Happy New Year to all of you, a time which is normally full of optimism and hope for the year ahead – but sadly 2023 feels like it has begun in the same way we left the previous year.
An unprecedented crisis in our NHS and doctors and nurses across our region hit breaking point yet again this winter due to chronic underfunding.
Nationally, we are subject to huge A&E waiting times, paramedics stretched and patients waiting longer for treatment all as a direct result of 12 years of underfunding by the Conservatives.
As NHS workers give their all, they are met with a government not serious about negotiating on better working conditions.
Strikes are dominant in the public sector, with everyone from nurses to rail workers standing up for working rights and improved conditions with every trade union leader stating the obvious – the government aren’t serious about negotiations.
We face the ever-growing cost of living crisis, something which continues to push families to breaking point across the North East. Daily breaking news as prices peak while so many struggle, just yesterday we saw that inflation on fresh food had risen 15% in December on the previous year, something which sadly, has become a regular occurrence.
Now I’m not putting the North East down but I want to see us getting the same level of support as every other region and nation.
Under the Conservatives, the North East has the highest child poverty rate, the highest rate of suicide, the lowest life expectancy and the lowest average salaries in the UK. 2023 needs to be a year of change and one which brings hope back to the region.
Last week it was revealed a £4.2bn devolution deal had been agreed between the seven local councils in our region and the Government.
The deal which covers Tyne and Wear, Durham and Northumberland will see the election of a metro mayor, giving the North East an opportunity to tackle key issues which plague people across our region.
Key areas at the deal’s focus is on improved transport, better opportunities for every community and a budget dedicated to lifelong learning through investment in adult education.
Labour have been the driving examples of success in these deals.
Labour Mayors have led the way in Manchester, Liverpool and West Yorkshire. The areas they represent have already benefitted from a £2 cap on bus fares helping commuters drastically, also from key housing initiatives and a huge level of investment in education.
Labour Mayors are the perfect example of what we can deliver when in power.
Nationally, Labour would deliver for the people of the UK.
We will fix the crisis in our NHS by creating an extra 10,000 nursing and midwifery clinical placements every year. We would tackle backlogs by employing more doctors and nurses, creating lower waiting times and introduce a National Care Service which fixes our longterm problems around social care.
We are committed to a real plan on levelling up, bringing our railways back under public control, delivering a landmark shift in skills and training to drive growth and equip our communities for the future.
We would invest in our high streets by tackling the issues around business rates which hit local shop owners and not huge global digital corporations.
We are committed to tackling the energy crisis. We will work to ensure our country is net-zero by 2030, protecting the futures of our children and the planet.
We would implement Great British Energy, a publicly-owned energy company focusing on producing more energy at home and utilising renewables – making energy bills cheaper.
2022 was a year wrought by Conservative chaos in which working people were asked to pay the price, and this looks set to roll into the early stages of this year.
However, 2023 is a new chapter for our country – the Labour Party will set out the case for change and the case for a new Britain, one which gives opportunity to people and restores faith in politics as a tool for good.
The beginning of December marks that moment when we all get in the festive spirit. Opening advent calendars, shopping for Christmas gifts in a season to catch up with loved ones.
The month also offers us a chance to reflect, and with 2022, we have had a year of so many incredible moments. The lionesses, the Commonwealth Games and an outcry of love for Her Majesty The Queen.
In the political sphere, we have seen a year of complete chaos, corruption, and failure from start to finish.
2022 began with the Metropolitan Police opening an investigation on the then Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, following a complete breakdown in trust with the British public over successive ‘partygate’ stories. Who knew that this would be the high point of trust in the Tory Government into 2022?
April saw Boris Johnson and the now Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak fined by the police following this investigation. It also saw Rishi and his wife hit the headlines furthermore as Rishi’s wife was found to be claiming ‘Non Dom’ status, benefiting from a loophole to save themselves from paying millions of pounds extra in UK tax. No wonder that yesterday Rishi still refused to close this loophole from which he directly benefits.
