Grindon, Hastings Hill, Springwell & Thorney Close Focus Team
Working hard all year round and getting things done for Grindon, Hastings Hill, North Farm, Springwell and Thorney Close
Councillor Margaret Crosby
I've lived locally all my life, teaching in Sunderland schools for 23 years, before becoming a carer for a family member. I am proud to have been elected to represent the people of Grindon, Thorney Close, Hastings Hill, North Farm and Springwell.
I keep in touch with residents with a regular "Focus" community newsletter and campaign to improve the area on behalf of residents. If there are any local issues you would like to discuss, or if there is anything that I can help with, please do not hesitate to contact me by phone, email or post, or I can meet you in person.
Councillor Stephen O'Brien
I live in Grindon, and I keep in touch with residents across Grindon, Thorney Close, Hastings Hill, North Farm, and Springwell with my regular 'FOCUS' community newsletter. I run campaigns to improve our area, and as an opposition councillor I stand up to the Council when residents feel it isn't listening or is making bad decisions.
If there are any local issues you would like to discuss or if there is anything that I can help with please don't hesitate to get in touch: I am available all year round at the end of the phone, by email or post, or I can meet you in person.
Councillor Paul Edgeworth
Telephone: 07435 753 950
I was born and raised in Sunderland and I am a proud Mackem. As well as my day job working with pubs and breweries, it is an honour to represent our area as a local councillor. As part of the local Lib Dem FOCUS Team I campaign to get things done for local people, to fight for our communities and to improve our city. I run campaigns all year round and keep in touch with regular surveys, petitions and our local FOCUS newsletter.
If there is anything that I can help with, that you would like to discuss or that you think I could be campaigning on please don't hesitate to get in touch. I am always available via phone and email, or I can arrange a home visit or an in-person meeting.
Local news and campaigns
Article: Apr 11, 2022By Paul Edgeworth
Speaking after Labour party leader Sir Keir Starmer's visit to Sunderland today (11th April) Wearside Lib Dem councillor Paul Edgeworth said:
"The Labour leader's second visit to Sunderland this year shows how desperate the local Labour party are to cling on to power and just how far their reputation has fallen in the city in recent years.
Call for roundabout upgrade and subway replacement if new Pennywell Greggs & Starbucks is given go aheadArticle: Apr 7, 2022By Margaret Crosby
Urgent road and pedestrian crossing improvements are needed if a new Greggs and Starbucks on Pennywell Industrial Estate in Sunderland are approved, according to local councillors for the area.
Plans have been submitted for a drive through Greggs bakery and a drive through Starbucks coffee shop on the former Dewhurst site on Pennywell Industrial Estate, next to the existing ALDI supermarket, KFC and Wickes store.
Article: Mar 3, 2022By Paul EdgeworthA Sunderland councillor is expecting a huge backlash from bus passengers as Sunderland Labour's plans for changing roads through the city centre will mean that thousands of people who get off the bus at Vine Place/TK Maxx won't be able to any longer.Propposals being put forward by Sunderland Council will mean buses can only travel one-way (westbound from the Fawcett Street end) up Holmeside and Vine Place. The dozens of routes that currently drop people off at Vine Place will be diverted into Park Lane, then around past the old Civic Centre, down Burdon Road and onto Fawcett Street to continue their journeys.
Article: Dec 9, 2021By Paul Edgeworth
Opposition Liberal Democrats on Wearside are calling on Sunderland Council to remove the £25 charge for a replacement wheelie bin where it has been stolen or set on fire, after councillors secured a review of the fee imposed by the City Council.
Sunderland Council's ruling Cabinet will now review the current policy where residents are charged £25 for a replacement bin no matter that the circumstances and make a decision on any changes to the current system in the new year.
Article: Nov 18, 2021By Margaret Crosby
A plan to improve the provision of lifesaving Automatic External Defibrillators (AEDs) across Sunderland has been given the backing of city councillors in a bid to save more lives.
The campaign was brought to a meeting of all 75 city councillors held on 17th November by Liberal Democrat councillor Margaret Crosby who wanted the Council to look at installing more defibrillators - as well as providing better information and publicity about where the machines are located in all parts of the city.
Article: Oct 7, 2021By Stephen O'Brien
Responding to completion of the Saudi-backed takeover of Newcastle United, Lib Dem Sunderland City Councillor and SAFC fan Stephen O'Brien said:
"Whilst I can understand that Newcastle fans are glad to see the back of Mike Ashley, this is a dark day for English football.
"The Premier League should hang their heads in shame for rolling out the red carpet for a brutal dictatorship which persecutes women, LGBT+ people and minorities.
Article: Sep 22, 2021By Stephen O'Brien
Liberal Democrat councillors in Sunderland have welcomed the announcement of trails of safe standing in Championship and Premier League clubs as a vial step towards seeing safe standing at the Stadium of Light.
Premier League and Championship clubs will be able to apply to trail safe standing in stadiums from1st January 2022.
Article: Sep 17, 2021By Paul Edgeworth
Lib Dem councillors on Wearside have backed a campaign for an official pardon for Sunderland greengrocer and 'metric martyr' Steve Thoburn.
