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Due to Covid-19 issues, parish council meetings will not be held until further notice, as members follow the Government’s guidance on the containment of the Coronavirus pandemic. If you have any issues, please contact the Parish Clerk in the first instance at: fishburnparishcouncil@hotmail.com


Due to Covid-19 issues and following the Government’s guidance on the containment of the Coronavirus pandemic, all playgrounds need to be closed. The Parish Council has closed down all fenced playgrounds and the public is strongly advised not to use the equipment at open sites. Thank you for your co-operation.


ALL events which could lead to a build up of numbers of people, either as participants or spectators, have been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the latest instruction given by the Government, and this means the event on Friday 8th May 2020 will not now go ahead and the beacon project is no longer considered urgent.


Durham County Council has announced further details of how its services and events are affected in response to government guidance on Coronavirus. The council is continuously reviewing emerging government advice on how best to stop the spread of COVID-19, and considering how it can maintain essential services to residents in light of this. The authority yesterday announced the cancellation of next month’s Bishop Auckland Food Festival, with stallholders and those who had bought tickets to receive full refunds. It has today announced the following further changes to services and events based on the latest guidance:

• All council venues are to shut from close of play today, or not reopen following winter closures, until further notice. These include Durham’s Gala Theatre, the Empire Theatre at Consett, Bishop Auckland Town Hall, Durham Town Hall, Binchester Roman Fort, Bowlees Visitor Centre and Killhope Lead Mining Museum. People who have bought tickets for shows and performances up until the end of May will be contacted to arrange refunds. Gala members will have the period of the closure added to the end of their membership.
• All council leisure centres and libraries are to shut from close of business today until further notice. Leisure centre memberships, including fitness, swimming and swimming lessons, will be frozen for the period of the closure and direct debit payments automatically adjusted while sites are closed. Anyone who has paid up front for any membership, will have the period of the closure added to the end of their membership. The mobile library service will continue to operate and residents can continue to access a range of online library services, including e-books and e-magazines. The council is currently looking at how access to computers currently provided at libraries can be maintained once they close. Fines accrued while they are shut will be waived.
• All council events up until the end of April will be cancelled or postponed. Durham Adventure Festival, which was due to take place at the Gala Theatre from 24 to 26 April, has been cancelled. People who have bought tickets will be contacted to arrange refunds.
• The full council meeting scheduled for next Wednesday 26 March will not convene, with all other council meetings cancelled until the end of the month when the situation will be reviewed in light of government guidance.
• The Big Spring Clean litter-picking campaign has been cancelled with a decision to be made on whether events as part of it can take place later in the year.

In addition to the above, the Police and Crime Commissioner election planned for May has already been postponed.

The council is prioritising essential services, including adult and children’s services, refuse collections and support for community and voluntary groups and businesses. Customer access points will continue to be open and provide a service to residents, as are the One Point hubs and family centres. Household waste recycling centres remain open.

The council’s schools are open and following the latest government guidance.

Terry Collins, the council’s chief executive, said: “We are continuously reviewing the guidance from government as it is issued and considering all the services we provide and the events we organise in light of it. We have had to take some really difficult decisions but these are based on government advice and out of a desire to protect the health, wellbeing and safety of everyone in the county. We are doing our best to ensure the priority services we provide to residents – particularly the most vulnerable such as adults who receive social care and looked after children – are affected as little as possible. Similarly we are doing all we can to support businesses and those who suffer financial hardship, and working with other agencies to co-ordinate volunteering efforts in communities at this difficult time. We are looking at whether we need to change how we deliver some services in light of the current situation and will ensure residents are kept fully informed in the fast changing situation.”

Amanda Healy, the council’s director of public health, added: “The decisions we have taken are to assist with the government’s advice that people should reduce unnecessary social contact and to self-isolate if the guidance is that they should. We would encourage everyone to follow the advice from Public Health England on how best to protect themselves which includes washing their hands for 20 seconds more often. We understand the impact this is having on our residents’ mental wellbeing and we are increasing support and advice in relation to personal wellbeing and mental health.”

Information about how services and events are affected will be available on the council’s website at www.durham.gov.uk/coronavirus


DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL'S Head of Community Protection (Regeneration and Local Services) has provided a further update as follows:

Recovery group members, along with Northumbrian Water (NWL), met with local residents at the Community Centre on the 5th March for the drop-in session. It gave everyone the opportunity to confirm progress to date, understand some of your concerns and the council’s position. 

Following this, the Fishburn Recovery Group met on Tuesday 10th March.

Discussions continue with the residents and also the insurers of the affected properties. It has been advised that building works are expected to start in the next few weeks.  

Once these works commence and the properties are made safe, we will be able to commence repairs to the highway. Our timescales for this element will be confirmed in due course. 

What are we doing now? 

We have met with NWL and agreed a way forward to repair the road to rear of numbers 2 and 3. NWL have now provided an alternative water supply to the school and this will allow us to commence work on the road without disrupting the current supply.  

Our works will commence at the rear of numbers 2 and 3 Clervaux Terrace on Monday 16th March; which will require a road closure and some access to the adjacent gardens. It is anticipated that these works will be in place for up to 1 week. 

We plan to arrange for a full survey on the drainage to the front of Clervaux Terrace to ensure the drainage system is fully operational and the subsidence has not caused any damage. 

The subsidence in the grassed area opposite Clervaux Terrace has now been reinstated with soil and levelled to match its surroundings. We have left the heras fencing in place in the short term whilst the grass establishes. There could be some settlement of the new material and this is normal.  

