The newsletter for Liberal Democrats in the North of England

Democrat

The Northern

no. 50 April/May April/May 2010

Nick Clegg visited the Newcastle Aviation Academy on 23rd April to boost Ron Beadle’s campaign to take Newcastle North from Labour. Liberal Democrat candidates now need your help for the final battle.

Cleggmania comes North
Northern Democrat general election special edition
Produced, printed and promoted by Jonathan Wallace, 7 Laburnum Grove, Sunniside, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE16 5LY

It’s the final countdown
Northern Democrat opinion

Your help can make all the difference
Can you feel it happening? Out there, in communities throughout the North, something is afoot. As we go into the final days of the election campaign, many of us feel we are on the verge of something big. Labour are crumbling in the North. In much of our area, the Conservatives are off the radar screen. It’s the Liberal Democrats who are taking the battle right into Labour’s heartland. YouGov are predicting gains for us. The Northern Echo and Evening Chronicle are saying we can make gains. But to turn the dream of victory into reality, we need your help now! That extra bundle of leaflets delivered, that extra street canvassed, that extra page of phone numbers called - they can make the difference between winning and losing. Help now! Help tomorrow! Help this coming week! And help us to victory!

YouGov predicts Lib Dem gains in North East
13% swing from Labour to Lib Dems Tories squeezed - Brown set to lose
A poll by YouGov in the North East has shown a 13% swing from Labour to the Liberal Democrats could take place in the North East at the general election. On the back of the result, regional newspapers, The Evening Chronicle and The Northern Echo, are predicting the Liberal Democrats could pick up all three seats in Newcastle as well as Blaydon and Durham City. It means Labour’s Chief Whip Nick Brown could lose Newcastle East to Lib Dem Wendy Taylor. Brown, a loyalist supporter of his namesake Prime Minister, courted controversy recently by alleging Lib Dem run Newcastle City Council could tamper with votes cast in polling stations if the election count did not take place immediately after close of polls. Brown offered no proof for his allegations. Newcastle North Lib Dem candidate Ron Beadle said the poll was encouraging but warned, “There is still a lot of people who are making up their minds.”

Poll predicts Lib Dems to win city seats ...[Lib Dems would] beat Nick Brown in Newcastle East ...They would also take the Newcastle North and Central seats from Labour and would win Blaydon and the City of Durham as well.
Evening Chronicle 28th April 2010

It’s the final countdown
Flying high as Nick backs Ron in Newcastle North

Nick Clegg and Ron Beadle meet students - and the media - at Newcastle’s Aviation Academy.
Nick Clegg arrived at Newcastle Airport on Friday 23rd April with the sun shining down on the Liberal Democrats - literally! With 2 successful Leaders’ Debate appearances under his belt, and polls giving the Lib Dems a big boost, Nick arrived to back Ron Beadle’s campaign to win Newcastle North from Labour. The two visited Newcastle Aviation Academy near the airport. “It was great to have Nick here,” said Ron. “It was a real boost to our campaign.” Nick is the only party leader to visit Tyneside. To help Ron’s campaign, call: 0191 214 2857

It’s the final countdown Durham Indoor Market welcomes Ming Campbell
Former Liberal Democrat Leader Ming Campbell has visited Durham City to support parliamentary candidate Carol Woods in her campaign to win the marginal seat from Labour. Carol took Ming to Durham’s Indoor Market to speak to stall holders about challenges facing small businesses in the current economic climate. Enjoying a cup of tea and a homemade scone in the market’s newly expanded Bistro Cenno, Ming said: “It’s great to see the Indoor Market in Durham expanding even in the current difficult economic climate. This market is a great example of local businesses seizing the initiative and investing in the future of their city. “It is vitally important to support small businesses and entrepreneurs as they are the backbone of our economy. We need Fishing for votes: Carol Woods takes Ming Campbell to Durhams to get the banks lending again to ensure Indoor Market to meet traders. that innovative businesses keep on investing in the future.” Carol added: “At a time when unemployment has doubled in Durham in the past 18 months, it is vital that we support local businesses. They provide great facilities and job opportunities in the heart of Durham.” Colin Wilkes, managing director of the Durham Market’s Company, said: “We are delighted to welcome Ming Campbell and Carol Woods to the Indoor Market. Their visit is most timely, just as we have seen the expansion of the Markets’ mezzanine-level cafe and several other businesses too. “This week marks a real celebration point for our traders, who continue to work hard to profit in the current economic climate.” To help Carol’s campaign, call 0191 3830119.

