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06 August 2020VJ DAY 75

THIS YEAR, Saturday 15th August 2020 is the 75th Anniversary of Victory over Japan (VJ) Day commemorating the end of the Second World War.  While peace arrived in Europe in May 1945, those fighting in the Far East continued until Japan's surrender in the wake of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs. Victory in Japan was a more muted celebration, in contrast to the jubilation of Victory in Europe Day.

The Second World War finally came to an end on 15th August 1945, with Prime Minister Clement Atlee's announcement: "The last of our enemies is laid low".

King George VI addressed the nation from a balcony at Buckingham Palace and streets across the nation were filled with people singing, cheering, dancing in scenes which echoed the declaration of peace in Europe three months earlier. Bonfires were lit, fireworks sent soaring into the sky and historic buildings floodlit as the whole country celebrated the news that their remaining troops would soon be returning home.

Unfortunately, most events have been cancelled in the UK due to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Following government guidance and advice about holding events and social distancing, it will not be possible to mark the 75th anniversary of VJ Day in the way Fishburn Parish Council might wish. A national moment of Remembrance and a two minute silence will take place at 11.00 a.m. and will be the focal point of the commemorative service at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire led by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.


JOURNEY ENTERPRISES is a local charity which was founded by parents of young people with learning disability and complex needs 30 years ago. Launched in Northumberland they now operate across the north east.

The Charity provides life-skills and employability training for young people and adults with intellectual disability, and runs social enterprises within our local communities. Clients play a key part in the success of social enterprises by using the experience as a stepping stone to employment.

The conditions the Charity supports include Down’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Williams Syndrome, Fragile X and Soto’s and our Clients range in age from 16 to 70+ years. They have the following job vacancies available:

Life Skills Coach

22 hrs/week (Wed - Friday)

£9.19/hr: £17,681 pro rata (Spinal Point 2)

Start date: 14/09/2020 onwards (with DBS clearance)

Imaginative and creative Life Skills Coach needed as soon as possible at our Coundon Day Centre in Bishop Auckland DL14 8JZ.

We are looking for someone with a range of skills and interests who can share these with adults with learning disability to develop their life and employment skills. We particularly welcome applicants with a passion for health and exercise, creative and performing arts, gardening, cooking, metal/woodwork, DIY and crafting.

Journey is a local charity providing day services to help adults with learning disability develop life skills and employment skills. You will be part of small friendly team working across the north east region from our three day centres.

Contact 01434 608118 or info@journeyenterprises.co.uk


Mini-Bus Drivers needed

20 hrs/week (07.30 – 09.30 & 15.30 – 17.30)

£9.04/hr: £17,391 pro rata (Spinal Point 1)

Start date: 17/08/2020 onwards (with DBS clearance)

Enthusiastic minibus drivers needed to transport adults with learning disability to/from our Coundon Day Centre in Bishop Auckland DL14 8JZ.

Our service users are collected from 07.30 onwards and return home from Day Centre from 15.30. Transportation will be COVID-controlled for Staff and service user safety.

Journey is a local charity providing day services to help adults with learning disability develop life skills and employment skills. You will be part of small friendly team working across the north east region from our three day centres.

Contact 01434 608118 or info@journeyenterprises.co.uk



MANY LOCAL RESIDENTS have shared their disgust and upset at some people's lack of respect for the pit wheel monument, which is a memorial of all the coal-miners who spent their lives toiling underground; it deserves respect, and gathering to drink alcohol and smash bottles is tantamount to desecration. One resident has even shown great community spirit by helping clear rubbish and litter from the pit wheel fields to make the area safer for wildlife and nicer for visitors; another has been regularly weeding and cleaning the memorial bricks. The Parish Council's grounds maintenance contractor is already clearing rubbish and emptying the litter bin a couple of times a week, usually Mondays and Fridays. Sedgefield Neighbourhood Police Team, which is tasked with reducing anti-social behaviour, has assured the Parish Council that these problems are taken every bit as seriously as the public does, and they have said they continue to devote significant time to address the problems described by local residents. 

‚ÄčThere are a number of ways you can get in touch with Durham Constabulary depending on the urgency and type of request. In an emergency, always telephone 999. In a non-emergency call 101. (Calls to 101 cost 15p per call, no matter what time of day it is, or how long the call lasts). A Police Emergency is when:

•Someone’s life is in danger
•Someone is at risk of violence, or property is about to be damaged
•A serious offence is in progress
•A suspect is at the scene or an early arrest is likely
•Serious disruption to the public is likely
•Very serious crime (e.g. rape, grievous bodily harm etc.)

