Work has begun on the £6 million flood defence scheme in Chester-le-Street's market.
Although we believe this is a worthwhile project, with potential to bring natural beauty into the town centre, and boost the local economy, it also corrects the Councils £2 MILLION pound mistake.
The £2 MILLION pound Civic Heart (arch) project, was introduced when the old District Council needed to open up the Burn and strengthen the concrete cover.
The arch didn't last long – it was damaged by Council staff reversing into it. The original project didn't take into account the need for flooding provisions. Now the redbrick areas of the market place need to be strengthened.
At County Hall, Liberal Democrat Councillors have been raising residents' concerns about this project. They have told the Labour controlled Council that the residents of Chester- le-Street DESERVE an apology!
Another £50k on art for the town centre?
The Chester-le-Street Area Action Partnership – following the footsteps of the District Council – is planning on putting a new piece of public art in the town centre.
£47,500 has been allocated so far, with more funds being expected by County Councillors from their neighbourhood budgets.
The plan is to introduce the art following the completion of the flood defence scheme in March 2020.
"The flood defence work should bring some natural beauty into the area, so there isn't the need for a pricey piece of art in the town", commented Michael Peacock, local Lib Dem Campaigner. "Given the removal of the Civic Heart arch after it was damaged, we believe the public would rather serious improvements, and not another Labour Council folly at public expense".
More Labour waste: New County Hall
Residents across County Durham are concerned by the Labour-controlled County Council's plans to build a new HQ on the Sands in Durham City.
Thankfully Liberal Democrats on the newly formed City of Durham Parish Council are fighting this, to try and secure more sensible alternatives. Look out for more information on this in our next Focus newsletter.
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