Dear Sir,
I was appalled to read in a previous issue of the Newton News that a charity was seeking volunteers to teach literacy to DCC primary school leavers, 5,000 of whom had failed to achieve the national standard of literacy! If this is indeed the case, there is something fundamentally wrong with education under DCC and I would have thought that the Cabinet should be conducting a thorough review of its Education Committee and staff and clearing out those who are failing our primary school leavers. However, it is more likely we are going to witness a re-run of the Sepp Blatter/FIFA farce, with nobody willing to accept responsibility for catastrophic failure.
It is very unlikely that pupils, who cannot read properly on leaving primary school, are going to achieve anything like their full potential and they are most likely destined to join the growing army of unemployed and unemployable youths.
Further, Deerbolt Young Offenders Institution is full of teenagers who cannot read or write!
In the last issue of the Newton News we were informed that the GATC was applying to take over the cost or running the A167 street lights. We the people of Great Aycliffe already pay for the street lighting via one of the highest Council Tax rates in the country.
I trust that when GATC start paying we will get a commensurate rebate on our Durham County Council Tax. (However, don’t hold your breath).
If as DCC say, the street lighting is not required now, why have we, the DCC tax payers, been paying for it since it was installed?  Indeed, why was it installed in the first place?
It would appear that the future under the Labour controlled DCC is to continue to pay top dollar for a failing education system, pay twice for street lights which DCC say are not required and pay twice for the garden waste bins, and twice for household waste collection (no saving was passed on for the change from weekly collections to fortnightly collections!).
It time for DCC to stop wasting time and money in trying to lead a North East super council and instead concentrate on providing a fit-for-purpose education system, street lighting system and waste collection system, and to charge only once for each.
Alastair P.G.Welsh