Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Gateshead Council Call for High Speed Rail

LIBERAL Democrat Councillors in Gateshead are to press the Council to urge the Government to back a high speed rail link for the North East.

The call is being made following the announcement that Network Rail will build a high speed rail link from London to Scotland but will by-pass the North East by taking the route through the North West instead.

In a motion to be debated on Thursday 17th September, Gateshead Council will be asked to “call on the Secretary of State for Transport to ensure that a high speed rail network is built which includes an East Coast Line.”

The motion will be moved by Councillor Jonathan Wallace, himself a regular user of the current East Coast Line between the North East and London.

Cllr Wallace said, “The rail link between our region and London and the South East is crucial for the North East economy.

“The current line is the only one that makes a profit for the Government but it is operating close to capacity.

“Whilst it is good news that Network Rail have backed the creation of a high speed network, missing out the North East, at least in the initial phase, will come at a great cost to our economy.

“It will also present us with the absurd situation of finding it quicker to get to London by heading north to Edinburgh pick up the high speed train than to go direct.

“I am hoping for cross party support for the motion and a unanimous voice to the Secretary of State that makes it clear the North East must be included in the high speed network.”

Survey on anti-social behaviour in Whickham

Liberal Democrat Councillors in Whickham have carried out a survey of residents’ concerns about anti-social behaviour.

The survey focuses on the area around the Whickham School playing fields and the school site.

“Residents have raised problems with us that a small minority of youths are causing problems outside school hours on the playing fields and close to the school site itself,” said Cllr Peter Craig, who is co-ordinating the survey.

“We have delivered survey forms to around 500 houses and have received replies from over 120.

“We hope to use the results of the survey to work with the police and the school to come up with solutions to the behaviour of a small number of young people that is causing problems for residents.”

Gateshead Liberal Democrats head to Conference

A TEAM of Liberal Democrats from Gateshead will be heading to Bournemouth later this week to attend the party’s annual Conference. 6 will be attending the gathering from the local party.

Leading the team will be Neil Bradbury, Parliamentary Candidate for Blaydon. “This is the last autumn Conference before the General Election so it will be a very important meeting for the Party,” said Neil.

“In Blaydon we are campaigning hard on local environmental issues. I am hoping to raise these at the Conference when I meet some of the party’s MPs.

“The theme of the Conference is ‘A Fresh Start for Britain’. The main plans are to cut taxes for people on low and middle incomes, create green jobs and ensure every child has the best start in life.

“This Conference will therefore set the scene for our General Election manifesto. That General Election cannot come too soon for the people of Blaydon. We urgently need change here, and Liberal Democrats are fighting hard to bring that about.

“Everyone knows that the Conservatives can’t win here in Blaydon. The Liberal Democrats are the only alternative here to the failed Labour Party.”

Also attending Conference from Gateshead will be Councillors Jonathan Wallace, Frank Hindle, Ron Beadle, Peter Maughan and Ian Patterson.