In this edition: Crawcrook Library to remian in council hands while Rowlands Gill is set to be run by volunteers; council tax rises by 5%, Ryton and Winlaton GP surgeries to merge, and housing update in Ryton and Crawcrook.
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Crawcrook Library remains in Council hands - but volunteers to run Rowlands Gill
Crawcrook Library Mar 17 (3)
Crawcrook Library is to remain in Council hands for the time being.
Gateshead Council has agreed to keep Crawcrook Library in Council hands - for now. But the branch at Rowlands Gill looks set to be transferred to volunteers if enough people come forward to help run it.

A review by the Council, which reported to the Council Cabinet in February, recommended the transfer of 3 council libraries to community groups which will run them: Whickham, Rowlands Gill and Felling.

However, the current status of Crawcrook is not guaranteed as Gateshead will carry out another review of libraries in the coming year which will look at making further savings of £250,000.

4 years ago, Ryton was at the forefront of moves by the community to take on the running of library services. The volunteer-run library has been a success and is strongly engaged with residents. Winlaton has also been transferred successfully to the voluntary sector.

“The transfer of libraries from the council to voluntary groups has been driven by the need to save costs,” said Cllr Christine McHatton, Lib Dem Councillor for Ryton, Crookhill and Stella.

“The choice was between the complete loss of the library and the community coming together and investing time and resources to save the branch and making it a success.

“Ryton has shown what can be done. To be fair to Gateshead, the Council will consider positively proposals from community groups to help with or take on the running of community based facilities such as libraries, community centres and parks.”
Rowlands Gill Library July 16 2
Rowlands Gill Library is being transferred by Gateshead Council to volunteers.
Sales and standstill: the mixed story so far of housing plans in Ryton and Crawcrook
Ryton bypass Mar 17 (1)
Proposals for safety improvements on the Ryton bypass are on hold until planning permission for new housing is sorted.
Labour’s plans for large housing developments in Ryton and Crawcrook appear to have got off to a mixed start.

Planning applications for the two sites between Ryton and the by-pass had been expected before Christmas. But failure to reach agreement on access roads have left the plans parked (for now) while discussions between the 2 developers and Council planning officers continue.

Crawcrook however saw work start last year on 169 houses at “Fairfields Manor” being built on former greenbelt land between Crawcrook and the by-pass. Planning permission was granted in April after Labour Councillors voted to remove the site from greenbelt.

Developer Story Homes are selling the houses at prices starting at £254,950, well beyond the reach of many young families living in the area but needing a bigger home.

“When Labour pushed through their plans for building on greenbelt in Ryton and Crawcrook, we warned that these houses would be too expensive for local families,” said Lib Dem Councillor Christine McHatton. “Not many local first time buyers can fork out quarter of a million pounds.”

The delay in seeking planning permission in Ryton means nearby road safety measures on the by-pass are on hold. Similar measures on the Crawcrook part of the by-pass will go ahead.
Council tax rises by 5%
budget debate Mar 17 2
Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition in Gateshead, Cllr Jonathan Wallace, speaking at the council meeting that decided the budget for 2017/18.
Council tax in Gateshead is rising by 5% following the decision of the Conservative Government to end all grants to local councils.

With nearly every Council in England facing a complete end to Government money for social care for the elderly, libraries, parks and other services run by local government, Conservative ministers in effect ordered each council to increase council tax by up to 5%.

The grants will come to an end in 2020 and all councils are going through a process of cutting back services, making efficiencies and handing some activites to volunteer groups.

But a double whammy is in store for Gateshead as there is rapidly rising demand for social care for the elderly - and the council is legally required to provide it.

By 2020/21, Gateshead will have to make around £92 million of savings while increasing spending on adult social care by £30 million.

“Many people are living much longer and need more support,” said Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition Councillor Jonathan Wallace. “That means Gateshead Council has to provide more services for our elderly residents.
“Yet at the same time as the Conservative Government is taking away from us the money to pay for these services.

“In 2010-15, when the Lib Dems were part of the Coalition Government, we funded councils to freeze council tax for 4 years.

“But the Labour party left the nation’s finances in a terrible state so cuts had to be made to help balance the books.”

“And they have decided to let wealthy areas bringing in large amounts of business rates to keep all this money. At the moment, some of the business rates are transferred to areas with greater needs, such as Gateshead. That is to end in 2020.

Ryton Lib Dem Councillor Christine McHatton said, “Labour in Parliament are hopeless as an opposition. Under Jeremy Corbyn, they are letting the Conservatives walk all over them.

“It means the Conservatives are getting away with huge cuts to services in areas like Gateshead while letting the richest parts of the country keep the money that was previously being moved to areas such as the North East.

“While it is the Conservatives who are treating our area unfairly, it is Labour and Jeremy Corbyn who are letting them get away with it.”

You can view Cllr Wallace's speech on this link.
Ryton and Winlaton GP surgeries proposed for merger
Proposals to amalgamate Hollyhurst Medical Centre, Winlaton with Elvaston Road Surgery, Ryton from 1st July have been put forward. Hollyhurst Medical Centre has a current patient list size of 2458 and Elvaston Road Surgery is currently 2320. The proposed amalgamation will bring the above two GP practices formally under one management structure.

There will be no changes to the level of care patients currently receive. It is anticipated that by merging the two practices they will be able to offer more GP appointments and more specialist care by developing new services such as minor surgery and a year of care service for Elvaston patients.

There are no proposed changes to the structure of the buildings at both sites and opening and closing hours will remain the same, with patients being able to request which site they would like to attend.

Both practices will be holding drop-in meeting for patients about the merger on 10th May.
What happens to your waste?
Ever wondered what happens to the non-recyclable waste that goes into your green wheelie bins? It ends up in Stockton where it is used as fuel to make electricity. In this video, Cllr Jonathan Wallace shows how the waste goes from wheelie bin to power station.
Ever wondered what happens to the non-recyclable waste that goes into your green wheelie bins? It ends up in Stockton where it is used as fuel to make electricity. In this video, Cllr Jonathan Wallace shows how the waste goes from wheelie bin to power station.
Plans submitted
Plans have been submitted to convert the former public house and manager's maisonette at Fellows House, Ryton Village, into a single residence, including installation of balcony and balustrade on south elevation.

Planning permission is being sought convert part of Chaplins, Spa Well Road, Winlaton Mill from restaurant  use to Childrens' Day Nursery and cafe.

Gateshead Council have granted planning permission to Prince Bishop Homes for 13 new home at Beda Hill, Hookergate Lane, Rowlands Gill.

A single new dwelling has been given planning permission on land adjacent to 11 Butterfield Close, Ryton.

Permission has been granted to install a 15 metre high phone mast on land adjacent to the Red Kite pub, Spa Well Road, Winlaton Mill.
Copyright © 2017 Councillor, All rights reserved.

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