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Washington South Focus Team

A strong opposition voice for Ayton, Lambton, Oxclose and Rickleton.

Steve Donkin (Lib Dem, Washington South)

Steve Donkin

Councillor candidate for Washington South.

Steve Donkin has lived in Washington since 1988. For 15 years he has lived in the Washington South Ward in Lambton and Oxclose and was carer for his late father for 11 years. He now lives in Oxclose. He is a member of the National Advisory Board at the Institute for Community Studies and locally, when exams take place, is an Invigilator at Oxclose Academy.

Sunderland born and bred, Steve has worked as a self-employed Voluntary & Community Services consultant for 12 years working with charities, often in areas of high deprivation. As a result, the VCS has become increasingly creative in how it responds to challenges and addresses gaps in services. The City has suffered greatly from cuts in public funding and services and it is this combination of service to the community and challenge that has led him to stand as a local councillor in his home ward in Washington.

Steve is older than he wants to be but not as wise as he would like to be! A father to five humans and three cats, he attempts to battle the galloping onset of old age by keeping busy and physically active through swimming, playing squash, cricket and snooker.

A loyal and determined team player, he has a love of the Lake's, Iain Rankin Rebus novels, the music of Bruce Springsteen, Elbow and the Lake Poets, stand-up comedy stretching from the sublime to the ridiculous and, despite aversion therapy, still supports Sunderland AFC.

He has appeared on the TV quiz show "15 to 1" and exceeded his own expectations by not getting knocked out in the first round of questions. A diverse career includes being a free-lance sports reporter - pre-Alan Partridge - and is the go-to person to act as MC at VCS events in Sunderland - but if a professional presenter drops out at short notice. His sense of humour is an acquired taste that is not immediately apparent to or indeed appreciated by all.

Local news and campaigns

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan ()
    Article: Mar 5, 2021
    By Heather Fagan

    Commenting on proposals by Sunderland City Council to build a new crematorium on green space between Doxford Park, Farringdon and Gilley Law, Liberal Democrat councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan said:

    "Local people are shocked at these proposals for a new crematorium facility and feel that the Council hasn't been open and honest about their plans.

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan ()
    Article: Feb 13, 2021
    By Heather Fagan

    Thousands of people across Sunderland have been told that their bins won't be emptied at all following disruption to collections this week as a result of cold weather conditions.

    Local Lib Dem councillors in Sunderland are urging City Council bosses to urgently sort a replacement bin collection for thousands of people who have been told they will have to wait another 2 weeks until their bins are collected.

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan ()
    Article: Dec 6, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    Local councillor Heather Fagan is delighted that funding has been secured for a new street cleaning operative for the community across Doxford, Tunstall, Moorside and Hall Farm.

    Heather said, "I know how important is is to keep our roads, paths and green spaces clean and tidy, which is why it is great news that your local Lib Dems have convinced the Council to employ a street cleaner who will be working around our area to clear up the likes of rubbish, leaves and weeds.

  • Councillor Martin Haswell
    Article: Nov 5, 2020
    By Martin Haswell

    Lib Dem councillors in Sunderland are asking the Council to approve a plan to reduce stress for pets and their owners from fireworks.

    Liberal Democrat councillors Martin Haswell (Pallion and Ford Estate) and Heather Fagan (Doxford and Tunstall) are asking Sunderland Council to approve a plan to tackle nuisance noise from fireworks in future years.

  • Heather Fagan at Morrison's car park
    Article: Sep 1, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    Doxford's Lib Dem councillor Heather Fagan has managed to secure repairs to Morrison's car park following complaints from residents.

    Heather has convinced the private company which is responsible for the car park to re-surface the disabled parking bays where the tarmac is in a terrible state.

    Heather is also keeping up the pressure to get large potholes and uneven surfaces across the rest of the car park repaired, after residents reported several trips and falls due to the poor state of the tarmac.

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan
    Article: Aug 6, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    Commenting on the Government's announced changes to the planning system, Liberal Democrat councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan said:

    "Instead of making it easier for developers to press ahead with new housing estates without needing planning permission, what is actually needed is more thought, better planning and joined-up thinking. I fear that today's announcement will mean even less scrutiny and accountability to local councils and communities.

  • Councillor Heather Fagan inspecting recent damage on Weymouth Road
    Article: Jun 22, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    A car crash outside Portland Academy school in Doxford has led local councillor Heather Fagan to demand measures to reduce speeding on roads in the area.

    The roundabout outside Portland Academy on Weymouth Road - between Hall Farm, Chapelgarth and Moorside estates - was the scene of a car smash at the weekend, with bollards, lights and signs on the roundabout being destroyed.

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan ()
    Article: May 31, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    Councillor Heather Fagan welcomes Go North East U-turn, after people on an estate in Ryhope in Sunderland were at risk of being left stranded.

    Bus company Go North East is drastically cutting its services from 1st June, slashing services as people start to come out of lockdown.

    The decision was going to mean residents on Tunstall Bank Estate in Ryhope would have been left with no services during the day Monday to Saturday, as the 38 bus will now only go as far as Hollycarrside.

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan ()
    Article: Mar 31, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    Workers at Barclays offices at Doxford International Business Park in Sunderland won't have to increase their risk of catching or spreading coronavirus after a local councillor stepped in to find a solution to parking problems.

    Due to a shortage of parking spaces outside Barclay's Sunderland offices at Doxford Park, staff usually park in overflow carparks in Silksworth and using a minibus to get from their cars to the office building.

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan ()
    Article: Mar 11, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    Commenting on the announcement in the Budget that South Sunderland will receive a share of £1.1 billion of Housing Infrastructure Fund money, Lib Dem councillor for Doxford and Tunstall Heather Fagan said:

    "I look forward to seeing further details of just how much money Sunderland City Council is going to get in order to improve infrastructure in the Doxford and Ryhope areas where the community is set to change beyond all recognition by the building of thousands of new homes.

  • Lib Dem councillor for Doxford Heather Fagan ()
    Article: Jan 22, 2020
    By Heather Fagan

    Liberal Democrats in Sunderland will force a vote on ending "shameful" free Empire Theatre tickets which are given to councillors.

    Opposition Liberal Democrat councillors in Sunderland are trying to end the situation where hundreds of free Empire Theatre tickets are given to city councillors.

    Lib Dem councillors - who refuse to take the free tickets - have revealed through the Freedom of Information Act that 172 freebie tickets were taken by Labour and Conservative councillors between May 2017 and June 2019.