June brought a confidence vote from the Tories into the PM, surviving only to be toppled later in the month by the Chris Pincher scandal. Appointing ministers to positions who have a background of scandal and bullying is something that has happening seemingly throughout the year.
In September we got our new Prime Minister Liz Truss, who quickly become our old Prime Minister in October. In just 44 days she managed to send the economy into freefall, oversaw rocketing interest rates and a plunged to record lows public approval.
In October we also got our 3rd Prime Minister in 2022, Rishi Sunak, who stood on the steps of Downing Street and promised a Government of “integrity and accountability”, shortly before appointing Suella Braveman, 6 days after she resigned for breaking the ministerial code. Since this, we have seen several accounts and reports of bullying aired in the press from those he appointed, leading to the resignation of Gavin Williamson, and Dominic Raab facing an inquiry into his actions.
In 2022, we’ve had 3 Prime Ministers, 4 Chancellors and a total of 147 ministerial resignations.
No wonder we have seen record living costs, inflation almost doubling, huge interest rate hikes, record levels of sewage pumped into our rivers, a migrant crisis, strike action, record queues at airports, huge backlogs in the NHS and an energy crisis.
What confidence do you have that the Conservatives are the people improve this in 2023?
Labour have been pushing at every moment of 2022, forcing the Government into much needed U-turns. We pushed and pushed for the Tories to implement a windfall tax, we opposed the inhumane ‘Rwanda plan’ and we have been openly critical of the Government, who still refuse to get round the table and work to end the strike action.
It is now clear, Labour is the only party with a plan for the future of our country.
We are committed to tackling the energy crisis, building our energy security and investing in renewables to make bills cheaper. We will work to ensure that our country is net-zero by 2030, protecting the futures of our children and the planet.
We will tackle the huge backlogs in our NHS, employ more doctors and nurses, creating lower waiting times and introduce a National Care Service that fixes our long-term problems around social care.
We are committed to a real plan on levelling up, bringing our railways back under public control, delivering a landmark shift in skills and training to drive growth and equip our communities for the future. We would invest in our high streets by tackling the issues around business rates which hit local shop owners and not huge global digital corporations.
December is a month in which reflection is welcome and it provides a clear indicator as to who is working in the interest of the people of the North East.
Only Labour can deliver the fresh start that the country needs.
ANOTHER month, another Prime Minister and no end in sight to the Tory chaos which has dominated our headlines for much of 2022.
In the new chapter of this ongoing Tory saga, it is Rishi Sunak who takes the reigns and tries to pull the wool over the countries eyes in pretending that decisions such as appointing Suella Braverman to a post she was sacked from the previous week is in the ‘national interest’.
We’ve seen Matt Hancock try to convince us that going onto ‘I’m a celebrity’ is to further the cause of politics, engaging with those not currently interested in the world of Westminster, and not what many people see as a means of taking his Westminster salary for a long holiday serving his own vanity.
We’ve also seen the Foreign Secretary James Cleverly tell LGBTQ+ football fans they should show respect to Qatar ahead of the world cup next month, despite the countries appalling record on LGBTQ+ rights.
We can’t forget the constant flip flopping from the Prime Minister himself on the future of our planet, unable to decide whether he will attend the COP27 summit, something which only a year ago played a huge role as the UK hosted the summit in Glasgow.
Not quite the start I suspect the Rishi Sunak would have wanted.
The Government is in turmoil and has been for months now. While the Tories quarrel, our country is in desperate need of answers.
Our whole economy seems to have shifted twice in a matter of months and it is looking more and more likely that austerity 2.0 will be the position of this ‘new’ Chancellor. A different supporting cast but the same old plot twist, that working people and public services will be expected to suffer to rebuild on the damage that this Conservative Government has created over the last 12 years. With every passing day there is a new hint that this Government will be ready to sacrifice lower and middle income earners to balance the spreadsheet, with nothing of f limits, including the triple lock on pensions and real term wage cuts for our nurses and teachers.
