A derelict Stanley eyesore has been transformed into a colourful centrepiece for the summer.
Stanley Town Council has transformed the derelict former Stanley Board School into one of the main attractions of Northumbria in Bloom submission, thanks to artistic schoolchildren from the town.
The project saw youngsters from St Joseph’s Primary School, draw inspiration from previous year’s academic theme of “Birds, Bees and Butterflies” to design 29 new “windows” for the school, featuring brightly coloured animals, flowers and summer scenes.
“People in the town, quite understandably, are tired of the derelict building at the bottom of the Front Street, and when Northumbria in Bloom judges visited the town in 2019, our submission was marked down due to the state of the building. So, we decided that we would address it in the summer and I approached the building’s owners with the plan to brighten the place up and they agreed to let us carry out the project. Sadly, we had to delay the project when COVID struck in 2020, but as soon as the schools were back, we set about using the youngsters’ imagination and artistic talents to create a project of turning this eyesore into something that brightens up the area. We’re really pleased with how well the project has worked out.” said Dave Jarvis.
The colourful displays also seem to have found favour with In Bloom judges, who now commented on how much they improved the building, and the town main shopping street.
“So much effort goes into making the town a pleasant place to be, it’s nice to get so many positive comments,” added Dave. “The great thing is, we will keep the artwork once the building is finally earmarked for development, so it will go on to future displays elsewhere in the town.
“I’d like to thank all of the youngsters and staff at St Joseph’s who have helped drive this project forward and created such eye-catching, amazing work.”
The project was made possible thanks to support from Stanley Town Council and Durham County Council.
Stanley Town Council continuously has its focus firmly on the feel good factor, having signed-off a budget aimed at adding colour, lifting spirits, and enhancing the environment.
Among the projects bringing colour to the streets, is Blooming Good Fun, the yearly competition encouraging residents to show off their gardens, yards, window boxes, hanging baskets, tubs, open spaces, and businesses. The contest has been running for several years and is the prelude to the town’s entry into Northumbria in Bloom.
The Council will also issue messages of unity following the implementation of a The Council Flag policy that will see the Council flying a variety of flags to coincide with designated days and months as a sign of unity, support and respect.
Stanley Town Council will also add colour to the Civic Hall, embracing a variety of countries, cultures and events via their flag displays.
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.”
A STANLEY safe haven for women who have mental health issues, been subjected to abuse/trauma, or may be suffering long-term unemployment is celebrating a funding windfall to bolster its burgeoning business ambitions.
Just for Women received £620 from Stanley Town Council’s Strategic Grant Fund to buy machinery and materials to support the Crafting to Wellness group.
The new strategic small grants pot, worth £35,000, was launched in 2019 and supports smaller projects via a simple bidding process, administered by Stanley Town Council.
The award will help the not-for-profit organisation, which moved to its HQ St Joseph’s House in 2018, commercialise craft products, that include dolls, bedding and a host of other soft furnishings, produced at its Stanley base.
Just for Women director, Lestryne Tweedy, said: “Stanley Town Council has been an incredible source of support for Just for Women since we were established, most notably last year when it paid £190,000 for the St Joseph’s House building to allow us to continue delivering the vital support we do to vulnerable people in and around the town.
“This money from the Strategic Grant Fund will allow us to further develop the quality products being produced by the Crafting to Wellness group, which has helped many women and men unearth talents that many didn’t know they had.
“This fund is exactly what Stanley needs – it’s quick and easy to apply, very little bureaucracy and, once approved, the funding arrives amazingly quickly.”
Just for Women has helped countless women, and some men, find their feet following abusive relationships, mental illness, homelessness and other issues impacting negatively upon their lives.
Overseen by former social worker, Linda Kirk, who started Just for Women in 2011, the charity has grown from a support organisation to incorporate a business arm and is providing life skills training to people.
Using “crafting” as a form of therapy, it is now a cottage industry for the centre, which sells quilt & cushion covers, soft furnishings and teddy bears to help reduce the need for external funding for its support and training services.
