Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ups and Downs

The day started with a briefing session in preparation for the planning appeal hearing on 690 Yarm Road, taking place next Wednesday in Stockton Town Hall. Two senior planning officers went through all the procedures with me and discussed what the main arguments will be. Cllr Beaumont came along too, as she went on the committee site visit and realised at that point just what the impact would be on the residents of the few houses on Croft Rd at the rear of the site. She's going to come along to the appeal and speak on that, for which I'm grateful. I couldn't go on the site visit, so although I know the area I can't speak about what the committee saw on that day.
Last night I called on a couple of the Croft Rd residents and asked if they would mind my asking the inspector to come and look from their property. Appeal inspectors aren't consistent in which aspects of an application and local plans they place most emphasis on so we can only marshall the best arguments we can and hope for the best.
From that to a more up-beat meeting - Stockton Borough Fairtrade Partnership. We had good representation from Durham University this time as well as from the Co-op and very positive discussions on how to promote Fairtrade in the Borough. Plans for the wine tasting on October 17th are moving on, as well as for re-validating our Fairtrade Borough status. If any local readers know of shops other than the supermarkets which stock Fairtrade goods please let me know, as well as any cafes, restaurants or pubs which offer Fairtrade food or drink. We were delighted to hear that as well as the Co-op taking over the Sommerfield chain and thus broadening their Fairtrade offer they have also taken over the newsagent at Wynyard, meaning that Wynyard now has a place to buy Fairtrade coffee, tea, chocolate and biscuits on the doorstep.
Disappointing news came in the afternoon, with the decision to cancel the Summer Show planned for the weekend at Preston Park. Heavy rain has left the ground in no state to cope with masses of vehicles and people even if it stays fine for the rest of the week so there was no alternative but a cancellation. Some events will go ahead on the car parking space and inside the Hall, including
Olympic Flag raising – the ceremony to mark the countdown to the London 2012 Olympics will take place outside Preston Hall Museum on Sunday 24 August at 1:30pm. The flag will be raised by gymnast Craig Heap, who competed in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and was twice gold medallist in the Commonwealth Games. There'll also be people on hand with information on how to get involved in sports of all kinds in the borough.
The Daisy Chain SCAD will take place in the car park while the rowing machine competition will be in the Hall on Sunday at 1.
Arc in the Park will now be in Arc at 8pm on Friday and Saturday which will no doubt be a relief for those who don't like to hear the music from evening events drifting across to their houses.
The museum will be open as usual all weekend but parking will be very limited so if you can possibly use a bus or walk or catch the train to Eaglescliffe station and walk from there, please do.

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