A Word from Mary Foy MP

We have been through the toughest of years, but we are beginning to see light at the end of the tunnel, thanks to a community spirit which has made me enormously proud. Local community groups, businesses, shops, charities, trade unions and key workers have pulled together in a remarkable way to make sure no one has been left to fend for themselves.

Durham County Council have been at the heart of this effort, providing the support for communities to weather the storm. From the earliest days of lockdown, they redeployed staff to help with food delivery programmes to help those in need, while Labour councillors and members have joined together to collect for food banks.

At the same time, our council has put in huge efforts to ensure that business is not forgotten about. By the beginning of May 2020, Durham County Council had already paid out nearly 7,500 grants to help companies. I am proud that Labour-run Durham County Council have led the way in business support throughout the pandemic, most recently with a Business Recovery Grants worth £5 million to help businesses adapt and recover from the effects of Covid-19.

Vote Labour to support our communities, businesses and people.

Coronavirus Support

Coronavirus the biggest challenge to our communities since WW2

In response, Labour-led Durham County Council prioritised support for vulnerable people, community groups, social care providers, local businesses and our schools and colleges. Labour are committed to continuing that support until every community has recovered “we are with you all the way”, that is why County Durham is safer in Labour hands.

  • 75,000 residents have been given essential support during this crisis.
  • An extra £1.4 million awarded to local community groups to support residents.
  • Thousands of households have received up to an additional £300 council tax relief.
  • A further £1.5 million has been provided to provide welfare assistance including Foodbanks
  • 800,00 items of PPE have been supplied to social care providers.
  • The Council supported 8,000 businesses by allocating grants and business tax relief
  • Labour Councillors have provided a £5 million Business Recovery fund to support local businesses re-open after lock-down
  • In October 2020 we provided 10,500 children with ‘free school meal vouchers’ after Tory MP’s voted against extending free school meals into half-term holidays.

If you need or know someone who needs support call the County Durham Together ‘community support hub’  Tel. 03000 260 260

Community Heroes

For over a year families have made and continue to make sacrifices in an attempt to save lives and stay as safe as possible. Labour-led Durham County Council took rapid action to support our most vulnerable residents.

However, it is our residents and volunteers who, without question, have risen to the challenge to serve and protect their communities.

County Councillors supported communities pooling their resources and energies to help, providing meals and food, collecting shopping and prescriptions, walking a neighbour’s dog and so much more.

Your actions make our communities, for families and the elderly, a friendly, safe and enjoyable place to live. We are proud to stand with and serve you all.

Good Quality Housing

Thousands of families and elderly residents need new homes in the County. 

The Labour-led Council has announced ambitious plans for social housing, a £70 million programme will see 10,000 new affordable homes either for rent by through private or social housing landlords or to purchase. A projects for new social housing including bungalows in Brandon has just been approved.

The Council works with builders to ensure  developments, wherever possible, take into consideration the views of other residents, traffic and environmental issues.

By introducing selective licensing of Landlords we can ensure that private rented properties offer tenants a choice of safe,  high quality, well managed accommodation. It also helps us tackle instances of anti-social behaviour which can plague communities.

Investing in Children’s Education

New Schools for Belmont & Bowburn

After the LibDem & Tories scrapped the Building Schools for the Future Programme the prospect of new schools was bleak. However, Labour-led Durham County Council have funded a new £12 million Primary School in Bowburn and have just announced the plans for a £35 million development of a new Primary and Secondary School on the existing Belmont site.

This investment shows Labour’s commitment to providing the best possible opportunity for all our children.

It is has been an incredibly difficult year for School staff and pupils and we are so proud of the efforts they have all made.  Labour led Durham County Council supported over 200 schools to stay open safely for essential workers during the pandemic and are committed to support all schools and children as they catch-up on their learning.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

To increase prosperity Labour have plans to bring more and better quality jobs to our County.

