Category: Economy

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Community wealth-building: a North East revolution

Julia Mazza

Imagine a local council policy that aims to reverse the North East’s economic malaise, that directs money and jobs to the people most in need. It’s already here, the town hall revolution is happening in Labour councils across the North East, from Newcastle to Stockton.  Community wealth-building is a toolkit of measures to help councils make the […]

Power cuts in Weardale: elected members inaccessible and unaccountable

Owain Gardner

On the night of Friday 26 November, only last Friday, everything seemed normal. That was until everyone in Weardale (from Witton-le-Wear to Killhope and Cowshill) lost their access to electricity due to Storm Arwen. Electricity lines up and down dale had trees falling onto them, with some, as was suggested on BBC Look North and […]

Houchen waves goodbye to PD Ports

Scott Hunter

PD Ports is no longer up for sale. The Financial Times is reporting this afternoon that Brookfield Asset Management Inc has taken the company, whose core business is at Teesport, off the market. The paper also reports this as a blow to Ben Houchen’s ambitions. Which it is. Little information about the dispute between Brookfield […]

Who runs Teesworks? Houchen’s blunder

Scott Hunter

It’s 28 July 2020, and Ben Houchen is making a presentation at a Tees Valley Business Club event. The South Tees Development Corporation (the Corporation), the first of its kind outside of London and responsible for 4,500 acres of ex-industrial development land, is being rebranded as Teesworks, he tells his audience. He also uses the […]

What are the benefits of nuclear energy for the UK?

Chloe Davies

The British government has recently announced new measures to cut the cost of generating nuclear power in the UK. A new funding model set out by Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng is aimed at incentivising investment in the UK’s nuclear power infrastructure. The new model is an integral part of the government’s plan for carbon neutrality […]

“Brexit isn’t working” says Newcastle

Yvonne Wancke

Brexit isn’t working is the message of North East residents, who took to the streets of Newcastle this weekend to protest against the local impact of the recent HGV and supply chain crisis. Campaigners from North East for Europe spoke to members of the public at Grey’s Monument on Saturday about shortages of goods and […]

Ben Houchen’s Teesport pickle

David Walsh

Oh dear. Why does history carry on repeating itself? It seems this is particularly true when it comes to Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen. Only last week I wrote of him stepping into dangerous waters of which he apparently knows little, with an ambition to become the promoter of a scheme for the Tees Valley […]

Fast fashion: do you know what you’re wearing?

Robina Jacobson

Neil Taylor’ s excellent article ‘Climate change: let’s get practical’ (NE Bylines 6 November 2021) offers helpful advice on making decisions about lowering our carbon footprints on this planet, our only home. Among other things he suggests we ask ourselves: “Am I thinking laterally about how I can reduce my … consumption?” The carbon cost […]

“Brexit isn’t working” event in Newcastle today

North East Bylines

North East residents will be on the streets of Newcastle today to protest against the local impact of the recent HGV and supply chain crisis. Campaigners from North East for Europe will be speaking to members of the public at Grey’s Monument on Saturday 20 November about shortages of goods and the difficulties faced by […]

Another ‘levelling up’ letdown: Leamside Line snubbed in rail plan

North East Bylines

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps have today unveiled plans to modernise rail connections in the Integrated Rail Plan.  However, the mothballed Leamside Rail Line which runs from Gateshead, through Washington, Penshaw, Fencehouses, West Rainton, Belmont and Shincliffe before merging with the East Coast Main Line at Ferryhill, was not included.  The campaign to re-open the line has […]

Teesside Stagecoach strikes suspended as members ballot on new pay offer

North East Bylines

Strikes by bus workers employed by Stagecoach on Teesside have been suspended following an improved pay offer. The strikes scheduled for Thursday 18 November, Saturday 20 November and Monday 22 November have all been called off to allow members to ballot on the improved pay offer. Unite general secretary Sharon Graham said: “This is a potential breakthrough in the dispute. […]


