Benwell and Scotswood Ward Liberal Democrats would be pleased to hear from any resident who has a problem, a query or would like to help the Lib Dems in the ward. Please get in touch with us via, or register your support using the 'Register/Support' link on the left.

  • Gosforth ward surgery 2016
    Event: Aug 1, 2015 10:00 AM - Oct 23, 2020 12:00 PM
    Gosforth High Street NE3

    Gosforth councillors will be on Gosforth High Street on the first Saturday of every month, outside the Shopping Centre (look out for the umbrella and the sandwich board)

    This is in addition to private Councillor surgeries which are advertised widely and regularly.

    We look forward to seeing you to discuss issues of concern, or just to say hello!

  • Dr Aidan King
    Article: Sep 29, 2020

    "Boris Johnson must start putting the nation first, rather than sacrificing everything and anything in his ideological pursuit of Brexit. His efforts will drag the country's reputation through the mud by breaking international law," says Cllr Aidan King, who was a Liberal Democrats candidate for the North East in the 2019 European Parliament elections.

    Talks between the EU and the UK on a free trade agreement have shown no signs of progress, and amidst mounting controversy over Government plans to break international law over Brexit.

    "I am delighted that the Liberal Democrats have made a commitment to campaign to protect and enhance the rights of UK citizens in the EU and EU citizens in the UK, and to uphold the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights and Charter of Fundamental Rights.

    "With our country already facing the biggest economic and health crisis in generations, it is unthinkable that the UK would crash out of the transition period without a deal.

    "At every step of the Brexit process, Liberal Democrats have been clear in our pro-EU position. We'll never turn our back on our pro-European values because we are so much better off standing together than we could ever be alone.

    "That is why our duty now is to put every last ounce of political energy towards stopping a no-deal and opposing Boris Johnson's efforts to drag the country's reputation through the mud by breaking international law," said Dr King.

  • Greggs Gosforth High Street
    Article: Sep 29, 2020

    Newcastle-based Greggs the Bakers could be cutting the hours of up to 20,000 staff in order to reduce the risk of job losses. "The Government has let down all of our employers by their refusal to extend the furlough scheme and the short notice of its inadequate replacement. The Liberal Democrats will be asking Newcastle City Council next week to support its call for that extension plus enhanced benefits for short time workers, those excluded so far, and those who want a job but can't find one. We'll also be pushing on the need for a city and regional response for reskilling and upskilling to face the future," said Cllr Robin Ashby, who speaks on business matters for Newcastle Liberal Democrats.

  • Cllr Dr Nick Cott 2019
    Article: Sep 29, 2020

    The Government and the North East's Councils aren't speaking with one voice on local lockdown measures. New Government decrees are being issued by Twitter like a cut-price Trump, without prior discussion. And it now seems that Labour's MPs and local Council leaders aren't singing from the same hymn sheet either.

  • Ed Davey and Ali Avaei
    Article: Sep 29, 2020

    "The Government must never again be allowed to force the BBC into a corner where it has to choose between cuts to programming or raising these fees on the most vulnerable," says Cllr Ali Avaei, who leads for Newcastle Liberal Democrats on media and culture issues, and is seen with the Liberal Democrats Leader Ed Davey.

  • Cllr Griff Kane
    Article: Sep 28, 2020

    After a flurry of Council initiative announcements which appear disjointed at best, Liberal Democrats Opposition Councillors have called for joined up thinking on Newcastle's transport system.

    Details on how the stalled Clean Air Zone (CAZ) proposals link to the Council's recently published Net Zero Action Plan, its Low Traffic Neighbourhood proposals, and the substantial social distancing changes being made to local shopping areas, are conspicuous by their absence. The Opposition has grave concerns that these measures are being conceived and implemented piecemeal, without reference to any overarching strategy for how to get the City moving and tackle the climate and air quality crises.

