Author: Yvonne Wancke

Yvonne Wancke is a lecturer in Maths, Accounting and Research Skills at INTO Newcastle University. She is a member of the Labour Party and coordinator for Mutual Aid, Jesmond. She regularly writes and directs local and student theatre productions. She has lived in Newcastle all of her life and is passionate about the North East and the local community.

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Singing “real stories about real people”: new single by Hartlepool singer

Yvonne Wancke

Michael Gallagher releases his brand new single Fallen, today, Friday 24 September 2021, via Humble Angel Records. The young singer has a knack for crafting upbeat rock anthems- especially prevalent on previous singles Lula and Time. On Fallen, he delivers this signature catchy rock but this time it’s full of clattering guitars and a heavy […]

Jim Cartwright’s ‘Road’ moves to Blyth in new production at Northern Stage

Yvonne Wancke

On the 35th anniversary of Jim Cartwright’s joyous and anarchic masterpiece, the residents of Road are relocated to the North East in the first show Artistic Director Natalie Ibu will direct for Northern Stage. Natalie said: “I’m excited to be working with a brilliant cast and creative team to explore the intersectionality between race, class […]

BREAKING

Dominic Raab is no longer Foreign Secretary

Yvonne Wancke

Dominic Raab has been dropped as Foreign Secretary in the Prime Minister’s cabinet reshuffle today. He is said to be ‘very angry’. It’s not long since the furore that surrounded the Foreign Secretary about Greek holidays, phone calls (or lack of them) and the Afghanistan situation. When the Prime Minister supported Raab on the same […]

National Insurance increases: ‘levelling up’ for the North East?

Yvonne Wancke

This week the government voted to increase National Insurance contributions in order to fund social care. National Insurance contributions are set to rise by 1.25 percentage points. Whilst initially this may not seem a lot, it is worth noting that for anyone earning between £10,000 and £50,000 a year, it actually means an increase of […]

Recipe

Green tomato chutney

Yvonne Wancke

A friend recently very kindly gave me a whole load of green tomatoes and marrows. It was the perfect time to have a go at making green tomato chutney. Here is my recipe. Ingredients for green tomato chutney 1kg green tomatoes 1kg marrows/ big courgettes 350ml vinegar (I used white wine vinegar) 300g white sugar […]

Reading Festival: an interview with an activist

Yvonne Wancke

Festivals are a traditional part of the great British summer. After over a year when it hasn’t been possible to host or attend festivals, some tentative steps have been taken in 2021 and festival goers have once more enjoyed a few days of camping, great music and the time to chat, discuss and meet new […]

In a different light: new single by Jack Rasmussen

Yvonne Wancke

North East Bylines has already heard from North East Indie rock singer songwriter, Jack Rasmussen. Now he is releasing his third single and it certainly lives up to our high expectations of this talented musician and performer. In a different light is a beautiful and creative song, performed and recorded with sensitivity and emotion. The […]

Kizomba dance fusion at Saltwell Park

Yvonne Wancke

Local dance teacher, Lauren Rafferty, and her group of dancers recently recorded a video at Saltwell Park. Their dance is a fusion of modern ‘Western’, with Kizomba. Kizomba is an African dance, originating from Angola and is normally danced with a partner. Lauren explains: “Unfortunately due to the pandemic, when we started rehearsals we were […]

Music

Sunderland singer, Sam releases new single: Fade

Yvonne Wancke

Local Indie-Pop artist and producer, Sam French is releasing a second single Fade on 24 September. This is an exciting new step in his solo evolution and career. I asked Sam to tell us a bit about himself and his music. Sam is from Sunderland, although he admits to being a Newcastle United fan! He says that […]

BREAKING

Back to school bungle beggars belief

Yvonne Wancke

Gavin Williamson, Education Secretary has mired schools in uncertainty yet again by another last minute decision on school return after the summer break. The Department for Education (DfE) says that schools will be allowed to delay their start by a week to allow for on-site testing, It seems that this applies to secondary schools. It’s […]

Lorry driver shortages, empty shelves and Brexit

Yvonne Wancke

Retailers right across the country are struggling to find enough lorry drivers to ensure that they have enough stock in the coming months and in particular for the festive season. The Road Haulage Association (RHA) has estimated that there is a current shortfall of around 100,000 drivers. If anything this is set to become worse. […]

No ‘levelling up’ for the North East: another broken promise

Yvonne Wancke

The North East is set to lose millions of pounds this year because of Brexit. This is despite the Prime Minister’s repeated promises of ‘levelling up’. A number of traditional Labour voting areas in the North East switched their votes to support Boris Johnson in the 2019 election, in part because of a desire to […]

BREAKING

Over a third of Durham children live in poverty

Yvonne Wancke

A new report from Magic Breakfast, children’s food charity, has shown that 36% of children in County Durham are living in poverty. These worrying figures also show that 14% were at risk of hunger in 2020. Magic Breakfast Magic Breakfast supports 37 schools in the region, and helps to feed over 5,000 children with healthy […]

