Esken, the company behind struģgling Stobart Aviation Ltd, has returned its quarter-share in Teesside International Airport for a “nominal” sum. The aviation sector has been blindsided by Covid-19. However, Stobart Aviation Ltd posted losses of £53 million in the year to 29th February 2020 – before the first lockdown. Should the airport be sold before 25 […]
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 […]
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 […]
The Ladyboys of Bangkok graced Middlesbrough Theatre on 12 July for an exciting night of music and glamour during their Flight of Fantasy 2021 tour. Due to social distancing, the show was split into multiple performances over a few nights. Audiences remained socially distanced and were required to wear masks. It was a different experience […]
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 […]
A vote in the House of Commons yesterday reaffirmed the government’s commitment to reducing the UK’s overseas aid budget. This, it maintains is necessary on account of the unprecedented conditions arising from the Covid-19 pandemic. Figures published today by the BBC show that, while overseas aid amounted to £14.5bn in 2019, it is projected to […]
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
In the last two decades of diplomacy, perhaps the most successful move to thaw frozen relations has been a Friendship Tour to the secretive state by Middlesbrough Women’s Football Club.
Delapenha turned down a transfer offer from Manchester City to stay with his wife-to-be, local schoolteacher Joan Crawford. The decision endeared him to the fans. He was always popular, but there was a racist undercurrent, and with any minor mistake the racial epithets would fly. Remarkably it didn’t put Lindy off his game.
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.
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 […]
Boris Shaftoe’s all at sea Silver shekels promised me; Red wall bribed for all to see Now watch Boris shaft ’em! — CHORUS: Boris Shaftoe’s far from fair, Lies behind his yellow hair, Corona-land for ever mair, Bloody Boris Shaftoe! — Boris Shaftoe’s conscience’s slim, Shame about the rest of him; Population kept in trim, […]
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 […]
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 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 […]
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? […]
“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.”
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.
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”.
Can a government led by a Prime Minster who once compared Muslim women who wear the veil to letterboxes be trusted to respect other people’s faiths? Can a government whose Prime Minster unlawfully suspended parliament claim to respect the democratic policy? Can a government that had quietly removed anti-bullying training regarding homophobia in schools last year claim to be for identifying and combating discrimination?
In the North East we, of course, will be in Tier 3, whilst London, whose rates are rising while ours are falling, will be in Tier 2. Of course. Well, we are in the north and London is London and must therefore be better than us. Even if it isn’t.
A case of stabbing your constituents in the back, then realising you’d shot yourself in the foot, perhaps?
Figures published by the Department for Education confirm that there was an increase of 5,700 pupils in receipt of FSM across the North East between the school census of October 2020 and that of January 2021. This means that schools in the region are facing a loss of up to £7.66 million in pupil premium funding as a result of the Government’s change.
A group of local North East residents feel so strongly about lies and broken promises from the current government that they are staging a rally in Newcastle on Saturday 26 June. The focus of the demo is #WeDemandBetter.
Somebody asked me what are the top three places I would go to once my incarceration is finished. That’s easy. I’d head for the bar at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle, the bar at Live Theatre, also in Newcastle, and the bar at the Customs House in South Shields. Not for the drink — I’ve got plenty of wine and single malt at home — but for the company and conversation of like-minded theatre-lovers. For I have missed all that so much.
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.
While you fixate on one of the most revered and financially secure universities in our country, do you know that SEND provisions in schools are underfunded, to the point where these services could be cut due to the lack of funding? Schools across my region could potentially lose up to £7 million, which would be used to support students from low-income backgrounds.
But we all vowed to continue to fight for our values. To never let hate win. To not allow division to be the foundation of our democracy. People campaigned for remain for many different reasons but for me, it was about values. It was a belief in international solidarity. That we genuinely are stronger together.