Lib Dem Councillors secure £60,000 for Pity Me nature reserve improvements

Lib Dem councillors have been working hard to get improvement works commenced at the Carrs Nature Reserve, to give residents somewhere safe to go for a walk in the midst of Covid and beyond.

Councillor Mark Wilkes, who has led the project comments, “In just a few short months we have managed to raise £60,000 from numerous different sources including: All three of our neighbourhood budgets, the AAP budget, Parish Paths fund, Parish Council, Northumbrian Water, Local Transport Plan, money we recovered from a maintenance reserve which had disappeared in the County Council’s budgets and s106 money which Story Homes agreed to bring forward so we could start work early.”

Work will involve clearing out overgrown areas to re-create large ponds which have dried out, putting in viewing areas with disabled suitable seating, and most importantly perhaps in light of Covid, creating and resurfacing a kilometre of pathway around the outside of the site. We will also be getting some dropped kerbs installed near NWL HQ and amending the access gates so that they are disabled accessible.

The whole project is to take a few months to complete. Work has just started on the ponds and we are chasing all the time to make sure that timescales do not slip to get the path works done.

Petition for a 2030 Carbon Neutral Durham County Council

Last year Labour councillors voted on masse against a 2030 carbon neutral target for our County Council, setting 2050 instead.

The Liberal Democrat Official Opposition on Durham County Council submitted a motion to set 2030 as the target. This is the date that scientists say we must be carbon neutral by, to stop runaway climate change.

Your Lib Dem county councillors will continue to fight to meet this target so that our children, grand-children and future generations can live safely. By meeting our targets we will not only help to protect our environment but also be able to save money by using and developing new technology, securing grants and cutting energy costs.

Please sign our 2030 Carbon Petition at:

Lib Dems working to create new allotment site in Framwellgate Moor

Lib Dem County Councillors Mark Wilkes, Amanda Hopgood and Mamie Simmons are working to provide a new site for allotments between Framwellgate Moor and Aykley Heads.

Cllr Mark Wilkes says, “We have identified a site, started the work to secure funding and asked the County Council’s legal department to carry out the work needed so that the land can be leased to the local Parish Council.

We hope to have the site operational in the Spring of 2021, however we are very much dependent on the County Council doing its part quickly.

If anyone is interested in taking one of the allotments they can notify their local county councillors. A formal waiting list and decision on how allotments will be allocated will only be confirmed once the formal legal issues are dealt with.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood comments, “We have always had waiting lists in our area for allotments and have fewer plots than most other parts of County Durham. We hope that once we have this site up and running, the waiting time will fall considerably in our area.”

Labour’s climate change shame

Labour councillors have delayed making the Council carbon neutral to 2050. Lib Dem councillors voted for 2030 – the internationally recognised deadline to stop the climate emergency.

A few months ago Lib Dem councillors tried to make sure that Durham County Council would meet the challenge of Climate Change.
Sadly a Labour Party motion changed the deadline for the Council to meet climate change targets to 2050 from the 2030 being introduced across the Country by almost all other councils.

Durham Labour have let down our county and should be ashamed. Protesters at the end of the meeting made their feelings known very loudly. Lib Dems tabled an amendment to the motion seeking to change it back to the 2030 target.

Lib Dem group leader Amanda Hopgood comments, “Durham isn’t in a bubble unaffected by climate change. We don’t have static CO2.
“County Durham should be leading the way on this issue, just as Lib Dems did when getting the Council to scrap single-use plastics.”

Chairman of Central Durham Lib Dems, Edwin Simpson says, “Being carbon neutral can save money as we find new ways to do things, cut waste and make County Durham a better place to live and work in.”
Cllr Amanda Hopgood, parliamentary campaigner adds, “We have stunning countryside, wonderful communities and a World Heritage city.
“Across the whole of the County, much more could be done with more Liberal Democrat MP’s and councillors.”

Nationally and locally it is the Liberal Democrats leading the fight against climate change.