in the community, with the community, for the community

OUR TOP-PERFORMING POLICE Our local Police feature large in this week’s edition of the Newton News. Andy Boyd’s ‘Sergeant’s Blog’ details the proactive work our Neighbourhood Police are doing to address anti-social behaviour; and the article ‘Police Crack Down’ informs drivers of a campaign to catch people who won’t wear a seatbelt (so we have been warned)! Finally, we publish this week notice that, after 39 years in uniform, Chief Constable Michael Barton is to retire. Mr Barton has turned Durham Constabulary into the top-performing police force in the country, and we echo the comment of PCVC Ron Hogg that we have been very fortunate for his time at the helm.

FINANCIAL SHORTFALL You may not agree with the political comments in the article about the ‘PM’s Brexit Bung’, but the factual statements at the beginning of the article are nevertheless alarming about the vast amount of money lost by the North East since 2010. The government seems to have addressed the deficit by transferring it to local government, and our councillors face significant financial challenges as they struggle to maintain services in the face of continuing cuts – whatever political party they represent.

CYCLING TO WORK We were amused by the challenge in John Snowball’s letter that the County Councillors who had supported the County Council’s Cycling and Walking Strategy should themselves cycle to work at County Hall! His letter encouraged us to look up the Strategy (, which seeks to improve the cycling and walking networks, and to encourage greater participation. Looking at some of the roads round Newton Aycliffe (notably to Middridge, Eldon and Rushyford), it seems to the Newton News that a key aim must be to make the network infrastructure safer.

GETTING RECYCLING TO WORK Whilst we are talking things sustainable, and with Climate Change looming over everything, we cannot end without drawing readers’ attention to the article reminding us not to use black bags in our recycling bins. If the bin men spot a black bag in a recycling bin, they will not empty it, because they cannot verify that it contains recyclable items.