Wednesday, 31 July 2013

'These comments will be met with dismay in Northumberland

'These comments will be met with dismay in Northumberland. Not only do they show a stunning lack of concern about the North East but they also show a disregard for local communities. In Northumberland, we've got local Tory councillors complaining about wind turbines (unless they're sited on their land) so what they will make of the Lord's comments we shudder to guess. We think the noble lord needs to stop 'fracking' about and speak about a topic which he has some understanding. Given he's the father in law of the Chancellor, we suggest he should stick to wallpaper and leave Northumberland alone.'

Northumberland’s County Council leader, Labour’s Grant Davey, was another to come out against the comments.

Apology from George Osborne's father-in-law as North called ‘desolate’ 31 Jul 2013 Journal on line George Osborne’s father-in-law Lord Howell made a public apology last night after having described the North East as “desolate” and “uninhabited” Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne Andrew Milligan/PA Wire George Osborne’s father-in-law was last night forced to make a public apology after he described the North East as “desolate” and “uninhabited”. Lord Howell, until recently a Government energy advisor, caused outrage in even the normally more reserved atmosphere of the House of Lords when he said that while he had some sympathy for those opposed to drilling for shale gas – also known as fracking – in “beautiful natural areas”, there are some locations where the practice could be conducted. He told peers: “There are large and uninhabited and desolate areas. Certainly in part of the North East where there’s plenty of room for fracking, well away from anybody’s residence where we could conduct without any kind of threat to the rural environment.” His comments came just a week after the Chancellor made a pitch for northern voters, admitting the economic recovery could not afford to overlook them. That attempt to revive the Conservative party in the region appeared to have suffered a setback as MPs, tourism groups and residents lined up to attack Lord Howell’s comments. He made his apology within hours of former Bishop of Durham Justin Welby taking to social media site Twitter to defend the region as “beautiful, rugged and inspiring”. Last night Lord Howell said: “I apologise for any offence caused. I certainly did not intend to suggest that the North East is desolate and I do not believe it to be the case. “There are parts of the country that are less densely inhabited than others. “That includes parts of the North East, but also other areas in the south of England as well. “Labour peer Lord Beecham, the former leader of Newcastle City Council, was in the House of Lords to hear the comments. He said: “Neville Chamberlain spoke of pre-war Czechoslovakia as ‘a far away country of which we know nothing’. Lord Howell clearly has a similar view on the North East and his comments once again highlight the Tories problem with the North.” Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Berwick-upon-Tweed, said she “firmly disagreed” with Lord Howell’s characterisation of the North East. She added: “I am appalled by the implication of Lord Howells’s comments that the North East has a disposable landscape value. “The North East has been at the forefront of energy production for our great nation for hundreds of years, but it should be local businesses and residents who determine our region’s 21st Century contribution to the UK’s energy needs.” Also questioning the Lord was David Skelton, director of Renewal, an independent campaign group aimed at broadening the Tory appeal. He said: “ As a proud North Easterner, I know that such a description isn't even close to the truth. “I'd be delighted to give Lord Howell a tour of the North East to show him that it's far from desolate and is, in fact, one of the gems of the nation. Northumberland’s County Council leader, Labour’s Grant Davey, was another to come out against the comments. He said: “The noble Lord should stick to what he knows best and we must thank our lucky stars that he’s resigned from his role in the Foreign Office where his diplomatic skills will be sorely missed.” CRITICS TAKE TO TWITTER Twitter was as ever the social media forum of choice for those wanting to have their say on the fracking issue yesterday. Tweets included: Justin Welby @ABCJustin North East England very beautiful, rugged, welcoming, inspiring, historic, advancing, not “desolate” as was said in House of Lords today. Len McCluskey @Unite4Len Lord Howell insults one of the most beautiful parts of the country and exposes this government’s prejudiced view of the north. Rich Penny @Rich_Penny Lord Howell says the North East is ‘empty, desolate and full of gas’. Is this not a better description of Lord Howell? Nick Reeve @nick_reeve Yes Lord Howell is an idiot but not for that reason. There’s no shale gas in the North East David Skelton @DJSkelton The North East isn’t “desolate”. It’s one of the most beautiful parts of the country. I’m happy to give Lord Howell a tour if he fancies. Grahame Morris @grahamemorris Lord Howell has managed the most egregious insult from a Tory politician since Boris Johnson offended the entire population of Merseyside. Phil Wilson @PhilWilsonMP Lord Howell shd apologise 4 saying fracking shld happen in North East so the South’s countryside can be protected. Nimbyism gone mad.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

