Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Tynemouth Action Day 2

Once again on the campaign trail first in Hexham and then helping the Mayoralty candidate Linda Arkley in North Tyneside. William Hague was in the constituency working hard. Would be amazing if we were in charge of local government in the north east. Spent the evening campaigning and having dinner with the girls from Conservative Future and fellow candidates Wendy Morton and Anne Marie Trevelyan.
All this and Newcastle United won 3-1!

Sunday, 10 May 2009


We are taking the Euro Election very seriously:

Over the next month we have David Cameron on may 5th, in North Tyneside, then a series of Tynemouth action days and a lot of canvassing

- Mark Francois, shadow minister for Europe, in Hexham on May 15th

- Dominic Grieve, shadow minister for Justice, in Prudhoe on May 27th

Most of our time is to be spent canvassing, campaigning and leafletting both here in Hexham and in the North Tyneside Mayoralty campaign.

The last 11 days will be the key canvassing days - please feel free to come and join in - simply contact Guy or Barbara in the Hexham Office:

May 25: Corbridge show and campaigning in Corbridge

May 26: Daytime - North Tyne tour: 11am Bellingham with Councillor John Riddle [meet by the bakery] 12.45pm Wark with Councillor Edward Heslop; Allendale at 6pm + Councillor Colin Horncastle

May 27: 11-1.45 Ponteland + councillors, 2-4pm Heddon on the Wall + Councillor Peter Jackson, and 5-7pm Prudhoe + Dominic Grieve MP + Councillor Anne Dale

May 28: 11-1pm Ponteland + councillors; 1.30-3 Corbridge + Councillor Jean Fearon. 4pm Prudhoe + Councillor Anne Dale

May 29: 11-3.30 Ponteland, then Hexham West - meet 5.30 Tescos cafe + Hexham / Ponteland Conservative Future team + Councillor Nick Holder

May 30: Haydon Bridge - meet 9.30am Ratcliff Road + Hexham / Ponteland Conservative Future team, [+Litter Pick at same time]. Lunch in Ponteland

June 1: 11.am -12.30 Hexham / Acomb + Councillor Terry Robson [meet at the office]; 12.45-2.15 High Warden and Newbrough with Tynedale Councillor Harold Forster then private meeting in Ponteland at 3pm. Thereafter Ponteland + Councillors 4.30 -7.30

June 2: Daytime - Mutual Aid- details to be confirmed; 5pm South Tyne villages then Riding Mill 6pm + Charles Heslop

June 3rd: 11-1 Ovington + Tynedale Councillor Fiona Hunter; 3.30: Bardon Mill - meet at Bowes Hotel + Bardon Mill branch; 5.45-7.30 - Hexham East + Councillor Ingrid Whale - meet at Ingrids house

June 4th: Election Day

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Tynemouth Action Day

Stephen Byers, the Labour MP, looked very glum as we campaigned all round him in Tynemouth this morning. Labour were attempting to canvass but they were swamped as we were all over the constituency in droves. Labour have been noticebly absent for some time and are trying to fight back but the Tory team in Albion Road is a top act - they are well organised, well led and highly motivated...touch wood and whisper it softly but I think we will win the North Tyneside Mayoralty
After 2 very long days my feet hurt!

Friday, 8 May 2009

Prudhoe and Haltwhistle campaigning

A long day delivering in Prudhoe - now known as "The Land of Many Steps" ... when it was built it was built on the side of steep hill overlooking the Tyne. The problem is that every house has 5-10 steps to its front door - this means you climb severla thousand a day as you deliver. I always lose 10 pounds in elections - may lose a lot more this time. We delivered all over West Prudhoe. Good response from the people we spoke to on the doorstep - bin tax of the libs is very unpopular. Lunch as always in the amazing cafe opposite the bookies. Then off to Haltwhistle where things are taking shape and then to humshaugh for a strategy working dinner.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Hexham Conservatives Campaigning

A hexham evening planning the Euro campaign and then off to the Albert Edward afterwards with the councillors. Much talk of the Hexham Courant's story about the Liberal plan to put a £20 charge for the brown bin collection ...it will be a flytippers charter and will do nothing for the environment.

Manchester, ID cards and the Congestion Charge

Pity poor Manchester. I was working there this week, and was amazed how upset some Mancunians were with the government. The decision has been taken that Manchester is to be the nation's guinea pig for the ID Cards scheme. The papers rightly point out that it was Manchester who recently rejected [by 80%] a massive area wide congestion charge planned by the government. As some sort of punishment Jacqui Smith has now decided to introduce ID Cards there: once again the project is very costly, is ill thought through, offends civil liberties and is easily avoidable by the unscrupulous. Manchester must wonder whether it is now the Government's test pilot for all things unsavoury. The problem is we are all going to be asked to take on what Manchester so obviously does not want. Put simply this money could be better spent elsewhere.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Cameron on North Tyneside / Shadow Ministers in Hexham

David Cameron came to North Tyneside to launch the national Local Government Election Campaign for 2009. He was acccompanied by Linda Arkley, the mayoral candidate and Wendy Morton the Tynemouth PPC

The event will be held Tuesday 5th May 2009 in Chirnside House, off Mariners Lane, North Tyneside and will commence at 10.45

After Cameron a large number of shadow ministers from Chris Grayling to Dominic Grieve [end of May] and Mark Francois [may 15th] will be in Hexham, throughout rural Northumberland and on North Tyneside

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Northumberland's Finest Pubs and Farm Shops...

Todays Telegraph Weekend Section has let some of the best Northumberland secrets out of the bag - and I am delighted for the owners:

One of the top pubs, The Barrasford Arms, features on the back page of the Weekend section
- http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/pubs/5245641/British-pub-guide-The-Barrasford-Arms-Northumberland.html

Was taken there recently and if anything it is better than they describe.

Then 3 local farm shops make it into the list of the top farm shops in the North


i). Brocksbushes Farm Nr. Corbridge, Northumberland (01434 633 100, www.brocksbushes.co.uk)
A good shop that offers pick-your-own asparagus and soft fruits. Strawberries in June, then raspberries, gooseberries, tayberries, black and red currants, plums and blackberries.
- virtually my ocal shop and very good.

ii). North Acomb Farm Stocksfield, Northumberland(01661 843181; www.northacombfarmshop.co.uk)
Opened in 1978 by Robin and Caroline Baty, this is a shop in a handsome yard, with a barn that houses their Welsh pigs. Home-made blood pudding, cakes and pies. Also, home-churned butter, outstanding bacon and sausages and certified Aberdeen Angus beef.

iii). Moorhouse Farm Shop 21 Station Road, Stannington, Morpeth, Northumberland (01670 789016; www.moorhousefarmshop.co.uk)
Affordable, accessible farm shop with an abundant display of the farm's home-reared meat. Sacks of potatoes, locally grown vegetables and excellent Gilchesters Flour milled on a nearby farm by Andrew Wilkinson from pre-war wheat breeds (a must-try for keen bakers).
[+ a special mention for Tebay - without a doubt the best motorway service station, masquerading as a farm shop,in the world! - and a lifesaver to all of us who use the M6 too much]: