Liberal Democrats have represented North Jesmond Ward for some 21 years and have built a strong reputation for taking up the issues that matter to local people, and keeping in regular touch through the Focus newsletter and through the emailed eFocus. Councillor Gerry Keating leads the team, supported by Deborah Burns, with assistance from former North Jesmond councillors Peter Breakey, Catherine Walker, Ron Armstrong, Lucy Keating and Libby Dicken.
Your North Jesmond Liberal Democrats Focus Team, led by Cllr Gerry Keating, is always happy to hear from you, and to help with any problems or queries. Email email@example.com
If you'd like a copy of eFocus - more local news, more often - just email us your postcode
Service and Action all year round
In normal times we also hold ward surgeries where you can come and meet us. These are held at Jesmond Library, St George's Terrace, on the first Thursday of each month at 6pm, and the 3rd Saturday at 10am (no surgeries held in August).
Article: Jul 3, 2021
It is with the deepest sorrow that we announce the death of our friend and colleague Anita Lower. She will be sorely missed by many in local government, in Newcastle and further afield, and by her constituents who she has served with great commitment over many years.
Cllr Anita Lower was first elected to the Council in 1994, serving continuously as a councillor since then until her death. She was councillor for Blakelaw ward for 10 years and then councillor for Castle ward from 2004 to 2021. Anita held many important roles in the Council, including serving in the Council's cabinet during the years of the Liberal Democrats administration between 2004 and 2011. She also held the post of Leader of the Opposition between 2013 and 2020. Anita had been serving as chair of the Council's Overview and Scrutiny Committee, a role which won her great respect across the Council, for her ability to work constructively in ensuring that council decisions and decision-makers were open and held to account.
Straight to the top: Newcastle Liberal Democrats take practical plan to Prime Minster after shock announcement of closure of Nestle's Fawdon factory while Labour mulls "talks about talks" next weekArticle: Apr 30, 2021Dear Prime Minister
I hope that your staff have briefed you about the further body blow to the Newcastle and North East manufacturing base which came today with the sudden announcement of the closure of the Nestle confectionery factory in Fawdon. This letter is sent on behalf of myself and my Fawdon and West Gosforth Ward colleagues who represent the area in which the plant is located and many of the 600 workers, and the Opposition Group of Liberal Democrats on Newcastle City Council, of which I am the Leader.
The economic strategy you have set your hand to is one of leveling up. Before the pandemic, the North East still had a surplus on its regional balance of payments in manufactures - the only UK region which had this. So I make specific proposals for your Government to implement as a matter of urgency to offset this hugely damaging plant closure should it go ahead. A few years ago, Sanofi closed down on an adjacent site and Crown Packaging nearby moved away, with the loss of large numbers of good quality jobs in manufacturing for local people. This process of closure after closure is extremely worrying for the future of our area.
So, could I ask what discussions were held by Ministers with Nestle about their plans before they were announced, what interventions the Government has considered, and what steps you will take to press Nestle to review their decision?
If you are unable to prevail upon Nestle to reverse that decision, can I suggest inter alia the following measures:
1. Relocation of a major Government Department to Newcastle - we have sites in the city centre which could support thousands of new jobs, within walking distance of the main line station and the Metro, which are "shovel ready";
Article: Apr 29, 2021
The Liberal Democrats have accused Conservative MPs of "placing anti-immigration ideology ahead of tackling the scourge of modern slavery", after the Tories voted for new legislation that will weaken safeguards for victims and lead to more of them being held in immigration detention centres.
The Immigration (Guidance on Detention of Vulnerable Persons) Regulations were passed by 358 votes to 270, with all Liberal Democrat MPs voting against.
Article: Apr 21, 2021
Liberal Democrats are calling for a new local and national government strategy to achieve net zero carbon emissions in the UK
In a debate in the House of Lords this afternoon, Liberal Democrat Peer Lord Teverson will call on the Government to set a proper roadmap for local authorities as well as the government in Westminster to meet targets, and demand the creation of a new Minister for the Climate Emergency to oversee targets being met.
There has been no government department explicitly dedicated to tackling the climate emergency since Theresa May scrapped the Department for Energy and Climate Change in 2016.
