Sunday, January 21, 2024

More Focus deliveries

I was back in Birtley yesterday (Saturday 20th January) to deliver another patch of Focuses. And today I was delivering in my own ward. To be precise, I was delivering in Sunniside. We are aiming to get the village delivered by Friday though the weather may be a problem tomorrow.

Friday, January 19, 2024

Planning for our next meeting

I met up with Alan Guest, secretary of the Sunniside History Society, last night in Sunniside Club, to review some of the photos donated to the Society by Francis Newman. Many of the photos were taken in Sunniside 30 years ago though there were some which were much older. We made a selection of photos to present at the next meeting on 1st February. The aim is to get people to share their memories and possibly fill in the gaps in our knowledge of the events that caused the photos to be taken in the first place. Anyone interested in coming to the meeting is welcome. It starts in Sunniside Club at 7pm, £1 for Society members, £2 for visitors.

Wednesday, January 17, 2024

Happy birthday from the NHS


I turned 60 recently. As birthday presents from the nation, I was allowed free prescriptions, reduced rail fares and a poo kit!

The free prescriptions are no use to me, at least for the time being. I don't take any. The reduced rail fares are a bit more useful. Though the amount of travel I do is only a small fraction of what I did before 2017, I do have 3 short trips coming up. So a saving can be made by getting an older persons railcard. 

The poo kit however is the most important of the presents. I have seen 2 friends suffer from but also recover from bowel cancer. It's best not to take any risks. Ignoring the poo kit in the hope that I am good health continues is inviting problems. So, this present will be put to use shortly.

Delivering in Birtley


I was in Birtley on Monday helping to deliver our latest Lib Dem Focus. Somehow Birtley had avoided the snow. Not so in Sunniside though we had only about 1 cm. I will be back in Birtley later this week as I have one more patch to deliver. Hopefully Birtley will continue to be a snow free zone!

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Bridge over troubled waters


It seems as though the Green Party in Gateshead are continuing to target Bridges ward. Another leaflet was popped through people's doors in December. Labour hold the ward and had previously won with comfortable majorities with opposition campaigns aimed at flying the flag. Labour's hold however is based on a low turnout. Any party that could mount a good campaign could run Labour close in the ward. Labour could well be on a bridge over troubled waters here.

The person featured in the leaflet is Rachel Cabral. This is an interesting choice as it appears that she has abandoned Saltwell. She had stood there in 2021, taking 185 votes and 4th place. In 2022 however, disaster struck when the Greens messed up their Saltwell nomination. Rachel Cabral stood in the ward, but without a political description. She recorded only 60 votes. She did not stand in Saltwell in 2023, the year the Lib Dems won the ward from Labour for the first time since the 1930s.

Perhaps her abandonment of Saltwell says a great deal about the Greens realization that the battle in the ward is between Lib Dems and Labour. I hope for the Greens' sake that they don't repeat their mistake on the local election nomination this year as they did in 2022!

Wednesday, January 03, 2024

Last delivery of 2023


I did my last Focus delivery of 2023 in my own ward of Whickham South and Sunniside between Christmas and new year. It was a good way of burning off some of those Christmas calories. The next edition of Focus for my ward is already partly written. More calorie burning is on its way!

Birtley eFocus no. 12

 Published tonight, the next eFocus for Birtley. Issues covered include:

  • Birtley pool re-opening delayed;
  • Security fencing at Birtley Swimming Centre;
  • Joe joins Focus Team;
  • Lloyds and Barclays branches closing on Team Valley;
  • Ciaran chosen for Washington and Gateshead South;
  • Have your say on Gateshead Council's budget.
You can read eFocus on this link.

Low Fell eFocus 130

The competition to be the first in 2024 to publish eFocus has been won by Low Fell. Edition 130 was sent to recipients a couple of days ago. Issues covered include:

·  Best wishes for 2024

·  Have your say on Gateshead Council's Budget plans

·  New salt bin at Eastwood Avenue

·  Meeting with the Police

·  Eastern Avenue

You can read Low Fell eFocus on this link.