Keeping You Informed (July 2012)

Dear Newcastle

At last the sun came out in the North East, so of course some are beginning to complain that it is too hot! But it is great to see the city bathed in sunlight after many weeks of rain.

I attended the Summertyne Americana festival at the Sage outside space,, . Everyone was in a good mood, picnicking or dancing or both.

The same day I also went to the opening of the Newcastles of the World Summit at Mansion House in Jesmond. Eighty delegates from twelve Newcastles across four continents celebrated our cities, our communities and our connections, . It was inspiring stuff.

On the Saturday I listened to Ed Miliband address the Durham Miners Gala as the bands marched in behind their banners.

Then on the Monday I was celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of Shafto Court in Benwell, with the residents, their families (three and four generations!) and an excellent barbeque.

These are just some examples of how Newcastle’s communities remain strong and vibrant despite the hard times we are going to.

A year ago we feared that the absence of a plan for growth, a plan B as some called it, might lead to a double dip recession.

Now we know that it has.

This is hard news for Newcastle which already has some of the highest rates of unemployment in the country.

And it’s particularly hard news for public sector workers finding jobs cut just as more and more people rely on their services.

The North is being targeted and resources are shifted away from poorer, urban communities to richer constituencies often in the south.

But we go into the summer knowing that we are still strong in our belief in each other and support for each other.

On Thursday I spoke at the unveiling of a plaque at City Hall to Alan Hull and Lindisfarne. Born in Benwell, Alan overcome poverty and prejudice to become the lyric poet of a generation of Geordies, writing the great Northern anthem ‘The Fog on the Tyne’ and supporting the striking miners, the unemployed and the underprivileged. He never forgot where he came from. And we shouldn’t forget what we still have to celebrate.

Alun Hull memorial link

Have a great summer.

Shadow Ministerial Role

I took my first Bill through Committee on behalf of the Opposition. The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill is supposedly the Government’s flagship bill for growth and business. I was responsible for the Competition and Market Reform parts including banking competition, competition in the NHS and take-overs. Iain Wright led on Bill as a whole and Ian Murray onthe Employment Law changes (inc Beecroft

I spent half a day at Sussex University’s Science Policy Unit discussing key features of science policy. I spent three days in Brussels and Paris. In Brussels focused on Competition, Market Reform, State Aid, Broadband and Women in ICT. In Paris visited Senate and met with Minister for Woman and Minister for Innovation and Small Businesses.

Backbench Role

I intervened in questions on Smart Metering, House of Lords Reform, Tyne & Wear metro, VAT on pasties and pretzels, security in Nigeria, Engineering Diploma, Superfast Broadband, NHS funding in the North East, BAE Systems closure (secured a meeting with the Minister) the feed in tariff scheme and carbon capture and storage. I spoke in debates on the centenary of Alan Turing and Unemployment in the North East. These can be found here:


  • Quoted many times in Chronicle and Journal, as well as an as well as in trade press . I write monthly blog for computerworld uk and also an article on Cyber crime for Total Poltics. The play Utopia was performed in Newcastle and London

  • I continue to use twitter extensively (@chionwurah)


I offer work experience/volunteering to interested constituents and have recruited a summer London intern and an apprentice/traineeship in Newcastle. I continue to receive a huge volume of letters, emails and phone calls, over 1500 per week.


  • Meetings included: Federation of Small Businesses NE, PICTFOR CEO Dinner, Warner Brothers Europe MD, Tony Barrett, Grassroots Group, Coal Gas, Sainsbury’s Management Fellows, Siemens, Northumbria, Swing Bridge, Eva Tutchell, Hermann Hauser, Juliette Garside of the Guardian, Eli Lilly, ANC, Paul Drayson, Nick Forbes, NE Women’s Network, North East Youth, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, High Bridge Tenant’s Association, Bill Corcoran, Primary Care Trust, New Bridge Space, Lucy Rigby, UCB Pharma, Institution of Chemical Engineers, Prof Marilyn Leask, Pancreatic Cancer UK, Federation of Small Businesses, Princes’ Trust, Dan Jarvis, Electrical Contractors Association, Microsoft, Peter Marsh (FT Journalist), Holiday Inn Newcastle, Sense about Science, Peter Cardwell, Martin Cave, Cancer Campaigning Group, Intel MacAfee, EMC, Jim Maudsley, Stan Moore, David Doherty Chief Exec Council for Industry & Higher Education (CIHE), Chris Martin, Breakthrough Breast Cancer, Talk Talk, Royal Academy Dinner Engineering at Heart of Society, Jewish Leadership Council, Andy Kerr CWU, Adrian Oldknow, Chemical Industries Association, Melanie Johnson of UK Cards, Publisher’s Association, British Chamber of Commerce, Royal Society Summer Soiree, Newcastle Business School, St Nicholas Hospital, Motorsport Industry Association, Richard Whish, Jon Gluyas Durham University, Rolls Royce Newcastle

  • Speaking engagements included Newcastle College Sixth Form students, Deeper Life Bible Church, Labour Digital Breakfast, Newcastle College Green festival, Greening Wingrove Garden Festival, Global Telecoms Business Innovation Panel, Alcatel Lucent, BA/Fenham Pool launch, Sussex University Science Policy Research Unit (SPRU) debate, Fabian Womens Network event Women in SET, Vision for Jobs & Growth in Creative Industries – Intellectual Property, Young Labour Conference, Opened Scotswood Community Garden Bee Entrance, Delivered Libel Reform Petition to Prime Minister, Two day conference at Ditchley Park, Gosforth Academy#

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