As you know, I believe it is part of my councillor’s duties to keep residents up to date with developments in the Council and community, which please find listed below. As always – if you want to find out more about any of the following please go to my blog at:


• Durham County Council has issued two important consultations on its Health & Wellbeing Strategy, and on the Safe Durham Partnership (which please respond to).

• The County’s tourist strategy has received two national boosts – firstly when The Independent named Durham one of the best cities in the world to visit in 2020, and then when The Times highlighted Visit County Durham’s ‘Year of Pilgrimage’.

• Climate change has been in the news this week. The Northern Echo featured three articles on the County Council’s achievements – ‘Extinction Rebellion has to win’, ‘£1m project to revive County Durham woodland’ and ‘Plans to tackle climate change in County Durham’. In addition, Business Durham’s challenge to its student Future Business Magnates teams was to come up with ‘business ideas which will save the planet’.

• Whilst Darlington is pressing ahead with a Rail Heritage Quarter to mark the bicentenary of the Stockton & Darlington Railway, DCC portfolio-holder for Economy & Regeneration Carl Marshall has criticised the poor performance of the current TransPennine Express trains.

And, finally:

• The deadline for applications for Primary School places for next academic year (starting September 2020) is Wednesday 15 January.

• Middridge Parish Council met on Monday 7 January.

• Great Aycliffe Town Council has asked keepers of poultry to be vigilant after a case of avian influenza (H5N3) was confirmed at a commercial chicken farm in Mid Suffolk.

• Newton Aycliffe Police have published the list of PACT meetings for 2020, and

• The HealthWatch County Durham January newsletter is published, including items on arranging a visit to your group; smoke-free hospitals; beating the January Blues; the Trylife Project; a Patient Experience survey; do you have hearing loss; BAGH consultation dates and more.