Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Housing Plans - Former Springfield Primary School Site

One recent success of the Labour-run Coucnil here in Darlington has been the successful bid for £3 million Government cash to construct affordable homes for rent in the town. At a time when property prices are still relatively high, it is intended to help more families access decent housing.

Earlier this year, a developer was granted planning permission for a scheme on a part of the old Springfield Primary School site between Salters Lane South and Belsay Walk. In the aftermath of the credit crunch, the deal fell through. The Council now plans to use some of that £3 million to build houses on the same site, using the existinbg permission. The properties will provide low-cost energy for the people who live in them, as well as generating low amouints of CO2.

We pressed for more consultation with local residents on the scheme, which consists of 16 apartments, 12 terrace properties and 6 semi-detached houses. We're delighted that this was agreed, and tomorrow, (16th December 2009) between 3.30pm and 7.30pm at the Education Village, local people can view the plans and leave their comments.

To publicise the event, we've distributed nearly 1,000 newsletters about the event in the vicinity - many thanks to our willing volunteers Alan and Colin who've helped get the letters out at very short notice.

We'll be going along too, of course, to hear what local people have to say.


Anonymous said...

Excellent news Councillor. Labour have spent Billions improving local communities, from Housing to Schools to Hospitals and Health services. Darlington is a far better place to live since 1997. It is a Town at ease with itself, good accessible Town Centre, excellent facilities and well run amenities. Hopefully we will return another Labour government and these accomplishments will be built upon further. The future under a Conservative "Jeeves and Wooster" administration is just too unbearable to even contemplate. All the best to you and the family.


Anonymous said...

Care to comment on the report in the Echo this morning about the DBC employees who have been arrested for syphoning off public money into private bank accounts to the tune of six figures?

No wonder the Council's finances are in a bad way if you cant see the workers are ripping you off. The Town Hall's going to get a new name in the new year. Den of Thieves.

Dont know why we bother with you lot. DBC is a joke.

Anonymous said...

Whose been arrested Councillor? Anyone we know? Failing your reply we could have a Christmas competition on here guess who has been nicked by the old bill.

Anonymous said...

POLICE have carried out dawn raids as part of an investigation into a longrunning fraud at a North-East council, which could be worth hundreds of thousands of pounds.

The case centres on alleged fake invoices which were run through the accounts at Darlington Borough Council.

Three men were arrested yesterday morning in Hartlepool by officers from Darlington CID. Police said the swoops followed an investigation involving a former council manager, who left the authority earlier this year.

The Northern Echo understands that an internal investigation began in May after suspicions were raised about accounts in the council’s asbestos unit.

Detective Sergeant Dave Wilkes, of Darlington CID, said the fraud may have been taking place for a number of years, and could be worth a six figure sum.

He said: “The council instigated an investigation into the asbestos manager in relation to his handling of the accounts, and as a result they contacted Darlington CID.

“We have conducted a protracted inquiry in relation to the business of the asbestos unit at the council, and as a result of co-operation with the council, three males have been arrested.

“They are being interviewed about the payment of invoices to two Hartlepool companies by the council, for work that was not carried out, which has been authorised by the manager.

“We are still in the process of establishing the exact size of the fraud.”

Central to the inquiry is an order for the hire of a cherry picker aerial work platform – a lifting system which is used to carry out repair work on high buildings, utilities poles or lampposts.

It is understood that the equipment was never collected, and detectives are examining claims that the money was siphoned into a private account.

The raids took place at business premises in the Hartlepool area, and the home address of one of the accused.

The inquiry is the second large-scale fraud investigation to hit the council this year.

In an unrelated case, former employee Abigail Clement admitted processing more than 100 fake refunds for fees paid by taxi drivers, worth a total of £13,670, over 12 months. The 31-year-old, of The Meadows, Middleton St George, is to be sentenced at Teesside Crown Court in the new year.

A spokeswoman for the council said last night: “We understand that a police investigation is ongoing and therefore we are unable to comment at this time.”

Anonymous said...

According to the police it has been going on for years. Now doesn't that say something about DBC and their ahambolic accounting and chcking methods and the old pals act in the Town Hall?

ANL surely you are having a joke?

james said...

Sadly, Anonymous, there are always people who can abuse their position of authority to enrich themselves.

Though it has to be said, if the Tories get in office, there won't be much in the way of public funds to misapprehend....

Anonymous said...

Have just heard that the three party leaders are going to debate on TV prior to the Election.

One of the panel chairs is Adam Boulton of Sky News who I recall the last time he interviewed Gordon Brown on camera at the Labour Party Conference Gordie threw a wobbler and stormed off in full view of millions of people. Now if Gordie throws another wobbler in the debate with Boulton it will reinforce peoples views that he is unfit to be PM.

ianw said...

I don't think anyone needs convincing, there should have been an election when Bliar stepped down!

ianw said...

Nick are the allegations true there has been no road gritting in Darlington since last Thursday?

How much did the TV advert for Darlington cost?

james said...

anon: don't like the idea of televised debates, since it would take us closer to a presidential system.

ianw: I've seen the gritters out on Sunday night, so that can't be entirely true.

ianh said...

re gritters
i have been in town picking up my daughter from work each night and seen gritters every time, two last night...
however, i was picking her up to avoid her standing outside the Nags Head to wait for her bus......

televised debates?....good idea.

Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes....

The main roads in Darlington are fine and have been cleared. However the side roads, estate roads and footpaths outside the town centre have not been treated or cleared and they are dangerous.

I was in Darlington town centre on Friday afternoon. The main roads were clear, but the footpaths in the town centre had not been treated or cleared, except for a track across the Market Square. I had to walk very carefully indeed on the untreated footpaths.

I think this cold snap has caught everyone out even Eurostar, but that's another story.

Maybe the answer is for the Council to keep back funding for winter road clearing throughout the Borough and devolve funding down to ward councillors, parish councils or representative community bodies for footpath clearing in their areas.

When I lived in a village in the Yorkshire Dales the Parish Council employed a general labourer who was responsible for keeping footpaths clear in winter time as part of his duties throughout the year.

The televised debates are a good idea. I take your point James about the presidential aspect of them, but I feel the party leaders are most visible representatives and the spokespersons for the whole policies of their parties. It is right that the electorate should form an opinion about the policies of each parties which hopefully will come out in the debates.

Anonymous said...

When are you going to have the guts to sack Ada and Bin Man for the shambles of the untreated roads and paths?

ianw said...

Well I am glad to hear some roads have been gritted but it seems it's been the very minimum they feel they can get away with.

As for the cold snap catching them out it's called "being prepared" perhaps when Labour finally realise what (or rather WHO) is holding their chances of another term in Darlington back and sack him and his EXO we may see an improvement, until then we will just keep plodding along with their mismangment and overspending folly's.

I saw no sign at 8am Sunday morning as I was skidding around Neasham Rd roundabout (yarm road end) or indead St. Cuthberts roundabout and was very very disapointed.

Ian H re; Nags Head bus stop I don't blame you it's scandalous, however don't forget it cannot be done straight away as they are putting their new parking system in place....lets see parking fines bring in money, yum yum a Hurworth person getting beaten up in town ...nill just an acceptable loss!

Perhaps if Hurworth people paid Francis Jones £3.50 a week he and his team could patrol the Nags Head bus stop...on a lighter note (says he using DBC and promises in the same sentence)if promises from DBC are to believed it won't be for much longer now.

Rant over and could I wish all posters and Nick a very merry Christams and a happier new year.