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News

On this page you will find our latest news and progress reports on issues of concern.

 

  • June 2013 – report from the AGM:This year we had a change of venue for the AGM to North Shields Rugby Football Club.  This may have affected attendance as fewer residents than usual were present but this didn’t prevent a good discussion of a number of issues affecting the Village.  The meeting was attended by Councillor Cath Davis and Felicity Shoesmith from North Tyneside Council.  Unfortunately the police were unable to send a representative.  The Treasurer and Secretary presented reports and our work over the last year was described.  This included our initial work in setting up consultation following the floods of last June between affected residents, Northumbrian Water and Preston Ward Councillors, our work in enhancing the area by purchasing plants and planting them in the beds and the tubs around the area and the purchase of an oak tree to mark the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.  Issues raised by residents at the meeting were primarily focussed on road safety within the area, focussing on speeding cars along Front Street and Monkswood.  Felicity Shoesmith reported that the Council are keen to establish a number of flood wardens within the area whose role will be to report on events leading to, during and following any further flooding in the area.  Information will be available on North Tyneside Council website and in a future edition of Widening Horizons.  Councillor Cath Davis reported that gully cleaning and remedial work on drains in the area arose directly from residents actions; she stressed how important it is that we keep pressure on the Council to maintain service at this level and limit the effect of any future storms similar to those of last year.  With regard to speeding traffic, it was suggested that the mobile speed detectors seen occasionally on Walton Road, be used also on Front Street as they have been shown reduce traffic speed and Councillor Davis was able to tell us that there will be some changes to the speed limit and the location of the crossing on Beach Road between Tynemouth Pool and Morrison’s.  A complaint was also received about the state of grassed areas and pavements left when grass wasn’t removed following cutting; this was to be followed up by the Council’s officers.  We also received a suggestion that work to restore the graves in Preston Cemetery of those killed when the Wilkinson’s Lemonade Factory was bombed during the Second World War may be suitable for an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund or the Second Word War Commemoration fund.  More detail of these issues will be available when the minutes are published, but if you have any comments or suggestions please contact us at prestonresidents@hotmail.co.uk.  Finally we would like to take this opportunity to thank Phil Wright and Betty Moat for their invaluable input to PRA over the last few years.  Phil has now moved away from the Village and so does not feel able to take such an active role but will be helping in a transition period while Betty is taking a sabbatical and will return when she is able; best wishes and many thanks to you both.

 

 

  • Coffee Morning June 8th: We had a lovely day for out coffee morning and cake and craft sale  held on June 8th at Pearey House. This proved an excellent venue and we would like to thank all who attended, bought cakes and books and to the craft sellers who also came along. Profits were split 50:50 with Pearey House.

 

 

  • May 2013:This month we have been planning for our AGM, a coffee morning and book sale to raise money for planting in the Village and developing our next news letter.  Further details of the AGM can be found here and for the coffee morning and book sale here.  The newsletter will soon be arriving through your letterbox, please have a look for an update on our activities.  We’ve also been planning our summer planting programme in the Village.  What we can acheive will very much depend on the money that we raise at the coffee morning/book sale so please come along and support us.  As usual we will also be very happy to receive any offers of help, either in the form of volunteering for a few hours planting or donations of plants.  We planted beds and tubs around the Village with spring bulbs and plants late last autumn and although they took a while in the cold weather we’ve had this year they eventually did flower and looked beautiful, pictures of us planting and the results can be found on our dedicated page.  We’re hoping to at least match our success in last years RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ initiative when we received the second highest award possible, that of ‘thriving’.  The more help we can have with this the better!  Last year we also installed a number of bird and bat boxes in the cemetery.  We would be very interested in knowing if anyone sees any of them in use, and also of any wildlife observed in the cemetery.

 

  • March 2013 . We  have had a quiet time over the winter but we are now in the process of planning for the spring and summer.  We will soon be publishing our next newsletter and would welcome any ideas of items of local interest that you would like to see included, please get in touch at the usual address: prestonresidents@hotmail.co.uk.  If you are able to volunteer to help with the distribution of the newsletter, please get in touch at the same address.
  • Also in the planning stages are our next book fayre and the AGM.  Unfortunately, following the flood damage last year, we no longer have access to the Scout Hall for either of these events and are looking for suitable alternative venues – we shall advise of these as soon as they are known.  As our stock of books was in the Scout Hall during the flooding they are no longer suitable for sale and so we are looking for donations; we are happy to collect any books you no longer want – again please contact us via the email address.
  • The plants we planted back in October are now well established and with the recent sun the pansies and primulas in the beds and tubs are coming into flower. There is good growth on the bulbs and we should soon be seeing lots of colour throughout the village to get everyone into the mood for spring and Easter.  This spring we will once again have no help from North Tyneside Council with planting in the Village so it will all have to be done by volunteers and Committee members.  Our autumn and winter planting cost around £400 and took eight volunteers between 3 and 5 hours each over several days.  Proceeds from the book sale will help with purchasing plants for our summer planting round but we don’t have the same budget available as last year.  If anyone can help, either by providing plants, with the planting or donating funds for purchasing plants we would be very grateful, as usual please contact us by e-mail at the address given above.  We would like to enter the RHS ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’ Competition again and the more of us the involved the better for this!
  • Finally please check out the website for the Friends of Northumberland Park with news of their events and restoration activities.

