Christmas and New Year special - Newcastle City Council

www2.newcastle.gov.uk

Christmas and New Year special - Newcastle City Council

Beat the fuel price increases

with Newcastle Warm Zone

Save up to £250 off your annual fuel bills and do your bit for

the environment.

With fuel prices increasing yet

again there’s never been a better

time to make sure you are saving

energy and saving money.

You qualify for free cavity wall

and loft insulation if you:

• are over 60 years old (limited

period only); or

• are on certain benefits; or

• live in a council-owned home;

or

• are spending a high

proportion of your income to

keep warm.

Otherwise get your insulation

from only £99 – that’s an 80%

discount. It could pay for itself

in under a year and save you

thousands of pounds over its

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Newcastle Warm

Zone is the only

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both the government

and Newcastle City

Council.

Don’t miss out!

Contact Newcastle Warm Zone on 0191 277 7373 to

arrange a free, no obligation home assessment.

“I thought the work would be disruptive and that I

wouldn’t feel any warmer but I was wrong,”

said Newcastle resident Mr Greene.

“I could tell the difference straight away and I’m really

pleased that it is going to save me so much money

every year on my fuel bills. I definitely recommend

others to get the work done”.

Warm Zone has insulated over 25,000 homes in Newcastle – don’t miss out!

Newcastle Warm Zone is a not-for-profit partnership with

Newcastle City Council, Your Homes Newcastle, Scottish Power

and others. We aim to ensure that all homes in Newcastle can save

energy, save money and be able to afford to heat their homes.

Welcome

to the November/December edition

of Citylife magazine.

Here we are again in the run up to the

festive season and there’s a lot to see

and do for everyone. Children and

young people shouldn’t miss the

Northern Children’s Book Festival. At

the gala day on 22 November they will

have the chance to meet some of their

favourite authors.

Our four-page Christmas and New Year

Special starts on page 17 and gives

you a flavour of what's happening over

the festive period, including useful

information on our opening times.

As usual we try to keep you up to date

with what we are doing to improve

your services. This time, you can read

about two new customer service

centres and some of our new schools.

And read our annual report to find

what we have spent money on and

how we performed over the last year.

Whatever you do, don’t miss our cover

stars, the Hairy Bikers, switching on the

Christmas lights. The ceremony takes

place at Grey Street on Thursday, 20

November.

Meg Woollam and the Citylife team

Front cover: The Hairy Bikers, Si King and

Dave Myers, who will switch on our

Christmas lights, assisted by Titan the robot.

Find out more on page 17.

Competition winners

Two month Tyneside Cinema pass for two

people: Ian Pickett, NE3

Room book about the Town Moor: Andrew

Owen, NE4 and L Horncastle, NE6

Finding Nemo family tickets: S Ryan, NE5

and D Scott, NE6

Mikado tickets: Fran Castle, NE3 and Rose

Liddle, NE4

Tyne Bridge Publishing books: Shenzi

Zaman, NE4, Vera Anderson, NE6, Linda

Swan, NE12

Meal for two at Nando’s: Lyn Byren, NE5

Terms and conditions for all competitions are

available from citylife@newcastle.gov.uk, or

phone 0191 211 5073

Design by Paul Burgess Graphic Design

Photos by Steve Brock (unless otherwise credited)

Hairy Bikers photographs supplied by agent

Citylife is produced by

Newcastle City Council

and printed by NCJ

Media Ltd.

Contents

11 Two brand new

customer service

centres

15 Sign up for the UK

Youth Parliament

20 Festive what’s on

21 Council

Christmas

opening times

23 Chinese healthy

living

29 Children’s book

festival

30 Newcastle

schools really

make the

grade!

Useful numbers

Newcastle City Council switchboard

0191 232 8520

Council Tax and Housing Benefit enquiries

0845 111 4101

Payments for Council Tax; parking fines;

and other council bills (debit and credit

cards only) 0845 111 4199

Envirocall – the one-stop environmental

hotline 0191 274 4000

Neighbourhood Helpline 0300 1000 101

Find out more at www.newcastle.gov.uk

If you would like a free

copy of Citylife in large

print or on tape, please

call 0191 211 5073.

23

29

Little Lucy Robinson gets

ready for the book festival

Citylife info

There are six issues of Citylife every year.

The next edition is due out at the

beginning of January.

Contacting us

You can contact Citylife by:

Phone: 0191 211 5073

Email: citylife@newcastle.gov.uk

Post: Freepost Citylife

Distribution

Citylife is distributed to homes and

businesses across Newcastle. If you are

not getting your copy please let us know.

We sometimes have problems delivering

to flats and houses in multiple occupation

because we cannot get access to them. If

you live in a flat and would like to talk to

us about your Citylife delivery please

contact us on 0191 211 5073.

If you’ve got any questions or suggestions for Citylife, we want to hear

from you. Please call 0191 211 5073 or email: citylife@newcastle.gov.uk

www.newcastle.gov.uk/citylife - download the podcast!

2 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 3


NEWS...NEWS...NEWS...NEWS...NEWS...NEWS...NEWS...

Keeping good customer service in

the family

Happy Birthday Lady Stephenson

Library!

The Sheriff of Newcastle, Councillor Mike Cookson presents

Pumphrey’s employee, Lauren Huddleston with the Grainger Market

Customer Service Award plaque. Mickey Gordon, who nominated

Lauren for the award, won a Grainger Market Hamper

Lauren Huddleston’s great

great grandfather would be

really proud of her.

Lauren’s fantastic customer

service led the Pumphrey’s stall

in the Grainger Market to win

The Grainger Market Customer

Service Award.

Why would her great great

grandfather be proud? Lauren

recently learned that he worked

for Pumphrey’s too!

The Grainger Market Customer

Service Award is presented to

the stall in the Grainger Market

that is judged to give the best

customer service. The Sheriff of

Newcastle, Councillor Mike

Cookson presented Lauren with

Remember

a plaque and a certificate.

Lauren said “I’m really proud of

myself and the other staff at

Pumphrey’s as I’ve only been

there a year”. Lauren puts the win

down to their friendliness. “We

know our customers by name,

face and their usual coffee or tea”.

Councillor Cookson told those at

the presentation, “I have always

had excellent customer service

from Pumphrey’s. I’m really

pleased to present Lauren and

Pumphrey’s with this honour.”

Mickey Gordon nominated

Lauren for the award. He won a

hamper full of goodies from the

Grainger Market. He told us ‘I am

a coffee addict and this stall has

the best coffee in the North East’.

The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress will represent the city

at this year’s Remembrance Sunday commemorations on

Sunday 9 November.

They will lead the tributes at

the newly restored City War

Memorial at Old Eldon Square.

The Square has undergone a

major £1m redevelopment.

The annual service will begin at

10.45am when the Lord Mayor

and other civic guests will

process from the Brunswick

Methodist Church to the war

memorial and at 11am a gun will

be fired to start the traditional

two minutes silence.

The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Councillor David Wood, helped staff from

Lady Stephenson Library in Walker celebrate the library’s 100th birthday

Lady Stephenson Library in

Walker took a trip back in

time earlier this week as it

celebrated its 100th birthday

with an Edwardian tea party.

Library staff donned period fancy

dress and doled out dainty

sandwiches and fairy cakes at the

event attended by longstanding

customers, community groups,

local children, former members

of staff – and even descendents

of Lady Stephenson herself!

It was local industrialist and

benefactor, Alderman Sir William

Have a Christmas night out on

Newcastle Greyhound Stadium

As a big thank you to all readers of Citylife, we’re giving away free

tickets to a Christmas night out at Newcastle Greyhound Stadium.

• Free entry

• Free first drink

(Over 18s only)

For every reader who calls our

reception and quotes: Citylife

Christmas tickets.

Don’t forget your family and

friends are welcome to join us too.

Haswell Stephenson, who

decided to build a library in

Walker in memory of his wife

Hazel, who died in 1901.

Stephenson was a staunch

supporter of the, then fledgling,

Newcastle library service and had

already paid for the building of

libraries in Elswick and Heaton.

Lady Stephenson Library has

been at the heart of the

community in Walker for over a

century, and we’re sure Lady

Stephenson herself would have

approved of how the library has

developed over the years!

Tickets are valid for any

Thursday, Friday or Saturday

night during December*. Just

tell us the date you and your

friends wish to come – and we’ll

send you the number of tickets

you ask for.

Call the stadium reception on

0191 210 5300

* (Offer starts Saturday 29

November).

4 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 5


Energy saving

top tips

• Cavity Wall Insulation. Up to 35%

of heat is lost through the walls of

your home. Insulating your cavity

walls can save up to £100 per year.

• Turn your thermostat down.

Reducing your room temperature by

1°C could cut your heating bills by

up to 10 percent. You could save

around £40 per year. (Remember:

cold kills. Don’t overheat your

home, but make sure it’s warm

enough too).

• Is your water too hot? Your cylinder

thermostat shouldn't need to be set

higher than 60°C/140°F.

• Close your curtains at dusk to stop

heat escaping through the

windows.

• Always turn off the lights when you

leave a room and try to use energy

saving light bulbs.

• Don't leave appliances on standby

and remember not to leave

appliances on charge unnecessarily.

Dumping mattresses, old furniture and

other waste in our back lanes and

green spaces makes our city look grim

and it’s a health hazard.

It’s also a wealth hazard with fines of

up to £5,000 for householders and up

to £50,000 for anyone who fly-tips, as

well as the seizing and crushing of

vehicles and even the possibility of a

prison sentence.

You can help us tackle this pest by

making sure you dispose of your waste

properly.

You can

• take it to one of our Household

Recycling Centres

• get a bulky collection from our

Recycling and Refuse Service

• If you're not filling up the washing

machine, tumble dryer or

dishwasher, use the half-load or

economy programme.

• Only boil as much water as you

need (but remember to cover the

elements if you're using an electric

kettle).

• A dripping hot water tap wastes

energy and in one week wastes

enough hot water to fill half a

bath, so fix leaking taps and make

sure they're fully turned off!

• Use energy saving light bulbs. Just

one can save you £100 over the

lifetime of the bulb - and they last

up to 12 times longer than ordinary

light bulbs.

Useful Contacts

www.energysavingtrust.org.uk

www.warmzones.co.uk

www.energysaving.co.uk

www.newcastle.gov.uk/energycentre

Don’t make our city a tip

Fly-tipping is selfish, dangerous and expensive!

• get a waste disposal company to

take it away. (Remember: You must

check that they are registered waste

carriers. If they are not and they

dump your rubbish, we’ll prosecute

you as well as them.) You can find

companies that have a waste carrier's

licence at www.environmentagency.gov.uk/publicregisters,

or by

telephoning 08708 506 506.

If you see any fly-tipping, please

report it to us (with a description of

the people and any vehicle involved if

you see them). The sooner we know

about it, the sooner we can do

something about it.

You can report fly-tipping by calling

0300 1000 101

Our environmental crime officers are always on the look-out

for waste criminals and they’re very good at tracking them

down. Between 1 October 2007 and 30 September 2008

• there were 183 prosecutions for waste crimes;

• over £50,000 was paid in fines;

• two fly-tippers were sentenced to a total of 30 months in prison

Grant

netted for

new netty

Allotments in West Denton

have benefited from an

£8,500 grant from the Local

Action on Global Issues Fund

at the Community Foundation

to install a state of the art

compost toilet.

The fully accessible toilet, which is

the first of its kind for the region’s

allotments, means that a much wider

range of people in the local

community can get involved with

activities and events at the site.

Regular growers can now spend a full

day there without having to travel

home to places as far as Throckley.

The toilet, which is made out of

recycled materials, uses rain water

harvesting for hand washing, meaning

that it has zero water consumption

and, in time, will provide compost for

fruit trees and flowering plants.

Coming all the way from a compost

toilet specialist in mid Wales, the

toilet took two days to construct and

is now in a long line of compost

toilets being installed at allotment

sites up and down the country.

Micky Christian, Secretary of the West

Denton Allotments Association said:

Christmas refuse

collection dates

Normal Collection Day

“It’s great news that the Local Action

on Global Issues committee agreed to

fund our new compost toilet. There

are quite a few disabled people who

use the allotments and it will make

life a lot more comfortable for them

when they visit.

“We have been working hard to

improve our site over the last year

and have now got a waiting list of 17

people wanting an allotment. They

seem to be becoming very popular!”

Peter Storey, Committee Member for

the Local Action on Global Issues

Fund added:

“We were pleased to be able to fund

this project and having visited the

site I can see the difference that it

will make to the local community and

regular visitors to the allotments.

Local Action on Global Issues is a

fund that is constantly looking for

good environmental projects that will

benefit the people of Tyne and Wear

and Northumberland.”

The Local Action on Global Issues Fund

is currently accepting applications

from organisations for projects that

have a positive environmental impact.

For more information please contact

Suzanne Davies at the Community

Foundation on 0191 222 0945 or

email

sld@communityfoundation.org.uk

Revised Collection Day

Thursday 25 December 2008 Saturday 27 December 2008

Friday 26 December 2008 Sunday 28 December 2008

Thursday 1 January 2009 Friday 2 January 2009

Friday 2 January 2009 Saturday 3 January 2009

Normal collections resume week commencing 5 January 2009

Garden waste collection dates

Please note that there are no garden waste collections

scheduled for this time

If you have a query regarding your bin collection you can call the bin

hotline. Please note that the bin hotline opening hours are now Monday

– Friday 8.30am to 4.30pm or you can email

bin.hotline@newcastle.gov.uk and the team will answer any questions

you may have.

Pupils and staff from Broadway East Primary School pictured with David Slater the Executive Director of

Environment and Regeneration, Les Clark Head of Sustainability Unit and staff from Enviroschools and

the Energy Centre

“Everybody in the world

should care about the world”

Claudia, aged nine, Broadway East First School

Many of us adults would probably say we’re too busy

to do our bit to tackle climate change or that we’ve

got more important things to worry about.

Claudia, her schoolmates and youngsters across the

city know how short-sighted that is. They

understand that we’ve all got to start making a

difference today.

That’s why Broadway East First, Knoplaw Primary,

Monkchester Road Nursery, St Cuthbert’s RC Primary

in Walbottle and St John Vianney RC Primary – have

won an Eco-Schools green flag, the top

environmental award for schools.

Eco-Schools is an international environmental

education programme. Over 40,000 schools in 46

countries around the world take part.

In Newcastle, schools who want to be involved are

supported by our Enviro-Schools team. 118 schools

are currently enjoying support.

Pupils and staff from St Cuthbert’s RC Primary

School pictured with Nigel Hails, Director of

Neighbourhood Services

The programme covers nine key environmental topics:

• Water

• Biodiversity (the range of plants and animals)

• Energy

• Global perspectives (environmental issues across

the world)

• Healthy living

• Litter

• School grounds

• Transport

• Waste

The aim is for the pupils to do something about

these issues as well as learning about them.

They lead the eco-committee and help carry out an

audit to assess the environmental performance of

their school.

They then look at ways they can improve it – such

as introducing recycling, school grounds

development or tackling climate change.

Eco Schools gained Bronze and Silver awards leading

to the top award, the Green Flag.

