WE look back at the news in the week of July 18 to 24, 2017.

CAMPAIGNERS rallied hundreds of residents in rural communities to oppose plans to build a bypass to the A1(M) that could follow a route through their villages, in July 2017.

An emergency meeting was called by villagers living on the outskirts of Darlington after proposals were revealed by the Tees Valley Combined Authority (TVCA) to connect the A66 to the motorway via a bypass around the north eastern edge of town.

Blueprints for two potential routes were outlined by the authority as part of its ambitions to improve transport links across the region with a Darlington bypass, a new crossing over the River Tees and extra lanes added to sections of the A66.

However, the plans attracted criticism from those living in communities that would border the proposed bypass, which was designed to divert heavy lorries away from built-up neighbourhoods in Darlington.

More than 300 people joined the No to the Darlington Northern Link Road campaign, with dozens of residents attending a meeting called in the wake of the plans being unveiled.

Mel Wilson, chair of the campaign group based in Brafferton, said: “The initial reaction when we found out about these plans through an article in The Northern Echo was just complete shock."

School pupils who carried out a long-term project on homelessness spoke of the impact their research had on them, in July 2017.

Children at Langley Park Primary School, near Durham, looked at what drives people to sleep on the streets as well as the more common problem of the hidden homeless, those without a permanent address.

Youngsters wrote to MPs in the area as well as The Northern Echo as part of their campaign to raise awareness of the issue.

Olivia Crighton, 11, from Langley Park, said: “It has given us the opportunity to find out things other than what we learn about in school.

“So many people live on the streets, or do not have a permanent home to live in. We go home to our hot baths and beds and they don’t have that. It has been a struggle, as a class, to think about how they feel and how it affects them.

“We have all been really interested in it. There was always something new and it was like learning about another subject.”

The project was carried out by almost 30 year six pupils over several months.

They were given a special assembly to the whole school and raised more than £220 for the Moving On charity by organising a non-uniform day and selling crafts at a summer festival.

A group of intrepid walkers who scaled 950m-high mountains and took 412,000 steps across the breadth of northern England did it all in the name of recruiting foster carers.

An 11-day odyssey was organised by a team of four core walkers who were joined on their journey by delegates from the North East as they travelled a 192-mile Coast to Coast route.

The trek took them from St Bees, on the Cumbrian coast, through the Lake District, into the Yorkshire Dales and the North York Moors to Robin Hood’s Bay.

The gruelling hike was organised in a bid to raising the awareness of the need to find more foster carers to look after children in need in Darlington, Stockton, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Hartlepool.

Around £3,000 was raised as part of a sponsored leg of the Coast to Coast walk from Clay Bank, in the North York Moors, near Stokesley, to the Lion Inn at Blakey Ridge, ten miles deeper into the National Park.

Brian Foulger, from Middlesbrough Council’s family placement team and walk organiser, said: “In many ways. the Coast to Coast walk symbolised the journey a child takes when they enter foster care.

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