Front Street road closure

April 10th, 2014 by Owen Temple

This closure is to enable sewer diversion works, which will probably take some 6 weeks  to complete to be carried out to that length of road.

Easter Bin Collections

April 10th, 2014 by Owen Temple

There will be no changes to refuse and recycling collections over Easter.

Collections will take place as normal during the Easter holidays, including on Good Friday (18 April).

People are advised to put their bins out for collection by 7am as usual on their normal collection day.

Guess where I was today

April 10th, 2014 by Owen Temple

I was at a party. The party of IN.

Award Challenge includes Derwentside Homes

March 31st, 2014 by Owen Temple

A project which helps more people get online has been shortlisted for a North East award.

The Time to Get Online programme will compete for an I Made a Difference Award which celebrates people and groups who help with basic online skills.

The competition is organised by the charity Go On UK and will be judged by, amongst others, DJ and North East broadcaster Lauren Laverne.

The Time to Get Online programme is a partnership between Dale & Valley Homes, Derwentside Homes, Durham City Homes, East Durham Homes and Teesdale Housing Association with Durham County Council.

The programme, which has seen a series of workshops take place across the county, helps to raise awareness of the benefits of getting online and increasing digital skills and has so-far proved very popular.

Winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 2. 

New Bingo Hall in Consett?

March 28th, 2014 by Owen Temple
1 Comment

A planning application has gone in for a change of use of 17 Middle Street (formerly Meridien and then Bradley’s Coffee Shop) to use as a Bingo Hall. Is this the first sign of results from the recent budget cut in Bingo tax (he asked, tongue in cheek)?

The planning application will shortly be viewable on the county planning portal under reference DM/14/00532/FPA .

Consett Access Point temporary closure – April 2nd

March 28th, 2014 by Owen Temple

Durham County Council’s Customer Access Point (CAP) on Front Street, Consett will be closed on Wednesday April 2 for essential maintenance work. The work is being carried out by Northern Powergrid.

Urgent enquiries can be directed to Customer Services on 03000 260 000 or alternatively customers can visit the CAP, Front Street, Stanley

Lights Out

March 18th, 2014 by Owen Temple

There are proposals to remove most of the street lights between Puddler’s Corner and the Grove as part of the county’s Street Lighting Energy Reduction project.

It’s part of a wider scheme which would see street lights removed at five sites in the district. The others are at Shaw Lane, Daisy Hill, Broomhill and Pont Lane.

None of these areas are actually in Consett North electoral division, but at the risk of holding opinions outside my area, I am concerned about the proposal from Puddlers Corner to the Grove as this is a very well used route for pedestrians, particularly those using Consett’s shops, the nightime economy and above all schoolchildren at the Academy for whom the road is on the “walk to school route”.

I will be making that representation and am interested in the views of others. Just email me, or ask if you’d like to have maps of the actual proposals.

Council turns down £6 million from Government

February 27th, 2014 by Owen Temple

Cash strapped Durham County Council today turned down a a £2 million council tax freeze grant (guaranteed for three years), preferring instead to increase council tax by 1.99%.

It’s true that in order to accept the £6 million the council would have had to find an additional £1.25 million savings per year. That’s why Liberal Democrat councillors showed them a way to do that which included reducing the number of directors in what is clearly a top-heavy management structure, and slimming down a number of PR departments (the county council has 6!) into just one. That would not only have provided enough savings to avoid a council tax rise, but also to bank £600,000 towards the next round of savings that have to be made.

That however was unacceptable to all Labour Party councillors (and most Independents) who voted through the council tax rise, a rise which will add more to council tax payers bills than most of them will receive by way of pay rises this year.

Labour Party councillors (and most Independents) also voted down my amendment to reduce mileage rates for staff and councillors to the Inland Revenue approved rate of 45p. That’s a no brainer recognised by most councils, businesses and other bodies across Britain because it avoids tax complications, cuts down on expensive paperwork, and reduces miles driven. Even MPs and Civil Servants get 45p, but for some reason known best to itself, and against all logic, County Durham goes on paying over the odds at 48p.

So when you get your council tax bill, remember who sets the budget in this county, and who lines up to vote with them. And ask yourself in whose interests they set it.


Consett Young People hit the top

February 19th, 2014 by Owen Temple

Two notable achievements deserve congratulations.

On Saturdaythe 2nd Consett boys Brigade Company competed in the Boys’ Brigade National Masterteam Quiz. They had a very difficult travel to Northampton with both a failure of the minibus they had hired and a car breakdown, arriving just after the competition started. That made their win all the more impressive and as a result they will be heading to Newtownabbey (Northern Ireland) for their second National Final in two years.

In a week’s time a team of four welders from Derwentside College will be taking part in a national “Weld-off” seeking the recognition of being Britain’s top young welders. The competition takes place in Wolverhampton on February 26th so let’s hope we get some more good news of our travelling competitors.

Your data – whose property?

February 10th, 2014 by Owen Temple

Alerted by a tweet from a reader I’ve looked more deeply into what the NHS does and proposes to do with our data. It concerns me. Their own leaflet, “Better information means better care”, makes it clear that the NHS already releases information from hospitals and other non-GP parts of the NHS – what could be clearer than this:

We sometimes release confidential information to approved researchers, if this is allowed by law and meets the strict rules that are in place to protect  your privacy.

As far as I can understand it, the big difference coming shortly is that all the details from your own GP surgery are soon to be included in this national database, linked together on a backbone of your NHS number, your postcode, your gender and date of birth.

I don’t know about anyone else, but whilst I want the NHS in all its forms to have access to my data, I’m not happy to leave it to them (or government) to decide which other organisations they “approve” to share it. That’s why I’m not happy with the system we are getting. It’s an “opt out” system. Fundamentally it assumes that we are all content to leave it to others to decide what counts as anonymised data,  or to decide which organisations are OK to have our data and which are not.

Of course, if there was a system that invited me to “opt in” to my data being used for a particular purpose that I recognised as beneficial I’d be happy to make a judgement. Without that I can’t see any reason not to opt out. And as far as I can see, the only way I can do that is to ask (and rely on) my GP Surgery to record this on my file.


Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Photo of Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis
300 Medomsley Road
Co Durham
T: 01207 505564

Owen Temple, who has been Consett North's Lib Dem Councillor since 2007, and Margaret Nealis are committed to working for local people in Consett, to make sure that their voice is heard at County Hall. As the county council takes a more and more centralised and "one-size-fits-all" approach, it is more important than ever for Consett to have campaigners who will stand up for this town.


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Consett North May 2013 - Ave Votes per candidate