Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

Singing in the rain

by Owen Temple on 23 February, 2017

All this week Durham’s TAs have been keeping a silent vigil outside County Hall. Just one or two of them most of the time, a few more today. When I left there was a small group standing in the sleet, still smiling, and still waving to the cars that sounded their horns as they drove […]

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Paying through the nose

by Owen Temple on 22 February, 2017

Despite having reserves of £234.476 million at the end of it’s last accounting year (they’ve risen from £97.199 million in March 2012) Durham County Council has chosen to inflict another inflation busting Council Tax rise of 3.99% on its residents. Those reserves figures were supplied by the council’s own Director of Resources, and exclude schools […]

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Causing a stink

by Owen Temple on 13 February, 2017

Four years ago a planning application went in for an anaerobic digester to be built between Thomas Swan and the bypass in Consett. There was a good deal of concern at the time, and a lot of engagement with local people. I was part of that, and have had to apologise to local people because […]

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Why should Derwentside be a Black Hole?

by Owen Temple on 7 February, 2017

Half of all the streetlights removed in County Durham under the council’s “Energy Reduction Plan” have been in Derwentside. Actually it is slightly more than half according to the list I was given of all actual removals that had taken place up to October 2016, but I wouldn’t want to be accused of exaggerating. No-one has […]

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Mr Angry

by Owen Temple on 3 February, 2017

They say you shouldn’t write for publication when you’re angry – so I shouldn’t be writing this. But I am. Today I got a “consultation letter” inviting me to comment on some more street lights the council wants to remove to cut its electricity bill. What made me angry was that they’ve never taken a […]

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More information on Shotley Bridge Hospital

by Owen Temple on 23 January, 2017

After my last post, expecting Ward 2 at Shotley Hospital to re-open in February after repair work is completed in January, I went away on holiday. I was therefore very disappointed to come back to a newspaper article in which a Foundation Trust spokesperson failed to confirm this, but was reported as saying the trust […]

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Shotley Hospital Ward should reopen in February

by Owen Temple on 6 January, 2017

That’s the good news I got from a health scrutiny meeting this morning, directly from the Chief Executive of the County Durham and Darlington Foundation Trust. In response to my question she told me that the “owners” of the hospital, NHS Property Services Limited, had told her that their contractors should finish the remedial work they […]

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History offers more hope than despair

by Owen Temple on 23 December, 2016

In a world which many people think is going to the dogs, I found the following graph really helpful: If it encourages you too, you might be interested in the source of it: A history of global living conditions in five charts. It contains a lot of very interesting detail as well as convincing arguments as […]

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Helpers, Margaret and Owen have been out putting leaflets and Christmas cards through people’s doors in Consett. We’re not naive enough not to realise that quite a few go straight into recycling – but this year it might be a mistake. One of my extremely kind deliverers found a £5 note on a doorstep as he was […]

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Bin collections will stay the same so people are asked to put their bins out on their usual collection day. Real Christmas tree collections can be booked online free of charge between 19 December 2016 and 8 January 2017 at www.durham.gov.uk.  Alternatively call 03000 261 000 when offices are open (see below). Most council offices and […]

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