Blakelaw & North Fenham Community Council

Making A Difference In Your Community Today

PictureBlakelaw and North Fenham Community Council is based within Newcastle City Council's Blakelaw Ward. The Community Council is split in to 3 Wards within the Parish boundary, Blakelaw, Cragston and North Fenham.

Parish Boundary Map 
BLAKELAW ward map.pdf

Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council is a local community council serving the people of Blakelaw and North Fenham.

Community Councils (also known as Parish Councils) are the first tier of local government and are statutory bodies. They serve electorates and are independently elected and raise their own precept (a form of council tax). Residents will know they live within the Community Council area as they will pay this additional precept charge. Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council are 1 of 10,000 local councils in England with over 30% of the country parished with 100,000 councillors serving in these local councils. Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council have 12 seats on the Council with 6 of those seats currently being filled leaving 6 vacancies spread across all 3 Wards. The role of Community Councillor is not a paid role and those elected put themselves forward as volunteers.

Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council works hard to improve community well-being and providing better services. Our activities fall into three main categories: representing the local community; delivering services to meet local needs; striving to improve quality of life and community well-being.

Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council support community groups, campaign for community safety and crime reduction measures, hold their own community events, litter bins, street cleaning and youth projects amongst a number of other support community initiatives.

John Wears


Blakelaw Ward Contact no. 07708634777 Email.

Read More  

James Gill (Jimmy)

Vice Chair

Blakelaw Ward Contact No. 07986 131 306 Email.

Read More  

Ann Keenan

Community Councillor

Blakelaw Ward Contact No. 07817 272 982 Email.

Read More  

Violet Rooke

Community Councillor

Blakelaw Ward Email.

Read More  

Debbie Playford

Community Councillor

Blakelaw Ward Email.

Read More  

Deborah Wears

Community Councillor

Blakelaw Ward Email.

Read More  


Community Councillor

Cragston Ward


Community Councillor

Cragston Ward


Community Councillor

Cragston Ward


Community Councillor

North Fenham Ward


Community Councillor

North Fenham Ward

Helen Richardson

Clerk to the Community Council


Community Council Meetings

Meetings are  held on the second Thursday of each month, (except August and December), in the Community Room, Moorland House, Moulton Place, Blakelaw, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 3RY - please check the website for times as they do vary.  You are advised to check the location on each agenda.  Please see the below for the agendas and minutes of each meeting.

Members of the public are welcome to attend and raise any issues before the commencement of the formal business.  If you wish to speak during the formal business session, please indicate this to the Chair by raising your hand.  The Chair will conduct the order of speakers and will indicate who will speak next. 

Standards and Codes

The Standards (Parish/Community Councils) Sub Committee, oversees the operation of the codes of conduct by providing guidance assistance and training. See the Code of Conduct 

Code of conduct 2019.pdf

BNFCC Standing Orders 2018 (revised 2020)[2600].docx

BNFCC Financial Regulations July-2019[2598].docx

Statement Of Internal Control 2023 - 2024.docx

2024/2025 - Agenda's and Minutes 

11 April 2024 Agenda 11.04.24.doc
Minutes 11.04.24.doc
09 May 2024 (AGM)AGM Agenda 09.05.24.doc

13 June 2024Agenda 13.06.24.doc

17 July 2024 - CANCELLED Agenda 17.07.24.doc

August 2024 No Meeting
12 September 2024

10 October 2024 

14 November 2024

December 2024 No Meeting 
09 January 2025

13 February 2025

13 March 2025

2023/2024 - Agenda's and Minutes 

13 April 2023Agenda 13.04.2023.doc
Rearranged to 20 April 2023 
20 April 2023 Agenda 20.04.2023.doc
Minutes 20.04.2023.doc
11 May 2023 - AGMAGM Agenda 11.05.2023.doc
Minutes 11.05.2023 - AGM.doc
08 June 2023No meeting 
Special Meeting 20 June 2023Extra-ordinary Meeting 20.06.2023.doc
Minutes 20.06.2023 (extra-ordinary meeting).doc
13 July 2023
Agenda 13.07.2023.doc
Minutes 13.07.2023.doc
10 August 2023
No meeting

