Gertie Ayer from Annfield Plain received the British Empire Medal from Mrs Sue Snowdon, H.M. Lord-Lieutenant of County Durham yesterday at Annfield Plain Central Methodist Church in front of a large gathering of friends, family and well wishers. Local MP Kevan Jones nominated Gertie for the award in recognition of her 75 years of voluntary work in the community at Lee Hill Hospital, Shotley Bridge Hospital (for 40 years) and for the last 30 years visiting the elderly at Stonleigh Care Home, in addition to voluntary work preparing meals and running coffee mornings at the church, work she still does aged 95. An Annfield Plain resident all her life, Gertie truly deserves her recognition and all the members and staff of the Town Council congratulate her.
CATCHGATE WARD OF STANLEY PARISH
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN
That due to the resignation of Councillor Doug Carmichael, a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council.
If by the 17th April 2018 (14 clear days after the date of this notice) a request for an election to fill the said vacancy is made in writing to:
The Returning Officer
by TEN electors for the said Parish, an election will be held to fill the vacancy; otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.
If an election is called, it will take place not later than 21st June 2018.
Dated: 26th March 2018
A copy of the formal notice is attached. Notice of Vacancy – Catchgate 3-18
In September 2015, Stanley Town Council was approached by PS Dave Clarke who had a vision to turn a junk shop on Stanley Front Street into a community cafe which would provide support, training and mentoring and help to tackle social isolation and a range of issues. The Town Council supported his vision by taking the lease of the building on and that initiative has grown into PACT House, which has been a shining example of how a local council can tactically deploy a small part of its budget to empower and enable a wide section of the community and support volunteering and community led social support by giving them a focal point with security of tenure.
The Council believes this model of supporting key local third sector partners is a model which not only provides support for people at the sharp end where it is needed but also represents incredible value for money. The Council could not possibly have provided a resource like PACT House on its own without spending hundreds of thousands of pounds and had it tried to, there would have been no guarantee that the public would have ‘bought in’ in the way that they have with PACT being an independent locally managed organisation.
Following this model, the Town Council is now in the process of trying to secure a permanent base for the Just for Women Centre. The Just for Women centre is another local success story, providing help and support and therapeutic services for hundreds of local women, young people (and men, through their CREE projects) which have been vital helping vulnerable people who have nowhere else to turn. They also work with young people from both local secondary schools and through the Catch 22 programme. Their current premises are being sold and there is a real risk that the charity and the services it provides could be lost to Stanley if they cannot find suitable alternative accomodation. The programme of austerity that has been in place for nearly 8 years means that many vital services supporting local people have been lost as the statutory providers can increasingly only deal with only those in absolutely dire need. Without services like Just for Women and PACT House, there would be many more in dire need which would stretch those statutory services even further and further squeeze people in need of help and support locally.
An article form the Northern Echo last year gives just some examples of the work that the centre has done locally.
Local MP Kevan Jones, who is president of the charity, said “I’m delighted to see that the Town Council are rising to the challenge of using their limited resources to see services provided in Stanley in an innovative way by working in partnership and providing support to third sector providers to enable the community to help themselves and deliver much greater value for money”
This is why the Town is proposing to purchase a building in Stanley to lease to the Just for Women Centre to give them the security of tenure to keep their existing services going and be able to build their programme in the future. We welcome the public’s opinions as to whether supporting local charities to provide services in Stanley is a good approach for the Town Council to take.
A regeneration project that captures the history of its residents has been completed in South Moor.
Due to issues with flooding across the South Moor Terraces in Stanley, the Wear Rivers Trust, in partnership with the Heritage Lottery Fund, Stanley Town Council, Durham County Council, Groundwork North East and contractors Seymour Civil Engineering have installed a sustainable urban drainage system, a natural approach to managing drainage and recycling water.
To do this, rain garden planters were fitted between the pavement, providing homes for five trees, each commemorating one year of fighting in the First World War.
Along with additional foliage, the trees, positioned along the length of Pine Street, act as markers within the Twizell Heritage Trail, a route which tells the story of South Moor’s origins shortly before the First World War and how the miners shaped the community. Each tree will be marked with a World War one battle insignia, remembering the hundreds of miners who lost their lives.
The project also saw the pathways fitted with block paving designed in the style of old fashioned film reel to commemorate the important role that local cinemas played in war time communications.
During both World Wars, the community surrounding Stanley depended upon the five cinemas in the area for updates from the frontline.
Town Mayor Bala Nair said: “It’s fantastic to see a project that the Town Council has invested in come to fruition. The new scheme has given Pine St a big facelift but it will also have a positive impact in reducing the incidence of flooding in South Moor, which has been a problem for years”
Adrian Cantle-Jones, the Durham County Council Project Manager, said: “South Moor residents are delighted with the wonderful improvements to Pine Street and the wider Twizzel Burn and South Moor Heritage Trail. The South Moor Partnership is looking forward to continuing the regeneration of the South Moor Terraces and Twizzel Burn Catchment”.
Keith Love from Seymour Civil Engineering, said: “As a company, we are really proud to have been a part of a project that has not only contributed to environmental improvement and flood alleviation, but has commemorated Stanley’s heritage.
Stanley Town Council invested £60,000 in the Pine St scheme, the improvements in Memorial park including the new bridges in the woods and contributes to the maintenance of the heritage trail, keeping the path clear for people to enjoy.
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.
STANLEY TOWN COUNCIL