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The Chairman of Fishburn Parish Council, Cllr. Andrew Pearson, has drawn the attention of Mr. Paul Howell, M.P. to a letter which has been sent to Fishburn residents stating that the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) has not passed the Government's Gigabit Voucher Scheme for Fishburn, which means that Rymote will not be able to carry forward plans to install ultrafast fibre broadband locally. Several residents have expressed disappointment at this announcement and the Chairman has commented that DCMS's decision would appear to contradict the Government's levelling up agenda for the country. It is generally felt that an investment in infrastructure and technology is much needed, especially the proposed investment in broadband, in areas of high deprivation such as Fishburn. The Member of Parliament has been asked to write to the relevant Government minister to make representations on behalf of the residents within Fishburn parish, and to seek the rationale for the decision, with a view to reviving the scheme to upgrade the parish's broadband infrastructure. 

RESPONSE: "I have spoken with the ministerial team at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS), regarding concerns I had for some parts of my constituency have had getting connected on the voucher scheme.
"The Project Gigabit scheme has been set up with the aim of extending gigabit coverage to premises across the UK as soon as possible. This is with a mix of the broadband voucher scheme, and a procurement approach where tenders will be announced for providers to bid into on areas.
"County Durham are scheduled to be one of the first areas of the country to enter this procurement process under Project Gigabit, this process is due to get under way in the next few months.

"To enable this process to take place, there will be a temporary pause in voucher eligibility, while the procurement process is launched, so vouchers for County Durham were paused on 24th September, Building Digital UK (BDUK) will still consider all active voucher projects, and where there is evidence a voucher project has a good likelihood of delivering earlier coverage than through the procurement process, those premises will be designated as voucher priority area.
"Officials in BDUK are actively reviewing project proposals from suppliers who have live voucher projects in County Durham, and will confirm directly with suppliers which projects can continue in parallel with the procurement process. BDUK will also confirm voucher priority areas where any supplier can continue to bring forwards voucher projects while procurement is under way".

Paul Howell MP

Member of Parliament for Sedgefield                                                    
House of Commons


CITIZENS ADVICE COUNTY DURHAM have now resumed their outreach session in Fishburn Community Centre between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm on alternate Fridays. Upcoming sessions are on 22nd October, 5th November, 19th November, and 3rd December. Citizens Advice can help with benefits, employment, housing, family problems and much more.


DURHAM COUNTY COUNCIL'S Neighbourhood Services Civic Pride Team has confirmed that the Parish Council has been successful in gaining 2000 bulbs for Fishburn. The volunteer groups which will be helping with the planting are: Fishburn Parish Council [parish councillors]; Fishburn Primary School [children]; and Fishburn Wombles [dedicated litter pickers]. The bulb planting will take place on the Village Green at Front Street and Butterwick Road, a public space owned and maintained by the Parish Council on behalf of the local community, on Wednesday 10th November 2021 at 10:30 a.m. 


FISHBURN ACADEMY BAND (FAB) is back and looking for new members. Are you currently learning a brass instrument or gave up playing as a result of the pandemic? Would you like to continue playing with like-minded people in a band to improve your ability. If you, or someone you know, are interested, then please contact us or anyone in the Fishburn Band. Rehearsals at present take place on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. in Fishburn Bandroom (TS21 4AJ) and all abailities are welcome. FAB Chairman: Andrew Wilson andrewwilson27@gmail.com or usher,alcolm@gmail.com 

Fishburn Academy Band is registered with the Charity Commission as 1160086.


It's a hat-trick win for Fishburn: Silver Gilt in the large village category; most improved entry; and Fishburn Primary School shortlisted in the school category..!  Andrew Jackson, chairman of Northumbria in Bloom said: “The last 18 months have certainly been the most challenging and disruptive since Northumbria in Bloom was established in 1964. However, although our entries have had to contend with the lockdown restrictions like everyone else, it has been really pleasing to see all the fantastic work that they and their communities have still managed to do in their local areas despite all the difficulties. The region has still ‘bloomed’ in 2021 despite Covid and our entries efforts will, I am sure, have cheered up everyone and helped them through these most difficult times. These awards are all about recognising and celebrating all that our entries have collectively achieved in enhancing the overall environment of the North East in 2021.”

Please note: Gold – outstanding, Silver Gilt – very good, Silver – good, Bronze – average, Merit – Fair.


"SEVERAL colourful communities - and characters - from across County Durham have been honoured for brightening up their area. Winners of the Northumbria in Bloom competition were announced on Wednesday afternoon at The Lancastrian Suite in Gateshead. The competition, now in its 57th year, is all about encouraging local communities to improve their area through community gardening and sound environmental practices. .. The most improved entry went to Fishburn .." More information will follow in due course. 


Due to ongoing anti-social behaviour, the evening bus service 239 between Easington/Peterlee and Sedgefield, via the Trimdons and Fishburn, was recently suspended between Station Town and Sedgefield until further notice. The service is operated under contract to Durham County Council (DCC) by Go North East, which reported that, in the four days leading up to the suspension, they had three windows broken along with several near misses, as well as anti-social behaviour on the bus itself. The police were made aware of the issue.

DCC hopes that in due course, it will be possible to reinstate the service and the relevant officer is meeting with Go North East and the police this week, in order to actively seek a resolution. Further news will be shared as soon as it is available.

11 August 2021AUDITED AGAR 2020-2021

THE EXTERNAL AUDIT for the year ended 31st March 2021 has been completed and a copy of the Notice of Conclusion of the Audit has been published on the website. On the basis of the auditor's review of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR), the information in the AGAR is in accordance with proper practices and there are no matters giving cause for concern regarding relevant legislation and regulatory requirements. 

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