One member has raised with me the new licencing system for landlords currently being trialled in Sedgefield, article in the Echo here, and it's certainly conceivable that it could also be applicable within Darlington itself (and, indeed, any part of the country which has issues with either the quality of any of its rented accomodation or apathetic landlords).
Predictably, the Times bills it as an additional layer of bureaucracy for poor, hard-done-by landlords, which seems a little unlikely to me. It's clear the social problems are a much more important issue.
Whether it can effectively address anti-social behaviour and crime is another matter, but since the pilot is in the next-door constituency (Commons debate is being led by our very own Phil Wilson), we'll have a chance to observe it first-hand and make up our own minds. Certainly it seems to me a step in the right direction, but I'm interested to hear from members on this subject, especially any residents of areas of Darlington suffering the same sort of problems.