 

  • November 2012 This meeting saw a number of issues discussed.  Prime among these was progress with investigations into the flooding that hit the Village on June 28th and left many residents homeless, a situation which is continuing and is looking likely to extend beyond Christmas and into next year.  A meeting organised by this association in late September, attended by over 60 affected residents and addressed by representatives of Northumbrian Water and councillors Cath Davis and David Sarin, left many questions unanswered and a general feeling of dissatisfaction.  As a consequence, the victims of the flood have organised an independent group with the aims of obtaining a thorough investigation of the cause of the flooding, particularly of the contribution, if any, of the water storage/flood alleviation tanks at North Shields Rugby Football Club to the pattern and severity of flooding in the Village, to see what can be done to reduce the chances of recurrence to an absolute minimum and to raise and maintain awareness of the issues particular to Preston Village with North Tyneside Council.  A Flood Task group set up by the Council and involving representatives of Northumbrian Water (NW) and the Environment Agency (EA) had the remit of investigating flooding throughout the borough and did not deal with the unique pattern of flooding in the Village. However following lobbying by  flood victims and with the support of Councillors Cath Davis and Kate Osborn this has now been recognised by the Council and elected mayor.  The following is  synopsis of the outcome of a discussion of the flooding in the Village at a North Tyneside Council cabinet meeting held on November 12th  and provided by Wendy Smith, organiser of the flood victims group in the Village:

‘Mrs Arkley plans to meet with NW and to understand the Preston Village Scheme, including how it works and how it did or didn’t work on June 28th.  She also plans to work with NW and the residents of Preston Village to help deal with the flooding and the affect it has had and is having on the residents.  At the same meeting, the cabinet also agreed to use money from the environment budget with immediate effect to increase sandbags and air brick covers to those affected.  It was also said that NW and the EA work direct with the local authority and residents on one to one meetings and group meetings to ensure the concerns of residents are heard.  NW and EA will also be asked for funding to offer more protection for those affected especially the most vulnerable’.

Also at this meeting the cabinet were looking at a motion put forward on 25 October at the council meeting by Councillors Davis and Osborn to appoint an independent engineer to look at the flood alleviation storage tanks and determine if they had failed during the storm of June 25th.  Although this motion was agreed by the council, the overall decision is to be made by the Mayor/cabinet.

Residents have also met with the Alan Campbell, the local MP, and his representative Brain Burdis.  Both Mr Campbell and Mr Burdis are very supportive of the residents position and are going to press NW and others  for a satisfactory investigation of the flooding in the Village.  It is obvious there is still a way to go before residents are satisfied that questions and requests to the Council and NW have been dealt with thoroughly, however, this recent small step forward is encouraging and suggests a more thorough investigation of events may eventually be achieved.  If you would like to be put into contact with the group of flood victims in the Village please contact us at prestonresidents@hotmail.com

  • Royal Horticultural Society ‘It’s Your Neighbourhood’.  At an RHS Northumbria in Bloom event on October 26th we were very pleased to achieve the second highest award in the IYN competition, that of ‘Thriving’.  Judges from the RHS attended the Village in August and were shown around by members of the Residents Association.  The judges were impressed by work the Association has carried out including planting in the Village, the installation of the notice board and seat, the Millennium Tree and bird and bat boxes in Preston Cemetery and our general work to improve the appearance of the Village by reducing litter, dog fouling and fly-tipping.  Our plans for the future, including taking over all planting in the Village from this autumn and the planting of an oak tree in the Cemetery to mark the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II and involvement of local business were also given the thumbs up. Overall, we scored 78 points out of a possible 100.  Photographs of the award being presented and of our efforts in planting the various planters and beds around the Village with autumn flowering plants and spring bulbs are to follow soon.