Lord Teverson, who led a debate in the House of Lords Grand Committee, argued that the Government needs more bravery when it comes to climate change, particularly in light of the Tories latest announcement this week that they will cut carbon emissions by 78% by 2035. He said:
"It is absolutely essential that Westminster works with our local councils to tackle climate change. Local authorities are best placed to know how to cut emission in their area. If they don't then this commitment is nothing more than the Tories announcing they can run before learning how to walk.
"Liberal Democrats have a proud record on promoting a greener country, with dozens of council groups declaring climate emergencies and promising to slash emissions.
"We need a Minister for the Climate Emergency to sit in cabinet and oversee a real working roadmap that brings government and councils together. If this does not happen, I fear their recent announcement would end up being nothing more than a predictable disaster."
Government must support young people as latest statistics reveal they have been hammered by job losses over last yearArticle: Apr 20, 2021
According to the latest unemployment statistics, 80% of those losing their jobs in the year to March are under 35. Cllr Robin Ashby, who speaks for Newcastle Liberal Democrats on employment issues, said he was appalled and called for action.
"People all across the UK - especially young people - are worried about their future. Millions still rely on job support and thousands are still out of work. We can't leave any of them behind as we get out of lockdown", he said.
Article: Apr 15, 2021
The House of Lords has passed a Liberal Democrats amendment that would allow individuals trapped in unaffordable mortgages, known as 'mortgage prisoners', to access mortgages with much fairer rates.
Mortgage prisoners had their mortgages nationalised after the financial crash (like Northern Rock) and then sold on by the Treasury to vulture funds or inactive lenders, and therefore have been stuck paying what MoneySavingExpert.com founder Martin Lewis has called "obscene interest rates".
The amendment, tabled by Liberal Democrats Peer John Sharkey, would require the introduction of a cap on the rates charged to mortgage prisoners and, under specified circumstances, ensure their access to fixed rate interest deals.
Treasury spokesperson in the Lords for the Liberal Democrats, Susan Kramer said:
"So many stories from mortgage prisoners have been shared with me over the past few weeks, many of them quite frankly heartbreaking.
Leader of Liberal Democrats launches local election campaign : Praises Newcastle Liberal Democrats for their record of achievement, service and actionArticle: Apr 6, 2021
The Liberal Democrats are fighting for a fairer, greener and more caring country where everyone has a chance to get on in life. In a message to Cllr Nick Cott, who leads a 20-strong group of councillors in Newcastle, Ed Davey MP (pictured here with Nick last year in Newcastle) said:
" I know that local people who vote for Liberal Democrats on May 6th in Newcastle upon Tyne will get strong local champions who will get things done in your important city.
Call for an up to date bus strategy locally to meet Government's funding bid deadline in 10 days timeArticle: Apr 6, 2021
Opposition Liberal Democrats on Newcastle council are seeking further clarity from the North East Joint Transport Committee and transport bosses on their intentions for a new bus strategy for the region, after the Government's publication of a National Bus Strategy in March. Tyne and Wear has lacked an up to date bus strategy in recent years following the collapse of Nexus plans for a Quality Contract Scheme, and the JTC has not yet set out its full response to the Government's blueprint, having received only a brief update at its last meeting in March.
Call for rethink on litter bins in Newcastle's parks- a more effective summer strategy is needed after recent litter tsunamiArticle: Apr 6, 2021
Opposition Liberal Democrats councillors in Newcastle are calling on the council to rethink its removal of litter bins from parks, and to draw up a "summer strategy" for the city's parks and green spaces to reduce repeats of the tidal wave of litter affecting many city parks last week.
They believe the council would save money and improve the appearance of city beauty spots by reinstating some of the bins removed as part of council budget cuts in recent years, suggesting that the cost of emptying bins during warm weather weekends would potentially be less than the cost of large scale clean ups after heavy public use of the parks.
Our rights and freedoms must be restored as this crisis ends - necessary measures, yes, but no need for draconian new lawsArticle: Apr 2, 2021
After the Government rammed through the Coronavirus Act extension despite unease amongst MPs of all parties, Liberal Democrats Leader Ed Davey MP said: "This vote hands Conservative Ministers a blank cheque to use draconian powers they don't need. I am proud that Liberal Democrats voted against it.