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Winter 2012

Royal Visit To Stockton! more investment

IN billingham A ÂŁ2.35m injection to boost the local economy

The community magazine of Stockton Borough Council Big plans, bright future



A Brilliant Town

New Hospital


Safer Roads


Contents 4

News Round Up

Big news for stockton-on-Tees


Big plans for keeping our communities safe

In its Diamond Jubilee year join us for the official re-launch of Preston Park Museum and Grounds following its extensive £7 million refurbishment.

See the museum and park like never before, as a specially commissioned illuminated projection show lights up the familiar façade of the Hall in a journey through its history.

With three times the display items, an amazing recreation of a Victorian walled garden and an improved Victorian Street – why not come along and re-discover it? For more details about the launch visit in the New Year.

Big plans for our places and open spaces

Ambitious, effective and proud to serve





h council on Boroug ine of Stockt unity magaz bright future The comm Big plans,


Big plans for your area

Health and Wellbeing


Strong Communities


Big plans for helping our communities prosper


Focus on Your Area

Stockton News is published by Stocktonon-Tees Borough Council and distributed to households across the Borough free of charge. Editor Kirsty Watt, Deputy editor; Jacky Stevely. To contact the editorial team or if you have not received a copy please call (01642) 526098 or email



Arts, Culture and Leisure

Arts, Culture and Leisure


Big plans for the health of our people

Big plans for great experiences


Your Council


Adults Services

Children and Young People

Big plans for the young people of our borough

Big plans for the care we provide


Environment and Housing



Big plans for an outstanding borough

Community Safety

Coming in 2013…

Economic Regeneration and Transport

What’s On


Big plans for the future

Stockton News aims to provide news and information about the Council, its partner organisations and local community groups and businesses. Every effort is made to ensure all information is accurate and up-to-date at the time of publication. Your views and comments are welcome.

Stockton News is produced by Stockton Council’s Communications Unit and designed by Twentyseven Design. Pictures courtesy of Dave Charnley, Peter Mernagh, Gary Walsh, Gilmar Ribeiro, Gilbert Johnston and others. Front cover main picture The Duchess of Cambridge visits Stockton.

There is an audio version of Stockton News. Call (01642) 526098 to order a copy or email

Big plans for great experiences PAGE 3

news round up

news round up

Welcome to this Winter edition of Stockton News. As you will read in this issue, the Council’s budget to deliver your important services is expected to have been cut by 40 per cent between 2010 – 2014, a staggering reduction of £38m. It is our continuing aim to provide you with the very best services possible and protect our most vulnerable residents. However, as you will read on page 52, these are incredibly challenging circumstances and more tough decisions await in the New Year. Several of our businesses, SNF Oil & Gas, Nifco, Marlow Foods and Chemoxy International have received additional funding from the Regional Growth Fund, which will support their expansion plans and help create new jobs.

HRH Prince Philip and Her Majesty the Queen meet some canoeists

Great news! We are now on site with both the regeneration of Stockton High Street and Billingham town centre. More details are on pages 6 and 12. This winter we have had our usual wide range of events to help us all celebrate this special time of the year. There was the annual fireworks display which was one of the biggest free shows in the country and drew in visitors from all over the region, boosting our local economy. We also had the new festival of light and colour on the Riverside which featured many of our local schoolchildren. They were a great success. At the end of November, Stockton Sparkles begins with a celebrity-packed launch. Further details are in the What’s On section, as well as information on a host of other free festive treats for everyone. A big congratulations to our local schools, their staff and of course, the young people of the Borough, who did so well in their exams this year. Thank you to all the communities who pulled together to support each other during the flooding which was so devastating for residents in part of our Borough. This Stockton News also has essential information to help you prepare for the coming winter. On behalf of Stockton Council all the best for Christmas and 2013.

Pure gold! Once again Stockton has achieved gold in the national Britain in Bloom Awards, this time in the Champion of Champions section. Meanwhile, in the Northumbria in Bloom competition Stockton won Best City, with Thornaby taking Gold in the Best Small City and Billingham scooping Gold in the Best Large Town category. See page 37 to read more about our Borough’s achievements.

Police and Crime Commissioner in place As Stockton News went to print people across Stockton Borough were taking to the polls to vote for their first ever Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC). The new Commissioner will carry out roles previously undertaken by the Cleveland Police Authority for the next four years. It means they will be responsible for obtaining the views of local people, represent local communities and ensure the delivery of efficient and effective policing in the area. The PCC will set the Force budget and Council Tax precept (the police element of council tax) as well as making sure Cleveland Police provide value for money.

Stockton welcomed Her Majesty The Queen This summer was an historic one for Stockton as Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh made a very special trip to the Borough to officially open the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee White Water Course. The visit was part of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee tour and hundreds of school children and thousands of people from across the Borough welcomed Her Majesty to celebrate the opening at the Tees Barrage. The Queen was given a tour of the world-class facility which has recently benefitted from a £4.6 million redevelopment before pressing a big red button to detonate explosives which released gallons of water through the Olympic standard course. Then, after watching a flotilla of canoists and swimmers, The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh listened to a performance from the multi-award winning Northern Cobweb Orchestra which had been specially written to commemorate the day. If you would like to find out more about what the White Water Course has to offer visit or call (01642) 678000.

The Commissioner will also appoint and, if necessary, dismiss the Chief Constable. To find out the outcome of the election visit

By Royal appointment Neil Schneider

Chief Executive, stockton borough council PAGE 4

Stockton gave a right Royal welcome to a very special visitor recently. Turn to Page 26 to find out all the news and see the event in pictures.

A packed audience to see the spectacle PAGE 5

economic regeneration and transport

economic regeneration and transport

New High Street parking

more in the Redis

cover Stockon Sh op

Work under way at St John’s Crossing

New High Street car park


Visitors find out

New dedicated bus island

Lane Post Office Short Stay Parking

Short Stay Parking


Dodshon's Fountain

Bridge Road

Major construction work is under way on Stockton High Street. It’s all part of the exciting £38 million regeneration scheme to help transform it into a bustling and popular town centre.


Plan of Phase 1 works


New location of the taxi rank

What will I see during this

Will I still be able to shop in and

How long will the works last?

What’s happening at the Halford’s

phase of works?

visit the town centre?


Anyone visiting the town will notice sections of the High Street have been cordoned off to allow works to take place. The road layout is changing at the south end of the High Street to speed up journey times and make it easier for people to get into the town. The bus stops and taxi rank will be repositioned to reflect the new road arrangements and a new car park is also being created next to the Shambles. The renovation and restoration process will include removal and replacement of the old paving, kerbs, lighting, street furniture, drains, utility cables, road surfaces and traffic signals, together with repositioning Dodshon’s Fountain from its current location outside Marks and Spencer to the south end.

Yes. Some of the existing bus stops are being moved but clearly signed temporary bus stops will be in operation throughout the works.

This first phase of High Street improvements is due to be complete by summer 2013 and after that the contractors will make their way up the High Street, creating a high quality central area, new spaces for people to sit, relax and for children to play as well as areas for events and specialist markets. The regeneration of the Town Centre is expected to be complete by early 2015.


Similarly, a taxi rank will remain but at times this will need to move to enable the works to take place. Access to shops will be maintained at all times, with noise, dust and disruption kept to a minimum. There is also free parking available in all of the town’s Council-run car parks after 3pm every day until the end of December. For details see

Contractors are removing the roundabout at the junction of Stockton’s Riverside and Bridge Road (near the Halfords store). Two new linked signal-controlled junctions will take the place of the roundabout to improve traffic flow through the junction. The realignment of the Riverside will straighten out its connection with 1825 Way, which links central Stockton with the A66 trunk route and Ingleby Barwick. The improved junction will be known as St John’s Crossing, after the point nearby where the Stockton & Darlington Railway once crossed Bridge Road and where the first rail was laid in 1822. All of the businesses on the Riverside and at the Bridge Road Retail Park will remain open as usual throughout the works which are due to be finished by the end of next year.

The new dedicated area for the Wednesday, Friday and Saturday market

Most of the work is being carried out during the daytime and every effort is being made to keep disruption to a minimum. As with any major scheme, there may be delays at certain times but the majority of traffic management will be limited to the hours of 9.30am to 3.30pm. There will be an occasional need for some night-time work and this will be advertised in advance. How will I benefit from the multi-million pound regeneration of Stockton Town Centre? People will find it easier to get to shops, businesses, eateries and other night life in the town thanks to the improvements being made to the roads into the town centre, the positioning of bus-stops and the taxi rank and more car parking on or close to the High Street.

On Wednesdays and Saturdays the new car park beside the Shambles will become a dedicated space for the 700 year-old Stockton Market with stall-holders also occupying space south of the Town Hall, close to the Castlegate Centre. The newly designed High Street will be a more appealing and comfortable place to be. How can I find out more about what’s going to happen over the coming weeks, months and years? A special “Rediscover Stockton” shop has opened at 134 Stockton High Street. Staff based inside the shop will be able to help you find out more about the on-going regeneration of the town centre and talk through a giant map which illustrates the future Stockton Town Centre. You can also find out more by visiting PAGE 7

economic regeneration and transport

economic regeneration and transport

Photographs show a range of traders in the Shambles and at Stockton’s specialist markets

Businesses flourish in Stockton Town Centre As the multi-million pound regeneration of Stockton Town Centre gathers pace many businesses are choosing to make their home in and around the High Street while other established businesses are expanding or relocating to larger units. Around 25 more businesses including shops, wine bars, pubs and cafes have recently settled in Stockton. Established law firm Hewitts has purchased the premises previously occupied by McDonalds on Stockton High Street. Significant renovation works have started to provide bespoke office space. “We are excited at the prospect of moving to the centre of the Town and in the heart of the regeneration of the High Street,” said Helen Simmons from Hewitts. ”We have a long established practice in Stockton and are committed to providing an excellent level of service to the local community and beyond. The facilities which we will be able to offer at our new office will only enhance that and give us the opportunity for planned expansion.”

INDEPENDENT SHOPS Independent shop, Hanni May’s Gift Emporium has opened in Hambletonian Yard offering homewares, gifts and cards. The Fruiterer on Dovecot Street opened by Darren Gosling, sells a wide range of fresh fruit and vegetables. ‘Food Glorious Food’ is a new eatery at 38 High Street (the old Roseby’s store) and there are three new or revamped pubs in the Town Centre including Storytellers Pub in Dovecot Street, the Funky Lime and Stephenson’s (previously Horners) at 97 High Street. With hairdressers, Blessing Hair reopening at 156 High Street and a brow bar on Prince Regent Street all your beauty needs can be found in the Town Centre. Stores expanding or relocating include Specsavers in the Castlegate Centre which is expanding into an adjacent unit and Estate Agents, Manners and Harrison have recently moved to 23 High Street. Stockton’s Tourist Information Centre has moved out of the Shambles and now has a new home at the Rediscover Shop, 134 High Street.

Meanwhile, Stockton Council’s Enterprise Arcade continues to help fledging businesses start trading. New business, Beanie Girl, recently opened in the Arcade selling a range of gifts, handbags, ‘keep calm and carry on’ merchandise and finger puppets for children. Existing Enterprise Arcade businesses X UP Skateshop and Made by Marianne jewellery continue to do well.  isitors will notice that Debenhams has had a significant facelift V with a fresh new look to entice shoppers into the store. Nestled within Stockton’s High Street are an unique set of independent family–run businesses which offer choice and value for money. Set in the Shambles Market Hall, which is owned and managed by Stockton Council, is the Sweetweigh, Perzonalize, Stephenson’s Florist, Polly Anna’s, barber Paul Barton and new tenant Blush Cosmetics who has recently started selling perfume, make-up and accessories. Richard Poundford, Stockton Council’s Head of Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “It’s great to see both new businesses making their home in Stockton and established businesses expand.”

Rediscover Stockton’s markets A programme of specialist markets brought to Stockton town centre to complement what the traditional weekly market has to offer is enticing more visitors to come into the High Street. In September the World Market brought a range of fantastic smells, tastes and products from around the globe. More than a third of shoppers surveyed on the day said they had come into the town specifically to visit the market and were impressed with what they saw. The farmers’ markets continue to offer the very best in local organic produce. Held in Wellington Square come along to stock up on tasty treats and ingredients. Get in the mood for Christmas from 6-9 December as Stockton Sparkles’ Christmas Market returns. With more than 30 stalls confirmed for the event there will be plenty of good-quality, unique Christmas gifts and treats to suit every purse. For more information visit

The Castlegate Centre is continuing its work to improve the Spencer Market Hall with many businesses now relocated back into the new part of hall. PAGE 8


economic regeneration and transport

YouR locaL airport

The Chairman of Durham Tees Valley Airport has praised the ‘remarkable and encouraging support’ received from the region’s business community and other partners over recent months. Robert Hough also acknowledged the firm commitment of majority shareholders Peel Investments (DTVA) and its partner local authority shareholders.

economic regeneration and transport

Michelle Savage

Brookleigh New contract Brookleigh Caring Services has been awarded a domiciliary care contract for Stockton Council. “The summer programme between Durham Tees Valley and Jersey, operated by Channel Island Travel Services and flybe, has been well over 90 per cent sold, whilst Thomson has shown significantly increased business on its Palma service, coupled with a rise in bookings for next summer. This winter Thomson will be operating their popular flights to Alicante and Tenerife.”

A key element of the plans for the future of the airport is the potential for the ‘Southside project’, a ten year scheme to develop 150 acres of land to the He added: “The KLM service between Durham south side of the runway. A bid for £5.9million from Tees Valley and Amsterdam Schiphol has shown the Government’s Regional Growth Fund had been encouraging increases in the percentage of submitted in support of the project and Directors seats filled and business has also been buoyant expressed their extreme, disappointment that the on the Eastern Airways service to Aberdeen. bid was unsuccessful, adding that they would be seeking an explanation for the decision.

Based in Stockon the care provider already employs 150 people and is hoping to recruit more in the coming months. Directors Michelle and Vernon Savage said “After almost 20 years of working in partnership with Stockton Borough Council, Brookleigh is pleased to continue this partnership which will both safeguard local jobs and create new jobs for local residents as the company expands and grows throughout this contract.”

Special visitor welcomed Sir Paul Nicholson, Lord Lieutenant of County Durham recently visited one of the Borough’s most successful companies – Darchem Engineering based in Stillington. Darchem is investing more than £8million in its manufacturing base and Sir Paul heard details of the new 57,000 sq ft factory being built on brownfield land near to the existing premises. Graham Payne, Managing Director of Darchem Engineering, said: “We were delighted to host the visit of the Lord Lieutenant to our region, and to our company. We feel that this is recognition of the investment we have made over recent years in our business and in the local area. “Over the last three years, Darchem has invested £8m in new machines and equipment, which has led directly to an increase in orders and additional jobs, taking the Stillington workforce to 650. In July, we announced a further £8m investment, creating 86 new highly skilled jobs. Stockton-on-Tees is an excellent place from which to do business, and we are looking forward to a period of continued growth and expansion.” Darchem, which has been on the Stillington site since 1954, has a substantial order book from the aerospace market with increasing demand from the Far and Middle East’s growing aeroplane fleets. The European and USA markets are also an important sector to the company and for this client base it is currently using its expertise to help develop more fuel efficient aircraft. The company also has a proud history of developing apprentices and Sir Paul heard the details of the plans to recruit a further 15 - 20 in addition to the current 50 employees who started their careers in that role. The Lord Lieutenant also visited the newly refurbished Preston Park Museum and Grounds, the Globe Theatre, Stockton Town Centre and the Northshore development in Stockton Borough.

Rapid response group to help Direct Line and firstsource staff

Graham Payne, Managing Director of Darchem Engineering (left) with Sir Paul Nicholson

The Council’s Chief Executive, Neil Schneider, said: “This is a very difficult time for the hundreds of employees who know their contracts will be coming to an end so we want to do all we can to ease this worrying situation for them.