Across the County we will create 30,000 Jobs. At Bowburn, Integra 61 is the largest logistics and manufacturing opportunity in the North East in a generation.  Amazon have already created over 1,000 new jobs many filled by local residents.  Atom Bank in Durham has brought hundreds of financial and IT jobs and the Council’s flagship development of Aykley Heads will create 4,000 new jobs which will provide the opportunity for young people to stay in the County rather than move away.

The County Council has taken action quickly to support Businesses during the Covid pandemic, allocating grants, reductions to Rates and launching its own £5 million Business Recovery Fund to support our local companies to grow and bounce back from the lock-downs.

 

New Durham Bus Station

As part of the County Council’s ambitious capital programme work has started on a new £10.4 million Bus Station which will open in Autumn 2022.

The new bus station has been designed to increase the overall space and facilities for passengers in a light and airy setting. Our aim is for this investment to start the regeneration of North Road and our commitment to the High Street in our City, Town and Villages.

The new Bus Station is important for our villages with residents travelling in and out of the City for work, education and social life.  As part of our plan to support the rural economy and take climate action We will improve public transport integration and connections to all our communities. In time Electric Buses will improve air quality and improve the environment.

Joy Allen for Police & Crime Commissioner

Since 2010 the Conservative Government has slashed police budgets and Durham Constabulary has lost 492 officers as a result. I was born and raised in County Durham and my priority is to stand up for our communities, putting police back on the street and tackling the issues that matter to you.

I’m the only candidate for Durham Police and Crime Commissioner who has over 20 years’ experience of tackling crime and disorder. I have worked for the Army, Fire, Police, Emergency Planning College and local authorities across County Durham and the Tees Valley.

Engaging with communities will be central to my approach as your Police and Crime Commissioner.  I recently carried out a survey to find out what your priorities are and you told me; anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping, speeding, vandalism and burglary were your top crime priorities. Please go to my website to find out more or get in touch with your views: www.joy4durhampcc.com

Demand for a Fair Council Tax System

Demand for a Fairer Council Tax System:

Council Tax is broken, with the poorest communities facing the heaviest tax burden.

As the Tory Government has cut central funding of local authorities it passes on the cost of essential services like social care, highways, public health, and refuse collection to local ratepayers through higher Council Tax Bills.

Here in County Durham, central government funding has been cut by over £230 million every year since 2010.  The County Council has attempted to protect key services, but it has still had to cut 3,000 jobs, local people who could have been in work.  Services have had to be cut, but to make-up the shortfall in funding, inevitably Council Tax has risen.  This year, although the Government permitted local authorities to increase council tax by 4.9%  the Labour-led Council kept that increase to just 2.9%.

Labour-led County Durham still offers the council tax-reduction scheme which provides support to those households on the lowest incomes.  However, it is unacceptable that a £150,000 value house in Framwellgate must pay as much council tax as a £1.5 million mansion in Surrey.  That is a fault of the system not the local authority.

We need real change, not empty words from the government about levelling up and rebuilding Britain. We need a fairer system for paying for council services than what we have now, we need the funding restored to the 2010 levels and what you pay needs to reflect the value of your property.

If you agree with this please sign the petition below.

I agree we need a Fairer Council Tax System and Government Funding

2 + 13 =

Durham City Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

Please vote “YES” in the Referendum on the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan on 6th May

The City of Durham Parish Council has done so many good things, and one of them is to take responsibility for completing the work on the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan that local volunteers had been preparing.

The Plan will provide local planning policies particular to the City, but it will not come into effect unless it is approved in the local referendum on 6th May.

The Neighbourhood Plan deals with matters of concern in the City in finer detail than was possible in the County Plan. It has been many years in the making, devised by local people for local people and in consultation with local people.

Just to be clear, the referendum is NOT about the County Plan, which is the strategic plan for the whole of County Durham and is already in operation.

This referendum is the final stage in the process; if the majority vote ‘no’ then the Neighbourhood Plan is extinguished.

The Plan’s policies are about protecting the city’s wonderful heritage, keeping Local Green Spaces free from development, supporting the city centre, encouraging affordable and social housing, and promoting community facilities.

You can see the Plan by visiting a special website https://dh1.org.uk/ that gives a brief summary of the Plan with live links to the document itself.