Flytipping Sales To Help Improve Local Communities

Money Generated From Sale Of Vehicles Used In Flytipping Incidents To Help Improve Local Communities

Areas blighted by flytipping could receive hundreds of pounds in funding towards environmental projects thanks to a new scheme.

The first sales of vehicles which were seized after they were found to have been used to illegally dump waste have now taken place as part of the Operation Stop It campaign.

Durham County Council today announced that money generated from the sales will be able to help communities beautify areas which have been affected by those dumping unwanted items.

A grant of up to £500 is now available in each of the 14 Area Action Partnership areas in County Durham and can be used on projects designed to tidy up the spaces affected.

Operation Stop It was launched by the council in November 2014, working with Durham Constabulary, the Environment Agency and Crimestoppers. The campaign has been a huge success with a large reduction in flytipping across the county.

Since April 2020, 15 vehicles found to have been involved in flytipping incidents have been seized, with an increased number of prosecutions set to go before the courts.

Now, the first sales of seized vehicles have taken place and Operation Stop It is giving residents the opportunity to bid for up to £500 from the proceeds to improve an area that must be no more than 1km away from where there has been more than five flytipping incidents in the last year.

Operation Stop It received national recognition after winning Environmental Campaign of the Year at the 2017 Keep Britain Tidy Awards.

Ian Hoult, Durham County Council’s neighbourhood protection manager, said: “The great thing about this scheme is that people in our communities will be able to plan how they can use funding to improve their area, enhancing the environment and giving residents a sense a of payback in the process.

“It also sends out a strong message to anyone considering flytipping their unwanted items: don’t. This affects our local communities and there are plenty of other ways to dispose of rubbish safely either through bin collections, our Household Waste Recycling Centres or bulky waste collections.”

In February 2020 Durham County Council invested £500,000 in recruiting 11 new wardens who can tackle flytipping as part of efforts to ensure previous are built on.

The £31million investment in frontline services included the biggest ever recruitment drive for wardens the council has seen. Some wardens are now able to focus solely on investigating flytipping.

Cllr Brian Stephens, Durham County Council Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, said: “This funding will go a long way to helping improve spaces which have been blighted by flytipping incidents in recent times.

“I’d encourage anyone interested to apply for a grant and help to get our areas looking as beautiful as they can be.”

Those who are part of a group who wish to get involved in improving the environment in their area can contact the Civic Pride team at or call 03000 261000.

Go to for further information.

The closing date for applications for funding is Friday 26 February.

Judges will consider all applications before applicants will be informed whether they have been successful or not.


Know Your Town App

Know Your Town App

Your all in one bespoke local website and national app. Individually tailored to bring you local info, offers, events and attractions. You can do the following things with this app:

  • Find unique offers and discounts
  • Search your local business directory
  • Find out what’s on in your area
  • Lifestyle content and local news
  • Search things to do near you
  • Navigate to other towns via the app

You can out more by visiting the website Spennymoor Know Your Town

Or you can find the app in the app store or google play.


Trace Ancestors Through New Family History Course

Trace Ancestors Through New Family History Course

Irish Navvies on River Wear 1935

Irish Navvies on River Wear 1935

Nevilles Cross toll gate and toll house 1849

Nevilles Cross toll gate and toll house 1849

People hoping to kick off 2021 by finding out more about what lurks in their family tree can do so through new online sessions with Durham County Record Office.

Following a series of successful online taster sessions last year, the Record Office is running an online family history course aimed at people who’ve thought about tracing their ancestors but are wondering what would be involved or where to get started.

The course will comprise of three talks, which are all bookable individually, and will explore some of the sources that family historians use and show how archives held at the Record Office can help in their search.

Participants will have a choice of morning or evening sessions.

The course begins with a session on civil registration with sessions from 10am to 11am and 6pm to 7pm on Tuesday 12 January.

Then on Tuesday 19 January there will be a session on the census, with those taking part able to join in at either 10am to 11am or 6pm to 7pm.

And sessions on researching parish registers will take place from 10am to 11am and 6pm to 7pm on Tuesday 26 January.

Cllr Joy Allen, Cabinet member for transformation, culture and tourism at Durham County Council, said: “For anyone hoping to find out more about how to research their ancestors, these sessions will be ideal in taking the first steps to learn how to do so.

“Record Office staff are experts in this area and I’m sure those taking part will enjoy discovering more details about the lives led by people in their family tree.

“It is a particularly good time to learn how to research family history, as residents who are library members can currently access the popular Ancestry database from the comfort of their own home.”

The Record Office is also running a talk for people with more experience as part of its regular Branching Out programme. This is a series of monthly talks on different topics, with January’s talk about Irish Ancestors.

