Tag Archives: darlington

Local Government doing less to achieve more

Darlington Borough Council is skint. One of the smallest local authorities in the country, Darlington was created as a Unitary Authority in 1997. Since then, it has been governed (like many Northern councils) exclusively by Labour, and it now stands on the verge of bankruptcy (the two facts may not be unrelated).

Specifically, the Council have calculated the need for £12.5m in spending cuts over the next four years. To go: Darlington’s historic indoor market, the public library (both of which were donated to the town by the Pease family), the town centre’s Christmas lights and floral displays, several children’s centres, and multiple other social, environmental and cultural services. Streets will be swept less frequently. Charges will be introduced for blue badge holders.

Are these cuts to local services best blamed on central government, with its reduction in funding for local authorities, or on incompetent and profligate local councils? Certainly, cuts in central government funding have been made, with the provision of local services affected; certainly, other local authorities facing similar cuts are not broke. The truth of the matter is probably somewhere between the two!

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

By-election watch: 10/11 April… Luton bringing me sunshine…

Ballot boxThree principal authority by-elections this week, two candidates and one win…

We start with Darlington, where Howard Jones was flying our flag in Lascelles ward, one which we didn’t fight in 2011. Plaudits should go the team there, who have demonstrated that there is a vote for us out there, if we make a case. The Conservatives were pushed into third place, perhaps reflecting national opinion polls that are showing them at their lowest level in this Parliament. The result was;

  • Helen Crumbie (Labour) – 426 votes (63%, -17%)
  • Howard Jones (Liberal Democrat)

Posted in Council by-elections | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

In other news… London PPBs, Clegg paint attack, Turing pardon latest, Darlington Lib Dem leader barred

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

  • Lib Dems fight reduction of their party political broadcasts in London (Guardian)
  • Provisional plans being drawn up by the BBC suggest giving the Lib Dems two party political broadcasts for the elections – the same as the Green party – rather than the three the Lib Dems enjoyed alongside Labour and the Conservatives in 2008. … A party source said the Lib Dems were confident the decision would be overturned, given that they have seven MPs in the capital, 246 councillors, and

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

    Opinion: campaigning for a better rail service

    Here at Eaglescliffe we have a great airport on our doorsteps – still known as Teesside Airport to most of us despite the best efforts of the owners to change it to Durham Tees Valley. From my house I can take a 10 minute walk in the other direction to a railway station with a reasonably frequent service going past the airport on its way to Darlington.

    The airport has a railway station too – ideal you might think. Think again. Trains stop there once in each direction on Saturdays and now on Sundays too. …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments
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