Sunderland City Council

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Plans to scrap £50,000 council payout for Spice Girls gig knocked back

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Chris Binding

The Spice Girls
Getty Images

A disputed proposal to scrap a £50,000 council payout to secure the upcoming Spice Girls gig has been abandoned.

In recent months, Labour bosses at Sunderland City Council have said the potential return on the investment is worth it.

This includes up to £4m in economic benefit from visitors travelling to see the 90s pop icons.

However, the plans have been criticised as Freedom of Information request revealed other councils hosting the band did not shell out the money.

At yesterday's budget meeting, Sunderland's Conservatives called for the funds to be scrapped in their alternative budget proposals for 2019/20.

Council leader, Graeme Miller, said: "If we had not given £50,000 to the football club, not the Spice Girls, the concert would not be happening.

"They did not have the money available to enable the work that they needed to do with partners to bring that concert to this city in June of this year.".

The Spice Girls are set to be the first concert at the Stadium of Light since 2016.

Sunderland airshow to remain annual event

Colin Briggs

Look North

Controversial proposals which could have seen the Sunderland International Airshow held every two years rather than annually have been voted down.

The idea came from Conservative members of Sunderland City Council who claimed it would help save more than £2m for the city's budget.

The airshow attracts up to a million visitors.

Meanwhile, councillors confirmed a near 4% increase in council tax and plans to invest more than £169m in city-wide projects.

Sunderland airshow
PA

New homes planned on former cricket club site

Local Democracy Reporting Service

New family homes could be built on the site of a derelict cricket club under plans submitted to Sunderland City Council.

In 2015, outline permission was granted for housing on the former Chilton Moor Cricket Club site, in Black Boy Road, Fence Houses.

Finalised plans, submitted this month include 34 new homes with a mixture of two, three and four bedrooms alongside private parking spaces and/or garages.

A planning statement from Homes by Esh argues the Houghton-le-Spring site "does not perform a positive function which is of any value to the local community".

The developers claim the plans will meet housing need in the Coalfields area with the potential for affordable housing.

To compensate for the loss of space, the developer could also pay a six-figure sum to Sunderland City Council as part of a Section 106 agreement.

Around £159,043 would be split between education, ecology and highways with an extra £42,000 given to East Rainton Cricket Club to invest in and improve facilities.

Members of the public can leave comments on the plans until Friday, March 8 with a final decision expected by 15 May.

Former Chilton Moor Cricket Club site
Google

Glass Centre roof requires further repairs

The quirky glass roof at Sunderland's National Glass Centre needs further repairs before people are allowed to walk on it again.

Access has been barred for months, but there are now plans to erect more attractive barriers featuring temporary works of art.

The city council is considering the plans and access to the glass centre itself is not affected.

A 'no access' sign at Sunderland's National Glass Centre
BBC

Sunderland Council Tax under review

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A 3.99 per cent tax rise in Sunderland is to be formalised at the City Council Cabinet meeting next week.

This would mean a 70p per week increase in a Band A property and £1.04 in a Band D property.

One per cent of the money would go towards funding adult social care such as helping with eating, washing and domestic routines which is provided to 3,800 adults with disabilities.

The increase is expected to raise £99.6m towards a budget of £651.4m.

Former Sunderland school is set to be demolished

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Chris Binding

A former primary school is set to be demolished under new plans submitted to Sunderland City Council.

The Maplewood School site, in Redcar Road, has remained vacant for several years after pupils and staff made the move to a new multimillion-pound building in Ford Estate.

Council bosses aim to demolish existing buildings including the attached caretaker’s house and garage

If approved, the council plan to start the works on Monday, which are expected to take around eight weeks.

Former Maplewood Primary Scgool site
Google

A report states this will be done on economy and health and safety grounds, adding “the buildings have exceeded their useful economic lifespan and are now redundant”.

Planners are expected to make their final decision next week.