Flags for cash? Another U-turn from the government

Yvonne Wancke

Thousands of EU flags, notices and plaques are expected to pop up outside public buildings around the UK very soon. This is because the Westminster government is keen to receive eligible post Covid funding from the European Union. The Independent reports that: “Guidance issued to local authorities by the communities ministry this summer says the […]

Recipe

Raspberry jam: a taste of summer

Yvonne Wancke

You can’t beat the taste of homemade jam. Shop bought jam is just not the same. One of my favourites to make is raspberry jam. It really does have that taste of summer. Ingredients for raspberry jam 1.5kg fresh or frozen raspberries (I used frozen) 1.5kg sugar 1 tblsp commercial pectin (optional) Method Place raspberries […]

EXCLUSIVE

Steve Bray, campaigner: first protest and what’s next

Yvonne Wancke

“This government has stripped away my rights, your rights, everybody’s rights. They have divided this nation…they’ve lied, they’ve cheated and nothing about this government is honest…In a modern day democracy that is frightening and we have to do everything we can to oppose it. “

BREAKINGUPDATED

North East set to lose two MPs: is this ‘levelling up’?

Yvonne Wancke

The number of North East constituencies will be reduced from 29 to 17 if the government approves the plans. There are two constituencies which would be absorbed into others. These are North Tyneside and Houghton and Sunderland South. Interestingly both have Labour MPs. Mary Glindon represents North Tyneside and Bridget Philipson is MP for Houghton and Sunderland South.

BREAKINGUPDATED

Incompetent government in North Tyneside coronavirus row

Yvonne Wancke

We heard today that the government has identified eight areas which are now subject to new advice. This is due to the number of cases of the Indian variant locally. These areas include North Tyneside in which there have been 40 reported cases. The government has stated that people should not travel into or out of these areas. Additionally they have advised people not to meet indoors. At this point in time the government has denied a “lockdown by stealth”.

MusicReview

South Shields singer, Jen Stevens: new single

Yvonne Wancke

Jen Stevens is a talented and perceptive singer and songwriter who has just released a new single, She sleeps, which features poetry by her late mother who died in 2012. Everything about the song, the lyrics and the production testifies to the truth that the ‘folk of Shields’ really are an amazing, special and artistic people.

Jesmond Community Festival in full swing!

Yvonne Wancke

“We’ve loved taking part in Jesmond Community Festival over the last five years. The children love getting the chance to perform so it’s disappointing that we sadly weren’t able to this year due to Covid-19. However we did manage to hold two brilliant open classes, one face to face at Jesmond Pool and one via zoom.”

Hexham Town Council: Conservatives lose control

Yvonne Wancke

Shock victory! The beautiful market town of Hexham, Northumberland has bucked the national trend. In an election shock, the Conservatives, who have run Hexham Town Council for decades, have lost control of the council. Organised campaigns There were organised campaigns by the Labour Party, Independents and the Liberal Democrats during the recent local elections and […]

Jesmond Community Festival moves into week 2

Yvonne Wancke

Jesmond Community Festival is now into its second week and it is going very well, packed with fun and interesting events both outdoors and online. You may have missed the Tour de Jesmond yesterday but don’t worry as there is still a lot to do. Here is a selection of what you can still sign up to over the coming week.

A challenge to Ben Houchen as he is re-elected Tees Valley Mayor

Yvonne Wancke

Ben Houchen has been re-elected as Tees Valley Mayor winning 73% of the vote. His nearest rival was Labour’s Jessie Joe-Jacobs. Houchen said that he was “overwhelmed and humbled” and that his plan was to bring “attractive jobs” to the region. He also commented that he had made a “fantastic start” but that there was […]

May elections specialUPDATED

No north-south divide in Jesmond, Newcastle

Yvonne Wancke

“Growing up both my parents worked in education and seeing the impact that cuts from the coalition government, I felt a real sense of injustice over the heartless policies…such as the bedroom tax. This government targeted some of the most vulnerable in our society and those that were already struggling. Something I will always remember is my Mum saying to me that ‘you should always judge a society on how it treats its most vulnerable citizens and with this [coalition] government we are failing at that test’.

North East People

A great response from council candidates in County Durham for ACORN

Yvonne Wancke

“The North East has a proud history of standing with the persecuted – whether that be miners, steel workers or women. We have stood against fascists in Stockton, last summer Durham knelt for George Floyd. It is what our communities do. It is our history. We stand together in solidarity and we will do so again with the Gypsy, Romani and Traveller Communities.”

Anti-social behaviour in Newcastle has to stop say local politicians

Yvonne Wancke

Councillor Stephen Lambert said: ”Quality of life issues during the pandemic are very high on residents’ agenda across Kenton and nearby areas. The physical condition of green spaces, the state of our parks and community safety figure more highly in peoples priorities than central government imagines.”