A rapid response group, chaired by Stockton Council’s Chief Executive Neil Schneider, has been established “It is fantastic that so many organisations have come forward to work with us to develop a full support package that the to help provide much needed support for hundreds of employees will be able to access. Direct Line and firstsource staff who have learnt they “I’m pleased to see a combined willingness from both Direct Line are to lose their jobs. and firstsource as well as the organisations that have come Representatives from Middlesbrough Council, Tees Valley Unlimited, Job Centre Plus, Stockton Riverside College, the National Careers Service, North East Chamber of Commerce and the Skills Funding Agency are working with Stockton Council. PAGE 10

together to help identify future job and training opportunities when they are most needed. “It’s very encouraging to find there are a number of businesses who may look to recruit and help in future.”


economic regeneration and transport

economic regeneration and transport Artist’s impression of Market Square

Billinghama brilliant town

There is a lot going on in Billingham. As part of the £25 million investment in Billingham’s regeneration, Stockton Council and town centre owners, Stockland are continuing to work together to bring about first class facilities including a new Customer Services Centre.

The new public toilets opened in October and in the coming months the West Precinct will see Wetherspoons open a new pub.

Early next year regeneration will continue with the start of the main paving and public realm scheme including demolition of the old Town Square toilet blocks and The £2.7 million one-stop-shop style Elsewhere works have begun and include the installation of new high quality paving, seating, feature lighting and a canopy for centre is planned for the site of the new windows to the upper floors of former Billingham Art Gallery and Council Queensway and the town square, stairway the bandstand – amounting to a further offices. This will bring together, all under repairs and lighting improvements as well £2.3m of investment. one roof, a Library, Customer Service as a new CCTV system. On a health note other major regeneration facilities for Stockton Council and Tristar projects include a proposal from NHS The closed walkways to Kingsway Car Homes (part of the Vela Group) as well as Stockton to significantly redevelop the Park will either be repaired or removed office space for Billingham Town Council. and improvements will be made to its two Billingham Health Centre, on Queensway, Subject to consultation, the new facilities to create an Integrated Health Centre remaining walkways. Similarly, repairs should be ready within two years. providing improved access to health will be made to brickwork and handrails facilities. throughout the Town Centre.


Meanwhile, next to Billingham Community Centre, the Vela Group is hoping to provide an extra care scheme offering 56 supported living apartments for older people.

And last, but certainly not least, after years of legal wrangling the demolition of the old ICI headquaters, Billingham House, is finally under way.

Thanks to Sport England, John Whitehead Park will receive a boost of £130,000 and a further £41,000 from SITA who run the waste and household recycling plant at Haverton Hill. The money will go towards a £260,000 scheme to create a new skate and BMX area, four improved tennis courts and a multi-use games area. This work will start early next year.

A machine called a ‘super long-reach excavator’ is being used to demolish the huge eyesore. Mounted on caterpillar tracks, its extra-long extending arm reaches up to the 120-foot-high roof to take ‘bites’ out of the concrete structure.

All of this comes 18 months after Billingham Forum re-opened following its £18.5 million redevelopment.

Working gradually over the coming months, contractors expect dismantling to continue until the end of the year. To find out more about improvements for Billingham visit

The leisure centre and the theatre have welcomed more than a million visitors in that time. PAGE 13

economic regeneration and transport

economic regeneration and transport

Bright ideas from budding entrepreneurs As Stockton News went to print enterprising youngsters from across Stockton Borough were putting their talents to good use as part of Global Enterprise Week. Each November Global Enterprise Week is celebrated across the world and aims to expose people of all ages to the world of enterprise and entrepreneurship. Across Stockton Borough both primary and secondary school pupils had the opportunity to take part in a range of events and challenges organised by Stockton Council. Bright Idea Challenges saw young people work together in small teams to come up with business ideas, design and make products to sell, buy and budget for necessary basics and pitch ideas to others to get their business off to a start.

These challenges offered youngsters the opportunity to learn entrepreneurial skills and experience running a business. Four finalists will go forward to work on their ideas alongside a local company. Budding entrepreneurs from on-going secondary school enterprise projects also met at Stockton’s Riverside College during Global Enterprise Week to showcase their products. From fabulous cup cakes to handmade jewellery the sessions allowed the youngsters, who have previously sold their wares in school and on market stalls in Stockton, to learn from each other. They also got the chance to listen to a range of inspirational entrepreneurial speakers.

Among the ideas – cupcake selling

A successful and expanding financial services business is making its new home in Stockton Borough. Active Financial Services, who have been advising clients from their base in Guisborough for 26 years have moved their long standing business to Dukes Court, Thornaby to allow it to further expand and grow. The business is run by father and son Glyn and Karl Pemberton and Paul Gibson.

Active Financial Services Directors outiside their new office. PAGE 14

Many of these young people will further develop a range of innovative yet marketable items to sell on day one of this year’s Stockton Sparkles Christmas Market. The ‘Made in Stockton’ school market on 6 December will see local business mentors judge the fledging businesses in a range of competition categories.

During Global Enterprise Week Stockton Council also held a special event to help schools and local businesses work more closely together to promote enterprise. ‘It’s Your Business’ brought representatives from both industry and education together to learn how they can support each other, inspire and educate young people about future business opportunities and help schools and colleges prepare young people for enterprise and the world of work.

There’s something in the air

Richard Poundford, Stockton Council’s Head of Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “Confirmation that Air Products are to go ahead with this development is tremendous news for Stockton Borough and the Tees Valley.

Entrepreneurial youngsters sell produce on one of Stockton’s markets.

Active brings growth to Stockton

Director Karl Pemberton said: “We have really taken our expansion and move into Stockton Borough seriously. Moving to Thornaby and into larger premises has not

only allowed the expansion of the company to continue, but it has also provided a chance to create bespoke premises perfectly suited to both employees and clients alike.” Richard Poundford, Stockton Council’s Head of Regeneration and Economic Development, said: “Stockton Borough is a great place to do business and I’m delighted that an enterprising and growing company such as Active Financial Services has made their new home in Thornaby. This is another great example of businesses flourishing in Stockton-on-Tees.” For more information about Active visit or telephone (01642) 765957

Stockton Council’s Enterprise Co-ordinator, Alison Machin, at “It’s Your Business”

Work is starting on a green power plant in the Borough which will create 50 jobs and employ up to 700 people during construction. US energy company Air Products has confirmed a facility to convert household and industrial waste into energy which will be built on the New Energy and Technology Business Park, near Billingham. It will be the first of its kind in the UK, and the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. Stockton Council and Tees Valley Unlimited (TVU) worked with the company to secure the investment. The plant is expected to open in 2014.

Stockton Borough school children take their entrepreneurial skills to Stockton Sparkles

Entrepreneurial spirit also found itself in the wider community as Stockton Council held informal idea brainstorming sessions at Billingham Community Café to help local people explore opportunities for self employment. If you would like to find out more about enterprise in Stockton telephone Alison Machin, Stockton Council’s Enterprise Coordinator on (01642) 527573.

“Not only will it bring employment, it will also further reinforce this area’s fastgrowing reputation as a leader in green energy industries. “The Council has worked closely with Air Products to give the company every assistance in developing this scheme, in the face of competition with other sites across Europe and the USA. It will return a former industrial site to productive use and provide a further boost to the opportunities for the area’s skilled workforce.” At the end of October Air Products also announced the start of a consultation into the possibility of a second plant.

An Air Products employee works on an existing plant PAGE 15

children and young people

children and young people

schools shape up Work is continuing apace on several multi-million pound school buildings across Stockton Borough. The new £17.8 million building for the Northern Education Trust sponsored, North Shore Academy, is due to be ready for young people to learn there from next April. Already it has new windows, roof lights, internal walls and power. The state-of-the-art facility will also be home to a “myplace” youth centre.

Contractors have begun to demolish the front of the existing building ready for a new Business and Enterprise Centre to be built there (BETA). Students learning at the Academy are also set to benefit from significant investment in ICT.

Principal, Maryssa O’Connor, said: “The partnership work between the Academy, The building has been specially designed Stockton Council and Carillion is vital in to make sure it is energy efficient. Ground ensuring this complex remodel is completed source heat pumps will provide free heat on time and ready for us by June 2013. for the whole ground floor. The solar panels on the roof will provide electricity which will contribute to the National Grid. Meanwhile, the water system will store rain water so it can be used in the toilets. Work has also started on the full size 3G floodlit football pitch suitable for both day and night use. Elsewhere, at the Teesside University sponsored Thornaby Academy, dining areas, changing rooms and specialist teaching areas have been significantly remodelled and the Academy will be able to start using them again next month.

The state-of-the-art facility will also be home to a “myplace” youth centre.

“So far we are thrilled with the very small sections which have been handed back, namely part of the new dining space, redecorated Sports Hall and new changing rooms. We are very excited about the new science labs, engineering workshops, music technology, art and design exhibition space and drama studio which will be released before Christmas.

“These new spaces, with the impact of new ICT resources, are going to really make a difference to the teaching and learning experience for all students.” Fairfield Primary School is also benefitting from significant investment. Major works have taken place to create a single school by extending the existing Key Stage 2 building and carrying out adaptations to some of the classroom space and external areas. The old Key Stage 1 building has now been demolished. It means all of the children who attend the school now learn in one building.

It’s awards all round for Borough’s schools Our schools and dedicated teachers have achieved well deserved recognition for their hard work.

Investment in Whinstone Primary is also now complete. It’s been extended to create additional classrooms and a hall. It means children no longer have to learn in temporary mobile classrooms. Meanwhile, a large extension to create a significantly up-graded learning environment for Bewley Primary School is nearing completion. Bewley Infant School and Bewley Junior School came together to form Bewley Primary School in September 2011. Once the extension is finished next month the Bewley Junior School building will be demolished and the land surrounding Bewley Primary is being developed into outdoor learning and social space.

Top teacher! In the last edition of Stockton News we told you how local teacher, Lauren Dalgarno, had been shortlisted for a top award.

ent Now The Times Educational Supplem ed gnis reco has rds, Awa (TES) Schools tion Lauren for her outstanding contribu to education. Lauren, 31, a teacher of English at the Conyers School in Yarm, scooped Year the of her Teac l ona irati Insp of title in the awards.

’s The judges said: “Lauren Dalgarno rly clea is tion gina ima and sm enthusia infectious. Her talent for inspiring an pupils would be enough to make her s erve des she impressive teacher, but r this award because she inspires othe teachers too.”

North Shore Academy

Lauren loves her job and said: “I’m in. thrilled to bits. I think it’s still sinking and ents stud the e It’s great to encourag to see them making progress.” were Now in their fourth year the awards on Bryd Rob n edia com presented by Welsh . don Lon in l, at the Hilton Hote Bewley Primary PAGE 16

Left to right Rob Brydon, Lauren Darlgarno and Philip Parkin, General Secretary for Voice the Union (now retired).

Children at Oakdene Primary School in a music lesson

School strikes gold! Staff and pupils at Oakdene Primary School, in Billingham, are delighted their school has been recognised for a second time with a gold Artsmark Award. The accolade is national recognition for Music, Dance, Drama and Art and Design within the normal curriculum in school and after school. The award recognises the school’s commitment to giving all children a wide range of arts experiences including visits and partnerships with artists, weekly creative workshops and music tuition. Headteacher, Liz Bramley, said: “It’s a wonderful recognition of the enthusiasm and commitment of all our staff and partners in providing exciting opportunities in the Arts for all our children.”

(Left) Teacher at Grangefield School, Caroline McHale, (Back) Alan Bell (chief starter for 2012 Olympics) and Headteacher David Litchfield with head boy and girl Mitchell Agar and Laura Jones.

Grangefield goes International The British Council has awarded its prestigious International School Award to Grangefield School in Stockton. This is a badge of honour for schools carrying out outstanding work in international education such as linking with partner schools overseas. David Litchfield, Headteacher at Grangefield said: “I am very pleased the school has received this award which recognises the high quality of both staff and students. Grangefield School is proud of its international links, its exciting programme for developing the teaching of modern foreign languages and the exciting activities and events in which our young people take part.”

Fairfield Primary PAGE 17

children and young people

children and young people

Super schools in Stockton NEED IMAGE

Celebrating fifty years In the last edition of Stockton News we brought you news of Egglescliffe School’s 50th Anniversary sell-out concert at the Sage in Gateshead. The concert was a resounding success with performances from the school’s own brass band, orchestra, big band and soul choir among others. The audience – made up of pupils, past and present as well as hundreds of people from the local community – also enjoyed drama, sport and dance performances and a special 50th anniversary poem and tapestry.

Angela Darnell, Headteacher of Egglescliffe School, said “The quality of the music was astonishing and the Sage was a fitting venue for our ensembles. The orchestra had 120 players in total – the stage at the Sage could not accommodate any more! Egglescliffe remains a community school and the local community has a school to be proud of.” Special congratulations go to Head of Music, Matthew Haworth and his music department for the work involved in bringing together all the ensembles, former pupils and the Durham Lane and Egglescliffe C of E primary school choirs.

Head of Music Matthew Haworth putting Egglescliffe Brass Band through its paces at the Sage Gateshead

Pupil from Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary Primary School enjoying her painting

Stockton Borough school staff and students are leading the way when it comes to achievements.

and Thames Road, is Northfield School and Two of our primary schools, The Links Sports College in Billingham. in Eaglescliffe and Our Lady of the Most Holy Rosary in Billingham, have also This year its GCSE results were record done particularly well with pupils making This year, 99.2 per cent of pupils at the breaking and the best in the school’s 40 significant achievements in combined Teesside University sponsored Thornaby year history. English and maths. Academy achieved five or more GCSEs at 59.3 per cent of students gained five or more grade C or higher. Headteacher of Our Lady of the Most A*-C grades including English and maths – Holy Rosary, John Lyons, said: “We, as a Academy Principal, Maryssa O’Connor, that was an increase of 14.4 per cent on 2011. school, place an emphasis on the quality said: “We are delighted with our students’ Headteacher, Craig Walker, said: “To of relationships between children and performance. It reflects an incredible amount say I am delighted with our results is an adults. Parents are recognised as the of work on their part and the commitment of understatement. My appreciation and children’s first educators and working all staff here at Thornaby Academy. thanks go to all staff and students who, together with the school, there is a guarantee that children remain at the heart of this approach.”

A very well done to the children and the teachers who have done a tremendous job.

“The Academy has seen significant changes to the curriculum over the last two years and more students are now achieving the challenging benchmark set by the Government in English Baccalaureate subjects, this is particularly pleasing for students who intend to follow further and higher education courses.” Our largest school in the Borough, based on the two sites of Marsh House Avenue PAGE 18

together, make the school a wonderful place to work and learn.” St Patrick’s Catholic College in Thornaby has made significant improvements in maths. Head teacher Mark Taylor said: “I am absolutely delighted with the performance of our students and I wish them all the very best for their future. This improvement is recognition of the hard work of all the staff and students.”

Angela Puddick, Headteacher at The Links Primary School, said: “We were delighted to achieve 100 per cent in mathematics and Literacy combined Level 4. We were also very proud to achieve highly in Level 5 with the bonus of Level 6 for two children in mathematics and two children in writing. “Well done to the children and the teachers who have done a tremendous job.”


Community Safety

Community Safety

New District Commander at Stockton The new District Commander, Alastair Simpson, was appointed at the beginning of September. He is in charge of the police’s efforts to continue to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour across Stockton Borough. Alastair has experience in a variety of roles across the Cleveland Force area, including the management of Neighbourhood Policing and public protection. He has worked in the Stockton area before as a Detective Sergeant in 2003/04 and comes to this position after a successful period as Detective Chief Inspector responsible for Crime Management and Serious Crime in Middlesbrough. Superintendant Simpson said: “I have really enjoyed working in Stockton District in the past and I am looking forward to my new role. Stockton Police and the Safer Stockton Partnership have had a lot of success in recent years and I will be seeking to ensure we continue to tackle local problems and achieve crime and disorder reductions. “Key to this is the support of the people of Stockton. Information given to us about people who are committing crime, dealing drugs or causing anti-social behaviour helps us to effectively respond to local problems.

The new District Commander, Alistair Simpson during his a visit to Grangefield Specialist Technology College, Stockton, with Head Girl Laura Jones and Mitchell Agar, Head Boy

“So far this financial year we have already reduced crime by 7.2 per cent (which equates to 300 fewer victims) and reports to the police of anti-social behaviour have fallen by just over 25 per cent. “This is an excellent start and we are striving for continued improvement.” Stockton continues to be the safest place to live in Tees Valley with the lowest rate of crime and anti-social behaviour per 1,000 population. Superintendant Simpson will play a key part in the Safer Stockton Partnership where partners work together to reduce crime, and the fear of it, while tackling the priorities identified by residents through a Borough-wide Crime and Disorder consultation.