Newcastle Adoption meeting
Alan Beith and Baroness Diana Maddock were the guests at the adoption meeting for Newcastle’s three candidates Wendy Taylor (East), Gareth Kane (Central) and Ron Beadle (North). YouGov are predicting the Lib Dems could take all three seats on their recent North East opinion poll which shows a 13% swing to the Lib Dems from Labour.

It’s the final countdown

Redcar welcomes Vince
Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable has visited Redcar to help Ian Swales gain the seat from Labour. Redcar could be the “Portillo moment” in the early hours of Friday 7th May with a gain that would send shockwaves through the political world. Labour are defending a majority of 12,000 but their support has slumped in a series of council by-elections over the past 18 months. At the same time, the fortunes of the Lib Dems have soared in the constituency. Vince Cable visited the constituency and met workers from the recently closed Corus steel plant. Vince Cable and Ian Swales meet Corus workers in Redcar Meanwhile, Iam Swales is calling on the (photo from http://www.chrisandglynisabbott.blogspot.com) Government to rethink business regulation in order to make it easier for new companies to set up on Teesside. His call was backed by North East Lib Dems Fiona Hall MEP. The call was made following a visit to the Ensus biorefinery plant at the Wilton site in Redcar, which came online earlier this year. The Ensus plant, the largest biorefinery in Europe, produces bioethanol, high protein animal feed substituting for rain forest soy meal, and non-fossil carbon dioxide for the drinks industry. It has created 100 jobs on site and around 2000 in the supply chain. “Ensus is a success story and shows how the Wilton site, where I used to work, is transforming itself with the new technologies of the 21st century,” said Ian. “The British business regime is difficult for any new company trying to get off the ground. Holland and Germany are much more user-friendly. If we don’t make it easy for new enterprises to base themselves on Teesside, then they will go elsewhere.” “The message we heard at Ensus is that European-level regulation is helpful, because it gives investors certainty, “ said Fiona Hall. “But much more needs to be done at a UK level to get new green jobs off the ground. That is why support for green jobs is a key commitment from the Liberal Democrats.” Right: Fiona Hall and Ian Swales visit the Ensus plant in Redcar, the biggest biorefinery in Europe.

Stuffing party at Swalwell Social Club
Members in Blaydon, where Neil Bradbury is aiming to overturn Labour’s 5,500 majority, gathered in Swalwell Social Club on the evening of 29th April for a drink and nibbles and a chance to watch the final Leaders’ Debate. But it wasn’t all relaxation! A large quantity of envelopes had to be stuffed as well. “We got through quite a few thousand envelopes,” said Neil. “It was a great way to get some work done, relax and watch the debates.”

It’s the final countdown
North East regional manifesto launched
Lib Dem Chief Whip in the House of Lords, Lord David Shutt, was the guest of honour at the launch of the party’s regional manifesto at the Falcon’s Rugby Club in Newcastle. Speaking at the launch, Lord Shutt said, “The Leader’s debates have shown that the Liberal Democrats are a credible political force. Here in the North East, the Liberal Democrats have been Labour’s main challengers for years and have demonstrated that we are The regional launch: left to right able to make a difference once Ian Swales (Redcar), Wendy Taylor in charge. (Newcastle East), Lord Shutt, Carol “Our principles set out in our Woods (Durham City), Ron Beadle manifesto nationally will also (Newcaslte North) and Cllr John bring a very positive change to Shipley (Leader of Newcastle City the region: our planned tax Council.) Right, Lord Shutt who reform means that people in the launched the manifesto. North East will have an average £700 extra to spend each year; we will invest £175m into local schools with children from poorer backgrounds to make sure that each child gets a fair start in life; and we will invest in the North’s manufacturing base by improving the region’s infrastructure and refurbishing derelict ports which will enable giant offshore wind turbines to be produced here rather than abroad. “The Liberal Democrats are committed to real change for the North East.”

