Avian Flu – Important Information

Avian Flu – Important Information

The Chief Veterinary Officers for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have agreed to bring in new measures to help protect poultry and captive birds. The new housing measures will come into force across the UK from 00:01 on Monday 29 November 2021 to protect poultry and captive birds from avian influenza following a number of confirmed cases across Great Britain in recent weeks.  See attached poster which has comprehensive requirements for all poultry and captive bird keepers.

For full details click https://www.gov.uk/guidance/avian-influenza-bird-flu#latest-situation




Arnison Centre Walk in Clinic – Time Changes

Arnison Walk in Clinic – Time Changes

The Arnison Centre is operating a walk-in system Monday – Sunday.

However due to increased demand, daily walk-in times are now:

8.30am – 10.30am – 40 spaces

12noon –   2.30pm – 30 spaces

3.00pm –   5.30pm – 30 spaces

People attending the walk-in clinic will be issued with a ticket on a first-come basis. The ticket will give a specified time slot to avoid prolonged queuing.

Once people have a ticket, they will be guaranteed to be seen within that time slot. They can then choose to wait, do some shopping or grab a drink. As long as people return to the centre before the end time on their ticket they will be seen.

The Arnison Vaccination Centre will continue to be open 7 days a week to make it as accessible as possible for everyone in the community.

Alternatively people can book an appointment online, at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/coronavirus-vaccination/book-coronavirus-vaccination/ or by calling 119

Information on all walk in clinics is on the CCG website – https://countydurhamccg.nhs.uk/where-and-when-you-can-you-get-a-walk-in-covid-19-jab-in-county-durham/


Suspicious Activity

Crime Prevention

Suspicious Activity
Princess Court, Spennymoor


On Sunday 14th November 2021 between 2:00am and 3:00am a door was tried in Princess Court, Spennymoor. The occupants has been woken by their dog, when occupant went down stairs he saw a person trying his front door. Please make sure your property is secure at all times, even if you are at home please keep your doors locked. Don’t hesitate to call us if you witness anything suspicious.

101 – non emergency
999 – emergency


23M People Used 123456 As A Password

Crime Prevention

23M People Used 123456 As A Password


Whether it’s your Facebook, Amazon, or Netflix account, the explosion in popularity of online apps and services means more and more of us have to remember an increasingly long list of passwords.

Unfortunately, some of us cope with this challenge by resorting to practices that leave our data, devices and money at risk – by using the same password across multiple accounts, or by creating simple passwords that could easily be guessed by hackers. Bad password practice is more prevalent than you might think – the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre carried out analysis of passwords leaked in data breaches and found that more than 23 million users worldwide used 123456 as a password. You can read more about it here: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/news/most-hacked-passwords-revealed-as-uk-cyber-survey-exposes-gaps-in-online-security

Here are some top tips that will make your life easier and your online accounts more secure:

1: Creating memorable passwords
A good way to create strong, memorable passwords is by using 3 random words. But remember, don’t use words that can be guessed (like your pet’s name). You can include numbers and symbols if you need to. For example, “RedPantsTree4!”

2: Saving passwords in your browser
Saving your password in your browser means letting your web browser (such as Chrome, Safari or Edge) remember your password for you.

This can help:

  • make sure you do not lose or forget your passwords
  • protect you against some cyber crime, such as fake websites

It is safer than using weak passwords, or using the same password in more than one place.

Here are some useful links on how you can start saving passwords in your browser: Google ChromeMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxSafari.

3: Email account passwords
If a hacker gets into your email account, they could:

  • reset your other online account passwords
  • access personal information you have saved about yourself or your business

Your email password should be strong and different to all your other passwords. This will make it harder to crack or guess.

Need help changing your email account password? You can use these links to find step by step instructions: Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, Outlook, BT, AOL Mail

For more of the government’s latest advice on how to stay secure online, visit the Cyber Aware website: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/cyberaware



Crime Prevention


Durham Constabulary are asking residents to be vigilant following a number of garage and shed burglaries in and around Spennymoor.

They have received reports of a suspicious male loitering around garages and shed wearing all black around 8pm on a night.

If you see anyone acting suspicious or have CCTV of anyone acting suspicious, please contact Spennymoor Neighborhood Team either via Facebook or through 101.


Autumn and Winter Crime Prevention Information

Crime Prevention

Autumn and Winter Crime Prevention

Burglaries often increase during the autumn and winter months, as burglars take advantage of the longer hours of darkness and target unlit homes.

Crime prevention doesn’t have to cost a lot of money, there are simple measures you can take to make your home look occupied and reduce your chances of being a victim.

