Monday, December 30, 2019

Congratulations Peter

Whickham Remembrance Service 10 Nov 19 (138)

Congratulations to my colleague Peter Craig, Lib Dem councillor for Whickham North, whose work in the local community is to be recognised with the award of the British Empire Medal. Peter has been the key organiser who got Friends of Chase Park, Lighting Up Whickham and Planting Up Whickham off the ground. He is also one of the main organisers of the Whickham Remembrance Parade and Service, now the biggest in Gateshead. There are many other groups that Peter has helped form or run (or both). This is a well deserved honour.

Peter, pictured above, at the Whickham Remembrance Parade in November.

Blame Blair

Blame Blair Dec 19

I sympathise with Laura Pidcock on a personal level. She was Labour MP for Durham North West, normally a safe Labour seat but was issued her P45 on general election day by her constituents. She spent just two and a half years in Parliament and has now been left wondering, "What went wrong?"

If her claims in the Journal just before Christmas are anything to go by, she is going to struggle to answer the question above. According to her, Tony Blair was the cause of Labour's general election meltdown. Quite why Blair should suddenly reappeared as the bogeyman 12 years after retiring as both PM and MP is not explained by Ms Pidcock. According to her, his legacy "hangs around this party like a millstone." There could be an argument for saying Blair's legacy was damaging to Labour in the 2010 general election though I suspect the failure of Brown would have been a bigger factor in Labour's defeat then. Yet, to blame Blair for losing her seat four general elections after Blair had left office was, to say the least, to miss the point, and at worst, is an amazing lack of ability to deal with the real world.

Pidcock is not alone in the Labour party in looking for excuses rather than reasons for her party's failure. There are many others who can't look with any degree of reality at the causes of their defeat. And as long as these people are in the majority in the Labour party, they will remain on course for a 5th and 6th general election defeat in a row.

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Last delivery before Christmas

Bensham delivery Dec 19

I had my last delivery of literature to do today before Christmas. I headed over to Bensham at 11am to deliver 100 cards. A relatively easy job to do as all the streets I had been given to do were terraces! I'll now put my feet up for a couple of days.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Whickham eFocus no. 127

The latest edition of our email newsletter for the Whickham area, eFocus was published on Friday. Issues covered include:
  • Christmas lights switch on events in local villages;
  • Thank you from our Lib Dem general election candidates;
  • Top marks for Sunniside surgery;
  • Work starts on converting the Victorian Marley Hill School building into housing;
  • Information on Christmas bin collections;
  • Lobley Hill landmark now demolished;
  • Christmas carol service at St Mary's Church.

Goodbye Neil

Neil Weatherley Dec 19

Neil Weatherley was a true gentleman. Sadly, he passed away on 11th December. He will be a loss to Gateshead Council where he had served as a Labour councillor for twenty years. A former mayor, he chaired meetings fairly, ensuring my side was heard with respect. All sides regarded him in a pleasant, positive light.

His funeral service was held today at Birtley Crematorium. Fittingly, it was packed with so many people that there were crowds standing for the service outside the building.

Goodbye Neil and rest in peace.

Gateshead Lib Dem action day

xmas card delivery central Gateshead Dec 19

The general election may have been over earlier this month but Lib Dem campaigning in Gateshead never stops! On Saturday we held an action day to deliver a few thousand seasonal greetings cards in central Gateshead. By the end of the day, only a handful of bundles were left to do so I took one with me to do before 25th!

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Low Fell eFocus 47

Edition 47 of the Low Fell eFocus was published recently. Contents include:
  • Christmas comes to Low Fell!
  • Shop Local - Small Business Saturday takes place on 7th December
  • Winter gritting: Important information
  • New bus stop on Kells Lane
  • Trees in Kells Lane Park to be pruned
  • Outage as Labour Council spends almost £1 millon on gagging
You can read eFocus on this link.

Back on the campaign trail

Gateshead Lib Dem envelope stuffing Dec 19

The general election is now over and we can get back to concentrating on the battle for Gateshead Council. So, a group of us met up last night to do a load of envelope stuffing for a mailing to go out in various areas in central Gateshead. No post general election rest for us!

Bin emptying days to change

Normal bin collection dates will be affected by Chistmas and New Year over the coming weeks. You can check when your waste and recycling bins are due to be collected on this link.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Voting for Vicky

I am just back from Sunniside Club where I voted in the general election. Vicky Anderson was the recipient of my vote. That's hardly surprising! For anyone in Blaydon constituency who has not yet voted, get out and do so! Voting is crucial to the health of our democracy, so get out and vote, regardless of who you support.

But, of course, I prefer you to vote Lib Dem!

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Delivering Birtley

Delivering Birtley Nov 19

A productive day in Birtley today. We delivered most of the ward with our next Focus. A few patches were held back as some volunteers are able to help through the week instead of today. It did mean they missed the frost and ice and the opportunity to slide up and down people's drives!