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This is the 69th edition of e-Focus, bringing you the latest information from the Low Fell Focus Team. It includes:

  • Success! Our campaign to extend free car parking in Low Fell succeeds! 
  • Queen Elizabeth Hospital is national leader in cancer care
  • Plans to open leisure facilities, libraries, and heritage centre
  • Highway maintenance works on Worley Avenue and Beverley Road
  • Recycling centres now accepting full range of waste
  • Cornavirus survey - your views wanted
  • Join us
We hope you are finding these updates useful. Let us know if there's anything you would like to see included in our next edition.

Also, a big welcome if you are getting e-Focus for the first time having signed up to our website, or opted into receiving e-Focus via one of our petitions, a survey etc. 

We send these e-newsletters to almost 1,000 local people, but there are many more who are not on our mailing list. Please feel free to forward this email on to friends and neighbours, who can add themselves to the list at  

Please remember that we are here to help you. Our details, including our home phone numbers, can be found here
Best wishes,
Ron Beadle, Susan Craig, and Daniel Duggan
Councillors, Low Fell Lib Dem Focus Team

P.S. If you are on Facebook, and would like to follow us, our page is here
Success! Campaign to extend free car parking in Low Fell succeeds!

Our campaign to extend free car parking at Lowrey’s Lane car parking has succeeded. Thank you to all who signed our petition!
Lowreys Lane car park provides users with the first 20 minutes free, but after that users have been required to pay.
Low Fell Councillor Daniel Duggan (pictured above) said, “When the Council decided to introduce the bollards on Durham Road to encourage social distancing, we called for them to extend free car parking at Lowrey’s Lane to help local businesses.
“We know many have been hit hard by the removal of on-street parking along the Fell and it’s crucial we support local businesses.
“Unfortunately, at first the Council refused to do this. However, we continued to campaign for it and launched a petition which hundreds of local business owners and residents signed.”
Low Fell Councillor Ron Beadle said, “We welcome the Council’s u-turn on this. At first, they said no to it and now they have relented and said yes so it shows that campaigning hard can and does work. I would like to thank all those who signed our petition”.
Councillor Susan Craig, "Although we hope this will help local businesses, we know that times are tough for many so we are really encouraging residents to shop local". 
In a statement posted on Facebook the Leader of Gateshead Council said “Although the changes have not yet been implemented and won’t be until the signage goes up in the car park and until enforcement staff are informed of the change, I’m now confident enough to say that changes will be made.
"Signs will go up in the car park to inform users that the current 20 period is extended to 1 hour. Users will still need to acquire a 20 min ticket. Enforcement staff will be informed that the 20min ticket covers a period of 1 hour”.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital is national leader in cancer care

Cancer care at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead has been rated one of the best in the country – and the best in the North East, according to the latest survey results.

The National Cancer Patient Experience Survey 2019 is conducted each year and asks a range of questions about the care patients receive during their cancer journey, from first appointments, to treatment and their ongoing care.

Patients gave Gateshead Health NHS Foundation Trust a rating of 9.1 out of 10 overall for their cancer care, the third highest score of the 143 trusts in England that took part.

Councillor Susan Craig, who is a former nurse, said "This is great news. We are really grateful to all those who work in the NHS. The Queen Elizabeth is a great hospital and I want to congratulate all the staff on this achievement".  

Out of the 61 survey questions put to patients, Gateshead scored higher than the national average in 24 of them. These included:

  • 93% of patients always felt they were treated with dignity and respect

  • 95% of patients said they’d been given the name of their clinical nurse specialist and 92% found it easy to contact them

  • 95% of patients were told who to contact if they were worried about their condition or treatment after leaving hospital

Plans to open leisure facilities, libraries and heritage centre 
The Council has announced plans for the phased reopening of Go Gateshead sport and leisure facilities, libraries service and St Mary’s Heritage Centre.

Go Gateshead sport and leisure facilities
On Monday 17 August the gyms at Gateshead International Stadium and Birtley Leisure Centre will reopen. Additionally, all outdoor facilities, including the athletics tracks and 3G pitches at Gateshead International Stadium and Blaydon Leisure and Primary Care Centre will reopen to structured sports club bookings.

Further proposals around a phased approach to reopening the remaining leisure facilities and services will follow in due course.

Libraries service
On Monday 7 September the Council will be reopening the following libraries with revised opening times: Central Library, Chopwell, Crawcrook and Pelaw.

Revised opening times are: 
Gateshead Central Library
Monday to Thursday -10am to 12noon and 1pm to 4pm, Saturday 10-1pm
• Chopwell
Monday and Tuesday - 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 3pm
• Crawcrook
Monday to Thursday - 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 4pm, Saturday 10-1pm
• Pelaw
Monday to Thursday - 10am to 12noon and 1pm to 4pm

A timeline for reopening the remaining libraries (Birtley, Blaydon, Leam Lane and Wrekenton) will be brought forward in due course. All library service group-based activities will remain suspended, as will group bookings of library community rooms.

The service is also working closely with volunteer managed libraries. Four volunteer libraries are offering Ring and Read (including Low Fell) and all have agreed to restart other services at the same time as Council libraries.

St Mary’s Heritage Centre
There are plans to reopen St Mary’s as a visitor attraction and heritage destination during the week commencing 7 September.

Highway maintenance works on Worley Avenue and Beverley Road
We have been told that the Council is planning to undertake highway maintenance works on Worley Avenue and Beverley Road soon. 

This will involve  micro asphalt road surfacing. Micro asphalt is a road surface treatment which is laid over the existing surface to seal and protect it. It consists of a mix of fine stone, sand, cement and polymer modified bitumen emulsion. It is spread by an adapted spay tanker machine. The micro asphalt
surfacing layer can reduce minor dips and bumps; restore texture and provides a waterproof running surface but it does not significantly improve structural strength.

The works will be carried out under a Carriageway Closure with restricted local access to residents. The Council will be writing to residents affected with more details, including when they plan to start works.   
Recycling waste centres now accepting full range of waste

Gateshead’s Household Waste and Recycling Centres are now accepting the full range of waste – though strict social distancing measures remain in place for the moment.

The full range of waste materials will now be accepted at both sites, which means that items such as metals, rubble, textiles and large electrical appliances can all now be disposed of.

The current odd and even number plate system will continue to apply for the moment.

For further information visit here

Still time to complete our survey about coronavirus

Thank you to all the residents who have completed our survey about cornavirus and what the response should be going forward. If you have not already done so, please complete the survey by visiting here

Councillor Susan Craig said "We have had a great response so far but still want to hear from more residents. It will only take a few minutes and will really help us focus on the things that matter to you so please do complete the survey". 

Join us
The new Liberal Democrat Leader will be chosen by members over the Summer. The Party now has over 100,000 members with record numbers in Gateshead and Low Fell.  If you are a party supporter there really is no better time to join than now and you can become a member form as little as £1 a month.  To join visit here

Alternatively you can register as a supporter for free here.

If you would like to know more please contact Daniel, Susan or Ron.
Copyright © 2020 Gateshead Liberal Democrats, All rights reserved.

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