Don’t be distracted! Distractions can kill – that was the message Stockton Council’s Road Safety Team gave to more than 2000 Year 6 pupils from across the Borough at this year’s Crucial Crew event. Crucial Crew brings together a wide variety of agencies, each delivering vital (and possibly life saving) messages through fun scenarios to pupils. This year the event focused on the dangers of distractions to pedestrians and cyclists such as listening to music or using mobile phones. Road Safety Officer, Peter Fleming said: “This was a new direction for us and tackled the increasing problem of youngsters being distracted by their music or mobile. The reactions of pupils and teachers were excellent and using a video which showed distractions can kill really hit the message home.” For more information about Peter Fleming visit or email or call (01642) 526737. PAGE 20

The partnership has adopted a problem solving approach to tackling issues which has lead to a significant reduction in crime and anti-social behaviour. This financial year has seen significantly fewer robbery and vehicle offences. Criminal damage has reduced by nearly 25 per cent. While there have been major reductions in most areas of crime and anti-social behaviour, Stockton has seen an increase in shoplifting. The partnership and Police are working with retailers to address this problem with several ongoing initiatives and operations planned as the festive season approaches.

Have yourself a safe and happy Christmas As the hustle and bustle of the festive season approaches a few hazards could potentially take the joy right out of it. Being aware of dangers will ensure a safe and happy time. Your Christmas tree may be a focal point in your room but it could be potentially unsafe. If you have a real tree make sure it’s fresh as once dried out it becomes a fire hazard. Be careful not to place it too close to a heat source, fireplace or heat vent as it could dry out, causing it to be more easily ignited. If your tree caught fire it could rapidly fill a room with deadly gases so when it becomes dry, discard it promptly.

Keep Christmas presents out of sight both in your car and in your home. Visible presents under a tree are a magnet for burglars. If you go out or go away for the holidays - leave a light on or have a switch on a timer. Ensure all your doors and windows are locked. It is a prime time for garden furniture and tools to be stolen so lock them away securely in a shed or garage. Take your car keys and door keys with you when you go to bed. Leaving them lying around makes it easy for a burglar to steal your car. Ensure the goods you buy are not counterfeit as they are substandard and can be dangerous too. If you would like more information or advice call Stockton Police on (01642) 302271 or (01642) 526560 for general Trading Standards advice. One more thing - do have a very safe and Happy Christmas!

Turn fairy lights off when you go out or when you go to sleep. Ensure the bulbs don’t touch anything that could easily burn such as paper. Don’t overload your sockets, ensure you are using the right fuses and if bulbs blow replace them. Candles can be dangerous – don’t ever leave them unattended and ensure you snuff them out before retiring to bed. Christmas time means party time but follow some golden rules. When it comes to alcohol know your limits and stay in control. Get home safely by using a licensed taxi. When you’re out and about make sure you dress appropriately - a ‘beer jacket’ won’t keep out the cold! And remember - end the night without a fight. Walk away from fights and scuffles. Look after yourself, and your wallet, as there are people who may be out to profit from stealing it.

A sense of justice

A Stockton mum is encouraging more people to volunteer for Stockton Council’s Youth Offending Service (YOS). Claire Garvey has experienced, at first hand, the excellent job of Community Panels and she is urging more people to do their bit.

As part of this process Claire, with the support of a Community Panel, met her son’s attackers. She said: “Meeting the boys face-to-face made the situation real for Claire’s 17-year-old son was attacked by them - they were held accountable for their two teenage boys. They later admitted actions. It showed them how their behaviour charges of actual bodily harm and received had impacted on other people’s lives. referral orders. “Working with the panel gave me the Those who are sentenced to a referral opportunity to ask the boys important order are required to attend a youth questions and I needed them to know offending panel which is run by specially how my son and family had been affected. trained Community Panel volunteers. I think the Community Panels definitely work. The offenders in this case have

certainly changed their way of life.” To find out more about volunteering as a Community Panel Member please request an application form by emailing Emma Ewing at uk or call (01642) 524524 alternatively contact Sheila Whitehead or Ruth Farnaby on (01642) 527597.

Paul Shaw, Restorative Justice Officer who has worked closely with Claire throughout the process. PAGE 21

adults services

adults services

The big

30 Stockton Council’s Care Call Service has a lot to shout about - not only is it 30 years old in December but it’s also enlisted its 1000th Telecare client. Care Call began its life as ‘Warden Call’ offering elderly people and their families, peace of mind that if something untoward should happen in their home, such as an accident, they could contact the Warden Call Service for assistance. 30 years ago there were no mobile phones, yet this state-of-the-art technology helped to keep vulnerable people safe 24 hours a day, using one of the ‘most modern and reliable systems on the market’. At the flick of a switch tenants could contact a warden located in a central office. Since then the service has expanded year-on-year and now provides various levels of community care to more than 6,800 residents living in Stockton Borough, including the Telecare Service. Telecare uses a series of sensors to monitor for potentially dangerous

Welfare Reform changes

Central Government is making changes to welfare benefits which will begin in April next year. If you would like to find out more you can visit

One very happy customer, Maureen Stott, who is Telecare’s 1000th client with Michael McLone

situations such as floods, fire, gas leaks, falls, low temperatures and intruders. When a sensor is activated, it sends a radio signal to the monitoring unit which automatically calls the 24-hour Care Call Centre where trained operators can take the appropriate action.

At the flick of a switch tenants could contact a warden located in a central office. Mrs Maureen Stott, who is 80 years old and lives in Thornaby, is Telecare’s 1000th client, she said: “I’m really happy with the system. It makes me feel much safer and secure in my home. The staff are really helpful with me, just as they were with my late husband.”

The Telecare Service is accredited by national trade body, the Telecare Services Association and registered with the Care Quality Commission, who categorise it as a ‘good’ service. Michael McLone, Stockton Council’s Security Services Manager, said: “For many vulnerable people living in Stockton Borough, Care Call and Telecare Services are a lifeline. The service is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We are fortunate to have such an experienced team who do a tremendous job providing customer service of the highest quality. They will do everything possible to protect the welfare of the people who rely on us for their safety and security in what can sometimes be very difficult and traumatic circumstances.”

For queries on Housing Benefit or Local Council tax support you can call (01642) 393829.

Other useful phone numbers are: Benefit Enquiry line for disabled people and carers 0800 882 200 (National), Stockton and District Advice and Information service – if you are calling from a landline call 08444 111 444, if you are calling from a mobile call 0300 3300 650.

If you are claiming Job seekers Allowance call your local Jobcentreplus office and for help with debt and budgeting call the Consumer Credit Counselling Service 0800 138 1111or the National Debtline 0808 808 4000 alternately visit or

Growing their own

To find out more visit

The Rosedale Centre in Bishopsgarth, Stockton is also celebrating its 30th anniversary. It opened on 25 October 1982 and was the newest residential care home for older people within Cleveland County Council. It’s provided a permanent home for many hundreds of older people over the years. Now it provides intermediate care (rehabilitation and assessment) and support for adults of all ages after being discharged from hospital. Five staff, Ann Harris, Linda Hepplestone, Anne-Marie Rowbottom, Kathryn Stoneman and Elaine Tait have been employed at Rosedale for the full 30 years. Meanwhile, Manager, Jean Spedding is celebrating working there for 29 years. PAGE 22

A once overgrown plot on Wynyard’s business park is now a thriving market garden with bumper crops of vegetables thanks to the dedication of adults with learning disabilities, who attend Stockton Council’s Allensway Centre in Thornaby. Left to right Ann Harris, Elaine Tait, Anne Marie Rowbottom, Jean Spedding, Linda Hepplestone and Kathryn Stoneman

Last year Wynyard Park Ltd, owners of the 700-acre site appealed for an organisation to take over an overgrown area behind its HQ.

There’s now a thriving garden with all manner of vegetables from beetroot and spring onions to potatoes and turnips. A host of local companies, organisations and individuals have supported the project and there are also plans to develop the area with a sensory herb garden. Left to right – Instructor/supervisor Mark Roe, Norman McGuiness, Wynyard Park Facilities Co-ordinator Anna Stone, carer Dave Pollard and Randall Danks. PAGE 23

Health and wellbeing

£299 million hospital

Health and wellbeing

Work on a £299 million state-of-the-art hospital in Wynyard could begin in less than 18 months. North Tees and NHS Foundation Trust are going ahead with plans for the £299 million hospital and have begun the search for a developer for the project. It’s envisaged the new hospital will provide 60 per cent of the services offered by the existing two University Hospitals of North Tees and Hartlepool. The remaining 40 percent of service will be provided in the community as part of the Trust’s Momentum Pathways to Healthcare Project.

It’s all part of the work the Trust is doing with the Clinical Commissioning Groups to improve community services - with the new hospital at Wynyard being the final piece of the jigsaw. North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust also plans to subsidise bus services from the Borough’s main towns over a 10-year period.

It will take just over three years to build the hospital which could open in late 2016 or early 2017.

It will take just over three years to build the hospital which could open in late 2016 or early 2017.

An artist’s impression of the new hospital PAGE 24


Health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing

Warm Homes Healthy People in Stockton-on-Tees Stockton Council has received a prestigious national APSE (Association of Public Sector Excellence) award for its efforts to protect the Borough’s most vulnerable residents during the winter months.

The project provides a broad range of support including: A handy person service – incorporating falls prevention advice and help with insulation and draught-proofing Exercise classes, Tai Chi and other social events organised by Age UK Teesside Benefits advice Help with fuel supplier switching and fuel debt Boiler repair service Befriending and volunteer support services Emergency heating

The award recognises the innovative partnership work the Council carries out with health and voluntary and community organisations.

One arthritis sufferer from Stockton said: “I was very worried before and had no hot water but now it’s all done. I was relieved and grateful for the help I received.”

The Stockton Warm Homes Healthy People Project seeks to increase people’s resilience and reduce the risk of winter deaths.

Help is available to residents of Stockton Borough to whom any of the following apply:

Stockton’s Director of Public Health, Peter Kelly, said: “We want the best for our Borough’s residents and that’s why we work so hard with all of our partners to offer this package of support to our most vulnerable.

Over 75,

“Being warm in your home will help protect your health as being too cold can cause serious breathing problems. Sitting for long periods of time in a cold home puts pressure on your heart and blood circulation too. If you or someone you know could benefit from the Warm Homes Healthy People Scheme please get in touch.”

have a long term medical condition which is made worse during cold weather

elderly and live alone, have a disability,

To find out more: Tel: (01642) 528215 Email: Web:

Keeping warm and well

Stockton welcomes Duchess

Hundreds of people of all ages gave the Duchess of Cambridge a right royal welcome as she made her visit to Stockton. PAGE 26

What is a healthy temperature for your home? Living rooms should be 21ºc Bedrooms should be 18ºc Be prepared – check the weather forecast and be ready for the cold: Hot meals and plenty of hot drinks will help keep you warm. Make sure you have enough of your prescription medicines.  lu is much more serious than a cold; it often leads to a F hospital stay and can be fatal. Keep yourself safe and make sure you have your flu jab.  ear a few layers of thin clothing rather than one thick layer W this will trap heat better to keep you warm.  eep active if you can, this will help keep you warm. Try not to K sit for more than an hour, walk around and make a hot drink. If walking is a problem try moving your arms and legs whilst sitting, wriggling your finger and toes.

The streets were lined with people cheering and waving flags as the Duchess arrived for her visit to CRI Stockton Recovery service on William Street. She is Patron of Action in Addiction. She was greeted by The Mayor of Stockton as she arrived at the Centre and then spent an hour meeting staff as well as families affected by addiction. The Duchess took time after her visit to talk to people in the crowd and received flowers from a number of young well-wishers. This was her first solo visit after the Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, had to cancel to attend the funeral of his nanny Olga Powell.

Have hot drinks to keep warm PAGE 27

Health and wellbeing

Are you flu safe? Get the jab! “You’d do everything you can to protect your baby…”  People don’t often realise that flu can be a

Day in the Life There’s a saying ‘Treasure your time; don’t spend it - invest it’ and that surely must be the maxim of Dr Paul Williams (pictured) as he invests much of his time, and life, working to improve the health and wellbeing of people across Stockton. Paul, 40, who is a GP, spends three days of his working week in the A & B Surgery in Stockton and two days representing the new Clinical Commissioning Group. The Commissioning Group works in partnership with the Council to deliver a wide range of healthcare services including hospitals, ambulances, mental health and community nurses. Working hard at his GCSEs and A levels resulted in Paul being the first pupil to study medicine from his school – and he has since been back to give a talk to students to inspire them to realise their own ambitions.

serious illness. If you’re pregnant, flu can knock you off your feet for weeks, and you are more at risk of flu complications such as pneumonia.

After studying at Newcastle University he came to Teesside to continue his training as a GP and, as well as Stockton, he’s also worked in Ingleby Barwick and Thornaby – so he is well versed in our area and its healthcare needs.

A flu jab is quick, safe and free. To book your jab, speak to your GP practice today.

Paul hasn’t always been a GP. He trained in Public Health and spent five years working in a hospital in Uganda in Africa where, among other things, he ran a women’s clinic but also dealt with health issues such as malnutrition, Malaria and HIV.

Africa may be a world away from life in the Tees Valley but Paul is just as concerned about our area’s health problems such as heart conditions, cancer, and diabetes as well as inequalities in healthcare.

Who needs the seasonal flu vaccine?  All frontline health and social care workers  All those 65 years and over  All pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy  People of all ages (over six months for children) who have: -serious breathing problems such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease - chronic heart disease such as heart failure - chronic kidney disease such as kidney failure - chronic liver disease such as hepatitis - chronic neurological disease such as Parkinson’s - people with diabetes - p  eople with a suppressed immune system due to disease or treatment, such as people receiving treatment for cancer or those with conditions such as cystic fibrosis.

 eople who live with others whose immune systems are P compromised such as cancer patients on treatment or people with HIV/AIDS  hose who are in receipt of a carer’s allowance, or those T who are the main carer of an elderly or disabled person.

How do I get the vaccine?

If you are in an at risk group, contact your GP practice if you have not received an invitation to be vaccinated. If you are not sure whether you are eligible for a flu vaccination please check on the NHS choices website

Self care advice

If you get flu and do not fall within an at risk group stay at home, rest, drink plenty of water and take paracetamol based cold remedies. If symptoms persist call NHS Direct on 0845 4647. There are ways to reduce the spread of flu; cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough, dispose of the tissue immediately, then wash your hands. In short – catch it, bin it, kill it.

As Stockton locality lead of the Local Commissioning Group, he is determined to be part of enhancing and improving a wide spectrum of health and healthcare issues across the Borough. “I want to see everyone’s health improving”, he says, “local people have asked me to focus on prevention and enabling people to make good health choices. For example, a baby who is breastfed is less likely to get a serious illness than one who is bottle-fed, but in Stockton we have one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the country. I want to help this improve.” Practicing what he preaches, Paul lives a healthy lifestyle. His alarm goes off at 5.45am and after a hearty breakfast he cycles to the surgery which helps him to “get going!” He recently won the Park Run around the Tees Barrage and takes part in triathlons. As Stockton News was going to print Paul had just completed the Half Iron Man in Henley. You might also catch him playing five-a-side at Thornaby Pavilion. Paul enjoys music, the arts and theatre and is keen to support local arts venues. As a Board Member of Arc, he visits it regularly to see shows as well as to see what’s on offer at the Georgian Theatre. When he does ‘switch off’ he spends quality time with his partner Vicky and their baby girl, Emmeline. He values all the friendships he has made in the 18 years he has spent here and it’s clear Paul’s heart is in Stockton where he is making a difference. He is passionate about instilling pride in our area and feels he truly belongs to this community who he says are ‘brilliant people!’

