Here are your Labour councillors within North West Durham. They form part of the largest Labour group in the country, after our excellent victory.
Jane Brown, Delves Lane & Crookhall
First elected Councillor for Durham County Council in 2008, Simon made Jane cabinet member for Human Resources after she was re-elected this time. I heard many good things about Jane's work in Consett South when I stood there and it was clear the community was very satisfied with the job she did there. Delves re-elected Jane with a strong majority, which is no surprise given the many community groups she is involved with and how hard she worked since 2008.
Bob Glass, Delves Lane & Crookhall
A new councillor, Bob was selected late after Bob Young decided to stand down. Bob brings a wealth of experience after a successful career as a police officer, where he scaled the greasy pole up to Chief Inspector level. Bob has a great eye for detail and in my view received some unfair press leading up to the election as being merely "Pat's husband". That he is, but he is much more than that and talented in his own right and he will do an excellent job for Delves Lane.
Ivan Jewell, Dipton & Burnopfield
Ivan won a tightly contested election in the Dipton and Burnopfield ward. Ivan keenly participates in community events in Burnopfield and Dipton and is involved with the Dipton War Memorial fundraising activities. I have worked with Ivan on the Executive Committee of the CLP and he offers much to the debates and has already represented his constituents about various issues in the ward.
Ossie Johnson, Lanchester, Burnhope & Castleside
Ossie is another addition to the cabinet taking over from Claire Vasey for the vitally important Children and Education portfolio. Ossie had a long and successful career in education and he spends a ton of time at County Hall and knows politics inside out. He will be awesome in cabinet and I’m very pleased he’s been given a top role. He attends every branch meeting and CLP meeting and is always available with candid information to share with members. A great councillor, everyone in the ward knows Ossie and he is always available to talk to anyone if they have a problem.
Joe Armstrong, Esh & Witton Gilbert
A councillor for over 10 years, Joe has remained chair of scrutiny and if Durham County Council wanted someone to sit back and take it easy with that role they picked the wrong man. Joe is a passionate and dedicated councillor, fiercely loyal to the cause and very knowledgeable and experienced. I’ve got a lot of time for Joe, you always know where you stand and that is a quality not often found in politicians.
Barbara Armstrong, Esh & Witton Gilbert
I was delighted Barbara got elected this time, in fact, this was one of the two results I was most interested in apart from my own. She missed out by very small margin of 35 votes to an independent last time around so I feel this was a just result. Her experience from her career has won her a role as cabinet support to Ossie and they will make a great team. Barbara did loads in her community between 2008 and 2013 and deservedly got voted in. Everyone already knew she would make a great councillor, to be honest it was only really bad luck that she was not already there.
Joe Buckham, Willington & Hunwick
I have a lot of time and admiration for Joe because he has had a number of foster children, as well as being an articulate guy and a total gentleman. Fostering is an exceptionally worthwhile thing to do for anyone. Joe is well-known in his community and within the party he is actively involved as the CLP chairman. Joe was classy last time around when he did not get the nomination and kept going and was rewarded with selection this time and a successful election campaign.
Olwyn Gunn, Willington & Hunwick
I must admit I do not know Olywn that well, but I know that she is very involved in Hunwick and it is superb to see a Labour councillor from both towns getting elected. I have sat in meetings with Olwyn for nearly five years now and she is knowledgeable and brings plenty of experience to the table. I was delighted that Olwyn and Joe won both seats in their ward.
John Hart, Tow Law, Billy Row and Roddymoor
You couldn't meet a more pleasant and friendly man than John. I’ve cheered him on as he won Pointless with his wife Suzi on T.V. and read his articles in the Guardian. John will have a great future at Durham County Council and I’m sure he will win his seat handily for many years, he is already working hard on some tough rural issues and easily handling himself with the everyday trickiness of local politics. I think John can go as far as he wants in politics and it’s always nice to see a genuinely nice person do well.
Eddie Tomlinson, Crook
At first Eddie was going to stand down this time and nobody would have thought bad of him for doing so, but he stayed on which I was pleased about. Eddie is yet another complete gentleman who has seen it all. I was very pleased he was put into the cabinet as cabinet member for housing, which is a reward for his hard work at county hall over many years. I campaigned with Eddie before polling day and it was a real education to see a good politician at work and I learned a lot.
Geoff Mowbray, Crook
Geoff has my total admiration as he has beaten cancer not once, but twice since I’ve known him. Not only beat it, if I ever asked him about it he brushed it off like it was nothing. I get on really well with Geoff and everyone in the party knows he puts Crook first at all times which is fine with me because it’s a great place. Geoff’s experience as a former head of regeneration at Wear Valley District Council will be very useful to Durham County Council so it was an excellent decision to utilise his experience and post him to the role of vice chair for northern planning.
Good luck to all the councillors for your term in office and congratulations.