in the community, with the community, for the community

OFF TO BIG SCHOOL So are you in Year 6 and have just got notification of which secondary school you will be going to in September? The figures are out – 5,485 County Durham children applied, and almost 94% were allocated a place in their first choice school. As DCC Cabinet member Olwyn Gunn says, this is “fantastic”; the average for England last year was only 82%. Remember that you have to accept your school place by Friday, 15th March. We hope that no child in Aycliffe was one of the very few in the county who failed to secure a place in any of their chosen schools. Starting at ‘Big School’ is enough of a trauma as it is. If you are unhappy about the school place offered, this internet page tells you how to appeal: (Parents of children who have applied for a primary school place will find out after 16th April.)

JOINING UP HEALTH AND SOCIAL CARE As the crisis in the NHS seems to worsen, it has long been recognised that integration of Health Care and Social Care is essential to reduce duplication within the system, and to use resources more effectively. So it is good to hear that Durham County Council seems to be making progress in this respect. It is vital for all our health that this process seems to be moving from good intentions and warm words to tangible improvements in services.

COMMUNITY SPIRIT The Community Spirit Trade & Craft Fair last Saturday was a busy success, not only for the charity, but for the stall-holders who attended. The event was well-supported also by Aycliffe Radio, who provided the music. People sometimes complain that the community spirit of times past is too often lacking nowadays, and maybe they have a point. Thank you, then, to all those residents who made the effort to turn out – and treated us all to that lovely sound of a bustling indoor community fair!