14 September 2023
Agenda 14.09.2023.doc
Cancelled to be rearranged
21 September 2023 (Special (closed) MeetingSpecial (closed) Agenda 21.09.2023.doc
Minutes 21.09.2023.doc
12 October 2023Agenda 12.10.2023.doc
Minutes 12.10.23.doc
09 November 2023Agenda 09.11.2023.doc
Minutes 09.11.23.doc
14 December 2023No meeting
11 January 2024Agenda 11.01.24.doc
Minutes 11.01.24.doc
08 February 2024Agenda 08.02.24.doc
Minutes 08.02.24.doc
19 March 2024Agenda 19.03.24.doc
Minutes 19.03.24.doc

2022/2023 - Agenda's and Minutes 

14 April 2022 (Cancelled)Agenda 14.04.2022.doc
Meeting cancelled and rearranged to 28/04/2022
28 April 2022 (rearranged)Agenda 28.04.2022(rearranged).doc
Minutes 28.04.2022.doc
12 May 2022 (AGM)AGM Agenda 12.05.2022.doc
Minutes 12.05.2022.doc
09 June 2022Agenda 09.06.2022.doc
Minutes 09.06.2022.doc
14 July 2022Agenda 14.07.2022.doc
Minutes 14.07.2022.doc
August 2022No Meeting 
08 September 2022 (postponed due to the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II)Agenda 08.09.2022.doc
Minutes 08.09.2022.doc
13 October 2022Agenda 13.10.2022.doc
Minutes 13.10.2022.doc 
17 November 2022Agenda 17.11.2022.doc
Minutes 17.11.2022.doc
December 2022 No Meeting 
12 January 2023Agenda 12.01.2023.doc
Minutes 12.01.2023.doc
09 February 2023Agenda 09.02.2023.doc
Minutes 09.02.2023.doc
09 March 2023Agenda 09.03.2023.doc
Meeting cancelled and rearranged to 16/03/2023
16 March 2023Agenda 16.03.2023.doc
Meeting Cancelled 

Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR) 

Each year Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council are required to complete and submit to its External Auditor, an Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR). Once the return has been approved by the External Auditor, it is published on the Council’s website.

2023 - 2024

Certified AGAR including Audit Certificate 2023 - 2024

Notice of Conclusion of Audit

Internal Auditor Report 2023 - 2024

Internal Audit Report.doc

Public Right of Inspection Notice 

Public Rights.docx

Unaudited AGAR 2023 - 2024

Unaudited AGAR 2023-24.pdf

Asset Register & Risk Assessment

Asset Register 2023 - 2024.xlsx

Risk assessment 2023 - 2024.docx

2022 - 2023

Certified AGAR including Audit Certificate 2022 - 2023 

Blakelaw & North Fenham Community Council - Audited AGAR 2022-23[8463].pdf

Notice of Conclusion of Audit

Completion Notice[8464].docx

Internal Auditor Report 2022 - 2023

Final Internal Audit Report (G Fletcher).pdf

Public Right of Inspection Notice 

Notice (unaudited) AGAR.docx

Unaudited AGAR 2022 - 2023 

Signed Unaudited AGAR 2022-23.pdf

Bank Reconciliation 2022-23 (1).xlsx

Explanation-of-Variances-2022 - 23.xls

Asset Register & Risk Assessment

Asset Register 2022 - 2023.xlsx

Risk assessment 2022 - 2023.docx

2021 - 2022

Certified AGAR including Audit Certificate 2021 - 2022

NL0020 AGAR(agreed).pdf

NL0020 S3(PKF Littlejohn).pdf

Notice of Conclusion of Audit

Notice of conclusion of audit.docx

Public Right of Inspection Notice

Public-rights notice 2021-22.docx

Unaudited AGAR 2021 - 2022

Signed AGAR (10.06.2022).pdf

Asset Register & Risk Assessment 

Asset Register 2021 - 2022.xlsx

Risk assessment 2021 - 2022.docx

2020 - 2021

Certified AGAR including Audit Certificate 2020 - 2021 

PKF Littlejohn (signed).pdf

Notice of Conclusion of Audit

Notice of conclusion of audit_2021[1786].docx

Public Right of Inspection Notice

Public Right of Inspection (14.06.2021 - 23.07.2021).docx

AGAR 2020 - 2021(amended)