NEWS FROM YOUR LABOUR POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER Vera Baird

NEWS FROM YOUR LABOUR POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER Vera Baird - Delivering Labour Values: Appointed a Business Administration Apprentice to Office of PCC. Working closely with trade unions on a range of issues. No privatisation of services in Northumbria whilst I am Police & Crime Commissioner. Working with Northumberland Council to support the Community Safety Partnership programme. Stronger Together: Message from Vera Baird QC “It was an honour to be elected as your Police & Crime Commissioner, I am very grateful for the support you have continued to give me since the campaign last year. In essence, my job is to ensure that you and your family have the best police service possible and that you feel safe both at home and on our streets. I’m working with MP’s, councillors and party members to ensure every one of our communities voice is heard. Policing is excellent in our region – but I want it even better. Crime has fallen by 7.9% in Northumberland over the last year – that’s 859 less crimes and the majority of people feel confident about how crime and anti-social behaviour is tackled. But I want better results, I have insisted that every victim of anti-social behaviour will be contacted personally and their concerns investigated – this will ensure greater confidence in the service people receive from the police. Northumberland Police Inspectors and their teams are working hard with their officers to achieve this. In Northumbria, victims of crime come first – I’m sending out a clear message that those who commit crimes will have to take responsibility for their actions, but also that victims of crime will get the service they deserve and need. I will take an active personal lead in tackling domestic and sexual abuse – this is an area you want to see tackled with compassion but with vigour. We’ll stand up for the 24,000 victims who report this crime every year. I am working with the PCC for Durham and Cleveland to develop an integrated strategy on all aspects of violence against women. We are reducing crime – this is thanks to Labour people like you getting our message across to the communities in the Northumbria force area. We’re stronger together, so stay in touch and let’s continue delivering for our region. Email: enquiries@northumbria-pcc.gov.uk Tel: 0191 221 9800 Web: www.northumbria-pcc.gov.uk NEWS FROM YOUR LABOUR POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER Vera Baird - Delivering Labour Values: Appointed a Business Administration Apprentice to Office of PCC. Working closely with trade unions on a range of issues. No privatisation of services in Northumbria whilst I am Police & Crime Commissioner. Working with Northumber“The Government continues to cut police funding, we are managing those cuts in Northumbria without damaging frontline policing. In Northumberland crime has fallen by 7.9% in the last year” Northumberland 2011/12 2012/13 Total Recorded Crime 10,835 9,976 Violent Crime 2,061 1,815 Vehicle Crime 999 904 Criminal Damage 2,295 2,350 Sexual Offences 201 111 Domestic Abuse 3,781 3,751 Anti-Social Behaviour 18,144 16,316 LISTENING and WORKING FOR NORTHUMBRIA The Police worked closely with MPs, Councillors and residents during the recent EDL events to ensure our region remained a safe place. I have set up Advisory groups to ensure the voices of the LGBT, Older Community, BME, Gender, Disabled and Victims of crime are heard and their concerns addressed. • Putting Victims First. • Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour. • Domestic & Sexual Abuse. • Reducing Crime. • Community Confidence. These priorities underpin all the work that the Chief Constable and myself do – with your support in your communities, I am confident that we can deliver on these and show residents of Northumbria that Labour continues to deliver for Policing, for local government and are the right party to form the next government.” Delivering Your Priorities - “I started working on the Police & Crime Plan when I took up my post on the 22nd November 2012. Communities from across Northumbria have helped write the plan. Many of you completed my online survey, talked to me at the metro stations or in the supermarket. I have listened with great care to what you have told me are your crime and disorder priorities – land Council to support the Community Safety Partnership programme.