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

CYBER security is to come under the spotlight

as police demonstrate a live hack to encourage businesses to protect themselves. The safety of the online world is a hot topic with threats from hackers, criminals, activists, terrorists and even disgruntled employees who target vulnerable firms. Now the North East Cyber Crime Unit (NERSOU) has teamed up with local police forces to host ‘cyber breakfasts’ in a bid to urge businesses to protect themselves against the growing menace of cyber-crime.

Detective Sergeant Martin Wilson from NERSOU, said: “North East businesses are underprepared when it comes to cyber threats, with many having no contingency plans in place for a crisis. Whilst it is easy enough to recognise an insecure window or an unlocked door, it is not always as easy to spot that your computer system has been compromised. The purpose of these breakfasts is simple, we want to show businesses how they can be vulnerable to a cyber-attack by demonstrating a live hack with the help of Waterstons, an IT consultancy based in Durham. This may all sound like doom and gloom but it is not, we can give you the support to defend against these hacks and are offering a free vulnerability assessment service, which can give you an overview of your ICT weaknesses so you can fix them before cyber criminals find them.”

The free events will take place in Durham City, Darlington and Barnard Castle and it will be a chance for businesses to speak to experts in cyber-crime and enable organisations in the North East to come together to share their experiences and learn from best practice. “Cyber-crime has been on people’s radars for a while now but it is still an evolving global threat and attacks are incredibly disruptive. It is a growing part of the workload of policing in UK,” said DS Wilson whose team has recently expanded to deal with these type of crimes. “We are a dedicated team of detectives here to protect businesses and members of the public,” he added.

The events are free but tickets are allocated on a first-come first-served basis. Go to

PC Todd-Crime Report
PC Todd-Crime Report

Happy New Year! The end of 2017 saw an increase in crime which I hope will not be repeated in the coming year. For instance, you may have seen the scaffolding surrounding the North side of St Edmund’s church. This is in response to thieves having stolen the lead from the roof on two occasions within a week.

Turner’s Garage has also become a target of criminals when a vehicle was stolen from their compound. On another occasion a number of recovery vehicles were entered and tools were stolen. In East End a vehicle’s number plates, which were subsequently used for criminal purposes in the Cleveland area, were stolen. A suspect has been arrested.

During the festive holidays a number of residents of The Meadows and Cragside became victims when their Christmas lights were vandalised by youths. CCTV footage has been recovered and, if identified, these youths will be visited by police. Early in the New Year a car was damaged in Winterton. The footprint marks on the bonnet indicate another mindless act of damage.

Pub Watch

A meeting was held recently in the newly opened and renamed Pickled Parson pub. Members welcomed Jamie (assistant manager) into the Pub Watch scheme and we look forward to working with all the staff in the future. I would encourage all residents to visit this tastefully refurbished pub which will complement the village’s already established venues.


The Pact priority for the Neighbourhood Police Team remains the anti-social behaviour of some youths on an evening, mainly at weekends. Parents, Please could you emphasize to your children the need to be respectful and courteous at all times.

Until next time, Keith.

SDT Projects

Sedgefield Development Trust Annual General Meeting

7.45 pm on February 12th 2018 in the Fletcher Room, Parish Hall. A short business meeting, followed by refreshments and an opportunity to meet the trustees & volunteers, and to talk about current and future projects. Any special or general resolutions proposed must be with the Company at its registered office, 7 Melgrove Way, Sedgefield, TS21 2JN, no later than 12 noon on Friday 9th February. Nominations for Directors must be with the Company Secretary no later than 12 noon Friday 9th February. This AGM is an open, public meeting. SDT is owned and controlled by the community. Sedgefield Development Trust is a company limited by guarantee; Company Number: 4312745 and is a registered charity; Charity Number: 1100806

Woodland and Wildlife area

Top of the news this month is a new project which begins its practical work next month, on a patch of ground on the Northern boundary of NETPark. Trees and hedging for a new woodland and wildflower meadow (our provisional name is Winterton Wood) are ordered and they will be planted in March!

840 trees, some tools and lots of advice and practical help, are coming from the Woodland Trust, with hedging plants and wildflower seeds to be provided by Business Durham, part of Durham County Council. Both organisations have given this project their full backing, and share our hope that we can create a place that will be enjoyed by generations to come.

This is all happening because at a Farmers’ Market a couple of years ago, someone new to the area spoke to our chairman, saying that she would like to plant trees. Well, it has taken a while to organise, but here we are at last.

So, if you would like to help make a wood, meet us at our AGM - see top of page, or catch us at the SDT or the Woodland Trust stall at the next Farmers’ Market, or text Roger on 07803 269956, including your email address in the message. An initial site meeting for volunteers has been arranged (subject to weather!) at 11am on Saturday 24th February. You’ll be given directions when you contact us.

Sedgefield Farmers’ Market

The community stall in February sees the return of The Woodland Trust after a very successful visit in January. They will be promoting our tree planting in March of course, as well as their own activities. In stall news, anyone lucky enough to taste Pushpa’s Home Cooked Indian Snacks in January will be pleased to know that she’s back this month, along with other regular stalls returning after their winter break.

Sedgefield Energy Switch DATE CORRECTION

In our January article we said that you need to register for this Auction if you are already with the scheme, with First Utility as your current supplier and your existing energy contract ending before the end of April 2018. This should have stated BEFORE THE END OF MAY 2018. Our apologies if this error has inconvenienced you.

So, for those in the above category as well as anyone interested in joining for the first time, the Registration period is open until FEBRUARY 12TH 2018. There is still time to register, although time is getting short. If you would like any further information or need any assistance, please call the Sedgefield Development Trust Helpline on 07980 134 594 and we will be more than happy to help.