It comes as the Government looks set to change the law to allow traders to sell items only using imperial measurements if they so wish.
Sunderland greengrocer Steve Thoburn was convicted for selling fruit and vegetables in pounds and ounces, despite always offering products in metric measurements for any customer who wanted it.
Article: Jun 24, 2021By Paul Edgeworth
A bid by Wearside Liberal Democrats to support renaming Newcastle Airport has passed its first hurdle as city councillors in Sunderland gave a plan their backing.
Councillors from all political parties gave agreed to a resolution to contact the airport's directors to ask them to consider a suitable new name for the Airport.
Article: Jun 12, 2021By Paul Edgeworth
Lib Dem councillors on Wearside want the airport to be renamed to reflect the growing ambitions of Sunderland and help put the city on the international map.
A bid has been launched to rename Newcastle Airport to 'Newcastle Sunderland International Airport' to reflect both of the cities it serves in Tyne and Wear.
Article: Apr 16, 2021By Martin Haswell
Inpatient beds at the new Sunderland Eye Infirmary will fall from 22 to just 8.
NHS chiefs on Wearside have admitted that plans to relocate the city's Eye Infirmary from its current site on Queen Alexandra Road to a new building on the Vaux site in the city centre will see a big reduction in the number of inpatient beds.
Article: Dec 10, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
An eyesore subway under one of the main dual carriageways into Sunderland has been vandalised and set on fire just week after upgrade works, sparking fury from the local community who want it replaced with a pedestrian crossing.
The Hastings Hill subway under Chester Road is the only way to get from Grindon and Hastings Hill estates to the new ALDI supermarket on the former Dewhirst site at Pennywell, or to catch a bus into town.
Article: Nov 16, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
Local Lib Dem councillors are calling for a rethink on a new bus route in Sunderland which takes residents in Hastings Hill to the nearby ALDI supermarket - but doesn't bring them back again.
Councillor Stephen O'Brien has warned that an extension to a bus route in Sunderland which begins today (Monday 16th November) risks leaving people high and dry by only running in one direction.
Article: Nov 1, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
Lib Dem plans to put up Christmas lights around Thorney Close to spread some festive cheer have been blocked by Labour-run Sunderland Council.
Local Lib Dem councillors put in a bid for Council funding to put up Christmas lights atplaces like Thorndale shops to help boost trade for businesses and give younger kids somewhere local they could go to look at the lights.
Article: Oct 13, 2020By Margaret Crosby
Local Liberal Democrat councillorMargaret Crosby has secured several thousand pounds to repair and resurface pavements and roads around the shops on Sevenoaks Drive in Hastings Hill.
Margaret arranged a meeting with local residents before bringing Sunderland Council staff out to discuss the poor state of repair of paths and roads. As a result repair works will now take place to improve them.
Article: Aug 14, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
Euro championship games due to be played at Wembley next year should be staged around Britain, with matches played at the Stadium of Light according to Wearside Lib Dems.
The delayed Euro 2020 tournament is now scheduled to take place in 2021, with three England games, a last 16 match, both semi-finals and the final due to be hosted at Wembley.
Article: Aug 12, 2020By Paul Edgeworth
Figures reveal 81,000 ambulance delays of over half hour for seriously ill patients in the North East last year.
The number of seriously ill patients in the North East of England having to wait over half an hour for an ambulance has significantly increased in the past year, new data uncovered by Liberal Democrat MP Layla Moran has revealed.
Article: Aug 11, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
Freshly cut grass in the Barnes Park Extension between Grindon and Thorney Close has been set alight by vandals for several days in a row, prompting anger as homes and gardens have been put at risk.
The Extension park has been subject to four or five arson attacks over the past few days, with youths setting fire to freshly cut grass.
Article: Jul 22, 2020By Paul Edgeworth
Reacting to today's announcement that the Government are reviewing the roles, powers and responsibilities of elected Police and Crime Commissioners, Sunderland Liberal Democrats have called for the positions to be scrapped entirely.
Opposition Lib Dems on Wearside say the cost of holding elections as well as the money associated with paying the Commissioner, their office, support staff and their expenses would be better spent on frontline policing instead.
Article: Jul 12, 2020By Paul Edgeworth
Residents across Grindon, Hastings Hill and Pennywell are being encouraged to have their say about plans for a new Greggs and drive-through coffee shop next to KFC and ALDI on the former Dewhirst site.
The retail park development had meant to house a new Marston's pub, but the plans were dropped. Developers are now asking for permission from Sunderland Council to build a new Greggs and a drive-through coffee shop.
Article: Jun 29, 2020By Margaret Crosby
Local councillors are calling on the Government to commit to a Summer Learning Fund that would support nearly 10,000 disadvantaged children across Sunderland to get ready for returning to school.
9,986 children across the city of Sunderland are eligible for free school meals and could now receive them during the six weeks holidays, following a recent Government u-turn.
Article: Jun 24, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
An eyesore subway between Grindon, Hastings Hill and Pennywell has been vandalised in the middle of upgrade works, sparking fury from the local community.
