Gateshead Council

Election results for 2019

    Elected in 2019
    Elected in 2019

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Councils to miss clean air deadline again

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

Tyneside councils will miss the government’s deadline to finalise plans for cutting illegal levels of air pollution for a third time.

Ministers had threatened legal action against Newcastle, Gateshead, and North Tyneside councils if they do not submit their final designs for a controversial Clean Air Zone (CAZ) by 12 November.

But with a six-week public consultation on the latest plans yet to begin, that date will not be met – though the authorities insist the delay will ultimately have no impact on the anti-pollution tolls coming into force in January 2021.

Under the latest proposals, coaches, buses and lorries will be charged £50 daily to drive into Newcastle city centre if they do not meet emissions standards. High-polluting taxis and vans will also pay £12.50, but private cars have been made exempt for now.

Consultation on the plan was due to begin by the end of September, but the councils say that has been pushed back due to delays in legal advice.

Councillors should have been voting to approve the CAZ at meetings in early November, but that vote could now be pushed back to January unless a set of extraordinary meetings are scheduled before then.

Traffic travelling across the Tyne Bridge
Getty Images

Gateshead Quays arts and leisure complex - have your say

Daniel Holland

Local Democracy Reporter

You can now have your say on massive plans to transform the Gateshead Quayside – including designs for a £260m arena complex.

Proposals could see the 12,500 seat venue built in between the Sage and the Baltic Centre, which would open by 2023.

There will also be new waterfront hotels, bars, offices, and restaurants.

Council bosses now want to gather the public’s views on how the southern banks of the Tyne should be redeveloped.

Quayside Arena

Cllr Martin Gannon said: "We’re passionate about the part we are playing in Gateshead’s transformation and we want residents to play their part too."

A full planning application for the development is expected to be lodged later this year.

A consultation on a new planning framework for the Quayside is open until 8 October.

You can see the plans online or at Gateshead Civic Centre and Central Library.

The council will also be taking questions live on Twitter next Tuesday from 16:00 to 17:30 and is hosting a drop-in event on 26 September from 15:00 to 19:00 at St Mary’s Heritage Centre.

Revamp plan for art deco theatre

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Herbert Soden

An art deco theatre in Gateshead is set to get a revamp if council bosses give the plans the green light.

The Little Theatre, on Saltwell View, is the only one to have been built in Britain during World War Two and survived bombing raids and later flooding to become a mainstay of the amateur dramatics circuit.

Now, the venue has applied for planning permission to extend its top floor.

A design and access statement submitted to Gateshead Council said: “It is proposed to construct a new rehearsal room over the existing auditorium to create additional much needed internal space, designed in a way which sits comfortably with the existing building form."

A decision on the application is due to be made by late September.

Little Theatre

More than 2,000 houses in Gateshead empty for six months

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Herbert Soden

More than 2,000 houses in Gateshead have been empty for more than six months, as the borough spends thousands of pounds on temporary accommodation.

Council data, disclosed after a request was made under the Freedom of Information Act, revealed that as of May there was 2,149 long term vacant properties in the area.

In the last financial year Gateshead Council spent a total of £174,584 on temporary accommodation.

Councillor Jonathan Wallace, leader of the opposition, said: “There are circumstances where the authority can take control of houses that have been empty for a long time, there is an opportunity to explore that further rather then put people straight into B&Bs.”

Colin Huntington, acting strategic director for communities and environment, said that the authority had dealt with hundreds of empty houses.

He said: “In the last five years, more than 600 empty homes in Gateshead have been brought back into use or demolished, as a result of advice, support, financial assistance, enforcement activity, and area renewal by the council.

“We are working with owners of private empty properties to encourage them to bring homes back into use."

Mr Hutington added that there is no connection between empty properties and the amount spent on temporary accommodation.

Image of housing in Gateshead

Deadline for plans to tackle air pollution

BBC Newcastle

Today is the deadline for three of the region's councils to tell the Government what they're going to do to combat air pollution.

Newcastle, Gateshead and North Tyneside councils' suggestions of a London-style congestion charge or tolls on road bridges were both roundly rejected in a public consultation.

Measures to reduce pollution need to be in place by the end of 2020 or the councils could face legal action.

Their final plans have to be formally submitted in November.


New images of Gateshead quayside arena development

New images have been released of a planned arena complex on Tyneside.

The huge development on Gateshead Quayside will cost £260m and include a 12,000-seat music venue, a conference centre, hotels, and restaurants.

The arena will replace the Utilita Arena in Newcastle and is expected to open in 2023 if it is approved. A planning application is due to be submitted in the autumn.

Impression of Gateshead quayside
Impression of Gateshead quayside
Image of new Gateshead arena

Gateshead Council leader Martin Gannon said: "This development is a catalyst for regional growth within the retail, hotel and leisure sectors."

It is hoped that the development can boost the regional economy by about £30m a year, attract an extra 296,000 visitors to the North East, and create 1,140 new jobs.