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Hello <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

Welcome to the 28th email newsletter of the Low Fell Lib Dem Focus Team! In this edition we report on:

  • Council Budget to be debated tomorrow
  • Dealing with overflowing litter bins
  • New flats to be built on Durham Road
  • Supporting Low Fell businesses
  • Outrage over Council's double standards
  • Can you help the Focus Team? 

Please forward this e-Focus to others who may find it useful, or share it on social media.

With best wishes,
Ron, Susan, and Daniel

P.S. If you are on Facebook, and would like to follow us, our page is here

Council Budget to be debated tomorrow
The Council’s budget will be voted on tomorrow, 21st February.  The Council has delayed the planned reductions in funding to maintain bowling greens and football pitches and made a small number of other changes to the planned cuts.  They are also planning a 3.99% increase in Council Tax.

The Lib Dem opposition are proposing a budget amendment to improve street cleaning in the borough using £1 million of reserves (from the £13 million available) for a borough wide clean up and then for an ongoing investment of over £300,000 a year paid for by cutting councillors’ allowances, Council News, and making other savings. 

Ron Beadle, the Lib Dem’s Deputy Leader, said: ‘The Government should take the bulk of the blame for the cuts and Council Tax rise combination that continues under the Austerity programme.  But the Council should use its resources more wisely.  Alongside wasting money on pet projects it spends less than half the proportion that other Tyne and Wear Councils spend on street cleaning.  Yet every residents survey shows that the state of our streets is residents’ number one concern.  Our proposal will make a step change in the streets of Gateshead.’

The budget debate takes place at Gateshead Civic Centre on Thursday at 2.30pm and any resident can attend.
Dealing with overflowing bins
Many residents tell the Focus Team that they are fed up of seeing litter bins overflowing with rubbish around Low Fell. The Low Fell Councillors have raised this with Council officers and they are planning to buy new litter bins with lids to try and deal with this problem. The new bins will be available in a few months.

Daniel Duggan said "Overflowing litter bins look unsightly. We hope that having lids will help deal with this problem, but the Council also needs to consider other options like having bigger bins and emptying them more often".
Low Fell Councillor Daniel Duggan near one of the larger public litter bins in Low Fell
New flats to be built on Durham Road

Dene House on Durham Road has been given planning permission to be converted into 7 flats. Currently the building is vacant.  

Susan Craig said "It's good to see that a historic building in Low Fell will be restored. Sadly, Labour-run Gateshead Council all too often gives permission for hundreds of houses to be built on the greenbelt, like in Dunston Hill, or even in parks, like in Chase Park in Whickham, so we are pleased to see this happening".

You can read more about the development here

Supporting Low Fell businesses
Twenty teams of students from Newcastle Business School are working on projects to attract visitors to the area.  Many businesses have already agreed to help and one group of students has launched a residents' survey which can be completed here

Daniel Duggan said ‘With our excellent shops and restaurants, proximity to Saltwell Park and the Angel, alongside places of historic interest, Low Fell is a good destination  for a day out.  We hope that the students’ work will generate a range of new ideas about how to attract more visitors to the Fell.’
Outrage over Council's double standards
Gateshead Council's decision to prosecute a pub for not abiding by planning rules has led to accusations of double-standards after the Council failed to get planning permission before building a huge new car park at Quarryfield, near the Gateshead Quays.

This car park was built in time for the Great North Exhibition last year. And then it was pointed out that no planning permission had been granted for the development. Two days before the £700,000 car park was due to open, Gateshead Council granted itself planning permission.

To read more about this see the Chronicle story here
The Council's £700,000 car park
Can you help the Focus Team do more for Low Fell?
The Low Fell Focus Team works hard all year round and provide a regular newsletter, 'Focus on Low Fell', to all households in Low Fell. We rely on local residents to help deliver this. Would you be able to spare an hour or so every few months to deliver some newsletters near to where you live? If so, please get in touch by replying to this email.
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