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Dene Ward eFocus 6 - December 16/January 17

December 31, 2016 9:43 AM

Dec 16/Jan 17- No 6

Welcome to the sixth edition of our Dene Ward FOCUS reporting back on local issues.

We are always happy to receive feedback from residents and encourage you to get in touch if there are any local issues you would like to raise - we're here to help and we think our record of local action is second to none!

Best wishes,

Wendy, Karen & Bob- your local Lib Dem councillors

Working hard all year round for all the residents of Dene ward


The petition opposing the plans to scrap 59 of the city's 61 school crossing patrols in next year's council Budget was presented at the City Council meeting in November by Liberal Democrat Councillors. At that time there were around 1300 signatures, but since then well over 100 additional names have been added. These are mainly from parents of children attending Cragside and Benton Park primary schools. A final decision has not yet been made, so if you haven't already signed our petition, please do so immediately. If you have, please ask your friends and neighbours to sign it. The more objections there are, the better the chances of getting the Council to re-think this dangerous proposal.the safety of local schoolkids. The link for the petition is https://newcastle-libdems.org.uk/en/petition/keep-our-children-safe-save-the-city-s-school-crossing-wardens.

Some of the most poorly paid Council staff were shocked & frightened when plans were announced to cut payments for shift work including evenings and weekends. This would have caused severe financial hardship for many staff, particularly those working in care homes. Councillors received numerous letters from anxious staff explaining the effect this proposal would have on their wages. Liberal Democrat Councillors were shocked that a Labour Council could come up with such a plan, when at the same time they've agreed large pay rises for senior staff and are considering increasing Councillors' allowances! We supported the affected staff & their Union & are delighted this unfair proposal has now been scrapped.
Across Dene ward residents have reported litter bins being taken away by the Council. This includes bins along the tram-track on Cumberland Walk, from Hayden Grange, from the junction between The Cloisters and Benton Park Road, from Dovedale gardens, from outside Ladbrooks on Cragside roundabout, from the Freeman Hospital roundabout & from Benton Road on the turn into the Inland revenue building. Bins may also be removed from all bus-stops unless funded by the bus companies. Supposedly the Council are going to put in some larger bins, but they haven't told anyone where these bins will be or when they will be installed. One of the Labour Council's top priorities is "Decent Neighbourhoods" It's hard to understand how removing all the litter bins helps to achieve this!

Following public consultation, the Council has put in a planning application for the new roundabout at Haddricks Mill. The roundabout has been reduced in size to keep it further away from houses, but there are no changes to the suggested restricted turns. The new plans can be seen before the next Dene Ward meeting.
Monday Jan 23rd at the Trinity Centre on Freeman Road
4pm-6.30 pm Viewing & comments on the plans
6.30pm Dene ward meeting- to include an update on flood prevention measures on the Fairways Estate & Church Green.
All Dene ward residents are welcome to attend.

Deep ruts were left in Paddy Freemans playing field when Council workers decided to drive across the grass to empty the bin! Cllr BOB RENTON has asked for the damage to be repaired as soon as possible. When money is tight, it is unacceptable for extra work to be created by careless actions.
The Council also left unbeleivable damage when they decided to cut the grass on Fairville Crescent on a wet day in November. The grassed area was more like a sea of mud! Fairways Avenue didn't look much better. WENDY complained to the Head of Environmental services, who promised to restore the grass, but why was the Council wasting our taxes cutting the grass in Winter?

In our September FOCUS concern was raised about the possible closure of the Victoria Glade play area. Now we know that the Council plans to remove the equipment inthe play area and grass it over KAREN, BOB & WENDY received a letter recently which said
"An inspection was carried out at the above play area. Given the excessive corrosion found on remaining equipment, the cost of replacement and the proximity of other play areas in the immediate area, an estimate has therefore been prepared for the complete removal of the play area and return the area to grass."
Many residents are unhappy about the possible loss of this local amenity, which is used by many young children in the area. If you would like to save the play area, please sign our petition on line at https://newcastle-libdems.org.uk/en/petition/keep-play-equipment-in-victoria-glade.
The petition reads:-
We the residents of Victoria Glade & Hayden Grange object to proposals to remove play equipment from the Victoria Glade play area. This is a well used facility for young children & should be properly maintained by Newcastle Council.
Please also let us know if you'd be willing to be part of a residents group, who could then apply for alternative funding.

There seems to be an increase in potholes on streets in our area. Cllr WENDY TAYLOR reported the potholes on Cotswold Gardens, Dovedale Gardens and Boundary Gardens to the Council and these have now been repaired. Please let WENDY know if there are any other potholes causing problems in our area

Road markings on Castle Farm bridge have been re-painted following complaints from residents. Cllr WENDY TAYLOR asked for these improvements & for the bushes to be cut back to improve visibility. Hopefully this will increase safety for pedestrians, cyclists & drivers. Residents will be consulted about any possible changes to access for Castle Farm road during the Haddricks Mill work once the plans for the new roundabout have been agreed.

Residents in Ministry Close will be asked if they wish to change the times for parking restrictions in their street to deal with the inconsiderate parking by employees on the Ministry site. All day restrictions are being considered, but changes to the scheme can only be made if the majority of residents agree.


 Cllr BOB RENTON has asked for the bushes to be better maintained on the Victoria Glade estate and on High Laws and Edlingham Close after complaints from local residents. Please let us know if there are trees or bushes in your area that need pruning.

 The boundary commission has accepted the views of Benton Lodge estate residents who will now be part of the new Dene & South Gosforth ward from 2018, rather than being moved to the North Heaton/Manor Park ward.

 Council officers have agreed to consult residents of the Greystones estate about a "No Cold Calling" zone. residents will receive the information soon

 Friends of Paddy Freemans have applied again for funding to clean up the lake. The Friends would also welcome volunteers to help keep the park clean & tidy. Sessions are from 10am to 3pm on Thurs Jan 19th, Fri Feb 17th & Tues March 14th

 Deliveries to the Iceland store at Four Lane Ends are causing problems with the large delivery van parking on Benton Road during the morning rush hour. Cllr KAREN ROBINSON has asked Council officers to try to get the the delivery times changed.