Public safety continues to be our priority, we are monitoring the stability of the property on a daily basis and the temporary fencing will remain in place. Our recovery group continue to meet on a weekly basis to review the situation and plan works accordingly.  

How do I keep informed? 

We will continue to distribute regular updates to local residents and publish updates 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 while we work to resolve matters as quickly as we can. 

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.


Details have been received from Durham County Council of an emergency road closure for the rear of Clervaux Terrace, Fishburn, owing to an expanded sinkhole and collapsed water hydrant. The closure commences Tuesday 10th March 2020 for up to 21 days, but it is hoped the works and closure will be completed within a week.

20 February 2020GATES TO PLAY AREAS

PCSO 6849 Amy Jorgeson attended the PACT (Police and Communities Together) meeting on Thursday 12th December 2019 and the Parish Council resolved to lock the gates at the football fields at the request of Durham Police due to complaints about an increase in incidents of substance abuse outside the pavilion. Members took into account the fact that the recreation ground/football pitch is a resource for the whole community and they balanced the needs of all users, but the only realistic solution was to lock the gates to tackle the problem. UPDATE: The Parish Council decided on Thursday 13th February 2020 that the gates at the Memorial Children’s Playing Field shall remain locked until vandalised equipment is made safe, and the outer gate at the football fields shall be unlocked to allow access to the Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) for the schools' half-term break, to be reviewed at the next meeting.



If you can work as a part of a team, are able to take part in meetings, form sound judgements based on what is best for the community, and willing to abide by majority decisions, you have the qualities of a parish councillor.

For more information contact:

Telephone: 07788 111729

e-mail: fishburnparishcouncil@hotmail.com



ONE vacancy has occurred on the above named Parish Council due to the resignation of one member.

The Returning Officer at Durham County Council has confirmed that the regulation 10 requests from electors to call an election has not been fulfilled and the Council can now fill the one casual vacancy by co-option.

NOTICE is hereby given that pursuant to Rule 8 of the Local Elections (Parishes and Communities) Rule 1986 the Council will fill the casual vacancy by co-option.

Public elections cannot be held until May 2021 but for the interim period election to the aforesaid Council will be voted for by the present sitting number of Councillors. 

Applicants must be a British subject, or a citizen of the Commonwealth or the European Union and 18 years or older on the day they become nominated for election. Provided the person also satisfies at least ONE of the following they may apply:

The applicant's name must appear on the current register of local government electors for the parish, or the applicant should during the whole of the twelve months preceding the relevant date have resided in or within 4.8km (three miles) of the parish, or the applicant has during the whole of the preceding twelve months occupied as owner or tenant, any land or premises in the parish.

You cannot stand for election if you are subject of a bankruptcy restriction order or interim order; have, within five years before the day of the election, been convicted in the United Kingdom of any offence and have had a sentence of imprisonment (whether suspended or not) for a period of over three months without the option of a fine; you work for the council you want to become a councillor for (but you can work for other local authorities, including the principal authorities that represent the same area).

Written expressions of interest from persons wishing to serve as a parish councillor need to be submitted in writing to the Clerk to the Council at the email address given below. Candidates may be invited to attend a partish council meeting to meet members and to give a short presentation (3 or 4 minutes) on why they would like to be a parish councillor and what they feel they can offer to the community.

Clerk to Fishburn Parish Council


Northern Echo -  by Chris Binding, Local Democracy Reporter: Skerne Medical Group's Fishburn site will close for good.

"PLANS to close a GP surgery in County Durham have been given the green light by health bosses. In 2018, Skerne Medical Group (SMG) came under fire after revealing plans to halve the number of sites it operated from – from four to two. The move was prompted by staffing issues with Fishburn and Trimdon Village surgeries earmarked for closure. Although SMG gained permission to close the Trimdon Village site, proposals for Fishburn were stalled after health bosses ordered SMG to carry out a second consultation with patients. This followed issues with the way the practice originally advertised the closure plans. On Tuesday, NHS North Durham and NHS Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) considered the consultation results. Following discussion, CCG members approved plans to boost provision at two sites, which will see the Fishburn site close for good. Doctors refute claim they want to shut Fishburn surgery by stealth. This includes extension works at Harbinson House in Sedgefield and retaining and improving the Trimdon Colliery surgery.

'This has been a very long process for the practice which is hopefully going to come to a conclusion which will be favourable for the continuity of the practice,' SMG partner, Dr Christine Hearmon, said. 'We have had a lot of issues to work through one of which was our GP recruitment. We do have some very positive signs from our new doctors that they’re going to commit to stay with the practice and that gives us a more stable future.' Dr Hearmon was speaking at Lanchester Community Centre where CCG Primary Care Commissioning Committees for the county approved the plans. She added: 'I think it’s still a bit of a journey to go but it’s a big step in the right direction for the practice.'

Last year, SMG bosses discussed their second consultation at Durham County Council’s Adults, Wellbeing and Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, which included five options. County councillors were told plans, which included closing Fishburn surgery, were the most popular option for “patients expressing a preference”. However, a decision on the practice shake-up was pushed back as a result of the general election being called in late 2019. Following the decision by CCG bosses this week, SMG will press ahead with works at Harbinson House and Trimdon Colliery. The process is expected to take up to 18 months with the Fishburn surgery remaining open until the project is finished. Patients will be informed of the closure and will be offered the choice to attend remaining practice sites."

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