Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Gateshead Lib Dems announce candidates for General Election

Frank Hindle Jonathan Wallace Peter Maughan Apr 17

Liberal Democrats in Gateshead have announced their candidates for the snap general election. And they bring with them a combined total of 78 years of representing local people.

Frank Hindle, a former computing lecturer, has been chosen for Gateshead constituency. He was first elected to Gateshead Council in 1991 when he won his seat in Low Fell.  During his time as a Councillor this former Conservative/Labour marginal has become a Lib Dem election stronghold.

Frank served as a spokesperson on Health and Care issues before being Leader of the Opposition in Gateshead from 2011 to 2015. Frank stood down as a Councillor last year and since then has focussed his time on a range of other political and community initiatives.

Peter Maughan, a solicitor, has been selected for Jarrow which includes 2 wards from Gateshead: Pelaw and Heworth (won by the Lib Dems from Labour last year) and Wardley and Leam Lane. Peter was first elected to Gateshead Council in 1994 for Whickham North when he took the seat from Labour.

Jonathan Wallace, who lives the “good life” in Sunniside where he keeps goats, bees and chickens and grows his own food, has been chosen to fight Blaydon for the Liberal Democrats. Jonathan was first elected to Gateshead Council for Whickham South and Sunniside in 1987 when he won the seat from the Conservatives. He became Leader of the Opposition in 2015.

“Labour have taken our area for granted for too long,” said Frank. “We are going to give Labour a run for their money in Gateshead. Everyone knows that only the Lib Dems can mount a serious challenge to Labour’s dominance here.”

“As Lib Dem Councillors in Gateshead, we have shown how we will do the job of being local MPs,” said Jonathan. “We will keep in touch with residents and be accessible. We will keep residents informed and engaged.

“Labour have taken our area for granted for too long and we intend putting them out to grass so our area can have a strong voice in Parliament to oppose the Conservative government.”

“Labour have failed as an opposition to the Conservatives, never mind as an alternative government,” said Peter. “They even threw in their lot with the Conservatives when it came to fighting for Britain to stay in the Single Market, so vital for our manufacturing jobs in the North East.”

Photo above: Frank Hindle, Jonathan Wallace and Peter Maughan attached.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jonathan off to flying start in Gateshead

Birtley action day Apr 17 2

Liberal Democrats in Blaydon Constituency have chosen Jonathan Wallace as their candidate in the election on 8th June.

And Jonathan is already off to a flying start as he battles to take the seat Labout have taken for granted for decades.

“Everyone knows that only the Lib Dems can beat Labour here,” said Jonathan, who is a councillor in the constituency.

“As MP for Blaydon, I will keep in touch with residents. I will be an active MP who fights hard for the interests of the people living here. Please vote for me on Thursday 8th June.”

  • Jonathan was first elected to Gateshead Council in 1987 at the age of 23, taking one of the last Conservative seats in the borough.
  • He has been Leader of the Opposition for 2 years.
  • He lives the “good life” in Sunniside, growing his own food and keeping bees, chickens and goats.
  • He is also an internet broadcaster and his videos have been viewed on YouTube 4 million times.
Photo above: Jonathan campaigning in Birtley with local Lib Dem campaigner Paul Elliott.

AEI Cables site put up for sale

Paul Elliott Nov 16 3

The former AEI Cables site in Birtley has been put on the market in a bid to find new owners to develop the location on Durham Road.

Earlier this year, the closure of the plant meant an end to 175 years of cable manufacturing by the company which claimed to be the oldest cable maker in the world.

Now, Birtley Liberal Democrats are calling on the Government and Gateshead Council to work together to ensure the site is brought back into use as soon as possible.

“The Government’s Business Department and Gateshead Council must work closely together to ensure a new buyer is found and brought back into use as soon as possible,” said Lib Dem campaigner Paul Elliott.

“The Conservative Government’s decision to leave the Single Market is adding to economic uncertainty so whatever assistance possible must be provided to bring back manufacturing and jobs to the site.”

Photo above: Lib Dem campaigner Paul Elliott outside the AEI Cables site in Birtley.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Lib Dem candidate responds to news of Dave Anderson’s retirement

Birtley Hustings Meeting Apr 15 1

Dr Jonathan Wallace, Liberal Democrat candidate for Blaydon, has sent his good wishes to Dave Anderson on his announcement of his retirement as Labour MP for the constituency.

