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 www.stockton.gov.uk/gritting 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, www.stockton.gov.uk or visit www.stockton.gov.uk/socialmedia (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 www.stockton.gov.uk/warmhomes
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