Homework Help is up and running!

Some DBS checks have been completed, others are pending. We have particular strengths in maths, physics, chemistry and French up to A-Level; biology, humanities and English up to GCSE. We're happy to help pupils and students aged from about 8 upwards.

If we haven't listed your topic of interest, please get in touch and we'll see what we can do. We have received a request for help with A-Level biology, but the team is not really able to respond adequately. We'd love to be able to help, so if anyone is willing and able to, please contact me. Tamzin Lafford.

Contact SDT

Via the individual project telephone numbers and email addresses, or simply email

Ceddesfeld Hall-Home of Sedgefield Community Association

SCA is delighted that the New Year sees new events and activities coming to Ceddesfeld Hall. Tiny Talk (baby signing and toddler talking) begin weekly sessions on Thursday 25th January, from 9.30 am to 10.30 am in the main hall. Tiny Talk is a national organisation, now in its 15th year, which delivers classes to over 7000 families a week. With their much-loved mix of lively nursery rhymes, multi-sensory toys, instruments, books and playtime, with a special focus on easy-to-learn signs and the importance of understanding each other; it’s a lesson not to be missed! After the session, there is social time with hot drinks, biscuits and a chance to chat to other parents/carers and make long lasting friendships, for you and your babies! For information, please contact Emma Francis, on 01483 301444 or visit

Due to popular demand, a new beginner’s ukulele class starts at 8 pm on Friday 9th February and continues every second Friday. Sessions cost £3 and are run by Lol Crallan. Call 01740 621729 for further information.

An Open Mic night is planned for Saturday 17th February. Entry is free. There are plans to decorate the bar and foyer, beginning in February, and spring time brings the Easter Picnic on Easter Monday and St George’s Dinner on April 21st. Both events help the preparation of Sedgefield Mediaeval Fayre which takes place on Saturday 19th May.

Further ahead we have Sedgefield Community Day, June 23rd, the Beer Festival, 6th & 7th July and the Folk Festival, 31st August/1st September. The second book festival event ‘Sedgefield Book Ends’ begins on Saturday 29th September and runs to 20th October. We really hope to build on last year. So there’s a lot going on and all are welcome to get involved by taking part or volunteering.

The newly laid out SCA website provides a full programme of annual events and details of the different organisations which regularly meet at Ceddesfeld Hall. You will also find information on room hire, bar opening times and useful contacts. Take a look and see!

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

Antisocial behaviour

This continues to be an issue raised by many people in Sedgefield and Fishburn. Our local police do react to reports of problems, and here is an example; Issue: 28 December 2017. Anti-Social Behaviour in Eden Drive and surrounding areas. Action: Targeted patrols by the Beat Team and Special Constabulary. Dispersal notice in place for various weekends. Five Community Protection Notices issued to parents of youths found drinking in the area.

If you wish to speak to a representative from the neighbourhood policing team You are welcome to attend the next PACT meeting on 27th February between 7-8pm in the Fletcher Room, Parish Hall. PC Todd reports on these meetings every month on this page and your input would be welcomed. Editor

Sedgefield U3A

Having enjoyed a wide variety of informative and interesting speakers at our monthly meetings last year we were not disappointed when January’s talk by Barbara Dixon, a retired Registrar, proved equally entertaining. Her talk, while detailing the more official details and restraints of the office, also gave many opportunities for funny stories – through odd spellings of names, misunderstandings on both sides of the desk and the need to prompt some ethnic minorities of the need to stay within British law - and it’s not just Births, Deaths and Marriages which have to be registered...

Our February Meeting will be on Bee Keeping. Roger Chappel will talk us through the history, the present and the future of this essential skill.

If you are bemused, irritated, or perhaps even unaware of Smart Motorways, come and join us at our March Meeting, when Mal Bell will explain the rational and engineering behind them and how traffic management methods to increase capacity and reduce congestion in particularly busy areas are deployed.

U3A is a group for retired or semi-retired people who wish to maintain a healthy, lively and enquiring lifestyle – particularly as age catches up with us. Our monthly meetings take place in the Parish Hall at 2-4pm on the first Friday of each month; do come along and join us, listen to our speaker, have a coffee and find out all about what we offer in Sedgefield and district.

Scouts say thanks

After a few missed years we again offered a local Christmas card delivery service to residents of Sedgefield, for a Donation to the Group’s funds. This year we raised £129. Thank you very much to all who used the service and donated. We hope to repeat it next Christmas. However, we have 3 cards that we have been unable to deliver due to the lack of correct address information. We will keep these cards until mid February at the scout hall. They will be available to see on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9pm.

Yours in Scouting, Hugh Dunlop, AESL St Edmund’s Explorer Group 1st Sedgefield Scout Troop.

Well done Lesley

Congratulations to Lesley Swinbank, our previous Town Clerk, on being awarded the SLCC (Society of Local Council Clerks) National Award for 2017. The Award recognises excellence in the Clerks’ profession. Lesley was Sedgefield Town Clerk for many years before moving on to work both regionally and nationally.

Julia Bowles

Memory Cafe

Many thanks to everyone who attended the launch event for our Memory Cafe at the Fire Station on Friday 15th December. It was a great success and marvellous to see so many there. A big Thank You to the local businesses and members of the community who donated prizes for the raffle and tombola. Your generosity is much appreciated . The café will be open once again on Thursday 22nd February 10.30-1200. If you, family ,friends or neighbours are affected by dementia, please come along enjoy a cuppa and a chat. If you are a local business and would like to know what you can do to help make Sedgefield a Dementia Friendly Community please feel free to join us.

For further information contact Jill Anderson 07940 111442, Andrew Wells 07809 893086 or Dorothy Anderson