All the while the basic functions of Government almost cease to exist. Looking at our region, our local transport systems are in disarray, short term cancellations on our buses and a reduction of services are creating havoc on people’s daily lives, all something that the Government should be focussing on.
Back in April 2022, the Government announced that our region would receive £163m in funding for our buses through the ‘Bus Service Improvement Plan’, we are yet to see a single penny of this funding. The Transport Minister has changed twice since August, with them the agenda has also changed and at this time we don’t know whether this money will still be available to build of local transport offer. With the returning ‘doom and gloom’ policies of the Chancellor, much of the public investment plans could be scrapped.
This is a mess that the Tories created, they can’t be expected to be the ones who fix this.
Labour has a bold and different plan for our country. We are already leading the way through our Metro Mayors, with a cap on bus fares and an increased offer on public transport, creating reliability in our services.
On the economy, we will not waver in our commitment to making sure it is on stable and secure ground, and that every pound of taxpayers’ money is treated with respect. We would implement a proper windfall tax, ensuring that huge energy firms help foot the bill on this Tory crisis.
We would invest in Britain’s future, turning the UK in to a clean energy superpower by committing to net-zero by 2030. We’ve announced the creation of Great British Energy, a publicly owned energy company to tackle our energy security and produce more at home by utilising renewables.
Rishi Sunak has proved only one thing, that his Government are willing to continue putting party before country. Labour’s offer is ambitious, full of hope and will deliver for our country.
Another month and yet another crisis in our country caused by the Conservatives, an economic one, made in Downing Street and paid for by working people.
It has been exactly one month since Liz Truss was officially given permission to form a Government and it has possibly been one of the most eventful months in modern British history.
We said goodbye to Britain’s longest reigning monarch. Her Majesty the Queen worked tirelessly for 70 years to serve the people of our country and I would like to express my unwavering thanks and gratitude to her for that service. Truly a remarkable woman who showed us all her warmth and her humour throughout her years.
Following a national period of mourning, we returned to politics and saw the latest edition of Conservative Governments drastically change course, admitting along the way, to their neglect of the country over the last 12 years through a period of low growth. Their plan to fix the problems they’ve caused is huge amounts of borrowing and mass tax cuts for the wealthiest, in the hope that some of this trickles down to working people. The new Chancellor took to the dispatch box to announce a series of fiscal policies which benefit those most well off in society. What has followed has been widespread chaos.
Markets have crashed, key interventions have been needed from the Bank of England to perverse pension pots, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) have encouraged the Government to look again at their fiscal plans and we have seen the pound fall to an all time low against the US dollar.
What the Chancellor described in his speech to the Tory party conference this week as ‘a little turbulence over the past 10 days’ is a huge economic body-blow to working people that will mean higher prices for products and soaring mortgages. The Chancellor has damaged the UK’s reputation on a global stage and left us all worse off.
The Tories have destroyed their economic credibility and lost the trust of the British people, a Labour Government would step in to fix the litany of issues that this Government has created. Labour is the party of fiscal responsibility and social justice.
We will not waver in our commitment to making sure our economy is on stable and secure ground, and that every pound of taxpayers’ money is treated with respect.
At our recent party conference, we announced a series of policies, all costed that will give Britain its hope and future back.
We will tackle the energy crisis, turning the UK in to a clean energy superpower by committing to net-zero by 2030. We announced the creation of Great British Energy, a publicly owned energy company to tackle our energy security and produce more at home by utilising renewables.
We called for an end to the failures on our railways, bringing rail back under national control, we committed to a real plan for levelling up, cutting business rates to rebuild our high streets. We would deliver a landmark shift in skills and training to drive growth and equip our communities for the future. We would also improve our education system, offering free school meals to every child in England.
We have set an ambitious target to help get 1.5 million more people on the housing ladder, along with looking at a new private renter’s charter, to make renting fairer, more secure and more affordable, through a higher quality and properly regulated private rented sector.
We would fix the problems in our NHS, employ more doctors and nurses, creating lower waiting times and introduce a National Care Service that fixes our long term problems around social care.
