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.
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.”
The Agenda and papers for next Wednesday’s Finance Committee are linked below.
Please note that this meeting will be held at Stanley Masonic Hall, Scott Street, Stanley due to theatre bookings in the Civic Hall. The meeting will also start at the unusual time of 7.30 pm. The public are welcome to attend the meeting but will not be admitted before 7.30.
The agenda is primarily concerned with budgets and budget setting.
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