Amended Part 3 AGAR 30.08.21(Initialled)[5771].pdf


Asset Register & Risk Assessment 2020 - 2021

Asset Register 2020 - 2021.xlsx

Risk assessment 2020-2021.docx

2019 - 2020

Certified AGAR including Audit Certificate 2019 - 2020 

Section 1&2 AGAR (Signed Off).pdf

Section 3 AGAR (Signed Off).pdf

Notice of Conclusion of Audit 

Notice of conclusion of audit_2020[1786].docx

Public Right of Inspection Notice 

Public Right of Inspection (01.09.2020-12.10.2020).docx

AGAR 2019 - 2020

AGAR 2019 - 2020.pdf

Asset Register & Risk Assessment 2019 - 2020

Asset Register.xlsx

Risk assessment 2019-20.docx

2018 - 2019 

AGAR 2018 - 2019  - if you require a copy, please contact the Clerk to the Community Council

Accounts 2018 - 2019

Copy of B&NFCC 18-19 accounts.xlsx

Asset Register & Risk Assessment 2018 - 2019 

Asset Register.xlsx

Risk assessment 2018-19.docx

2017 - 2018

AGAR 2017 - 2018  - if you require a copy, please contact the Clerk to the Community  Council 

Accounts Certificate March 2018.pdf

Accounts 2017 - 2018

Copy of B&NFCC 17-18 accounts.xlsx

Asset Register & Risk Assessment 2017 - 2018

Asset Register.xlsx

Risk assessment 2017-18.docx

2016 - 2017

AGAR 2016 - 2017  - if you require a copy, please contact the Clerk to the Community  Council

Accounts 2016 - 2017

Copy of B&NFCC 16-17 accounts.xlsx

Asset Register & Risk Assessment 2016 - 2017

Asset Register.xlsx

Risk assessment 2016-17.docx

2015 - 2016

AGAR 2015 - 2016  - if you require a copy, please contact the Clerk to the Community  Council

Copy of B&NFCC 15-16 accounts (1385).xlsx

Asset Register & Risk Assessment 2015 - 2016

Asset Register.xlsx

Risk assessment 2015-16.docx

Blakelaw & North Fenham Community Council aims to improve the social and economic welfare of the residents of the Parish. It is essential that any organisation requesting financial assistance will be expected to support the aims of the Council and that its activities address at least one of the following objectives:-

  1. To enhance community cohesion
  2. To develop social inclusion
  3. To alleviate deprivation   

Applications must be from a community based organisation. The Council will not consider applications from individuals, projects that are political or religious projects that do not demonstrate social or economic benefits.

You can apply for a grant funding by completing the below grant funding application(click on the link), don't forget to read the guidance notes thoroughly and ensure you have ALL relevant documents requested before you submit your application.

Grant Application June 2020.docx

Grant application guidance notes June 2020.doc

Grant Monitoring Form June 2020.doc

In 2022 - 2023 Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council have provided financial support to:

Blakelaw Club Juniors Football Club 


Blakelaw Flats TARA 

Blakelaw & North Fenham Community Council have also donated garden seating to an area within North Fenham  

Red Sky Foundation (Defibrillator)

Blakelaw & North Fenham Community Council donated Christmas Trees to Hilton Primary Academy and Thomas Walling Primary Academy 

In 2021 - 2022 Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council have provided financial support to:

Holly Court

Blakelaw Flats TARA

Blakelaw Club Juniors Football Club

Hilton Primary School

Thomas Walling Primary School

Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council also donated a laptop to an apprentice via Projects4Change 

In 2020 - 2021 Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council have provided financial support to:

Projects4change - Youth Work

Blakelaw Club Juniors Football

In 2019/20 Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council have provided financial support to:

Blakelaw Pensioners Association 

Newcastle West Kinship Carers 

Blakelaw Flats Tenants and Residents Association

Holly Court Club

165 Tenants and Residents Association

Fostering in Newcastle 

Jelly Tots Messy Play 

Little Learners Nursery - Blakelaw

Newcastle United Foundation 

The Four Million Homes Programme - Training Opportunities

The Four Million Homes programme is funded by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and is being run by the Confederation of Co-operative Housing in partnership with PPCR associates. It’s designed to be a catalyst for change in social housing; providing free knowledge, guidance, and training on resident rights and how to stand up for them.

Face-to-face training Newcastle

All events are free to social housing residents. All training sessions will be accredited as part of the Chartered Institute of Housing recognised programme.

