May 2016 North Heaton Focus

North Heaton Focus Header 2016

CllrGregStone_CllrDoreenHuddartDOREEN wants to say a very big THANK YOU to the voters of Heaton, High Heaton, and Cochrane Park
for once again placing their trust in her to represent their interests on the City Council. It has been very humbling to have received so much support on the day and so many positive messages and
congratulations from our lovely local residents! It’s good to know the work we do has been appreciated – DOREEN will try her hardest to live up to everyone’s expectations! We’re also pleased that North Heaton’s turnout was the highest in the city at 53.5% – this is very good for a local election.
GREG and DOREEN have continued to spend as much time as possible out and about in the ward,
meeting with residents, and talking about local issues and priorities. Residents have raised lots of
problems with us, and invariably these relate to the council’s lack of investment in the fabric of our
area and basic services such as bin collections, road and pavement repairs, litter and dog fouling, and
ongoing issues such as parking and traffic management.
We are grateful to everyone who has talked to us, emailed, or sent letters, and we are currently
working up a series of priorities and pledges for the campaigning work we intend to undertake over
the next couple of years. This should clarify for residents what we are doing on your behalf and ways
in which you can chip in with information, ideas, and advice. We will of course be keeping on
campaigning and lobbying to ensure our area gets a fair share of resources, and speaking out against
any attempts to remove, reduce, or diminish the local facilities our residents rely on and cherish.


Bin Crisis: What a Load of Rubbish

Bin Crisis: What a load of rubbish!

DOREEN and GREG share the concern of local residents about the ongoing bins chaos across the city. As residents will have noticed, the council’s bin collection service has been in complete disarray in recent weeks following a controversial reorganisation of the service. Upwards of 20,000 bins per week are not being collected on time, with some streets having to wait several days or even weeks for a “catch-up” collection – we are aware of particular problems on Stephenson Road, as well as on the streets in the Heaton part of the ward south of the Coast Road, and have been doing our best to sort out difficulties for affected residents. We have no criticism of the binmen, who do a very good job – but we are critical of the council’s management and political leadership for a badly bungled reorganisation and changes to the crews’ working practices, including relocating crews to Condercum Rd in the West End from the local Rothbury Terrace depot. Worryingly, repeated requests to the council for answers to our detailed questions have not been responded to, and the cost to taxpayers of extra “relief” vehicles and shifts is spiraling – we are now several weeks into this crisis with no sign yet that the council has got matters under control.

We’re also aware of increasing dissatisfaction with the council’s poor performance on emptying of litter bins on our streets and in our parks – the recent warm weather has led to overflowing bins and uncollected piles of rubbish which look awful and risk attracting vermin. The council claims that the number of bins and service levels for emptying them is “adequate” – but it is increasingly obvious that the council is failing to perform adequately when it comes to delivering the basic services council taxpayers expect to be provided. This has much more to do with the competence of the council than Government cuts – this is a crisis created by the Civic Centre, not Downing Street! It’s time the Labour-run council got a grip on this chaos and prioritised better basic services.


Please Mr Postman

PostOfficeGREG and DOREEN are very pleased with the recent refurbishment of Newton Road Post Office which has expanded the range of services available to residents. However, we’re seeking further information
from the Post Office nationally about any plans for the Chillingham Road branch (Cartington Terrace). GREG wrote to them recently asking about suggestions that the branch may be relocated – but their  reply didn’t really shed any further light on the situation. We understand that they may be considering providing the  service
from other premises nearby – we know that this branch is well  used and well regarded by local residents and we would be strongly opposed to any changes which removed the facility from the Chillingham Road area. We have asked for more information and full consultation with local people before any changes are made – we’ll
keep you “posted”!
Greg has also asked for the Denewell Avenue post box to be repainted – it’s looking a bit tatty!


Request to the council to smarten up a scruffy wall at High Heaton shops was swiftly sorted! We are also grateful to two local residents who’ve volunteered to do some “housekeeping” by painting over graffiti and smartening up a nearby bench – we look forward to this being done soon & thank them for helping the local community.