Text message to 86101 will get an automatic text response prior to communications actioning the information. This service is for NON EMERGENCY contact only.

You can report crime anonymously by calling the Crimestoppers charity on 0800 555 111. Crimestoppers is a simple and anonymous way for members of the public to help prevent and solve crimes throughout the UK. Information you have about a crime may be vital to the police. If you think you know something which may be of use then pick up the phone. Your call is free. It is completely anonymous. You may receive a reward.


THE PARISH COUNCIL has decided to start re-opening playgrounds subject to getting a safety inspector from Durham County Council to have a look at the play facilities making sure the children will be safe when using apparatus and playing in the area. A risk assessment has been carried out including COVID-19 risks using the Government's guidance to identify sensible measures to control risk.

FISHBURN RECREATION GROUND - will remain closed to the public. The single main outer gate, and the inner gate to the football fields, remain closed and locked to prevent access by the general public and remove the possibility of someone being locked in. Signage will be fitted on Wednesday 5th August.

MULTI-USE GAMES AREA (MUGA) - will remain closed to the public until further notice.

BOWLING GREEN - will remain closed to the public. Fishburn Bowls Club will make their own risk assessment and decision about when their facilities are ready to re-open and activities can be operated safely.

FOOTBALL PITCHES - The grounds maintenance contractor has been instructed to mark out the football pitches ready for Fishburn Community Football Club (FCFC) to start playing on Saturday 1st August. This is on the basis that FCFC has completed a thorough risk assessment and parental permissions for both training and football matches, as required by the Football Association (FA). The PAVILION and CHANGING ROOMS will not be open or used until the Parish Council and the FA have given clearance for this. This means that there are no toilet facilities because FCFC does not have the signage and other items such as hand sanitiser in place.

MEMORIAL CHILDREN'S PLAYING FIELD - the fenced play area will re-open after safety checks carried out; cleaning and repairs where necessary; and A3 signage produced with guidance for users. Durham County Council's playground inspector will be starting to carry out safety checks on parish council sites from Tuesday 4th August next week. Signage will be fitted on Wednesday 5th August.

STOBART TERRACE PLAY AREA  - the fenced play area will re-open after safety checks carried out; cleaning and repairs where necessary; and A3 signage produced with guidance for users. Durham County Council's playground inspector will be starting to carry out safety checks on parish council sites from Tuesday 4th August next week. Signage will be fitted on Wednesday 5th August.

MILLFIELD PLAY AREA - the unfenced play area has remained open to the public. Durham County Council's playground inspector will be starting to carry out safety checks on parish council sites from Tuesday 4th August next week. Signage will be fitted on Wednesday 5th August. The matting has been vandalised - ripped up - and has been removed by grounds maintenance crew to prevent a trip hazard.

PIT WHEEL MEMORIAL FIELDS - has remained open to the public (pedestrian use only). Picnic tables and seats - scientific advice suggests that COVID-19 virus can survive for up to several days on some hard surfaces. The risks may be reduced when outdoors, where surfaces are subject to UV light and/or rain. Main entrance gate has been repaired and is locked to prevent horses, motor bikes, quad bikes or all terrain vehicles.


THE PARISH COUNCIL has received estimates for the creation of a memorial garden and associated works at the cemetery and the planning officer at Durham County Council (DCC) has confirmed that the proposal would be considered to be permitted development and would not require a formal application for planning permission, and building regulation consent will not be required, subject to certain provisions. In February 2020, it was agreed to set aside a maximum £7,500 on the proviso that match-funding would be secured by means of grants or donations [sponsorship]. In March 2020, a proposal for a fund-raising event was approved but, unfortunately, on 23rd March, a strict lockdown and a time of national emergency was announced. Members will consider the matter again at the next parish council meeting on Thursday 10th September 2020.


THE gas-fuelled ceremonial beacon project - the ‘Queen Elizabeth Beacon of Hope’ - is steadily moving forward with discussions taking place with the manufacturer. Planning permission for Fishburn's beacon was granted subject to it being begun [on the village green] before the expiration of THREE YEARS from the date of the permission [21st February 2020]. The funding to date is as follows:

  • County Durham Community Foundation [E.ON Butterwick Moor Wind Farm Community Fund] has awarded a grant of £5,000.
  • The project has been allocated £2,500 each from the Neighbourhood Budgets of County Councillors David Brown and John Robinson, a total of £5,000.
  • The Parish Council has agreed to make up the shortfall not covered by grant aid funding.


