NEWS IN BRIEF FROM ACROSS WOOLSINGTON WARD

December 16, 2008 1:05 AM

:: 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

From February Newcastle City Council will take over parking enforcement from the police.

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

Focus Editor James Kenyon says: "Residents recently contacted the Focus Team over problems of parking on Etal Way.

"There should be better enforcement because the council wardens will be able to tackle parking hot spots."

:: 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," says Newcastle North Parliamentary spokesman Ron Beadle.