Dr Paul Williams in Stockton Town Centre PAGE 29

Health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing

It’s never too late To stop smoking Choose the tin not the cigarettes

There are books about it, short films about it, advertising about it, debates about it and in the 1950s it was viewed as sophisticated - what is it? Smoking Stockton’s Smoke Free Alliance brings together a range of agencies to support people to stop smoking and to clamp down on illegal tobacco trade and retailers selling to under 18s. Smoking rates have reduced faster in the North-East in recent years than anywhere else in England. Stockton’s Smoke Free Alliance has supported many national campaigns to help encourage even more people to kick the habit. Recently the Alliance backed the NHS led ‘Stoptober’ campaign which encouraged smokers to give up cigarettes for 28 days throughout October. Research has show that if someone can stop smoking for 28 days they have more chance of giving up long term. Stopping smoking also has financial gains. A family could save £200 for Christmas if just one, ten-a-day family member, gives up smoking. You can obtain a ‘quit and save’ tin by calling (01642) 383819.

sign up to receive texts to help motivate you to stop. Text TIPS to 600046. Smoking and health Smoking can have a devastating effect on health. It causes a range of life threatening conditions including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which makes it very difficult to breathe, to heart disease and lung cancer.

The launch of the Stoptober campaign

The dangers of smoking in pregnancy restricts vital oxygen the baby needs for Anyone interested in giving up smoking can healthy growth and development. Women receive support at a range of Community who smoke during pregnancy are more Drop-in sessions held across the Borough. likely to incur complications which could To find out more call (01642) 383819 or result in a stillborn birth and the risk of cot visit or call death is trebled. Smokefree on 0800 169 1697. You can also PAGE 30

Cigarettes and crime

Anyone who buys counterfeit cigarettes is putting themselves at significant risk as the content could have been mixed with substances other than tobacco. The Smoke Free Alliance is also keen to crack down on illegal cigarette sales as their cheaper retail value often attracts young people to them and encourages existing smokers to increase their daily habit.

Looking out for your health There will soon be a new champion for people who use health and social care services across Stockton Borough. Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees will be launched on 1 April 2013 to help ensure health and social care services are designed around the needs of people who use them. It will also take on the role currently provided by LINks (Local Involvement Networks) and will signpost customers to Health and Social Care Services as well as delivering the Stockton Service Navigation Project. The Stockton Service Navigation Project helps residents access non-medical support within their community. The vision and principles of Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees were shaped through a public consultation which revealed Stockton Borough residents would like the service to:

Since the launch of the Crimestoppers hotline in 2010 there have been 20 reports of illegal sellers in the Borough. In response to these reports Stockton Council’s Trading Standards team, working with HMRC officers, have made numerous seizures. Meanwhile, HMRC officers have seized a total of 143,550 cigarettes and 46.97 kg of hand rolling tobacco from private addresses.

 e an independent service B accessible and visible to all  e staffed by local people with B local experience in Stockton Borough communities

Trading Standards also carry out test purchase operations where, under controlled conditions, an underage person will try to buy some cigarettes. This makes sure retailers are not selling cigarettes to under 18s. You can report illicit and underage sellers – call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Engage with and build on the expertise of the existing LINk volunteers For more detail about the current LINk services email or call (01642) 636162 Left Judith Rees, Specialist Stop Smoking Advisor, Stockton and Hartlepool Stop Smoking Service with Christine Evans who quit smoking because of her pregnancy – pictured here with her two other children Codie and Zarah. PAGE 31

environment and housing

environment and housing

A dream to a reality The exciting first phase of the new Tees Heritage Park, which stretches between Yarm and Stockton has been officially launched thanks to a partnership between the Friends of Tees Heritage Park, Environment Agency, Canal & River Trust, Stockton Council, Tees Valley Wildlife Trust and Groundwork North East. Phase 1 includes gateway features, improved footpaths and landscape artworks as well as rest areas turning 2,000 acres of natural environment into a place for people to appreciate and enjoy. Funding for the project comes from the Big Lottery Community Spaces programme, managed by Groundwork UK, along with funding from Stockton Council already earmarked for new cycleways and a contribution from Natural England. More than £600,000 has been invested into Phase 1 of the park, which is now complete.

A feature in the new Tees Heritage park

Warmer homes saving money Around 1,000 homes in Stockton and Thornaby will be warmer and more energy efficient this winter thanks to £3.85 million of investment from the energy industry. The national Community Energy Savings Programme (CESP) required energy supply companies to reduce carbon emissions by funding domestic energy efficiency measures. Eggborough Power, through GoWarm, is supporting the Stockton Borough scheme. It has targeted private owner-occupiers and privately rented homes, mainly with older non-cavity walls, in Parkfield, Newtown, Stockton Town Centre and Thornaby. Qualifiying households received a full package of measures including external wall insulation, loft insulation, new heating systems, boiler replacements, heating controls, energy efficiency and benefits advice. PAGE 32

KEEPING YOUR ROADS SAFE IN WINTER Although last winter was not as severe as those of recent years, climate change means extreme winter conditions could return again to cause problems for drivers and pedestrians. As ever, Stockton Borough Council is prepared and has topped up our stockpile of salt in readiness for the coming winter. Our winter maintenance gritting crews are on standby 24 hours a day, seven days a week from October until late April – including Christmas and New Year’s Day – ready to treat the roads whenever frost and snow is forecast. For up to date information on gritting visit In severe weather, our priority is to keep open all major routes and roads serving emergency facilities and outlying communities – but local conditions, snow depth and traffic will all affect this work. Once the Priority 1 routes are fully open, where we have capacity, we will work on other roads during the daytime. When there is very heavy snow, our Snow Plan enlists highways, street cleaning and horticultural staff to join the battle to clear snow around shopping areas, sheltered accommodation and bungalows and school entrances. However, it simply is not possible for them to clear all areas of snow though we will use all available resources to cover as many of these priority areas as possible.

Please note that severe winter conditions can cause disruption to school transport services and those who use these facilities should check our website, or visit (you do not need an account to access this information) and listen to the local radio station for updates. People ask us two questions more than any other: Will my road be treated? It’s impossible to treat every road so our priority is to treat all major roads with salt before wintry conditions set in to keep them clear with the minimum disruption to travellers. There are more details on the following pages. Why do I rarely see the gritters out? Although we do grit during the day if it’s needed, most gritting takes place at night when there’s less traffic, making it easier for the gritters to treat the routes and help ensure the roads are usable in the morning. Accurate, up-to-date weather forecasts come from MeteoGroup UK, who provide us with forecasts based on information taken from automated weather stations located throughout the Borough which record data such as road surface and air temperatures, wind speed and rainfall.

Many residents have reported significant reductions in energy bills, improved comfort levels, and several have seen health improvements through reduced condensation and warmer living conditions. 160 homes in Billingham have also benefitted from a scheme by the Vela Group (Tristar Homes). The project is due to end in December with a new one beginning in January 2013 when the Government’s new Green Deal, pay-as-you-save, loan system is launched. Homeowners will be encouraged to invest in energy-saving measures via a newly-created network of suppliers. To find out more visit


After PAGE 33

environment and housing

environment and housing

Gritting activity in the Borough Information about the council’s winter maintenance service, such as gritting routes and salt bin locations, is available by logging on to our website at A list of local suppliers who sell salt is also posted on the website and during the worst of the winter, usually from December to February, the main web page will have gritting activity information updated daily. Which roads are salted? Two categories of roads are eligible for salting: Priority 1 routes: (46 per cent of the road network) We salt these every time the weather conditions demand it. Priority 2 routes: (19 per cent) We treat these in extreme and prolonged icy conditions, only during the day and when all Priority 1 routes are clear. For other routes: Trunk roads (A19 & A66): The Highways Agency (not the Council) is responsible for treating these major routes. Other roads: Depending on available resources, we may salt these during extreme and prolonged icy conditions.

Did you know?

Can I clear snow from the pavement near my home?

We actually use locally mined rock salt from Boulby Mine, not grit (even though we call the wagons “gritters”). Salt lowers the freezing point of moisture but it needs to be crushed by traffic and dissolved into a solution to become really effective.

Yes, providing you don’t cause an additional hazard by allowing surfaces to refreeze – don’t attempt to clear snow by pouring hot water onto the area as it is likely to create a sheet of black ice.

How can I help? Our powerful gritters and snowploughs spread salt across the full width of the road. Drivers should keep at a safe distance, be patient and don’t attempt to overtake them.

It’s easier to move fresh, loose snow rather than hard snow that’s packed together from people walking on it. So if possible, start removing the snow and ice in the morning. If you remove the top layer of snow in the morning, any sunshine during the day will help to melt any ice beneath and dry out the surface.

When shovelling snow, take care where you put it so it doesn’t block people’s paths or drains. Make sure you make a path down the middle of the area to be cleared first, so you have a clear surface to walk on then shovel the snow from the centre of the path to the sides. More tips on snow clearance as well as a range of other useful winter information are included on the government website Make your journeys safer

We provide more than 300 salt storage bins across the Borough – most in areas not covered by our gritting routes – for residents to salt the road and footpaths. We refill these regularly but you can report any empty or vandalised bins to Care For Your Area on (01642) 391959.

Don’t attempt to clear snow by pouring hot water onto the area as it is likely to create a sheet of black ice.

The salt in council salt bins is meant for use on public roads and footpaths, not private drives and footpaths. If you notice anyone using salt bins inappropriately or removing large amounts of salt unlawfully then please report it immediately to Care For Your Area on (01642) 391959.

You can then spread salt on the cleared surface to prevent ice forming overnight. You can use ordinary household salt, rock salt purchased from local retail outlets or communal salt from a salt bin providing it’s used on public footpaths and roads.

Bad driving, rather than bad weather, causes most accidents. When driving in wintry conditions:  ake sure your journey is essential – do I really need to travel M now or can I wait until the weather improves?  llow extra time for your journey - this applies to drivers, A pedestrians and those using public transport Check the weather forecasts and traffic news  or long journeys, pack a flask with a hot drink, food, warm F clothing, blankets, torch, wellington boots and a shovel Let someone know your intended route and expected arrival time Avoid high ground and remote areas if possible

Footways and cycleways: We are not normally able to treat these but may treat main shopping areas during prolonged wintry conditions.

Ensure you have enough fuel for the journey

a Ro





Bil lingham

Thorpe Thewles

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environment and housing  eep your speed suitable for the conditions and never assume K roads have been treated Use dipped headlights in poor visibility  se the highest gear possible and accelerate, steer and brake U gently to reduce the risk of skidding  eep your distance from the vehicle in front – it takes longer to K stop in wintry conditions Don’t obstruct or overtake winter maintenance vehicles If you do become stranded, stay with your vehicle if possible until help arrives If you have to abandon it, give the local police the details, stay close to the road, don’t wander off into remote areas, don’t be tempted to take shortcuts across country Road dangers and how you can minimise them Black ice can be lethal – it’s not easily seen and can persist or recur even after the road surface has been salted. Dawn frosts can also catch drivers unaware as icy patches can form on wet roads. Falling snow reduces visibility, so use dipped headlights and keep a longer gap than normal between you and the vehicle in front – you could skid even on treated roads. Icy roads require us all to drive more carefully – slow down if you suspect ice, steer smoothly and brake and accelerate gently. Keep your distance and never assume roads have been treated. Dazzle from the low winter sun is an underestimated hazard – slow down, use your visor and wear sunglasses if needed.

environment and housing What about walking? To reduce the chances of falls and accidents whilst walking: Wear suitable shoes or boots Wear bright clothing so drivers can see you easily If pavements are too icy or blocked with snow and you must step onto the road try and avoid busy roads, face oncoming traffic, stay as close to the kerb as you can and if in a group, walk in single file. Public transport Like other road users, buses will be affected by wintry conditions so consider aiming to catch an earlier bus is possible Take care while walking to and from the bus stop or train station it can be tempting to rush which could cause you to slip

CHRISTMAS AND NEW YEAR Refuse and RECYCLING SERVICES Due to the days the Christmas and New Year bank holidays fall, some disruptions to our household refuse collection and kerbside recycling is inevitable.  hristmas Week - all collections will be TWO DAYS after your C normal collection day and we’ll be working Saturday and Sunday  ew Year Week - all collections will be ONE DAY after your N normal collection day and we’ll be working Saturday

In fog, drive slowly using dipped headlights and, if visibility is less than 100 metres, turn on front and rear fog lamps if fitted. Keep safe distances and remember to turn off your fog lights when visibility improves. Fog can be patchy, so stay alert – you can suddenly find yourself back in fog with little warning.

All collections scheduled for Friday 28 December will take place on Sunday 30 December.

Hail can occur unexpectedly, so slow down, use dipped headlights and take care in case of a build-up of hail and slush.

Back to normal after this!

Heavy rain reduces visibility, particularly from vehicle spray, so always use dipped headlights, reduce speed and keep back from the vehicle in front. At night, wet conditions worsen headlight glare so, again, slow down. If there’s a snap frost after rain, take care – the rain may have washed away the salt. Don’t attempt to drive on flooded roads. If you have to, drive slowly in first gear to avoid stalling and keep the engine revs high by just engaging the clutch. Avoid the deepest water (usually near the kerb) and test your brakes after the flood, before driving on. For further useful advice on seasonal driving, go to the Highways Agency’s website and click on ‘Seasonal Advice’

Left to right, Steven Birchall, John Harrison and Michael Jones

Pure gold!

And all collections scheduled for Friday 4 January will take place on Saturday 5 January. Look out for your waste and recycling leaflet to be delivered end of November / beginning of December. For further information about Stockton’s roads: Care For Your Area Tel: (01642) 391959 For A19 and A66 (A19 to Teesside Retail Park Interchange): Autolink Concessionaires (A19) Limited Tel: (01642) 560538 For A66 (Teesside Retail Park Interchange to Borough boundary, west of Long Newton) A-one Integrated Highway Services Tel: (01325) 389991

Stockton is celebrating after being crowned Gold medal winners at the Britain in Bloom competition. Stockton Borough represented the region in this year’s prestigious Champion of Champions section in what is Europe’s largest horticultural competition. Stockton’s Care For Your Area Team work all year round to keep the Borough clean and green and, with support from many green-fingered residents, businesses and community groups, create a sea of colour with plants, flowers and shrubs.

“Recognition like this is testament to all the hard work and dedication of not only the Council’s Care For Your Area Team who do fantastic work all year round, but also the volunteers and businesses who contribute so much.”

Congratulations to everyone involved in helping to see Stockton crowned as gold medal winners.

 the Award for the best combined In efforts of residents of a community Parkfield Community Gardening Project won the gold medal along with St Cuthbert’s Court in Thornaby.  the category for the best kept grounds In of a care or residential home Millbeck House Care Home in Norton and Parkside Court Residential Home in Thornaby both took Silver. Teesside Industrial Estate was awarded Silver in the Best Business Park section.

Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park took Gold in the Best Conservation Project This accolade follows the recent success and in the Best Shopping Precinct in the Northumbria in Bloom competition In Northumbria in Bloom other winners section it was a clean sweep for the where it was a clean sweep with Stockton were: Borough. Wellington Square in Stockton winning Best City, Thornaby taking Gold in St Francis of Assisi Church in the Best took Gold, Thornaby Town Centre won the Best Small City and Billingham scooping Kept Grounds of a Religious Establishment Silver and Station Road Parade in Gold in the Best Large Town category. Maintained by Parishioners. Billingham secured Bronze. Jamie McCann, Stockton Council’s Head Preston Lane Allotments were winners of To find out more visit of Direct Services, said: “Congratulations the Best Allotment Association category to everyone involved in helping to see and Brent Court Allotment Association in Stockton crowned as gold medal winners. Billingham was awarded a Silver Gilt. PAGE 36


environment and housing

environment and housing

More homes needed Stockton Borough’s population is continuing to grow. By 2026 it is expected the current 82,500 households will increase by a further 10,000. That means the Council has to work with housing developers, housing associations and residents now to make sure the Borough continues to have sufficient homes as Stockton Council’s Corporate Director of Development and Neighbourhood Services, Paul Dobson, explains. “Our Borough is a fantastic place to live and work, consequently an increasing number of people are deciding to remain in the area or relocate here so we need to ensure we can provide enough homes. “Many successful housing schemes are already under way, like on the banks of the Tees at Northshore. 50 new homes have already been built with stunning views of the river and planning permission was recently granted for an additional 76 properties. Meanwhile, the £100m regeneration of the former Hardwick Estate, now called Meadow Rise, is continuing. It will provide 800 homes for rent and sale surrounded by high quality PAGE 38

open spaces including football pitches, multi-use games areas and cycleways.” Why not just build on brownfield sites and protect greenfield sites? The Government stipulates local authorities must annually review their five year housing supply. The requirement to demonstrate a five year housing supply is set out in the Government’s ‘National Planning Policy Framework’ which was introduced in March this year. Due to the current weakness in the housing market, the Borough Council only has sufficient deliverable sites allocated for housing to satisfy the demand required for the next 4.1 years. Consequently we need to identify more sites for housing to meet the five year demand. Three years ago the Council identified brownfield sites for housing development, however, the current economic situation means these sites are no longer viable as there is no Government funding to bring them up to a

suitable standard for development. There is also a lack of interest from developers to build on brownfield sites in areas of low housing market demand and the banks and mortgage companies are reluctant to support this type of development. This means we are being forced to consider difficult options like non-urban areas. However, in the last eight years there has been a significant increase in the number of homes built on urban sites, rising from 147 in 2004/5 to 452 in 2011/12. What if the existing roads can’t cope with the extra traffic generated by new housing sites or if facilities like schools and hospitals run out of places? We carry out detailed assessment surveys of the roads and amenities surrounding any potential housing schemes and the developers will be required to invest significantly to improve the existing infrastructure and facilities where necessary. What about all of the empty homes across Stockton Borough? The Council’s Private Sector Housing Empty Homes Team is reducing the number of long-term empty private homes. Through tackling this wasted housing, we will increase the supply of accommodation that is available both to let and buy.