To get the Green Flag, schools have to be inspected

by Encams who run the Keep Britain Tidy campaign.

Congratulations to everyone involved and let’s give

the last word to Claudia’s school-mate, Jitesh.

“I think it is really good that we have

the Green Flag because we do a lot of

recycling in school and that all helps us

to do something about global warming

before it is too late.” Jitesh age nine

Pupils and staff from Knoplaw Primary School

pictured left with Mick Murphy, Director of

Technical Services

Pupils and staff from Monkchester Road Primary

School pictured with the Lord Mayor Councillor

David Wood

Pupils and staff from St John Vianny RC Primary

School pictured with Paul Herbertson, Director of

Resources and Performance, and staff from

Enviroschools

Recycling news is

wheelie good!

Thanks to all of the residents who

have taken part so enthusiastically in

our new recycling collection.

We’re continuing to roll out the new wheelie

bins and everyone in the city with a refuse

wheelie bin will have a blue recycling

wheelie bin by the end of March next year.

If we haven’t reached you yet, remember you

can still do your bit by using your black box.

6 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 7


Don’t let bonfires

and fireworks ruin

your life

The region’s emergency services, local authorities and the

NHS joined forces in a hard-hitting bonfire and fireworks

campaign – for the second year running.

Fireworks and bonfires kill or injure

thousands of people every year.

The campaign, which kicked off in

October, included a TV advert, a

poster and leaflet campaign, a media

relations campaign, a dedicated

website and school talks.

The aim was to encourage everyone to

have a safe and enjoyable bonfire

period. It encouraged people to

attend organised firework displays

rather than build their own bonfires

and warned people about the dangers

of illegal bonfires and fireworks

misuse. It also focused on reducing

disorder and anti-social behaviour

linked to bonfires and fireworks, as

well as warning parents and

shopkeepers to make sure that under

18s didn’t get hold of fireworks.

Iain Bathgate, Chief Fire Officer, Tyne

and Wear Fire and Rescue Service,

says: “Last year’s campaign was

extremely successful and had a

significant impact on reducing the

number of bonfire-related injuries and

incidents. We’re hoping this year’s has

done the same.”

Northumbria Police Chief Constable

Mike Craik said: "Building on the

success of previous years we will be

working together with the fire and

rescue service to rigorously tackle

anti-social behaviour. This has been a

priority for us and we have seen a

significant reduction of over 15% so

far this year. We are determined not

to let the bonfire period spoil this.”

There's no doubt that reports of antisocial

behaviour show a marked

There was discussion on which choice to make right up to the voting booths

Never too young to vote

Children at Walkergate Early Years Centre had a taste of the

democratic process this June. As part of the city council’s and the

Newcastle Partnership’s ‘U Decide’ programme the under fives

were given the chance to say how they wanted to spend £6,000.

Their choices were between reading,

drawing, making friends and outdoor

play. In the morning, they had the

chance to talk about their preferences

with each other before casting their

final vote at the sponsored pedal push

that afternoon. After crossing the

finish line on their bikes, the children

headed for the U Decide voting

station. They cast their votes, with

support from Councillor Dave Besag

and U Decide officers. 73 children

voted, with outdoor play the winner.

Local councillors in Walkergate

committed £23,000 to the U decide

project in their ward. The remaining

£17,000 will be allocated by the older

children and young people in the ward

in a separate project happening now,

see www.newcastle.gov.uk/udecide for

details.

Since the voting event, staff at the

centre have consulted children, and

parents and carers from the centre and

wider community. They have come up

with some ideas for spending the

money, including new equipment for

the toy library, an outdoor water

feature and trips during the centre’s

play schemes.

increase during the bonfire period. By

working together we hope to make the

region safer."

The ‘Bonfires and Fireworks ruin lives

in a flash’ campaign was led by Tyne

and Wear Fire and Rescue Service,

To mark this year’s Carers’ Rights Day

on Friday 5 December 2008 we are

holding an information event for

carers in Newcastle. There will be

information stalls from carer support

organisations, advice around

employment, benefits and much more.

Complementary therapies will also be

on offer for those who want to take

advantage of some relaxation in the

pre-Christmas rush. Come and join us

Northumberland Fire and Rescue

Service and Northumbria Police,

working with local authorities, the

Ambulance Service and the NHS.

To find out more, visit

www.ruinlivesinaflash.com

This article is paid for by Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service.

Carers’ Rights Day 2008

Many people may see themselves as a family member or a friend. But if you

are providing unpaid help and support to someone who has a disability, illness,

is frail or has alcohol or drug related problems, then you are also a carer.

for a cup of coffee and a piece of cake

while you browse the information stalls.

Pop in anytime between 10am and

2pm at the Collingwood Suite,

Newcastle Civic Centre on Friday 5

December 2008.

For more information please contact

Kerry at Carers Centre Newcastle:

Phone 0191 260 3030.

Fax 0191 230 1500. Email:

carerscentrenewcastle@btconnect.com

Co-op hamper for Fairtrade Christmas

The Co-operative set out to do business fairly, honestly and democratically

from their beginnings in 1844. This has led them to extend their support to

Fairtrade and lead the way for supermarkets by carrying a wide range of Fairtrade

products. See www.cooperative.co.uk

We have a Fairtrade hamper from the Co-op to give a lucky Citylife reader.

For a chance to win, tell us: Who was on the throne when the

Co-operative society began to do business?

Elizabeth I Elizabeth II Victoria

Name ...............................................................................................

Address ..........................................................................................

.......................................................................................................

Postcode ............................... Phone ..................................................

Please put all coupons and entries in one envelope.

Send to Freepost Citylife by 28 November 2008.


Helen and Michael Matthews at work on the Citylife podcast

Citylife on podcast

Citylife is delivered free to all Newcastle residents – and,

thanks to a band of dedicated volunteers, visually impaired

people can hear all the city’s news too, either on tape or online.

Every Sunday, at Tynesound News in

Summerhill Street, a dozen volunteer

readers and technicians get together

to tape a selection of news from the

week’s local papers. Every two months

they record Citylife, which you can

hear on our website as a podcast.

“We do some editing to group similar

items together under a clear heading

for our listeners, such as community or

environment,” says presenter Michael

Matthews. “The 11,500 words of a

typical Citylife make a 90-minute tape.”

Tynesound News recordings are so

popular they are sent to appreciative

listeners all over the world, including

Canada, Australia and Macedonia.

New presenters are always welcome.

The main qualification is the ability

to read out a written piece of news

clearly and expressively.

“For news items we avoid personal

comment,” says Michael. “But for

what’s on or sports features, the

reading is less formal and more

conversational.”

“It’s such a fun thing to do – quite a

social event,” adds colleague Barbara

Robinson. “And as readers, we

ourselves learn so much about what is

going on in the city.”

For more information about

Tynesound News, call

0191 261 4121 or email

tynesoundnews@btconnect.com

To listen to our podcast go to

www.newcastle.gov.uk/citylife

International banking situation

– what is the impact on

Newcastle?

In recent weeks the news has been full of the potential risks

facing councils that have money invested in Icelandic banks.

The good news is that Newcastle City

Council has no money invested in any

Icelandic banks. The council does not

invest its money in stocks and shares,

only in cash deposits with major

highly rated financial institutions,

which are likely to receive support

from governments.

To reduce risk the money is spread

over a number of banks and building

societies, which are carefully selected

on the basis of independent ratings,

specialist advice and our experience.

Over the last year we have placed our

money with institutions that we

expect will receive government

support in the event of financial

difficulty, including Northern Rock.

We have chosen not to invest money

in foreign based banks other than

Irish banks, which have recently been

given government support.

Mouse King defeated!

With Christmas approaching, the Moscow Ballet is joining in

with the festive spirit. They’re in Newcastle on 21 November

for one night only before returning to Russia.

The Nutcracker sees Clara get a

nutcracker for Christmas. During the

night she is awoken to find the Mouse

King in her house. The Nutcracker

comes to life, defeats the Mouse King

and is transformed into a prince. In the

second act, Clara and the prince go to

the Land of Sweets and fly back to

Clara’s house on a sleigh.

For enquiries, phone

0844 493 4567, Ticket Master on

0844 493 9999 or visit

www.thejournaltynetheatre.co.uk.

Nutcracker competition

We have 10 pairs of tickets to give to readers. For a chance to win, tell us

where Clara and the Nutcracker visit in the second act?

Land of Sweets

Pity Me

Land of the Plum Pudding Fairy

Name ...............................................................................................

Address .......................................................................................

........................................................................................................

Postcode ........................... Telephone ................................................

Please send your entries to Freepost Citylife by Monday 17 November.

Please put all coupons and entries into one envelope.

Having a learning

disability should not

stop you voting!

Voting in local or general elections is most people’s right,

including people with learning disabilities. But many people

don’t vote because of barriers to the election process.

Registration to vote shouldn’t be one of these, so we’d like to

encourage you to register today!

The Welford newsletter group has

talked to Debby Frost from electoral

services. She explained that,

although the council contacted people

once a year to add them to the

register, people could actually get on

the list at any time. We really wanted

more people with disabilities to join.

In Newcastle there are over 1,800

people with learning disabilities but

only around 300 use their vote. This

means more than 1,500 of them have

no way of having their voice heard.

The group have found that there is

very little accessible information

available, especially about local

politics. And found a lack of support


to help people with learning

disabilities to vote.

One member of the newsletter group

spoke for everyone by saying:

‘They have to listen to us so we can

vote because I’m interested because

I’m entitled to my opinion because I’m

me, because I’m the same as everybody

else and it’s my right to be heard’.

We would like to hear what you

think about this.

To contact Welford newsletter group

phone 0191 285 9957

To register to vote phone Debby

Frost on 0191 277 7100 or email

elections@newcastle.gov.uk

8 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 9


Ruby

celebrations

for Civic

Centre

This year marks the 40th

anniversary of the opening of

Newcastle Civic Centre, which

took place on Thursday 14

November 1968.

This historic event was celebrated when King

Olav V of Norway visited the city to officially

cut the ribbon on the now Grade II listed

building which was designed by city architect

George Kenyon.

The building’s first foundation stone was laid

on the 30 November 1960 by Alderman

Gladys Robson who was the Lord Mayor at

the time.

The city’s relationship with Scandinavia was

marked with ‘Swans in Flight’, a bronze

sculpture outside the Civic Centre, which

represents Norway, Denmark, Sweden,

Finland and Iceland.

Have a witchy

Christmas with

Tynebridge Publishing

‘Walking with Witches’

by Lynn Huggins-Cooper

(£5.99)

When Eleanor and Isabel find a

mysterious book in the library, they

are drawn into an exciting and spooky

adventure set in Newcastle.

Can the girls outwit a shadowy villain

from the past and save a ghostly

friend? Maybe they can…but they’ll

need the help of a cat, a crow, and a

powerful magic pendulum.

Competition

Newcastle’s friendship with Norway is also

reflected in some of the materials used in the

construction of the building including

Norwegian Otta slate which is found in the

Grand Entrance Hall.

As well as designing ‘Swans in Flight’, artist

David Wynne created the ‘Tyne God’ which

hangs from the Civic Centre before you get

to the Grand Entrance.

Follow the friends as they unravel the

mystery in our gripping story for

young people aged nine or older – if

you dare!

Find out lots more at

www.tynebridgepublishing.co.uk

For a chance of winning a copy, tell us where Walking with Witches is set?

New York Newcastle Newfoundland

Name ...............................................................................................

Address ............................................................................................

.......................................................................................................

Postcode ............................ Telephone ...............................................

Please send your entries to Freepost Citylife by Friday 28 November.

Please put all coupons and entries into one envelope.


Christine

At a visit to her local job centre

she was told about ‘Shop for

Jobs’ - a partnership between

the council and businesses

across the city that helps local

people find work in retail,

hospitality and catering.

After registering, Christine was

given basic customer service

training and help with an online

application form. She went

through a food hygiene course

and is now happily employed in

the new Waitrose store in Eldon

Square.

The organisation can also help

with a range of other skills you

And if you’ve been in town on a Saturday

afternoon and have heard music coming

from the Civic Centre, you might want to

know it’s coming from the Edith Adamson

Memorial Carillon. This was given to the city

by James Wilfred Adamson in June 1967 in

memory of his late wife Edith and for his

appreciation of the city.

finds a future

in retail

Christine Maylia of Spital Tongues was

unemployed and bored with her usual temporary

cleaning or catering work.

might need to work in a shop.

Mainly working on the checkout

but also helping in other areas on

the shop floor, Christine now has

the chance of a real career. She

said; “it was great, I was given

great advice and training which

really helped when it came to the

interviews for Waitrose. I work

15 hours a week which suits me

and I love it!”

Anyone interested in a career

in retail, hospitality or

catering can contact Shop for

Jobs on 0191 261 7205 or pop

in to the office at 45 Eldon

Gardens.

Remember, remember

the third of November

Two brand new customer service centres are opening their doors to the

public in November.

A customer service officer advises a local resident

On 3 November, at 8.30am the new East End

Customer Service Centre will open for business. This

will be followed two weeks later by the West End

Customer Service Centre and Library, which opens at

8.30am on 17 November.

These new centres are the final two in a citywide

network of six customer service centres developed to

provide you with a range of services and information

‘under one roof’. The centres ensure that the majority

of Newcastle residents are within 1.5 miles of at least

one customer service centre.

Introducing the West End

Customer Service Centre and

Library

People across Elswick, Benwell and Scotswood will

soon get a unique, modern centre where they can

access a vast range of council library and housing

services.

Our younger customers enjoy the children’s

library books

We have involved local people in its development

with an active and enthusiastic community focus

group helping us make decisions about use of the

centre, including promotion of its services and

accessibility issues.

At the customer service centres you can get help

with over 90 different council and Your Homes

Newcastle (YHN) services. You can also choose from

thousands of brand new books in the library.

There are also facilities for people who are deaf or

hard of hearing. And, for customers whose first

language isn’t English, there’s access to a telephone

interpreting service to help us sort out problems they

may have with the council, and to give advice about

council services.

Your Homes Newcastle makes the move

The new centre will be home to Benwell and Scotswood

Community Housing Service, which will provide YHN

services. The existing housing offices on Armstrong

Road and Adelaide Terrace will close in November and

relocate into the new centre on Condercum Road.

Customers at one of our existing centres

The new East End Customer

Service Centre

This new centre replaces the temporary customer

service centre on Shields Road.

It has been designed in consultation with local

residents and will include:

• a more spacious waiting and seating area

• more computers for you to use with free internet

access

• more cashiering positions and, for the first time,

PayPoint, so that you can top up your mobile phone

and pay any bills which show the PayPoint logo

• more private interview rooms

• a community meeting room

• a range of information and leaflet displays, and

community noticeboards where you can advertise

your event or group.

For more details about the centres visit our

website at www.newcastle.gov.uk/customers

Digital TV - a new way

to get services and

information

Our digital TV site contains information on

local services and organisations in

Newcastle. The site is interactive and you

can report issues and make comments as

well as finding information.

