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Archive for February, 2012

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP – News – MP Welcomes Affordable Housing Plans

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

28/02/2012

MP Welcomes Affordable Housing Plans

Picture of Latest News

Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham, today (28/02/12) welcomed Durham County Council’s decision to bring forward plans to develop much needed affordable housing on two sites after many years of campaigning on behalf of residents Oversteads House in Ushaw Moor and Brandon House and their local communities.

Roberta said:

“I am very pleased that after many years of campaigning on behalf of residents of Oversteads House in Ushaw Moor and Brandon House and their local communities that at last the County Council is bringing forward plans to develop the two sites and provide much needed local affordable housing. This will be discussed at the Council Cabinet Meeting on the 29th February 2012.

I will be meeting relevant officers from the County Council soon to discuss the details of the two scheme and how local people can best be involved in this project.

I hope in addition to providing much needed housing it can also provide local employment and apprenticeship opportunities.”

Roberta Blackman-Woods MP – News – MP Welcomes Affordable Housing Plans.

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Overyjoyed by pledges for ‘crazy legs’ surgery (From Durham Times)

February 29, 2012 Leave a comment

A MOTHER says she is overwhelmed and overjoyed at the public response to an appeal to help her son walk freely for the first time.

Last week, Jodie Bussey made an emotional plea for help raising the £48,000 needed to get her fouryear- old son, Thomas, the operation medics believe could set him free.

Thomas, from Ushaw Moor, near Durham City, suffers from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which leaves him in constant pain and unable to walk more than a few steps at a time.

The youngster, a pupil at St Joseph’s RC Primary School, calls his failing limbs his “crazy legs”.

Doctors believe he could benefit from groundbreaking surgery which involves cutting into the spine and severing the nerve that causes spasticity in the legs.

It is best performed in the US and before children reach six, which for Thomas would be March next year.

Since making an appeal for help in The Northern Echo on Saturday, Miss Bussey has received more than 20 calls pledging support and a series of anonymous donations.

Last night, she said: “We’re over the moon – overjoyed and overwhelmed. I’ve been in tears every time someone’s called.

“A lot of people ringing up have been elderly. It really touches me because I know how much people are struggling right now.”

To sponsor Thomas, visit JUSTGIVING

via Overyjoyed by pledges for ‘crazy legs’ surgery (From Durham Times).

Thomas, four, hopes US op will fix his ‘crazy legs’

February 27, 2012 Leave a comment

A BRAVE young schoolboy needs help to walk freely for the first time.

Four-year-old Thomas Brennan suffers from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, leaving him in constant pain and unable to walk more than a few steps at a time.

Confined to a wheelchair or even a pushchair, the youngster is unable to run or play with friends.

Miss Bussey, from Ushaw Moor, near Durham City, said: “It’s heartbreaking. He can’t play with the other girls and boys. He tries his hardest, but if he tries to run, he falls over.

But medics believe a groundbreaking operation could set him free.

“Thomas calls his legs his ‘crazy legs’. He just understands that if he goes to America, his crazy legs would get fixed.”

Jodie Bussey

But the surgery must be performed in the US and would cost £48,000.

To sponsor Thomas, visit JUSTGIVING

via Thomas, four, hopes US op will fix his ‘crazy legs’ (From The Northern Echo).

Council could hand over land for free for 40-home scheme in Ushaw Moor n Brandon

February 24, 2012 Leave a comment

Nearly 40 new affordable homes for older people could be built in Durham if councillors agree to hand over land free of charge.

Members of Durham County Council’s Cabinet will be asked to approve proposals to transfer land at Ushaw Moor and Brandon to housing provider Vela Group when they meet on Wednesday, 29 February.

The plans follow the decision in November 2010 to close the sheltered housing schemes that currently occupy the sites.

The Oversteads House and Brandon House complexes were built in the 1970s and would require significant investment in order to be brought up to minimum standards, the council says.