Nursery Gardens

The Council is offering the owners of empty properties a loan of up to £30,000 to bring properties back into use. You can find out more by visiting Will any more Council houses be built?

developers are also hoping to assist buyers through the use of NewBuy, the Government backed ‘mortgage indemnity’ scheme. To find out more visit New home sites across Stockton Borough include:

In December 2010 the Council’s 10,250 homes were transferred to Tristar Homes, part of the Vela group. As part of the transfer the housing association agreed to spend £103m over the next five years on improving homes. At the end of this year £38m will have already been spent on a range of improvements including new kitchens, bathrooms and double glazed windows and plans are well advanced for the programme over the next couple of years.

Meadow Rise – the £100m regeneration is transforming the former Hardwick Estate.

Is there any financial help available for people who are looking to buy a house?

Former Derwent House site, Billingham – Erimus Housing is building 12 bungalows and six houses. A small number of the homes will be for people with learning difficulties.

Mandale Park – A range of new homes for rent, outright sale and shared ownership. It also encompasses Linear Park with cycleways, footpaths, art features, seating and football pitches.

Queensgate – Bellway is building up to 474 homes on the former Visqueen site in Stockton. Whitewater Glade – Persimmon Homes are building 375 new homes. Northshore – a mixed development of two, three and four bedroom homes each incorporating features to reduce carbon emissions and harness natural resources. Kingsmoor – Bellway is offering a range of two bedroom apartments and three and four bedroom houses. The Vela Group also has 21 properties on the site for rent.

Parkfield and Mill Lane – 82 homes have been Pottery Wharf – two and three bedroom constructed to date. Once complete the £30m homes for sale and shared ownership on transformation at Nursery Gardens will see the Riverside. 110 new homes built by Dunelm, for sale and Planning committee has also been Last year Tristar Homes bought 19 new rent in its first phase. minded to approve: flats in Victoria Park and 41 new, affordable Swainby Road in Norton and the homes are under construction. They are 845 homes on Allens West in Eaglescliffe Victoria Estate in Stockton – the major also a key partner in the regeneration of the Swainby Road area and Victoria Estate redevelopment of the area is providing new 68 homes on the former school site Red House School site in Norton where further new homes will be provided. homes for both rent and sale.

There are a number of options including FirstBuy, which is the Government backed equity loan scheme. Time2Buy delivers the scheme in Stockton Borough. For more information visit Some

Up to 350 homes at Morley Carr Farm, Yarm. To find out more about housing regeneration visit housingregeneration


Arts, culture and leisure

Victorian walled garden and orchard

Arts, culture and leisure

“The Dice Players”

Since Preston Park Museum reopened its doors to the public in the summer it has delighted thousands of visitors with its newly themed galleries, exciting exhibitions and beautiful grounds.

Visitors flock to Preston Park


A walk in the park

So popular is the attraction that numbers coming to the Museum have soared with 50,000 visitors flocking through the doors in the first seven weeks of opening. The ambitious regeneration project which was funded by Stockton Council and the Heritage Lottery Fund has seen the historic Grade II listed hall returned to its former glory, a complete redisplay of the Museums varied collection, a vibrant

Victorian Street

Make sure you visit the Park’s new website – – which has a comprehensive list of everything going on over coming months and into next year. There will be something to tempt everyone to come and rediscover the museum and its beautiful grounds. 2013 marks the Diamond Jubilee of the Museum and Grounds as a public attraction. Amongst the range of exciting activities and events happening at Preston Park to commemorate its sixty years will be a special official launch in February.

Make sure you visit the Park’s new website - which has a comprehensive list of everything going on over coming months and into next year. redevelopment of the ever popular Victorian Street, and an impressive restoration of the original Victorian walled garden and orchard. A recent funding announcement from the Arts Council will help to further bring Preston Park’s collection to life and will complement the multi million pound regeneration of the Museum. The money will allow Museum staff to delve into its vast collection of over 100,000 objects, helping them carry out in-depth research to provide a basis for a new series of exciting exhibitions, demonstrations and workshops over coming months.

Reuben Kench, Head of Culture and Leisure at Stockton Council, said: “It’s been fantastic to see how the public has embraced the reopening of Preston Park, we have been deluged by visitors wanting to revisit fondly remembered objects or rooms, whilst also rediscovering the new things it has to offer. “We also have great plans for the official relaunch of the Museum in February next year so make sure you look out for more details.“ Preston Park Museum is open to the public from Tuesday to Sunday 10am to 4pm. It is closed on Mondays except Bank Holidays. Last admission is 3.30pm. For more information visit or contact the Visitor Services team on (01642) 527335.


Arts, culture and leisure

Arts, culture and leisure

A golden summer

Olym p dona ic openin ted to g Prest ceremon yc on Ha ll Mu ostumes seum

The jubilation and success of the London 2012 Olympic Games came to Stockton as Kat Copeland, the first Olympic champion to have trained largely on the River Tees, found a hero’s welcome awaiting her when she returned to her rowing club. Hundreds of people joined Stockton’s Mayor and other VIPs to greet Kat as she arrived for a very special party. The homecoming welcome took place 11 days after Kat, with her rowing partner Sophie Hosking, won the women’s lightweight double sculls title at the Olympic rowing lake at Eton Dorney. Arriving in a golden Bentley limousine, complete with motorcycle escort, TV cameras and photographers greeted Kat before she was introduced to the crowds to the tune of ‘Gold’ by Spandau Ballet. She said: “Thanks so much to everyone for coming – thank you so much. I didn’t expect it. I know it’s raining but it is really nice that everyone can be here.” Those present were even able to touch her medal, which had just returned to her after running repairs to the ribbon. “I have just got it back – I was a bit stressed out about it but it is going to stick with me from now,” Kat added.

This includes a large amount of the clothing used in the ‘Industrial Revolution’ part of the ceremony. The costumes will benefit the museum hugely, providing hundreds of outfits for use by volunteers in interpretation of the ever popular Victorian Street. Following the opening ceremony Museum staff asked LOCOG if they may like to donate some of the costumes that were used, to Preston Hall Museum and were delighted to receive two rails of costumes. Stockton Council’s Leisure & Sports Development team and the Stockton School Sports Partnership, also worked with Abbey Hill School to deliver a Paralympic sporting event. The pupils taking part suffer from a range of physical and learning difficulties. Activities included athletics, sit down volleyball, badminton, Boccia, New Age Kurling, Football, Wheelchair Basketball and a Biathlon. Funding was granted from LOGOC and the Department for Education. Abbey Hill, Whitehouse, Our Lady and St Bedes, Ashtrees and Bishopsgarth schools all took part.

Personal Podium – still time to sign up If you’re planning a challenge, why not sign up for the Personal Podium, a new scheme to inspire people just like you to achieve your personal goals? The Personal Podium aims to spur residents to set themselves targets, then go on to achieve them – with an award at the end of it all. It’s all about choosing a goal which will help you change and improve.

The choice is up to you – the Personal Podium will simply help you gain recognition for your achievement and hopefully inspire you to overcome any obstacles. So far, challenges taken up range from cycling to work, learning to sew, riding in the Stockton Cycling Festival to learning ten new guitar chords.

Complete your challenge and you’ll be recognised on the Personal Podium website. Outstanding achievements will Free to enter, it’s open to any Stockton earn a special medal, with the opportunity Borough resident. Your challenge could be to receive it in a public ceremony at the almost anything. There are four categories: Stockton Sparkles Christmas festival.

Stockton Council lit the River Tees gold to celebrate her historic rowing win. The Olympic legacy is also being felt at Preston Park Museum after they were successful in receiving more than 80 replica period costumes, as used in the Olympic opening ceremony, from LOCOG, the Olympic organisers.

 Sporting achievement  Cultural and/or artistic  Lifestyle  Against the odds Badminton at the Stockton School Paralympics


cipate in Young people parti ralympics Pa s ol’ ho Sc n kto Stoc

Here are some challenge ideas:  Lose some weight  Quit smoking  Complete a sporting challenge (eg the Stockton River Rat Race, Stockton Triathlon or ride in the Stockton Cycling Festival)  Read a book every week in 2013  Learn to swim and set a target

Simply register your challenge at then log your progress on the website. A booklet is also available from libraries and council buildings. PAGE 43

Arts, culture and leisure

Keen golfers from across the Borough took their clubs in hand for a wonderful week of golf. Golfers of all abilities enjoyed some friendly competition and welcoming hospitality.

Arts, culture and leisure

The 25th year of Stockton’s International Riverside Festival (SIRF), once again brought spectacles to wow the crowds. With street entertainment and music and not forgetting the Community Carnival – SIRF was as popular as ever.

Another eventful year in Stockton! Stockton Weekender

Prometheus Awakes

Despite the wettest summer on record Stockton was still sizzling with excitement this year with some spectacular events for everyone to enjoy. Here we take a look back at some of them. To find out about forthcoming events visit

Next year SIRF and the Weekender will be held on separate weekends. See future editions of Stockton News for up to date details.


Rat runners turned out in their hundreds for this year’s River Rat Race. They had to run, splash, jump, kayak and climb their way across a truly unique running course along the banks of the River Tees. Ara Macao from Columbia

The Community Carnival

Other fantastic events included the sell-out Stockton Calling, Infinity Festival, the Olympic Torch Relay, the annual Halloween Walk in Preston Park and Stockton’s unmissable fireworks display.

Stockton Weekender brought bands aplenty to the Riverside including James and The Pogues which were enjoyed by 17,500 people over the course of the weekend. Photos courtesy of Danni Robinson.

Tim lead singer of James

C-12 Dance Thearte at SIRF

The wheels were spinning across the weekend of the Stockton Cycling Festival. The wet and slippery conditions didn’t stop the brave cyclists from speeding round Stockton Town Centre and out into surrounding countryside. This was the only event in the UK featuring races and rides including Elite Criterium, Premier Calendar Road Race and Sky Ride as well as a host of other riding opportunities for all ages and levels of ability to take part.

Billingham International Folklore Festival, now in its 48th year, was more ambitious than ever before with 62 concerts and 50 workshops visitors had plenty to do and see. Uncle BIFF’s children’s club was as popular as ever with more than 100 children attending each day.

The Kirqui Wayra group from Chile PAGE 45

strong communities

Dogs and ducks!

Some unusual and enjoyable events took place this year to help raise money for the chosen charities of the Mayor of Stockton, Councillor Lynne Apedaile, among them a duck race and a sponsored dog walk. The River Tees was awash with ducks, of the plastic kind, as they bobbed 200 metres downstream. Residents and businesses from across the Borough were invited to buy a duck and the first handful to finish received a range of great prizes including, among others, a Dawson and Sanderson holiday voucher and dinner for two at Judges Restaurant. Money raised from the event was donated jointly to The Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen Families Association (SSAFA), one of the Mayor’s chosen charities, as well as to The Rifles Care for Casualties and The Yorkshire Regiment Benevolent Fund. Another event, in partnership with the Dogs Trust and Stockton Council’s Animal Welfare team, saw dogs and their owners turning out in force to take part in a 3km Waggy Walk around Preston Park to support the Trust. The Mayor also participated with her Border Collie, Sally. All those taking part received a certificate and a doggy goody bag of treats with prizes for the best dressed dog and owner. Stockton Council’s Animal Welfare team provided free-chipping on the day. Councillor Apedaile said: “All those who took part had great fun in both events and I am grateful to all those who took time out to help raise money for these worthwhile charities. And chipping definitely works! One little dog was found during the walk without its owner. The team scanned it for a chip and were able to contact the owner to reunite the pair.”

strong communities The Mayor of Stockton enjoys a walk with everyone at the Waggy Walk

The proud winners of the Catalyst’s Annual Achievement Awards

New service from Tees Credit Union

A catalyst for success

Members of Tees Credit Union can now save money by making loan payments or saving deposits over the phone or online. Tees Credit Union is a community bank with around 1,800 members covering Stockton, Thornaby, Billingham, Eaglescliffe and Yarm. The scheme offers affordable loans and great saving options. Now, thanks to the National KEYIVR scheme, members can make payments for just £1 – making it a cheaper option than driving or catching a bus to get to a collection point. Diane Patterson, Manager of Tees Credit Union, said: “We are always looking at ways to improve our services for our members. This new system will allow people to make payments or deposits, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, meaning they can do it when it is convenient for them. “We have collection points throughout the Borough, but with an increase in online and phone banking, this easy to use service is another way for people to manage their finances. To use KEYIVR phone (01642) 695533 or visit For more details about Tees Credit Union call (01642) 753517 or visit Stockton Renaissance Partnership Board 15th January 2013, 5pm, Education Centre 5th March 2013, 5pm, Education Centre

Stockton Renaissance Partnership Board Meetings The Stockton Renaissance Partnership Board brings together the public, private, business, community and voluntary sectors to work together for the social, environmental and economic regeneration of the Borough and your local areas. The meetings are open to the public, so if you would like to attend, please call the number below to confirm the venue. If you would like further information, visit or contact Sarah Robinson on (01642) 526498. To get involved with your community you can also visit the My Community pages on


Central Area Partnership Board 29th November, 2pm, Stockton Business Centre 31st January, 10am, venue to be confirmed 28th February, 2pm, venue to be confirmed 28th March, 10am, venue to be confirmed Northern Area Partnership Board 3rd December, 5.45pm, venue to be confirmed 7th January, 5.45pm, venue to be confirmed 4th February, 5.45pm, venue to be confirmed Eastern Area Partnership Board 27th November, 9.30am, Five Lamps Organisation 29th January, 5.30pm, Five Lamps Organisation Western Area Partnership Board 26th November, 6pm, venue to be confirmed

Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise groups are relentless in their hard work in helping to improve the lives of people across Stockton Borough. Catalyst, the local organisation which brings together and supports these groups, recently recognised these unsung heroes in its third annual awards.

The Community Building Award was won by Elm Tree Community Centre. Run by a dedicated management team headed by Marilyn Surtees where she is often involved in events and committees.

Winner of the Youth Volunteer Award was Kelly Potts of the Targeted Areas Resident Association (TARA). Kelly helps young people in NEET programmes (not in education, employment or training). She is also a voluntary member of Tees Valley Housing’s Scrutiny Panel.

Chris Kemp of ReBuild North East was handed the Most Enterprising Third Sector Award. ReBuild North East takes discarded material from commercial organisations and recycles and renews them so they can be re-sold. The income is used to support the launch of a new social enterprises and help local organisations reduce costs on a variety of raw materials.

The Adult Volunteer Award went to Lorraine Tweddle who began her volunteering career around 25 years ago. She began doing shopping for older people. Then became involved with the former Stockton International Family Centre and the BME community working with the football team from Corner House, Stockton. Currently she is involved with the Town Centre Residents’ Association and finds time to organise events for children and fundraise for local charities. CHAT won the Community Group Award. The drop-in and support centre on Yarm Lane in Stockton offers counselling and therapeutic groups where friendship is always on offer. The Trustee Award went to Jim Beall for his involvement with Eastern Ravens Trust, first as a Director, then as Chair. He has devoted a great deal of time and energy to the organisation as a ‘guiding force’ for staff and Board members. Love Stockton won the Partnership Award for generating a positive environment within Stockton including promoting unified working amongst local Christian churches and organisations.