Our digital TV site is available if you:

• subscribe to Sky and Virgin TV (ntl: Telewest); or

• have a mobile phone that can connect to the

internet (mobile network charges may apply)

You will find the following categories of information

on the site.

• Contact us

• Advice and information

• Services

• Your area

• Report it – an interactive form to let you report

issues to us

• Job shop

You can access the site as follows

Sky Active

• Press the Interactive button on your remote

• Select Sky Active from the menu

• Select Services

• Select Looking Local

Virgin TV (UK2) (ntl:Telewest)

• Press the Interactive button on your remote

• Select News and Info

• Select Looking Local

Freeview (with modem or broadband)

• www.digitv.gov.uk/digitv/cds/LookingLocal/

Netgem/home

3 Mobile handset

• Services

• Websites

• Look up Stuff

• Looking Local

GPRS WAP phone

• www.digitv.gov.uk/digitv/cds/lookinglocal/

mobile/home

We hope to develop the site further; this may

include discussion forums and a prescription

ordering service. Please let us know if you have any

suggestions for new services that you would like to

see on the site. Contact Julie Scotland on

0191 211 6621 or Gill Smith on 0191 211 6574.

10 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 11


You say,

we care

Staff in our Adults Services

directorate really care. They

care for people who need

extra support and they also

care about what they think

about the services offered.

Earlier this year we carried out three

surveys. These were to find out what

people who use three particular areas

of our services think about the support

they get.

The three surveys were sent to:

• people with a physical or sensory

disability who have had equipment

fitted or a minor adaptation made

to their home;

• people aged over 65 who receive

care at home; and

• people who care for someone aged

over 65 who lives at home.

Your feedback helped shape new

proposals that we think will really

improve the services we provide.

Home equipment and minor

adaptations survey

The results

94% were satisfied with the overall

service.

95% said their quality of life had

improved after getting the equipment

or adaptation.

You said

Can we make some of the equipment

like stair rails more attractive?

What we’re going to do

We’re going to offer people a choice

between white and grey metal brackets

for stair rails.

You also said

You’re pleased that 99% of small

pieces of equipment are delivered

within seven working days. Could small

adaptations be done quicker?

What we’re going to do

We’re aiming for most small

adaptations, such as handrails, to be

provided within seven working days.

Older home care users survey

The results

93% were satisfied with the help they

received.

You said

We want healthy eating advice.

What we’re going to do

We’re going to carry out nutritional

screening on everyone referred to the

care at home service. Anyone who is

found to be undernourished will be

given advice and regular check-ups.

Our care staff are also getting training

from a dietician.

You also said

You weren’t sure how to make a

complaint about our services (20%

said this).

What we’re going to do.

We’ve already sent all new service

users a leaflet explaining how they can

complain. People who already use our

services are being given the leaflet

when they get their care plan review.

Together with local health

organisations, we’ve been asked by the

government to test new ways of

dealing with complaints.

Carers' views survey

The results

Most carers feel appreciated and think

they have the right skills to care.

43% feel they get sufficient breaks

from caring. 51% would like more time

to themselves.

What we’re going to do

Your views helped shape the new

Newcastle Carers Strategy Action Plan.

We're going to change the way we

assess carers so we can give them

better support and look particularly at

carers’ breaks. We're employing

two social workers to work specifically

with people who care for adults.

To find out about home equipment, minor adaptations, or home care,

call 0191 211 6363 (textphone: 18001 then 0191 211 6363).

Carers can call the Carers’ Centre on 0191 260 3030, or email

carerscentrenewcastle@btconnect.com

Find out more about the home care and carers surveys at

www.newcastle.gov.uk/homecare2008 and the home equipment survey

at www.newcastle.gov.uk/homeequipment2008 or call Louise Reeve

on 0191 277 7508.

Meet

Anna Foster

Christmas has rolled around

again…either the years are

getting shorter or time is

passing more quickly!

Every year I promise that on

Christmas Eve I will be sipping

Cava, gorging myself on

cranberry and brie filo parcels

and observing my impeccably

behaved but suitably excited

children! In reality I will be

wrapping presents at 3am,

dodging my insomniac hyper

offspring and trying to prepare

twenty tonnes of hated sprouts!

Christmas equals shopping

equals stress, the antidote to

which is a gossipy girly lunch

and I've found the perfect place!

(The best thing is it's in a shop

so not far to traipse with your

bags!) The Place to Eat is just

through the lighting department

in John Lewis, Eldon Square. The

interior is modern and bright but

you don’t feel like you have to be

an A-lister to be welcome, the

staff are more than happy to

feed exhausted Christmas

shoppers! I can highly

recommend the salmon and dill

pasta, perfect when followed by

a freshly made Malteser and ice

cream crepe. I am notoriously

fussy when it comes to eating

out and I had no complaints

whatsoever, which doesn't

happen very often!

Also, why not pop down to a

Christmas market... they always

smell lovely, a mixture of mulled

wine, Norway spruce and

roasting nuts. Newcastle’s

Continental and Christmas

markets are starting on 24

Competition

We have a meal for two to

give away to The Place to Eat

in John Lewis, Eldon Square.

To enter our competition just

answer the following

question:

Which one of these songs is

not a Christmas classic?

Jingle Bells Last Christmas Billie Jean

Name ...................................................................................................

Address ...............................................................................................

..............................................................................................................

Post Code ........................... Phone ....................................................

Please send your entries to Freepost Citylife by Friday 28

November. Please put all coupons and entries into one envelope.

November, selling lovely goodies

from across Europe and closer to

home. And, just before the stalls

are set out, on 20 November, the

Hairy Bikers will be switching on

the Christmas lights. I'm a carol

addict so I may see you there, I

will be the woman singing

naughty versions of the

originals... while shepherds wash

their socks by night... a classic!


Have a wonderful Christmas, I

look forward to talking to you in

the New Year!

Big sloppy

Christmas kisses,

Anna x

Cup o’ tea, Gromit?

There’s nowt like a nice cup of tea. Now you can enjoy a

cuppa and raise money for projects like St Oswald’s

Hospice with Wallace and Gromit’s Children’s Foundation.

The foundation is a national charity championing the cause of

sick children by raising funds to improve the quality of life of

children in hospitals and hospices.

Where does tea fit into this? Well on Friday 5 December you

can take part Wallace and Gromit’s Great British Tea party by

organising friends, family and colleagues to get together to

drink tea, eat cakes and donate money to the charity.

For more information on how to take part visit

www.wallaceandgromitteaparty.org.uk, call 0845 600 1924 or

email info@wallaceandgromitteaparty.org.uk.

12 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 13


Newcastle City Council annual report

was funded through the Private Finance

Initiative.

The overall capital expenditure added up to

£273 million. Investment in 2007/08 is more

than £1,000 per person and around two

times the national average.

Giving young people a voice

Timetable for the UKYP elections

29 November 2008 Information sessions for people thinking

1 December 2008 about standing to be an MYP

8 December 2008 All nominees’ manifestos are completed and

published online

12-16 January 2009 Young people vote to choose their four

MYPs for the city

23 January 2009 The results are announced at an election event

How we spent your

money

Last year, we spent £895 million on services

(revenue expenditure), and a further £188

million investing in buildings and

infrastructure (capital expenditure).

We’d like to show you where we spent that

money, and what difference this has made to

the services we provide.

Spending on services

In 2007/08 council tax was increased by less

than the rate of inflation. This was also lower

than the national average and the different

service areas we spent this money on are

shown in this chart.

Areas of significant spending included £296

million on education and children’s services;

£110 million on adult social care; and £251

million on housing services, including £121

million Housing Revenue Account (HRA).

Most of the rest of the money was spent on

council services like emptying your bins,

running libraries, and maintaining parks.

Spending on buildings and infrastructure

As well as providing services, we also spent

around £188 million investing in buildings

and infrastructure (capital expenditure).

The different areas we spent this money on

are shown below. A further £85 million of

investment, such as the new City Library,

Most of this capital expenditure was on

housing – including £74 million on the

‘Modern Homes Programme’. This

programme resulted in 7,396 improvements

being completed to council houses. An extra

£3 million has been spent fitting adaptations,

such as stair lifts or hand rails, so that

people can continue to live independently in

their own home.

We also spent money on the Eldon Square

redevelopment, the Theatre Royal, and

widening Scotswood Road. Elsewhere, we

spent money on Building Schools for the

Future, Children’s Centre schemes and

building Cheviot View, a short break centre

for disabled children (which we featured in

the last Citylife).

Where does the money come from?

Most of this money comes from government

grants and income from fees and charges

(like housing rents and charges for using

council car parks or swimming pools). This

leaves £311 million, which we raised from

government funding, business rates, and

council tax.

Find out more

This is a summary of our accounts, which

have been signed off by the Audit

Commission.

Full copies of the report are available at

www.newcastle.gov.uk/annualreport or by

phoning 0191 211 6520.

How we performed

We’re constantly working to improve our

services, particularly those services that you

say are most important to you, or where we

think we can do better.

We’re proud to say that we have maintained

very high levels of resident satisfaction over

the last year, and we remain one of the

highest scoring councils in the country.

Here are some highlights:

• This year’s GCSE results were the best

ever and are now close to the national

average. The proportion of pupils

attaining five or more GCSEs at grade A*-

C, including English and maths, went up

by 14%.

• We reduced the proportion of children not

in education, employment or training in

the city as a whole. We achieved the

biggest reductions in the most deprived

areas of the city.

• We’ve helped you have more get-up-andgo.

Now nearly half of you take part in 30

minutes activity three or more times a

week.

• Crime levels have fallen. In particular

violent crime rates have fallen by 16% in

the last year. We have been less

successful in road safety and will be

making this a priority this year.

• Streets are cleaner. We have achieved a

10% reduction in litter for each of the last

three years. And by working with

residents, we now recycle or compost

34% of all our household waste.

You can find more about how we’re

performing in our corporate plan at

www.newcastle.gov.uk. If you have a

specific question then please phone

Kay Pinchard on 0191 211 6520.

In Newcastle they have a voice and

can really make a difference through

the UK Youth Parliament (UKYP) as

four local young people are Members

of the Youth Parliament (MYPs),

making sure adult decision–makers

hear what they have to say.

“I’ve never taken a better decision,”

says 16-year-old James Bartle about

his choice to stand as an MYP. “I’ve

experienced things I would never have

imagined I would do.”

With elections due for new MYPs next

year, it’s time for Newcastle’s young

people to think about whether to

stand. Anyone aged 11-18 who lives in

Newcastle can nominate themselves.

Once elected, they will be MYPs for

two years, during which time they will

have lots of support and be involved

James in action as an MYP

Most of us want a say in what happens in our home cities

and towns and young people are no exception!

in some fascinating work.

“You don’t have to want to be a

politician or to know about national

politics,” says James. “You just need an

open mind and to be interested in

acting as a link between adult decisionmakers

and young people. One day you

might be talking to a class of 11-yearolds,

and the next to a group of

councillors. You have to think all the

time about how you will pass on what

you hear from one group to the other.”

Is the work rewarding? “Yes,” says

James. “I’m more confident and have

better people skills, and there’s a real

sense of achievement. We’re making

progress towards getting Newcastle its

first youth council – something I

promised to bring about in my

manifesto.”

James’ three colleagues told Citylife what is the best thing for

them about being an MYP.

Beth Thomas (17):

“I feel good knowing I’m helping young people

express themselves to decision-makers. I hope I’m

helping change some adults’ perceptions of young

people.”

Laura Barrett (16):

“It’s fantastic experiencing things most teenagers

never get to do. I love meeting new people and

learning new things.”

Bethany Gorman (15):

“I’ve had lots of opportunities I didn’t realise were

out there, such as taking part in a debate in the

House of Lords in London. It’s fulfilling to give

young people a voice and to pass on to them all

I’ve learned.”

Interested in getting involved?

If you think you might like to become a member of the UK Youth

Parliament for Newcastle, you must come along to find out more at one of

our information sessions, on either 29 November (11am-3pm) or 1

December (4pm-7pm).

Contact Vicky Hartley on 0191 260 6513 or

Email: haveyoursay@newcastle.gov.uk to register.

You can get more information online at

www.newcastle.gov.uk/ukyp

‘Get’cha tickets now!’

Disney’s High School Musical: The Ice Tour was a complete sell-out

last year and is making a return visit due to popular demand! This

electrifying icetravaganza will see in the New Year at the Metro

Radio Arena from 2- 4 January 2009.

Inspired by the smash hit Disney

movies ‘High School Musical’ and ‘High

School Musical 2’, this spectacular ice

show is a live fusion of songs, dances

and team-spirited fun. The show

features music from the popular High

School Musical soundtrack, including

‘We’re All in This Together,’ ‘Get’cha

Head in the Game,’ ‘Start of Something

New,’ ‘Stick to the Status Quo,’ as well

as popular songs from High School

Musical 2.

Metro Radio Arena Newcastle

2- 4 January 2009

Tickets from £11.50 - £33.50.

Box Office: 0844 493 6666

www.metroradioarena.co.uk or www.highschoolmusicaltheicetour.co.uk

For a chance to win on of 10 family tickets (including at least one

adult), tell us what is the High School basketball team known as?

cougars wildcats gophers

Name ..............................................................................................

Address ...........................................................................................

......................................................................................................

Post Code ........................... Phone ..................................................

Please send your entries to Freepost Citylife by Friday 28 November.

Please put all coupons and entries into one envelope.


14 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 15


Celebrating older people

Egyptian dancing, hip-hop, Bollywood dancing, keep fit and Nordic walking were just

some of the activities that older people tried at two special celebrations marking the

UK’s Older Person Day on 1 October.

Getting motivated at Mea House

More than 200 people over the age of 50 tried Egyptian dancing, keep fit and Nordic

walking at MEA House.

This event was organised by the Quality of Life

Partnership and Age Concern Newcastle with support

from volunteers from the Department of Work and

Pensions.

Some visitors opted for a less energetic afternoon by

looking around information stalls offering advice on

everything from energy and fuel efficiency to fire

safety and health.

An alternative therapist helped with aches and pains

while the city council’s Physical Activity Team gave

mini-health ‘MOTs’. The day ended with a dance party

and BBQ.

Michelle Mordue, active ageing development worker for

the Quality of Life Partnership, said "It was an

absolutely fantastic day. People came for an hour and

ended up staying all day."

For more information about activities at MEA House,

contact the Healthy Living Centre, Age Concern

Newcastle on 0191 235 9914. To find out more

about the New Leaf, New Life Active Ageing

Programme, which helps develop more physical

activity programmes for people over 50, contact

Michelle Mordue on 0191 255 1985 or email

michelle.mordue@qualityoflife.org.uk

Bringing generations together

At the ‘Bringing Generations Together’ event, held in The Gate, revellers both young and old

strutted their stuff at another special dance event for UK Older Person Day.

The event brought together tenants of sheltered

housing managed by Your Homes Newcastle with dance

students from the Newcastle Dance Centre. Together

they performed hip-hop, Bollywood dances, rock ‘n’ roll

and The Twist! The event was sponsored by The Gate.