  • Dr Wendy Taylor NHS
    Article: Sep 26, 2020

    Medicine is a stressful profession. It's what I tell potential medical students when they come for interview. I tell them they will have to cope with making mistakes, with looking after patients for whom there is little more they can do to help and with patients who die. They need mental resilience. But the last 6 months has been beyond anything any of us have had to deal with before, or could ever have imagined. And of course it's not just doctors who've been affected, but nurses, allied medical professionals, ambulance drivers, and staff in the community - in care homes, in domiciliary care and in public health. Staff who were already under pressure and over-stretched due to staff vacancies and increasing demand, having to work even harder, due to large numbers of COVID patients and colleagues off sick
    I work as a Hospital Consultant treating patients with breast cancer. At the start of the pandemic, I had to review the notes of all my patients receiving chemotherapy or radiotherapy, to decide if it was safe to continue treatment. I had to balance the risks from a COVID infection against the risk that my decision might reduce their chances of cure or shorten survival. I then had to talk to the patients to explain the situation and, in some cases, having to point out that if they did become very sick, they might not be eligible for a ventilator. As you can imagine, those conversations were very difficult and stressful.
    But in Newcastle we were very lucky. We went into lockdown in time to prevent the disease from overwhelming services. Very few cancer patients died from COVID infections and none of our hospital staff, but other parts of the country were not so lucky. I know of doctors and nurses in London, who had to care for friends and colleagues, then see them die. It must have been heart-breaking. Then there are the care staff who are themselves at risk - pregnant women, staff from a BAME background, those with diabetes who had to balance their duty of care to patients against the chance that they might put both themselves and their families at risk by continuing to work.
    The mental health impacts for all staff will last a lifetime and experts are warning of high rates of post traumatic stress disorder. We must ensure health and care workers are supported throughout this crisis and beyond.
    Some organisations are already taking up this challenge. The Trust I work for has acknowledged that the pandemic has created extra anxiety and stress for everyone and has launched a staff wellbeing page to provide a range of resources and information to help staff identify which mental and emotional support works best for them. They have also arranged talks on "Taking Care of Yourself and your Future" specifically designed to address various emotional, practical and psychological challenges, and help staff to pause, think and take control.
    This type of support should be available for all health and care staff, so we need local Councils, hospitals, mental health trusts, CCGs, ambulance trusts, Care homes and domiciliary care providers to work with their staff to make sure high quality mental health support is available and easily accessed for all workers.

  • Cllr Nick Cott
    Article: Sep 23, 2020

    The Liberal Democrats Opposition on Newcastle City Council have reacted with concern to the latest figures released from Public Health England for Newcastle upon Tyne which now show recorded cases being one of the highest infection rates in the region, with 129.4 per 100,000, and the most cases at 392, compared to 207 cases the week before. Newcastle now has some of the highest rates of infection in the country.

    These figures follow on from lockdown measures introduced last week in the region, and now also additional measures across England, and special arrangements being put in place in schools and by the Universities, following the return of students.

    The jump in the figures comes following the closure of a Newcastle school for two weeks, and a number of cases involving staff and pupils there, and reports of cases at other Newcastle schools.

    Councillor Nick Cott, the Leader of the Opposition and member of the Council's City Futures Board, said: 'We are concerned about the continuing rise in the rate of infections and this supports the rationale for the new lockdown measures and work across the City by the Council and its partners. However, we continue to believe that more needs to be done to prevent a full lockdown.

    'The Government's communications around the pandemic have been appalling and more needs to be done to deal with their mixed messages. We're asking the Government to review the discontinuation of the furlough scheme, to help out the hospitality sector, and therefore give greater flexibility about opening of such premises. We need to ensure that household and family networks can function properly and that our communities are kept as safe as possible.

    'The Government urgently needs to address the failure of its centralised track and trace scheme, and the failure to bring forward a contact tracing app, making tracing people going in and out of other households a harder task than it needs to be.

    'We are again calling on the Police and Crime Commissioner to take steps to address enforcement of regulations around licensing premises, by directing resources from the Late Night Levy, to help.

    'Newcastle City Council needs to continue to focus on making sure that lockdown restrictions are aligned with social distancing measures being put in place across our district centres. We continue to be concerned about stark inequalities in the implementation of social distancing measures across the City, with little yet done in the East and West Ends, despite our protestations.

    'We have been pleased to see how much businesses and organisations across the City have been working hard to deal with the issues at this challenging time, but we will continue to shout up about the concerns of residents in the City and seek action. The next couple of weeks are absolutely critical; we certainly hope to avoid a full lockdown, but this will require some more concerted action.'
  • Cllr Nick Cott
    Article: Sep 17, 2020

    Rising Covid infections mean that local action must be taken to avoid a more serious lockdown in the future, but the Liberal Democrats on Newcastle City Council are asking hard questions about the balance of measures imposed at midnight tonight, including household mixing, targeted furlough payments and the use of the Late Night Levy on pubs and clubs.

  • Cllr Robin Ashby
    Article: Sep 12, 2020

    Senior leaders from Britain's two biggest trading blocs, the EU and USA, have warned that Britain is putting trade deals at risk if it can't be trusted to uphold international law.

    The European Commission has confirmed that, if adopted as it stands, the United Kingdom Internal Market Bill would "put at risk the ongoing future relationship negotiations".