Liberal Democrat campaigners would be pleased to hear from you on

  • NHS logo
    Article: Jun 18, 2019

    The Health Foundation has just published a report which criticises the Conservative Government's long term plan for the NHS as being jeopardised by a lack of funding and rising demand.

    Newcastle Liberal Democrats Health Spokesperson Cllr Dr Wendy Taylor, who chairs the Health Scrutiny Committee said:

    "It is unsurprising to see more voices joining the criticisms of the Tory Government's supposed 'long term plan' for the NHS. The strategy, which fails to account for the critical staffing shortages in our health service, does not deserve to be seen as a credible proposal let alone be called a 'long term plan'.

    "Rather than cutting prevention services and ignoring social care as the Tories have, the Liberal Democrats would put 1p in income tax to inject £6 billion into our health service, as well as implement a national workforce strategy to tackle the staffing crisis.

    "Our NHS saves thousands of lives, day in day out. But as the Conservatives continue to ignore the struggles of our doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals to meet the rising demand against the backdrop of Tory cuts, patients are being put at risk.

    "Patients deserve better and the Liberal Democrats demand better. The Conservative Government's plan for the NHS is not fit for purpose."

  • Cllr Robin Ashby
    Article: Jun 17, 2019

    The UK Government must work with European allies to de-escalate tensions in Middle East says Cllr Robin Ashby, a Liberal Democrats defence and security analyst.

    This follows on action by Jo Swinson MP, Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats, who secured an Urgent Question in the House of Commons concerning the attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

  • Greg Stone
    Article: Jun 14, 2019

    Following the news that Chuka Umunna MP has joined the party, North East Liberal Democrats regional chair Greg Stone said:

    "Since the 2017 General Election more than 1 in 4 Labour voters have switched to support the Liberal Democrats. Already in 2019 we have dramatically increased our membership, our number of councillors and our number of MEPs. Recent polls show the Lib Dems ahead of both the Conservative and Labour parties as the main challengers to Nigel Farage's Brexit Party."

  • Dr Wendy Taylor
    Article: Jun 14, 2019

    Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron used Prime Minister's Questions session to call for the establishment of a new cross-party group to bring forward a new deal to fix Britain's social care system.

    Speaking on the floor of the House of Commons, Tim said: "This logjammed and underworked Parliament could become one of the best if we chose to work across party to fix our broken social care system.

    "Through free votes, good will and hard work, we could design and then enact a new deal for social care that could give millions hope for the future.

    "As one of her final acts as Prime Minister, will she commit to meet me and establish a cross party group so that we can bring this social care new deal to fruition?"

    In response, Theresa May said that it was important that Britain's social care system has a sustainable future and that she hopes that the Government will bring forward a social care green paper to Parliament soon which MPs of all parties would be able to contribute towards.

    Councillor Dr Wendy Taylor, Chair of Newcastle Council's Health Scrutiny Committee said:-

  • Anita Lower 2017
    Article: Jun 13, 2019

    A Liberal Democrats bill to raise the age of criminal responsibility has passed in the House of Lords.

    The Bill, introduced by the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords Navnit Dholakia, will amend the age of criminal responsibility in the Children and Young Persons Act 1933 from ten to twelve.

    The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Law Society, the Children's Commissioners, the Royal Society, the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the All Party Parliamentary Group for Children have all called for the age of criminal responsibility to be raised.

    Commenting on the passing of the Bill, Cllr Anita Lower, who speaks for Newcastle Liberal Democrats on crime and justice matters, said :

    "I am delighted to see Lord Dholakia's bill, which will raise the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 12, pass in the House of Lords today. This draconian provision was last amended over 50 years ago and is completely out of touch with modern society.

    "The UK's age of criminal responsibility is the lowest in Europe and the United Nations has repeatedly stated our current age of criminal responsibility is not compatible with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

    "Taking 10 or 11 years-olds out of the adult justice system does not mean failing to act when they offend, it simply means treating them as children when they do. This may be a simple reform, but it will change the shape of our criminal justice system going forward.