Vela Group has been promised almost £1.3m by the Homes and Communities Agency to build 20 apartments and two bungalows on the site at Brandon and 16 apartments in Ushaw Moor on the condition the council hands over the land without charge.

Cllr Clive Robson, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for housing, said: “Oversteads House and Brandon House struggled for a number of years with high management and maintenance costs and with demand for places low retaining the two schemes would have represented very poor value for money for the council.

“Transferring both schemes to a suitable housing provider will instead mean the sites can be redeveloped to create two modern, fit-for-purpose developments of affordable housing.

“In order for this to happen, we have to award the land at ‘nil’ cost but the need for affordable housing on the site far outweighs the price we could receive through the sale of the land.”

If the land transfer is agreed by Cabinet, Vela Group will be required to submit a detailed planning application by the end of March. The company will also need to outline how it plans to create employment and training opportunities through the developments.

via Council could hand over land for free for 40-home scheme » Housing » 24dash.com.

Vela Group wants to build 38 apartments on site of Oversteads House, in Ushaw Moor

February 21, 2012 Leave a comment

NEARLY 40 affordable homes for older people could be built on two former sheltered housing units.

Vela Group wants to build 38 apartments and bungalows on the sites of Oversteads House, in Ushaw Moor, and Brandon House, in Brandon.

Durham County Council agreed to close the two 1970s-built facilities in November 2010, despite outcry from their remaining 26 elderly residents.

Vela, which has been promised nearly £1.3m from the Homes and Communities Agency, wants to build 20 apartments and two bungalows on the Brandon site and 16 apartments in Ushaw Moor.

But the deal depends on the council handing over the land free of charge.

The authority’s cabinet will be asked to approve the transfer when it meets next Wednesday.

Councillor Clive Robson, the council’s cabinet member for housing, said: “Oversteads House and Brandon House struggled for a number of years with high management and maintenance costs and with demand for places low retaining the two schemes would have represented very poor value for money for the council.

via Nearly 40 affordable homes planned for Durham sheltered housing sites (From The Advertiser Series).

Deerness Valley Railway Path – Conservation Event

February 20, 2012 Leave a comment

People living in the Deerness Valley are being urged to get involved in looking after their local environment by taking part in a community conservation event.

Durham County Council’s Countryside Service is organising the event next Saturday (Feb 25) which is aimed at improving the Deerness Valley Way railway path.

The event will involve clearing unwanted small trees, bushes and gorse from sections of the route in order to improve the area for wildlife and prevent it from overhanging the path. Litter found along the route will also be removed.

The event on Saturday 25 February will take place on the Deerness Valley Railway Path, at Waterhouses.

It will be a drop-in session between 10am and 12 noon, so people can stay for as long or as little as they like. All tools will be provided, and children under 16 must be supervised.

People can either walk or cycle along the path or, if they are travelling by car, park at the Black Horse public house on Hamilton Row, Waterhouses.

via Press Release-Durham County Council.

Tumour survivor Grace’s year of thanks for gifts charity (From Durham Times)

February 17, 2012 Leave a comment

A SCHOOLGIRL has launched a year-long fundraising campaign to say thank you to a charity which helped her through 18 months of chemotherapy.

Grace Kemp was born with neurofibromatosis, or Nf1, an incurable genetic condition affecting the skin and nervous system which causes tumours to grow around the body.

After developing a brain tumour in May 2008, aged four, Grace, from Ushaw Moor, in County Durham, underwent a year-and-a-half of intensive treatment – which also included hormone injections, ending in February 2010.

During her recovery, the brave youngster was sent treats and gifts by the Indee Rose Trust, a children’s charity based in Canvey Island, Essex.

The cause tries to respond to requests from sick children receiving treatment for a brain or spinal tumour with what it calls Treasure Boxes. Grace asked for a range of Disney toys.

Two years on, the Neville’s Cross Primary School pupil has been left visually impaired by the tumour but otherwise she is in relatively good health.

via Tumour survivor Grace’s year of thanks for gifts charity (From Durham Times).