BLAKELAW WARD COMMITTEE
27 September 2001
(7:00pm – 8:05pm)
Councillor: Lower (Chairperson)
Councillors: Keating and Schardt
D Procter Community Co-ordinator
G Haggerston Democratic Services
P Rubinstein Arts and Culture, City Council
K Kyle Blakelaw Neighbourhood Detached Youth Project
M Elsy Blakelaw Neighbourhood Detached Youth Project
R Young Kenton Bar Tenants and Residents Association
F Linney CAPE Co-ordinator
I Scott Community and Housing
Y Watson Libraries and Information Service
M Thompson Blakelaw Committee Project
C Beckett Project Development Worker
W Wilson Resident of Meadow Rise Estate
J O’Neill North West Partnership – Blakelaw Representative
E Lough Central Blakelaw Tenants
PC Halliday Northumbria Police
D Mumford St Peters Church
J Cavanagh 165 Tenants and Residents Association
43 WELCOME AND INTRODUCTIONS
The Chairperson welcomed those present to the meeting and the officers
44 APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE
Apologies for absence were received from J Mitchison, D Jardine, C Rutherford, J
Cousins MP and G Park
The minutes of the special meeting held on 10 July 2001 and the meeting held on
26 July 2001 were approved as correct records and signed by the Chairperson.
(a) Moulton Court Shopping Centre – Second Consultative Meeting.
(Minute No. 32 refers)
The revised plans for the Shopping Centre were displayed at the meeting. It was
noted that the plans had been approved by North West Partnership and all of the
shrubs which had been shown on the plans had been removed. The fencing at
the far end of the car park would be moved to prevent driving on the grass.
All of the points raised by residents at the meeting had been taken on board in
the final plans and it was hoped that work would commence on site in January
(b) Parish Council Minutes
(Minute No. 36 (h) Refers)
The Community Co-ordinator reported that the minutes from the Parish Council
were included on the agenda.
(c) Free Summer Holiday Swimming at Denton Park Pool.
(Minute No. 40 (d) refers)
The Community Co-ordinator advised that the activity had proved very popular. It
was noted that the information regarding the pick up point for Blakelaw residents
had been altered.
46 NEWCASTLE GATESHEAD CULTURE 2008
Submitted: Report of the Head of Arts and Culture (previously circulated and copy
attached to Official Minutes).
P Rubinstein explained that the European Capital of Culture Award was for cities
across Europe. The only city in Britain to have hosted the event to date was
Glasgow in 1990.
A joint bid for the title had been lodged with Gateshead Metropolitan Borough
Council because of the major Arts Projects in the Borough, for example the
Millennium Bridge, The Baltic Flour Mill and the Music Centre.
The bid would need to be submitted in March 2002. It would take 9-12 months for
the UK government and bodies in Europe to determine the winner. Competition
would be very intense and most cities in the UK were bidding, except for
Manchester, Glasgow & Edinburgh. The Event did not carry a large amount of
prize money (£250k - £500k), but was sought after for the prestige. Winning the
title may also bring lottery and European Funding to the area.
During the course of consultation, 3 messages had become clear. Firstly, the bid
must not be seen as a City Centre Project, secondly the bid should be used as a
way of making the city a different place, for example making the city centre more
family friendly and introducing a number of different uses. Lastly it was stressed
that the local heritage in Newcastle and Gateshead must be valued, for example
food, language and history. There was a need to reflect these messages in the
It was important that the bid would bring direct benefit to local wards in the city.
Any organisations who felt they could contribute to the bid or submit any ideas
would be welcome. If the bid was successful, some of the monies received could
be given to the local areas for them to spend. A member queried how
independent the panel would be, for example would the event go to Belfast for
political reasons. In response Mr Rubinstein advised that there were political
reasons why Belfast was a strong contender, but the government would set up an
independent panel of experts to consider the bids. As yet it was not known who
would sit on this panel.
A member commented that, for example with the Olympics those who sent the
most money seemed to impress the assessors. In response P Rubinstein
advised that in the case of the Capital of Culture, there was a difference in
spending on the bid and the assessment. However Liverpool were spending £1m
on their bid, but Newcastle and Gateshead had an exciting cultural aspect. In
response to a members question, Mr Rubinstein advised that Gateshead were
providing an officer to work on the bid and there would also be a further officer
from the Newcastle / Gateshead initiative.
A resident commented that the monies would be better spent on improving basic
services rather than undertaking the Capital of Culture bid. P Rubinstein
commented that this was a political matter for elected members, but evidence
showed the benefit to local residents of this type of event. Cities who had been
previous Capitals of Culture had noticed a marked increase in tourism, but it was
accepted that there was also a need to balance this with local needs. It was
noted that the Council had made a formal commitment to the 2008 bid.
RESOLVED – That the report be received.
47 PROPOSED NEW BLAKELAW COMMUNITY CENTRE – UPDATE
Submitted: Report of the Project Development Officer (previously circulated and
copy attached to Official Minutes).