Labour’s totally contradictory messages - in the same leaflet!
by Northern Democrat Editor Jonathan Wallace (first appeared in www.jonathanwallace.blogspot.com) I called into the Newcastle North Lib Dem HQ recently to see how Ron Beadle was getting on. Whilst there I joined in the general merriment and hilarity about the totally contradictory claims about crime and public safety that had been found in the same Labour leaflet. Turn to page 2 of Labour’s “Local Voice”. It states, “With a Lib Dem reluctance to vote in favour of the power to break up teen gangs, it’s hardly surprising that many local residents have told The Local Voice that they are afraid to leave their homes at night.” Then turn to page 3 of the same “Local Voice” and find a quote from a Stuart Hepinstall, presumably a “local resident”. What does Mr Hepinstall say? Here it is: “It feels safer to walk around here than in the past: there’s more police and less crime.” I’m looking forward to the next edition. Apparently it will say on page 2 that Lib Dems spread plague and pestilence and as a result people are dying. On page 3, the “Local Voice” will be claiming that everyone is living longer, happier, healthier lives with Labour having eradicated all disease and illness. The edition after that, it is rumoured, will be looking at the way Lib Dems eat babies for breakfast whilst simultaneously claiming that under Labour all breakfasts are vegetarian.

It’s the final countdown
£15m per year for Northumberland’s schools under Lib Dem plans
Alan Beith, who is defending his seat in Berwick upon Tweed, has made education one of his key campaign issues. The Liberal Democrats’ proposals for education would result in an extra £15m for Northumberland’s schools every year - tackling the underfunding which has been felt under years of Labour and Conservative governments. Sir Alan said, “The proposals we are putting forward start to deal with government underfunding of schools in Northumberland which has occurred because of the funding formula, which helps London authorities but harms areas like ours.” “We have some excellent schools in our county but they could do so much more with additional funding. Giving our young people the best start in life is the most important thing we can do for their future. “Some of the schools here receive significantly less money than the national average because the Government gives a poor cash support to Northumberland Council to pay for our kids’ education.

Sir Alan Beith

“Under our plans, Northumberland schools would get a further £15m from the Government which they could use to cut class sizes and provide more individual support.”

Keep in touch with Lib Dem candidates via the web
Frank Hindle, Gateshead http://www.facebook.com/nickclegg?v=wall#!/pages/Frank-Hindle/95807225969?ref=ts http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=337586186430 Ian Swales, Redcar: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ian-Swales-Liberal-Democrat-for-Redcar/431564060331 http://ianswales.mycouncillor.org.uk/ Carol Woods, Durham City http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=321657906167#!/ group.php?gid=5031527346&ref=search&sid=61203356.2735836618..1 http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=106897632678740&ref=search&sid=61203356.2735836618..1 http://www.durhamlibdems.org.uk/ Tara Saville, Easington http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tara-Saville-for-Easington/167763043538 Wendy Taylor, Newcastle East http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=325488539683 http://wendy2win.org.uk/ Gareth Kane, Newcastle Central http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000801372796 http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=321657906167 Ron Beadle, Newcastle North http://www.facebook.com/nickclegg?v=wall#!/profile.php?id=598998412&ref=ts http://twitter.com/DrRonBeadle http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=5177551940 http://ronbeadle.org/ Alan Beith, Berwick http://www.alanbeith.org.uk/ http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000315189624&ref=ts http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=344685325601&ref=search&sid=61203356.3691261703..1 Mike Barker, Darlington http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Mike-Barker-4-Darlington/316022052682?ref=ts Neil Bradbury, Blaydon http://neilbradbury.blogspot.com/ http://blaydonlibdems.org.uk/

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