 

  • Planning Application for 24 Front Street. A planning application to change 24 Front Street and an adjoining bungalow into a five and three bedroom ‘Houses of Multiple Occupancy’ respectively was discussed at the November meeting.  Residents raised a number of concerns about the application, including issues of car parking, safety of access and overloading of the sewerage system in what is already an area at risk of flooding. A letter on behalf of the Residents Association was submitted to the planning department. Following is the concluding paragraph of that letter summarising the Association’s position:

‘To sum up the committee agrees that a multiple occupancy property at 24A will destroy the village ambiance. More cars parked on village roads would not be welcome. The car access in the lane is particularly dangerous to pedestrians and we look to safeguarding tenants, their children and animals, the scouts and visitors to the Scout Hall, who have right of way.  The taking away of gardens and trees will affect water drainage and the added volume of water and sewerage into ancient sewers is particularly disturbing.’

 

 

 

  • Please see the recent post of the August meeting for an update on issues relating to flooding in the Village following the storm of 28th June and a proposed public meeting with Northumbrian Water and North Tyneside Council.

 

  • The Annual General Meeting took place on Wednesday 27 June 2012 in The Scout Hut, Preston Village, North Shields. The minutes of the meeting are published in ‘Recent Posts’

 

  • Following our successful bids for funding from North Tyneside Environmental budget, we have been able to provide a notice board and seat in the Village – located near to the Millenium Tree, opposite the Spread Eagle.   We’ve also located a number of bat and bird nesting/roosting boxes in the cemetery.  Photo’s to follow…

 

  • The latest edition of the Preston Residents Association news letter is being prepared, look out for yours in the post. The January 2012 newsletter can be downloaded  here. In a change from usual practice our newsletter has been sponsored by a number of local business.  We would like to thank our sponsors and encourage all residents to use their services and support local business.

 

  •  The Fire Service is offering free home safety referral checks to residents for their homes to insure that there are adequate fire safety precautions in place.  To find out more or make an application for your home safety check please contact the Fire Service on the following telephone number or  e-mail your details to the address given:
    TYNE AND WEAR FIRE AND RESCUE SERVICE.
    Prevention and Education Service
    North Tyneside East Community Fire Station
    Preston Road North
    NE29 9PY
    Tel No 0191 444 1215 or 1216
    E Mail – prevention.northtyneside@twfire.gov.uk

 

  • Area Forums:  These are held on a quarterly basis, in the Saville Exchange and are an opportunity for you to inform the Council of what you would like to see done in the Ward.  The next Forum will be held on Tuesday 12th June, details available on North Tyneside Council website

 

  • AGM: A message and invitation from your committee
    The AGM is usually held in May and the minutes of the previous meeting together with our accounts for the period will be available for interested parties.
    We are looking to increase our membership (currently no charge) and would welcome more volunteer help as well as committee help with projects we are planning, including the many aspects of the Village in Bloom entry we are looking to make in the urban village category. A few hours volunteer help here and there will help us achieve a great deal more and keep our village area looking attractive to residents and visitors a like. We do not under estimate the importance either of the large number of visitors each year that see the village and area by virtue of visiting at the Cemetery, North Shields Rugby Football Club, Tynemouth Pool and Gym and John Spence Community School.
    Apart from helping us as a volunteer or committee member we will be looking for a new chair person in May 2012 as the current chair will be standing down after 5 years.  If you are interested in helping out in any of these roles please contact the Committee  for further information  (prestonresidents@hotmail.co.uk) .

 

  • A Book Fayre and coffee morning held on Saturday 15th October raised £280 for the Association and Tynemouth Scouts.

 

  • North Tyneside Police: Autumn 2011 newsletter published.

 

  • Area Action Plan:  The committee are working with North Tyneside Council staff  and local councillors to draw up an action plan and timetable of improvements for the area.  We need your input.  If there are any areas of particular concern to you,  please send any suggestions or comments to :  prestonresidents@hotmail.co.uk). The Action Plan will set in place our goals and formalise the input from the council, residents and other interested bodies including the local police and schools.

 

  • YMCA/Youth Engagement: The Residents Association have been liaising with the North Shields YMCA for a well over a year now to address issues around groups of young people that, at the time, were congregating in the village, particularly around the swimming pool and adjoining areas towards Beach Road.  Residents had expressed concerns that large groups of teenagers were intimidating, that underage drinking was taking place and that this posed risks of vandalism and  the potential for injury to the teenagers themselves, particularly in the Beach Road area.  Members of the YMCA have met with the teenagers and  publicised their facilities while North Shields Rugby Football Club have successfully recruited from the groups of teenagers watching their training.  As a result we have seen a considerable reduction in anti-social behaviour in the area and can report no recent complaints from residents.

 

  • Parking in the Village: Again we are working jointly with the council to improve parking and road safety within the village.  Many of you will have noticed the recently erected speed warning signs on Walton Avenue which flash up your speed.  Particular areas of concern are around the junction of Front Street and Walton Avenue by the Sportsman where parking can obscure sight lines; and illegal parking around the entrance to John Spence school at pick up and drop off points.