Dear Sir,

It gives me great pleasure to announce that I shall be standing as an Independent candidate for Shafto / St. Mary’s in the upcoming local election.

I chose to relocate to Newton Aycliffe over forty years ago and have worked at Tallents and Union Carbide whilst raising my family in this lovely town. Previously I have served on both Great Aycliffe Town Council and Sedgefield District Council taking pride in my achievements during those terms. Much of a Councillors work in those days was spent in representing those who elected me, ensuring repairs were made to council housing stock. I was at the forefront of a campaign to save the Avenue school, sadly Labour got their way and the school was closed.

Unlike some, I always spoke up for those people who elected me, and those who didn’t, without favour. I come out of retirement once again to serve the people of my area and my town as more and more residents are unhappy with the representation offered by Labour Councillors. I strongly believe that as a town we deserve better than we have had in recent years.

Who of us remembers the outrage of our service veterans at the closure and demolition of the DLI museum and the off-hand way in which our Durham Councillors treated them or indeed the disgraceful way that Teaching Assistants were treated? If in doubt, request a copy of the vote count on the closure and you won’t be surprised to see that all of our Labour County Councillors voted for the closure.

As a town and community, we appear to be paying more than our fair share of taxes to Durham for little return to our residents. Potholes are prevalent on our roads; People are complaining about the rise in Anti-Social Behaviour plaguing our neighbourhoods and we would like to see a return of some of the events held dearly by us such as the Great Aycliffe Show.

I note that we have an array of parties and personalities standing in this year’s elections from Lib Dems, Reform, Conservatives and, of course, Independents, some of whom don’t even live in Newton Aycliffe. Please consider, when you vote, who would be best for our town, it is not a beauty contest nor are you voting for parliament. If we are to make a difference this time, please, please turn out and vote, let them hear your voice through the ballot box. Please elect me to your local Council as I want the best for Newton Aycliffe.

David Elliot, Independent – At Your Service.