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23 October 2020EXTERNAL AUDITOR REPORT 2019/20




Section 25 of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014

Accounts and Audit (England) Regulations 2015

The audit of accounts for the Council for the year ended 31st March 2020 has been concluded.

The Annual Governance and Accountability Return is available for inspection by any local government elector of the area of the Council on application to the Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer. Please email: fishburnparishcouncil@hotmail.com

Copies will be provided to any local government elector on payment of £2.00 for each copy of the Annual Return to cover printing and postage costs. An electronic copy of the annual return can be provided to any local government elector free of charge by email.

Announcement made by: The Parish Clerk and Responsible Financial Officer.

Date of announcement: 23rd October 2020.


FISHBURN PARISH COUNCIL has agreed to donate £100.00 towards a Halloween pumpkin trail to help cheer up the village. The organisers of the community event plan on using this donation to award the top 3 places for the best Halloween window display with a voucher and sweet hamper, as well as holding a pumpkin carving competition and awarding a sweet hamper to the winner. It is hoped that this will make a big difference to the children of the community who have missed out on so much this year.

08 October 2020CHRISTMAS EVENT

THE PARISH COUNCIL has reviewed arrangements for the annual carols around the Christmas tree event due to uncertainty over coronavirus and has decided that, working to the current regulations, a gathering on the Village Green with a crowd of singers does not appear possible and circumstances are unlikely to change for the better before Christmas. With a short time to go until Christmas, and a summer many of us wish to forget, the Council is still looking to bring some cheer to the village this year and will provide a Christmas tree as usual to bring a bit of sparkle to a year which has been difficult for so many.


The Senior Electoral Officer at Durham County Council has confirmed that the Returning Officer did not receive the requisite number of requests to call an election for the recently advertised casual vacancy and the Parish Council must now fill the one vacancy via its own co-option procedures. The Parish Council has 11 council 'seats' serving the electorate and currently has 10 parish councillors.


The Government's press release issued on the latest restrictions in the North East is attached below. Durham County Council's Head of Communications and Marketing has issued this press statement locally: Amanda Healy, director of Public Health at Durham County Council, said: "We have been in discussions with the Government about the situation in the north east and to ask for additional support. We will need to see the regulations to determine what exactly what the new restrictions are and await details of the further financial support they are offering."



  • Measures will be brought into law restricting inter-household mixing in indoor settings, including pubs and restaurants in Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland
  • Incidence rates over 100 per 100,000 in six of the seven areas last week
  • Package of financial support being agreed to tackle rising infection rates in these areas and support the latest measures

In close discussions with local leaders, the Health and Social Care Secretary, NHS Test and Trace, the Joint Biosecurity Centre (JBC), Public Health England (PHE) and the Chief Medical Officer for England have agreed to strengthen local measures in parts of the North East.

Current guidance in several areas of the North East advises residents not to mix with people outside their household or bubble in indoor settings, including pubs and restaurants.

In response to high and increasing infection rates, this guidance will now be enforceable by law and subject to fines from 00:01 Wednesday 30th September. The rules will apply to seven areas: Durham, Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Northumberland and Sunderland.

Covid secure schools and workplaces are not affected by this update.

Alongside this, a funding package is being agreed with councils to support the measures and tackle the rising infection rate, with further details to be confirmed.

The changes are in addition to existing regulations prohibiting household mixing in private homes and gardens, and have been agreed in response to high and increasing infection rates in these areas, with incidence rates over 100 per 100,000 in six of the seven areas last week.

PHE, the JBC and NHS Test and Trace constantly monitor the levels of infection and other data on prevalence of the virus across the country.

Discussions are continuing with local leaders in Merseyside to establish whether additional measures may be necessary there and, as has always been the case, all measures are kept under constant review.

As announced last week, childcare bubbles will be able to form in areas of intervention to allow families to share caring responsibilities with another household, as long as they are consistent. This includes formal and informal childcare arrangements. People in support bubbles in these areas can also continue to meet in any setting.

 - ENDS –


Details have been received of an urgent road closure. Owing to repairs due to a collapsed sewer, it has been necessary to temporarily close to vehicular traffic a 35 metre length of the rear of nos. 3-9 Chaytor Terrace, Fishburn. The immediate/urgent closure is necessary to permit sewer repair works to be carried out. The alternative route for vehicular traffic is via B1278 Salters Lane. The maximum duration of the closure is 5 days from 9:30 a.m. on Monday 28th September 2020.



Following rising cases of COVID-19 across the region, Durham County Council has worked alongside Newcastle, Northumberland, South Tyneside, North Tyneside, Sunderland and Gateshead councils to request new stricter COVID-19 prevention measures from Government to stop the spread of coronavirus across the North East.

The Government has today (Thursday 17th September) announced that additional restrictions will come into effect from 00.01 Friday 18th September. The main points are outlined below; however we are still awaiting clarification from Government on the finer details.

Legislation - regulations will lawfully enforce the following:

  • Residents must not socialise with other people outside of their own households in private homes and gardens.
  • All hospitality for food and drink will be restricted to table service only.
  • Late night restriction of operating hours will be introduced, with venues required to close between 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.


Residents are also advised to adhere to the following guidance to further reduce rates of infection:  

  • Residents should not socialise with other people outside of their own households in all public venues.  
  • Residents are advised to only use public transport for essential purposes, such as travelling to school or work (rather than car sharing etc).
  • Holidays should be taken within your own household or support bubble.
  • Residents are advised against attending amateur and semi-professional sporting events as spectators. 

