Paul Howell MP and Santa Claus

It is now four years since you elected me as the Member of Parliament for Sedgefield and it has been an amazing privilege to represent you all. I would like to offer you all my best wishes for a Very Merry Christmas and a Healthy and Happy 2024.

No one could have imagined what a tumultuous period the past four years would be with everything from the covid pandemic to a war in Europe and the resulting pressures on both public finances and the cost of living. We have also had the notable events like the funeral of our beloved Queen Elizabeth II and the installation of King Charles III at which I have been able to represent you.

I have been delighted to have chaired the Left Behind Neighbourhood APPG where we have been able to ensure the creation of a Community Wealth Fund which should help so many of our communities. My team and I try very hard to represent you and to date have created close to 17,000 items of casework which is around 12 for every single day I have been your representative.

My work for you is driven by the individual cases we receive but of course these also consolidate into issues that affect lots of people. For example, I’ve been contacted by many parents across the constituency who have concerns about Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) diagnosis delays and local authority communication regarding Education Health and Care Plans (EHCPs). Following meetings with constituents individually and at CAMHS Roundtable Events I am engaging with local authorities and NHS Trusts to address the issues raised.

I am delighted we have been able to secure the investment decision for Ferryhill Railway Station which will facilitate connections to Teesside and Newcastle for the local communities which will support economic growth and let people get to jobs and education. This of course will take time to build so my immediate transport focus remains on buses. We have seen a shocking decline in provision by Arriva in particular and I am therefore pushing everyone from the Department of Transport (DfT), Transport for The North, Durham County Council and bus operators to do something about it. The Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP) funds provided by Government are there and available, but we need local application. It is only by good transport links that we can deliver social mobility via better jobs and education.

The other focus I particularly engage with is policing and anti-social behaviour (ASB). I work with all the Neighbourhood Police Teams to share your concerns and areas needing attention. My biggest concern with our policing though is their management of assets. The controversial custody suite is now delayed significantly, so whether you agree with it or not the failure to manage delivery is concerning and disruptive to on the ground policing.

Probably more impactful than this for Newton Aycliffe and Sedgefield though has been the nonsense around the Aycliffe Police Station. How the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) can allow them to be in such an uncertain situation is beyond me. The lease on the premises always had a finite time and the head in the sand planning has meant a major distraction to the operational teams when they need to be in our communities.

I try to get to as many community events as I can and have seen a number of you in surgeries and events from Trimdon to Aycliffe and Sedgefield to Ferryhill. I have also been able to support many of you in different issues ranging from public rights of way to the menopause and from housing to banking but if there are any agendas you feel I am missing or not focused on enough please email me at



Contact information 
Constituency Office: Unit 2 Sydney House, Ricknall Avenue, DL5 6AD Tel; 01325 790580 
Westminster Office: House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA Tel: 0207 219 3000 


Page added 14th December 2023