Please see below the latest weekly Covid-19 bulletin from the City of Durham Parish Council:
The City of Durham Parish Council has entered into a service level agreement with Durham County Council to fund an enhanced neighbourhood warden service for our area. Our warden is tasked with tackling issues such as waste, littering, dog fouling, low level anti-social behaviour and so much more.
We are working with our local community to tackle these issues and make Durham City life even better.
Find out more about what has been achieved over the last month of this service level agreement in the latest report here:
Durham City parish report
A list of the key decisions taken at the October 2020 meeting of the Full Parish Council can be found here:
The Parish Logo.
In 2017 some residents were probably surprised when County Durham’s newest parish council chose the very traditional image of St Cuthbert’s Cross as the basis for its logo.
In so doing the Council wanted to reflect, in a modern design, some important features of the past that helped make the city we see today.
The colours were chosen to illustrate the environment, economy and culture of the City, past and present.
• yellow – the city’s role on north-south road and railway routes and ‘following the Yellow Brick Road to find the way home’
• blue and green – its unique townscape still shaped by the looping river and steep green banks
• the ‘black diamond’ of coal – once central to the local economy
• purple – Durham county’s ‘jewel in the crown’ highlighted by its cathedral, university, business and tourism
• green again for the encircling belt of countryside, pierced only by the river, road and rail links to other parts of the country.
The words express the Council’s commitment to finding new ways of working collaboratively to deliver the best for all Parish residents.
The design also had to be simple enough for interpretation across various media – from engraving on glass to reproduction in living floral panels.
Our thanks to local designer Stuart Langley for his work in creating this logo on behalf of the Parish Council.
Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party and of the City of Durham Parish Council Planning Committee, Coun. Roger Cornwell (pictured) welcomed the news.
The City of Durham Parish Council has welcomed news that the Independent Examiner of the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan has given his seal of approval that the Plan, with recommended modifications, will be sound and will therefore be able to progress to Referendum stage.
The plan was initially created by members of Durham City’s Neighbourhood Planning Forum and was taken over by the City of Durham Parish Council following the Council’s creation in May 2018. Since then, the Plan has undergone two rounds of public consultation, where members of the public, businesses and interested parties have been able to have their say on its content.
The Neighbourhood Plan sets down guidance for development within the City of Durham Parish area over the next 15 years. It is a comprehensive Plan which includes policies on Sustainable Development, the Historic Environment, Green Infrastructure, Employment and Town Centres, Housing, Transport, and Community Facilities.
In his report, the Independent Examiner Mr Tony Burton said: “Producing the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan has clearly involved significant effort over many years led by the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party both before and after the creation of City of Durham Parish Council. There has been significant community involvement. There is evidence of collaboration with Durham County Council and this will continue to be important in ensuring delivery of the Plan. The evident commitment of all those who have worked so hard over such a long period of time to prepare the Plan is to be commended and I would like to thank all those at Durham County Council and City of Durham Parish Council who have supported this examination process”.
In his summary of the Plan, Mr Burton said: “I am satisfied the Durham City Neighbourhood Plan meets the Basic Conditions and other requirements subject to the modifications recommended in this report and that it can proceed to a referendum.”
The Examiner has also made it clear that the policies set out in the Neighbourhood Plan can now carry significant weight when considering new planning applications within the Plan area.
Chair of the Neighbourhood Plan Working Party and of the City of Durham Parish Council Planning Committee, Coun. Roger Cornwell said: “I am very pleased that the County Council has now issued a Decision Notice saying that the City of Durham Neighbourhood Plan can go forward to a referendum next May. This is a key stage which means that it can now be given “significant weight” in determining planning applications within our Parish. The Plan is the result of six years’ work by a dedicated team of volunteers, first from the Neighbourhood Planning Forum then subsequently by largely the same people working with the Parish Council. The theme of sustainability runs like a golden thread through the Plan, which encompasses six themes including heritage, green spaces, employment, housing and transport. We have tried hard to reflect the hopes and concerns of the people who live and work in the Parish, and these will now be taken into account as planning applications are considered.”
Both the City of Durham Parish Council and the County Council have accepted all of the modifications recommended by the Examiner and it is hoped that the Referendum may take place in May 2021. The Referendum must be delayed until May 2021 in accordance with Government guidelines relating to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A full copy of the Examiner’s report can be found on the County Council’s website here:
The County Durham Plan was submitted to the Secretary of State for examination in public on 28 June 2019.
The Planning Inspector’s examination in public is now almost complete. The Inspector has provided his Post Hearings Advice in which he has provisionally accepted that the County Council’s proposed main modifications to the Plan are necessary to make the County Durham Plan sound. These main modifications are what Durham County Council has been consulting upon during June and July. The next step is for the County Council to revise its proposed main modifications and submit them to the Inspector so that he can complete his report. Hopefully, this will be followed by formal adoption of the County Durham Plan, as modified, by the end of the year.