Work is being carried out on the High Heaton estate during May to upgrade the local telecom network to fibre-optic standard. This has meant a short period of disruption as pavements are dug up but should lead to faster broadband speeds on the estate, which is a welcome improvement.

DOREEN & GREG have reported a number of potholes & pavement faults for repair including dangerous
kerbs on Dimbula Gardens – let us know if any need action taking and we’ll get them sorted.
Work to extend
the Dimbula/Red Hall Drive “yellow box” is due in the next few weeks.

 

 

 

 

 

 


EU REFERENDUM 23rd JUNE – We’re STRONGER

Lib Dems For InGREG and DOREEN are backing the REMAIN campaign to stay part of the EU in the referendum on June 23rd. This decision is crucial to the future prosperity of our city, region, and country. We recognise that the EU isn’t perfect – far from it – but we believe that we are Stronger In and we are far stronger, safer, and better off by continuing to co-operate with our European neighbours. Many thousands of jobs in the North East (and millions across the UK) depend on exporting to our European partners. We simply cannot afford to lose these jobs and this income -there is a massive risk that we will be poorer and our economy will suffer if we leave. We cannot
afford to jeopardise our relationship with our biggest trading partners, and there is no guarantee that the UK would be able to secure better trade deals with North America and Asia – the UK will be more isolated internationally and will struggle to compete on its own with rising economic superpowers like China. Most independent experts agree that the economic uncertainty created will have a major impact in terms of jobs, economic growth, interest rates, the cost of living, and house prices. Leaving the EU to join the European free trade area (like Switzerland or Norway) would mean paying financial contributions without having any say over how the EU operates.
In addition to manufacturing, sectors like farming, science, higher education, tourism, and hospitality would also be adversely affected and the North East would lose access to hundreds of millions of pounds of EU funding for regional development. The success of our universities relies heavily on EU research funding, businesses rely on free movement of skilled workers (both to and from the UK) and the NHS will be affected by lack of access to EU doctors and nurses. Our environment is better protected by co-operation with our European neighbours.
So is our country’s security. We recognise some people have concerns about immigration but it is a two-way street – there are millions of Brits living and working in Europe – and leaving the EU will not stop the refugee crisis or the threat from terrorism.
We are very worried that the international economic future of our country will be more difficult if we leave. We can’t afford the risk. We strongly believe the best option for ensuring prosperity and opportunity for our children and grandchildren is to Vote Remain on the 23rd.

Who wants us to remain?
North East Chamber of Commerce – The Treasury – The International Monetary Fund – Major NE employers like Nissan & Hitachi – President
Obama Australia – All 27 other EU member states – The security services – The OECD – Pope Francis – All UK Universities – The Times – The Financial Times – The scientific community – The City of London – The Prime Minister – All living ex Prime Ministers – David Miliband – The Bank of England The trade unions – The Labour Party – The Lib Dems – The SNP – The Green Party

Who wants us to LEAVE?
Nigel Farage – UKIP – Boris Johnson – Michael Gove – The Socialist Party (Militant) – TUSC (Trade Union Socialist Coalition) – The BNP – The Communist Party – Donald Trump – Vladimir Putin – ISIS


North Heaton News In Brief

We’ve been tackling problems experienced by residents in paying for this year’s brown bin garden waste
collection service – many older residents have contacted us to express their frustration with the
difficulties involved! The council is encouraging residents to pay by direct debit or online and stopping
cash payments but this has caused issues for some residents who are uncomfortable with the new
alternatives. Following our representations, the council has now agreed to accept payments by cheque
by post – you will need to write a cheque to Newcastle City Council for £20 with a note attached stating
your full name, address, and reference number, and send it to
Garden Waste Payments, Newcastle City Council, Allendale Road Depot, Byker, NE6 2SZ.
NB If you are a new customer you will also need to ring Envirocall on 278 7878 to order a brown bin!

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