The award for Biggest Health Impact went to Harbour which offers holistic services to address domestic abuse throughout the North East. The Outstanding Achievement Award winner was founder member of the Friends of Ropner Park, June Robertson-Whyte. June recently celebrated her 80th birthday and is involved on a daily basis dealing not only with the finances of the café but also helping to organise events, concerts and improvements to the Park.

Happy Birthday Catalyst! Catalyst will be celebrating its fifth birthday on December 7. It now has around 250 members and has brought together around 400 organisations, volunteers and groups for the good of the community. To celebrate they will be inviting trustees and members, past and present, to the Georgian Theatre in Stockton for a very special birthday party.


strong communities Earlier this year Stockton Borough held its first Civic Awards to recognise the excellent work many of our residents do to benefit our communities. Here is the third Stockton News feature celebrating this year’s winners. This time we look at the ‘Eco Team’ from Durham Lane Primary School in Eaglescliffe.

strong communities Elaine McGuckin, Deputy Headteacher, said: “We are extremely proud of the work carried out by our children. They are so keen in all they do to help the school and the environment. They are highly motivated and they hope to continue the good work. “To be recognised in this way is a great boost and they are constantly thinking of new ways to be a top Eco-Team!”

Others recognised in the awards were: Young Carers Aloud from Eastern Ravens Trust who won the Young Person’s Award for their efforts to raise awareness about issues facing young people who care for a family member Around 25 youngsters aged 7-11 years old make up the Eco Team. They are very ‘eco-savvy’ when it comes to green issues and Mike McGrother, frontman of well known local band, The protecting the environment. By taking part in several projects, Wildcats of Kilkenny who won the Services to the Community both within and outside their school they ensure everyone is Award for his passionate promotion of the Borough. aware of their responsibility for the environment - and their Maria Catterick who won The Carer/Foster Carer Award after enthusiasm shines through. fostering 18 children in eight years. They encourage their classmates to come to school on foot Entries are now open for this year’s Civic Awards. Nominations or bike while also urging parents to take part in a ‘park and can be made in four categories: stride’ scheme which sees them park further away from school, Young Person Award therefore easing traffic congestion and also resulting in their Service to Community Award children exercising more by walking further. Green Award Carer/Foster Carer Award The youngsters are very litter conscious and have worked with Stockton Council’s Care For Your Area team on litter picks. If you would like to find out more or make a nomination visit or call the Mayor’s Office on Tending and maintaining the school’s garden has resulted in the children growing their own vegetables which are used by the school (01642) 528161 before 15 February 2013. cooks! The flowers they grow help to brighten up the school too!

Green team wins award

Left Ian Mackie and right Mick Foster

Remembering the fallen Two Stockton Borough men travelled to France recently to pay homage to the courage of artillerymen during a First World War battle and dipped their standards at the Stone of Remembrance at the Thiepval Memorial for the Missing. Former serving members of L (Néry) Battery Royal Horse Artillery, Ian Mackie from Bishopsgarth and Mick Foster from Billingham were proud to take part in the ceremony.

Through its Investment Fund the Council is actively supporting a number of organisations which have made successful bids to become more sustainable in the current economic climate.


Mick laid wreaths on behalf of the Royal British Legion Branches at the ceremony and also at packed Ypres Menin Gate Memorial for the Missing ‘Last Post’ ceremony. Mick read the Ceremony Exhortation whilst Ian paraded the sole Standard present. The battle happened during the British Expeditionary Force’s retreat from Mons between August 26 and September 5, 1914, when part of the British 1 Cavalry Brigade, the Horse Gunners’ 13 pounder guns fought to the last gun – the Néry Gun.

Supporting our local voluntary and community sector Stockton Council values and supports the work of the voluntary and community sector (VCS) in helping local communities to shape, influence and also deliver public sector services.

Some members of The Eco Team with the Eco Schools gold and silver awards as well as other awards they have won – winners of the Care For Your Area Schools Contribution Award and the Mayor’s Civic Award.

The Thiepval Memorial’s 16 pillars are engraved with 70,000 names of First World War soldiers without graves. Ian also commemorated his paternal grandfather, The Black Watch (RHR).

Organisations that have benefitted recently include; BCT Aspire, A Way Out and Tees Valley Music Alliance. All are using the funding to help develop their capacity and

improve skills and expertise - for example in web design, marketing, business development and establishing formal partnerships. Previous beneficiaries have reported increased financial turnover and success at winning public and private sector contracts. Successful organisations received funding between £5,000 and £40,000. Since 2011 the Investment Fund has helped more than 21 organisations with many more accessing the VCS workshop programme Stockton Council delivers in partnership with Catalyst, Stockton Residents and Community Groups Association and Xivvi.

Workshops include; writing press releases, business planning, support to complete funding applications, safeguarding children and young people, becoming a social enterprise and procurement and commissioning. Local VCS organisations interested in finding out more about the fund and/or the workshop programme can find information at or by ringing the Partnership and Engagement Team on (01642) 526463. The Council has also developed a local community fund to support smaller groups with community projects and activities (up to the value of £500) administered by Tees Valley Community Foundation. To find out more visit


your council

your council

Budgeting for the future in challenging times Stockton Council’s Chief Executive, Neil Schneider

In recent weeks the Government has made a number of announcements and published a range of consultation documents which are likely to impact on how councils are funded as Chief Executive, Neil Schneider, explains. “With challenging times ahead three particular announcements will impact on how Stockton Council budgets for the future.  imiting the amount local authorities can raise their Council L Tax by, to two per cent. Currently our medium term financial plan has a 3.5 per cent Council Tax rise built in for next year. Therefore this presents a further budget gap. The national funding available for the Early Intervention Grant appears to have been reduced. This would see Stockton’s budget reduced by £3 million.  reviously, the payment of Council Tax Benefit was funded by P the Government. From 2013/14 this will be the responsibility of the Council. However, the funding linked to this scheme has been reduced by ten per cent. The way the funding and the scheme will operate places a significant additional pressure on the Council. Before these latest announcements the Council was on target to balance its budget for the next financial year – now we need to re-adjust previous calculations. If the funding arrangements change, as we anticipate, the Council is now expecting to face a £3 million budget gap next financial year (2013/14).

Despite already saving £20 million our budget gap is likely to rise to a minimum of £15 million over the next three years. There are very challenging time ahead. We remain a very well managed Council with a culture of efficiency, collaboration

Before these latest announcements the Council was on target to balance its budget for the next financial year and cost saving. We have effectively managed and consulted throughout the rapidly changing financial landscape so far through a three year programme of Efficiency, Improvement and Transformation (EIT) reviews which have realised £20 million of savings. However, we need to do even more to save money whilst also doing our utmost to protect, so far as possible, services for our residents and businesses and we remain focussed on protecting our most vulnerable residents. Further service reductions will be inevitable. Currently the Council is looking at cost efficiencies and savings in three key areas where it currently spends around £60 million. These areas are Waste and Energy, Children’s Services and Adult Services. We expect to receive next year’s financial settlement in December and but must still plan for further budget cuts in a carefully managed way. As we move into 2013 more detailed work will take place to ensure we are able to work within these challenging budgetary constraints.”

Opening the ‘doors’ to democracy Local Democracy Week (LDW) began in 1998 to encourage young people to find out more about what their local council does. Nowadays there is a year round campaign across Stockton Borough to ‘open the doors to democracy’ to all of our community. Stockton’s Town Hall is the centre of a number of regular activities to ‘open the doors’ to democracy including ‘Meet the Mayor’ visits and tours, award presentations, monthly Citizenship Ceremonies, and Council meetings.

Also during LDW, the Citizenship Ceremony welcomed the latest group of people to become new British citizens encouraging them to also become active citizens. Several hundred primary school pupils enjoyed the visit of an excited and energetic pirate called Count de Voters, who delivered a fun-packed ‘Your vote is your voice!’ assembly about school council elections. Other well known ‘characters’ helped them to learn about voting in polling stations.

Stockton Council is encouraging students This year’s official Local Democracy Week to register to vote and staff at Stockton and (LDW) took place in October when Stockton Bede Sixth Form Colleges helped more Council launched new initiatives for people than a thousand students to complete voter registration forms. to become involved in local decision making to raise awareness of the ‘right to vote’ and highlight the importance of voting and registering to vote.

Unlocking new ways to help the Tees Valley prosper As Stockton News went to print it was announced that the Tees Valley has an opportunity to bid for radical new powers to further develop the region’s economy. As part of the second wave of ‘City Deals’, the Tees Valley is invited to compete for a Deal that would see Government release some of its powers to give the region more flexibility to help create and expand business opportunities which could in turn, generate more jobs. The first wave, announced in July, saw deals granted to England’s eight largest cities. If successful, it would mean organisations across Stockton Borough and the wider Tees Valley region, would be able to


The Integrated Youth Service and Matthew Wilson, our local member of the UK Youth Parliament (UK YP), has encouraged hundreds of local young people to vote through the Youth Parliament’s ‘Make your Mark’ campaign.



By la w or ov , everyon er mu e st ens aged 16 detai l ure s a (Elec toral) re on the V their oter Regis not li t canno sted on th er. Anyon e e t exer cise t register h e ir righ to vot e. t

access more opportunities to help businesses expand and residents to gain work. Some of the opportunities which could be opened up include; welfare-to-work programmes, transport schemes as well as business investment and skills training. The Tees Valley is being asked to put forward its proposals for a City Deal by January 2013. Chairman of Tees Valley Unlimited, the Tees Valley Local Enterprise Partnership, Sandy Anderson, said: “Inviting an application for a City Deal for Tees Valley is recognition from the Government of the growth potential and economic importance of the area within the UK economy. “All five Tees Valley local authorities and the private sector are keen to take forward discussions on a Deal as quickly as possible so that the outcomes have the earliest possible impact.”

All five Tees Valley local authorities and the private sector are keen to take forward discussions on a Deal as quickly as possible PAGE 51

your council

your council

Happy Birthday Customer Services Centre! Stockton Council employees Sue Sephton (left) and Jill Douglas

A good Celebrating investment 50 years of David and Eileen on their happy day

Stockton Council has again been recognised for the excellent work it does in training and developing its staff through two prestigious accolades. David and Eileen Bache have said


Investor in People status is awarded to organisations which can demonstrate they value the continuous improvement and development of their employees and Stockton Council has held this corporately since 2003.

Meanwhile the Council’s Middle Management Development Programme also got a special mention after winning the Macro Employer of the Year title at this year’s National Training Awards.

As we remember

On Sunday 11 November people from across Stockton Borough attended parades, church services and laid wreaths at cenotaphs to remember those men and women who gave their lives in conflict in previous wars as well as those still in conflict today. Services took place in Stockton Parish Church, St Luke’s Church in Thornaby, St. John the Baptist’s Church in Egglescliffe, St Mary’s Church in Norton, All Saints Church in Preston-on-Tees, Yarm Parish Church as well as the cenotaph at Port Clarence. PAGE 52

‘I Do again’ – 50 years to the day they got married. The happy couple renewed their vows at Stockton Register Office at Nightingale House.

It’s a year since the successful Customer Services Centre, based in Stockton’s central library, opened and in that time the centre has dealt with more than 85,000 customers. More than 20,000 have used the Council Tax Benefits Service and more than 7,000 people have used the Blue Badge service. Many customers have also taken advantage of the state of the art selfservice facilities to view planning applications, order recycling equipment or to report issues such as potholes. The Cash Office within the Centre has processed more than 125,000 transactions since it opened. The centre, which was created part of the library’s £1.9 million refurbishment, makes it so much easier for residents to access lots of different Council services. Visitors can choose to speak to helpful staff face-toface and access state-of-the-art technology

to report any problems or pay bills. We asked some visitors what they thought: Anthony Simpson, from Norton, initially made the Centre his first port of call to find out about housing benefits. After being in the army for 29 years he not only found out about housing benefits but also about support for ex-service personnel. He said: “I was totally at a loss when I left the army but coming here I’ve been helped with everything – it’s brilliant and the staff are fantastic.” Kirsty Anne McGinney visited the Centre with her husband William and said: “It’s all under one roof and it’s very good. I also use the computer facilities. It’s much less time consuming than having to go to different buildings.”

Deborah Radics from Norton and Pauline Stephenson from Stockton were both visiting the Centre to pay their Council Tax. They agreed the system is much better now as “you can deal with lots of different services all in one visit.” Vicki Thorpe from Hardwick said: “I think the Centre is good and the service is a lot quicker.” Sheila Thompson from Grangefield in Stockton, agreed: “It’s loads better – everything is all under one roof and it’s more private.” The Customer Services Centres in Stockton and Thornaby are open on Saturdays 9.30am - 12.30pm To find out more visit

Stockton’s Registration Service offers marriages, civil partnership ceremonies, renewal of vows and naming ceremonies. David and Eileen, who live in Norton, decided to renew their vows in front of family and friends – and they had a perfect day to celebrate their golden anniversary. Eileen said: “I had thought about renewing our vows and then David came home one day and said he had been and booked it! It was a magical day and I really did feel like a princess – it was just as perfect as the day we married. “All the staff at the Register Office were marvellous and it was wonderful to share our special day with friends and family.” To find out more about Stockton Registration Service visit or call (01642) 527720.

Left to right, Deborah Radics, Pauline Stephenson, Anthony Simpson, Kirsty Anne McGinney and William McGinney

It’s loads better – everything is all under one roof and it’s more private. PAGE 53

your council

Your council

Please tell us what you think...

Christmas and New Year Opening for Stockton Council and Tristar Homes Many Council services are based in the Customer Service Centre in Central Library, Stockton. These include car parking, planning, housing and council tax benefits, licensing, environmental health and private sector housing and cashiers. Stockton and Thornaby Customer Service Centres’ buildings will be open to the public on Mon 24 Dec 8.30am-4pm, Thurs 27 Dec from 10am-5pm, Fri 28 Dec from 10am-4.30pm, Sat 29 Dec 9.30am12.30pm, and Mon 31 Dec 10am-1pm.

Your views matter and are taken into account when we shape Council services. Less funding from Central Government means savings must be made. We are currently consulting residents about a wide range of services, as this article explains. You can also find out more by visiting Library Services Stockton Borough’s Library Service is an excellent one, however, some branches are less well used and less efficient than others and costs need to be reduced by £400,000. The first of a two part consultation into Library services is now complete which looked broadly at what people use libraries for, the way they are used and gathered suggestions on how the Council could reduce costs or improve them. As Stockton News was going to print preparations were being made for a second stage, 12 week consultation. To view a summary of the first part of the consultation and to take part in the current one visit librariesconsultation or to find out more call (01642) 524700. Council Tax Discount Changes to legislation from 2013 will allow councils to adopt Council Tax schemes to support their local priorities where councils can change the level of Council Tax discounts and exemptions on empty properties and second homes. PAGE 54

Within this consultation the Council is asking residents for their views.

Mental Health Services As Stockton News went to print a consultation was taking place for people who use Stockton Council’s Mental Health Services, and their carers, to determine their opinions on services and thoughts on what could be improved. The results of this consultation will be carefully considered and will influence any proposed service changes in the future.

To find out more and have your say on the full list of proposals visit uk/emptyhomes or pick up a questionnaire at the Customer Services Centre in Stockton Central Library, Thornaby Library or, Kingsway House in Billingham.

A second stage consultation will take place in January 2013. This will present details of any proposals arising from the review and will seek further opinion from consultees. Final proposals for change will be presented to the Council’s Cabinet in spring 2013.

Local Council Tax Support Scheme

Learning Disability

The Government is abolishing the current Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme and all Councils in England and Wales must replace this with a new ‘Local Council Tax Support Scheme’ (LCTS) by April 2013.

A consultation, which is at a more advanced stage, is Phase 2 of the Learning Disability Efficiency Information and Transformation Review. This 12 week consultation explored potential changes to services such as, day time activities, The Government has cut the budgets for residential care, housing options and this by at least ten per cent. This means supported living, short breaks and the Council has to make some difficult respite care and the development of decisions about who will get financial services for people with autism. The support to help pay their Council Tax bill. It results of the consultation can be has consulted on the proposals, which do viewed by visiting not affect the single person’s discount, and learningdisabilityservicesreview The the consultation results will be considered results of any proposed changes within the by the Council’s Cabinet on 29 November. services will be considered by Stockton Council’s Cabinet in January 2013.