Alyson Bell, from the Your Homes Newcastle’s

Community Care Alarm Service, said the event had

shown that older people are full of life: “Our

sheltered housing tenants are an important part of

their local communities, and they showed that they

want to get involved.”

“This is just the first of several events we’ll be hosting

over the next few years to promote greater respect

and understanding between different generations. So

look out for more opportunities to get involved.”

The Community Care Alarm Service (part of Your

Homes Newcastle) provides support for people to

live independently. To find out more, visit

www.yhn.org.uk or call 0191 278 8699.

everyone’s tomorrow

More dates for your diary

Staying warm this winter

Monday 12 January 2009 from 10.30am to

12.30pm. Ring 0191 233 0200 to book a place

Everyone’s tomorrow today!

Listen to the Elders Council monthly radio

show on 102.5fm

Friday 5 December 2008, 2-4pm

Friday 2 January 2009, 2-4pm

Growing older and

wiser

‘If only I had known that …’ is something

the Elders Council frequently hears older

people say as they struggle to find the right

information at the right time.

To address this, the Elders Council has launched a

programme of ‘Older and Wiser Days’.

The first was held in October when Deborah Spence

of Ward Hadaway explained the process for setting

up a Power of Attorney.

Future events will include an exhibition about ‘Keeping

Warm’ on Monday 12 January 2009. There will be

information on everything from improving your

insulation to getting the best from your gas and

electricity suppliers.

On Monday 6 April Elders Council members will talk

about why they are passionate about the arts.

To find out more about the ‘Older and Wiser’

programme or suggest a topic you’d like to know

more about, call the Elders Council on

0191 233 0200 or email:

elderscouncil@qualityoflife.org.uk

You can find lots of information on a wide range of

issues, from managing debt to keeping active at

Information NOW, Newcastle’s Older People’s Website

– www.informationnow.org.uk Our website has

just been awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the

Association of Social Care Communicator Awards.

Hairy Bikers to cook

up a Christmas storm

This year’s festive season will get off to a roaring start when

the Hairy Bikers come to town to switch on our Christmas

lights later this month.

The motorcycle mad duo, Dave Myers

and Si King, will carry out this honour

at the switch on ceremony at Grey

Street on Thursday, 20 November.

From 5pm compere Steve Walls will

lead the entertainment with a little

help from the eight-foot-tall robot

Titan from this year's panto at the

Theatre Royal. Titan will be

entertaining the crowds around Grey's

Monument and in Grainger Street from

4.30pm.

Steve will then introduce the Hairy

Bikers who will flick the all important

switch at 6.30pm

This year’s ceremony will be extra

special for Si who comes from the

North East.

He said: “Dave and I are very

honoured by the invitation from the

city council. We can hardly contain

our excitement. Christmas in ‘The

Toon’ has always been a family

pilgrimage for me. From being small

(I was once – honest!) the highlight

Christmas and

New Year special

was always staring open mouthed at

the ‘bonny lights’ as my Aunty Hilda

would say. I seem to remember

getting so over excited that I needed

to go to the loo a lot, I’m sure a

familiar scenario for lots of parents

while carrying unfeasibly large and

numerous bags around the city, ‘Not

now!’ is the cry. ‘Can you wait ‘til we

get home? I never could.

“As a dad my kids have had the same

anticipation and wonder as we walk

up Northumberland Street to see what

spectacular Christmas creation

Fenwick’s window would unveil.

Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas

without seeing the bairns faces

reflected in that window. It really is

an honour not just for Dave and I but

also for our respective families –

thanks for the opportunity.”

Dave and Si will also give the city a

starring role as the ceremony will

feature in their Christmas special

which will see the pair cook up a

selection of festive fayre.

Christmas to sparkle with

kids competition winners

Each year we ask school children across Newcastle to design a

festive light. The four winning designs are made into real lights

and will take pride of place on Grainger Street beside the rest of

the city’s festive lights.

As usual the entries were excellent

with lots of amazing designs and our

judges were given the hard task in

picking the winners of this year’s

competition.

The winners will join the stars on

stage during the switch on

celebrations and receive their prizes

which include a family ticket to see

this year’s Theatre Royal pantomime

Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean

Pirates.

Here are the winning designs.

Elf – Brittany Clelland,

Year 2, Hawthorn Primary School

Angel – Brittany Walker,

Year 4, Knoplaw Primary School

Christmas tree – Jennifer Shannon,

Year 4, Knoplaw Primary School

Rudolph – Libby Armstrong,

Year 2, Benton Park Primary School

This year’s Christmas lights will also

The impressive 20 foot Norwegian

spruce, which is a gift from the

people of Bergen, Newcastle’s twin

city, will stand outside the Civic

Centre and will be decorated in

traditional white lights.

Everyone is invited to attend this

free event which includes a

traditional carol service at the

Grand Entrance at the Civic Centre

with festive music from Norway.

For more information phone

the Lord Mayor’s Office on

0191 211 5050.

sparkle with brand new white lights

adding a festive glow across the city

centre.

Celebration tree

continues tradition

A Newcastle tradition will continue this month when the

Lord Mayor of Newcastle hosts the annual Bergen Christmas

Tree ceremony on Thursday, 27 November from 5.30pm.

16 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

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Christmas and New Year special

Christmas and New Year special

Newcastle Christmas markets

Once again, the streets around Grey’s Monument will be buzzing with

life during the weeks leading up until Christmas.

This year, the markets will be taking

advantage of the space which has

opened up with the redevelopment of

Old Eldon Square to really bring the

festive spirit into the heart of the city.

The Continental Market will start on

Monday 24 November until Saturday 6

December. Selling everything from

traditional Russian dolls to French

corduroy caps, scarves and Dutch

pancakes, the market shouldn’t be

missed for your stocking fillers or the

wonderful food and drink on offer –

especially the Bratwurst and Glühwein.

The Christmas Market takes over on

Wednesday 10 December and lasts for

five days until Sunday 14 December.

This is your opportunity to stock up on

those local Christmas goodies which

truly make the season special

including gorgeous glass, handmade

bags, local photos as well as jams,

puddings, game, stuffing, luxury sweets

and boozy Christmas cakes. The

Christmas Farmers’ Market will be a part

of this market on Friday 12 December.

But don’t worry if you miss out on both

of these markets, there’ll also be

Christmas Arts and Crafts fairs on 13

December and 20 December where local

people will be selling handcrafted goods.

Make your Christmas card choice count

Many of us buy our Christmas cards and support the charity of our

choice at the same time. But it can be a bit of a lottery as you have

to read the small print to see exactly how much the charity gets

from your good will.

Cards for Good Causes are setting up their stall in St Thomas the Martyr Church

at the Haymarket between 17 October and 18 December, Monday to Saturday,

10am to 4pm. The organisation guarantees the charities they support get at

least 79p in every pound spent on the cards they sell. To find out more, visit

www.cardsforcharity.co.uk or phone 01264 361 555.

Recycle your

Christmas

Christmas cards and tree

recycling will be available

across the city.

Residents can take their trees to

temporary collection points and are

asked to ring Envirocall to check where

their nearest point will be. Otherwise

trees can be taken to their local

Household Waste Recycling Centre –

again ring Envirocall for opening times

and nearest locations.

Plain Christmas cards can be put into

the blue recycling bin but not the

black boxes. Only plain cards can be

recycled – cards that are decorated

with glitter or musical cards cannot.

You could also recycle your cards by

dropping them into special bins in

selected shops.

Samia Smith, who plays Maria Connor

in Coronation Street, is supporting the

Woodland Trust Christmas card

recycling campaign. She said “If

everyone recycled just one card it

would help the Woodland Trust plant

15,000 trees, so remember to support

the Woodland Trust Christmas Card

Recycling Scheme and take your cards

to WH Smith, Tesco, TK Maxx or Marks

and Spencer stores to be recycled.”

Envirocall – 0191 274 4000.

Candlelit Christmas Concert Competition

AM Live is once again announcing its Christmas Candlelit Concert

Tour for 2008.

A special atmosphere infuses these concerts with the twinkling magic of

candlelight, the glorious music and the heightened intimacy between musicians and

audience. The seasonally adjusted classical music is conducted by David Haslam,

and performed by the English Philharmonic Ensemble and its chorus, The Singers.

18 December St George’s Church, Jesmond and also at Hexham Abbey on 20

December. Phone 0191 277 8003 or visit the Tourist Information Centre in the

Central Arcade. Tickets are also available from www.candlelitconcerts.com.

Candlelit Christmas

We’ve got eight pairs of tickets to give away for the

concert at St George’s Church. For a chance to win, tell

us who is conducting the music at the concert?

David Tennant David Haslam Sue Perkins

Name .............................................................................................

Address ..........................................................................................

........................................................... Postcode ............................

Please send your entry to Freepost Citylife by 24 November 08.

Please put all competitions and coupons in one envelope.


Get an arty glow

this winter

The annual NewcastleGateshead Winter

Festival returns this year with events that

are guaranteed to light up the dark nights of

December. Highlights of this free festival

include:

Enchanted Parks Gateshead’s Saltwell Park is

transformed into a magical setting for after-dark

fairy tales, through atmospheric installations, light,

sound and performance. Enchanted Parks runs from

Thursday 4 – Tuesday 14 December

Glow 08 creates a trail around the city, illuminating

some of Newcastle’s historic town walls. Using

light projections to present and join together sites

around the city, the trail aims to reveal buildings,

spaces and views often unknown to tourists and

local residents of NewcastleGateshead. Glow runs

from Thursday 11 – Monday 15 December

Glowmobiles Newcastle will be the place to be this

New Year’s Eve as the whole city is transformed and

illuminated by the magnificent Glowmobiles parade.

Returning for this year’s extravaganza, the

magically mechanical art cars will be parading

around Newcastle – some will breathe fire, some

make music and others will explode with fireworks.

The event will end in an early evening firework

spectacular at Newcastle Civic Centre.

The festival also includes some traditional favourites

including pantomimes, performances, Christmas light

switch-ons and ice-skating as well as concerts and

winter markets, making NewcastleGateshead a great

place to visit this winter.

Glow On!

Go Glow Time from Worlds Apart helps teach

children about the bedtime and morning routines

by introducing ‘time’ in a fun and simple way.

Using illuminated scenes, children put their favourite

character to ‘sleep’ and set their wake up time,

learning to stay in bed until it’s daytime. A nightlight

also reassures little ones. Priced at £19.99. Visit

www.worldsapart.com for more information.

Go Glow Time competition

For a chance to win a Go Glow Time, tell us

which character is in ‘In the Night Garden’:

Iggle Piggle

Postman Pat

Tinky Winky

Name ........................................................

Address .....................................................

................................................................

................................................................

Postcode ...................................................

Please send your entry to Freepost Citylife

by 24 November 08. Please put all

competitions and coupons in one envelope.


18 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 19


Christmas and New Year special

Christmas and New Year special

The uglies are back in town…

And this time they’ve brought their mam!

This year’s panto at the Journal Tyne

Theatre will be pulling out all the

stops, as a much loved team return to

present Cinderella, and this year there

will be a big difference!

The award winning comedians Brendan

Healy and Maxie and Mitch, will be

delighting families once again with

Maxie and Mitch playing Sharon and

Tracey, the Ugly Sisters who everyone

loves to hate. The difference this year

Brendan will be playing their mother -

Cinderella’s gormless stepmother, making

no less than three dames in one panto!

Making a prettier picture on stage will

be Catherine McCabe as the lovely

Cinders and Stephanie Constable as

her dizzy fairy godmother, along with

Cinderella competition

Music

The Church of Ascension

Creighton Avenue, Kenton

0191 285 3605

Thurs 4 December at 7.30pm

Family Christmas Carol Concert

In aid of St Oswald’s Children’s

Hospice, featuring Newcastle Salvation

Army Band, Gosforth and District

Choir. £4 adults, £2 children

Newcastle City Hall

0191 261 2606

Sun 7 December at 3pm

26th Sargent Christmas Carol Concert

Supporting Cancer Leukemia in

Childhood (CLIC) and Sargent – Caring

for Children with Cancer. £6 (£4)

The Journal Tyne Theatre

Westgate Road

www.thejournaltynetheatre.co.uk

Sun 16 November at 2.30pm

Christmas Crooners A tribute to the

music and songs of Nat King Cole,

Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

Kevin O’Keefe as the hen pecked

Baron Hardup.

Cinderella

Journal Tyne Theatre, Westgate

Road, Newcastle upon Tyne

Friday 5 December – Saturday 3

January Tickets from £8.50.

Box office 0870 145 1200.

Group bookings 0191 274 7066

www.thejournaltynetheatre.co.uk

We've got five family tickets to Cinderella on Wednesday 10 December.

To be in with a chance to win a family ticket, which includes a meet and

greet with the cast following the show, just tell us: What are the names

of Cinderella's ugly sisters in the Journal Tyne Theatre production?

Kylie and Danni Sharon and Tracey Grimedla and Esmerelda

Name ...............................................................................................

Address ..........................................................................................

.......................................................................................................

Postcode ............................... Phone ..................................................

Please send your entries to Freepost Citylife by Friday 28 November.

Please put all coupons and entries into one envelope.


A fantastic cast of West-End singers,

backed by the superb Jazz All-Stars

Band perform over 30 well known

Christmas hits including “Chestnuts

Roasting on an Open Fire”, “Little

Drummer Boy”, “White Christmasand

many swing arrangements of Christmas

hymns including “God Rest Ye Merry

Gentlemen”, “O Come All Ye Faithful”

and “Silent Night”, along with many

of their other hits. £14 (£13)

The Sage Gateshead

0191 443 4661

www.thesagegateshead.org

A Christmas fanfare will get the Sage

Gateshead’s festive season off to a

cracking start with the switching on of

their Christmas lights on 5 December

at 6pm. Other events include

Christmas with the Rat Pack on 6 and

7 December, the Northern Sinfonia

Christmas Concert on the 13 and 14

December with Aled Jones. And no

Christmas season would be complete

without the Snowman and Northern

Sinfonia on 23 and 24 December.

For information about these and other

events contact the box office.

Other events

Lord Mayor’s Annual

Christmas Ball

Civic Centre

Sat 6 December from 7pm

Start your festive celebrations at the

Lord Mayor’s Annual Christmas Ball.

Enjoy a wonderful evening including a

three course dinner and dancing until

1am, with the Paul James Band and

the Rat Pack Singers. Proceeds will go

towards the MediCinema which is

being constructed at the Royal Victoria

Infirmary. Tickets £45 each. For

information phone 0191 211 5050 or

email lord.mayor@newcastle.gov.uk.

Carol singing for Henshaws

Society for Blind People

School children from across the city

will be carol singing in Monument Mall

from 1 to 5 December at 11am and

2pm. If you can give us an hour of

your time it will be very much

appreciated. They will be helping to

raising money for Henshaws Society for

Blind People, a leading charity for all

blind and visually impaired children

and adults across Newcastle and the

North of England. Their services are

tailored to reflect local needs and they

work in partnership with other local

organisations to ensure the best

possible provision of service.