The Project Development Officer advised that the existing Red Hut was no longer
suitable and North West Partnership had allocated £645k in principle towards the
development of a new Community Centre. The Project Development Worker’s
post had been established by North West Partnership to support the development
of the project and had been extended to the end of March 2002. The role of the
Project Development Officer was explained.
Meetings of the Blakelaw Community Centre Campaign Group (BCCCG) had
been held and a preferred site identified (the site was to the west of the Shopping
Centre in front of the Social Club). Internal designs had been produced and the
consultation process had started. An event was to be held on 17 October where
residents could look at the proposed designs. A volunteer register had been
started and discussions were underway with potential partners (for example, Sure
The building could incorporate a buggy store, cafe (internet access point),
reception, office, garage, kitchen, large hall, meeting room, counter area,
dedicated creche, exercise room and multifunction rooms. It was noted that
some groups may require dedicated space in the centre, for example the Parish
Council. It was hoped that the works would commence on site towards the end of
summer 2002. Plan of the proposed interior were circulated at the meeting
(copies attached to Official Minutes).
A resident from Kenton Bar queried whether the Centre would just be for
Blakelaw residents. In response the Project Development Officer advised that the
primary catchment area would be Central Blakelaw, but the Centre would be
open to the wider area and residents from Kenton Bar would be welcome.
RESOLVED – That the progress being made on the development of
a new community centre for Blakelaw be noted.
48 MATTERS OF LOCAL CONCERN
(a) Gardening work – Kenton Bar Estate
A representative of Kenton Bar Tenants and Residents Association indicated that
whilst gardening work had been satisfactory carried out at Ryal Walk Flats, there
was still a number of large prickly weeds which had not been attended to.
Residents were concerned about the safety of their children whilst playing out in
this area and it was requested that the area be tidied as soon as possible.
The Chairperson asked that the Housing Officer look into this matter.
(b) Hazeldene Avenue
A representative of Kenton Bar Tenants and Residents Association indicated that
the bottom end of Hazeldene Avenue was an eyesore. The housing side of the
road required new kerbstones to protect the grassed areas from traffic. The
grassed areas had been completely ruined due to cars driving on them and
needed to be re-soiled and re-grassed.
The Chairperson asked that the Housing Officer look into the matter.
(c) Painting of Houses in Kenton Bar
A member advised that he had heard that there were problems with the
painting of houses in Kenton Bar. The Chairperson indicated her
understanding that the matter was now resolved.
(d) Vehicles on footpaths
It was reported that vehicles were being driven on footpaths, for example
between Moorland House and Brockwell House. They had been recorded
on the conciege cameras.
The Community Beat Manager indicated that she would look into this.
(e) Number 86 Bus
It was reported that a number of residents had been seen waiting for the
No.86 bus which had now been withdrawn. It was suggested that either the
bus stop needed to be removed, or a new service provided as there was
obviously a demand. It was commented that buses from Newbiggin Hall
were full by the time they reached Blakelaw.
The Chairperson indicated that it had been Nexus’ decision to stop service
86 and this had been done without consultation.
A Member advised that the Passenger Transport Authority supported
services which were not viable, but had recently removed a number of
services which they claimed were unused or for which there was insufficient
demand. It was not known if they would be reinstated until next year as this
may depend on the financial settlement.
Councillor Keating advised that he could raise the issue as a Member of the
PTA but stressed that it would not be easy to reinstate this or any other bus
It was suggested that the bus stop sign should be removed (at the top of
Sunnyway) or covered over.
The Chairperson asked the Community Co-ordinator to write to Nexus in this
RESOLVED – That
i) The Community Co-ordinator invite Nexus to attend the next
Ward Committee meeting to be held at Blakelaw Library to
discuss the local bus service.
ii) The Community Co-ordinator write to Nexus to request the
removal or covering of all bus stop signs for the No.86 bus
throughout the Ward.
(f) Speed limit on Ponteland Road
It was requested that the Councillors support a 30mph speed limit on
Ponteland Road between the Safeway roundabout and Springfield Road.
Kenton Ward Councillors had already supported this.
The Chairperson advised that the Blakelaw Councillors had already written
to City Engineering Services supporting the 30mph limit, but could do so
(g) Meadow Rise Estate
A resident reported that various roads in Meadow Rise and Etal Park had not
been swept in the past month. Electric sweepers had been on the estate but
they did not clear paths or grassed areas.
The Chairperson asked that the Community Co-ordinator write to the
appropriate officer about the matter.
It was also reported that gangs on the estate gathered in the Swanton play
area. In response the Chairperson advised that the matter had been
discussed with Police who had devised a strategy in this respect.
A resident indicated that there were rumours that Leech Homes would be
building behind Wilton Close and on Linear Park. In response a member
advised that whilst Leech owned the land, there were no planning grounds
for them to be granted planning permission for housing.
(h) Land between Moulton flats and Colwyne Place
A resident reported that there was a problem of thistles growing in this area
and also around Hilton School.
