Gosforth eFocus No 34 - late May 2015

May 27, 2015 11:43 AM

ON THE GREAT NORTH ROAD

Resurfacing of the northbound carriageway in the vicinity of the Grange shops has taken place over 2 days, with a further stretch of cycle lane being marked. After a lot of pressure from councillors, a map of the construction of a short stretch of segregated cycleway has been received. It can be found elsewhere on this website.

Work on the southbound carriageway also continues, with two bus stops being brought forward slightly to allow the cycle lane to pass behind and avoid buses stopping and starting.

Parklands Ward is working with others to beautify after the works are finished. North Gosforth Parish Council is taking on more barrier planters on the Great North Road making a total of 10 barrier planters and 3 large planters .We are close to implementing funding to enable the Three Mile Allotments group to plant and maintain planters at strategic places, funded by the local budget. As this works out, we'll seek to extend the number of locations.

ANTISOCIAL BEHAVIOUR AT RED HOUSE FARM FOOTBALL CLUB

Liberal Democrat councillors have been expressing residents' concerns most strongly. The local police have asked us to pass on their response.

Officers from the Police Neighbourhood Team have now visited the club twice now. They have spoken to committee members, the club has sent letters out to parents and their team mangers to highlight this issue. Their team managers will also contact opposing team managers who come to play at the Football Club to say that the club house facilities must be used by their players without fail. This issue was also highlighted in a recent newsletter from the Football Club.

Signs will be placed in the club house reiterating that Police are aware of this problem and that all players must use the toilet facilities found within the club house.

The Football Club have been informed that there will be extra patrols in the area whilst matches are being played to carry out enforcement against anyone found breaching these instructions. The Football Club are aware of the concerns of local residents and dog walkers and that the matter is being progressed by local council officials and enforcement will be taken.

If you observe such behaviour, which is illegal of course, please email the police or call 111 so that they have a better record of incidents.

SCHOOL BUSES ON HALLS ESTATE

Following representations pursued by Liberal Democrat councillors, the buses that used to leave Gosforth East Middle School (GEMS) via Harewood Road and Strathmore Road on halls to head north up the Great North Road are longer using this route. They now access the Great North road via Harewood Road, turn around within Regents Centre and head north from there. This was agreed with Nexus and the Head at GEMS.

PARKLANDS WARD COUNCILLORS REPORT BACK

Three reports on what Councillors have been doing in Parklands Ward over the last 12 months have been published at www.newcastle-libdems.org.uk

SCHOOL PLACES

Here's the reply we've received from the Assistant Director, Education, to our questioning about places allocation and suggestion that there's a fundamental flaw in the process which has caused much distress to parents recently.

"I have investigated the position in relation to Parklands Ward parents seeking reception places in September 2015.

"The key issue from my perspective is that there are very few parents who have not secured one of their expressed preferences - only 3 out of 149 applications (this is better in percentage terms than both the "national average" and NE regional average for 2014/15 - the last available comparative stats) - so I struggle with the analysis that the admissions process has fundamental flaws.

"We are working on providing you and colleagues with a comprehensive report on admissions patterns for September 2015 for the Parklands Ward so that you can see the complete picture - because of pressures on the admissions team to support parents across the city in accessing places - it will be the end of the week before I can guarantee this will be available - but I would hope we can get this information to you in advance of this timescale. (In ther event, the report will be presented to the Parklands Ward committee meeting on Thursday 4th JUne at 7pm in Sport@gosforth at Gosforth Academy. All residents are welcome. The day after will be the second redistribution of places no longer being taken up by those to whom they were awarded)

"If in the meantime, there are specific instances / cases that you would appreciate us investigating I will ensure they are quickly responded to. Whilst we appreciate that admissions issues create significant interest amongst local communities and that this needs to be responded to, I do feel it appropriate to highlight that some of the parents involved in the Facebook traffic are not part of this years' admissions round.

"So we are working on the production of a comprehensive report for you and when you receive the full information report, if you consider that it would be appropriate to explore specific issues in more depth, we will organise a meeting with yourselves."

We also intend to press for Council officials to attend a Ward Committee meeting in the autumn (when the next round starts) to explain the policies in person. There's an article about it, drawn from a 2012 report to the committee, also on the website www.newcastle-libdems.org.uk