Reports on some of the contributions of Liberal Democrat councillors to meetings of Newcastle City Council.

You can find agendas and papers HERE

and videos of the whole proceedings of Full Council HERE (about 2 weeks after the event)

  • Recycling rules Newcastle
    Article: Feb 19, 2019

    This leaflet is being delivered through doors in Newcastle - but as its part of a bundle of advertising materials, you may have put it straight into the recycling....on the other side is you waste collections day so worth keeping

  • Cllr Wendy Taylor with Norman Lamb MP
    Article: Feb 1, 2019
    It is Children's Mental Health week next week, says Cllr Dr Wendy Taylor, who speaks for Newcastle Liberal Democrats on health issues. So it is timely that a recent report from a committee of MPs has found that only a third of children and young people with mental health conditions receive the treatment they need from the NHS.
  • Brunswick tip (Newcastle Liberal Democrats)
    Article: Jan 26, 2019

    Liberal Democrats Councillors in the north of Gosforth today showed their support for keeping open the Brunswick tip (Household waste and recycling centre)

    Pictured here are Parklands and Castle wards councillors Pauline Allen, Phil Lower, Anita Lower (Opposition Leader) David Down and Robin Ashby plus local campaigner Christine Morrissey.

  • Article: Jan 10, 2019

    Liberal Democrats believe strongly that asylum seekers should be allowed to work while waiting for a decision on their application. It's good for the UK economy and it gives asylum seekers self respect and allows them to provide for their families. It would avoid destitution, isolation and exploitation.

  • Bus lane cameras Neville Street
    Article: Jan 8, 2019

    The statement by the three local councils (reproduced in full below) is a massive political cop-out and an abject failure of political leadership on the issue of the dangers of the air quality on our Tyneside streets.

    Cllr Greg Stone, who speaks on transport and air quality issues for the Liberal Democrats, said "Other cities are dealing with the same challenges and the likes of Leeds, Manchester, Bristol, and Birmingham are consulting on their clean air charging proposals for polluting diesel emissions, not making excuses. We recognise that the A1 Western Bypass needs a national Highways Agency approach, but Newcastle, Gateshead, and North Tyneside had the opportunity to set out by the end of last year how they proposed to reduce emissions on the local network without a clean air charging scheme and have failed to do so.

  • Woollen poppies
    Article: Nov 9, 2018

    You can find readings from War Poets including the one below, here

    Not all war poets were British men

    Not all soldiers were white

    Not all battles were fought in Europe

    The Neuve-Chapelle Memorial commemorates more than 4,700 Indian soldiers and labourers who lost their lives on the Western Front during the First World War and who have no known grave.

  • Bins
    Article: Oct 2, 2018

    Newcastle Liberal Democrats would like to hear from you about domestic waste and public litter bins to inform our response to the City Council'c review of its waste strategy and our manifesto for the 2019 elections. So we invite you to complete the survey which can be found at here

  • 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.

  • 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.