Category: Business

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Cleveland Bridge is falling down

Scott Hunter

Darlington-based structural engineering firm Cleveland Bridge has collapsed into administration, it has been announced. Its entire workforce of 230 is now under threat of redundancy. The firm, in existence for 144 years, has been owned by the Saudi al-Rushaid group since 2000. The crisis has occurred despite the firm having a full order book.  So, […]

UPDATED

Dominic Cummings: made in the North East?

Julia Mazza

Cummings followed the KISS principle (Keep It Simple Stupid) with two easy, false arguments: the money spent on more politicians could be spent on doctors; and the Assembly would raise Council Tax. In hindsight it could be Brexit: The Prequel.

Happy birthday North East Bylines!

Scott Hunter

One shrewd editorial policy at the outset set the tone which was that, while those involved in setting up the project shared an interest in politics, Bylines was interested in everything. No boundaries were set on the scope of its content. As a result, Bylines publishes a range of material much more diverse than any regional newspaper: poetry, international affairs, profiles of local sporting legends, it’s all in there.

North East money: U-Turn or pork barrel politics?

Julia Mazza

There’s a financial weather warning in place across the North East. Every day a blizzard of banknotes swirls around the region, smothering the press with good news: Towns Deal millions here, Freeport billions there. And with it a warm front of jobs, jobs, jobs. As we gaze on in wonderment are we seeing a U-turn […]

#WeDemandBetter rally at Grey’s Monument

North East Bylines

“When Brexit is done or undone, we all have to live together and individual friendship and experience will always triumph over politics… I hope.the right wing will always be better at playing the divide and conquer game; we need to trump that with what we’re good at. Friendship.”

BREAKING

Nissan announcement: a cause for celebration?

Louise Brown

I know just how important Nissan is economically to Sunderland, having grown up from just around the corner from it. It has provided decent jobs to the area for over thirty years. This is why I stood outside Nissan with other NE4EU members week after week last year often in the cold and pouring rain to stand in solidarity with its workers.

Chi Onwurah MP hails “huge victory” on steel safeguards

North East Bylines

Workers at steel works across the North East had joined thousands more across the country in demanding the retention of the safeguards. Chi Onwurah helped lead opposition to the government’s plans in Parliament. On 21 June, Chi spoke in a debate forced by the Labour Party, and told government ministers that “our national interest demands a sovereign steel capability”.

Matt Vickers, an exhibition centre and ‘levelling up’

Scott Hunter

The basic idea that this region should take a more active role in the arts is, of course, a good one, but it’s not at all clear whether Matt Vickers has any idea about how to go about doing that. You just can’t help but wonder if the announcement is intended to do something other promote this manifestly unrealistic plan. Perhaps the real intention is simply to promote Matt Vickers.

Unrealistic Covid-19 expectations

Giuseppe Bignardi

How many more variants of concern are we going to see? Some scientists believe there may a limited number of mutations that increase the ability to spread ad evade immunity: thus, the Covid-19 virus might have already played its best cards. However, there is no certainty about this.

Opinion

Concerns about medical data: letter to a Tory MP

Nicola Tipton

I also consider myself to be a ‘good citizen’. I am sure no insult was intended but the inference that I am somehow a bad citizen because I am reluctant to hand over my medical data willy-nilly makes me angry. I am risk averse and try and ensure that my data is protected. I do not want, at this stage, to hand over the responsibility of protecting my data to a third party I do not trust.

Allegations have Ben Houchen hot under the collar

Scott Hunter

t begins to look as if Houchen has been a bit careless in his explanation, offering up the truth but not the whole truth. But then to be fair, the statement issued to the press is the work of his PR team. And his team has been less than fastidious in another respect here, which is the allegation that “this nonsense was first concocted by the Labour Party”.

Jamie Driscoll, North of Tyne Mayor interview: part 1

Dylan Neri

There is a real passion for the community and the region which permeates everything Mayor Driscoll says. It is clear that he sees the enfranchisement of the local communities and local businesses as the key aspect of his plans for the region.

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”.

Scrutiny concerns in the Tees Valley

Scott Hunter
Teesside Airport

The mayoral system is essentially a presidential one. Except that it is a presidential system without checks and balances in place. And, speaking of presidents, Houchen has learned a great deal of his craft from Trump. Like Trump, he is expert in the use of social media. His PR team puts out a constant stream of news. Information and misinformation neatly entwined.

Review

The age of surveillance capitalism

Dylan Neri

Book review: The age of surveillance capitalism In the twentieth century, two visionary texts cast their shadows over the future of our species. One was George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, with its horrific vision of a brutal totalitarian state grounded in the concept of ‘War is Peace’, in which the population is coerced into a state […]

Opinion

The forgotten student experience: part 1

Connor Lamb

To do the maths, each university should have received approximately £47,169. That isn’t bad, but students had to compete to get some of that and considering how many students relied on part-time jobs before lockdown, there must have been a lot of applications. The effort made by the government to be lazy was very frustrating; why provide direct support to all students when you can let universities play judge, jury and executioner?

The devil’s in the detail

Cross Border Services Group

All else being equal, why would a British tiler living in the UK be your first choice for work in Switzerland, rather than a British tiler living locally in a neighbouring EU country (of which Switzerland has several)? And why should the consumer in Switzerland be denied that choice? Within the microcosm of the Cross-Border Services group alone, this means that the translator living in the UK can legitimately deliver services on-site in Switzerland, but the translator living in Rome cannot. It would seem all UK citizens are equal, but some are more equal than others.

Covid passports, sporting events and international travel: more from the All Party Parliamentary Group on coronavirus

Carol Westall

“The other dimension .., is what these passports will be used for. Will they be used for international travel, will there be a matter of restricting … activities like going to a football game, will they be used to restrict everyday activities like going to a bar, going to a restaurant, will they be used to restrict essential activities like going to a supermarket or to a job. These have very different implications.

May elections specialUPDATED

Green Hartlepool?

Scott Hunter

Scott Hunter interviews Rachel Featherstone, Green Party candidate for the Hartlepool by-election

Brexit impacts in the food industry

Rahat Choudhury

Leaving the EU always had the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the food industry. There were many concerns around the impact on the supply chain, sourcing ingredients and labour shortages.