A problem that’s not going to go away anytime soon.

This is not what people want to hear but it’s the truth and the reality of the situation has to be faced before a possible solution can be considered. This is a community based problem requiring a community based solution which means taking a collective responsibility and a willingness to face some hard facts.

The number of cars on the town and surrounding areas is increasing which means few places are available to park your car and this is a reality that has to be dealt with. The grassed areas and verges are the responsibility of Durham County Council and Livin so, with all the best will in the world, town councillors like myself are limited to how much we can achieve in the short term.

Individual complaints about this problem, although justified, have limited effect as they don’t reflect the true scale of the problem or the damage done. If the number of cars continues to rise then we have to accept this problem will continue to create conflict as long as cars take priority over the welfare of the people in the community. There is no easy solution to this complex problem, and an appeasing quick fix to keep everyone happy is not an option. Unfortunately it’s a problem that’s going to be with us indefinitely unless we can work together as a community to identify the scale of the problem and find a workable and realistic outcome.

To this end I would like to ask the county councillors to work with the members of the town council, local community associations and Newton News to address this situation so that a detailed overview can be provided for Durham County Council and Livin so they can be made fully aware of the scale of the problem and the negative impact it’s having on the environment and on people’s lives.

If people have a car they need a place to park and we have to accept that sometimes this is going to be problematic and create a conflict situation. Until the wider issues can be addressed it has to come down to the individual to take personal responsibility for how and where they park their car and how it may impact on the lives of other people in their community.

Cllr Phillip Hawkins