St John’s Church Hall

Grainger Street, Newcastle

0191 232 0483

johnbaptist@tiscali.co.uk

Sat 6 December from 10am to 4pm

Christmas Fayre Snap up home made

cakes, Christmas decorations, second

hand books, toys and household

goods. Have a chance of winning a

choice of fantastic prizes donated by

Newcastle businesses with our tombola

and raffle. Tea, coffee and delicious

home made cakes and pies served. Free

Wed 24 December at 6pm

Christmas Eve Blessing of the Crib

Free

Mansion House

Jesmond 0191 281 0863

mansion.house@newcastle.gov.uk

Thurs 20 November and Thurs 4

December from 11am

Festive Clarins Lunch Boutiques at

the Mansion House

Picture the scene….a cold and frosty

day… chestnuts roasting on the

Mansion House fire….you, enjoying a

glass of mulled wine and eagerly

awaiting a delicious three course

Christmas lunch! Come along and

enjoy a demonstration by world

famous beauty house Clarins and take

up the opportunity to buy some

Clarins goodies and special offers

before the Christmas rush. £30

St James’s United Reformed

Church

Northumberland Road

0191 284 0544

Sat 29 November from 11am

German Christmas Market

Includes carol singing. Free

All Saints Church

Gosforth 0191 213 0450

Sun 14 December at 7pm

Handel’s Messiah

All Saints Church Chamber Choir and

Orchestra

Conducted by Len Young

Tickets are also available from JG

Windows and Newcastle Tourist

Information Centre.

£8.50 (£7.50)

Denton Burn Methodist Church

West Road 0191 241 1074

Sat 22 November at 10am

Christmas Coffee Morning

Cakes, stalls, raffle, books and gifts.

Theatre

Northern Stage

Barras Bridge 0191 230 5151

www.northernstage.co.uk

Fri 21 November to Sat 10 January

(see website for times)

The Goblin who Saved Christmas

Meet Max. He's a goblin shaped

decoration who is always hung out of

sight at the back of the Christmas

tree. Margaret is the fairy who sits on

top of the tree. For as long as anyone

can remember she has been running

Christmas with military precision. On

Christmas Eve she’s ready for

Christmas Day... but this year, nothing

happens. £7.50 (£5.50)

People’s Theatre

Stephenson Road

0191 265 5020 www.ptag.org.uk

Sat 13 to Sun 21 December at 7.30pm

and 2pm (Sat 13, Sun 14, Sat 20 and

Sun 21 December) No show on Mon

15 December Aladdin By Phil Meeks

£10 (£8) Family ticket £30.50

Theatre Royal

08448 112 121

www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Tues 2 December to Sat 17 January

(see website or call for ticket prices

and times). Ride the waves with

Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean

Pirates

Christmas and New Year opening times

We have produced this ‘at a glance’ timetable giving the opening times of customer service

centres, libraries and important services over the holiday period.

For details of times for other venues, like sports centres or swimming pools, see information at your local site.

You can call 0300 1000 101 to

report:

• Rubbish or litter

• Abandoned vehicles

• Dog fouling

• Noise nuisance

• Smoking in enclosed public spaces

• Street lighting

• Sale of alcohol to the under-aged

and substance misuse

• Vandalism, graffiti and other

deliberate damage to public

property

Customer Service Centres Contact Centre Envirocall

Tues 23 December Normal service: Normal service: Normal service:

8.30am – 4.30pm 8am – 6pm 8am – 8pm

Wed 24 December 8.30am – 3pm 8am – 3pm 8am – 3pm

Christmas day Closed Closed Closed

Boxing day Closed Closed Closed

Sat 27 December Closed Closed

Sun 28 December Closed Closed

Mon 29 December Normal service: Normal service: Normal service:

8.30am – 4.30pm 8am – 6pm 8am – 8pm

Tues 30 December Normal service: Normal service: Normal service:

8.30am – 4.30pm 8am – 6pm 8am – 8pm

Wed 31 December 8.30am – 3pm 8am – 3pm 8am – 3pm

New Year’s day Closed Closed Closed

Fri 2 January Back to normal service: Back to normal service: Back to normal service:

8.30am – 4.30pm 8am – 6pm 8am – 8pm

Don’t forget,

Neighbourhood

Helpline!

In April we launched Neighbourhood Helpline – 0300 1000

101 – where you can report a range of problems 24 hours a

day, seven days-a-week all year round – including Christmas

and New Year!

In an emergency you can call:

Although the services who deal with

the above are not available on bank

holidays, you can still report problems

using Neighbourhood Helpline and

they’ll be dealt with when we re-open.

When you call you’ll be told when you

can expect a response, and you’ll be

given a reference code so you can

track the progress.

Anyone who has a non-emergency for the police should dial 03456 043 043.

Police, fire, ambulance or coastguard 999

Council out of hours call 0191 232 8520

Emergency repairs to YHN properties 0845 113 8888

Multi-storey car parks

All multi-storey car parks close at 7pm

on Christmas Eve and open again at

7am 27 December. They close again

7pm on New Year’s Eve opening again

on 2 January. One exception is the

Grainger Town car park, which closes

at 7pm on Christmas Eve, opening

again at 7am on Boxing Day.

Library services

opening times

Community libraries and

mobile library service

Blakelaw, Cruddas Park, Denton

Burn, Dinnington, Fawdon, High

Heaton, Moorside, Newbiggin

Hall, Newburn, Walker.

All of these libraries, apart from

Dinnington, will close at their

normal time on Tuesday 23

December and will re-open at

their normal times on Friday 2

January 2009. Dinnington will

close at 1pm on Christmas Eve

and will re-open as normal on

Friday 2 January 2009.

Larger libraries and

temporary city centre

library services

Benwell, East End, Fenham,

Gosforth, Jesmond, Kenton, Outer

West. Temporary services in the

Civic Centre and Market St Tourist

Information Centre and including

the library enquiry line –

0845 002 0336.

These libraries and enquiry line will

close at 3pm on Christmas Eve and

will re-open at their normal times

from Saturday 27 December. On New

Year’s Eve they close at 3pm and

will re-open on their normal times

on Friday 2 January 2009.

Have a Traidcraft Christmas

Traidcraft is a North East based company that continues to play a

major role in promoting Fairtrade.

For nearly 30 years, the company has done this locally, nationally and

internationally. The new catalogue has a vast range of Fairtrade Christmas gifts

and beautiful objects for decorating your home. Find out more by visiting

www.traidcraftshop.co.uk or calling 0845 330 8900 for a catalogue.

We have a Traidcraft Italian gift set to

give one lucky Citylife reader.

For a chance to win, tell us:

How long has Traidcraft being supporting

fair trade?

Five years 30 years 164 years

Name ...............................................................................................

Address ..........................................................................................

.......................................................................................................

Postcode ............................... Phone ..................................................

Please put all coupons and entries in one envelope.

Send to Freepost Citylife by 28 November 2008.


20 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 21


Staff in community housing offices are on hand to help

New community housing

office for Benwell and

Scotswood

Your Homes Newcastle opens a brand new community housing

office this month for council tenants in Benwell and Scotswood.

From 17 November the new Benwell and Scotswood Community

Housing Office will be in the West End Customer Service Centre

on Condercum Road.

This is the last stage in a two-year

programme of new office openings, mergers

and refurbishments, after Your Homes

Newcastle asked customers what they’d like.

Customers said they’d like to see staff

spending more time out on estates and on

visits. They also asked for longer opening

times.

Improved community housing offices

provide services where customers need

them

The programme has now provided improved

offices and services to customers across the

city, as well as the new offices at Westgate,

Throckley and Benwell and Scotswood.

Opening hours have been extended so all

main housing offices now open 8.30am -

4.30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and

Friday and 8.30am – 3pm on Wednesdays.

This has been achieved at the same time as

keeping offices within a mile of almost all

customers’ homes. The changes mean staff

spend much more time out and about,

responding to customers’ needs.

Stop press! At the time of

writing, the Community Housing

Office improvement programme

has been shortlisted for a

prestigious UK Housing Award for

Delivering Customer Driven

Services! This is one of three UK

Housing Awards for which Your

Homes Newcastle is shortlisted.

Your Homes

Newcastle gives

more support on

rent payments

We’re all finding it harder to make

our money stretch at the minute. So

it’s vital to pay the things that really

matter first.

Your rent is right at the top of the list, to give

you the peace of mind that your home is

safe and secure. And for council tenants,

Your Homes Newcastle offers several ways

to help.

Our Advice and Support service can make

sure you’re getting the benefits you’re

entitled to and help you claim any new ones.

You can contact them by phoning

0191 278 8621.

There are lots of choices about how to pay

your rent:

• You can use Direct Debit or Standing

Order through a bank account. These both

mean you have the security of knowing

your rent gets paid automatically.

• You can pay by swipecard at any post

office or PayPoint. You’ll find PayPoints in

many local shops.

• You can pay by phone, using your debit

or credit card – just ring Your Homes

Newcastle on 0191 278 7749.

• You can pay in person at customer

service centres, the Gosforth Community

Housing Office and the Walker Centre.

• You can even pay online, by logging on

to www.yhn.org.uk

Customers with a clear rent account are

automatically entered into a free prize draw

for £250 every quarter. And if you pay by

Direct Debit and have a clear rent account,

you’ll be entered in a second draw for the

extra chance to win £50 every month.

If you’re finding it hard to pay your rent,

don’t just ignore it – contact your local

community housing office and talk to us.

We’ll help you work through the best way for

you to keep your rent account up-to-date.

Don’t forget, your rent pays for all the

services Your Homes Newcastle provides.

So the more people keep their rent up-todate,

the better services we can give you.

Holistic health for

Chinese community

Taking a holistic approach has turned a simple idea into

a successful, large-scale project that helps keep

Newcastle’s Chinese community in good health.

“Ten years ago, we started a

health club, with talks about

health and care topics,” says

honorary chair Sow Fong Cole.

“Now, as we celebrate our tenth

anniversary, the Newcastle

Chinese Healthy Living Centre is

a big project, based in

Chinatown, which focuses on all

aspects of healthy living.”

The charity provides a whole

range of services, including

swimming and other fitness

sessions, talks on traditional

Chinese medicine, lessons on

English health terms, healthy

cooking, arts, t’ai chi, dance and

singing sessions, and workshops

on mental health, diabetes and

heart health. The centre has also

compiled a book on dementia

care for the Chinese community.

“Mental health is a priority for us,”

says Sow Fong. “Two years ago

we held a conference on the

issue, attended by over 200

people. As a result of the concerns

they raised, we have worked with

the Primary Care Trust to organise

monthly talks, and the health

service says more Chinese people

now come forward for help.”

Michelle Thompson HPV co-ordinator for Newcastle PCT with Wallbottle campus

pupil Victoria Baird and her mother Lesley Baird discussing the vaccine

Vaccination programme to arm

girls against cervical cancer

All girls aged 12 to 13 will be offered a vaccine to protect

them against cervical cancer.

The vaccinations are being given as

part of the national immunisation

programme against cervical cancer

which started at the beginning of

September.

Cervical cancer is caused by a virus

called the human papilloma virus (HPV).

There are around 100 different strains of

HPV but only a few are directly linked to

cervical cancer. The new vaccine, called

Cervarix, will offer protection against

the two strains of HPV that cause 70%

of all cervical cancers.

Around 3000 women are diagnosed

with cervical cancer every year.

Tyne and Wear Passenger

Transport Authority

Code of Conduct for Members - Complaints process

Changes to the complaints

procedure

From 8 May 2008, the responsibility

for considering complaints that a

councillor may have breached the

Code of Conduct for Members has

moved to the standards committees of

local authorities (including passenger

transport authorities). Previously, such

complaints had to be made to the

Standards Board for England.

What this means to you

If you want to complain about the

conduct of a member of Tyne and

Wear Passenger Transport Authority,

you must submit your complaint to:

The Standards and Audit Committee

Tyne and Wear Passenger

Transport Authority,

It is estimated that the HPV

vaccination will save the lives of

around 400 women each year.

Newcastle Primary Care Trust’s school

health nurses will visit schools across

the city to give the vaccine which

will be in three separate doses over a

six month period.

For more information on the

vaccination programme please visit:

www.immunisation.nhs.uk/HPV

This article is paid for Newcastle Primary Care Trust www.newcastle-pct.nhs.uk

c/o Mrs V A Dodds,

Monitoring Officer,

Civic Centre,

Newcastle upon Tyne,

NE99 2BN

Any complaint should be made using

an appropriate complaint form which

can be requested from the PTA’s

Monitoring Officer or Newcastle City

Council’s Head of Democratic Services

at the above address.

The committee can only deal with

complaints about the behaviour of a

member. It will not deal with

complaints about things that are not

covered by the Members’ Code of

Conduct. If you make a complaint to

the committee it must be about why

you think a member has not followed

the Code of Conduct.

22 This page is paid for by Your Homes Newcastle

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 23


Don’t stay

silent, speak out

You’d be pretty angry if someone stole money

from you, wouldn’t you? But that’s exactly what

people who commit benefit fraud are doing.

That’s because the money you

pay in council tax ends up

paying for their luxuries, rather

than vital council services. We

estimate that people who claim

these benefits when they

shouldn’t are costing the people

of Newcastle up to £1million

every year.

We are working hard to stop

housing and council tax benefit

fraud. We have a dedicated

team which has a range of farreaching

powers - including

surveillance of suspected

fraudsters and authority to

check customer employee

details, investments, savings,

bank accounts and utility bills -

to help them uncover and

investigate benefit fraud.

Last year the team received

1,882 allegations of benefit

fraud, of which 287 originated

from calls from concerned

members of public. We want

you to continue to contact us

with information.

Last year we successfully

prosecuted 67 people for a

range of benefit offences and

offered sanctions to a further 84

people as an alternative to

going to court. This year to date

we have prosecuted a further 22

people and sanctioned 47.

If the case is serious and goes

to court penalties can be high.

Tyneside grandmother Dawn

Shackleton conned the taxpayer

out of £40,000 after stealing the

identity of her sister who went

to live in Kenya. She was jailed

for two years recently following

a lengthy joint investigation by

fraud investigators from the

council and the Department for

Work and Pensions.

Another Tyneside resident,

Debbie Crozier dishonesty

claimed over £10,000 in housing

and council tax benefit. She

had deliberately failed to

declare that she had received an

inheritance of over £34,000 and

was fined £750.

Lynne Hubbick, Principal Benefit

Fraud Officer said ‘these are just

two examples of fraud we have

uncovered in recent months and

we have a further 42 cases

going through the courts. By

prosecuting offenders we are

sending out a strong message

that we take benefit theft

seriously and are determined to

punish people who steal money

from our citizens’.

Call the benefit fraud hotline on 0191 211 6830 or

email benefit.fraud.team@newcastle.gov.uk

1 December is World

AIDS Day

March with us on Saturday 6 December from just below

Grey’s Monument to The Sage, Gateshead.

There will be a short celebration event at the Sage to demonstrate

Tyneside’s rejection of the stigma and discrimination suffered by

over 40 million people worldwide whose lives have been affected by

HIV / AIDS.

The march starts at 11.45am and the event will close at around

2.30pm. For more information about how you can get involved,

phone 0191 233 1333.