  • Always keep doors and windows locked, even when you’re in. Remove the keys from the lock and keep them out of view or reach.
  • Install LED dusk to dawn lighting to make sure that your garden, especially doorways, are well lit at night.
  • If you are away from home, make your house look occupied, use a timer switch to operate lamps or a TV simulator and leave a radio on.
  • Secure bins at night and put garden furniture away for the winter as these can be used by burglars as climbing aids to gain access to upper floor windows
  • Lock your garden gates and side entrances using strong closed shackle padlocks to BS EN 12320 standard.
  • Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat or in a flowerpot.
  • Marked property can deter burglars because it is harder for a thief to sell on. Any valuable items should be marked, either using an etching type tool to mark the post code, or by using a UV pen or property marking products that fluoresce under UV light.
  • Join our free messaging service Keep in the Know and consider following your neighbourhood policing teams on Facebook to keep up to date with what’s happening in your area and what is being done about it.

Autumn Winter Crime Prevention Flyer


Tudhoe Moor Play Area – Vandalism

STC Logo website

Tudhoe Moor Play Area – Vandalism

During a regular playground inspection on Monday 25th October staff were saddened to discovered that a basket swing in Tudhoe Moor had been deliberately set on fire.  This incident has been reported to the police.

Anyone with any information regarding this mindless act of vandalism are urged to contact the police on 101 quoting incident number 251021135.



DMA Hands Redhills Over to the People

DMA Hands Redhills Over to the People

Information from Durham Miners Association

Dear friend

We are pleased to let you know that the Durham Miners Association (DMA) has today handed ownership of its historic home to the people.

The DMA is honouring the pledge it made when it launched its plan  for Redhills, Durham Miners Hall.

The DMA has spent four years working to secure the future of Redhills as a centre of heritage, culture, and education. Earlier this year, it was awarded £4.5million from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, enabling its vision to become reality.

When the DMA launched The Redhills Appeal, it pledged that it would hand over ownership of the Miners Hall to the communities of the Durham coalfield. Today, the DMA has honoured that pledge.

The DMA has been working this year to create a charity, constituted to serve as stewards of the Miners Hall on behalf of the public.  Today, ownership of Durham Miners Hall transfers to Redhills Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).

With a board in place, Redhills CIO will receive the pledged funding, ensure the renewal programme is completed and that the Miners Hall serves its communities for generations to come. The public will have an active role in shaping the renewed Miners Hall and its future activities, including through a community network launched in April this year.

Alan Mardghum, Secretary of the DMA, said: “This is an historic day for the DMA and our communities as we take this vital step in ensuring the future of the Miners Hall. 

“Today, we return Redhills to the people. Our thanks go to the CIO board members who have stepped up to serve as the stewards of Redhills on behalf of our communities. All have a deep affinity with our communities and commitment to ensure success for the Miners Hall.

“All of us at the DMA know that Redhills will be in safe hands and will serve our people for generations to come.”


Click here to read more
Our thanks as always for your support for Redhills. We’ll keep in touch with developments as the project progresses, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Redhills as soon as we are able.

Please help spread the word about the Miners Hall by following us on social media via the links below.

The past we inherit; the future we build.

The Redhills team


Neighbourhood Watch Launches Say No To Asb Campaign


Antisocial behaviour (ASB) incidents have increased over the last three years. Police forces, councils and housing associations are reporting significant spikes in ASB cases – and these are not minor incidents. They are complex and serious cases causing real harm to many people.

45% of people say ASB is a problem where they live, and 56% of those who had either been a victim of or a witness to ASB did not report it to anyone. *

To help tackle the issue, we are running a campaign encouraging people to SAY NO TO ASB.
The campaign will run from the 25th October through to the 21st November on our social channels with key information on recognising, recording, and reporting ASB on our website: ourwatch.org.uk/asb.

We are running a free online ‘SAY NO TO ASB’ webinar on 15th November at 5pm with the charity ASB Help as part of the campaign. Places are limited. To book your place, visit ourwatch.org.uk/webinars.


  • Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and share our posts to your social channels, including WhatsApp community groups, to encourage more people to SAY NO TO ASB
  • Download our ‘Recognising, Recording and Reporting ASB Guide’ from ourwatch.org.uk/asb to share with your community
  • Download our 14-day ‘ASB Diary’ from ourwatch.org.uk/asb to support you in recognising, recording, and reporting ASB incidents in your area.
  • To find out more and SAY NO TO ASB, visit  ourwatch.org.uk/asb.

If you would like a digital campaign pack, please email enquiries@ourwatch.org.uk.

* Data source: Taking Back our Communities – working together to make communities safer report, commissioned in 2021 by RESOLVE, a Centre of Excellence solely focused upon community safety and antisocial behaviour


DCC – Thousands to Continue to Benefit from Council Tax Reduction Scheme

DCC – Thousands to Continue to Benefit from Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Thousands of households across County Durham will continue to receive help in covering the cost of their council tax bills after councillors agreed to the extension of a scheme.

Durham County Council provides council tax discounts of up to 100 per cent to eligible households through its Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme (LCTRS) and is one of only a small number of authorities to continue to offer this level of support.