Venue: Jesmond Library; St George’s Terrace; Jesmond; NE2 2DL

Training sessions

Wednesday May 22nd 13.15-16.30 – Know your rights to engage and be heard

An introduction to resident rights and engagement.

Wednesday June 19th 13.15-16.30 – Equality, diversity and inclusion

Equality, diversity and inclusion - from participant experiences to what landlords need to be doing.

Wednesday July 17th 13.15-16.30 – Resident panels

Across the social housing sector resident panels are involved in decision-making, monitoring and scrutiny, complaints, service review, policy consideration and various other functions. This session sets the context and explains why resident panels are so important.

Wednesday September 18th 13.15-16.30 – How to run an effective residents’ association

A residents’ association is a group of people who live in a neighbourhood and decide that they want to get together to deal with issues that affect their local community. The group can include tenants, shared owners, leaseholders and homeowners. This session sets the context and explains why residents’ associations are so important.

Wednesday October 16th 13.15-16.30 – Social housing legal requirements

This session outlines the key areas of the law that Registered Providers need to ensure they are compliant with, and also the records that they should maintain; it does not seek to provide detailed legal advice.

Wednesday November 13th 13.15-16.30 – Social housing regulatory requirements

This session outlines the key areas of the Regulatory Framework that Registered Providers need to ensure they are compliant with, particularly including new changes to consumer regulation from April 2024.

Wednesday January 15th 13.15-16.30 – Understanding landlord financial models

This session looks at how the finance works, both for landlords' existing homes and the development of new homes.

Wednesday February 12th 13.15-16.30 – Options for resident control

This session explores different options for resident control, ownership and management of their homes and assets.

All sessions can be booked via our website:

Other activities


Our monthly webinar series aims to tackle some of the key issues that are raised by residents. They feature speaker presentations from government, professional body, landlord and resident perspectives and there’s the opportunity to ask questions and lots of space for discussion. We also film the speakers so they can be watched back on our website afterwards.

To date we’ve hosted sessions around:

· Anti-social behaviour

· Damp and mould

· Leaseholders

· New regulations under the Social Housing Regulation Act

· Neighbourhood management

· Complaints

· Energy efficiency

· Communication

· Proposed timescales for repairs under Awaab’s Law

Sessions can be booked onto as they’re announced, or watched back at:

Information, advice and guidance Our Four Million Homes website contains lots of information and guidance on social housing resident rights and the services landlords are required to provide. It covers a wide range of issues including repairs and maintenance for your home and communal areas, anti-social behaviour, and how to tackle your landlord. You can also watch back our webinars as well as some of our training modules, which we’ve produced as videos.

Our A-Z of rights and guidance for social housing residents is a social media campaign, featuring short videos around specific topics, linking to 3-minute landing pages on our website and then into more in-depth website material and webinar content. For residents who have specific problems that they want to address but not the time or resources to join in a webinar or training.

What can you do?

· Share information about upcoming training events in your information or promotional materials

· Follow up on social media @fourmillionhomes and like and share our posts · Sign up to our newsletter to receive details of upcoming activities as we release them · Drop us an email to request a copy of our Supporters’ Kit. This is a pack of resources that has been designed to help you promote the Four Million Homes programme to your residents.

Any questions, get in touch with Helen Bartlett –; 

Tuesday Trailblazer Community Group 

SEARCH - May 2024

Funders Fair and Youthwatch Gateshead and Newcastle

Please see info below about the Funding Fair 2024 and Youthwatch Gateshead and Newcastle. Feel free to share this information with your contacts.

Connected Voice Funding Fair 19 June 10:30am, Northumbria University Students Union

Connected Voice want to share the attached flyer with more information about the Funding Fair in June. This is their biggest event of the year and is a great opportunity for VCSE organisations to meet different funders face to face to start building relationships and asking any questions. The following funders are confirmed so far:

National Lottery Community Fund

Heritage Lottery Fund

Community Foundation Tyne & Wear and Northumberland

Newcastle Building Society Fund 

The Key Fund

The Newcastle Youth Fund 

The Ballinger Charitable Trust

Sir James Knott Trust



Newcastle City Council Ward Grants

Lloyds Bank Foundation

Hadrian Trust

BBC Children in Need

Crowdfund North of Tyne

Sport England

YAPP Charitable Trust 

Big Issue Invest

Youth Mental Health First Aid – new course dates (Newcastle)

