‘You MUST VOTE! Or you will not see your Councillor for another four years!’

Dear Voters,

I can honestly say that in 16 years in Shafto / St. Mary’s and 2 years in Bluebell, that I have never once had a Councillor knock on my door to see what local residents want or need.

I will try to turn this negative into a positive. What has driven me to stand for my ward and county is my strong belief that Councillors should be visible and pro-active in their town.

I promise to be visible and walk the streets to meet people, not just cynically every four years, a few weeks before an election, but regularly, and local residents will know where I live and feel welcome to knock on my door.

I will work with anyone who respects the town and its people for the common good, and will work with Labour, Independents and Conservatives to get things done for the town.

I just want to improve the town, to leave a positive legacy for your children and mine, and will seek to liaise with the police to make this a better place to live where ASBO neighbours, boy racers and litter on the streets are not tolerated.

I am not seeking election for fame and fortune, or an ego trip. It’s not about us and them, it’s about the town’s people.

Hitachi aren’t opening restaurants and theatres in Newton Aycliffe so, while business growth is important, we don’t want the new employees and managers spending their money outside of Newton Aycliffe, because we only have golf courses and a leisure centre.

When was the last time Great Aycliffe Town Council asked you what you want them to provide in the town? It’s no good them saying Durham controls everything and has all the budgets.

Aycliffe has seven County Councillors. Why are they not asking you, the people, what you want them to do with the £20,000 they get each every year? Do they think they know better than you? It is not their pocket money to spend on vanity projects to make them look good, it’s your money.

Please reflect for a moment that Councillors are not there to do you a favour and be available when they feel like it. They are public servants, there to listen to you. Tell them what you need, don’t just let them go off doing pet projects to satisfy their personal interests, they are accountable to you.

Being a Councillor is not just a part time hobby to put on your CV. Demand more from your Councillors and don’t let them get complacent. If they haven’t got time to do it they shouldn’t seek election.

Whether you vote for me or not, please make sure you do vote, because if you get someone you don’t like, you can’t complain if you didn’t vote. Best Wishes Dear Friends, and I hope we have a clean and fair contest.

Tony Armstrong

Your Liberal Democrat candidate for Great Aycliffe Town Council, St Mary’s & Shafto Ward; Durham County Council, Aycliffe East

PS: Do you realise only 26% of people vote in Newton Aycliffe?