The Contact Centre will accept phone enquiries on Mon 24 Dec between 8am4pm, Thurs 27 Dec between 8.30am-5pm, Fri 28 Dec between 8.30am-4.30pm, Sat 29 Dec between 9.30am-12.30pm and on Mon 31 Dec 8am-4pm. Normal opening hours will resume on Wed 2 Jan 2013.

Housing Options Service

Security & Surveillance Centre

16 Church Road, Stockton

Security, Care Call and Concierge Services are all open 365 days of the year. Tel (01642) 528438. Neighbourhood Enforcement Services continue with normal working hours apart from Christmas, Boxing and New Year’s days when the service is closed.

Mon 24 Dec 2012: 8:30am-1pm (office closes but phone lines covered until 4pm) 25, 26, 27, 28, 31: Closed 1 Jan: Closed 2 Jan: Normal hours 8.30am-5pm

For emergency temporary accommodation when the offices are closed please contact Anti-Social Behaviour Team the following: Residents can report anti-social behaviour On 24 Dec 2012 from 5pm and on the 25, 26 24 hours a day on the dedicated hotline Dec 2012 call the Emergency Duty Team on (01642) 607943. 08702 402994 or Police (01642) 326326. On 27, 28 Dec 2012 between 8.30am and 5pm call the First Contact Unit on (01642) 527765 and between 5pm and 8.30am call the Emergency Duty Team on 08702 402994 or Police on (01642) 326326.

Children, Education & Social Care

Adult Services-Billingham-Queensway, Tithebarn and Ideal House, Thornaby. Mon 24 Dec 8.30am-5pm Thurs 27 Dec 8.30am-5pm Fri 28 Dec 8.30am-4.30pm

Stockton & Thornaby Cash Office will be open as follows:

On 29, 30 Dec 2012 call the Emergency Duty Team on 08702 402994 or Police on (01642) 326326.

Mon 24 Dec: 8.30am-1pm Thurs 27 and Fri 28 Dec: 10am-4pm Mon 31 Dec: 10am-1pm Normal opening hours will resume on Wed 2 Jan 2013.

On 31 Dec 2012 between 8.30am and 5pm call the First Contact Unit on (01642) 527765 and between 5pm and 8.30am call the Emergency Duty Team 08702 402994 or Police on (01642) 326326.

Billingham Cash Office and Kingsway House, Billingham

On 1 Jan 2013 call the Emergency Duty Team on 08702 402994 or Police on (01642) 326326.

Stockton Registration And Bereavement Services

Will close at 1pm on Mon 24 Dec and remain closed until Wed 2 Jan 2013 when normal opening hours will resume.

Tees Active


Splash (01642) 527272 Thornaby Pavilion (01642) 760971 Thornaby Pool (01642) 616727 Billingham Forum (01642) 551381

24 Dec Open as usual 25 and 26 Dec Closed 27-29, 31Dec Open as usual 1 Jan Closed 2-5 Jan Open as usual

Mon 24 Dec: 10am-1pm Thurs 27 Dec: 10am-5pm (Fairfield Library 10am-12.30pm) Fri 28 Dec: 10am-5pm Sat 29 Dec: Normal hours Sun 30 Dec: Normal hours Mon 31 Dec: 10am-1pm Wed 2 Jan: Normal hours.

Tristar Homes

Over the festive period please call the numbers below to find out opening times:

or visit the following websites: Activ8 Health & Fitness Clubs – For Tees Barrage International White Water Centre – visit

Please visit for the Christmas Eve, offices close at 1pm and are most up to date opening times or contact closed the 25 and 26. Calls will be taken from the venue for more information. 10am-3pm on 27, 28 and 31, for emergency make safe repairs. Remember any time the office is not open all emergency make safe repair calls will be dealt with as normal by the out of hours service on 0300 111 1000. Opening as usual Wed 2 Jan.

Tithebarn – Normal rapid response and intermediate care services will operate throughout Christmas and New Year holidays. Tithebarn will be staffed from 8.30am-5.00pm (4.30pm Fri) with Rapid Response open until 8.00pm.

Please note an appointment system is in operation at this office with priority given to the registration of deaths on 24 Dec and from 27 to 29 Dec also on 31 Dec and from 2 Jan to 5 Jan, after this normal service will be resumed. To make an appointment, please call (01642) 527720. In case of emergency out of office hours only, please call (01642) 618946.

For the latest information as we head closer to Christmas visit PAGE 55

focus on your area northern

focus on your area CENTRAL









Manager David Mason

Fancy a cuppa?


Long Newton

Long Newton

Eaglescliffe WESTERN

Thornaby EASTERN


Billingham Community Centre, on The Causeway, now sports a new café which is open 9.30am-4pm Monday to Thursday and 9.30am-3pm on Friday.

Port Clarence






Port Clarence





Eaglescliffe WESTERN

Ingleby Barwick

Thornaby EASTERN



So - why not pop along and give it a try - every cuppa helps!




12 Dec 2012 Billingham Youth & Community Centre 09 Jan 2013 Billingham Youth & Community Centre 13 Feb 2013 Billingham Youth & Community Centre 13 Mar 2013 Billingham Youth & Community Centre COUNCILLOR MRS ANN McCOY


Tel: 01642 535604 Email:


(From L-R): Eric Atkinson, Paul Hewitson, Anne Restall and Graham Haswell

You’re all lifesavers “They saved my life – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t still be here.” These are the words of thanks from Eric Atkinson, from Billingham, who suffered a serious heart attack while at the gym at Billingham Forum. Three members of staff quickly reacted and administered both CPR and used a defibrillator until an ambulance arrived to take Mr Atkinson to hospital. Thankfully, Mr Atkinson, aged 70, has recovered well and both the ambulance service and hospital contacted Billingham Forum to say how impressed they were with the professional treatment the staff gave. Paul Hewitson, Graham Haswell and Anne Restall all received Royal Life Saving commendation awards and Mr Atkinson was at the award presentation to give his thanks to the lifesaving trio. He said: “They definitely saved my life – if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t still be here. It is so nice to see them recognised by the Royal Life Saving Society – I cannot thank them enough.” PAGE 56

Tel: 01642 371638 Email:

BILLINGHAM EAST 30 Nov 2012 New Life Family Centre 5:00pm – 5:40pm Hereford Centre 5:45pm – 6:30pm 14 Dec 2012 New Life Family Centre 5:00pm – 5:40pm Hereford Centre 5:45pm – 6:30pm 25 Jan 2013 New Life Family Centre 5:00pm – 5:40pm Hereford Centre 5:45pm – 6:30pm 22 Feb 2013 New Life Family Centre 5:00pm – 5:40pm Hereford Centre 5:45pm – 6:30pm 22 Mar 2013 New Life Family Centre 5:00pm – 5:40pm Hereford Centre 5:45pm – 6:30pm COUNCILLOR MICK STOKER Tel: 01642 371641 Email:


Tel: 01642 532090 Email:

BILLINGHAM NORTH 6:30PM – 7:30PM 10 Dec 2012 High Grange Community Centre 14 Jan 2013 North Billingham Methodist Church 11 Feb 2013 High Grange Community Centre 11 Mar 2013 North Billingham Methodist Church

Tel: 01642 554344 Email: Web: Tel: 01642 872896 Email: Web:


04 Dec 2012 High Grange Community Centre 08 Jan 2013 North Billingham Methodist Church 05 Feb 2013 High Grange Community Centre 05 Mar 2013 North Billingham Methodist Church COUNCILLOR RAY McCALL Tel: 01642 533407 Email:

BILLINGHAM SOUTH 6:00PM – 7:00PM 13 Dec 2012 Billingham Branch Library 10 Jan 2013 Billingham Branch Library 14 Feb 2013 Billingham Branch Library 14 Mar 2013 Billingham Branch Library COUNCILLOR MRS JEAN O’DONNELL Tel: 01642 559717 Email:


Tel: 01642 371782 Email:

BILLINGHAM WEST 6:00PM – 7:00PM 30 Nov 2012 Wolviston Court Community Centre No Dec surgery 25 Jan 2013 Wolviston Court Community Centre 22 Feb 2013 Wolviston Court Community Centre 29 Mar 2013 Wolviston Court Community Centre COUNCILLOR MRS MARY WOMPHREY Tel: 01642 555755 Email:


Tel: 01642 555755 Email: 04 Dec 2012 Elm Tree Community Centre 6:00pm - 7:00pm 10 Dec 2012 Bishopsgarth School 6:00pm - 6:30pm 08 Jan 2013 Elm Tree Community Centre 14 Jan 2013 Bishopsgarth School 05 Feb 2013 Elm Tree Community Centre 11 Feb 2013 Bishopsgarth School 05 Mar 2013 Elm Tree Community Centre 11 Mar 2013 Bishopsgarth School COUNCILLOR MRS JULIA CHERRETT

6:00pm – 7:00pm 12 Jan 2013 Aspen Gardens. 11:00am – 12:00 15 Feb 2013 Salters Lane Community Centre. 6:00pm – 7:00pm 16 Feb 2013 Aspen Gardens. 11:00am – 12:00 15 Mar 2013 Salters Lane Community Centre. 6:00pm – 7:00pm 16 Mar 2013 Aspen Gardens. 11:00am – 12:00 COUNCILLOR NIGEL COOKE

Tel: 01642 589442 Email:


Tel: 01642 675891 Email:

Tel: 01642 785473 Email:

HARTBURN 6:45PM – 7:30PM


03 Dec 2012 Elmwood Community Centre 07 Jan 2013 Elmwood Community Centre 04 Feb 2013 Elmwood Community Centre 04 Mar 2013 Elmwood Community Centre COUNCILLOR TERRY LAING

Tel: 01642 618851 Email:

FAIRFIELD 6:00PM – 6:30PM 10 Dec 2012 Fairfield Library 14 Jan 2013 Fairfield Library 11 Feb 2013 Fairfield Library 11 Mar 2013 Fairfield Library COUNCILLOR MAURICE PERRY

Tel: 01642 586914 Email:


Tel: 01642 584409 Email:



06 Dec 2012 Grays Road Institute 10 Dec 2012 Hartburn Scout Group Hut 17 Dec 2012 Fairfield Library 03 Jan 2013 Grays Road Institute 14 Jan 2013 Hartburn Scout Group Hut 21 Jan 2013 Fairfield Library 07 Feb 2013 Grays Road Institute 11 Feb 2013 Hartburn Scout Group Hut 18 Feb 2013 Fairfield Library 07 Mar 2013 Grays Road Institute 11 Mar 2013 Hartburn Scout Group Hut 18 Mar 2013 Fairfield Library COUNCILLOR CAROL CLARK Tel: 01642 675688 Email: Web:


Tel: 01642 675688 Email: Web:

HARDWICK WARD 16 Nov 2012 Salters Lane Community Centre. 6:00pm – 7:00pm 17 Nov 2012 Aspen Gardens. 11:00am – 12:00 14 Dec 2012 Salters Lane Community Centre. 6:00pm – 7:00pm 15 Dec 2012 A  spen Gardens. 11:00am – 12:00 11 Jan 2013 Salters Lane Community Centre.

10 Dec 2012 Kiora Hall 14 Jan 2013 Kiora Hall 11 Feb 2013 Kiora Hall 11 Mar 2013 Kiora Hall COUNCILLOR JIM BEALL

Tel: 01642 534417 Email:

Tel: 01642 586564 Email:



There is an extensive menu to choose from with both breakfast and lunch options as well as lighter alternatives and daily specials - guaranteed to please! As part of a Community Interest Company any profits from the café are injected back into the local community to help raise the aims and aspirations of children and young people in Billingham.

12 Dec 2012 Norton North Community & Resource Centre 16 Jan 2013 Frederick Nattrass Children’s Centre 13 Feb 2013 Norton North Community & Resource Centre 20 Mar 2013 Norton Library COUNCILLOR STEVE NELSON





Tel: 01642 534417 Email:

Ingleby Barwick



Tel: 01642 587356 Email: Web:


Tel: 01642 587286 Email: Web:

NEWTOWN 6:00PM – 7:00PM 07 Dec 2012 Newtown Community Resource Centre 21 Dec 2012 Ragworth Neighbourhood Centre 11 Jan 2013 Newtown Community Resource Centre 25 Jan 2013 Ragworth Neighbourhood Centre 08 Feb 2013 Newtown Community Resource Centre 22 Feb 2013 Ragworth Neighbourhood Centre 08 Mar 2013 Newtown Community Resource Centre 22 Mar 2013 Ragworth Neighbourhood Centre COUNCILLOR PAUL BAKER

Tel: 01642 608406 Email:


Tel: 01642 614482 Email: Web:

NORTHERN PARISHES 7:00PM – 8:00PM 13 Dec 2012 Grindon Parish Hall, Thorpe Thewles No Jan surgery 14 Feb 2013 Grindon Parish Hall, Thorpe Thewles 07 Mar 2013 Wolviston Common Room COUNCILLOR JOHN GARDNER Tel: 01740 645357 Email:

04 Dec 2012 Albany Resource Centre 08 Jan 2013 Assembly Hall, St John Ambulance Place 22 Jan 2013 Albany Resource Centre 05 Feb 2013 Assembly Hall, St John Ambulance Place 19 Feb 2013 Albany Resource Centre 12 Mar 2013 Assembly Hall, St John Ambulance Place 26 Mar 2013 Albany Resource Centre COUNCILLOR BOB COOK TEL: 01642 890058 Email:


TEL: 01642 673952 Email:

NORTON WEST 04 Dec 2012 Crooksbarn Primary School. 4:30pm – 5:30pm The Education Centre 5:45pm – 6:45pm Glebe Community Centre 7:00pm – 8:00pm 08 Jan 2013 Crooksbarn Primary School. 4:30pm – 5:30pm The Education Centre 5:45pm – 6:45pm Glebe Community Centre 7:00pm – 8:00pm 05 Feb 2013 Crooksbarn Primary School. 4:30pm – 5:30pm The Education Centre 5:45pm – 6:45pm Glebe Community Centre 7:00pm – 8:00pm 05 Mar 2013 Crooksbarn Primary School. 4:30pm – 5:30pm The Education Centre 5:45pm – 6:45pm Glebe Community Centre 7:00pm – 8:00pm COUNCILLOR DAVID WILBURN Tel: 01642 532517 Email:


Tel: 01642 532517 Email:


06 Dec 2012 Parkfield Community Centre (Cllr Javed only) Oxbridge Christian Fellowship (Cllr Rose only) 20 Dec 2012 Oxbridge Christian Fellowship 03 Jan 2013 Parkfield Community Centre (Cllr Javed only) Oxbridge Christian Fellowship (Cllr Rose only) 17 Jan 2013 Oxbridge Christian Fellowship 07 Feb 2013 Parkfield Community Centre (Cllr Javed only) Oxbridge Christian Fellowship (Cllr Rose only) 21 Feb 2013 Oxbridge Christian Fellowship 07 Mar 2013 Parkfield Community Centre (Cllr Javed only) Oxbridge Christian Fellowship (Cllr Rose only) 21 Mar 2013 Oxbridge Christian Fellowship COUNCILLOR MOHAMMED JAVED Tel: 01642 602420 Email:


Tel: 01642 789993 Email:

Tel: 01642 602510 Email:

COUNCILLOR MISS BARBARA INMAN 06 Dec 2012 The Willows Centre 13 Dec 2012 Parkfield Community Centre 20 Dec 2012 Victoria House 03 Jan 2013 The Willows Centre 10 Jan 2013 Parkfield Community Centre 17 Jan 2013 Victoria House 24 Jan 2013 Culture CIC 07 Feb 2013 The Willows Centre 14 Feb 2013 Parkfield Community Centre 21 Feb 2013 Victoria House 28 Feb 2013 Culture CIC 07 Mar 2013 The Willows Centre 14 Mar 2013 Parkfield Community Centre 21 Mar 2013 Victoria House 28 Mar 2013 Culture CIC COUNCILLOR DAVID COLEMAN Tel: 01642 673952 Email:


Tel: 01642 559331 Email:

The Park Run No it’s not a run in the park it’s a run held every Saturday morning starting at the Tees Barrage at 9.00am. The route takes in the banks of the River Tees, across Infinity Bridge and Millennium Footbridge and back to the Barrage. The run is for every ability. If you are interested in registering visit register or if you would like to volunteer to help email TeesBarrageHelpers@ PAGE 57

focus on your area eastern

focus on your area WESTERN



Wynyard NORTHERN Stillington


Wolviston Billingham

Port Clarence


NORTHERN Stillington





Wolviston Port Clarence


Stockton Stockton Long Newton Eaglescliffe WESTERN

Long Newton

Thornaby EASTERN



Ingleby Barwick



Thornaby EASTERN

Tel: 01642 784910 Email:


Ingleby Barwick

Tel: 01642 785689 Email:


Kirklevington Kirklevington

EAST WARD SURGERIES 05 Dec 2012 08 Jan 2013 06 Feb 2013 05 Mar 2013

Obituary Following a long illness Councillor Mick Eddy, who represented the Village Ward in Thornaby, died in August at James Cook University Hospital. Cllr Eddy was a member of the Thornaby Independent Association and was elected to Stockton Borough Council in 2007. He also served on Thornaby Town Council and was re-elected as Mayor of Thornaby earlier this year, serving until his deteriorating health led him to step down.