The County Durham Plan is an extremely important document which will help shape the future of not just the City of Durham Parish area, but the whole of County Durham for years to come. It has been a long process to get to this stage and the City of Durham Parish Council has submitted a number of comments to the proposed Main Modifications to the plan.
To have your say on the proposed Main Modifications, find out more here:
The schedule of Main Modifications can be found here:Main_Modifications_CDP
A full copy of the City of Durham Parish Council’s responses to the proposed Main Modifications can be found here: City of Durham Parish Council responses to proposed Main Modifications
The City of Durham Parish Council is continuing its work to support the local community during Covid-19. Here are just a few of the actions that we have taken:
Signposting vulnerable residents to the most appropriate support services during the pandemic.
Providing the public with the latest Government advice, i.e. regulations around social distancing, the job retention scheme, etc.
Encouraging volunteers to sign up to the NHS and County Council volunteer schemes to support those who are vulnerable and shielding.
Providing emergency grant funding to local Food Bank services in Durham City.
Providing emergency grant funding to local domestic abuse charity Harbour in light of increased demand on their services.
Contracting the services of retail consultant Graham Soult to provide businesses with free and independent advice on how to change and improve their operations to be more resilient to the pandemic.
Provided an unprecedented level of grant funding from any Parish Council to its local businesses in the form of a £30,000 Covid-19 business resilience grant fund to support the purchase of PPE, protective screening, hand sanitisers, etc.
Funded the provision of hand sanitisers, social distancing ambassadors and signage to support the re-opening of the popular indoor and outdoor market.
Increased grant funding to local community and voluntary organisations in light of the increased pressure on their services – services like Sanctuary 21, the WI, Blind Life in Durham, Durham Hospital Radio, St Cuthbert’s Hospice, etc. have been given much needed support.
Working with key stakeholders in the City lobbying for free parking and the provision of toilet facilities as the City re-opens from lockdown.
Currently working with the County Council to ensure that the £469,000 given to DCC from the Government to support the safe re-opening of High Streets is spent as effectively as possible.
Lobbying the County Council to suspend the closure of New Elvet Bridge.
Working with Durham University to support Green Move Out day.
Continuing Council services as usual through the use of virtual meetings – new planning and licensing applications being considered as normal, projects being progressed with the Environment Committee, a successful annual audit carried out, Council Strategy 2020-21 agreed, etc.
Poppy knitting project launched with community groups supporting from home to mark 2020 as an important year of Remembrance.
Launched a community planting project whereby the Parish Council has purchased bedding plants from local nurseries which may have otherwise been binned due to Covid-19 and the lockdown and working with local residents’ groups to provide these across the Parish area. Colourful plants planted across the parish to cheer everyone up in a time of gloom and over £200 raised from our honesty boxes which went towards a local hospice and a charity which supports the homeless.
Set of principles agreed as a Council to support the re-opening of City businesses such as supporting temporary license applications for use of outdoor space where appropriate to allow for social distancing.
Representing the Parish in responding to important consultations such as the Main Modifications consultation on the County Durham Plan and new Traffic Regulations Orders.
Progressing the Neighbourhood Plan.
A very big thank you to everyone for their interest and applications for the Parish Council’s Covid-19 business resilience fund.
This has been an unprecedented level of funding and support from a Parish Council for its local businesses and we are really proud to have been able to support nearly 50 of our much-loved independent businesses across the parish area; safeguarding jobs and providing the public with reassurance.
We have had an overwhelming response with funding being made available within 48 hours of applying.
Please note that applications are now closed as all of the funding has now been allocated.
Support from our retail consultant Graham Soult remains available to all businesses in the Parish. To find out more about this, please contact our Parish Clerk via email at email@example.com
The City of Durham Parish Council has written a letter of support in response to the planning application for the new Lowes Barn Community Centre.
If approved, this community centre will represent the culmination of over 3,500 volunteer hours of work carried out by a small, dedicated team of 6-7 Trustees of the Lowes Barn Community Project (LBCP) and 8 volunteers. Funding for this project has been made possible thanks to the allocation of a substantial amount of Section 106 Community Fund by Durham Area Action Partnership and a further £80,000 committed from the former County Councillors for the area towards the construction of this new centre. A great deal of time, effort, detail and consultation has been carried out ahead of this planning application and the Parish Council applauds the enormous community effort which has allowed the project to reach this stage.
See the Parish Council’s response to the application here:
DM/20/01008/FPA | Erection of community centre building with associated bin store and cycle parking | Lowes Barn Recreation Ground Off Park House Road Durham DH1 3QF
Durham County Council is proposing to demolish the existing bus station on North Road and replace this with a brand new building in the same location. This application is one of the most important in our parish for a number of years and the Parish Council hopes that this will be an important first step in regenerating North Road.
Anyone wishing to respond to the consultation can do so here:
Find the Parish Council’s response to this planning application here:
DM/20/00912/FPA: Demolition of bus station and erection of a replacement including office space, Bus Station, North Road, Durham City DH1 4SG