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The constituency is formed from eight electoral wards (defgined under the boundaries which were replaced at 3rd May 2018)

in the great City of Newcastle upon Tyne :

* Benwell and Scotswood

* Blakelaw

* Elswick

* Fenham

* Kenton

* Westgate

* West Gosforth

* Wingrove

Cllr Dr Nick Cott was the Liberal Democrats candidate for the constituency at the General Election on 8th June 2017.

  • 308 bus
    Article: Sep 14, 2018

    For several years, Liberal Democrats Councillors have raised the problem of poor air quality around the Coast Road. The problem is particularly intense around the junctions, i.e. Cradlewell, Corner House & Benfield Road, where there are often queues of standing traffic.

    In response to a question from the Liberal Democrats, it's been confirmed that 227 buses in Tyneside are to be upgraded - but not replacing the highest standard Euro 6 buses which were withdrawn and sent to Leeds when that Council imposed draconian new rules on air quality.

  • Dr Nick Cott
    Article: Sep 13, 2018

    Newcastle City Council's budget for children's social care is set for an overspending by £6.5m this year - following the budget being blown last year by £5.66 million. The money is used for around 550 looked-after children in care.

    The city's Liberal Democrat opposition has questioned whether the council itself can do more to get the situation back under control.

  • Killingworth Rd
    Article: Sep 10, 2018

    The long-delayed Northern Gas Networks' works being carried out at Killingwoth Road, which have caused it to be closed for many months, now seem to be reaching a conclusion.

    Local councillors have been told : "NGN engineers will be working extra hours on site to ensure the project remains on schedule and they can leave the site as planned on October 26th. This means they'll be there seven days a week, up to 12 hours each day (weather permitting).

  • David Down in Lord Mayor's office
    Article: Sep 7, 2018

    l'shanah tovah tikateiv v'tichateimu

    The Lord Mayor of Newcastle, Cllr David Down, wishes Happy Rosh Hashanah to all who will be celebrating it from Sunday onwards.

    He will be attending the Newcastle Reform Synagogue in Gosforth on Monday.

    This follows the unanimous approval on Wednesday of a Liberal Democrats-proposed motion to adopt the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of anti-semitism, following a determined effort by protestors to disrupt the Council's proceedings. David had tried to calm the disruption by talking to the protestors, who had previously been allowed to address the Council for 5 minutes. When it was councillors turn - and they would have been limited to 3 minutes each - a protestor told David "we can see we got nowhere so we just wanted to stop it".

  • City logo
    Article: Sep 6, 2018

    The Council meeting on 5th September was the 20th anniversary of his first council meeting after the election of Cllr Greg Stone to Newcastle City Council in a by-election in the then Dene ward.
    "At the time I remember being struck by the size of the electorate of my ward, which contained more than 12,000 voters. The then smallest ward had just 3,100 voters. This level of imbalance in representation struck me as unequal and unjust. It was obviously problematic that one ward had four times as many voters as another. Fortunately, this was addressed in a boundary review in 2004, which brought about a happier outcome, " he told a Council meeting discussing his motion for a new boundaries review to establish fairer electorates.
    This motion acknowledges the 2016 Electoral Review was carried out in good faith with good intent. The ward boundaries are broadly sound in terms of geographic communities. However, the ward population projections have turned out to be well adrift from what was forecast.
    The council has a corporate priority of being Fit for Purpose. This motion suggests the Review has turned out to be un-fit for purpose. Both of the identified criteria for intervention apply to the city's current position. The new arrangements are demonstrably less fair and less equal than previously.
    The Local Government Boundareis Commission for England (LGBCE) has clear guidance on this. An electoral review is mandatory for a local authority if one ward exceeds 30% variation, or if 30% of wards are more than 10% from the average electorate for the authority.
    The 2016 Review was triggered because one ward appeared to have reached a 33% variation from the citywide average. We now have two wards exceeding 30% variation. Using May's electorate figures, one is 35.7% under quota and another is 31.3% under. More than 30% of wards exceed the recommended 10% variation. Four wards exceed 20% variation. The largest has an electorate not far off twice the smallest.
    At no point was the likelihood that the new ward sizes exceeded the LGBCE trigger for a new Review reported to Constitutional Committee or to Council. The issue was only raised at all at Constitutional Committee in March because I challenged officers on figures buried in an Appendix listing total electoral registrations per new ward.
    It's not a matter of party political expediency. The disparity in ward sizes affects all of us. Castle and Parklands are currently the biggest and both will grow further through new housing in coming years. Other wards like Denton & Westerhope, and Walkergate are more than 20% over quota.
    In terms of compliance with the legal criteria, we have to scrutinise why the Review has achieved greater electoral inequality. We are in a situation where another Review is now inevitable. The finding of the review that "all wards will have electoral equality by 2021" is not credible. There is no way this will happen on the current trend: If anything, the divergence is likely to be more extreme.
    No doubt it is inconvenient to have to repeat the exercise. It will mean extra work and reorganisation. But surely as night follows day, we will need to do this again in the near future. We need to review the methodology used, and ensure we have more robust projections next time. Something went badly awry in this process.
    Lord Mayor, this motion calls on Constitutional Committee to implement what we might call a Democracy Review. It is the responsibility of all us to uphold local democracy by ensuring fairness and electoral equality across our city. Abandoning that principle is a backward step - and is potentially illegal in terms of compliance with the LGBC criteria. I call on the Leader of Council and colleagues on both sides of the chamber to fight electoral inequality tooth and nail.

