Category: Co. Durham

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Women’s detention centre: monthly protests

North East Bylines

A coalition of local people and campaign groups from across the country will protest against the proposed detention centre in Consett, County Durham, on Saturday 21 August. This will be the third demonstration organised at the site and the first of regular demonstrations happening on the third Saturday of every month.  Inhumane practice of indefinite […]

Trade Unions: Thatcherism to New Labour

Stephen Lambert

With the election of a Conservative government in May 1979  a new style of PM – Margaret Thatcher was committed to restructuring the UK economy by creating more flexible and efficient labour markets. Thatcher was pledged to reform Britain’s trade unions and curb their power. Throughout the eighties conflict between organised labour and the Conservative […]

Over 160,000 North East children to be hit by £20 Universal Credit cut

North East Bylines

Regional child poverty campaigners have renewed calls for the government to reverse an impending £20 a week cut to Universal Credit after figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions today(17 August 2021) confirm for the first time the number of children and young people across the North East who will be directly affected […]

North East business and the EU deal

Joyce Quin

The government continues to be in denial about the difficulties businesses across the UK have experienced in exporting to the EU since January of this year, when the terms of the Prime Minister’s deal with the EU came into effect. That these difficulties have particularly affected firms in the North East was shown in a […]

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 […]

Opinion

Jolly boating weather and educational opportunities

Robina Jacobson

Ah, Henley again, and jolly boating weather. On Thames or on Tyne, we can at least ‘swing, swing together’ for the river waters find their own level and are widely accessible. If the same could be said of playing fields, grand school facilities and small class sizes we might all fare better. North East exam […]

Durham Miners’ Gala: Little Big Meetings and the truth about Thatcher

Julie Ward
Durham miners banner

Boris Johnson’s crass comments praising Margaret Thatcher for closing the pits in the 1980s and wrongly attributing her with green credentials have been roundly condemned by leading figures connected to the Durham Miners’ Gala. It is the second year running that Gala organisers have reluctantly taken the decision to cancel the iconic ‘Big Meeting’ due […]

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 […]

Inflation: the real cost of rising prices

Peter Benson

I renewed my household insurance on 31 July and it was a shock. The renewal price had jumped from £253.40 to £294.24, an increase of 16%.  My  attempt at negotiation failed: ”Mr Benson this is the final price after all the discounts”. Rising prices I have had so many prices rises in recent months. The car insurance […]

It will not be long now…

Harry Gallagher

It will not be long now until dandelions have strangled the black ground beneath them and no traces remain save for the props and the poison filling up the cavernous belly of the carcass slain by a fortyfaced dragon bent on revenge. It will not be long now until nobody is left who remembers the […]

Fishy tales: a whale of a time with ORCA on the DFDS ferry

Dr Jayne Hamilton

A previous article in North East Bylines showed us the fantastic work of ORCA [Organisation Cetacea] supported by DFDS on their ferry route from Newcastle to Ijmuiden. The wildlife programme run by Organization Cetacea [ORCA] on DFDS’ King Seaways ferry, certainly made many a business trip memorable for me. There is enough to do for […]

Covid, mass trauma and regional unity

Connor Lamb

I remember that in the process of writing my diary entries, I had to recall memories recessed in the back of my mind for over a year. We often don’t think of traumatic memories as ‘trauma’. I briefly addressed the concept of mass trauma at the very end of the diary, so now it’s time […]

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 […]

Congratulations to new Fire Service recruits

North East Bylines

On Friday 23 July, twenty-three Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service (TWFRS) new recruits passed out in the sunshine on the parade ground of Service Headquarters at Barmston Mere Training Centre in Washington. Intensive training Over the past 13-weeks the new recruits, aged between 19 and 40 years old, have been experiencing an intensive […]

PART 1UPDATED

Consett Corona Photo Project: interview with George Ledger Part 1

Dylan Neri

On 23 March 2020, the Prime Minister delivered a very simple instruction to the British public: “you must stay at home.” Since this dependence day, and the introduction into popular discourse of the word ‘lockdown’, people have adapted to a host of alien measures and customs. Social distancing, mandated isolation, face cloths, PPE, and those […]

BREAKING

North East coalition urges Chancellor to reverse £20 UC cut

North East Bylines

A broad, cross-sector coalition of North East organisations has come together today (21 July 2021) to urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer to reverse the planned £20 a week cut to Universal Credit which will hit hundreds of thousands of low-income households across the region this autumn. Writing jointly to the Chancellor as organisations “committed […]

Education Committee Part 3: a widening learning gap?

