The approach of a political party to young people is always a test of their true values.
One of Labour's proudest achievements has been its investment in education - both in bricks and mortar, but also extra teachers too.
And here in Darlington, the Labour Council has been keen to work in partnership with national government to deliver the best facilities for young people. We've been ambitious for change, whether in the secondary (Hummersknott, the Education Village) or primary (Alderman Leach, North Road, Harrowgate Hill, Firth Moor) sectors.
Although notionally in a later 'wave' of local authorities, whose schools would be modernised in 2013, Darlington Council, together with our MP Alan Milburn, have been pressing for more rapid improvements. So it was great to learn today that Longfield, Hurworth and Branksome have all been fast-tracked for modernisation, with a £57 million grant from Government. A key argument Darlington has been able to deploy is our ability to complete school rebuilding projects on time - this meant the Government could be sure that wrangling wouldn't hold up the much-needed work.
For Longfield, which already has sports college status, it will allow the buidling of "state-of-the-art sports facilities" which are sure to make a big contribution of sports development in the town.
Rebuilding or modernising all of the Borough's maintained secondary schools was a key manifesto pledge of Labour at the 2007 local elections, and I'm delighted that we've been able to deliver on that promise.
Now maybe any local Tories would like to come on and list all the schools in Darlington that were renovated under the Conservatives between 1979 and 1997....?