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_pauls last won the day on March 6

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  1. I went for a walk last night and was horrified to see the trees recently planted along the path from the corner of the cemetery towards Hartlands have all been systematically snapped. I was heading in the direction of 20 acres and those trees were untouched thankfully but I don't know if any others were damaged. I have no appropriate words for whoever was behind this mindless vandalism
  2. Sounds good - can I just check though... when you say you want volunteers to plant their own trees - I assume you mean plant a specific tree rather than their own tree. I assume you aren't suggesting people should decide what to plant and where?
  3. EE here as well and no problems
  4. Thanks for the update Malcolm - some good stuff in there. I noticed the new grit bin on Dunstanburgh the other day, and just this morning I was walking through West Lea Cemetary with my daughter for what seems like the millionth time since lockdown, and she asked me what the building was. Now I can give her a real answer!
  5. Sadly its not a radius its a diameter - its not far off mind, I am surprised its only about 60km from Blyth to Redcar as the crow flies. As for the Tory distribution of wealth that neither surprises or bothers me. It is politics, this kind of thing has been done for centuries and its been done by both sides of the political divide. I can't say I would have complained if our seat had gone from red to blue and we were being showered with cash as a reward.
  6. Ah... 45km which comes to 27.962 miles https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/935493/Freeports_Bidding_Prospectus_web_final.pdf
  7. I think that there are some maximum dimensions that would preclude covering from the Tees north up to Blyth - I have the figure 27 miles in my head but I can't find the source to back that up so I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure its not far off. As I say I think both areas have strong cases and just hope that there is a possibility of more free ports in the future that could benefit us.
  8. So.. today I finally got a response to my questions which Advance treated as a Freedom of Information request. The questions I asked were : What is now in scope for the phases of the development, so we can see what is actually committed vs aspirations for the future? What are the current timelines associated with these phases? What are the current budgets for these phases? Did we get the additional funding applied for last year from the Get Britain Building scheme? What is the overall size of funding secured now? How does this compare in terms of investment into other towns in the area? NB I didn't frame this as an FOI myself it was just an email - I would have been a bit more forensic if I'd known it was going to be dealt with as an FOI. Anyway I was advised to see the press release and "check our social media", and an additional two paragraphs : “Advance applied for £2m funding from the Governments Getting Building Fund in November and approval was received in January which, along with the funding from NCC, will enable the next phase of the scheme to progress on the Market Place which will include a terrace of commercial units with apartments above (Greggs will remain and continue to trade throughout). We continue to work with NCC on potential options for further phases which could include an enterprise hub and leisure offer" They did not decline to answer my questions on any particular grounds, they just chose to ignore them. Not very satisfactory.
  9. I assume you mean Blyth, Tyne and Wear can continue to scratch a living. To be fair (and I would say that being what most would class as a smoggy) I think Teesside and in particular Redcar and the old steelworks area are every bit as in need of the economic boost as the Blyth/Tyne/Wear area. I would have liked to see both of them get the status and see some of the more affluent southern parts miss out. Still... as I understand it these are the 8 initial freeports so its not a closing of the book on the chances for our area.
  10. Thanks Malcolm - I appreciate your perseverance. To some extent I'm tired of hearing about funding and want to hear about what is going to be done with it. Another "reimagining" exercise sounds like the ball being kicked down the road again on any real benefit coming to the town (I don't think a carbon copy of the existing Lidl is much benefit). I'm a Teessider originally and I was very interested in the plans by Stockton council for a very different kind of town centre redevelopment : https://www.stockton.gov.uk/news/2020/february/plans-unveiled-for-stockton-town-centre-after-massive-response-to-public-consultation/. I know we don't have a river but its nice to see someone thinking differently about what adds value to a community.
  11. Any update from your request @Malcolm Robinson? I got an email back three weeks ago saying that my query was accepted as an FOI request but I've heard nothing since then. I emailed the FOI team to ask if there was any ETA on an answer on Monday but heard nothing back from that email either.
  12. Thanks Malcolm - my point about the lack of Pub and sporting facilities was just that now we seem to be back to just housing and a supermarket of similar size and character to the ones we already have (at least in terms of committed development). I thought this was roundly rejected by the people of the town in the initial consultation. I certainly think the idea of leisure facilities and a business/community hub would be much better than a load of small retail units that either stand empty or pop us as vape shops for 6 months and then shut down again, however as far as I can see the only commitment is to Aldi and new retail units and flats at the market place. I have requested the council share with us an updated plan in terms of exactly what is in scope for Phases 1 and 2 (plus the latest thinking on timings) versus what is presumably aspiration for Phases 3 and beyond, and an idea of what the scale of the investment is. I was told back in September that we'd bid for some of the funding available from the Get Britain Building scheme and a verdict should be due in January, so it seems like the budget keeps growing but the ambition keep shrinking.
  13. Thanks Malcolm - you beat me to it. Still no sign of the InvestingInBedlington.co.uk website being updated which is odd given its intended purpose of keeping us up to date on the project. It does look like the scheme is regressing though - just Aldi and some new flats and a couple of retail units. The family-oriented pub in the initial plans seems to be long gone and the promised leisure facilities from September's update relegated to a possible future phase (phase 3 or beyond presumably). Still at least it looks like we might finally see some bricks rising above the ground at some point this year which is better than what we've had for the past 6 years and counting. That said we have had numerous such statements over those years promising imminent building work so here's hoping this isn't yet another false dawn.
  14. Out for a walk this lunchtime and I was a little surprised to see around 5-600 people attending a funeral in the cemetery.
  15. Jeez if we had a lake we could even stock it with fish and make some money out of angling permits!
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