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Dear resident, Following last week’s letter about the sinkhole in Clervaux Terrace, I am writing with a further update.

Our staff have continued to visit the area to ensure public safety and update residents as additional information becomes available.

Unfortunately, it has not been possible for us to resume work on the section of road affected by the sinkhole due to the continued deterioration in the condition of number seven Clervaux Terrace.

Further site investigations have been undertaken and the recovery group lead Joanne Waller has met with the residents of numbers seven and eight this week to discuss the outcome of those investigations.

These results will inform a way forward both for the properties and the repair of the road.

We are continuing to speak to Northumbrian Water about the subsidence in the back street and on private land to the rear of Clervaux Terrace. We are aware of the importance of resolving this issue as soon as possible.

We have also spoken to Fishburn Parish Council and provided forms to be filled in by local residents on past incidents of subsidence. We will consider any information received when making decisions on next steps.

We appreciate residents are concerned and we can assure you every effort is being made to resolve the issues as quickly as possible.

What are we doing?

Public safety is our priority, so we have fenced off some locations and continue to monitor the area. Traffic lights are in place to ensure motorists can pass the site of the sinkhole. Weekly meetings are taking place of the recovery group to review the situation and plan works accordingly.

How do I stay informed?

We will continue to provide regular updates to local residents and publish information online 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 with others to resolve matters as quickly as we can.

Who do I contact if I have concerns?

The coordinator of the recovery group is Joanne Waller who can be contacted by emailing fishburnsinkhole@durham.gov.uk or phoning 03000 261000.

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.


CLERVAUX TERRACE UPDATE  - Highway Services Manager - Durham County Council            

What’s happened?

A sinkhole appeared in the parking lay-by at the southern end of Clervaux Terrace overnight on Tuesday 21st January.   Emergency and Highways Services came to make sure that local residents weren’t in danger.  The Fire Service helped to move a car which was at risk of falling into the hole.  The area was fenced-off to keep people safe while engineers investigated the sinkhole and considered options.

On the morning of Friday 24th January, the sinkhole grew much bigger, quickly affecting a larger part of the lay-by, the road, the footpath and two nearby properties.

Highway Services and the council’s buildings inspectors were on site and ensured that people were safe, assessed the damage and checked that other properties weren’t at risk.  The utility companies and the Coal Authority were also called out to help and provide advice.  The families in the two properties were moved out because their houses weren’t safe and their utilities had to be cut off.  Housing and social services have helped to find them alternative accommodation.

The fencing was extended around the much larger hole and two-way traffic lights had to be installed on the road.

Some residents said they were worried about possible changes in the levels of the grassed area on the other side of the road, so this has also been fenced-off as a precaution while the issue is investigated.

What are we doing about it?

Public safety is our priority so we have had to fence-off some areas to protect the public.  We are monitoring the stability of the hole on a daily basis and on Monday, 3rd February began work to repair the road.

We have met with local councillors and some residents to discuss the issue and to listen to local concerns.

We have set up a ‘recovery group’ to coordinate the different services and agencies which need to work together to and to support the residents directly affected.

What’s the plan?

We need to take a step-by-step approach.

You will see work over the next two to three weeks to repair the road.

Once this is done, the utility companies will step-in to check the utilities and carry-out any necessary repairs in the vicinity of the hole.

We will then repair and reinstate the footpath.

At the same time, we will be working with engineers to assess the damage to the two properties, and consider repair solutions.

When will the works take place?

Work to repair the road has already started.

We are working with the utility companies, engineers and insurers to work out how long all of the works will take.  At this stage, we cannot give you an overall estimate but as soon as we have a better idea of how long each step will take, the amount of work involved and when the different stages can begin, we will give you an overall timescale for the recovery works.

How do I keep informed?

We will distribute regular updates to local residents and publish them on our website.


Thank you

The sinkhole has caused a lot of local disruption and concern.  We are very grateful for your cooperation and patience while we work to resolve things as quickly as we can.

Who do I contact if I have concerns?

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



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."


FISHBURN PARISH COUNCIL is very supportive of the Armed Forces past and present. In 2020 the commemorations for both VE and VJ Day will be the central part of our national remembrance and will bring home the scale of service and sacrifice made by veterans of the Second World War generation. The permanent gas-fuelled ceremonial beacon in Fishburn will form part of a commemoration event on Friday 8th May 2020 [Bank Holiday] to mark the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe (VE Day). The village will be asked to remember the impact that leaving, missing and returning home has on service men and women and their loved ones - then and now. Parish councillors felt that there were good reasons for a ceremonial beacon but did not wish to put an additional burden on local people, so they have applied for grant aid funding to pay for it instead of the tax levied from residents (the precept). An appeal is being made for anyone involved in the Second World War to take part in the planned activities.

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