    "Our criminal justice system must have a child-centred approach when dealing with young offenders - we need reform urgently.

    "It is vital children are not given life-altering sentences at such a young age as well as being exposed to the detrimental impact of detention. The Liberal Democrats strongly believe in raising the age of criminal responsibility to bring the UK's justice system in line with modern society and our MPs will be supporting this Bill's passage in the House of Commons."

    According to the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology, "research shows that 10-year-old children are immature in terms of moral and brain development", and "criminalising children adversely affects their future prospects and makes them more likely to reoffend as adults".

  • Dr Aidan King
    Article: Jun 12, 2019

    A leaked Cabinet note reveals the UK will not be ready for a no-deal Brexit by October 31st because is will take "six to eight months" to build up supplies of medicines. Dr Aidan King, a Liberal Democrats Councillor for Castle Ward, said:

    "This Government document will be extremely concerning to people who rely on medicines like insulin to stay alive.

  • Lord Shipley - Brexit
    Article: Jun 12, 2019

    Vehicle emmissons are a human rights issue that requires cross-party action locally and nationally, John Lord Shipley has told the House of Lords. He said:

    I find the evidence, both before this debate in preparing for it and in the speeches made in it, to be compelling. My noble friend Lady Randerson referred to it as a major child health crisis, which is true. There are 1.1 million children with asthma, as we have heard, and one in three children is growing up with toxicity levels above legal limits.

  • Dr Wendy Taylor
    Article: Jun 11, 2019

    The parliamentary Public Accounts Committee has concluded that the failure to meet waiting time targets is putting lives at risk. Cllr Dr Wendy Taylor, who speaks for Newcastle Liberal Democrats on health matters said:

    "This report provides a vital contribution at a time when the Government is reviewing waiting time standards. The delays we are seeing not only put lives in danger, but extend the time patients and families are struggling with worry, stress and pain.

    "With waiting times being missed on this scale, the Conservative Government must not scrap waiting times, but ensure the NHS has the resources and staff to meet the targets. If waiting times are deprioritised, or abandoned, the result could mean worse care for patients. This is unacceptable and the Liberal Democrats demand better.

    "We would invest money in preventive services and early intervention to reduce pressure on hospitals. A penny on the pound on income tax would provide an immediate £6 billion to our NHS to start this process. Liberal Democrats would combine this with a national workforce strategy to ensure that there are enough hospital doctors and nurses to provide time and effective care for all patients."

  • Bollocks to Brexit
    Article: Jun 11, 2019

    "To see the economy shrink by 0.4% - the biggest one-month fall in 3 years - just shows the extent to which the Conservative Government is damaging our economy. It was only being kept going by stock piling for a No Deal Brexit," commented Cllr Robin Ashby, who speaks on the economy and business for Newcastle Liberal Democrats.

    "While business wants reassurance, the last three months demonstrate the immense uncertainty facing businesses, particularly those in export activities. Economically illiterate proposals being touted by the candidates hoping to take over from Theresa May signal that the Tories have abandoned any sense of fiscal responsibility.

    "The Conservatives were warned by Donald Tusk not to waste this time. Yet they continue putting party before country, causing more uncertainty in the process which threatens people's livelihoods right across the country. A new Conservative leader cannot change the parliamentary arithmetic, nor the facts of the negotiations.

  • Lord Shipley - Brexit
    Article: Jun 7, 2019

    John Shipley spoke in the House of Lords about people and places, and the need for stronger devolution to the regions.

    A few years ago, I had the privilege of leading Newcastle City Council, and I remember being asked in an interview what I worried about most as council leader. I think the expectation was that I would reply, "Keeping council tax down", or perhaps, "Getting re-elected", but I actually said that I worried most about the next generation of jobs-what they would be, where they would come from, whether there be enough to generate full employment, whether they would be good jobs and whether they would offer career progression to encourage graduates to stay in the city. I worried about that then and I still do, because I lived through the 1970s and the 1980s with the huge loss of jobs in mining, iron and steel, chemicals, shipbuilding and manufacturing.