This event is supported by Newcastle, North Tyneside,

Northumberland, South Tyneside and Gateshead Primary Care Trusts

(PCTs) in conjunction with Pasanté Healthcare, MESMAC NorthEast,

Body Positive NorthEast, Lifeline and SHINE.

GP practices are now open longer

The majority of GP practices in Newcastle are now extending their

opening hours in an effort to give patients more flexibility of when they

can have an appointment.

GP practices in the city are contracted by

Newcastle Primary Care Trust to provide

primary care medical services to local

people and must open between the core

hours of 8am and 6.30pm.

Now the majority of GP practices are opening

longer hours – with some holding early

morning sessions starting at 7am and evening

sessions up to 8pm at night. Some practices

are also opening on a Saturday morning.

Chris Reed, chief executive of Newcastle

PCT, said: “When we are talking to the

public about what changes they would like

to see to improve health services, a very

clear message is that they would like more

choice over when they can visit their

practice. By opening earlier in the morning,

later at night or at weekends, patients

have more flexibility of when they can visit

their GP.

Make sure you get

your flu jab

Residents who are most at risk of

developing serious complications

from flu are being urged to take

advantage of a free jab as the winter

months approach.

Newcastle Primary Care Trust’s medical

director Dr Mike Guy said: “Common colds

are frequently confused with flu, but flu can

be potentially life-threatening, and will

generally require weeks of recovery time.

Those at greater risk of developing serious

complications from flu should get

themselves down to their local surgery as

soon as possible to protect themselves from

the virus in the months to come”

The best way to avoid catching flu is to get

immunised. To help avoid infection to

yourself and others use tissues, cover your

cough and sneeze with a tissue, dispose of it

after one use, and wash your hands.

Talk to your local GP, nurse or pharmacist to

find out more or visit www.nhs.uk/flu

New sexual

health centre for

Newcastle to be

open early 2009

Newcastle Primary Care Trust

(PCT) has announced that it has

found a city centre site for a

new multi-million pound sexual

health centre in Newcastle.

Work has already started to convert

premises at New Croft House, Market

Street, near the Laing Art Gallery and

it is planned that the new centre – to

be a one stop shop for sexual health

services - will be up and running by

early 2009.

The centre will be the new base for

two services currently located on the

site of Newcastle General Hospital -

the genito urinary medicine (GUM)

clinic and the contraception and

sexual health service at the

Graingerville clinic. The new service

will also include the regional

chlamydia screening office currently

based at Walker, Newcastle.

24 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 This page is paid for by Newcastle Primary Care Trust www.newcastle-pct.nhs.uk 25


Adult Services

transforming

lives

We want everyone in Newcastle to enjoy a long

and good quality life.

Bridging NewcastleGateshead (BNG) is working to create great

places to live in parts of Newcastle and Gateshead.

Want to know more? Visit www.bridgingng.org.uk,

email info@bridgingng.org.uk or call 0191 277 2666.

You may remember in the last edition of Citylife we told

you about one of the seven outcomes our adult services

must work hard to achieve. These outcomes are set by

the Department of Health. Here we talk about the next

two and how these actions are making a real difference

to people’s lives.

Outcome 2: Improved

quality of life.

We want residents to achieve,

improve and maintain

independence. We look at the

needs of our communities and

develop ways to respond.

Jonathon’s grand tour

Sometimes it’s the little things

that make the biggest difference

to people.

For Jonathon Nesbitt it is getting

around by himself.

Jonathon (26) from Walker has

been registered blind since

childhood. He wanted to get out

more, but relied on friends or

family to show him where new

places were. Otherwise, he’d

find himself forking out for taxis.

Two year’s ago, Jonathon

contacted our Sensory Support

Team. Darren Lindsay, a

rehabilitation worker, showed

Jonathon how to use a cane

properly, how to cross roads

safely and identify landmarks to

locate his position. Jonathan

then found himself on a series

of walking tours around

Newcastle with Darren.

“Darren showed me how to get

around the city centre, told me

where different places are and

took me on the buses. Now I

have a better idea of how to get

around and I’m much more

independent,” Jonathon said.

The Sensory Support Team

helped Jonathon learn to cook

and put him in touch with

SkillStep, run by Henshaw’s

Blind Society at MEA House,

where he learned work skills.

He followed this up with a threemonth

RNIB residential course

in Scotland.

“Darren came up with me on the

train to Scotland the first time,

so I would know how to change

trains and find my seat. That

gave me the confidence to use

the trains by myself,” Jonathon

said.

Now Jonathon is studying

Business and IT at Newcastle

College and hopes to go to

university.

“The Sensory Support team

opened new doors for me by

helping me to be more

independent and confident. I

don’t want people to do things

for me, I want people to show

me how I can do things for

myself, and that’s exactly what

they did,” Jonathon said.

To contact the Sensory Support

team, phone 0191 277 8245 or

e-mail adultservicescomms@

newcastle.gov.uk

Outcome 3: Making a

positive contribution

To help people with particular

needs to become more

confident and get involved in

activities and in their

communities.

The Newcastle User and

Carer Forum

When we wanted to improve our

drug and alcohol addiction

services who did we turn to?

We turned to the people who

use the service everyday.

Jonathon and Darren navigate the crowds on Northumberland Street

They formed the Newcastle User

and Carer Forum. It’s made up of

people who are kicking the

habit, ex-users and people who

care for drug and alcohol users

or their children.

They meet every two weeks and

their work has already made a

huge difference.

The forum identified that there

was a real need to give support

to people with Hepatitis C. They

even came up with a name, The

North C Hepatitis Group.

They also have a project called

Trading Places - a nationally

recognised service-user-led

drop-in, which happens on a

Sunday morning between 10am

and 1pm. It’s an out of hours

service which caters for

homeless and vulnerable people

within Newcastle.

More support for women was

another important issue raised

by the forum. Now a group

called What Women Want

reaches out to women with

addiction issues, many of whom

find it difficult to get support

because of family

commitments.

Members are getting hands-on

as well. They go along to regular

prescribing services – where

people go to pick up medication

or detox – and are given advice

on the support and activities

available in Newcastle. Back in

July, members of the forum also

walked up Ben Nevis, raising

£1,000 for the forum and for

carers – an achievement they

were hugely proud of.

Terry Croft, User Involvement

Officer, describes the forum’s

work as invaluable: “People are

saying how services should be

run and being listened too. The

ideas they have come with are

very cost effective – most of the

groups cost just a few hundred

quid to run – but the difference

they make is invaluable.”

To contact the Newcastle User

and Carer Forum phone

0191 281 7778 or email

nucf@btinternet.com

Last year’s Pride, Passion, Potential award winners

Recognising residents

Residents in Benwell and Walker are set to be recognised for

their achievements within their communities with the

announcement of two awards schemes.

The Benwell Community Awards and Walker Riverside’s Pride, Passion,

Potential Awards will give local residents the chance to nominate their

friends and neighbours who have made a difference in their

community. For more information, contact Kirsty Sell in Benwell on 0191

277 1470 or the Walker Riverside Information Centre on 0191 275 9207.

What’s happening in

the East End?

Over 250 people, including local school children, residents,

council workers, Places for People, Bridging

NewcastleGateshead, Your Homes Newcastle, Groundwork,

East End Alliance and other partners, took park in the ‘Week of

Action’ and worked alongside a grounds maintenance

workforce, to improve Walker’s Riverside Park.

The volunteers carried out an

enormous amount of work,

completing almost a year’s worth

of tasks in one week! Steve

Williams, local resident said:

“Specific areas were concentrated

on each day to have maximum

impact and I must say that at the

end of each day the visual effect

of the work that had been carried

Taking part in the Walker Riverside ‘Week of Action’

out was stunning, a testimony to

the effort everyone had put in.

“Personally I would like to thank

everyone for a fantastic week. I

think that this is a great

opportunity to use this week as a

platform for better things for the

park. It would be great if this

work could be continued and not

let this week be a one off.”

New homes at New Mills

What’s happening in

the West End?

Nine refurbished homes in New Mills have been

snapped up by buyers within weeks of going

on sale.

The houses, converted from unpopular flats, offer three goodsize

bedrooms, a large living area and a private garden. All of

the properties have benefited from extensive improvements

both internally and externally.

Once completed, the homes attracted a lot of interest due to

their affordable price, high quality work and good location

close to the city centre. As a result, all nine houses were sold

within seven weeks of being put up for sale.

The work has been funded by BNG, Your Homes Newcastle

and Single Housing Investment Programme funding.

Consultation was carried out with local residents prior to the

work taking place.

Local businesses and organisations have raised an amazing

£320,000 to give Farndale Park in Benwell a face lift. Work on

redeveloping the popular park will begin shortly. An exciting

transformation is promised and will turn Farndale Park into a

safe, fun and challenging play area for all ages. There will be a

net pyramid; all-access swings; a roundabout; climbing frame

and picnic tables; and benches. It is hoped the park will be

ready by the end of the year. The project was only made

possible because of the hard work and fundraising of all the

community - residents and organisations.

26 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 This page was paid for by Bridging NewcastleGateshead 27


Council Diary November 2008 - January 2009

All the meetings listed

below are open to the

public. Times were correct

at time of going to press.

To confirm the meeting

time and venue please

phone the contact officer.

8 December 2008 at 8.30 am

Audit Committee

Phone Jo Miller on

0191 211 5119

3 December 2008 at 6pm

14 January 2009

at 6pm

City Council

Phone Linda Couch on

0191 211 5121

28 January 2009 at 11.30am

Conservation

Advisory Committee

Phone Linda Couch on

0191 211 5121

4 November 2008 at 4pm

6 January 2009 at 4pm

Constitutional

Committee

Phone Bernard Dale on

0191 211 5121

27 November 2008 at 5pm

Corporate Parent

Advisory Committee

Phone Victoria Demchenko on

0191 211 5184

14 November 2008 at 9.30am

5 December 2008 at 9.30am

Late December 2008 at 9.30am,

date to be confirmed

16 January 2009 at 9.30am

Development Control

Committee

Phone David Long on

0191 211 5129

11 November 2008 at 4pm

17 December 2008 at 4pm

14 January 2009 at 4pm

Executive

Phone Bernard Dale on

0191 211 5121

10 November 2008 at 4pm

12 January 2009 at 4pm

Neighbourhood

Committee

Phone Elaine Campbell on

0191 211 5183

10 November 2008 at 9.30am

Newcastle Great Park

Advisory Committee

Phone Susan Armstrong on

0191 211 5122

27 November 2008 at 3pm

Planning and Transport

Strategy Committee

Phone Judith Curran on

0191 211 5119

17 November 2008 at 4.30pm

19 January 2009 at 4.30pm

Procurement Committee

Phone Ian Stearman on

0191 211 5166

Date to be confirmed

Shared Housing

Working Group

Phone Steve Laws on

0191 211 5118

19 December 2008 at 4pm

Standards Committee

Phone Elaine Campbell on

0191 211 5183

Scrutiny Panels

Scrutiny Panels are under

review. Details of the next

three weeks’ meetings are

available in the customer

service centre at the Civic

Centre

Ward Committees

If no venue is given, please

ring the number listed.

25 November 2008 at 2pm

Benwell and Scotswood

Ward Committee

Phone Amy Redpath on

0191 278 3128

27 November 2008 at 7pm

Blakelaw Ward Committee

Phone Helen Warneford on

0191 211 6286

18 November 2008 at 6.30pm

Byker Ward Committee

Phone Carolyn Collinson on

0191 278 3129

27 November 2008 at 6.30pm

in Hazlerigg

Castle Ward Committee

Phone Sue Wannop on

0191 211 6263

10 November 2008

Dene Ward Committee

Phone Amanda Quinn on

0191 278 3196

20 November 2008 at 6pm

15 January 2009 at 6pm

Denton Ward Committee

Phone Dorothy Proctor on

0191 211 6264

10 November 2008,

time to be confirmed

12 January 2009, time to be

confirmed

East Gosforth Ward Committee

Phone Ann Gilks on

0191 211 6296

10 November 2008 at 10am at

Dolphin Street Community Centre

Elswick Ward Committee

Phone Susan Johnson on

0191 278 3196

25 November 2008 at 2pm

in ward

Fawdon Ward Committee

Phone Rob Gillie on

0191 211 6265

Fenham Ward Committee

Phone Charlotte O’Keefe on

0191 211 6210

19 November 2008 at 2pm

Kenton Ward Committee

Phone Rob Gillie on

0191 211 6265

27 November 2008 at 6pm

Lemington Ward Committee

Phone Andy Eastwood on

0191 211 6272

18 November 2008 at 6pm

Newburn Ward Committee

Phone Andy Eastwood on

0191 211 6272

4 November 2008 at 7pm

North Heaton Ward Committee

Phone Amanda Quinn on

0191 278 3196

4 November 2008 at 6.30pm

North Jesmond Ward Committee

Phone Paul McKinnell on

0191 278 3183

26 November 2008 at 6.30pm

in ward

Ouseburn Ward Committee

Phone Elizabeth Grace on

0191 278 3193

25 November 2008 2.30pm at

St Aidan’s Community Centre,

Brunton Park

29 January 2008 at 2.30pm at

the Grange Community Centre

Parklands Ward Committee

Phone Amy Stillwell on

0191 211 6289

12 November 2008 at 7pm

14 January 2009 at 7pm

South Heaton Ward Committee

Phone Caroline Collinson on

0191 278 3196

13 January 2008 at 6.30pm

South Jesmond Ward

Committee

Phone Paul McKinnell on

0191 278 3183

Walker Ward Committee

Phone Debra Lagun on

0191 278 3180

11 November 2008 at 6.30pm

in ward

Walkergate Ward Committee

Phone Debra Lagun on

0191 278 3180

13 November 2008 at 6.30pm

8 January 2009 at 6.30pm

Westerhope Ward Committee

Phone Dorothy Procter on

0191 211 6264

24 November 2008 at 6pm

Westgate Ward Committee

Phone Cass Winlow on

0191 278 3401

19 November 2008 at 6.30pm

in ward

West Gosforth Ward Committee

Phone Ann Gilks on

0191 211 6296

18 November 2008 at 7.15pm at

Spital Tongues Community

Building, Morpeth Street

16 December 2008 at 7.15pm,

venue to be confirmed

Wingrove Ward Committee

Phone Susan Johnson on

0191 278 3136

4 November 2008 at 6.30pm

in ward

Woolsington Ward Committee

Phone Helen Warneford on

0191 211 6286

Northern Children’s Book Festival

We're inviting children from across the city to help us celebrate the magical, fantastic

and altogether awesome world of children's books.

On Saturday 22 November, the city is hosting the 25th Northern Children's Book Festival Gala Day.

There'll be 15 authors and illustrators here for you to meet and lots of free activities and events are being held at

Newcastle Civic Centre, Seven Stories, and the Literary and Philosophical Society. There will also be a festival bookshop at

the Civic Centre, where all of the authors involved will also be dropping in to sign their books.

