SPECIAL MEETING: Durham County Council's head of planning Stuart Timmis and a representative of the government's Homes and Communities Agency will attend a special meeting of Barnard Castle Town Council's planning committee on Monday, January 27. Issues under discussion include proposals to build houses on land at the front of Deerbolt Young Offenders' Institution, in neighbouring Startforth. The meeting takes place at 6pm in the board room at The Witham.

CROWD PLEASER: An estimated 1,000 people turned up for a festive fireworks display organised by Barnard Castle Town Council. In answer to a query from Coun Tom Deacon, members were told £2,000 was spent on the actual display. Stewarding the event cost a further £144 and there were other costs involved in staging the display.

ROYAL DATE: Barnard Castle mayor Coun Frank Harrison has been nominated by fellow town councillors to attend a Royal Garden Party on Tuesday, June 3.

CHAIRMAN'S MEDAL: Barnard Castle Town Council has put forward two organisations for a Durham County Council Chairman's Medal. Members said the TCR Hub and Teesdale YMCA deserved recognition for their work with young people in Barnard Castle and throughout the dale. The nominations will be forwarded to the Teesdale Action Partnership.

INDOOR MARKET: The first Barnard Castle farmers' market of the year will be held indoors at The Witham on Saturday, February 1. Organisers expect to have 22 stalls present. The market will return to its normal outdoor venue on the town's cobbles from March.