It takes place on Thursday 28 January and participants will again have a choice of morning or evening sessions either at 10am to 11am or 6pm to 7pm.

All sessions cost £5 each and can be booked using the Durham County Record Office’s online shop which is at

Booking in advance is essential in order to receive the joining link.

Early booking is advised as there are limited places available.

As well as the family history course sessions, a talk entitled Trouble at the Gates – the Trials and Tribulations of Tollgate Keepers will be given by archivist David Butler on Thursday 21 January from 10.30am to 11.30am.

The free online talk will hope to build on the success of the Record Office’s session on Hetton Railway Company in November 2020, which was attended by over 100 people.

To book a place go to


Temporary Road Closure – B6288 Merrington Lane, Spennymoor 

Temporary Road Closure – B6288 Merrington Lane, Spennymoor 

An Order is being made under the provisions of Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 the effect of which will be to close to vehicular traffic from 7.30 am on Monday 28 September 2020 a 530 metre length of B6288 Merrington Lane, Spennymoor from junction with Front Street in a southerly direction to Vyners Close roundabout.

The closure is necessary to enable Section 278 works including road widening and the installation of tucan and pedestrian crossings to be undertaken, and will be in place for 60 days duration.

Throughout the period of closure, a diversion route for vehicular traffic will be signposted from the north eastern side of the closure from A688/St Andrews Lane roundabout junction in a westerly direction on A688 to C152 roundabout junction, then south easterly on C152 to the south western side of the closure, and vice versa.


To provide a brief update on the temporary road closure at B6288 Merrington Lane, Spennymoor that is in place to allow for Seymour Engineering to complete Section 278 works – widening of junction, and installation of tucan and pedestrian crossing. Works were due to be completed and the road re-opened by 18 December 2020. However, due to problems encountered with a gas main on site, I have been informed by the developer that the closure is likely to remain in place for some weeks to come, at least 2-3, until the problem can be rectified.

If it transpires that the closure will remain in place beyond January, I will continue to update you all once I have further information.

Yours faithfully

Network Management
Neighbourhoods & Climate Change




Council Set To Invest £5m To Aid Business Recovery

Council Set To Invest £5m To Aid Business Recovery

Left to Right – Sarah Salven (MD of Business Durham), Cllr Simon Henig (Chief Executive of Durham County Council) and Cllr Carl Marshall at Salvus House, Durham.

The North East’s largest council is poised to invest £5 million to help businesses recover from the coronavirus pandemic.

Durham County Council looks set to roll out a grant scheme which would provide up to £40,000 in financial assistance to companies, to help them implement recovery plans to overcome the impacts of the virus.

The Durham Business Recovery Grant Scheme would support more than 880 firms and have the potential to safeguard over 1,760 jobs, across the county.

The scheme goes before the council’s Cabinet for approval next week.

Cllr Carl Marshall, the authority’s Cabinet member for economic regeneration, said: “We fully recognise that coronavirus and the restrictions that have come with it have been devastating for businesses, many of which have faced long periods of time closed with little or no income, or faced increased costs of adapting workplaces and methods of operation.

“We have tried to do everything we can to support companies across County Durham, by processing tens of millions of pounds in various grants since the pandemic began as quickly as we have been able to and we will continue to do so with the latest lockdown grants for the retail, hospitality and leisure sectors announced by the Chancellor.

“We are now delighted, subject to Cabinet approval, to be in a position to roll out our own Business Recovery Grants which will make a real difference for more than 880 businesses in all sectors by enabling them to progress their recovery plans and potentially safeguard in excess of 1,760 jobs.

“This is a truly significant investment in what represents one of our long term priorities: supporting businesses and developing a thriving economy. By helping firms, we are ensuring our economy is resilient and in the best possible shape to in time recover from the impact of the pandemic.”

A report to the meeting on Wednesday 13 January sets out how £3 million would come from the council’s own General Fund resources, with £2 million being made available from the authority’s allocation from the government’s Additional Restrictions Support Grant.

The grant scheme would be open to companies across County Durham, in all sectors and varying in size from micro-businesses to those employing up to 250 people in the county.

It would aim to provide financial support for the implementation of business recovery plans; helping firms that have a credible plan to adapt and recover but require additional financial support to be able to implement it.

The scheme would offer grants from £1,000 up to a maximum of £40,000 and would contribute 75 per cent towards the recovery plan costs, with the business expected to meet a quarter of the project cost.

It is estimated that the £5 million budget would allow at least 880 businesses to be supported.

Cabinet is also being asked to note support already being offered to micro businesses (those employing less than 10 people) in the county through the Durham Business Opportunities Programme.