Having only been Prime Minister for a month, Liz Truss has already put the country on a path in which many will be worse off, she has created a economic crisis which has been made in Downing Street, and is being paid for by the British people.
For my constituents in Blaydon, and for everyone in the North East the answer is clear, only a Labour Government can give Britain the fresh start it needs and only Labour can give our country its hope and future back.
The start of September always feels like an opportunity to look ahead, the new school year starting up and the likes of Halloween, Bonfire Night and Christmas on the horizon, so why does it feel that with all of this to look forward to all we can focus on is the same old crisis within our Government?
Throughout the last month we have seen issue after issue go unanswered, either by a Prime Minister on holiday or by the two Tory leadership candidates. We’ve seen ministers pay more attention to their personal futures to that of the country and we’ve heard nothing at all on the fundamental issues facing every one of us over the last month.
August revealed just how much sewage has been dumped into our rivers and seas by water companies – something which Conservative MPs voted against stopping last October – with the Tory leadership frontrunner, Liz Truss, being directly responsible for cutting millions of pounds of funding earmarked for tackling water pollution during her time as environment secretary. This is simply unacceptable.
Workers across several sectors, hard-hit by the cost of living crisis and threatened with changes to their jobs, announced strikes or ballots for industrial action, while current Government ministers sit and do nothing to look for a solution. At the same time, bosses boast of huge bonuses. This only looks to continue with strike action being balloted to more union members and with calls for the TUC to coordinate future strikes to have a larger impact.
Above all, we’ve seen inflation rise to 10.1% and hitting double digits for the first time since 1982, with Investment bank Goldman Sachs warning this could rise to 22% in 2023 due to the dramatic rise in energy costs.
It’s been a week since Ofgem announced the new energy price cap starting in October and a loud silence from this stop-gap Government or the Tory Prime Ministerial candidates on how they plan to tackle this energy crisis.
On September 5 the results of the Conservative leadership contest will be announced, but while the two candidates continue to pick fault with one another, the whole country is at a standstill. Families across the North East desperately need to know that they will get financial support, but sadly the vanity of those bidding to take the top job takes priority over addressing the concerns of families and voters.
This Government has failed to get a hold of the problems we’ve faced all summer. We need to get a grip of our economy and get Britain working again. More than anything else we need a plan to tackle the cost of living, curb inflation and deal with the energy crisis.
We need a change of direction – more than that, we need a Labour Government.
Labour would stop energy prices rising this winter by freezing the price cap, saving the average household around £1,000 and curbing inflation levels as a direct result. We would pay for this by taxing oil and gas producers properly, getting rid of the loopholes the Tories were happy to wave through.
We would look to the future and solve the energy crisis for good. The plan would make future interest rate hikes less likely and ease the burden on households and businesses. We would also look to the future, insulating every home that needs it to get bills down with our Warm Homes Plan. And we’d get Britain of f expensive foreign gas – by investing much, much more in home grown, cleaner energy such as solar, wind, hydrogen and nuclear power.
We would get round the negotiating tables with unions and bosses across every sector to help find away to get people back to work and to build our economy.
We would tackle the raw sewage dumping into our rivers and seas to keep our beaches and our waters clean.
The reality is we’ve had 12 years of Tory government that has led to the crises we currently face. We can’t continue down the road we’re on.
Only Labour can give Britain the fresh start it needs.
Go North East are removing bus services and routes in order to make their business sustainable.
They have an ongoing consultation process that we need as many people as possible to have their say and to help try and protect our communities.
As your local Labour team, we wanted to make you are aware that you need to have your say in the consultation by 31 May. You can do this and see the plans for service reduction at https://www.gonortheast.co.uk/consultation
Whilst go North East are a private company, we want to make sure your voice is heard throughout the council and in Westminster also, please do contact us with your thoughts on the consultation ran by Go North East so we can make sure your community is speaking as loudly as possible. Together, we can give this our best shot to help protect some of the worst cuts outlined by Go North East.
Fill out the form below to let us know