Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis

Liberal Democrat campaigners for Consett North Learn more

Discouraging signal from DCC Labour

by Owen Temple on 7 December, 2016

OK – DCC have suspended the dismissal notices and promised a review, but the tone at County Hall today suggested no change of heart towards Durham’s Teaching Assistants, just a change of tactic. The response to the question about whether ATL (100+ TA members) would be included in negotiations was a straight “NO”.  But Unite […]

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Latest Briefing to Councillors on Teaching Assistants

by Owen Temple on 5 December, 2016

I pass this on to everyone so that you can be as well informed as your councillor: I am writing to update you further on developments today concerning the teaching assistants dispute and proposed strike action this week by Unison. Following further constructive meetings with Unison, they have today called off the industrial action planned […]

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For the last year Liberal Democrats on Durham County Council have pressed for negotiations to resolve issues around the variety of contracts currently held by the county’s teaching assistants. We therefore warmly welcome the council’s change of direction, withdrawal of dismissal notices, and the promise of a real review of Teaching Assistants’ roles, functions, job […]

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Clock this!

by Owen Temple on 1 December, 2016

I’m delighted to report that Durham County Council, Cllr Derek Hicks, Cllr Alex Watson, and I have reached agreement to replace the clock which once stood at the bottom of the bus station. The difference will be that this will be a much more substantial clock than the one which preceded it – essential if […]

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A Welcome Change – but is it a sea change?

by Owen Temple on 1 December, 2016

Durham County Council’s decision to suspend the dismissal notices it had issued to many of its teaching assistants is very welcome – and long overdue. Likewise its decision to undertake a review of teaching assistants’ roles, functions, job descriptions and activities to see whether they properly reflect their true value. I wouldn’t be human, however, if […]

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Lighting the path

by Owen Temple on 30 November, 2016

After protracted negotiations with a range of council officers, and helped over the line by the generosity of Project Genesis, Councillors Derek Hicks, Alex Watson and Owen Temple are delighted that pedestrians and cyclists will no longer be in the dark on one of Consett’s busiest routes. We’re throwing some light into the Energy Reduction […]

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I’ve written earlier about the Sustainable Transformations Plan for Northumberland, Tyne, Wear and North Durham so you’ll know that I have reservations about the new plans to change NHS service provision – changes which have been planned behind closed doors and which will have major effects on how and where people get their medical care. […]

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Nothing could be clearer to me. Today I met a Teaching Assistant who is the course leader and only teacher of a GCSE equivalent course in a County Durham Secondary School, a course which they themselves set up within the school. That’s teaching in anyone’s book. If anyone in the media wants to check this […]

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Soundbites are not enough

by Owen Temple on 17 November, 2016

If you want a quick read and simple answers, this is not the place for you. I have printed below a copy of the questions I put to the council following what I considered a very biased “briefing” to members. When I got a response it was not immediately in a form which I saw […]

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Following my recently expressed concerns about the implications of the Northumberland, Tyne, Wear and North Durham Sustainable Transformation Plan, and any possible impact on Shotley Bridge Hospital, I am pleased to report the following response from Nicola Bailey, Chief Executive Officer of the North Durham Clinical Commissioning Group who commission most of the services provided […]

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