The Chairperson asked that the Housing Officer look into the problem of
thistles between the flats at Colwyne Place, and the Community Co-ordinator
contact Hilton School about the problem there.
(i) North West Partnership – Annual General Meeting
It was noted that the North West Partnership Annual General Meeting would
be held on 12 October 2001 at 12:45pm at Kenton Park Sports Centre.
Information about the meeting was circulated at the meeting (copy attached
to Official Minutes).
(j) Sure Start
It was noted that Anne Armstrong had been appointed to Sure Start and
would be based in the north building at Firfield School.
(k) Southmead Avenue Area
The Community Co-ordinator reported that a meeting had been held with
residents of the Southmead Avenue area on the 13 September 2001. It was
noted that the Blakelaw Community Development worker would be assisting
residents to set up a Tenants and Residents Association.
49 FINANCIAL STATEMENT
Submitted: Financial statement setting out the Ward Committee’s position as of 6
August 2001 (previously circulated and copy attached to Official Minutes).
RESOLVED – That the financial statement be received.
50 COMMUNITY PHOTOCOPYING SERVICE AND COMMUNITY COMPUTERS:
BLAKELAW COMMUNITY LIBRARY.
Submitted: Report by Blakelaw Community Co-ordinator (previously circulated
and copy attached to Official Minutes).
The Chairperson advised that the room in which the community computer would
be installed in Moorland House was not covered by the concierge security. The
window of the room required a shutter or another security measure. She asked
that the Housing Officer look into this matter.
RESOLVED – That
i) continued support be given for the community photocopying
service at Blakelaw Library and the transfer of one committee
computer to the Moorland House Community room (small
meeting room) be supported.
ii) a contribution of £400 be made towards the cost of paper,
toner and ink cartridges for the photocopier and community
computers and the criteria be agreed for the use of both
51 GRANT APPLICATIONS
The Committee considered the following grant applications (previously circulated
and copies attached to Official Minutes) and made the decisions indicated:-
(a) Blakelaw Neighbourhood Detached Youth Project
Councillor Lower declared an interest in the matter and took no part in the
consideration of this item.
Councillor Keating in the Chair
The appIicant advised that the project were involved in offering advice and
personal social development to residents. It was proposed to take a group from
the project to Big Lukes restaurant in the Metrocentre. This was to help assist
them into becoming comfortable outside their own environment and also develop
social skills. The application was for the cost of the meal and Newcastle YMCA
would meet the staffing costs
RESOLVED – That approval be given to a grant £83.30.
Councillor Lower in the Chair.
(b) Better Days
RESOLVED – That the consideration of the application be deferred.
(c) St Peter’s PCC
Councillor Schardt declared an interest in the matter and took no part in the
consideration of this item.
It was noted that Kenton Ward Committee had provided half of the funding for this
RESOLVED – That approval be given to a grant of £375 towards a
ramped access for wheelchair users.
52 INFORMATION EXCHANGE
Submitted: Information on the following items which related to Blakelaw
(previously circulated and copies attached to Official Minutes) was received:-
(a) Blakelaw and North Fenham Parish Council Minutes of Annual
Meeting: 19 June 2001.
(b) Blakelaw and North Fenham Parish Council minutes of meeting held
on 2 August 2001.
(c) Introduction to Advice Work Course: 5 October 2001.
(d) Houndelee Place Recycling.
(e) Benefit Take Up Amongst Older People.
It was recommended that this item be included at the North West Partnership
Annual Review event for older people at Blakelaw Social Club in November.
(f) North West Partnership Main Board Summary Sheet: 20 July 2001.
(g) Youth Alliance Project.
(h) Blakelaw Community Library Cartoon Workshop: 25 October 2001.
(i) Blakelaw and Woolsington ECO Panel Newsletter .
The Community Co-ordinator commented that it may be useful to invite Tom
Jarman to a future meeting regarding kerbside collections.
The Chairperson asked the Community Co-ordinator to invite Tom Jarman to
attend the next Ward Committee meeting in Kenton Bar.
53 GENERAL INFORMATION EXCHANGE
Submitted: Information on the following (previously circulated and copies attached
to Official Minutes) was received:-
(a) Briefing: August 2001
(b) Video Links
(c) Newcastle Advocacy Centre
(d) NCVS Training Update: Autumn 2001
(e) NCVS Inform: September 2001
(f) NCVS Funding: September 2001
(g) CSV Newcastle Inclusive Volunteering
(h) IC Newcastle
(i) Shelter Housing and Skills Course: September 01-January 02
(j) Toc H and CSV Giant Teddy Bears Picnic
(k) Phoenix Project
(l) Newcastle, North Tyneside and Northumberland Mental Health NHS
Trust: September 2001
54 DATE, TIME AND VENUE OF NEXT MEETING
It was noted that the next meeting would be held on Thursday 18 October 2001 at
7pm in the library of Kenton Bar Primary School.