Connor Lamb

The last time that we explored the education committee meeting led by Sir Kevan Collins, we explored the importance of parental involvement within education, the future of Ofsted and more about the education recovery package. This are a few of the highlights from the next twenty minutes. Further funding? Sir Kevan was asked if there […]

Opinion

Freedom Day: free to do as I want?

Gareth Kearns

Savid Javid was pinged. We all know what that means, so it was necessary for him to inform recent associates, and it would be necessary for said associates to also isolate. This is a few days before ‘Freedom Day’. These have been the rules for us all. They’re terribly inconvenient, that’s true, but we are […]

Unfair two-child limit hits 14,000 North East families

North East Bylines

Regional child poverty campaigners have renewed calls for an end to the government’s ‘two-child limit’, after figures published by the Department for Work and Pensions today (15 July 2021) show that almost 14,000 families – including at least 42,000 children – across the North East are now affected by the policy. The two-child limit The two-child limit […]

Keep them poor, uneducated and hungry!

Peter Benson

I would like to hypothesis that the greatest success of this ten-year government is to keep the underclass in their place. That is as far away as possible from the elite. And poor, uneducated and hungry. We are run by the elite for the elite. Any other thoughts are pure fantasy. I think that it would […]

3 out of 10 key workers’ children in the North East live in poverty

Julie Ward

We used to think that poverty was something that mainly visited the unemployed, the homeless, those who were far from the labour market through a combination of bad luck and poor life chances. However the shocking phenomena of in-work poverty has been growing year on year even before the pandemic laid waste to the economic […]

JournalPART 4

Covid and me: a year of shielding

Peter Lathan

Day 369, Saturday, 6 March, 2021 : A most unwelcome anniversary of shielding    One year to the day since my self-isolation/shielding/incarceration/call it what you will began. Could anyone in early March 2020 have imagined that we would be in a third lockdown a whole twelve months later? Could anyone have conceived what lockdown would mean for […]

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.

Rooting kindness in 2021: the year of the tree

Anya Cook

I have a friend who declares she is apolitical.  She is intelligent, well-read, always learning something, active in community groups and environmental campaigns.  Decisions are made that she does not agree with, yet she still declares she is not political? This outward projection of neutrality doesn’t make sense, or does it?  Neutrality serves only to […]

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 […]

The North East is now England’s Covid-19 hotspot

Carol Westall

This week the Guardian reported that the North East of England is now the nation’s Covid-19 hotspot. Most cases are among the largely unvaccinated under-25s, according to local health leaders. Something weird  Professor Christina Pagel, member on Independent Sage (@chrischirp) tweeted “Something weird is happing in the North East”. She discussed the worrying trend that […]

Chi Onwurah urges Gove to keep his promise to Wylam brewery

North East Bylines

Chi Onwurah visited Wylam Brewery to hear about their ongoing problems exporting their beer to the EU thanks to the governments bungled trade deal. Michael Gove had promised in March to meet with brewery to discuss the problems they face. When Chi asked him to meet with her and the brewery he said: “I absolutely […]

JournalPART 3

Covid and me as 2021 begins

Peter Lathan

Day 305, Friday, 1 January, 2021 : New Year 2021 It was midnight, the last midnight of 2020, and Covid 19, clothed in black drab, mystic, horrible, spoke. “You don’t think I’m going to go quietly, do you? That I’ll just scuttle off before a flurry of fireworks and the singing of Auld Lang Syne? […]

#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.”