Archive for the ‘General’ Category
It has been some time since our last communication not because we have gone away but simply because there hasn’t been much to report. However now there is some news.
The City council have decided to delay the outcome of the second round of consultations until 23 April 2013. This is the 3rd or maybe the 4th time they have postponed it. Presumably they feel that they have enough protest at the moment with their budget cuts proposals.
We also hear the arch proponent of the One Core strategy Henri Murison is leaving the Council.
One thing that is certain though is that whenever they report, and whoever is in charge, the S.T.O.P. campaign will be there to oppose these dreadful plans.
Thanks for your continuing support.
Email received via this web site from David Walsh:
Dear group, You are having problems with unwanted development. You are not alone. Individual areas are being picked off one by one. If we all fight our battles separately, we will all lose. The remedy is to bring people into contact with each other, so that they can share experience and skills. The “whosehomeisit” site lists groups by county, to help identify others close by, and we are adding more as we identify them. It also provides links to useful documents. I wish you every success, and a few groups have succeeded, at least for now. However, there are appeals, and there will always be the next application. We need to change the ground rules, so that we are not forever on the back foot. Epetition number 36049 aims to secure a debate in parliament to change planning policy. It needs more signatures to succeed than one group could possibly raise. However, there are hundreds of groups with similar issues. If we all sign, it becomes possible. If you agree, please sign the petition, and pass it on using all means to hand. Best regards, David Walsh
Click Here to view the latest edition of the WS+ Newsletter. Page 4: Council Cabinet member Henri Murison snubs public call for One Core Strategy housing summit debate – and how that could be a suicide move for Labour in the 2014 council elections. Plus: Campaign group that packs a big punch.
The local Councillors are doing a walkabout on Saturday 10th November along Hexham Road from the Frenchman’s to Coach road. They have leafleted the area inviting people to join them and discuss issues.
This is a prime opportunity to show them how much opposition there is to the One Core Strategy. It is worth noting that Pat has emailed them twice requesting a meeting date with STOP shortly after the outcome of the 2nd consultation – - no response.
The walkabout starts at the Frenchman’s at 10am. It is a little unclear how it will proceed, though it covers the area of interest to us and seems to extend to Coach Road. If you want to come but can’t get there for 10, you could ring Pat on her mobile number 07905858178 on the morning to find out where the walkabout has got to.
Last Friday, Idwal and Pat went to Catherine McKinnell’s surgery at the Grange in Throckley. As at other meetings, the MP was polite and very sympathetic especially over the implications of current problems at Millvale for future housing development.
She has put in her own contribution to the 2nd consultation, and like ourselves awaits the meeting on the 12th December (now twice postponed from earlier dates!) when the outcome will be reported.
Please Click Here to view the October edition of the WS+ newsletter. Page 2: More Housing Woe? – Labour Cabinet defer review of One Core Strategy and why city’s two main regeneration sites will not supply Labour’s fantasy annual new homes target. Plus: Labour’s over-hyped £25million Future Homes Fund has only £94,000 and new Council Tax may have to feed it.
Click here for the latest WS+ newsletter with consultation analysis. Content includes:
Page 1: Growing Storm – Labour council’s guesswork jigsaw puzzle on Core Strategy housing infuriates city protest groups. Plus: Labour will pick new council chief.
Page 2: Public Backlash – Nearly nine in 10 responses are against One Core Strategy and Labour’s Let’s Talk consultation stunts. Plus: Labour Cabinet’s dodgy Let’s Talk trip to Walker.
Page 3: Do It My Way – Labour Leader inflicts his political policies on charities and firms seeking council contracts – and reveals council staff will be switched to new employers to help run his co-operative community services. Plus: Has Labour’s co-op schools plan flopped?
Page 4: Changing Care Services – Council contracts for home-care providers halved and re-shaped into city zones and big revamp for dementia services. Plus: Two political parties share council power to save taxpayers money.
Some questions being asked by the Gosforth group over the proposed bypass:
Dear Councillor Murison,
With regard to the above, you made various statements, which were quoted in The Newcastle Journal of September 6th. As a result, we would like answers to the following questions:
1. You are quoted as saying that “Whatever happens, there will be massive investment in public transport here.” As you have used the word ‘massive’, you clearly have some idea of the scale of that investment, and who would provide it.
(a) How much investment is proposed for public transport?
(b) Who will pay for that investment? Will it come from the government, council tax payers, or developers?
2. Both the Newcastle Journal and the Evening Chronicle the night before referred to the possibility of a sixty million pound road west of the present A1, and that it would be paid for by developers. You are also quoted as saying “There will have to be expansion in the west, and that means we prepare for it, not just with this road, which will have to come first…”
Read the rest of this entry »
If you are interested to see the account of the Walbottle public meeting, which will stay in the memory of those who attended for a long time, look at the July issue of Walker Spy which also has other interesting revelations about the Council’s plans for the future.
