Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

Black Cloud overshadows sunny day

by Owen Temple on 25 May, 2016

The county council’s AGM is usually a sunny affair with tributes paid to the outgoing chair and a fulsome welcome to the new chair. Today’s was no exception to start with as everyone acknowledged the hard work put in by Cllr Jan Blakey and her husband, Alan, and wished the best to the incoming chair, […]

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by Owen Temple on 24 May, 2016

I recently received a consulation on behalf of Vodafone who are looking to site telecommunication equipment at Christchurch. Clearly this is no small matter as Christchurch is a listed building and a jewel in the crown of Consett. I was quite taken by the ingenuity of the proposal, however, as they seem to have made […]

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Fulfilling lives

by Owen Temple on 23 May, 2016

A chance encounter today introduced me not only to a new neighbour, but also to a medical condition I have never come across called Lowes syndrome and to a free event taking place in Durham next week called Fulfilling Lives. Sadly I won’t be able to get to it, but am looking forward to the […]

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Want to help the IN campaign?

by Owen Temple on 19 May, 2016

I appreciate that readers of this blog, like the rest of Britain, will be divided when it comes to the referendum vote. If you’re one of those who like me want to stay IN the EU and are happy to put out some Lib Dem #INtogether leaflets locally, please get in touch.

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Yesterday’s speech at Council

by Owen Temple on 17 May, 2016

Six months ago Liberal Democrats called for this council to pause the process of slashing teaching assistants’ take home pay. We called for a thorough review of their position compared to others across the region. We wanted to examine the approaches taken by other councils and what room we had for manoeuvre. You, the party […]

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The headline story is that 57 Labour councillors lined up today to approve the dismissal of 2,700 teaching assistants. They will then be offered their jobs back – minus 10% or more of their pay. There is no surprise in that. It was pre-determined when the Labour Party refused permission to discuss the question in […]

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Smelling a rat – or refusing to be deceived

by Owen Temple on 12 May, 2016

I was suspicious when I read the following: Representations were received that Teaching Assistant grades and pay in Durham were lower than other Councils in our region. Our research has demonstrated there is a range of pay levels associated with Teaching Assistants on a regional basis and the Council grades are comparable with several of […]

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I found some notes on this subject on the Unison website: “TACKLING DISMISSAL AND RE-ENGAGEMENT STRATEGIES Introduction With funding cuts hitting hard across the public services, employers are increasingly targeting terms and conditions in the search for major reductions in paybill costs. Among the strategies adopted by employers in mounting these attacks, dismissal of staff […]

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Liberal Democrat councillors in County Durham are shocked and disappointed that the council has decided, without proper consultation or explanation, to pursue the draconian step of terminating the contracts of Teaching Assistants and their re-engagement on terms which will enforce a pay cut of 10% or more on the vast majority of them. Liberal Democrat […]

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Get used to it Gateshead. He’s back!

by Owen Temple on 7 May, 2016

I tried to drop a line to Liberal Democrat Councillor Ian Patterson of Gateshead, elected back onto Gateshead Council on Thursday after a gap of four years. The message I got back was: Mail to the recipient cllr.ipatterson@gateshead.gov.uk could not be delivered. cllr.ipatterson@gateshead.gov.uk is not authorised to send and receive internet mail or there is […]

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