MORE LOCAL NEWS FROM ACROSS NEWBURN WARD

December 15, 2008 12:00 AM

:: CASH GRANTS GIVEN TO LOCAL GROUPS

The Lib Dem-run Newburn Ward committee has given nearly £3,000 in grants to community groups recently.

The Graeme Johnson Youth Drama Group has received a £350 grant towards a Christmas ball. The City of Newcastle Pipe Band was given £250 to buy new equipment and uniforms.

Throckley Community Hall got £976 to help fund new projects. Walbottle Community Association got £750 and Blucher Methodist Church got £450.

:: TAKING THE PLUNGE WITH FREE SWIMMING

The Lib Dem-run city council is planning free entry into swimming pools for children and older people.

The proposal would allow the over 60s and the under 18s free entry into council-run pools.

This builds upon the existing Fusion card scheme, which allows young people free entry to leisure facilities at certain times and a reduced rate swimming scheme for the over 60s.

:: COUNCIL TO TAKE OVER PARKING ENFORCEMENT

Newburn residents may have noticed extra yellow lines across the ward.

This is part of the change that sees the city council take over parking enforcement from the police.

It means that Civil Enforcement Officers will be able to issue tickets to motorists parked illegally.

Councillor Mike Curthoys explains: "If any resident feels lines have been installed outside their home or in the wrong place, then please contact me.

"The new system aims to tackle indiscriminate parking and should improve congestion."

:: CARD ACCOUNT STAYS WITH THE POST OFFICE

The Government has abandoned proposals to hand over the payment of pensions and benefits from post offices to a private company.

Thousands of people across Newcastle currently use their local Post Office to receive their pensions and benefits through the Post Office Card Account.

Had the contract been lost up to 6,000 more branches could have closed.

"This u-turn is welcome here and it means our Post Offices have a better chance of staying open," said Newcastle North Parliamentary spokesman Ron Beadle.