Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

You won’t often find me writing a headline like that, but it is a genuine pleasure to see Durham City Labour Party’s last campaign meeting minutes. Of particular encouragement to teaching assistants will be the following: The confirmation that this is a dispute which should be quite easily soluble with a cost neutral regrading is one that Liberal […]

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£110m penalty payments dwarf £3.8m which made TV news

by Owen Temple on 20 October, 2016

The TV cameras whirred as DCC’s cabinet voted to convert its £3.8m loan to the Durham County Cricket club into preference shares. They were being packed up by the time the cabinet prepared, “on the nod”, to agree to giving banks and financiers a £110m windfall as part of a refinancing package. (Durham county’s contribution […]

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A chink in the curtains – or what the butler saw!

by Owen Temple on 19 October, 2016

As a result of the argument I made, Press (1 member) and Public (none) were allowed into cabinet today for one of the previously “secret” items I wrote about on Sunday – the refinancing of County Durham’s debt in respect of 3 PFI schools. And what a peep it was! To re-finance the £43 million still […]

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Hidden Truths

by Owen Temple on 17 October, 2016

It’s a bugbear of mine that in Durham County Council too much business goes on behind closed doors – decision making on your money and mine which is kept hidden from the press and public. Wednesday’s Cabinet Meeting will cast an interesting light on it. Back in 2009, and again in 2013, the County Council […]

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FOOTPRINTS march for the NHS

by Owen Temple on 4 October, 2016

You don’t have to be a member of any particular political grouping to be a supporter of the NHS and the principle that, whilst highly specialised services may need to be located in centralised hospitals, more general care needs to be based as close as possible to people’s homes. That’s why I’ll be joining the FOOTPRINTS […]

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Worse and worse on the Teaching Assistant Mess

by Owen Temple on 4 October, 2016

For an industrial dispute which has been mishandled from the outset, it’s hard to imagine a worse outcome than where we’ve got to now. The relatively small number of GMB Members (who voted to accept the council’s revised deal) will now be issued with variations of contract. So will the ONE member of Unite. That […]

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The Black Hole that is County Durham

by Owen Temple on 4 October, 2016

Durham’s “energy reduction project” produced the blackness that now consumes the many people who walk and cycle between The Grove and Consett Town Centre. I was incensed that my representations on that were unacknowledged and almost certainly unconsidered before the heads had been taken out of the streetlights. In September I received more proposals to take […]

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Every year in November it is possible to get a professional will made in return for a donation to charity. The solicitor will not charge for the will, nor are you committed to give a specific donation to charity – though not to make a donation would be out of keeping with the principles of […]

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Financial Amnesia at County Hall

by Owen Temple on 1 October, 2016

Look at the graphic below, which the council is touting round all its budget consultations. There’s a missing figure of £151 Million! That’s how much Durham County Council has added to it’s reserves since 2011. It seems they “forgot” to include a graphic to show the reserves ballooning from £120 million to £271 million. That means […]

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New threat to Shotley Bridge Hospital

by Owen Temple on 30 September, 2016

I have received a Press Release warning that, because of “significant maintenance issues at the Hospital with the water and drainage infrastructure”, there will be no new admissions to the hospital’s inpatient ward from tomorrow. Patients currently receiving care on the ward may, after consultation with themselves and their families, be relocated to alternative community […]

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