The Trust Projects, The SCA, Neighbourhood Crime, The Sedgefield Plan plus more

Neighbourhood Watch

A new Committee was elected at an Extraordinary General Meeting of Neighbourhood Watch on 4th December 2018. The newly Elected Members would like to thank all Members of the outgoing Committee for their support and helpfulness during this transition and for all their great work over the years to maintain this important initiative.

We are ordinary people from various backgrounds who have volunteered to do whatever we can to help maintain and improve the safe and pleasant environment which we all enjoy here in Sedgefield. However, if we are to address the things that matter to you then we need to know your views.

You can do this in one of two ways:
* At our next meeting: this will be held on Wed 9th January 2019 at 7pm in the Social Club (upstairs room). It is open to all residents, so please come along and give us your views.
* Return our survey: we will be issuing a survey sheet in the New Year to every household so that every resident has the opportunity to tell us what should be our priorities going forward.

In the meantime, the Festive Season is upon us. We all enjoy it, but criminals also enjoy this time of year. In early December we have already had reports of burglaries, car thefts and bogus calls from fraudsters claiming to represent HMRC and asking to be paid money to avoid a further ‘fine’.

Please note that HMRC will write if they need to contact you and remember: never give any personal or bank details to anyone over the phone. The perception is that fraudsters mainly target the elderly but new figures reveal that there is a 24% increase in cases of under-21-year-olds falling victim to impersonation fraud in the first nine months of this year.

Living as we do in an attractive area also makes it a target so please be extra vigilant during this period. Most burglaries are opportunistic so taking some simple steps can keep you safe. We recommend using the WIDE principle when securing your home:
* W – Window locks on every window
* I – Interior lights on a timer when you are out
* D – Double or dead locks fitted on all doors
* E – Exterior lights on a sensor, to illuminate anyone approaching
Best Wishes from everyone at Sedgefield Neighbourhood Watch for a Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year.

Crime Prevention Officer:

Police Community Cohesion Officer: Faye Callan; Telephone 101 Extension 742317.

Sedgefield Car Thefts

Following recent episodes of serious car crime, Sedgefield police are keen to remind people of precautions that can be taken by every household to make the theft of vehicles more difficult for would- be thieves. These include not leaving car keys where they can be easily found (such as in open view or a hallway drawer) and ensuring that doors and windows are locked at night.

In addition, Police urge everyone to remain vigilant and consider participating in the newly reconstituted Neighbourhood Watch scheme, either by joining as a member or attending the monthly meetings.

Though the Police are aware that events have proven deeply distressing to those affected, they are not yet in a position to release detailed information about the progress of specific investigations. They would like to reassure the public that there is a dedicated team working hard to bring those responsible for these crimes to justice.

SDT Projects

Farmers’ Market Sun 6th Jan

Sunday 6th January, 8.30 am - 12.30pm We will brave whatever the weather throws at us to welcome in the New Year. There’s nothing like some lovely fresh local produce to counteract the excesses of the festive season! A grand display of vegetables from those lovely people at Mellanby's will always tempt us to a bit of warm, healthy, winter cooking!

One or two stallholders may have trouble meeting this date because of seasonal closures, but we still expect a decent turnout. A market trader is amongst the hardiest of creatures and it takes a lot to put them off.

On the back of a record breaking year for “sedgy market” we hope to continue that success through 2019. We also want another big push on sustainability at the market, reducing packaging and plastics, and moving towards re-usable or compostable materials. Helping to keep plastic carriers in check is high on the agenda - look for an announcement next month! Of course in winter we need to be aware of the weather, so please check the Facebook page or Twitter feed for the latest announcements.

Energy Switch

RECORD NUMBERS REGISTER FOR OCTOBER 2018 AUCTION After a slow start to registration numbers, the SDT are very pleased to announce that, the final of people who registered for the October 2018 Auction was the highest since we started in October of 2014. We like to think that our residents have a growing confidence in the scheme and that they have now an acceptance of how easy and hassle free the switching process really is.

If we have one disappointment it is that we know that some people miss out because they forget that they have to register each year to continue to be a part of the scheme. If you switch with the scheme, the contracts are only for 12 months and you need to register again for the auction just before your current contract comes to an end. People might think this to be a bit of a hassle, but just ask any of the hundreds of people who have joined, to find out how easy it is.

If you have any concerns just call our helpline - 07980 134 594 - or come to talk to us at the Farmers Market. Energy costs have continued to rise, so generally people are now paying in excess of 30% more for their gas and electricity than they did 2 years ago.

