Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Ponteland By Election: over 70% vote Conservative

Last week's win in Ponteland is only just beginning to sink in: at a crucial by election neither Labour nor the Liberals decided to put up a candidate. And this was 1 year before a general election and a month before a Euro Election.
Alan Varley was an outstanding local candidate: having worked locally in public service he then decided to put his hand up, and get involved for his local town and help shape his local community. He will be an excellent councillor I am sure.

My congratulations go to Carl Rawlings and his team of supporters who turned out on the day to ensure a big turn out and a 70%+ Conservative vote, and a big win. Because parliament was sitting I was not able to be on the campaign trail in Darras Hall as much as I would have liked but I was able to pop in on election day, as I drove north after the last day of term. I brought with me a surprise guest in the form of Chris Grayling, the Secretary of State for Justice. Chris is an MP in Epsom but was in the North East to visit the Oswin Project and go to 3 separate prisons - Kirklevington, Frankland and Northumberland - in 24 hours. We left Frankland High Security prison in the late afternoon and popped into Ponteland for an hour as we drove north. We put Chris to work straight away after he had met the team and for 45 minutes Chris, Carl Rawlings and I made sure everyone locally had turned out to vote. This election mattered a lot in Ponteland, in so many ways but particularly on the issue of how the Council is set up and how we protect the green belt. My congratulations, thanks and full support to Alan and the team of helpers.