North Heaton News

October 22, 2009 1:30 PM

School Rules:

Following requests from residents of the North Heaton bungalows area and Cochrane Park, GREG has written to the Department for Transport to ask for advice about the very large number of driving schools using these areas for instruction - more than 200!

Most people recognise that everyone has to learn to drive somewhere and are relaxed about the matter, but a few people have had occasional problems with clipped wing mirrors and in one case even a demolished garden wall! Following our suggestion about encouraging driving schools to vary their routes and practice areas in this part of the city, we have received a response from the Driving Standards Agency confirming that whilst they cannot officially enforce this, they will publicise this advice at the Newcastle and North Tyneside test centres.

Cochrane Park Survey Feedback:

Over the summer DOREEN, KAREN, and GREG have been carrying out door-to-door surveys in the Cochrane Park area of the ward to ask residents about any local issues and problems. We've covered the entire area and talked to lots of people - sorry if we missed you!

In addition to learners (see above), several people raised concerns about pavements. We've taken action to begin resurfacing and patch up the most uneven footpaths, but recognise that we need to identify a plan for long-term surface improvements across the estate. The whole estate is being designated as a 20mph area, along with St Gabriels, and this should be formally introduced during spring 2010.

We're also tackling problems of parking and access in Hilden Gardens, and are continuing to push the council's highways department for action on a new pedestrian crossing in the vicinity of the Lochside.

GREG is also continuing efforts to include a new north/south bus link for the area and is speaking up on the Passenger Transport Authority for this route to be included in a revised bus network. Regrettably the Newcastle East Conservative candidate has spoken out against Greg's campaign, showing that they are badly out of touch with local opinion on the estate.

Community news:

KAREN, DOREEN and GREG are pleased to have been able to use North Heaton ward funds to buy new "weather stations" for use by students at St Mary's and at Ravenswood schools. The new equipment will help school kids learn more about local weather conditions and climate change as part of their studies.

We have also used ward funds to support a residential weekend for young people involved with the new Youth Network covering Dene, North Heaton, and South Heaton wards which is encouraging young people to have more say about local issues. It has got off to a highly successful start, but we were disappointed to learn that South Heaton's Labour councillors have refused to support the initiative "because it was not exclusively for the benefit of young people in their ward" - how mean-spirited can you get?

Following reports of road safety problems associated with the school run, double yellow lines will be installed on the corner of Ravenswood Road and Chillingham Road during November and new "Keep Clear" legal orders introduced around Ravenswood Primary.

The Spinney play area is to benefit from a makeover later this year, after the council successfully bid for resources to create new playgrounds citywide.

Blooming marvellous:

DOREEN and GREG recently paid a visit to the allotment association on the High Heaton estate and were hugely impressed by the obvious care and pride taken by members of the association in tending the plots and the building of new facilities. We are continuing to investigate the feasibility of creating additional allotment provision locally - the problem is that there is a shortage of suitable available sites. GREG is approaching Newcastle University to discuss the possibility of using under-utilised land on the edge of the Red Hall Drive playing fields as a potential site.