The second consultation phase has seen a lot of effort put in by campaigners in Throckley. Standard letters were delivered to nearly 2000 homes and we hope that many residents will complete and send these in to the Council.
Many people helped in this task, and thanks go to Dorothy, Helen, Nancy, Jane, Kevin, Anne, Angeline and family, Jim, Caroline, Eric, Ian, Wendy and Wendy’s neice.
The phase ends formally on September 13th and we plan to have a coffee morning shortly after that to catch up after the summer.
Pat registered a formal complaint with the Council regarding the consultation phase, and has received a reply from Steve Parks, Head of Communication and Marketing. There is not an avenue to take this further other than to ask for a review by the Council’s Corporate complaints Officer, which Pat is preparing. The Local government Ombudsman does not deal with general issues. only those that have a specific consequence for an individual.
1) As part of our campaign we have produced, for every house in Throckley, a standard letter objecting to the proposals for sites 4944 and 4945, together with an envelope already addressed with the Council Freepost address, and a brief attachment which includes the STOP contact details and asks people to put their names and addresses together with an individual comment on the standard letter before posting.
Several volunteers have helped in the production task of 2000+ letters and in the distribution! Many thanks.
2) The sincerity of the Council’s consultation process is a matter of public interest. Many people have observed that it seems designed NOT to inform.
Pat McGee has registered a formal complaint under the Council’s complaints procedure. Pat is compiling a dossier of examples of the deliberately misleading information material, including the CityLife 4-page extract. If you have any examples please get in touch with Pat by clicking HERE or calling 0191 264 2688.
Newcastle City Council have recently published a report called THE STRATEGIC LAND REVIEW -PART 2 (SLR) on phase 1 of their consultations with the public about the ONE CORE STRATEGY, and Throckley has been identified as a: village growth area!
The full implication of some of the details is becoming clearer, not least by the statement that the preferred access to site 4944 (530 houses proposed) is through Fernhill House on Hexham road at the Bank Top. To gain access to site 4944 the proposal is to build on half of Throckley Primary School playing field-houses plus an access road (site 4945). This in itself is contentious! The implications for the whole village if this goes ahead are momentous.
In practice, the first phase of development of sites 4945 and 4944 would be to build the road through Fernhill, so that all construction and material traffic would be using Hexham road and the new junction required. This traffic could enter the village from the A69 by-pass along Ponteland Road, from Newcastle on the West Road, from the south along Newburn Road, or from the west through Heddon!! THE WHOLE VILLAGE WILL BE AFFECTED. The stated date for the completion of this development is 2030, hence 18 years!!
Our Campaign is stepping up a gear in response to the intransigence of the council.
Every home in Throckley is soon receiving a model letter through the door, with an invitation to sign it and send it to the Civic Centre.
You may wish of course to write your own personal letter stressing your particular concerns.
Clearly a massive response is needed to get our opposition through to them. Please encourage everyone and everybody to participate.
Electronic copies are available by clicking HERE.
We are often told that there are still many people in the area unaware of the proposals and of the nightmare that they will bring. After this exercise we hope that nobody will underestimate the devastating effect on our community.
Thanks for your continued support.
MP for Newcastle North, Catherine McKinnell is holding a surgery on:
6th July, 11am: The Grange Centre, Newburn Road, Throckley, NE15 9AF.
She has been helpful in the last round and we need to gain her support again. Are you able to go to see her? It would be good for her to see some new faces promoting our campaign.
Also, our local Councillors are holding their next surgery on:
14th July, 10am: Walbottle Institute, Walbottle Road, Walbottle, NE15 8HY.
Please press them to support us.
This result is an endorsement of our Campaign. The Labour Party got less votes than last year! even though at a national level they are on the rise.
Newcastle Council must now review it’s One Core Strategy in the light of such significant opposition.
Thank you all so much for your support, we go on to the next round of consultation in June in good spirit.
The 26th of April saw a candidate’s Hustings organised by the Newcastle West Greenbelt Protection Campaign.
About one hundred people attended, and listened to 7 candidates from the Wards affected by the One Core Strategy.
All candidates had been invited but no Labour candidates agreed – surprise! No doubt they did not relish having to defend their position. Three Liberals, one Conservative, one Newcastle First, Idwal our STOP candidate and one other Independent formed the Panel.
Each candidate gave a two minute address, followed by questions. The results next Thursday could prove interesting as only 7 seats on the Council need to change hands for Labour to lose overall power.