MEASURES TO ENFORCE responsible dog ownership in public spaces will be set in place for another three years, following overwhelming support during a public consultation. Durham County Council introduced the Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) on dog control in June 2017, which was valid for three years. The following were deemed an offence under the order:

· Failing to pick up dog mess

· Allowing a dog to stray

· Failing to put a dog on a lead when directed to do so by an authorised officer

· Allowing a dog into any fenced-off play area named in the PSPO

From June 2017 to May 2020, there was a 32% reduction in stray dog reports, a 45% reduction in dog fouling, and an 18% reduction in dog fouling warden investigations. 

Earlier this year, the local authority opened a consultation on the extension of the PSPO to address issues of dog fouling, public safety and strays. This came back with 98% of respondents thinking an extension was a good idea. Parish councils were also consulted on the extension, with a small number asking for a variation for their locality to include fenced off play areas which were not included in the PSPO. The PSPO measures have been extended until May 2023. 

Anyone caught flouting the rules can be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice by council neighbourhood wardens and police community support officers.

Find out more, including advice for dog owners, penalty information, and more about the council’s #FollowOurLead campaign, at: www.durham.gov.uk/dogcontrol


FISHBURN PARISH COUNCIL has voted to donate £100.00 towards Fishburn Band's fundraising project to raise £900.00 for local care homes, which is on YouTube and Facebook. The link is:


"Fishburn Band, based in the village of Fishburn, County Durham, are - like all music ensembles - currently unable to rehearse or give concerts due to the Covid-19 crisis. As a band firmly rooted in our local community and proud of the great work that goes on in our area, we wanted to do our bit to raise money for local causes that are working so hard to cope with this unprecedented situation.

"At this time of year the band would normally be working hard towards a number of contests, as well as a series of summer concerts and engagements in Fishburn and across the North East more widely. Instead, we hope that you our friends, followers and supporters, will join us in helping to raise much needed funds for local causes on this, our JustGiving page. Then, when we can finally make music together again, we will host a concert in honour of these causes, where money raised - along with proceeds from the concert - will be donated.

"Fishburn and the surrounding area is serviced by a number of care homes, all of which have had to bear the brunt of the Covid-19 crisis and could do with a helping hand at the moment. Your donation will go towards helping these homes continue their work, caring for the elderly and vulnerable, including medical care and wellbeing activities.

"We are pleased to present our first distance banding video - Friend Like Me - produced in honour of our fundraising cause. If you enjoy the video, please consider donating!

"Fishburn Band work at the heart of the local community, giving numerous concerts each year in the village, performing at the annual Christmas tree light switch on, and representing the Fishburn banner at the Durham Miners' Gala. The sound of the band rehearsing can be heard throughout the village on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. The band also perform regularly in the surrounding area of Sedgefield, across County Durham and North East, as well as representing the RMT Union nationally.

"In honour of all frontline workers, Fishburn Band also published a thank you video, featuring the piece 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow' performed by Michael Franey (the band's solo horn player) on their recent CD 'One Voice'. You can view the video here: https://www.facebook.com/fishburnband/videos/914367942327055/

"We miss making music together and, whilst we can't wait to get back to the band room, we hope that raising these funds will go some way towards helping the community we love through this crisis".


DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL'S Head of Community Protection (Regeneration and Local Services) has provided a further update [no. 9] as follows:

Dear resident, Following our previous communication regarding the sinkhole in Clervaux Terrace, I am writing with a further update.

I am delighted to say that the works to reinstate the highway at the front of the properties and repair the back street following the completion of the works by Northumbrian Water are now complete. Works have been completed with social distancing guidance in mind.

We are aware that there is a small amount of fencing works which will need to be completed, but we may not be able to look at completing this work under current government guidance. We will look to complete this as the guidance changes and when it is safe for us to do so.

With regards the repair schedule for house numbers 7 and 8, both properties are secure and the insurers of those properties will look to recommence works when the current government restrictions are lifted.

Should you have any queries, please contact us at fishburnsinkhole@durham.gov.uk.

How do I keep informed?

We will distribute further communications to local residents when we have an update and publish information at www.durham.gov.uk/clervaux.

Thank you

We understand that the sinkhole has caused a lot of local disruption and concern and would like to thank you for your continued cooperation and patience during this difficult period.

Who do I contact if I have concerns?

The overall coordinator for the recovery project is Joanne Waller who can be contacted by emailing fishburnsinkhole@durham.gov.uk or Tel: 03000 261000

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