Last Friday I went along to Darlington's Assembly - the meeting of the Local Strategic Partnership that brings together the private, public and voluntary sectors in the Borough.
Over 200 people attended to hear final feedback from the Enquiry Groups - the 6 teams examining the key issues facing Darlington.
There was a really positive mood in the sessions I attended - a lot of the cynicism in the air over recent months seems to have blown away, helped by the hard work undertaken by the chairs of each of the Groups. These people weren't the "usual suspects" but individuals who had been somewhat sceptical of the LSP process. Their conclusions commanded widespread support.
Of particular interest to me were the recommendations from Enquiry Group 6 on Health and Leisure, chaired by Pete Barron. You can see some of the key recommendations from the Group here. It's horrifying that men in Lingfield ward on average can expect to live to just 69 - well below the national average - but in Park West the age is 82.
The findings will form the basis of my work as a Cabinet member over the next 12 months, and I will ensure that each report I make to Council leads on the progress that we are making, working together with partners in the Borough.