Tagged: East Rainton

Wearside ; more anti-UKIP action

> UKIP’s intention of becoming the people’s party  in the North East doesn’t seem to be going too well.

First one of their Newcastle candidates managed to upset both Jewish and Muslim voters in less than a week. Then their office in Blyth was targeted.

Now reports of more grassroots action on Wearside…they could be excused for thinking someone doesn’t like them much….

UKIP have hit out at vandals who tore down advertising hoardings and attacked a home, accusing them of an “attack on free speech”.

Party officials say six incidents  have been reported to police in the space of one week in Hetton, Houghton, Newbottle and East Rainton.

It started on Tuesday, April 14, when a 4ft by 4ft board was stolen from a residential garden in South Street, East Rainton.

Then, on Saturday, the acts took a more sinister turn when a Wesleyan Chapel – converted into a home in Front Street, Hetton – was attacked.

 Two children were asleep inside when a window was smashed by vandals who also tore down another 4ft by 4ft Ukip board.

On Sunday, a board on private land at Grasswell was sawn down.

It was replaced on Monday, this time only lasting half an hour before being chopped down again.

On Tuesday, two boards were stolen from a private field at the junction of Murton Lane and Colliery Lane.

The party’s parliamentary candidate for Houghton and Sunderland South, Richard Elvin, said:

“Our parents and grandparents, many of whom gave their lives, fought to preserve our democracy and the right to free speech.

“It appears that many people, especially those who describe themselves as left wing, seek to deny these hard-won freedoms.

“UKIP supporters do not invade private property or steal or vandalise other political parties’ promotional material.

“We appreciate that people have different political views to ours and we show due respect, which is the way everyone in a civilised democracy should behave.

“There is no place for intimidation, theft or damage in a British society, against anyone who does not agree with your personal political beliefs.”

Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, of Northumbria Police, said:

“Police take any incidents of criminal damage very seriously.

“We have been made aware of a number of incidents in the Sunderland area regarding advertising boards being damaged or removed.

“We are working closely with the victims to carry out a full investigation.

“I would ask anyone who may have any information about these incidents to contact police.”

Also standing in the parliamentary election for Houghton and Sunderland South are Stewart Hay (Conservative), Jim Murray (LibDem), Bridget Phillipson (Labour) and Alan Robinson (Green Party).

Source – Sunderland Echo, 24 Apr 2015

Investigation reveals 17 North Post Offices have been ‘closed temporarily’ – for more than a year

The Post Office today stands accused of cutting down its network “by stealth” as an investigation reveals 17 North East branches have been “temporarily closed” for more than a year.

A Freedom Of Information probe has uncovered huge gaps in the region’s Post Office service, with seven out of a total of 20 branches marked as ‘closed temporarily’, having actually been shut for more than five years.

The Communication Workers’ Union has branded the situation “ridiculous” and claimed Post Office chiefs are letting down communities in the region who rely on their local branch.

Dave Ward, CWU deputy general secretary, said:

“To have 17 post office branches closed for over a year is ridiculous. Every day those post offices are closed, local communities are going without essential services.

“Temporarily closing post offices is surely closure by stealth. The Post Office is being opportunistic and this is impacting detrimentally on customers and communities.

“Communities are extremely vocal about their support for their local post office but they’re being fobbed off.

“People want a professional and reliable service and the sooner the Post Office realises this and stops selling them off or surreptitiously closing them down, the better.”

Post Offices in Stamfordham and Matfen, in rural Northumberland, Orchard in Stockton’s Eaglescliffe, Roseberry Square in Redcar, and Aycliffe, Kelloe and Eldon Lane, in County Durham, have been marked as closed temporarily for the last five years.

Those closed for between three and four years include Stainton, in Middlesbrough, Newfield and East Rainton, both in County Durham, Grange Estate, in Stockton and Victoria Street, in South Bank, near Middlesbrough.

Branches in Cleadon Park, South Shields, Burnopfield, in County Durham, and Newbiggin-by-the-Sea and Stonehaugh, in Northumberland, were added to the ‘temporary closure’ list over a year ago.

On top of the 17 branches closed for more than a year, it can also be revealed that a further three branches have shut down within the last three months.

The Post Office denied claims it was mounting a closure programme by the back door and said its staff were committed to seeing branches reopen.

A spokesman said the Post Office network in the North East is “stable” and it was had no plans to permanently close branches.

Last month, the Forest-in-Teesdale branch reopened after it had been closed for more than five years.

A Post Office spokesperson said:

“There is no closure programme and the size of the Post Office network in the North East remains broadly stable as for example there were 489 branches open and trading in March 2014 compared with 491 in March 2011.

“There is a natural churn in the network and there can be occasions when Post Office branches do temporarily close for reasons beyond our control, and in these cases a branch will only remain vacant for a period where no suitable premises or an applicant for the role of postmaster has been identified, and we always work hard to restore the service.

“If a Post Office is temporarily closed it is not included in the numbers of open and trading branches.

“Post Office Ltd is engaged in the largest investment and modernisation programme in its history, which marks a commitment to no more branch closure programmes.

“Examples of cases where we have successfully restored post office services in the North East after periods of temporary closure include Forest-in-Teesdale, Normanby, Gunnerton, Blackhall Mill, Bede Trading Estate and High Grange.”

Closed for 0-3 months

Crookham, TD12 4SY

High Street, NE8 1EQ

Pittington, DH6 1AT

 

Closed for over a year

Burnopfield, NE16 6LX

Cleadon Park, NE34 8PL

Stonehaugh, NE48 3DY

West End Newbiggin, NE64 6UY

Closed for over two years

Shotley Bridge, DH8 0HQ

 

Closed for over 3 Years

East Rainton, DH5 9QT

Grange Estate, TS18 4LT

Victoria Street, TS6 6HT

 

Closed for over four Years

Stainton, TS8 9AG

Newfield, DH2 2SL

Closed for over five Years

Aycliffe, DL5 6JT

Eldon Lane, DL14 8TD

Kelloe, DH6 4PD

Matfen, NE20 0RP

Orchard, TS16 0EH

Roseberry Square, TS10 4EL

Stamfordham, NE18 0LA

 

Source –  Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 02 Jan 2015