“There’s a hell of a lack of trains on the track”: HS2 and the North East

David Walsh

Anyone buying the Journal, Chronicle or the Teesside Gazette today is greeted by a synchronised front page, modelled on the old ‘Trainspotting’ film poster showing Boris Johnson  in the ‘rent boy’ Renton pose, along with other cabinet members being ‘sick boy’ and ‘spud’. The target? The government’s effective abandonment of the northern sections of HS2.  Good artwork […]

No VAT cut to your energy bill: what you need to know

Chloe Davies

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in his 2021 budget that there would be no VAT cut to household energy bills. This news came as a blow to millions of households who have seen a sharp rise in their energy bills this autumn.  As winter draws closer, energy consumers across the country are growing increasingly worried about […]

Ben Houchen: “Let someone else deal with the waste”

David Walsh

Amongst the great and the good at the Government’s Global Investment Summit 2021 in late October, one of the preparatory sessions to COP26, was a man in a dark flannel suit seemingly looking round for people to impress. Who was this man? The CEO of a vast multinational firm? A President or PM of a […]

COP26: What is the climate conference and why is it important?

Chloe Davies

COP stands for Conference of the Parties, and it is attended by countries who have signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – a treaty that was agreed in 1994. This is the 26th meeting and it is taking place now in Glasgow, Scotland. The main goal of COP26 is to lock […]

North East MPs hopeful despite Leamside pushback

North East Bylines

Last week the final round of successful bids from the Restoring Your Railways programme were announced by the Government in the Spending Review. Sadly, one of the unsuccessful bids was the bid to re-open the Leamside rail line. This was sponsored by Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, and Paul Howell, MP for Sedgefield.  […]

Save our Standards Action Day outside Hexham Mart

Yvonne Wancke

Today a group of Tynedale locals from North East for Europe are taking part in an Action Day for Farmers outside of Hexham Mart. The group has become increasingly aware of the difficulties farmers face in the current climate due to Brexit and government policy. North East for Europe, which is part of the European […]

My energy firm is bust: we needed more ‘Rough’

Peter Benson

Sadly, my energy provider has gone bust, It was Pure Planet, a 100% green energy provider. It’s the 13th Energy provider to go broke. I have been switched to Shell.  Another provider serving 1.7 million is also reported to be in financial difficulties. Some of these firms might have survived if the UK had invested to […]

Education Uncovered

Education Uncovered: BTECs and hidden funding cuts

Connor Lamb

With the end of a difficult and chaotic 2021 in sight, it is time to explore the things that happened in the education sector this year that did not get the needed attention due to the pandemic.  This is Education, Uncovered. Nationwide, less than 5% of white students from working class backgrounds are represented at […]

BOX SETNorth East History

The path to safety in North East coal mines, 1800 – 1850

Audrey Marshall
A photo of a mine shaft head wheel

Without coal, Britain’s Industrial Revolution would have been impossible, The steam engine could not have operated without it; the iron industry demanded it. Coal was in fact at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution. In this North East History series, Audrey Marshall takes a look at the issues of safety and eventual legislation for […]

Supporting refugees in the North East: launch of ANEW

North East Bylines
a photo of a sign saying refugees welcome

A group of volunteers in the North East are working to support and resettle refugee families who find a home in our region. The ANEW team (that’s Amnesty North East Welcomes) must raise funds, find suitable accommodation and work for at least one year – if not two – on integrating the new arrivals into life here in the […]


Wetherspoons’ boss loses out because of Brexit

Peter Benson

I fear I could be suffering from Schadenfreude, as I find myself somewhat unable to show empathy for the boss and biggest shareholder of Wetherspoons pub chain, Tim Martin. Brexit promoting Tim Martin must take some of the blame for the current crises in food, energy, labour and logistics, that the country is still reeling from. He […]


NI, GB, EU and why in the name of god this stuff matters when it shouldn’t…

Bill Corcoran

I was in Malta last week. A surreal experience with a Mediterranean climate, English spoken, fish’n’chips (and mushy peas!!) in a posh café in Valletta. In conversations with the friendly Maltese, the prevailing words, uttered quietly, once the polite language about shared history, culture and friendship had been done – “but Brexit….”; as if referring […]