The Hastings Hill subway under the A183 (Chester Road) is being refurbished to provide a brighter, cleaner way to get between Grindon and Hastings Hill estates and the new ALDI supermarket on the former Dewhirst site at Pennywell.
Article: Jun 3, 2020By Paul Edgeworth
The notorious Hastings Hill subway under the A183 dual carriageway in Sunderland is finally being upgraded after years of complaints from residents - just in time for a new ALDI supermarket opening on 11th June.
Upgrade works have begun on infamous underpass beneath the A183 Chester Road.The Hastings Hill subway links the former Dewhirst site at Pennywell with Grindon and Hastings Hill estates on the south side of the road.
Article: Jun 1, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
A Sunderland City Councillor who campaigned for Council Tax to be suspended during the COVID-19 crisis has welcomed a cut in bills for those who need help.
In March Lib Dem councillor for Grindon and Thorney Close Stephen O'Brien called for people in Council Tax bands A-E to be given a 6-month holiday from payments, to help those struggling with the financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Article: May 31, 2020By Margaret Crosby
Sunderland City Councillors will convene for their first online meeting next month - but there is anger as the public won't be able to have their voice heard.
Sunderland City Council is due to hold its first online meeting of all 75 city councillors on 10th June.
But opposition Liberal Democrat councillors on Wearside have hit out after they were told that the public wouldn't be able to ask questions as usual.
Article: May 27, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
Grindon and Thorney Close councillor Stephen O'Brien has hit out after residents have complained that trees planted as part of a £160,000 scheme look like they're dying.
A scheme which has seen 424 trees planted across Sunderland as part of the government's Urban Tree Challenge Fund to see more trees in urban areas has come under fire after complaints some of the trees are already starting to die.
Sunderland councillor calls for English national anthem & St George's Day bank holiday, as Council fails to fly flagArticle: Apr 22, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
Sunderland City Council won't be flying the England flag at the Civic Centre this year, as it doesn't feel it can do so due to social distancing requirements.
A Wearside local councillor who wanted Sunderland City Council to fly the Engla nd flag at the Civic Centre to mark St George's Day has said that England's national day should be used to reflect on and celebrate the way the country has come together during the coronavirus crisis.
Article: Mar 19, 2020By Stephen O'Brien
City Councillor Stephen O'Brien is calling on the Government to give a 6-month holiday on Council Tax payments to help families cope with the impact of Covid-19.
Stephen O'Brien, Liberal Democrat councillor for Grindon, Springwell and Thorney Close wants people in Council Tax bands A-E to be given a 6 month holiday from payments, to help those struggling with the financial impact of the Covid-19 crisis.
Article: Mar 11, 2020By Paul Edgeworth
Reacting to the announcement in today's Budget that the government will relocate 22,000 civil service jobs outside of central London, Lib Dem campaigner for Grindon and Thorney Close Paul Edgeworth said:
"Moving high quality civil service jobs out of central London is absolutely the right thing to do - but the Government must realise that the North doesn't stop at Manchester and that bringing these jobs to Sunderland would be a huge game changer for our city's prosperity, in a way that moving them to Manchester, Leeds or even Newcastle just wouldn't for those places.
Article: Feb 20, 2020By Margaret Crosby
Commenting on the former Farringdon Hall police station in Sunderland being set on fire earlier today, local councillor for neighbouring Thorney Close Margaret Crosby said:
"For years local people have been concerned at the deteriorating state of the former police station building which has become a hot spot for fly-tipping and vandalism. Thanks go out to the fire brigade for dealing with today's fire.
Article: Dec 23, 2019By Margaret Crosby
Local Lib Dems are demanding answers from the City Council about their plans for the future of the Thorney Close Primary School site, after it was announced that the school is due to be demolished.
A local councillor is demanding answers about Sunderland City Council's plans for the future of the site of Thorney Close Primary School.
Article: Dec 17, 2019By Stephen O'Brien
Local councillors are urging Northumbria Police's Crime Commissioner to come up with a plan to tackle repeated arson attacks in Thorney Close after a spate of vehicles being torched.
Liberal Democrat councillors for Thorney Close Stephen O'Brien and Margaret Crosby are asking a local police chief for more resources to keep residents on an arson-hit estate in Sunderland safe.
Article: Nov 27, 2019By Stephen O'Brien
Motorists on Tay Road, which links Grindon and Thorney Close estates, had glass bottles and rocks thrown at their vehicles by a group of young people last night (26th November).
A local councillor is urging anyone with information about those responsible for attacks on people driving between two Sunderland estates to contact the police.
Article: Nov 20, 2019By Stephen O'Brien
Safe standing campaigners on Wearside have welcomed a commitment in the Liberal Democrats manifesto published today (20th November) to introduce safe standing at football grounds in England.
The Liberal Democrats manifesto for the General Election on 12th December has been published today, and includes a commitment to "move towards introducing 'safe standing' at football clubs, requiring the Sports Grounds Safety Authority to prepare guidance for implementing this change."