  • Grey's Monument
    Article: Sep 2, 2018

    The Liberal Democrats have published a comprehensive blueprint for replacing the broken business rates system to cut taxes for businesses

    Local Liberal Democrats business spokesperson Cllr Robin Ashby described the plans as "exactly the sort of policy we need to boost local investment and ensure businesses in Newcastle thrive".

    The report - Taxing Land, Not Investment - calls for the abolition of business rates and its replacement with a tax on land values, the Commercial Landowner Levy (CLL).

    The levy would remove buildings and machinery from calculations and tax only the land value of commercial sites, boosting investment and cutting taxes for businesses.

    Liberal Democrats members will debate and vote on the proposals at the party's Autumn Conference in Brighton later this month.

    Robin Ashby said: "Time and again I have heard concerns about the devastating impact of business rates on struggling high streets and the wider local economy.

    "It is the responsibility of the current Conservative Government to ensure that our businesses are able to thrive, but ministers are not doing anywhere near enough.

    "Liberal Democrats demand better. That is why we are campaigning to create the environment needed for local businesses to grow and create jobs in Newcastle

    "Business rates were a badly designed policy to begin with and have become an unacceptable drag on our economy. They are a tax on productive investment at a time of chronically weak productivity growth, and a burden on high streets struggling to adapt to the rise of online retail.

    "Many of the areas around the country that voted for Brexit feel they have been left behind. In place of policies the Brexiters offer only rhetoric. Great swathes of the country demand better, and this policy offers change to the manufacturing industry and the small towns passed over by economic growth."

    The Liberal Democrats have carried out a detailed study of business rates and alternatives. Key recommendations from their report include:

  • Gosforth ward surgery 2016
    Event: Oct 6, 2018 10:00 AM - 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!

  • Smokey bus
    Article: Aug 28, 2018
    The Liberal Democrats Transport spokesman in Newcastle, Cllr Greg Stone, says that it's not a surprise that Newcastle council leader Nick Forbes has sent out a press release announcing that he has signed a round-robin letter of mayors and city leaders calling on the Government to take urgent action on the issue of air quality . It's right that he should highlight the importance of action on this issue given the effects of traffic congestion and vehicle emissions on public health and the environment.
  • Money
    Article: Aug 13, 2018

    The news that Amazon has doubled its profits made in the UK while reducing its tax bill has been greeted with outrage by some.

    But in reality, because both Labour and Tory governments have ducked tax modernisation, it seems that the company has paid all the taxes demanded of it.

    What the case highlights is that the tax system hasn't kept up with changes in the global business environment and new technology, and smart global profit earners.

    Increasingly, cross border co-operation between Governments is necessary to ensure that businesses pay their "fair share" in the countries where they make their money from those citizens.

    Top and bottom, it's up to Governments to set tax regimes which are fair and reasonable, which are not easily evaded, and which don't have other, greater, negative consequences.

    Companies domiciled in the USA and US citizens pay tax on their global profits or earnings wherever they are made. Why not other nations?

    In the past, Liberal Democrats have suggested that there should be a minimum rate at which tax should be paid on all profits before special allowances are taken into account (one of the reasons Amazon was able to keep its tax bill low).

    As more and more business is done on-line, another look must be taken at internet-based sales taxes and some sort of charge which levels the playing field between shops and factories who pay business rates and those whose main activities have no or little physical presence.

    If such companies want access to UK taxpayers to sell their goods and services, Government must ensure they make a meaningful contribution to the wellbeing of those people which is supported by tax spending.

  • Cllr Nick Cott
    Article: Aug 9, 2018

    Brexit cannot leave Newcastle and the North East facing huge financial uncertainty as a result of lost regional aid funding, writes Dr Nick Cott, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Newcastle upon Tyne, North (pictured)

    This funding has been used to create jobs, support small and medium enterprises, deliver skills training, invest in critical transport and boost inclusive growth in England from Northumberland to Cornwall and Cumbria to Kent. Even last week, support for employment projects here has been announced.