Dear friends and residents,
Following our success of 2 County Councillors and 6 Town Councillors in May, I am pleased to update you on my progress in St Mary’s and Shafto Ward.
We have been working with Independent Councillors to redress the balance of power and create a 3 way democracy.
On my own ward I have had the vandalised and rotten wood at the back of McColls store rebuilt into a solid, waterproof unit, after 5 weeks liaising with their head office.
I have had potholes reported to Durham County ‘Do it on-line’ website. They have been successfully repaired.
I also got deep trench-like lorry damage to Central Avenue grass verge repaired, a broken branch hanging dangerously from a tree on Trevor Green removed. I sent nominations for the Aycliffe best garden competition for houses on Wolsey Close and Langley Road. I also helped an elderly resident get his garden waste removed after a 6 week delay.
I have several times supported the police by reporting off-road illegal motorbikes, when underage riders are going up footpaths in the dark with no helmet, no lights, no number plate and definitely, no tax, MOT, driving license or insurance.
Councillor Fleming also kindly reported illegal camping, parties and alcohol in public places on Whitehead Walk. I have reported damaged and corroded walls at Escomb Close to LIVIN twice and, more recently, Windlestone Walk as well as reporting trees blocking out views and sunlight to a resident on Trevor Green.
What I have enjoyed most is getting out and walking my Ward and talking to residents. We have set up cross party for Aycliffe a Covid Recovery Fund of £100,000, which is being gifted to local people to help them recover and rebuild their businesses, lives and social events they have had to miss or postpone.
Liberal Democrats are preparing a Focus Newsletter to notify voters what we have been doing as a team and asking you, the people, how we can help you and get your views on things, such as the incinerator being forced upon us by Durham County planning officers.
The rapid expansion of housing towards Middridge in the North and Chilton in the East is a concern for some due to new building going onto greenbelt areas.
I have also written to the Durham Police Crime and Victims Commissioner, to ask for the reinstatement of neighbourhood PACT (Police and Communities Together) meetings.
I asked for the police to stop focusing upon 35mph fines in Aycliffe Village and instead to concentrate on the 80mph races on the dual carriageway past the Gretna pub.
I have also asked for new bins on Rufus Green, St Aidans Walk and Escomb Close and outside St. Oswald’s Park because the 2 bins just inside the park gates are not accessible in the winter after 3pm
Let me know if you need to discuss issues on the estate via my email or phone number via the Great Aycliffe Council website.
Special thanks to the unsung heroes on my ward, litter picking as volunteers. I thank you all very much.
Councillor Tony Armstrong BA (Hons) HND PGCE