Launched in October, this involves businesses being given one-to-one marketing support to help them increase their sales post-COVID and grants of up to £500 to help implement advice received.

The programme aims to support 110 businesses, with a grant pot of £55,000 which is being met from the reserve of Business Durham, the council’s economic development arm.

Cabinet is also being asked to note that a review is being carried out of funding available to support business start-up in the county. Members will be told that subject to the outcome, council may need to consider additional funding support for start-ups in the form of a grant or voucher scheme. A further report will be brought to Cabinet once the review has been completed.

Cabinet will also be told of further efforts by the council to support the county’s economy and its recovery from coronavirus, through the Social Value and Local Wealth Building (The County Durham Pound) project. Members will receive an update on the project which sees the council working with developers and suppliers to identify social value and wealth building opportunities. It also looks to ensure that social value and community wealth building are part of both the council’s response to Covid-19, and the delivery of the four priorities within the Council Plan 2020 – 2023.


Urgent Temporary Road Closure Notice

Stratton Street (back), Spennymoor

Urgent Temporary Road Closure Notice

Owing to a damaged NWL chamber/manhole cover, it has been necessary to temporarily close to vehicular traffic on Monday 21 December 2020 an approximate 10 metre length of rear of Stratton Street, Spennymoor outside number 54.

The urgent closure, which is being effected by means of Notice under Section 14(2) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984, is necessary to permit remedial works to be carried out.

Alternative routes for vehicular traffic are locally via front of Stratton Street.

The maximum duration of the closure permitted under this Notice is 5 days. It is anticipated that works will be in place for up to 5 days.

Map of Stratton Street Area, Spennymoor

Yours faithfully
Paul Dixon
Network Management
Neighbourhoods & Climate Change



Former Councillor, Mr Geoff O’Hehir

Former Councillor, Mr Geoff O’Hehir

Picture of Mr Geoff O’Hehir, Former councillor and mayor

It is with great sadness that Spennymoor Town Council announce the passing of former Councillor and Town Mayor Mr  Geoff O’Hehir.  The Town Flag will fly at half mast as a sign of respect, with condolences to his wife, family and friends.


Sign Up For 2021 Garden Waste Collections

Sign Up For 2021 Garden Waste CollectionsPicture of a person digging a garden

Residents in County Durham can now sign up for the Garden Waste Collection scheme for 2021.

The first collection from the Durham County Council service takes place in late March or early April, followed by fortnightly collections until November when the season ends.

Those who sign up before Sunday 14 February will receive all 17 collections during the year, dependent on Government advice on coronavirus.

Residents can sign up for a fee of £35. Those who subscribed to the scheme in 2020 will be charged £30.90 per existing bin subscription for 2021 due to coronavirus causing a late start in 2020.

Collection calendars and stickers will be provided to residents in advance of the scheme starting following subscription. Once the scheme has started, residents who sign up to the service will receive the remaining collections before the season ends.

John Shannon, Durham County Council’s strategic waste manager, said: “We would like to take this opportunity to thank customers who signed up to the 2020 scheme for their patience as there were interruptions to the service due to the ongoing pandemic.

“Over 65,000 residents signed up to the 2020 service which resulted in us collecting over 16,000 tonnes of garden waste”.

To sign up to the service or find out if a property is eligible, call 03000 260 000 or visit

When residents subscribe to the service they are reminded to fix their bin sticker to the garden waste bin and put the bin out for collection by 7am on their allocated collection day.


Collection information will be available before the scheme starts and can be found by visiting and entering the postcode and property number.

Residents are reminded that the following items can go in the garden waste bin for composting and should not be used for any other waste:

• Grass cuttings
• Shrubs
• Leaves
• Weeds
• Flowers and bedding plants
• Hedge clippings
• Prunings
• Small branches

Durham County Council provides garden waste collections to eligible properties in County Durham.

For residents in the Teesdale area, garden waste collections are carried out by Rotters, working in partnership with the county council.

Residents in this area should call 01833 690 022 or visit


Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Avian Influenza (Bird Flu)

Following recent outbreaks of avian influenza throughout the UK, you can find further advice by clicking on the following link:

Government Advice – Avian Influenza

Bird flu is a notifiable animal disease. If you suspect any type of bird flu in poultry or captive birds you must report it immediately by calling the Defra Rural Services Helpline on 03000 200 301. In Wales, contact 0300 303 8268. In Scotland, contact your local Field Services Office. Failure to do so is an offence.

If you find dead wild waterfowl (swans, geese or ducks) or other dead wild birds, such as gulls or birds of prey, you should report them to the Defra helpline (03459 33 55 77 – please select option 7).