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Appeal expected on opencast plans
UK Coal are expected to appeal to the Planning Inspectorate to have a decision to reject plans for opencast mining at Marley Hill overturned.

In June, Gateshead Labour Councillors voted for plans to opencast a site to the south of Marley Hill, with Lib Dem councillors on the Planning Committee voting against. However, as the site is partly in Co Durham, Durham County Council also had to take a decision on the application. County Councillors there rejected the plans after Gateshead Labour Councillors backed them.

“Though Labour councillors in Gateshead voted to open the door to opencast mining next door to local communities,” said Cllr Jonathan Wallace, “their colleagues in Durham have taken the opposite view.

“This leaves the application in limbo but an appeal is expected. The site cannot be worked by UK Coal until both the appeal is heard and upheld.”

“After the decision to back the application in Gateshead was made, many people expressed their disappointment, indeed anger, at what Labour did,” said Lib Dem campaigner Kevin McClurey. Now there is a glimmer of hope that the opencast plans can still be defeated.

“We have warned all along that a decision in favour of opencast mining here could lead to many other applications in the area. And the heavy lorries on local roads, especially the A692 from the A1 at Lobley Hill south through Streetgate and Sunniside, will add to traffic dangers.”
Photo above: part of the site near Marley Hill that will be opencasted if UK Coal are able to win an appeal against Durham's decision to reject their plans to extract 1 million tonnes of coal.
Blooming lovely in Whickham
Have you seen the floral displays in Whickham recently? The butterfly beds, Church Green and floral tubs on the Front Street have been planted and looked after by volunteers who also raised the funds to pay for them.

Planting Up Whickham was set up last year when Gateshead Council decided to cut the money available for planting and maintaining flower beds. Chair of the group is Whickham North Councillor, Peter Craig.

“To keep Whickham looking lovely, we launched the group and this year we have seen the results,” said Peter. “Colour has returned to the Village and the flower displays have been great.

“But we need more volunteers to help plant, water and look after the flower beds. If you can spare an hour a month, please get in touch.”

If you want to volunteer, please email Cllr Peter Craig.

Swalwell has also launched their own group. If you would like to be involved, please email Cllr Chris Ord.
You can see more photos of the floral displays in Whickham on this link.
Marley Hill community cafe and craft market
The next community cafe and craft market at Marley Hill Community Centre will be on Sunday 24th August. The cafe opens at 9am and the craft market at 11am.

The cafe will be serving up meals made from locally grown ingredients, including home-grown produce. If you had a glut of beans or potatoes, or too many apples etc from your garden, bring them to the cafe and swap them for homemade jams or hen, duck or quail eggs produced in Sunniside.  You can also bring in fruit such as blackberries picked from local hedgerows to swap.

There will be a local produce shop selling honey from Sunniside, bacon, sausages and pork from Bill Quay Community Farm, top quality beef from Blaydon Burn Farm and, of course, homemade jams and cakes and eggs produced in Sunniside. You can also swap fresh fish and game at the produce shop.

There will be Sunday newspapers to read, children’s play equipment (children’s meals in the cafe are £2) and a 2nd hand book sale.

For the kids (and adults) we will again have recently hatched chicks to see, this time with their mum Ginger.

The event closes at 3pm. All welcome.
Front Street School rebuilding plans
Cllr Chris Ord, a governor at Whickham Front Street, has welcomed the decision by the Coalition Government to rebuild the school.
Plans for the building of a new Front Street School in Whickham have taken another step forward. A planning application for the new school on the land between the Gibside Arms and North View has been submitted to Gateshead Council.

The rebuilding of the school has been made possible because of funding provided by the Coalition Government.

Cllr Chris Ord said, "Front Street School is badly in need of rebuilding. It is currently split by a road and some of the buildings are 100 years old. The new building will benefit local children."
Gateshead's Role of Honour goes on-line
As part of an Heritage Lottery Fund backed project to  mark the  centenary of the First World War, the Gateshead Roll of Honour will be  made available to view and search online.

“The Roll of Gateshead Men Who Nobly Fell” was formerly  housed in  the cenotaph on Prince Consort Road, but is now held at the Central  Library for conservation purposes. The volume lists men from the historic borough of Gateshead who  were killed in the First World War.  

The HLF funding has enabled the book to be professionally  photographed and the Library Service have been working with  Armadillo Systems, the company who digitised the Lindisfarne  Gospels, to create an interactive version which will allow users to turn  each page of the virtual volume.

Thanks to the work of Local Studies volunteers, who have been  indexing names of the Roll, the virtual book will also be searchable by  name – making it a valuable resource for ancestry research.  Other work is also underway to make the Central Library’s collection of  war material available online over the next four years.  

The Roll of Honour is now available to view on this link. 
Lobley Hill Survey Results
The Lib Dems' spring Focus Survey in Lobley Hill highlighted a number of issues.

Potholes and crime came in joint third with 40% of residents who returned the survey expressing concerns on these issues. In second place traffic, especially on Lobley Hill Bank, was an issue with 78% of you highlighting this as a problem. In top spot for the second year was opposition to Labours plans for new housing in the area.

Lobley Hill Lib Dem campaigner Dave Fawcett commented, “Whilst Labour presses on with plans to build hundreds of expensive executive homes on our local countryside, we can reveal that only one in ten residents of Lobley Hill back Labour's housing plans.

"In spite of overwhelming local opposition to this development your local Labour councillors supported it.”
Photo above: local Lib Dem campaigners Cllr John McClurey, Cllr Jonathan Wallace, Kevin McClurey, Angelika Schneider, Dave Fawcett and Cllr Marilynn Ord next to the site at Lobley Hill where Labour want to build 100s of executive homes. Our survey shows residents continue to oppose Labour's building plans.
Watergate Bank closure
Watergate Bank and Gateshead Road between Streetgate and Lobley Hill will be closed on 14th September between 5am and 2pm so that highway maintenance work can take place.
Team Valley Roundabout
Work on improvements to the roundabout at the north end of the Team Valley, on Lobley Hill Road, will be completed on 12th September.
Swalwell roadworks
Temporary traffic lights on Market Lane, Swalwell, are expected to be removed by 28th August. The lights are in place to allow work to take place to a gas main.
Young people's survey - Land of Oak and Iron
Hollinside Manor House in the Derwent Valley. A survey is now taking place about what young people think of the Derwent Valley and how they use it.
You may be aware of the Land of Oak and Iron - a landscape project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund - which aims to protect and improve the landscape of the Derwent Valley and its heritage sites.

The project are wanting the views of young people about current access to the Derwent Valley. If you are a young person yourself please fill in the survey on this link

If you consider yourself a bit too senior to describe yourself as young, please pass on the link to young people you know and ask them to complete the survey.
Whaggs Lane Bungalow
Planning permissibeing sought to demolish the bungalow at 89 Whaggs Lane, Whickham and replace it with a new house.
Ravensworth Road, Dunston
There will be temporary traffic lights on Ravensworth Road, Dunston, from 22nd September to 2nd October whilst work takes place on a gas main.
Copyright © 2014 Councillor, All rights reserved.

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