Dear Sir,

Last week’s Newton News threw up some interesting facts: Dorothy Bowman is standing for both Aycliffe North for Durham County Council, and Byerley Park, Horndale & Cobblers Hall Ward for the Town Council. Now her claim to what she has done is all about the Whinlatter Bridge, an area of the West Ward, which is being addressed by Eddy Adam and Kate Hopper, although sitting Councillors in the area and are seeking re-election.

Dorothy Bowman lives in the West Ward and has no links with Byerley Park, The Chase, Greenfield and Horndale, let alone Cobblers Hall. We have enough problems with people coming from other areas seeking election without Dorothy coming in the hope of being re-elected, she represented this ward on the Town but did nothing in this area of the Town. She demands respect against Anti-Social behaviour, yet does not even mention by name the Police & Crime Commissioner standing for County Durham and Darlington.

Candidates are Joy Allen, Labour; Anne-Marie Curry, Lib Dem and George Jabbour, Conservative. The most experienced of the three is, without doubt, Joy Allen. I have not yet seen any information from the Lib Dems, and the Conservative candidate could not write his own letter to constituents, but used our MP, Paul Howell, to send it out. The leaflet did not address the issues that are relevant to us, like Crime and Anti-Social Behaviour, it does however mention Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor, who is opposed to the police and makes no secret of that fact.

Yet, it was the Conservative Government, under David Cameron, with the support of the Lib Dems, during the time of the coalition government, who introduced elected Police & Crime Commissioners.

Now, I don’t know what the qualifications of the other candidates are, but if they can’t put these out, then they do not deserve to represent us as the Police & Crime Commissioner. However, on the other hand, we have Joy Allen with BA Hons in Management & Administration, an MSc in Security & Crime Risk Management and an MBA from Durham University Business School.

The lockdown caused by Covid-19 has made the campaign open and allowed the people to analyse the election promises made by others, like the Lib Dems, with the main issue being Council Tax. I must congratulate Jed Hillary on the report he made in a recent edition of Newton News ‘Perplexing Claims’, this is exactly what people are saying, they know that they have to pay Council Tax to pay for services, but what do people expect the Council to cut? Without repeating Jed Hillary’s comments. I visit the gym or other areas in the community that I go to, the comments are the same from the people, not the promises made by the opposition.

Over the last four years Durham County Council have made significant cuts, they made all the Youth workers redundant and closed down the centres or it was transferred under Community Asset Transfer.

Vince Crosby