Here are the authors and illustrators

you could get to meet:

Newcastle Civic Centre

David Almond

Times - 10.15am and 1pm

Ages - 7 and over

Steve Barlow and

Steve Skidmore

Time - 11.30am

Ages - 6 - 12

Time - 2.15pm

Ages - 6 and over

Steve Cole

Times - 11.30am and 2.15pm

Ages - 6 - 11

Julia Donaldson

Times - 10.15am and 1pm

Ages - 5 - 9

Debi Gliori

Times - 10.15am and 1pm

Ages - 7 - 9

Julia Golding

Times - 11.30am and 2.15pm

Ages - 9 - 14

Liz Million

Times - 10.15am and 1pm

Ages - 7 - 10

Korky Paul

Times - 10.15am and 1pm

Ages 5 - 11

Jeremy Strong

Times - 11.30am and 2.15pm

Ages - 7 - 11

Steve Weatherill

Times - 11.30am and 2.15pm

Ages - 3 - 7

Seven Stories

Nick Butterworth

Time - 10.30am

Ages - 4 - 8

The Literary and

Philosophical Society

Lynn Huggins-Cooper and

Nigel J Brewis

Time - 10.15am

Ages - 9 - 13

Rosalind Kerven

Time - 11.30am

Ages - 7 - 11

How to book tickets

NCBF Gala Day Tickets

If you want to go to any of the author

sessions you must book a free ticket

in advance. You can book for up to

two sessions and children under eight

must be with an adult (who will also

need a ticket).

The Northern Children's Book Festival is

organised by Newcastle City Council and

11 other North East councils and is the

biggest children's book festival in Europe.

You can find out more about the

authors and the festival by visiting

www.ncbf.org.uk, emailing

information@newcastle.gov.uk or

call 0845 002 0336 for a form.

Tickets are available now on a first-come first-served basis. Fill in the coupon

and send it, along with an envelope with a stamp and your name and address

on it, to:

NCBF Gala Day Tickets, City Centre Library Service, Exhibition Hall

Civic Centre, Newcastle NE1 8PP

Number of children ....................... Ages of children ............................

Number of accompanying adults ................ Total number of tickets ...............

Address to return tickets to .................................................................

........................................................................................................

........................................................................................................

Daytime telephone number ..................................................................

First author .......................................................................................

Session time .....................................................................................

Second author ...................................................................................

Session time .....................................................................................

Do not send your coupon to Citylife


Time for books

Free books will be handed

out to every child in

reception class in

Newcastle later this month.

It's part of the Booktime

scheme, run by the charity

Booktrust, which found that

parents are spending less time

reading with their children.

Booktime encourages parents to

read aloud with their children

so that they can enjoy learning

to read, which in turn helps

them to do better at school.

Every child will be given a

special book bag containing the

illustrated book Harry and the

Dinosaurs go to School, by Ian

Whybrow and Adrian Reynolds,

and the Booktime Book of

Fantastic First Poems, edited by

June Crebbin.

The bag will also have a leaflet

for parents and carers giving

tips on how to make the most of

storytimes with your children.

Schools will start receiving the

packs from 17 November.

Exciting reading

for little ones

As part of the National Year of

Reading we're making it easier

for nurseries, children's centres

and other early years centres to

borrow exciting books.

The Early Years Library Loan Service,

run by our library service, allows

nurseries and similar groups to borrow

collections of books through their

local libraries.

Now, thanks to a government project

called Book Ahead, which supports

schemes like our Early Years Library

Loan Service, we've got even more

exciting collections to choose from.

To find out more about this service

contact Craig Peddie on

0191 278 4201 or email

craig.peddie@newcastle.gov.uk.

28 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008

Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries

29


Schools rise to the

challenge with eighth year

of improved GCSE results

GCSE results day figures showed the number of students

achieving five or more A*-C grade passes going up by 5%

to 66%.

Information

Technology is the

future for Newcastle

schools

And overall there was also a rise in the

number of pupils achieving five passes

at grades A* - C, including and English

and maths, up over 1% to 39%.

Walbottle Campus and Walker

Technology Campus had particular

reason to celebrate as they beat the

government’s recent challenge of

getting more than 30% of pupils

achieving five or more GCSEs, including

maths and English, at grades A*-C by

2011 three years ahead of target.

Mike Booth, Head Teacher of Walbottle

Campus, said: “Our results have been

steadily improving for several years

now and meeting the government’s

challenge so quickly is an important

psychological boost for the school and

a clear demonstration of the

improvements we are making.”

St Mary’s RC School also saw

tremendous improvements in their

Andrew Smith, Dionne Pearson and Bradley Richards from All Saints College

were among the Newcastle young people celebrating better then ever A-

level results this summer

More pupils than ever make

the grade after staying on

Newcastle students once again celebrated record A-level results

this year.

Our city not only celebrated higher pass

rates and better results this year – but

can also boast more students staying

on to take A-levels than ever before.

With the figure increasing by over a

hundred to 959 the figure has doubled

since 2002 meaning more and more of

our young people are getting better

qualified so have more career

opportunities.

All Saints College in West Denton has

particular reason to celebrate, with a

record number of students starting

university this autumn. Before 2006

the school had never seen a student

go to university but four pioneering

students from that year were followed

by 16 more in 2007 and 26 this year.

Principal David Scott, said: "We have

seen a dramatic rise in the numbers of

students staying at school after 16 in

recent years. In 2002 we only had four

students in our entire sixth form and

this September this increased to 130.

This year’s A-level results-day-figures

saw our pass rate rising again to 96.5%.

These Walker Technology College students weren't the only ones jumping for

joy on GCSE results day!

results, with the number of pupils

achieving five or more GCSEs at grades

A*-C not including English and Maths

rising by 29% to 86% - the highest

figure ever seen in Newcastle!

That’s just one of the items chosen

for a time capsule at the site of

the new look City Library by

children from Sacred Heart RC

Primary.

The time capsule will give children

from hundreds of years in the

future an incredible insight into

what life was like for young people

in Newcastle in 2008, so it’s not

just a wonderful way of marking

the development of our new

library, but the preservation of an

important piece of our social

history.

The capsule also contains a pair of

‘croc’ shoes, a Newcastle United

shirt, a copy of “Harry Potter and

the Deathly Hallows” and even a

bottle of Lucozade.

There are also messages from

children in Japan, where our

construction partner, Kajima,

recently completed another very

similar library project - Nagasaki

City Library.

The capsule also contains a copy

of the Evening Chronicle, pictures

of the city – including the

quayside, Chinatown, Grey Street,

and the old City Library and they

couldn’t forget a bottle of

Newcastle Brown Ale!

There were wonderful stories of

success and achievement to be found

at every school and in every corner of

our city – congratulations to all our

schools and students!

Time capsule fit for a time

lord as new City Library

progress celebrated

There can be few things more appropriate to put in a time

capsule than a Doctor Who DVD!

The new building, opening next

summer, is being built on the site

of the former library on Princess

Square and will include new

facilities for children and young

people, displays of local heritage

treasures, a 185-seat performance

space, a crèche, a café, internet

access computers and meeting

rooms for community groups.

Hats off to our new City Library!

Children from Sacred Heart RC

Primary have celebrated the

progress on the new look library

by burying a time capsule

Pupils at Walkergate Primary leap into a bright future

New school year

brings new schools

Pupils at three schools had extra reason to be excited as they

returned for a new term in September – they went back to

brand new schools!

Walkergate Primary, Stocksfield Avenue

Primary and Walbottle Campus all

moved into state-of-the-art new

buildings as part of our £180m

Building Schools for the Future (BSF)

project – the biggest ever investment

in schools in the history of our city.

The success of this massive project is

largely thanks to the close partnership

we’ve built up with our construction

partner Aura, who are delivering and

partly funding the programme as well

as designing, building and

maintaining the schools.

Mike Booth, head teacher of Walbottle

Campus said: “I don’t think there has

ever been a more exciting time to be

part of Walbottle Campus.

“Our new facilities will provide brilliant

opportunities for students and will

help to raise achievement even further,

and Walbottle Campus can look forward

to a very exciting future indeed.”

Don Smith, head teacher of Walkergate

Primary, where new facilities include

an all-weather outdoor classroom,

said: “The word which springs

immediately to mind when you see

our new building is ‘inspirational’.

“That was what we wanted to achieve

when we first sat down with Aura, and

that’s what they have been able to

deliver for us.

“What we have now is completely

awe-inspiring for our students.”

The opening of Kenton and West

Jesmond Primary early next year will

mean the end of phase one of the

project.

When the whole programme is finished

in 2012, all of our secondary, middle

and special schools – not to mention

several primary schools - will have been

re-built or significantly re-furbished.

Walbottle Campus pupils Aimee Henderson and Fraser McGee celebrate their

state-of-the-art facilities

It's never been more important for pupils to be able to

use and understand modern computer technology.

It can help to support their

learning in all subjects and it also

enables young people to develop

skills and expertise that future

employers will look for.

That's why, as part of our Building

Schools for the Future (BSF)

programme, we're spending £25

million on new computer

equipment and services in the nine

secondary, three middle and three

special schools included in the

scheme.

We'll be installing 3,076 computers

and 1,535 laptops for students to

use, 917 interactive whiteboards

and 630 printers as well as laptops

and computers for teachers, admin

and support staff.

The 15 schools will also have new

secure and reliable servers installed

Schools for every age group, in every

corner of our city have recently been

named top class!

The independent inspectors recently

found standards at Monkchester Road

Nursery in Walker to be “exceptionally

and consistently high” in no less than

24 assessment areas, with inspectors

reporting that the school is

“outstanding” and “no matter what

their starting point, every child

receives the best care and support to

make the best possible progress.”

Newburn Manor Primary, meanwhile,

was found to be “rapidly improving”

and helping pupils make “rapid

progress”. The report found the school

to be outstanding in 11 assessment

areas and reported that children are

“extremely well cared for, are happy,

show good behaviour and outstanding

enjoyment of their lessons.”

and they'll get a share in an extra

£2.5 million to spend on their own

individual ICT requirements.

We started work on the ICT scheme

in September last year and we've

already completed the first phase

of the work at All Saints College,

Gosforth Central and Gosforth East

middle schools, Gosforth High and

Gosforth Junior High schools,

Walbottle Campus, and St Mary's

RC, Thomas Bewick, St Cuthbert's

RC, Sir Charles Parsons and

Benfield schools.

The remaining four schools in the

BSF programme are Walker

Technology College, Kenton College,

Sacred Heart RC High School and

Trinity Special School and we aim

to complete the first phase in these

schools over the next year.

Our schools are top of

the class!

In every issue of Citylife we tell you about what school

inspectors Ofsted has had to say about one of our schools –

but, in this issue it isn’t possible to stop at one!

Gosforth Junior High was also found

to be outstanding in ten areas, and is

a “good and improving school with

outstanding features”, where “the rate

of improvement is again moving at

pace and can be seen in rising

standards and higher achievement.”

Finally, praise has been heaped on

Gosforth High, described as

“outstanding”, “exceptional”, “very

successful” and “inspirational” by

inspectors who reported that “nothing

is merely ordinary and much is

exemplary”.

Overall, the school was judged to be

“generally and consistently

exceptional” in 17 of 26 assessment

areas.

30 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008 Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries

31


COMMUNITY NEWS...COMMUNITY NEWS...COMMUNITY NEWS...COMMUNITY NEWS...

Newcastle

represented at the

YMCA European

Festival

Fifteen young people represented Newcastle YMCA at the

YMCA’s European Festival in Prague in August this year.

Young people aged 13-17 years

from the YMCA’s Byker and

Walker Youth Projects and

Positive Futures joined 7,500

young people from all over the

world for the week long festival.

The group took part in a range of

activities designed to enable

young people to share their life

experiences. In the evening the

group listened to young people

from other countries talking about

their involvement with the YMCA.

The group also had the

opportunity to explore Prague.

This included a cruise on the

river Vltava, as well as trips to

Prague zoo, the castle and

cathedral. The group spent a day

at Terezin Concentration Camp.

This camp was used by the Nazis

in the Second World War to hold

Jews before they were sent to

Auschwitz. Some of the young

people had studied the

Holocaust at school and had a

particular interest in the

emotional visit.

On their return to Newcastle the

young people made a display

about their trip showing their

photographs and sharing what

they had learnt from the

experience.

For further information please

contact Sarah Warren at

Newcastle YMCA

Tel: 0191 262 4945

Kingston Park Indoor Bowling

Club is looking for new members

If you’re a keen crown green bowler rather than a carpet

bowler, find out how you can play during the winter with

Kingston Park’s Indoor Bowling Club.

Based at the Kingston Park Community Centre in Brunton Lane, the

club uses short mats and full-sized woods.

Get a feel for indoor bowling by coming along to their open day on

Saturday 15 November between 2pm and 4pm. To find out more, call

Mr McCabe on 0775 102 0918.

Caring Hands need

more digits

Set up in 1992, Caring Hands helps older and disabled

people in the East End of Newcastle stay independent

and improve their quality of life.

This includes equipment loan

across the city, a laundry collection

and delivery service for those who

can’t do it themselves, a

handyman service, shopping and

day trips and much more. They’ve

recently added counselling to their

range of services.

C2C for Bobby Robson

In our July/August edition, we told you about Dave Johnston

and Peter Harrison from Eldon Leisure who were about to do a

charity bike ride for the Bobby Robson Foundation.

Well, they cycled the coast to coast route from Whitehaven to Tynemouth

– that’s 160 miles! And they raised almost £700. Dave and Peter would

like to thank all those who sponsored them.

Parentline plus needs

volunteers

Parentline plus is a registered charity that supports parents

(including grandparents, foster carers or step-parents)

through difficult times, concerns or worries – anything from

having a new baby to issues with adult children.

The Tyne and Wear office is

based in Jesmond and the

charity needs volunteers to help

staff the phones on the helpline.

You must be a parent,

grandparent or someone who

has had a parenting role and can

talk from experience about the

As the charity relies on local

volunteers, they are always

looking for people to help with

the services they run. If you

would like to give Caring Hands

some of your time, phone

0191 261 5234 or visit

www.caringhandscharity.org.uk

emotional side of bringing up

children of any age. Full training

will be given and out-of-pocket

expenses paid.

You can find out more about

volunteering by calling the

Parentline office on

0191 281 4881.

If you need support with parenting, you can call 0808 800 2222

or visit the website at www.parentlineplus.org.uk

Correction – Care Homes Project email

In the last edition of Citylife we printed the wrong email address

for the Care Homes Project. The correct email address should

be carehomesproject@yahoo.co.uk

COMMUNITY NEWS...COMMUNITY NEWS...COMMUNITY NEWS...COMMUNITY NEWS...

Get involved!

Did you know there’re lots of ways you can get involved

with your community? And if you are recently retired or

have spare time on your hands, our community

associations want to hear from you.

If you have skills like IT, book

keeping and DIY you could

become a community volunteer

and make a real difference to the

lives of some of Newcastle’s

residents.

We are also looking for people

who have catering experience who

could help out in our cafes and

those with secretarial skills could

lend a hand in our community

centre receptions and offices.

Denton Burn Community

Association is one organisation

which could really benefit from

extra help.

