In the Constituency

Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham, has contacted Durham County Council and Durham University to once again raise the issue of waste bins in Durham City.

Along with local residents, Roberta has regularly raised the issue of waste overflowing from bins in the city centre, and often sprawling across pavements and streets. Roberta has contacted Durham University as a significant number of properties across the city are in use as Houses of Multiple Occupation by students, and has called on Durham County Council to work with the University to tackle this problem.

Roberta said:

“Having waste bins overflowing anywhere is simply unacceptable, and I have asked Durham County Council what steps can be taken to ensure this issue is dealt with. Not only is this extremely unsightly, but this waste is often left in the street for days before collection, and it creates an environmental health hazard for residents of the city.

I have contacted Durham University about this issue as well, as the number of student HMOs throughout Durham can exacerbate this problem, simply due to the number of occupants in these properties. I feel that the University also has some role to play in ensuring that our city is kept clean and tidy, and remains an attractive and safe place to live.

I look forward to hearing from both the local authority and the University in due course about what action can be taken to eradicate this problem.”

MP highlights problems with bins in Durham streets

Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham, has contacted Durham County Council and Durham University to once again raise the issue of waste bins in Durham City. Along with...

Roberta has recently voiced her support for the campaign for a Parish Council Durham City Centre, and has urged local residents to take part in the Community Governance Review currently being undertaken by Durham County Council.

Durham County Council began consulting with local residents on 6 February and electors in the Neville's Cross, Elvet and Gilesgate and part of the Durham South wards have until 6 March 2017 to return their ballot papers indicating whether they support the formation of a new Parish Council within the central, unparished areas of the city.

The Community Governance Review came about following the submission of a petition by Roberta and local campaigners calling on the local authority to reassess the way the city is governed. The petition was signed by over 1600 residents who expressed their wish for more local representation in Durham.

Roberta said:

“I am delighted that Durham County Council are running a consultation on the formation of a Parish Council for Durham, and as MP I will be taking a strong stance to support this. Most of the City of Durham constituency is already parished, and I believe that the residents who signed the petition have a valid argument in requesting the same level of local governance as the rest of the constituency.

I do hope that local residents will support the campaign for a Town Council, and I urge everyone to take part in this consultation and return their ballot papers before 6 March 2017.”

Campaigning for a Parish Council in Durham City

Roberta has recently voiced her support for the campaign for a Parish Council Durham City Centre, and has urged local residents to take part in the Community Governance Review currently...

Roberta has welcomed the decision by Durham County Council to begin consultation on new regulations aimed to reduce the number of To Let boards on residential streets in Durham.

A voluntary scheme for landlords was introduced in 2009, which limited each landlord to one board per street, however there has been a recent increase of breaches of this voluntary code.

The new regulations currently being consulted on would remove current rights of landlords to display To Let boards without seeking consent from the local authority first, and local residents have the opportunity to say whether they would prefer to retain the voluntary code, or whether Durham County Council should apply to the Government for a Regulation Seven Direction to formalise the controls on To Let boards.

Residents can take part in the consultation by visiting www.durham.gov.uk/consultation or attending a drop in event organised by Durham County Council at the Town Hall, Durham Market Place on Monday 16 January 2017 between 3.30pm and 7.30pm.

 Roberta said:

“I am delighted that Durham County Council have now begun consulting on tighter regulations to curb the number of To Let boards in Durham, as along with local residents I have campaigned for a Regulation 7 Direction in Durham for some time. Having held a number of discussions with landlords and residents, and undertaken surveys on the impact of To Let boards over a number of years, it was clear that the voluntary scheme needed strengthening.

I have raised this issue with the Council, and have regularly discussed steps that have been taken in comparable cities around the country, with a view to introducing similar measures in Durham. 

Durham should be doing everything it can to make the city attractive for visitors and residents alike, and a preponderance of To Let Boards can be very unattractive indeed, and I very much look forward to working with Durham County Council and local residents to tackle this issue in the near future, and I urge members of the public to engage with this consultation.”

MP welcomes consultation on To Let boards in Durham City

Roberta has welcomed the decision by Durham County Council to begin consultation on new regulations aimed to reduce the number of To Let boards on residential streets in Durham. A...

Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham has welcomed the decision by Durham County Council to approve a planning application for a new emergency department at the University Hospital of North Durham.

The local authority’s County Planning Committee unanimously approved plans for the new £30 million department, which will double the capacity of the existing A&E department. The new development will also include new urgent care facilities, as well as a larger paediatric department.

