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Darlington Borough Council

Meet the councillors!

My CV

Councillor for:

Northgate Ward for 30 years.

Party:

Labour

Council job:

Chair of Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee.

Profession:

Teacher of English at a comprehensive school.

Photo:

Dorothy Long

Today, took grandson to school, now off to Hummersknott School to take part in a sort of Question Time event. Home this afternoon to update this website, then a meeting tonight 7.00 p.m.

Favourite Thing: The Arts Centre

Me and my council work

I am a member of the Labour Party and I represent people who live in the area just near the town centre.

I’ve been a councillor for about 30 years. I am enthusiastic about what I do and I think Darlington Borough Council has done some good things in that time. I try to help people in Northgate Ward by listening to their problems and working with the police and people like that to help to make the area a more pleasant place to live in.
I’m interested in education and in drama, music and art. Also, I have the title of Chair of Economy and Environment Scrutiny Committee which means I work to see that we protect the environment for the future. It also checks on new buildings in the Borough and their design. We look at transport, including road safety and cycling and cycle paths and things like that. The idea is to make Darlington attractive to new companies who might invest here and bring new jobs to the town. I’m also a member of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee which looks after education and the Youth Service.

My Typical Day

I check my emails, go to a meeting, talk to people, go home, have a quick meal and go out to another meeting in the evening.

I usually take my grandson to school first, then check my emails and update my diary. I will probably have a meeting of some sort, or need to talk to someone, at the Town Hall or in Northgate Ward which is the ward I represent. I may have some leaflets to deliver. I try to walk or cycle to all the places I need to be so I ge some exercise that way.
I collect my grandson from school and look after him and his sister until their mother finishes work. I often have a meeting in the early evening. After that I may go out for a drink with friends or go to a film or something
If I have a break during the day, I might have a coffee with friends or look round the shops (though I don’t buy much) as I love clothes and shoes! In my free time I like to read and I also try to write.

What I'd do as "Youth Champion"

Try to keep as many .leisure choices open as possible in the face of the coming cuts.

I would hope that Darlington is a good place to grow up in, and I think children and young people need to have lots to do out of school. Not everyone can go on to university and I worry about youth unemployment which is bad enough already without the cuts which are coming soon because the Council won’t get as much money from the government as we have had in the past. If young people have no work, it might be a good opportunity for them to do things they like – music, sport, drama, video, IT animation, film-making, painting, photography. I would make the case to keep opportunities open at places like the Forum, the Arts Centre or the Dolphin Centre for young people to do these things.

My Interview

How would you describe yourself in 3 words?

Small, enthusiastic, energetic.

Who is your favourite singer or band?

The Rolling Stones

What is the most fun thing you've done?

Cycled from Darlington to our twin town, Mulheim, in Germany.

If you had 3 wishes for yourself what would they be? - be honest!

Not get any older, be a good writer, be better at using new technology.

What did you want to be after you left school?

A journalist

Were you ever in trouble in at school?

Yes, they wouldn’t let me be a prefect!

What's the best thing you've done as a councillor?

Supported the arts in Darlington.

Tell us a joke.

The marvellous thing about mobile phones is that wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you can keep them switched off so no one will bother you.