Shildon Gateway Arches consultation
The Arches were erected in Main Street, Church Street and the Town Square of Shildon in 2000. Over a period of time the arches have deteriorated with flaking paint and rusting metalwork clearly visible.
To undertake improvement works, funding would need to come from existing budgets.
Why did we consult on the future of the Shildon Arches?
At a time of economic uncertainty and austerity Durham County Council has been tasked to make budget savings of some £250 million between 2011 and 2020.
We have to identify where savings can be made in every area of our work and as part of the savings we are looking to make we did propose to remove the arches however, following local queries, options for retention were put out to consultation to seek people's views on the Arches and to look at ways of reducing ongoing maintenance costs.
The options were:
- Full demolition of the arches (cost £17,014)
- Repair and keep all the arches (20 year cost £221,449)
- Removal of metal arches and retain brick/stone columns (cost £18,106)
- Retain one of the arches (20 year costs: Main Street - £72,881/Church Street-£79,964/Town Square-£68,604)
A further question was designed as a separate question rather than a sub-question, to enable all respondents to have a say on which arch should be retained should that option be chosen.
Our consultation took place between 23 September and 24 October 2016.
As part of our consultation a manned drop in event with display boards was held from 10am till 8pm on 4 October 2016 at the Civic Hall, Shildon.
- 71 people attended the event and completed a questionnaire
Display Boards were left at the Library with questionnaires for people to complete from 5 October - 24 October 2016.
- 3 people completed questionnaires at the Library
Durham County Council Survey Online was also available from 23 September to 24 October 2016.
- 271 online responses were received
Officers also attended the Town Council Meeting on 10 October 2016 to present the options.
During the course of the consultation period additional correspondence was received from:-
- 1 Letter from Shildon Town Council received on 17 October 2016 which states "At a Town Council meeting held on 10 October members discussed the Shildon Arches Consultation containing options on the future of the Arches situated at Main Street, Church Street and the Town Square. Members wish to place on record that the Town Council unanimously resolved to support the majority view of the community on the future of the Shildon Arches"
Two Petitions were submitted during the consultation period.
- Petition 1 was received on 19 October 2016. It was titled Save Our Arches, with the further description "We call on DCC to reconsider and ultimately to retain and maintain our Arches". The petition contained 877 signatures.
- Petition 2 was an online petition which can be viewed at Change.org: Save Our Arches and contained 218 signatures
Overall 347 respondents completed this questionnaire (271 online and 76 paper).
Q1. Which of the proposed options for the Shildon Arches do you prefer? (346 responses)
Full demolition of the arches (cost £17,014)
Removal of metal arches and retain the brick/stone columns (cost £18,106)
Repair and keep all the arches (20 year cost £221,449)
Retain one of the arches (20 year costs: Main Street-£72,881/Church Street-£79,964/Town Square-£68,604)
Q2. If it was decided to keep one of the arches, which would you prefer to be kept? (191 responses).
Main Street Arch (20 year cost: £72,881)
Church Street Arch (20 year cost: £79,964)
Town Square Arch (20 year cost: £68,604)
Q3. Do you have any further comments about the Shildon Arch proposals? - Coding Framework (164 valid responses)
1. Raised concerns about maintenance not being carried out
2. Use local companies to keep maintenance costs down / costs are high
3. Can Charitable funds be accessed to keep the arches / can communities contribute
4. Like the character of the arches /Keep
5. The Council should not keep them as it cannot afford it
-99. Not responding to the question
We asked people to provide their addresses to enable us to monitor the responses to the questionnaire to ensure fairness and avoid multiple responses. This was done by gathering information about the respondents to both the online submissions and those who attended the drop-in event.
Shildon Address and Postcode
Following the consultation responses received the council will now move to repair the arches at an estimated cost of just over £85,000.
- Shildon arches consultation
- 03000 267 967