This fully accredited course from Mental Health First Aid England enables practitioners who work with Young People (aged 8-18) to identify the early signs of Mental Health issues and signpost them to the relevant professional support and to gain confidence in talking to young people openly about their Mental Health and Wellbeing in areas such as:

  •  Anxiety and Depression
  • Eating Disorders and Self Harm
  • Suicide and Psychosis
  • Signposting individuals to the relevant support services

This is an interactive course, allowing delegates to work in groups as well as an individual. All course resources will be supplied. Upon completion each delegate will be issued with a Mental Health First Aid certificate that is valid for 3 years.

If you would like to book a space, please click on the relevant link below. Please book only one course as places are limited. We require 36hrs notice if you wish to cancel your place. Please only book a space for yourself.

Gosforth Library

Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th May 2024

Wednesday 2nd and Thursday 3rd October 2024

Wednesday 19th and Thursday 20th March 2025

Charlton Street Hub, Lemington

Tuesday 23rd and Wednesday 24th July 2024

Thursday 21st and Friday 22nd November 2024

Thursday 20th and Friday 21st February 2025

The Haven, Kenton

Tuesday 25th and Wednesday 26th June 2024

Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th December 2024

Fawdon Children’s Centre

Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th January 2025

Spaces are fully subsidised by North East and North Cumbria Child Health and Wellbeing Network.

If you have any queries or questions, please contact the course instructor: Simon Davidson on 07525734131 or

Energy Affordability Helpline 

  • Problems with your energy supplier?
  • Worried about fuel bills?
  • Need an emergency fuel voucher support?
  • Want to save money?
  • Need help to get on the Priority Services Register, to pay your bills or save energy?

Citizens Advice Newcastle (CAN) give free, confidential and independent home energy advice to people who live, work or study in Newcastle. You can speak to an advisor by phone, webchat or email. For urgent matters you can drop in for advice (subject to availability) from Monday to Friday, 10am to 12pm.

Telephone: 0800 448 0721


Read more on InformationNOW about energy saving tips

Community Transport Lets Chat Hubs

 Community Transport are applying for funding to set up three Let’s Chat Hubs for disabled people who experience loneliness and isolation in Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside/South Northumberland. The Hubs are intended to provide a safe, welcoming place for people to drop in and simply be with others, socialise, enjoy mutual interests and make new friends. The project aims to:

  • Use existing community or local resources for a hub that is warm, inviting, accessible all day and friendly.
  • Provide a co-ordinator to manage the hub, co-ordinate activities and signpost to other services
  • Recruit local volunteers to help welcome people to the hub, provide refreshments and simply talk with others.
  • Provide accessible transport for those who cannot access the Hubs by other means.

Community Transport want to gather the views of local organisations and stakeholders on the proposed funded project including where it is most needed, what community resources are available and how best they can work together with other organisations.

You can give your views using their short survey found here 

Read more on InformationNOW about Community transport or minibus services

New Dementia Care Group 

New Dementia Group starting next Monday 26th February 2024

This will be a monthly meeting running the last Monday of every month, it will be a lovely session offering refreshments, activities and music and is completely free.

It is open to anyone living with Dementia, carers and family members.

Could you please to any contacts you think would be interested in this.

If anyone expresses interest please ask them to contact the centre on 0191 261 6027 to confirm attendance 

Dementia group Final poster.pdf

The Newcastle Pantry is coming soon! We are a small social supermarket set up to help people on a low income save money on food shopping bills. We are part of the Newcastle West End Foodbank charity, but we have a separate brand and identity. Unlike a foodbank our members pay a subscription of £5 when they visit one of our pop-up pantries. In return they can choose a minimum of 10 items from a choice of fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy items, tinned items plus other essential household items. Our pantry will accept Healthy Start vouchers allowing eligible households to pay for half of their membership (£2.50) this way. The remainder of their membership needs to be paid in the usual way.

Our first pop-up pantry will be launching at Blakelaw Community Centre in April. To help us celebrate and meet members of the community we’ve arranged a coffee morning on Tuesday 21 March between 10am and 21 noon. If you live in Blakelaw why not come and say hello, see how our pantry will look and find out how you can save money on your shopping.

