Jenny Chapman MP, Phil Wilson MP, Darlington Borough Council, North East Combined Authority
United Kingdom

For years now Darlington has been slowly moving away from it's heritage as part of County Durham; pushed further into association with the Tees Valley. Now, Darlington has seemingly become a part of The Tees Valley Combined Authority, without any input from the citizens of this historic market town.

Darlington shares many vital services with its other County Durham neighbours; including Policing; Police and Crime Commissioner; Fire and Rescue; and several NHS services. Thousands of Darlington residents also live within the boundaries of the Sedgefield parliamentary constituency, which is part of the area covered by the North East Combined Authority; however Darlington, is not?

Within The Tees Valley Combined Authority area, Darlington is yielded the poor relation; not strongly associated with the existing traditional and industrial 'Teesside' neighbours of Middlesbrough, Stockton, Hartlepool, and Redcar and Cleveland. We believe Darlington would flourish much more as part of The North East Combined Authority, joining our County Durham neighbours, as well as those in Tyne and Wear, and Northumberland, including our East Coast Main Line neighbours, Durham and Newcastle; exciting and prosperous cities with which Darlington shares many assets, and can benefit from strengthened relations with. Darlington is the largest settlement in County Durham, and an important one; evidence of this shown through the recent development of the Feethams complex, which was designed to serve not only the residents of Darlington, but those living throughout the wider South Durham area.

The people of Darlington have not been considered, nor consulted in this arrangement; which appears more beneficial for the rest of the Tees Valley, and less so for Darlington. How will this impact upon people within Darlington, will the future of our services be at further risk? Will we have to fund a Tees Valley mayor, for an area we don't feel part of; socially, historically, and geographically?

I can understand why the areas of Stockton and Hartlepool north of the River Tees may wish to be joined as part of the Tees Valley, due to their longstanding associations and shared industrial interests, but we don't feel Darlington fits in with that. Darlington shouldn't just be seen as a poor relation in this agreement, and 'the gateway to the Tees Valley', but should be seen as an important and historic market town in County Durham, with a strong voice across the whole of the North East.

I feel strongly that Darlington (Co. Durham) would flourish as part of The North East Combined Authority, and not as part of The Tees Valley Combined Authority.

The citizens of Darlington have not been consulted on this, and we urge there to be a re-evalution of these boundaries, in the interests of the people, and democracy.

The Darlington as part of The North East Combined Authority petition to Jenny Chapman MP, Phil Wilson MP, Darlington Borough Council, North East Combined Authority was written by CountyDurhamMatters and is in the category Government at GoPetition.