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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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.”

Live music returns to Sunderland!

Yvonne Wancke

With gigs returning to The Bunker for the first time in over 30 years, Motorhouse Studios cementing themselves as one of the regions best all encompassing recording spaces and Independent set to open its doors again in May this really is a celebration of live music, with the thriving Sunderland scene ready to explode once again this Summer. The stream will be available to watch via the Motorhouse Studios page on Facebook and YouTube.

North East People

“My mammy is famous!”: faces of North East frontline workers proudly displayed on fire vehicles

Yvonne Wancke

Rachel’s daughter Hazell tells people “My mammy is famous!” They even get stopped in the park by other dog walkers asking if she [Rachel] is the lady on the side of the fire engines. When the nation was clapping for the NHS on a Thursday evening, Hazell’s school friends said the following day, “…we were clapping for your mammy last night”.

May elections special

Clean, green and European: a breath of fresh air

Yvonne Wancke

James Sheerin is keen to bring some fresh air to politics in more ways than one. He wants a real change for the better for his local area and he wants to see this through a pro-European, pro-environmental agenda which will benefit all of us and especially our young people.

Building bridges, not barriers: European Movement conference on Saturday

Yvonne Wancke

“This unfolding disaster highlights the urgent need for us to rebuild bridges with our European neighbours. On Saturday the European Movement will bring together thousands of our members and activists with politicians and industry voices to begin to lay the first bricks. We are growing a mass movement for change – and step by step our movement will forge a way back from this government’s awful, isolationist deal.” Lord Adonis

A dark dark day for democracy

Yvonne Wancke

Today parliament voted on the second reading for the policing bill (Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill). Amongst a myriad of terrifying possibilities, if the bill passes, this would mean that people could be sentenced for up to ten years in prison for ‘defacing’ a statue, could be stopped from what used to be lawful […]

BREAKINGUPDATED

By-election in Hartlepool as Mike Hill resigns

Yvonne Wancke

Today, Mike Hill, Labour MP for Hartlepool, has resigned with immediate effect. This will prompt a by-election. Mike Hill has been the MP for Hartlepool since 2017. It is believed that his resignation is connected with an ongoing investigation on claims of sexual harassment. A spokesperson for Hartlepool Constituency Labour Party said, “We have been informed […]

Recipe

Newcastle (veggie) sausage pie

Yvonne Wancke

I once made this recipe for a friend who came to visit (actually the non-veggie version). He had driven many miles on a motorbike from the south on a crazy wild and wet night. The food went down pretty well! I know it’s a but late for winter warmer food but hey, this is England. […]

Women’s detention centre in Hassockfield

Yvonne Wancke

At an online meeting this weekend, residents expressed fears that the women, many of whom have fled from cruel and dangerous situations in their home countries, were to be locked up in ‘prison style’ conditions for 23 hours a day.