If you support people living in Blakelaw who could benefit from the pantry please could you help us to promote this offer? I’ve attached a poster and some information on frequently asked questions about the pantry.

If you’re unable to make the coffee morning but would like to know more about the pantry and how it develops email: and we will add you to our pantry mailing list.

FAQ's - Newcastle Community Pantry

Newcastle Community Pantry FAQ's.docx

The return of the Community Defibrillator 

Following the sad news that our original defibrillator had been stolen in April 2022, Blakelaw and North Fenham Community have successfully obtained a replacement life saving Defibrillator to help support the community and all the residents in the area of Blakelaw and North Fenham.  With the support of the The Red Sky Foundation and the continued support from Your Homes Newcastle, the defibrillator has been placed on the outside of Moorland House. 

Alcohol Awareness Leaflet 

Alcohol Causes Cancer 2022 PARTNER TOOLKIT FINAL LA7[4552].docx


Search leaflet HR[4411].pdf

Search poster HR[4410].pdf

Tik Tok Awareness Leaflet 

Tik Tok Flyer[2374].pdf

Thomas Walling Primary School - Queen's Green Canopy

Mr Serfontein, Deputy Lieutenant, attended Thomas Walling Primary Academy on Monday 11th October, 2021. He addressed an assembly of pupils, explaining the significance of the Queen's Green Canopy and included some very interesting facts about trees. The children thoroughly enjoyed joining in with his 'wow' moments and felt very excited and privileged to be the recipient of one of only 70 birch trees as part of this important initiative. Following the assembly, Mr Serfontein planted the birch tree (betula ermanii) with members of the School Council. It now has pride of place on 'the hill' outside of the school's dining hall, where it can be viewed every day.             

More information about the Queen’s Green Canopy, ‘Plant a tree for the Jubilee’, can be found at this website:       

Useful Links 

Newcastle City Council, Civic Centre, Barras Bridge, Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 8QH

Telephone No. 0191 278 7878    

Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council aim to provide a community newsletter 4 times per year.  If you would like to contribute to our newsletter.  Please email with your request.  Our Newsletters are below:

March 2020

BNFCC Newsletter MARCH 2020[10699].pdf

June 2020 

BNFCC Newsletter JUNE 2020[11955].pdf

October 2020

BNFCC OCTOBER 2020[2071].pdf

Christmas Update December 2020 and 2021 Calendar 

BNFCC 2021 calendar[2072].pdf

January 2021 

BNFCC COVID final Flyer January 2021.pdf


BNFCC Spring Newsletter 2022[5460].pdf

Summer 2022

BNFCC Summer Newsletter 2022[5461].pdf

March 2023

BNFCC Spring Newsletter March 2023[5452].pdf


Christmas has started in the world of Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council.  On the 25 November, off we went on a special journey to Northern Christmas Trees based in Gosforth to select 2 very special Christmas trees.  These special trees were being donated by the Community Council and heading off to 2 special venues to brighten up the faces of the staff and children at Hilton Primary School and Thomas Walling Primary School.  The trees were picked and delivered to the schools at the beginning of December and I’m sure you’ll all agree they are beautiful.  It was a pleasure to be able to donate these gorgeous trees to our community.



Despite the recent Coronavirus uncertainty Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council have continued to work hard supporting various organisations within the community, below is an update of what has been happening including some photographs for everyone to see. 

Christmas Trees Christmas has started in the world of Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council.  On the 27 November, off we went on a special journey to Northern Christmas Trees based in Gosforth to select 2 very special Christmas trees.  These special trees were being donated by the Community Council and heading off to 2 special venues to brighten up the faces of the staff and children at Hilton Primary School and Thomas Walling Primary School.  The trees were picked and delivered to the schools last week and I’m sure you’ll all agree they are beautiful.  It was a pleasure to be able to donate these gorgeous trees to our community.

Anyone for a Christmas Selection Box  Did you know there are around 900 children attending the both Thomas Walling and Hilton Primary Schools and Little Learners Nursery in the Blakelaw and North Fenham Parish boundary area.  With a little help from the Community Council, Santa Claus managed deliver to the schools and the nursery a selection box for everyone – we hope that you all enjoy your sweet treats. 

