Geoff Darkes

geoff-photo

GEOFF DARKES geoff.carole@btinternet.com  01388 420901

 

I have lived in Spennymoor for 39 years, now retired, having worked as an Industrial Engineering Manager with a local company , Thorn Lighting. My late wife Carole and I bought up two sons in Spennymoor, who both had a good start in life as a result of their education at Primary and Secondary school level within the town.

It is as a result of having two sons and me retiring, my wife and I felt passionate about the aspirations of the young people of Spennymoor and wanted to try and give something back to the town that gave our sons their good start in life and to the community we lived in and I still live in.

I am a school governor of Rosa Street Primary Academy school which both my sons attended and also a school governor at Ox Close primary school. I have been a practising school governor now for enough years to have the privilege and personal satisfaction of seeing numerous 4 year old children develop and mature into young people heading with confidence to Secondary school, that is a real reward !

I am Chairman of the Spennymoor Town PACT (Police and Communities Together) group which deals specifically with the personal safety and well– being concerns from residents of our town area. A large amount of police and group time effort, over a number of years, has been related to the blight on private home owners within one area of our town from some of the problem tenants of distant landlords.. We have been campaigning with Durham County Council and still are, to extend the compulsory Landlord Registration Scheme into our town, so far DCC have only introduced a voluntary scheme, which obviously does not capture the problem distant landlords. As more and more new private homes are built in our town there will be a glut of “second hand” homes in other areas of our town, resulting in even more properties being owned by distant landlords with further potential problem tenants. We have also secured remedial work from Durham County Council Street Lighting Department to raise lighting levels in this area of our town to the correct standard.

Again to try and make a difference, In August 2014 I stood for the Town Council as an Independent candidate and as a member of the Spennymoor Independents group and was elected. I am not a politician and strongly see no need for politics within a Town or County Council, surely as residents of Spennymoor we all want what is best for OUR town, not what is best for a political party, sadly the latter is true of the current Town and County councils.

In my school and town council roles I have seen and met so many residents with the same concerns reference their town, “Where are the extra facilities to cope with all the hundreds of new homes being built” and I don’t have an answer for them! We need a regeneration to our town Infrastructure, our town is looking tired and we are all tired with the excuses for non- action. Sadly this will not happen unless we change the majority ruling party at both the Town and County councils. I am totally disgusted with the absolute lack of any investment in our town from County Hall, where has the millions of pounds  ( new homes bonus from the Government)  that has been created from all the homes built in our town being spent, certainly not here ?

As a town we are suffering from a lack of affordable and social housing, traffic congestion, insufficient parking, continuous “stick-on” Primary school classrooms, long waits for doctor’s appointments, lack of retail choice ( the proposed long awaited announcement about Festival Walk is only going to be a “swap-shop” scenario, no new retailers). We are rapidly becoming a dormitory town for Durham and Teesside.

I and the Spennymoor Independents all share the beliefs in more Honesty, Openness, and Transparency in our councils. If I am lucky enough to receive your vote I promise to uphold those values along with all our other candidates.

We need change, we deserve change, we can change, please use your vote to create the change!

Thank you.

Geoff Darkes