School crossing update

Oakfield Junior and Infant Schools, on Chowdene Bank, have been without a lollipop person for sometime now. After raising this with Council officers, we can report that a replacement lollipop person has now been appointed and it is hoped they will begin in September.

Low Fell Councillor Daniel Duggan, who raised this matter with council officers, said “I am glad this post has now been filled. The Council are also looking to introduce a travel plan programme called ModeShift STARS that has been used successfully outside other schools”.

To learn more about this visit

The Focus Team have also asked the Council’s traffic engineers to look into placing a zebra crossing on Chowdene Bank, but after carrying out an investigation the traffic engineers report that it would ”not be possible” for legal reasons.

Low Fell Summer Fayre

Low Fell’s annual Summer Fayre will be held on Saturday, 29th June in Kells Lane Park between 12 and 4pm.

Susan Craig, Chair of the Low Fell Forum which organises the fayre, said “There will be many stalls, refreshments and free entertainment. The entertainment line up will include vocalist Julie Maughan, Midnight Breeze, school children from Oak Voices, Low Fell folk band Kiddars Luck, and the Lee Brannigan Performing Arts Academy. All are welcome, but please remember that there is very limited parking near the park, so we are encouraging everyone to arrive on foot or by public transport where possible”.

Help save the Hardman Centre

At the time of writing liquidators have been appointed to manage the closure of the Hardman Centre. The Centre has served Low Fell since the 1970, providing both a pre school and elderly day care. In response to this, and working with local residents, we have met with senior council officers, the Chair of the Centre’s Trustees and other interested parties, raised the matter in a recent meeting of Full Council in which we secured the public support of the Leader of the Council, and are supporting efforts to try and save the Centre.

Residents have launched a fundraising campaign. The target is to raise £35,000 to help keep the Hardman Centre open until the summer, whilst a rescue bid is secured to guarantee its future. If you can donate to the campaign, please visit here

Daniel Duggan said “Working with local residents, we are working for a solution which involves a change of ownership away from the current board. Any support you can give to the campaign would be greatly appreciated.”

Ron chosen to stand for Lib Dems

The Lib Dem Focus Team has selected Ron Beadle to be our candidate in May’s local elections.

Ron has been a member of the Focus Team since 1989. He lives in Low Fell with his partner. Their children went to Kells Lane and are now at Emmanuel College. Ron has worked at Northumbria University since 1992 and represented Low Fell on Gateshead Council since 1996.

Ron said: ‘I am delighted to have been chosen to stand to be the Focus Team’s candidate. This is a community that residents care about and we are a real community. I look forward to the campaign.’

Low Fell is always a close contest and if you would like to help Ron then please message us.

Gateshead Council’s Budget

Last week Gateshead Council passed their budget. Labour Councillors voted to, amongst other things, cut spending on potholes and pavement repairs, cut mental health provision, and cut street light repairs. Council Tax will rise by 3.99%.

Labour councillors rejected a Lib Dem amendment to invest more in street cleaning which was to be funded by cutting an extra allowance some Labour councillors get, cutting ‘Council News’, and using £1 million from the reserves. Gateshead Council has £13 million in reserves. This is the second year running that Labour Councillors have rejected Lib Dem plans to spend more on street cleaning, despite it being the number 1 issue for residents according to the Council’s own survey.

The budget was passed, with 41 Labour councillors voting for it, and all 12 Lib Dems voting against it.