Christmas Tree Hamper Appeal  It is with great pleasure that Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council were able to donate £500 worth of food to support the Christmas Tree Hamper appeal in aid of the community’s older residents who will be spending Christmas on their own this year.  We hope that those receiving a hamper this year enjoys all the surprises inside.

It is with great sadness that as Chair of Blakelaw and North Fenham Community Council I am having to make this statement. The community council (council) have recently been made aware of a Facebook post made by an ex-community councillor that made a number of inaccurate statements.  Whilst it would not be usual practice for the council to comment on such nonsense, given this post created quite a significant amount of discussion with feedback being received from residents that the ex-councillor continues to speak ill of the council it was felt that we had no other option but to respond.  My apologies that this will be a longer statement than I would ever wish to make but feel it’s important to share the councils version of events. 

Firstly, I need to point out that Parish and Community Councillors are NOT volunteers, they are elected in to the position of councillor by the electorate ie the residents of Blakelaw and North Fenham. In July 2022 I was alerted to a serving councillor receiving £660 of grant funding from a grant recipient at Christmas 2021.  The original grant application had stated that the organisation would be spending the funding on a lunch out, if an applicant wishes to change the use of the funding then they must contact the council to ask permission.  On receiving the monitoring forms from the organisation, it appeared that a serving councillor had received the funds to provide a Christmas lunch, this was confirmed by the organisation.  As Chair, I am required to investigate the claim especially as this particular issue has been raised and discussed on a number of occasions with councillors agreeing that NO councillor should financially benefit from any grant funding being awarded by council – this councillor attended every meeting that this matter was discussed and knew this funding application had been granted.  Whilst this practice is not legally wrong it is viewed as being morally wrong within the remit of the council.  On meeting with the councillor, a number of statements they made concerned me and at the end of the meeting I informed them that due to comments made by them, the fact that I had spoken to this councillor before about their conduct and my concerns, I as Chair would be referring them to Newcastle City Council’s(NCC) Standards Board for “misappropriation of council funds” NOT for aggression although the councillor did become aggressive when challenged.  This type of referral is a confidential matter between the parties and the councillor will have been reminded of this when spoken to by NCC.  Whilst this councillor was spoken to NO investigation ever took place, this was NOT because there was NO case to answer but because the councillor resigned prior to any investigation taking place.  To be clear this is an unpleasant process for everyone but a one I felt needed to be undertaken on this occasion.

In relation to comments made with regards to the “toxicity” of the council and a subsequent 3 resignations for this same reason, the council did contact each person regarding their resignations.  One person confirmed that the reasoning for their resignation was due to other commitments that they had and NOT due to the reasons stated in the ex-councillors Facebook post, the other 2 people did not respond to my request for further discussion and evidence of this type of behaviour.  At no point during these councillor’s term of office have they ever raised concerns regarding toxicity and/or bullying and when at a recent staffing meeting were shocked and surprised when the clerk raised as a concern the conduct of some councillors.  The council takes these types of allegations very seriously and are currently awaiting advice from NCC on how to self-refer to their Standards Board which will hopefully review processes, practices and comments made although I am confident that the council have not conducted itself in a manner that would question its reputation or the work it does within the community.  

In relation to comments made about being jealous following the awarding of a BEM – why would those who serve on the council be jealous of another serving councillor, are we not meant to be working together?  The council shared congratulations along with many others. I do find this statement very odd as councillors undertake the work they do on behalf of residents to help, support and enhance residents lives and the area they live in not to receive awards!!!! 

We have also received feedback from a resident that this ex-councillor has also stated that we refused a funding application for the play group for the recent October half term.  I can confirm that the council did not receive an application for funding from the playgroup. The council will not tolerate this type of behaviour and will be monitoring the various feedback we do receive.  The people of Blakelaw and North Fenham deserve the best and the council want to continue working hard to support the community in achieving this.  We would welcome the opportunity to work alongside as many organisations as possible to enhance the lives of residents but this works both ways. 

Finally, the council is a tier of local government and are expected to follow very specific process, practice and regulation, just like any other government institution.  To ensure that the resident we serve are receiving the best possible support and value for their precept payment questions need to be asked and challenges to information are required.  We do not have an endless pot of money and any spend has to enhance those residents lives who pay the precept.

  • Blakelaw, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  • Meeting are held at Moorland House, Moulton Place, Blakelaw, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 3RY