

We will disseminate Government and health professionals’ advice – wash your hands, cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze and please, follow guidance on self-isolation.

 

We will work with partners to deliver the best care we can in Stanley.

Our town has a small army of amazing volunteers and groups that have already mobilised. As I said, we must support them as a council. Our partners do fantastic work year-round, but during times like this, their dedication and endeavour really does shine through and we owe them a huge debt of gratitude for all they are doing.

As such, we will be re-purposing enhanced, emergency support for them.

 

For many businesses, this is a worrying and uncertain time too.

The Government has promised support for companies that may be under strain as a result of this pandemic. We must press them to act, and lend our voice to that of Durham County Council calling for support to be delivered as quickly and effectively as possible.

 

Frontline services are showing incredible resilience and pulling together to ensure that things continue to run as smoothly as possible during this time.

We must look at new ways of dispersing our team to ensure that they deliver help it’s needed most.

Crises like this highlight the real heroes in our community – health and hospital staff, care workers, shop workers, who carry on delivering warm, empathetic support when I am sure their instinct is to stay close to their family. On behalf of Stanley Town Council, I extend our thanks to everyone pulling together to support our residents.

Everyone is worried. Be assured that will do everything we possibly can to keep our residents safe, to keep them informed, and to minimise disruption to services.

I also call on this Government to help sole traders and the self employed as a priority, and increase statutory sick pay to an acceptable level.

We face a challenge like never before. But we’ll get through this by working together, supporting each other and stepping up to all challenges that lie ahead – as a council we will do everything we possibly can to ensure Stanley and our communities come through this in the strongest possible position.

Stay inside, stay safe, stay well and look after each other.

Council launches local response as COVID-crisis deepens

AN emergency meeting of Stanley Town Council last night green-lit a £63,000 coronavirus response programme to help communities through the crisis.

Councillors approved the package at a meeting specially-convened to agree what support was required and where it was most urgently needed.

The emergency measures will ensure that 23 organisations and community buildings, such as PACT House, Single Homeless Action Initiative in Durham (SHAID) and Just for Women, to name but a few, can not only keep their services running, but also enhance some areas of provision to support COVID 19 response efforts.

The measures put forward by Council Leader, Les Timbey, also include re-prioritising Stanley Town Council’s employees to deliver emergency aid and provide help at some of the facilities supported by the emergency response package.

Cllr Timbey said: “We find ourselves in unprecedented times and, as such, we must take unprecedented action.

“The measures outlined will come into force immediately and provide direct support to the people of Stanley. It is our duty to take care of the people in our communities, to make sure they have food, medication and the help and support required.

“In Stanley, we’re fortunate to have a range of organisations that deliver key services to some of the most vulnerable people in our society and by looking after them with this financial and physical support, we’re helping them look after others.

“COVID 19 has brought the world to a standstill, but one thing remains certain – we will get through this. It might take a month, three months or a year, but we will emerge from this crisis a stronger, smarter and more caring society.”

In total, 23 organisations are in-line for support grants, ranging from £500 to £3,000. The comprehensive list of buildings receiving the funds covers the entire Stanley Town Council area.

Among the organisations receiving support via the £64,000 response fund, are:

  • PACT House
  • SHAID
  • Just for Women
  • The Venue
  • Annfield Plain and Catchgate Partnership
  • Annfield Plain Community Centre
  • Shield Row Community Hut
  • Tantobie Community Centre
  • Quaking Houses Village Hall

 

Cllr Carl Marshall said the funds are aimed at bolstering front line resilience as the fight against the coronavirus continues.

He said: “What we have done is agree to target our key community anchors and venues with support that enables them to keep the lights on while their services are required. As Les said, we help them, they help others and that is how we will get through this pandemic, by helping each other out.

“I am immensely proud of the way our local people and organisations have already mobilised to help our town and surrounding areas, but more must be done and we must not tire in our efforts to make sure every single member of our communities receives the help and contact they need.

“Stanley Town Council employees will be delivering food and prescriptions, helping co-ordinate volunteers, operating a helpline (07720 650 533), and helping with loneliness and isolation.

“Our message to residents is stay home, stay safe and if you need help, we’re here for you.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

To ensure you have access to up to date guidance from local and central government, Stanley Town Council has compiled links to the below websites.

Each website is regularly updated and offers help and information for people impacted by COVID-19 itself, or by the current self-isolation period in place.

For all COVID-19 support information, please visit:

Or for more specific support visit:

Stay safe, stay indoors and together we will get through this.

Full Council Meeting 24th March 2020

The Council will be holding a meeting next Tuesday in order to put in place emergency arrangements to allow the Council to function and take steps to support the community through the challenges we are facing.

The agenda is linked below.

‘-Full Council Agenda 24th March 2020

The Council is legally obliged to admit the public to its meetings, however in the current conditions we urge members of the public not to attend this meeting. We have taken steps to ensure that the legal minimum number of Councillors attend to make a legal decision and the minimum number of staff.

We will report fully the decisions taken immediately after the meeting. Please follow the Government’s guidance on social distancing and avoiding unneccesary contact with people, .

Notice of Annual Town Meeting

The Annual Meeting of electors will take place on Tuesday 17th March 2019 at the Venue, Tyne Road, Stanley. There will be tea and coffee served from 6pm for a 6.30 pm start.

Local community groups and organisations have been invited share details of the services they provide and details of the support they have received from the Town Council over the past year

The Annual meeting is an opportunity for all electors of the parish of Stanley to raise issues and ask questions about any matters relating to the Town. The Council will also give an overview of the work it has done in the last year and our plans for next year.

Council Agendas Tuesday 25th February 2020

There will be two meetings of Stanley Town Council held next Tuesday.

At 6.15 pm, the Council will be considering a motion to create an honorary Freeman of the Town.

At 6.30 pm, the Ordinary meeting will consider business including Stragetic Grant Fund, Stanley Masterplan, Communications Plan and a Resident Survey

‘-Extra Council Agenda 25th February 2020

‘-Full Council Agenda 25th February 2020

February 2020 Combined Papers

West Stanley Disaster Memorial Sunday 16th February 3.30pm

Every year the town stops and pays its respects to the 168 men and boys who were killed on 16th February 1909, when at 3.45 pm, an explosion ripped through the Burns Pit.

It was a disaster that had a huge effect on the town. Over 300 dependents, the vast majority of whom lived in colliery company houses faced destitution after losing their loved ones.

The log book of the East Stanley Board School stated :

“Many of our children have lost father or brothers. The intense grief is unbearable. In my visits I find that 11 of my old pupils have suffered on Tuesday. The West Stanley Disaster has made an awful havoc among our children”

There will be a Remembrance Event held from 3.30 pm on Sunday 16th February. Songs and poems will be sung and recited and the Craghead Colliery Band will perform, followed by the observance of a silence to remember those who died 111 years ago.

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.”