There are currently 56,250 LCTRS claimants in County Durham, of which 21,150 (38 per cent) are pensioners and 35,100 (62 per cent) are working age claimants. Almost 80 per cent of all working age applicants receive maximum help, leaving them with no council tax to pay, with LCTRS support forecast to be circa £62million in 2021/22.

Durham is the only local authority in the North East and one of a small minority in the country to continue to offer the same level of support to all claimants as was available under the former Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme. The LCTRS is open to residents on a low income, whether in work, unemployed or retired, who have less than £16,000 savings.

There was in an increase in claims for Council Tax Reduction last year as a result of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on household income levels. At the peak in May 2020 the working age LCTRS caseload was almost 3,000 higher than in January of the same year.

In order to ensure that low-income households continue to access this vital support, the council has this week approved the continuation of the current LCTRS for a further year into 2022/23, which will continue the protection afforded to all claimants in line with what their entitlement would have been under the former CTB system.

Cllr Richard Bell, the council’s deputy leader and Cabinet member for finance, said: “We have one of the best schemes in the country for helping people with council tax support and are pleased to be able to continue this

“Following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic our staff have been working hard to ensure those eligible to receive additional help to pay their council tax bills are able to access this as soon as possible.

“We want to ensure that our residents are aware of the support offered through the scheme and that we can also provide assistance to anyone who thinks they may be eligible, to progress a claim.

“We are mindful of the continuing detrimental impacts that the pandemic is having on many low-income households and the fact that the additional council tax liabilities for working age households could have a significant impact on affected household budgets by around £100 to £350 a year based on a scheme whereby entitlement for working age claimants is set at a maximum of 90 per cent entitlement.

“We are now the only authority in the North East whose scheme continues to mirror entitlement under the former Council Tax Benefit system.”

The LCTR scheme in Durham, based on the former CTB scheme, designed to reflect the Department for Work and Pensions’ (DWP) long-standing range of legacy benefits. All of which are calculated weekly, are based on the same premiums and allowances, have identical income and capital assessment rules and an established history of common case law.

For further information and support for helping to pay council tax bills go to http://www.durham.gov.uk/counciltaxreduction


The Bread and Butter Thing

STC Logo website

The Bread and Butter Thing

Information from the above on the weekly groceries they offer at a fraction of the high street price.  New hub opening at Spennymoor Youth and Community Centre.  See attachments for full details:

The Bread and Butter Thing




BBC investment recognises the talent and potential of North East

BBC investment recognises the talent and potential of North East

News the BBC is to make its biggest investment in the North East in decades has been welcomed by the partnership spearheading County Durham’s Bid to be UK City of Culture 2025.

The BBC has announced it will spend at least £25 million over the next five years in the region to fund new television programmes, talent development and additional support to the creative sector. This will help to ensure there is infrastructure and training in place to increase representation of the North East on screen and create exciting opportunities for people to pursue broadcasting careers.

The announcement coincides with the Durham 2025 campaign, which is seeking to secure the prestigious title of UK City of Culture 2025 for County Durham.

Durham County Council, with support from principal partner Durham University, submitted the initial bid on behalf of Culture Durham, a partnership of arts and culture organisations from across the region.

Cllr Amanda Hopgood, Leader of Durham County Council, said: “We welcome this investment and are looking forward to working with the BBC and other partners to deliver exciting opportunities and raise our profile as a place where culture thrives.

“This announcement comes at a time when County Durham is campaigning to be UK City of Culture 2025. Previous UK Cities of Culture have developed great partnerships with the BBC and other broadcasters – who can forget Hull being added to the UK weather map? This special relationship between the BBC and the North East means we have a platform to develop truly extraordinary projects that shine a light on the talent and creativity of the region.”

Tony Harrington, chair of Culture Durham, said: “In the past, those wishing to work in film or television have had limited opportunities in the region, leading many to move away to bigger cities such as London or Manchester.

“The fact the BBC has decided to increase its investment in the North East shows it realises we have a lot more to offer, both in terms of skills and creativity, but also as a filming location. Our diverse landscapes and heritage sites have already featured in many high-profile films and television shows – from Vera and Inspector George Gently, to Harry Potter, Marvel’s Avengers and 1917.

“This investment will help create more such opportunities and promote our region to even more audiences. And, if County Durham gains UK City of Culture 2025 status, we can tap into this potential further and deliver an ambitious and inclusive cultural programme that benefits the entire region.”

Along with 19 other locations across the UK and Ireland, Culture Durham will discover if the Durham 2025 bid has made the shortlist of six places later this month.

The overall winner of the competition, run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, will be declared next year. The winning location will then take on the baton from Coventry, UK City of Culture 2021, which has so far attracted more than £100m in capital investment to support cultural projects.

To find out more about the bid, visit www.durham2025.co.uk  or follow the Durham 2025 social media accounts at www.facebook.com/Durham2025, www.twitter.com/durham_2025 or www.instagram.com/Durham2025_.