Roberta said:

“I am very pleased that Durham County Council have approved this planning application, as I have been urging the hospital to expand the A&E department for a very long time. I hope that work can begin on this development as soon as possible, to help alleviate the pressure the existing department is having to deal with.

Although the staff at the hospital do a wonderful job, it has been clear for some time that the demand for emergency services has outgrown the existing facilities, and this was a necessary decision by the local authority to allow the hospital to continue to provide the high level of care that patients need.”  

New Year brings good news for the University Hospital of North Durham A&E

Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham has welcomed the decision by Durham County Council to approve a planning application for a new emergency department at the University Hospital...

Last month, I was invited to take part in a debate hosted by the Durham Union Society on the topic of grammar schools. 

Debating the establishment of new grammar schools

Last month, I was invited to take part in a debate hosted by the Durham Union Society on the topic of grammar schools.  Read more

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WASPI Durham Event 23rd September

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP for the City of Durham has passed on residents’ serious concerns to BT/Openreach about the numbers of businesses and homes that have been without telephone landlines since 4 September.

The MP expressed the dismay of residents and businesses, that so little information has been given to them about what has caused the problem, how extensive it is, and when the problem can be fixed.  People are very disappointed to put it mildly that constant reassurances have been broken and deadlines for fixing the loss of connections have been missed.  To make matters worse there has been little explanation or clear information about when the matter will ultimately be resolved.

Roberta said:

“The situation regarding telephone lines in Durham is simply not acceptable especially as the information coming from BT has been both conflicting, vague and inadequate.

“People should have been fully informed from the outset and told what has caused the problem.

“It has taken my office days to find the correct person to liaise with about this situation and I am extremely disappointed that with so many of my constituents affected BT or Openreach did not contact me about what had caused this major exchange issue so I could let people know.  I would have been more than happy to offer my assistance where possible and to contact other relevant agencies to help resolve the problem much earlier.

“I am very worried about residents particularly those who are vulnerable and rely on landlines for essential communication and BT need to sort this problem out now as a matter of urgency.

“I am still awaiting information from BT about what they are doing and as soon as I receive it I will send it on to the paper."

MP demands better communication and swifter action from BT

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP for the City of Durham has passed on residents’ serious concerns to BT/Openreach about the numbers of businesses and homes that have been without telephone landlines since...

 

I will be running a number of phone banks to encourage our members to vote for Owen Smith in the forthcoming Labour Leadership election.

 

The phone banks will be Monday to Thursday from 5pm to 7pm, and on Saturday between 10am and 12 noon. The first session therefore, will be tonight – Monday 1 August.  If you are able to spend some time phoning our members, your help really would be very much appreciated. If you do intend to come along for any of these sessions, please get in touch on mail@roberta.org.uk or by telephoning 0191 374 1917 so we can get an idea of how many people to expect.

 

If you are keen to get involved, but can’t make any of those times, please just get in touch with me on the same e-mail address and telephone number to let us know when you are available, and we will be able to accommodate you somewhere to do some telephoning.

 

Don't worry if you've never done phone banking before there will be people on hand to show you the ropes!

Owen Smith Leadership Campaign

  I will be running a number of phone banks to encourage our members to vote for Owen Smith in the forthcoming Labour Leadership election.   The phone banks will...

On Friday 1st July, Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the city of Durham, was invited to open the new Post Office in Kelloe.

The cutting of the red tape was carried out by Roberta who was joined by councillor Mac Williams, the chairman of Durham County Council and former Mayor, Jan Blakey as well as the new Post Master.

The opening of the post office has been warmly welcomed by the community and will be a fantastic new resource for Kelloe locals. The office will offer many services to local residents as well as public access to local and national amenities, the chance to shorten commuting times and possible employment. Kelloe has lacked this service since 2008 as previously there was no post office provision. Fortunately the opening of the new centre will contribute to the village and offer a service closer to home.

Roberta said ‘I was very pleased to officially open this new facility for the inhabitants of Kelloe. I’m glad my constituents now have access again to this vital service’

Roberta opens Kelloe Post Office

On Friday 1st July, Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the city of Durham, was invited to open the new Post Office in Kelloe. The cutting of the red tape was carried...

 

Yesterday, a number of famous scientists from Durham University talked to “Labour in” campaigners, Alistair Darling, former Chancellor; Angela Eagle, Shadow BIS Secretary; Jude Kirton-Darling MEP and myself about the importance of staying in the EU for securing funding for, and advancing, scientific research.

A Remain vote is important for Science

  Yesterday, a number of famous scientists from Durham University talked to “Labour in” campaigners, Alistair Darling, former Chancellor; Angela Eagle, Shadow BIS Secretary; Jude Kirton-Darling MEP and myself about... Read more

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