Mark Donnely, the independent councillor for Westerhope ward, also spoke at the hustings. Mark has been a stalwart of the campaign against the council’s proposals and made some fine contributions in the debate.
Mark is up for re-election and has the full support of the S.T.O.P campaign. So if you are in the Westerhope, ward please vote for him.
Idwal’s election campaign has began in earnest, with visits to several local community events having taken place already, and more planned for the days ahead.
The photograph below, taken on the 23rd April, shows Idwal chatting to some of the local residents who attend sequence dancing in the church hall of St Michael and all Angels at Newburn.
On Saturday the 21st Idwal also attended the coffee morning at the same venue and discussed issues arising from the One Core strategy with the regulars there.
[click image to enlarge]
At the younger end of the local age groups, Idwal will be joining Anne Whittaker at the entrance to Throckley first School on Wednesday from 3pm, Anne has been involved with some of the mothers in starting a petition which deplores the potential loss of the playing field, and they will urge the mothers (and fathers) who are collecting their children to sign this.
Thursday the 26th is the date of the hustings organised by the Newcastle West green Belt protection Campaign, to be held at the Weatsheaf – like the other invited candidates, Idwal has been given 2 minutes to present his case (don’t know who has the unenviable task of telling him time’s up!).
Leaflets are being distributed to key areas in the Ward and we hope that word of mouth will also mean that people will know that an independent candidate is standing who is not having to toe a party line, but can stand up for the protection of the community and the open spaces people value.
Local people were kept in the dark on building plans while council held secret talks with London-based investor
Newcastle Council claims to be acting transparently in its consultation with residents over its One Core Strategy (OCS) – a 21,000-house development plan which has aroused opposition from people across Newcastle and Gateshead. But new evidence obtained by Save Throckley’s Open Places (STOP) suggests the council is not treating all interested parties equally.
The council, it seems, has been happy to give large landowners privileged access to its thinking – apparently discussing the contents of the OCS plan with them at a time when residents were being kept in the dark. This would make a mockery of its claims to be acting transparently. The landowners, of course, are the very people who are in line for a financial windfall if their land is approved for development – whereas residents will undoubtedly see a sharp drop in their property values if the OCS plans go ahead.
What is the evidence that the council is favouring landowners? Principally, the action of a large Throckley landowner – London-based Greenwich Hospital Trust (GHT).
STOP has learned that GHT bought Fernhill, a key plot of land in Throckley, late in 2011. In October 2011 Newcastle made its very first public announcement of the OCS development plan. OCS is set to deliver a financial bonanza to GHT. Undeveloped farmland in Throckley that GHT has owned for many years has suddenly become valuable – because Newcastle now wants to put a 500-home housing estate on it. But GHT’s purchase of Fernhill was designed to make that development site even more valuable, by clearing the path for an essential access road between it and Throckley’s main road, the B6582. (Hexham Rd)
The City council have published an analysis of responses from the consultation on the One Core Strategy; people in Throckley put forward the third most numerous objections:-
Callerton had the most, followed by Salter’s lane in Gosforth and then Throckley. The totals were based on letters and petitions.
However nothing has been removed from Throckley; though parts of proposed sites were removed from neighbouring areas such as Walbottle and Callerton. And of course the whole site adjoining Salter’s Lane nature reserve. We are pleased for these areas – but it looks like Throckley has been overlooked.
Idwal John has launched his bid to become the next City Councillor for the Newburn ward.
Standing of course as a S.T.O.P. candidate in protest against the proposed housing developments.
We are asking supporters to play a full part in this campaign to save our heritage by passing on this message to all your contacts, and if possible to print the leaflet for display and/or distribution.
Then of course we would hope that they, and you, will vote for Idwal (and S.T.O.P.)
Anyone that does not live in the ward could instead sign our on-line petition.
Thank you for your continuing support.
The local council elections in May might be embarrassing for both the Labour and Lib Dem parties on Newcastle Council.
It is likely that other groups campaigning against the One Core Strategy housing proposals will follow the example of the S.T.O.P. group (Save Throckley and Walbottle Open Places) by fielding a candidate only on this issue.
Idwal John, a Throckley resident for 20 years, originally from Wales, used to teach politics but is putting theory into practice by standing in Newburn Ward. He comments:-
“I want to allow people to express their anger that more than 600 houses are still proposed for Throckley and Walbottle after other sites have been removed from the plans. Nothing has been taken out of the Throckley area and only part of the Walbottle site has been removed.
By fielding a candidate we can underline the importance of the issue- Newcastle Council must follow the recent government planning guidelines to use brownfield sites for building first.”
“The fight continues to save our valuable green spaces”