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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

10 May 2020ANNUAL REPORT 2020

THE ANNUAL REPORT on what the council has accomplished in the preceding year is normally presented in the month of May at the Annual Parish Meeting, which will not take place this year due to the current coronavirus crisis. The Annual Report  is presented to the electorate by the Chairman of the Parish Council via the website:

The Parish Council has worked throughout the past year to provide residents with the best services possible at a local level. A lot of what we have achieved has been regularly contained in the Fishburn News, circulated free of charge.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 issues, parish council meetings are not being held until further notice as members follow the Government’s guidance on the containment of the coronavirus pandemic. Important decisions are being taken remotely. With all the tragic things that are happening in the world and in light of the Government’s introduction of stringent lockdown measures, all events which could lead to a build-up of numbers of people, either as participants or spectators, have been cancelled. The plan for a beacon on the village green to mark the 75th anniversary of VE Day, or Victory in Europe Day, has been put on hold, temporarily paused, until such time as life returns to some form of normality. The Trustees of Northumbria in Bloom have understandably decided to suspend the 2020 competition and Fishburn’s entry has been carried forward to next year. The second phase of improvement works and gravelling to damaged graves at Fishburn cemetery will commence as soon as such work can start after current restrictions are lifted.

We continuously monitor our expenditure, and examine very closely how and where we spend money. Every project is considered and evaluated in terms of cost-effectiveness, and benefit to the community at large. We have agreed a budget for the financial year 2020/2021 and decided that the current tax levied from residents (the precept) should be raised from £80,359 to £89,000 this year to maintain our current plan of community priorities and to develop several future projects to improve the village.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all councillors, past and present, for giving their time freely in an effort to contribute to the well-being of our village. We currently have one vacancy in the office of councillor.

There has been an enormous effort and a coming together of volunteer organisations within our communities helping residents and organisations deal with issues over this period of closures and isolation as a result of the continuing threat of coronavirus. Over the coming months it is vital that, as a community, we help each other as best we can to get through this time of anxiety, uncertainty, and potential loneliness. Please think about your neighbours and check whether they need help, especially the elderly and vulnerable and those who live alone.

Councillor Andrew Pearson - Chairman of the Parish Council
14th May 2020

09 May 2020VJ DAY 75

VICTORY IN JAPAN was a more muted celebration, in contrast to the jubilation of Victory in Europe Day. Saturday 15th August 2020 marks the 75th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day – the end of all hostilities in 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.

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.


Due to Covid-19 issues and following the Government’s guidance on the containment of the Coronavirus pandemic, all fenced playgrounds are closed and the public strongly advised not to use the equipment at unfenced sites. The outer gate at the football fields will also remain locked until further notice. This is necessary to ensure social distancing, limit the spread of coronavirus, and protect the health and safety of the community. Making children keep to the recommended two metres distance in a busy playground or play area is difficult and the play equipment gets used by a large number of small hands.


Fishburn cemetery was temporarily closed  to members of the public during the current emergency, except for funerals and burials, following the Government’s Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (England) Regulations 2020.

Speaking at the daily Downing Street press briefing this afternoon [Saturday 18th April 2020], the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, said that he has asked councils to keep open or indeed to reopen cemeteries and graveyards not for people to congregate but to make that private visit and seek solace at the grave of someone they have loved or to privately lay flowers. He said these are small mercies that can make a difference to make these times more liveable and more humane. The main gates at Fishburn cemetery will  be re-opened.


CITIZENS ADVICE COUNTY DURHAM'S outreach advice service is keen to ensure that residents in Fishburn can continue to be able to access advice during the Covid-19 pandemic and their outreach adviser* is now providing the sessions as a telephone service, whereby residents will be able to call and leave a message and receive a call back with advice during set times. This is only a temporary measure for as long as the current restrictions on social-distancing are in place, and they hope to be able to resume the normal face-to-face advice service in Fishburn at the earliest opportunity.

Please 'phone Barbara* on: 07736 910350 and leave a message and she will ring you back between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.


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


The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has pointed councils to the advice summarised below, which is being given to allotment associations by The National Allotment Society at:


"The government is presently advising the population to stay at home and practice social distancing, whilst being allowed to take one form of exercise a day. If working your allotment is to carry on being seen as legitimate exercise then it is imperative that plot-holders follow all the guidelines, allotment sites are as risky as anywhere else. We think that now is the time to consider working your plot in isolation i.e. not with household members and if you can stay away for a few weeks to do so. It is vitally important that you follow all the advice about social distancing and hygiene in the points below and not gather together on site. Any plot-holder who is self isolating because a household member is ill with corona-virus should not be visiting the site. Associations should display an advice notice on their boards. It is important that anyone attending the allotment takes care to stay the appropriate distance from others, avoid body contact and wash hands at taps, do not wash hands or use detergents in the water tanks and please pay attention to notice boards. It is essential that no un-authorised people are allowed onto the plots for the duration of this emergency, if you do wish to bring someone to assist with work on the plot, please ensure that that this is notified either to Secretary or Site Manager. Careful consideration should be given to introducing anyone over 70, those with underlying illness or pregnant women. We are aware that at the moment some police forces are advising that driving to the plot will not be viewed as essential travel if you are stopped at a check point. The Society is endeavouring to get central advice on this issue and we will post as soon as it arrives. Members should take the following precautionary measures:

  • Keep hand sanitiser in your shed and wash your hands regularly
  • Use hand sanitiser before opening and closing any gate locks
  • DO NOT gather together for a chat even if you are 2 metres apart
  • Observe “Social Distancing” with each other 2-3 metres
  • If you take your children to the plot, ensure that they stay within its confines and do not run around on communal paths and spaces
  • Do not share tools
  • Minimise the contact with each other for example no handshakes
  • Do not wash your hands in water troughs
  • We recommend that all communal facilities are closed.

"Shops - those Associations who operate shops should close or put an on-line scheme in place. Where goods are ordered by email, payment is electronic and goods are placed out for collection.

  • If you have livestock on the site and must visit twice a day, take a photograph on your phone of your livestock, based on what is happening in other countries you may  eventually have to print off a government form to leave the house but if challenged it would be good to be able to show a photograph of where you are going
  • Plan ahead to ensure that you have food and medication delivered to you during this time
  • Stay away from vulnerable individuals such as the elderly and those with underlying health conditions as much as possible
  • If you display any symptoms of coronavirus stay at home and self-isolate for at least 14 days or until symptoms have passed.

"It is important that any plot-holders over 70 years and those with underlying health issues follow the guidance and information issued by the government. It would be a good idea for Associations to give out a telephone or email address for anyone with problems to allow contact. Perhaps a Buddy System that provided weeding and watering assistance on the plots  of gardeners who cannot get to the plot due to long term self isolation could be set up. This is a worldwide unprecedented and challenging time for so many people and of course the health and safety of our members, volunteers, and staff remains our number one priority. We are living through a crisis, the likes of which none of us has experienced before, not since war time has the community spirit that exists on allotment sites been more important.  We must all consider vulnerable families, friends and fellow plot-holders and give assistance where needed. Please remember to look out for one another during these very difficult times."


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


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.

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