Further details are outlined in the FAQs (www.durham.gov.uk/localrestrictions).


Locally, we are also seeing a significant rise in cases and a shift from isolated outbreaks to more general community transmission. Based on the current trend, it is forecast that by the end of the month, we could be experiencing daily rates in the region of 60 per 100,000. The distribution of cases now closely matches the distribution of population across the county. 

We are seeing an increase in cases in more isolated rural areas. In addition to areas where we have known outbreaks, we now have other parts of the county with equally high rates, but where a common source or identifiable link between cases is yet to be identified. 

A similar picture is emerging in a number of local authority areas across the entire region, and the seven North East local authorities agreed to work to greater regional coordination and an enhanced approach to tackle the pandemic.  

With cases significantly rising it is vital that everyone works together to help reduce the spread of the virus and any future lock down. We appreciate that some of the restrictions may be challenging but they are crucial. 

Durham County Council will be providing further communications to residents, businesses and other stakeholders so they know how they can play their part. Further information will be available on www.durham.gov.uk/localrestrictions  If you have any further queries after reviewing the website please contact our County Durham Together hub on 03000 260 260 or communityhub@durham.gov.uk   

09 September 2020NOTICE OF VACANCY


THAT due to the resignation of Christine Luke, a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council.

If by 29th September, 2020 (14 days after the date of this notice) a request for a by-election to fill the said vacancy has not been made to: The Returning Officer, Electoral Services, Room 1/104-115, County Hall, Durham DH1 5UL by TEN electors for the said Parish (Ward), the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

Where ten valid requests for a by-election are received by the Proper Officer then under the provisions of the Coronavirus Act 2020 and The Local Government and Police and Crime Commissioner (Coronavirus)(Postponement of Elections and Referendums) (England and Wales) Regulations 2020 the by-election will not currently take place, and the vacancy will be held open until the by election takes place. The 2020 regulations provide for the by election to take place on the date for the Ordinary Election of Councillors due to be held on Thursday 6th May 2021. However, this date may be brought forward or deferred by the Government depending upon the circumstances. Any Election that is in due course called will be duly publicised as required by law.

Dated 9th September, 2020
Clerk to the Parish


ADVERTISEMENT: Journey Enterprises has day centres in Northumberland, Newcastle and Durham for people with complex learning disability. We are a small local charity founded by parents of people with learning disability in 1983. 

We support conditions such as Down’s, William’s, cerebral palsy, Fragile X, autism and Sotos. These are lifelong conditions from birth, families using day services such as ours on a lifelong or long-term basis.  We provide support for adults to learn life skills and to train for part-time volunteering or paid work, but also provide a setting for friendship and inclusion.  Most of our service users (Clients) make life-long friendships in Journey’s Day Service. We can also support family carers, ensuring they reach carers’ services locally.

Working with Public Health England and local authority commissioners, we are currently providing our day service in an outreach model until the day centres are given the green light to re-open.  This new model has been operating since March and has enabled us to deliver both home-based 1:1 and small group support and support using technology.

We are aware that many families in our area may not be aware of our services. These are families where someone with complex learning disability is receiving a Local Authority Care Support award or NHS Continuing Healthcare Plan. This includes young people preparing to leave special schools and colleges in our region.

A short piece has been posted below to outline the services we offer and our blended service offer once day centres re-open:

Journey Enterprises is a local charity supporting 160 people with complex learning disability aged 18 – 70+.  The Charity provides services to enable Clients to learn life and work skills, to lead happy, healthy and inclusive lives. 

Journey has three Hubs, Coundon (Durham), Hexham (Northumberland) and Kenton (Newcastle), each Hub providing a varied activities timetable both on site and in community.  This ranges from activities to support health (nutrition, exercise, mental health, relationships) to creative and performing arts, woodwork and horticulture, a vibrant sports and outdoor programme, and employability training.  The Charity has enabled 63% of participants in its enterprise & employability programming to progress in to volunteering or paid work. Initial training is provided in the Charity’s small enterprises on and off site. 

We support conditions such as Down’s, Williams and Prader-Willi Syndromes, Fragile X, Sotos, cerebral palsy and autism.  The highest ratio of our Clients have Down’s Syndrome, a significant ratio of Clients also with co-morbid autism.  Clients form close friendships within service, and many carers form close bonds with other families in service. The Charity works in a Positive Behaviour Framework and within its own I Can assessment framework, Clients choosing a blended activities schedule working in small groups. We also support unpaid carers ensuring carers are informed about carers’ centres, carers’ respite grants, GP Carers’ Registers and prevention treatments and Local Authority Carers’ assessments.

Following COVID restrictions the Charity has reconfigured its service, initially providing a busy outreach service including 1:1, Care Calls, internet-based activities and chat sessions and a mobile activities and exercise equipment service.  These activities will continue as we now resume on-site service delivery in small group bubbles (Journey Hububs).

We are currently accepting new Client referrals to service. We also welcome applications for volunteering including Trusteeship, and new partnerships with local community groups and employers.  All employment opportunities are advertised on our website as well as local media, community websites, Job Centre Plus and college/university careers centres.

Initial enquiries to info@journeyenterprises.co.uk or the central number 01434 608118.  Your enquiry will then be sent to the relevant local Hub Manager.

Link for Website : https://www.journeyenterprises.co.uk/

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