WELCOME ABOARD: Barnard Castle mayor Cllr Sandra Moorhouse with newly-co-opted member Cllr Louise Finlay
WELCOME ABOARD: Barnard Castle mayor Cllr Sandra Moorhouse with newly-co-opted member Cllr Louise Finlay

A SCHOOL governor who took part in the campaign to prevent Bede Kirk Green being developed for housing has been co-opted onto Barnard Castle Town Council.

Louise Finlay, of Marwood Drive, was one of four people to put their names forward for the east ward seat made vacant when Tim Raw resigned earlier this year.

With residents not calling for an election, the town council advertised for interested people to come forward.

In addition to Mrs Finlay, candidates included Bill Nosurak and Andrew Hinchcliffe, both from Startforth, and Stephanie Gaffney.

When councillors met to choose a new member, Ms Gaffney was not present and her application was withdrawn.

In addition to written applications, each candidate was asked to address councillors for two minutes before the session was opened up to questions.

Mrs Finlay, who also runs the Figgy Bus travel service in partnership with her husband David, said it was her role as a school governor which had led to her interest in the work of the town council.

“Some of the things you have worked on, such as the 1940s weekend and the Christmas lights, I have been quite proud of what you have done.

“I got involved in the Bede Kirk Green campaign and liked going to County Hall,” added the mum-of-two.

Mr Hinchcliffe said tackling social isolation in the town and surrounding areas was an issue he was keen to tackle if chosen.

“Sometimes I can be quite vocal. I work with the public and transport old people and they have asked me to stand because they think I would be an asset. Social isolation is a big thing. I can’t do anything by myself, but hopefully with the help of the council we can do something about it. That’s why I am here.”

Mr Nosurak told councillors he had always been interested in local politics. A former officer at Deerbolt Prison who now runs an IT business, he said that having reached 65 he had the time to devote to serving on the council.

He said he was keen to highlight the positive work undertaken by the council and was prepared to put in the “hard graft” necessary to help.

A vote was taken among the ten councillors present and Mrs Finlay received a majority during the first round, confirming her as the new member.