Stanley Town Mayor, Cllr Carole Hampson, said: “For eight years, Just for Women has helped the most vulnerable people in and around Stanley not only find a safe haven, but provide access to training that has created jobs, improved mental health issues and given people a purpose in life.
“Hopefully, this new equipment and material will help Crafting to Wellness continue to develop this fantastic small business and contribute towards making more money that Just for Women can then re-invest in its support services.”
To find out how to apply to the Strategic Grant Fund visit: www.stanley-tc.gov.uk/
The Town Council has just been informed that the Planning Application to turn the old Greenland School into a care home which the Council lodged an official objection against has been withdrawn by the applicant.
Stanley Town Mayor Cllr Carole Hampson said “I would like to thank everyone who attended the public meeting and for the continued support. I would also like to thank the planning officer for writing a comprehensive report, it was well researched”
Following Stanley Town Council’s decision to sign the Armed Forces Covenant in the summer, Stanley Town Council were last week recognised by the MOD Employer Recognitions scheme and awarded a bronze award.
The bronze award recognises the Town Council’s commitment to the Armed Forces Covenant by agreeing to ensure our recruitment processes treat ex-armed forces personnel, reservists and their families favourably by guaranteeing interviews for relevant people who meet essential job criteria, and by promoting the covenant within our area.
Pictured with the award are Deputy Town Mayor Cllr David Marshall (L) and Council Leader Cllr Les Timbey (R).
Cllr Marshall, who is the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, said “I have already arranged meetings with local businesses to promote the covenant to them and I hope to do much more to promote the covenant and support armed forces personnel over the coming year”.
It was also announced at the Council’s meeting on 22nd October that the Council will be working with Help for Heroes to build a banner case to display the South Moor No1 Lodge banner within the Civic Hall next year.
Last night (21st October) Stanley Town Council hosted the 2019 Blooming Good Fun awards, a gala evening to award prizes for the most beautiful gardens, yards and business in the Stanley area and to thank the people and organisations from around the Stanley area who contributed to the Town Council’s first entry of the town into Northumbria in Bloom.
The winners of the three categories were Alan Gleghorn for best garden,
Kathleen Gibson for Best Yard, and
Stanley Park Care Home for Best business.
The overall winner was Alan Gleghorn, see below being presented with his award by Town Mayor Cllr Carole Hampson
Speakers included Oliver Sherrat, Head of Environment at Durham County Council, discussing the importance of partnership work in improving the street scene, Nathan Hopkins from the Woodshed Workshop – a social enterprise based in Sacriston which works with people who are long term unemployed, taking mental or other health issues and uses reclaimed materials to make bespoke furniture and Cllr Les Timbey, the Leader of the Council who outlined how working together with residents, charities and community groups had made the project such a success.
At the event, Town Mayor Carole Hampson re-presented the Tanfield in Bloom group with the Percy Boydell Cup for overall winners of Northumbria in Bloom which they won, beating off the likes of Durham City, Hexham, Corbridge and Saltburn-by-the-Sea to take the trophy. Tanfield are competing in the National Britain in Bloom finals in Friday in London and we wish them all the very best.
A raffle was also held for the Town Mayor’s chosen charity, PACT House, which raised £171.
11am The Avenue, Greencroft
11am Loud Bank Memorial, West Road
Annfield Plain Cenotaph
1.45 Tesco Car Park meet up.
2pm Service at St Teresa’s Church.
2.30pm March from Church to Memorial in Park
2.45 approx Wreath laying in Park at Memorial
10.45 at the War Memorial
10.45 Memorial Park
9.45 am Service at St Andrews Church
10.45 am at the Memorial in St Andrews Church
6.45 pm “Battles Over” Beacon Lighting Ceremony on Stanley Front Street
9.00am for service at St Margaret’s Church with wreath-laying.
1.00 pm Tanfield Lea Club
Monday 11th November
Civic Hall Stanley, 11 am