Funding given

All Saints C of E Secondary School All Saints C of E Secondary School All Saints C of E Secondary School All Saints C of E Secondary School

Residents of Maltby & Hilton are welcome at Ingleby Barwick Ward Surgeries but if unable to attend, can request a meeting with Councillors Corr, Faulks and Kirby by appointment before Parish Council meetings.


Tel: 01642 764056 Email:


Tel: 01642 764874 Email:


Tel: 01642 762092 Email:

INGLEBY BARWICK WEST 6:00PM – 7:00PM (Joint surgery with Ingleby Barwick East) 05 Dec 2012 All Saints C of E Secondary School 08 Jan 2013 All Saints C of E Secondary School 06 Feb 2013 All Saints C of E Secondary School 05 Mar 2013 All Saints C of E Secondary School COUNCILLOR KEN DIXON Tel: 01642 764650 Email:


Tel: 01642 764652 Email: Skype: david.harrington01642

Several community groups have won funding from the Mandale and Victoria Community First Panel to run various projects within that area of Thornaby.


Community First Panels have been created across eight chosen wards and are responsible for distributing Community First funding.

No Dec surgery 26 Jan 2013 Westbury St Library 11.00am - 12.00 27 Feb 2013 Robert Atkinson Youth & Community Centre 4.00pm - 5.00pm 30 Mar 2013 Rochester Court Sheltered Housing 11.00am - 12.00 COUNCILLOR TINA LARGE

Friends of Teesdale Park gained £950 to cover the cost of hiring a classroom twice a week for local community volunteers to learn about landscape management. The Youthy was granted £1,325 for young people to carry out work on the allotment and to encourage them to grow and cook their own food. PAGE 58

Tel: 01642 764865 Email:


Tel: 01642 676509 Email:


Tel: 01642 604176 Email:

EAGLESCLIFFE 10 Dec 2012 21 Dec 2012 14 Jan 2013 18 Jan 2013

Preston Primary School 5.30pm-6.30pm Egglescliffe Community Centre 5.30pm-6.30pm Preston Primary School 5.30pm-6.30pm Egglescliffe Parish Hall 5.45pm-6.45pm

Tel: 01642 790916 Email:


07 Dec 2012 The Wilson Centre, Long Newton 04 Jan 2013 The Chapel School Room, Carlton 01 Feb 2013 Stillington Village Hall, Stillington 01 Mar 2013 The Wilson Centre, Long Newton COUNCILLOR ANDREW STEPHENSON Tel: 0778 529 3416 Email:

YARM 6:00PM – 6:45PM 04 Dec 2012 Levendale Primary School 08 Jan 2013 Yarm Library 05 Feb 2013 Layfield Primary School 05 Mar 2013 Levendale Primary School COUNCILLOR MARK CHATBURN Tel: 01642 789982 Email:


Tel: 01642 786639 Email:


UP TO 31ST MARCH 2013 INGLEBY BARWICK EAST 6:00PM – 7:00PM (Joint surgery with Ingleby Barwick West)

07 Dec 2012 Trinity Methodist Church 6.30pm-7.30pm 18 Dec 2012 Egglescliffe Parish Hall 6.00pm-7.00pm 15 Jan 2013 Egglescliffe Community Centre 6.30pm-7.30pm 01 Feb 2013 Trinity Methodist Church 6.30pm-7.30pm 19 Feb 2013 Egglescliffe Parish Hall 6.00pm-7.00pm 01 Mar 2013 Trinity Methodist Church 6.30pm-7.30pm 12 Mar 2013 Egglescliffe Community Centre 6.30pm-7.30pm COUNCILLOR ALAN LEWIS

11 Feb 2013 Preston Primary School 5.30pm-6.30pm 15 Feb 2013 Egglescliffe Community Centre 5.30pm-6.30pm 11 Mar 2013 Preston Primary School 5.30pm-6.30pm 15 Mar 2013 Egglescliffe Parish Hall 5.45pm-6.45pm COUNCILLOR PHIL DENNIS

Tel: 01642 786767 Email:


01 Dec 2012 Labour Party Office, 109 Lanehouse Road 11:00am - 1:00pm 12 Dec 2012 Labour Party Office, 109 Lanehouse Road 5:00pm - 6:00pm Tba Jan 2013 Venue tba Tba Feb 2013 Venue tba Tba Mar 2013 Venue tba Tba Mar 2013 Venue tba COUNCILLOR TRACEY STOTT Tel: 01642 674471 Mobile: 07528 014 605 Email:


17 Dec 2012 South Thornaby Community & Resource Centre 28 Jan 2013 Venue to be arranged No Feb surgery 18 Mar 2013 Eltham Crescent Community Centre COUNCILLOR DERRICK BROWN Tel: 01642 751028 Email: Web:

STAINSBY HILL No Dec surgery 17 Jan 2013 South Thornaby Community & Resource Centre 6:00pm - 7:00pm 16 Feb 2013 Thornaby Pavilion 11:00am - 12:00 21 Mar 2013 South Thornaby Community & Resource Centre 6:00pm - 7:00pm COUNCILLOR MRS SYLVIA WALMSLEY Tel: 01642 602375 Email:

Left to right Tracy Cook, re-homing co-ordinator at GRACE with volunteers for GRACE. Seated: Albert Finn with greyhounds left to right: Jet, Curtis, Jessie and Emma.

Parking in Yarm

A dog’s life

Stockton Council will continue working with Yarm residents and businesses to ease difficulties people have parking in the town.

Ten-year-old Albert Finn, from Eaglescliffe, held two ‘Help for Hounds’ toy stalls at his school, The Links Primary School in Eaglescliffe, in aid of Greyhound Rescue and Co-ordinated Emergencies (GRACE).

Last month the High Court in Leeds ruled that the Council could consider options such as introducing 80 short-stay pay and display spaces on the High Street. The Council is now awaiting a formal submission of an alternative proposal for parking from Yarm Town Council and this will be considered by the Council’s Cabinet. Further detailed consultation with the public will also take place over the coming months.

By selling his toys and gathering others from friends, a caring Teesside youngster has raised more than £150 for a canine charity which supports unwanted and abused greyhounds.

Albert has now adopted a greyhound of his own called Curtis and is still continuing with his good work to support unwanted greyhounds. If you would like to find out more about GRACE call (01287) 281712 or 07840 771583 or email or visit


What’s On what’s on

A look at what’s going on around the Borough from November to March 2013. This is just a taster so make sure you visit for a full list with the very latest details.

The events listed are subject to change. We reserve the right to alter or cancel any event.

Regular events Nov - March


Café Scientifique

what’s on NOVEMBER

Thur 29 Nov Live music - Marika Hackman The Green Room, Green Dragon Studios, Stockton. 8pm/£6 Tickets are available from (01642) 674115 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) and Green Dragon Studios (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).

From Nov - 29 Jan 100 years of Christmas exhibition

The Point, ARC, Dovecot Street, Stockton

Preston Park Museum & Grounds

8-10pm, Café Scientifique meets monthly to chat about current issues in science and technology.

Community Curated space explores how we have celebrated Christmas over the last 100 years. Annual tickets: Adult £2, Child/Concession £1, Family £4 (2A+4C)

Entrance is free but participants (other than students and the unwaged) are invited to make a donation of £3 towards expenses. Meetings are held on the third Tuesday of the month (except for December).

Visit or tel (01642) 527375 for more information.

Further details, including the current and past programme of events and speakers can be found at

ParkMade Traditional Taster Days

Thur 29 Nov

Every Tuesday 20 Nov – 11 Dec and from 5 Feb onwards.

Stockton Sparkles – Stockton High Street’s Christmas Lights switch on 5-7pm Olympic Gold Medal winner, Kat Copeland, will be switching on the lights, joined by a host of special guests including the hugely popular Wildcats of Kilkenny. The Christmas light switch on also marks the first late night shopping openings in the town centre – the perfect time to pick up a few presents! Visit for more information.

Preston Park Museum & Grounds Discover a traditional pastime or craft with Preston Park’s ParkMade Traditional Taster Days. Experts will show you how to make a range of fabulous items such as mini rag rug, corsage, festive wreath, patchwork, weaved basket, or try your hand at a skill such as blacksmithing or wood carving. For more information about the dates and courses on offer tel (01642) 527820/528842 or visit Booking essential.

7 Dec, 4 Jan, 1 Feb, 1 March What’s Up? Planetarium & Observatory Event 7:30pm-9:00pm Wynyard Planetarium, Wynyard Woodland Park Booking recommended. Tickets £5 adults, £3 children, £13 family Tel (01740) 630544

16 Nov, 21 Dec Mysteries of Mars - Planetarium & Observatory Event 7:30pm-9:00pm Wynyard Planetarium, Wynyard Woodland Park Booking recommended. Tickets £5 adults, £3 children, £13 family Tel: (01740) 630544

18 Jan, 15 Feb, 15 March The Life Story of Stars Planetarium & Observatory Event 7:30pm-9:00pm Wynyard Planetarium, Wynyard Woodland Park Booking recommended. Tickets £5 adults, £3 children, £13 family Tel (01740) 630544 PAGE 60

Making a mess! Under 5s club Preston Park Museum & Grounds

Pre-schoolers can get messy with a range of craft activities based on the new museum and garden displays. Adult £2, Child/Concession £1, Family £4 (2A+4C), all tickets are valid for multiple visits for one year from date of issue visit or tel (01642) 527375 for more information.

Wed 28 Nov Live music - The Lovely Eggs The Green Room, Green Dragon Studios, Stockton 8pm/£6. Tel (01642) 606525

Sat 1 Dec & Sun 2 Dec

Tickets are available from (01642) 674115 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm) and Green Dragon Studios (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm).

Be amazed by the giant snow globe on Dovecot Street! Step inside and have your picture taken. Visit for more information.

Stockton Sparkles – Giant snow globe


what’s on

what’s on



Wed 5 Dec Traditional Christmas Delights – cookery demonstration Preston Park Museum & Grounds Drop in sessions at 11am, 12noon, 1.30pm & 2.30pm Free with normal admission. Adult £2, Child/Concession £1, Family £4 (2A+4C), all tickets are valid for multiple visits for one year from date of issue. For more information visit or tel (01642) 527375.

Thurs 6 Nov – Mon 24 Dec The Little Red Hen ARC, Dovecot Street, Stockton A Christmas treat for the whole family! This is an ingenious adaptation of the nursery school favourite featuring a host of animal puppets.

Thurs 6 – Sun 9 Dec

Time: Times vary Price: £9 Family (4 people): £32 For details visit or tel (01642) 525199

Stockton Sparkles - Log Cabin Christmas Market Parish Church Gardens, Times 10am - 7pm, Thursday - Saturday. 10am - 4pm, Sunday.

Sun 16 Dec

Thurs 20 Dec

Stockton Sparkles - Reindeer Parade

Christmas at Arc

Stockton High Street, 2pm

Dovecot Street, Stockton Cattle & Cane plus special guests 8pm/£10 For details visit or tel (01642) 525199

Come and enjoy the Reindeer Parade on Stockton High Street as Santa and his helpers come to Stockton!

Wed 19 Dec Christmas Story Time for under fives Norton Library, 10.30-11.30am Come and enjoy festive stories, songs and games. Please book in advance as spaces are limited. Telephone Norton library (01642) 528019

Sat 22 Dec Christmas at Arc Dovecot Street, Stockton The Wildcats of Kilkenny Christmas Party, 8pm. Price: £15 For details visit or tel (01642) 525199

Picture courtesy of Gary Walsh


FEBRUARY Preston Park Musuem and Grounds official relaunch

The ever popular log cabins return, selling an amazing range of festive goodies. As well as great items to buy, the Christmas spirit will be alive and well with a programme of live music on the Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evenings. Visit

See inside front page of the magazine and look out for more details in the New Year at

10, 19, 21 Feb

Fri 7 – Sat 8 Dec

Kitchen Range; Chinese New Year

Stockton Sparkles - Ice Sculptures

Preston Park Museum & Grounds 11am-3pm. Free with normal admission.

Parish Church Gardens, 11.30am - 3.30pm Amazing ice sculptures created in front of your eyes. Other great family entertainment including face painting, story telling, arts & crafts fun and carol singers.

Sat 15 Dec

8 Dec – 6 Jan

Celebrate the Year of the Snake with a delicious cookery demonstration and taste from the Orient. Annual tickets: Adult £2, Child/Concession £1, Family £4 (2A+4C) Visit for more information.

Jack & The Beanstalk Pantomine Forum Theatre Billingham For ticket information tel the box office (01642) 552663

Christmas Celebration Preston Park Museum & Grounds, 11am-3pm Join us for festive fun at the Museum this Christmas with arts and craft, storytellers and of course Santa’s Grotto in the beautifully decorated Victorian Street. Free with normal admission, although some activities may have additional charges – please see website for details nearer the time. Annual tickets: Adult £2, Child/Concession £1, Family £4 (2A+4C) Visit or tel (01642) 527375 for more information.

Sun 16 Dec Friends of Ropner Park Christmas Fair Ropner Park 11am -1pm. Attractions will include stalls, mulled wine and tombola. The Old Glory Jazz Band will provide music and St. Peter’s Church choir will lead the singing of Christmas Carols in a relaxed atmosphere. The cafe will be open for hot drinks and snacks.

15 Jan - Apr 2013 Preston Hall: Our Diamond Anniversary Preston Park Museum & grounds Since its official opening as a museum in 1953, Preston Hall has seen many changes across its sixty year history. Recentlyreopened after its most ambitious makeover ever, join us in celebrating a fascinating history in this exhibition spanning sixty years. Please call 01642 527375 for details. Annual tickets: Adult £2, Child/Concession £1, Family £4 (2A+4C) Visit for more information.



Get ready for the best in Christmas shopping!

Thursday 29 November - Monday 24 December

Get ready for the best in Christmas shopping and festive fun when Stockton Sparkles returns. Thursday 29 November 5 - 7pm

Thursday 6 - Sunday 9 December

Saturday 15 December 11am - 3pm

Stockton High Street’s Christmas light switch on. Olympic Gold Medal winner Kat Copeland will be switching on the lights at 6pm, joined by a host of special guests including the hugely popular Wildcats of Kilkenny. The Christmas light switch on also marks the first late night shopping openings in the town centre – the perfect time to pick up a few presents!

The ever popular Christmas Market returns to the Parish Church Gardens, selling an amazing range of festive goodies including creative kits and crafts, jewellery and other gifts. As well as great items to buy, the Christmas spirit will be alive and well with a programme of live music on the Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evenings.

Look out for some exciting Street Theatre in the town centre – who knows what you will see!

Saturday 1 December 10am - 3.30pm

Friday 7 - Saturday 8 December

Be amazed by the incredible giant snow globe on Dovecot Street. Step inside and have your picture taken!

See some amazing ice sculptures created in front of your eyes at Parish Gardens and give a big bear hug to welcome back Bjorn the Polar Bear! Other great family entertainment includes face painting, story telling, arts & crafts fun and carol singers.

Sunday 16 December 2pm Come and enjoy the Reindeer Parade on Stockton High Street as Santa and his helpers come to Stockton! Don’t forget to enter the children’s competition to be in the parade. Visit reindeerparade

For details of precise times visit

Arts, Culture and Leisure Big plans for great experiences PAGE 64

Stockton News - Winter 2012  

The Winter 2012 edition of Stockton News

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