Allyson Young, who is the

Administration Assistant for the

centre, knows how important

volunteers are. She said: “We

used to have a lunch club for some

of our older residents but had to

stop this service as we didn’t have

enough volunteers to help out, but

we would love to start something

like this again and by having more

volunteers, especially those who

have special skills, it would be

great for the whole community.”

They are even on the look out for

a new musical director and fresh

talent for their entertainment

group, so if you want to help

backstage or tread the boards the

community association would

like to hear from you.

Despite needing new volunteers

the community centre hosts a

range of activities including

ladies’ badminton, calligraphy, a

writers’ workshop, art group and

karate for adults and children.

There’s also a playgroup every

weekday which is fundraising to

provide a safe outdoor play area.

A parent and toddler group

meets on Monday mornings and

each Wednesday the Cowgate

and Blakelaw Children’s Centre

run a breakfast club.

If you think you could help in one of our community

associations, phone Community Services Officer Karen George

on 0191 277 2065. If you want to get involved at the Denton

Burn centre, phone Allyson on 0191 274 1232.

Bringing people and

opportunities together

Community Transport Newcastle promotes building

stronger communities by helping more people to access

opportunities. They do this through:

Minibus services

They help people to get out and

about and take part in a range of

activities, maintaining links with

their local community. They are

looking for volunteer drivers.

Training

They deliver high quality training

and provide work experience to

local people with nationally

recognised qualifications.

Furniture recycling services

They provide facilities for local

people to donate good quality

furniture which is then made

available to others. This reduces

waste and recycles the furniture

you don’t need. They can pick up

or deliver items for you.

Call them on 0800 9174 397.

Volunteering

If you are looking for something

to do with your leisure time,

would like to develop your

confidence or need work

experience, they have a

volunteer role for you. They’ll

accept whatever time you have

to offer and expenses will be

paid. To enquire about

volunteering or hiring a minibus

please contact us on 0191 265

9267 or email

julietait@communitytransport.org

Spice up your ears

You can now listen to Spice FM 24 hours a day, seven

days a week on 98.8 FM for the next five years.

The community radio station,

aimed at the local Asian and

other minority communities on

Tyneside, has been around for a

little while, broadcasting in

month-long bursts. Since

August, the multi-lingual

volunteers have taken to the

airwaves full-time, producing

programmes relevant to the

community’s tastes and interests.

The station is trying to make

sure people in the community

feel part of Newcastle’s society

Once the UK’s only film festival

dedicated to screening work from

Northern Europe, NLFF is now

expanding its remit to take in the

entire world with the spotlight on

breakthrough talent. This year the

Festival is proud to reveal that it

will be screening seven UK and

15 regional premieres in a

Competition

For a chance to win two VIP passes for NLFF 08

(giving FREE entry to all films in the

programme), tell us how long the festival been

running.

60 years six years four years

and let them know about access

to education and training. It’s all

about improving everyone’s

standard of living.

We hope that Spice FM lives up

to its Eastern promise ‘to

entertain, educate and enlighten’.

If anyone is interested in

becoming involved in Spice

FM to contact Irem at

irem@spicefm.co.uk or

Sandeep at

sand@spicefm.co.uk

Win two passes to Northern

Lights Film Festival 2008

The 6th Northern Lights Film Festival will run 30

November to 6 December 2008, based at the recently

refurbished Tyneside Cinema and other venues.

programme that includes cutting

edge drama, films focusing on

topical issues, documentary,

music film, short film, horror,

family as well as a romantic

comedy for good measure!

For more information visit

www.NLFF.co.uk

Name ...................................................................................................

Address ...............................................................................................

..............................................................................................................

....................................................... Postcode ......................................

Please send your entry to Freepost Citylife by 24 November 08.

Please put all competitions and coupons in one envelope.


32 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

Citylife: November/December 2008 Use the internet free at all Newcastle libraries 33


What’s on

Let us know

Post Freepost CITYLIFE

Fax 0191 211 4888

Email charlotte.sly@newcastle.gov.uk

Deadline for the January/March

edition is Friday 12 December.

Exhibitions

Baltic Centre for

Contemporary Art

www.balticmill.com

Mon to Sun 10am–6pm, Tue 10.30am–6pm

From Sat 13 December

Yoko Ono – Between the Sky and My Head

The exhibition, one of the largest

exhibitions of Yoko Ono’s work to date, is a

major collaborative project with Kunsthalle

Bielefeld, Germany, and will occupy two

floors of BALTIC with additional works

located outside the gallery. Free

Discovery Museum

Blandford Square 0191 232 6789

(Textphone 18001 0191 232 6789)

www.twmuseums.org.uk/discovery

Mon to Sat 10am - 5pm, Sun 2-5pm

The 1960s: Did Newcastle Really Swing?

Sex, drugs and rock and roll may be how

the 1960s are often summed up, but was

life really like that in 1960s Newcastle? A

new exhibition at Discovery Museum, ‘The

1960s: Did Newcastle Really Swing?’ sets

out to answer this question, taking in

fashion, popular culture, local industries

and the home. Free

Laing Art Gallery

New Bridge Street 0191 232 7734

(Textphone 18001 0191 232 7734)

www.twmuseums.org.uk/laing

Mon to Sat 10am – 5pm, Sun 2-5pm

Stephen Hannock: Northern City

Renaissance, Newcastle, England

This exhibition celebrates the cultural and

economic renaissance of Newcastle, since

the closure of the coal mines and ship

yards. Featuring a painting of the River

Tyne, commissioned by Sting.

Elevation - Visions and Realities in

modern architecture Painting, sculpture,

photography and video by artists including

Rachel Whiteread, Langlands and Bell, and

Paul Noble, responding to themes such as

urban living and regeneration.

Catherine Yass – High Wire A multiscreen

film and video installation by

British artist Catherine Yass. ‘High Wire’

draws on Yass’s filmed footage of high wire

artist Didier Pasquette, exploring the

relationship between the enclosed

psychological space he inhabits and the

surrounding architecture. Free

Designed and Made Gallery

Live Theatre, Broad Chare

0191 229 2398

www.designedandmade.co.uk

Wed to Sat 12.30-6pm until Sat 15 November

MadeNorth This exhibition focuses on the

design and manufacture of new, innovative

products that have been inspired by the

cultural similarities and differences of

Scandinavia to North East England. Free

Outer West Community

Building

West Denton 0191 243 2081

Mon 24 November to Sat 6 December

Walbottle Arts Group

Exhibition of paintings by members of

Walbottle Arts Group. Many of the

paintings will be for sale, perhaps making

an original Christmas present. Free.

Music

Newcastle Academy

Westgate Road 08444 77 2000

www.newcastle-academy.co.uk

Fri 14 November at 6.30pm

The Black Keys £17.50

Thurs 20 November at 7pm

The Feeling £22.50

Mon 1 December at

Sheffield Steel Tour With The Human

League, ABC and Heaven 17 £29.50

Tues 16 December at 7pm

Amy MacDonald £16

The Sage Gateshead

0191 443 4661

www.thesagegateshead.org

Bandwidth The Sage Gateshead plays host

to an exciting and innovative monthly new

music night ‘Bandwidth’. On Friday 28

November check out Frightened Rabbit,

currently one of the most exciting

prospects in Scottish music!

Friday 19 December sees The Mercury Men,

another chance to catch the acoustic

super group following their support slot

with Sinéad O’Connor during SummerTyne

2008. £7

The Venue

Market Street 0191 232 1111

www.venuenewcastle.co.uk

Sun 23 November at 8pm

The Gathering 30 years on from ’Run for

Home’, Lindisfarne co-founder Ray Jackson

returns to his beloved Newcastle for a lowkey

concert as part of a new folk-rock

‘supergroup’. The band also features Clive

Bunker, Jerry Donahue, Rick Kemp and

Doug Morter, with special guest Kristina

Donahue. £14

Other events

Juice - NewcastleGateshead’s

Festival for Children and Young

People

The region’s new children and young

people’s festival continues until Sunday,

30 November, celebrating the strength of

children’s cultural activity in

NewcastleGateshead. This fun and

interactive programme has more exciting

treats to keep you entertained. Events

include We’ve Got Mittens Too at the Lit

and Phil until 16 November, First Draft

from 25 to 27 November which sees the

performance of six new plays written by

children aged nine and ten from

Bridgewater School in Scotswood at Live

Theatre. The festival also includes the

Northern Children’s Book Festival at venues

across the city on 22 November (See page

29). The festival will close with a

contemporary opera of David Almond’s

novel Skellig at the Sage Gateshead from

24 to 29 November.

For more information; go to

www.juicefestival.co.uk.

Northern Stage

0191 265 6857

Tues 18 November at 6pm

Buying Art: An insider's guide on how,

where and what to avoid

To mark our collaboration with Northern

Stage Waygood is hosting an exclusive talk

and discussion. International collectors

Stuart and John Evans from the Lodeveans

Collection, curator Gill Hedley and

Waygood board member Ruth Connerton

share their insiders' experiences of buying

and collecting contemporary art.

Email boutique@waygood.org for more

information and reservation.

Ouseburn Open

Studios Weekend

The weekend of 29 and 30 November sees

the return of the much-anticipated

Ouseburn Open Studios event. The annual

opening, which promises to be bigger and

better than before, offers the rare

opportunity to go behind scenes at several

of the region’s leading studios and

galleries. Over a hundred artists from the

Ouseburn Valley will open their studio

doors to welcome the public into their

working environment. Including The

Biscuit Factory, Northern Print and

Mushroom Works. For more information

go to www.ouseburnopenstudios.org

People’s Theatre

0191 257 2335

www.tynemouthscouts.org.uk

Mon 24 to Sat 29 November at 7.15pm

(2.30pm Sat matinee)

Tynemouth Gang Show

Variety show featuring songs, dance and

drama. From £6

Trinity Church

Gosforth 0191 285 6130

Mon 10 November at 7pm

Gosforth and the Great War

A talk by John Shipley. Tickets available

from reception in the Trinity Centre café.

Free but donations to the Royal British

Legion would be welcomed.

What’s on competition

Theatre

The Journal Tyne Theatre

Westgate Road 0844 493 9999

www.thejournaltynetheatre.co.uk

Sat 15 November at 7.30pm

The Christians £16.50 (£15)

Mon 24 November at 8pm

The Real Thing With hits including ‘You To

Me Are Everything’, ‘Can't Get By Without

You’ and ‘Can You Feel The Force’. £20

Fri 28 November at 7.30pm

The Saw Doctors

Top Irish folk-rock band £20

Sun 30 November at 8pm

Rich Hall plus Otis Lee Crenshaw

A Perrier Comedy Award winner, Rich Hall

comes to the city with his alter ego Otis

Lee Crenshaw, the Tennessee jailbird from

a trailer-trash family, so poor that blues

singers used to call round when they had

writer’s block. For the first time since

2002, Otis will be let out of jail for the

second half of the show. £15

People’s Theatre

Stephenson Road

0191 265 5020 ptag.org.uk

Tues 18 – Sat 22 November at 7.30pm

The Old Masters

By Simon Gray. In the Studio Upstairs

£9 (£7)

Theatre Royal

08448 112 121

www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Opera North returns to the city with

another spectacular season and November

also has something for all you disco fans

when Sing-a-long-a-ABBA takes to the

stage. The month ends with the swinging

new musical Shout featuring Claire

Sweeney and Hi-Di-Hi’s Su Pollard.

Lorraine Crosby, the voice on the Meatloaf hit, ‘I would do anything for love

but I won’t do that’ will be coming to the City Hall on 27 November at

7.30pm. She will be joined on stage by special guest Bonnie Tyler. Citylife

has a pair of tickets to see this amazing show. To win all you have to do is

tell us which 1970s musical did Meatloaf perform in?

Cabaret Rocky Horror The Producers

We’ve also go a family ticket to see Milkshake – My First Christmas Carol at

the City Hall on 21 December at 2pm. This is a magical opportunity to

introduce your children to their first live Christmas concert hosted by one of

the most successful children's TV experiences ever - Milkshake! Including

classics like the Nutcracker to sing-a-long fun Frosty the Snowman, Jingle

Bells, Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer and many more. To be in with a

chance just tell us what is the name of Roobarb’s feline friend?

Tom Stimpy Custard

Click and go!

Log on to the best listings

service in Tyne and Wear

www.newcastle.gov.uk/cityeye

Name …….....................................................…………………………………

Address ……………...........…………………………........................................

..................................................................................................................

Post code .…….…....….…..… Phone ……….....…....…...………………………

Send to Freepost CITYLIFE by 21 November. Don’t forget to put all your

coupons in one envelope.

34 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008


There’s plenty of opportunities to practice your boos and hisses this Christmas as the

region, once again, has an amazing selection of pantomimes to get you into the festive spirit.

So get ready to meet ugly sisters, an intergalactic robot, wicked witches and forty thieves.

Main Pic: It’s a life on the ocean waves when

the Theatre Royal presents its family

pantomime Robinson Crusoe and the

Caribbean Pirates from Tuesday 2

December to Saturday 17 January. Watch as

our comedy double act Clive Webb and

Danny Adams take on the pirates with their

secret weapon, Titan the Robot. The show also

features Phil Corbitt as Blackheart the Pirate,

Kathryn Rooney as the Magical Mermaid and

Chris Hayward as Dame Rita and has been

written once again by Michael Harrison. For

tickets and information phone 0844 811 2121.

Top left: This year the Journal Tyne Theatre

presents the traditional family pantomime

Cinderella from Friday 5 December to

Saturday 3 January. Featuring Maxie and

Mitch as the ugliest Ugly Sisters you’ve ever

seen and stunning special effects, this year's

show promises to be the brightest and best

show yet. For tickets and information phone

0844 493 9999.

Above right: If you like your porridge too hot,

too cold or just right! Come along to the

Customs House and see Goldilocks and the

Three Bears. This year's family pantomime

sees the return of Tommy the Trumpeter and

Dame Dotty as they help Goldilocks battle the

evil circus owner and rescue the three bears in

what promises to be 'the greatest panto on

earth!'. Featuring Century FM's Lisa Shaw and

Smooth Radio’s Paul Wappat as the voices of

Mammy and Daddy Bear. You can catch this

amazing show from Tuesday 2

December to Sunday 4 January.

For tickets and information

phone 0191 454 1234.

Right: Abanazar and his

thieves will be trying to take

over the Sunderland

Empire as it presents this

year's pantomime

Aladdin from Friday 5

December to Sunday 4

January. This year’s allstar

cast includes

seventies icon Paul

Michael Glaser as

Abanazar, singer and

actress Sheila Ferguson as the

genie, Dale Meeks as Widow Twankey and local

comedian Steve Walls as Wishee Washee. For

tickets and information phone 0844 847 2499.

Above: Dare you go into the woods this

Christmas as Northern Stage hosts this

year's family show, Hansel and Gretel,

from Friday 28 November to Saturday 10

January. Alone and afraid, our two children

find themselves amongst the trees, but a

monstrous danger lurks in the

darkest part of the woods

as the moon wanes over

Kielder Forest. For tickets

and information phone

0191 230 5151.


36 www.newcastle.gov.uk

Citylife: November/December 2008

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