Saturday, February 19, 2011

What nice people live in Eaglescliffe!  I've said that before but it hit me again this week. A number of people have been asking about the council's budget and any cuts that might be happening, usually after reading horror stories from elsewhere.  When we explain that yes, Stockton has had a cut in government grants much bigger than we expected and yes, we're making cuts but we've been planning for 2 years and so it's not as bad as it might be, then people are really interested to know more.  Most people are saying that they understand and they appreciate the efforts we councillors are making to keep services going.  And when we can point to bits of judicious investment and improvement, like Stockton Central Library closing for a major refurbishment, or Preston Park getting a new play area, people are genuinely pleased.
Talking of Preston Park, the application for planning permission went in this week for the new adventure playground.  The Park website has pictures and plans - go to the bottom of the page and there are several links.  All I can say is that I wish I was many years younger!
On a much smaller scale is the Parish Council's proposal at Amberley Way.  Local children worked hard to help plan this and there was a very good consultation session hosted by Durham Lane School.  On Thursday afternoon we had the pre-start meeting on site, discussing with the company working times, safety fencing and delivery times.  Sadly, the drainage on the site is poor, but to fix it would cost more than the play equipment so we hope that some improvement will be possible but it certainly won't be an all weather play area.
Later still in the afternoon was the mini fair held at Durham Lane Primary in aid of Macmillan Nurses.  This was organised in memory of a member of staff who died recently and the children showed their appreciation of her by running stalls and generally being as helpful as they could be.  I couldn't stay till the end so I don't know how much they raised, but I hope it was lots.  I certainly got some very good books in readiness for the grandchildren's next visits but missed out on the cake stall which was sold out in next to no time. 
When we have under 12s who will put so much effort in to a good cause like this and staff who will put in the extra time after a busy day at school there's something right in the world.  Which takes me back full circle - what nice people live in Eaglescliffe.

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