We do not make any claims that if you have been part of our scheme you would have avoided those increases, but what we do claim is that, at the time of each auction, the winning tariffs have been market leading, hence you could have minimised those increases.

We have enclosed a letter with this issue of the News which will give you more indepth information about the scheme. So, if you are interested in joining, or if you have been a part of the scheme and your contract comes to an end before the end of April, now is the time to act. Registration is now open and will be until 11th February.

Woodland & Wildlife

2018 has been an astonishing year for a small group of enthusiasts who came together with the ambition to create a new piece of Woodland and to increase the bio-diversity of a very rough patch of ground to the north of NETpark. We have experienced elation, setbacks, sunshine, arctic conditions, and intense hard work interspersed with fascinating learning and many new friendships.

Progress has been recorded by most of us, but no one has been quite so thorough as keen photographer, Rudolf Reichel, who has provided us with much photographic evidence of the diverse wildlife we already have on the patch.

The young oak above is among his latest updates to the group page. Little signs of life are everywhere. In brief, the story so far is that almost 900 trees have been planted, an expert botanical survey has been undertaken, numerous hard sessions done to try to keep the trees clear of aggressive weeds and equally aggressive litter!

Displays have been mounted to let people see what we are doing, and lately, the group applied for and was granted AAP funding to help buy tools and storage. The next big tree planting will be in the spring, when another 400 trees by our partners, the Woodland Trust will be delivered and we hope to have our new storage facility ready before planting starts again.

Our other partners, NETPark & Business Durham will help with further work on securing the site. One of the most optimistic happenings of the year has been the enthusiastic participation of our schools. Children and staff have taken the project to their hearts, planting seeds to grow many more trees, which they will look after and then plant when they are ready. We hope this will be ongoing, so that new generations will carry on the wonderful task of creating a Woodland and Wildlife area for all to enjoy.

The most recent session in the woodland was to plant two new batches of trees from different sources. When Tamzin, a founder member of the group, left her job at NETPark, her leaving present was a number of young beeches to be planted in our wood. The other was a parcel of saplings from The Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy. The trees were awarded to Ray Carmichael. Commonwealth citizens are leading the world in efforts to protect & renew the forest that communities and the whole planet depend upon

Homework Help

Homework Help continues, and there is room for more students as well as more helpers! We are also looking to set up sessions in Fishburn. If you would like to volunteer, or to request help with homework or careers guidance, email or find us on Facebook - search for homeworkhelpsedgefield.

Ceddesfeld Hall-Home of Sedgefield Community Association

SCA would like to wish all members and friends of Ceddesfeld Hall a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. 2018 has been a very busy and successful year for SCA. We have welcomed two new members on to the executive committee, new community groups and members. Large annual events such as the Mediaeval Fayre, Sedgefield Day and Book Ends have been well supported and continue to attract large numbers of local people and visitors to Sedgefield. Themed dinner nights continue to be very popular as are the various music nights and concerts which take place. SCA are pleased to continue supporting Sedgefield Town Council at the snow party and fireworks display.

The committee work hard to ensure events and activities are well planned and that all safeguards are put in place. Practical help (in the run up and on the day) from local people and organisations, as well as sponsorship and from local businesses at the big events, is crucial to success and to sustaining the events for the future.

On Friday 21st December, after STC ‘Carols on the Green’, there’s mulled wine and mince pies (£2.50) at Ceddesfeld, followed by a night of live music with Ceddesfeld’s ukulele group. The bar is open & the event is free. A Christmas eve quiz night begins at 8pm. There will be prizes for the winning team as well as mince pies and nibbles. This is another free event and everyone is welcome to join in the fun.

The Burns Supper (Saturday 26th January) offers a drinks reception, followed by a 5 course meal (choice of haggis or roast beef in advance please) to include a cheese board and coffee. In true tradition there will be ‘pipes, toasts, talks and quotes’ too, all for £25.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting any of the numbers below. An Open Mic night is scheduled for Saturday 23rd February, Sedgefield Mediaeval Fayre is on Saturday 18th May 2019. More next month. Also, the SCA Facebook page which posts lots of event information.

For more information, contact Wendy, 620206: Pat, 620607: Sarah, 622185 or visit

Lest We Forget

A word of thanks to all the people who knitted or crocheted poppies for the Remembrance Garden on the Green. They looked absolutely splendid, as did those on the garden seat. Thank you. Jean Easson.

Writing to Sedgefield News

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