Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

What have they got to hide?

by Owen Temple on 26 November, 2015

Today I asked, for the second time, if Councillor Alex Watson and I could see the report which was issued to the Corporate Management Team (the Directors at County Hall) prior to the proposal to change teaching assistants’ contracts being sent out. The response was that they are “confidential.” From this I learn two things; Papers exist setting out […]

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Any Unison Teaching Assistants amongst my readers?

by Owen Temple on 26 November, 2015

Rumours are reaching my ears about what is being said at Unison meetings of teaching assistants. In particular I’m interested in what is being said about the current proposals to slash pay being about “balancing school budgets”. This is categorically not about school budgets (although school budgets would obviously gain by paying any staff member […]

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Consett loses another heritage asset

by Owen Temple on 25 November, 2015

OK, that’s not exactly the way the county council Press Release put it – but there are two sides to every story! As part of the demolition process at Belle Vue (and no, the Poulson designed and probably, therefore, grotesquely expensive Swimming Baths were not a heritage asset!) its Aeratone Bath has been lovingly removed and […]

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Councillors are being invited to send a standard letter to any teaching assistants who write to them. Am I alone in being dismayed at the thought of councillors, the elected representatives of the people of County Durham, having their opinions formed, and their letters written, by council officers? It isn’t exactly my style, to start […]

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Elderly patients on the move?

by Owen Temple on 19 November, 2015

When it reached my ears that a ward for elderly patients with mental health issues may be relocated from Lanchester Road Durham to Bishop Auckland, my first thought was “What about the patients and the relatives?” A quick visit to the bus route planner confirmed my worst fears. For someone in Blackhill who wanted to visit their loved […]

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Resignation – why I am no longer a school governor

by Owen Temple on 18 November, 2015

I wasn’t planning to announce this, but today the press asked me which school I am a governor of. The truth is, I was a school governor when I wrote my blog, but am one no longer. It changed yesterday lunchtime. Unfortunately the advice of the Head of Legal & Democratic Services at the county council […]

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Durham’s Teaching Assistants hung out to dry

by Owen Temple on 16 November, 2015

As many of you know, I used to be a teacher. I collected the usual flak about the long holidays, but never found people queuing up to take my job, holidays or not. I put heart and soul into it until I couldn’t bear having government (national and local) as my employer any more. Perhaps […]

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Madness in their Method

by Owen Temple on 10 November, 2015

I know I’ve been going on about the ridiculous requirement on would be Private Hire Drivers in Consett to memorise how to get to the Voltigeur pub in Spennymoor (or indeed Peterlee drivers possibly being asked to pinpoint the Scotch Arms in Blackhill) but I hit new heights of anger today. First the technical bit. […]

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Flytippers caught in the act

by Owen Temple on 5 November, 2015

Few tears will be shed for the fly-tippers recently caught on camera dumping their rubbish in a lay-by and subsequently fined £1,500. This example of fly-tipping was not in our area, but since Cllr. Alex Watson and I allocated money from our neighbourhood budget towards a camera similar to one that captured this act we’d […]

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Free Bonfire Night Event in Consett

by Owen Temple on 4 November, 2015