“Dave has given 12 years of his life to serving the people of Blaydon as MP,” said Jonathan. “Regardless of politics, I know he always tried his best for our area and I would like to thank him for his many years of hard work.”

Photo above: Dave Anderson MP and Jonathan Wallace share a hustings platform during the 2015 general election campaign in Blaydon. On the right, Alison Griffiths, the Conservative candidate.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Increased penalties for flytippers

fly tipping Kindreds Wood Apr 16 1

Flytippers beware! At long last, Gateshead Council is to take action to tackle the scourge of illegal dumping of waste in public places by using new powers to fine offenders.

Anyone caught flytipping now faces a fixed penalty fine of £400. Fines for dropping litter are doubling to £100.

“At last, strong action is being taken by Gateshead Council,” said Lib Dem campaigner in Birtley, Paul Elliott. “Hopefully this will help to put an end to the appalling actions of a small minority of people who think it’s fine to dump their rubbish on the rest of us.”

In 2015-16 there were 10702 incidents of flytipping in Gateshead leaving council tax payers with a £570,216 clean up bill.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Labour starts Whickham Chase Park sell-off

Whickham Chase Park Mar 17

Gateshead Council’s all-Labour Cabinet have agreed to declare the old stable block, depot, former social services office and Rectory Lane entrance to Chase Park as “surplus to requirements.” This is the first step towards selling them off for house-building.

The plans are being fought by local Lib Dems who are concerned that the sale is the thin end of the wedge that could lead to other parts of the park being sold for housing.

Cllr Peter Maughan opposed the plans when they were discussed by the Cabinet. He argued that the original agreement with the former Whickham Council that saw the former Chase House become a public park in 1936 prevented any sale of the site for housing.

“I took the original agreement signed by Whickham Council to the cabinet meeting but it was clear Labour were not prepared to listen,” said Peter.

“I warned Labour councillors that there will be a huge legal battle ahead if they insist on pressing ahead with this terrible plan. Some things are sacrosanct. Clearly to Labour, Chase Park isn’t.”

Photo above: Lib Dem campaigners Sonya Hawkins, Peter Craig, Marilynn Ord, Peter Maughan, John McClurey, Kevin McClurey and Chris Ord outside the stable block in Chase Park which Labour wants to sell off for housing.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Deputy Mayor to visit Community Garden in Sunniside

Gateshead's Deputy Mayor, Cllr Pauline Dillion, will be visiting the Whinnies Community Garden, Gateshead Road, Sunniside, at 11am on Sunday 16th April. The garden is designed to give people with disabilities the opportunity to do some gardening and enjoy the great outdoors. All residents are welcome to call in on 16th. The video above looks at what the garden offers.

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Delivered during Whinnies volunteer day: 2 baby goats

goat kids Apr 17 (22)

The Whinnies Community Garden in Sunniside had a surprise delivery during Sunday's volunteer day. While volunteers were busy assembling garden furniture, weeding flower beds and cleaning greenhouses, Georgina, one of the resident goats on the site, gave birth to 2 babies. She had one boy (the white one) and one girl (the black one).

Local Councillor and volunteer helper at the garden, Jonathan Wallace, is the owner of the goats and is delighted with the new arrivals.

"Mother and babies are doing well," said Jonathan. "People will be able to see the babies if they come to the Whinnies Open Day in Easter Sunday, 16th April, 11am to 3pm. Everyone welcome."

For Sale: Old Gateshead Town Hall

Gateshead's old Town Hall is to be sold off in a bid to boost economic development in central Gateshead. Surrounding land and car parks will also be offered for sale.

The move has been supported by Gateshead Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition Councillor Jonathan Wallace who said:

"A building such as the old Gateshead Town Hall needs a new owner to develop it into a positive asset to the local economy. By 2020/21, the Council will receive no money from the government to support the costs of local services. We therefore need to help businesses to become established in Gateshead and to grow, not just for the jobs and wealth they create, but for the business rates they will pay to the council once they are denationalised.

“It’s important we use whatever assets we have got in a positive way to regenerate our area.”