Keeping You Informed (November 2012)

Dear Newcastle
Chi with Dr David Kavanagh

This weekend’s Remembrance Day service was a very moving occasion. In the bright November sunshine crowds waited at Old Eldon square to pay tribute to the fallen of two World Wars and all those who have been killed or injured in the service of their country. There were Geordies of every age and background amongst the service personnel, veterans, cadets and scouts who marched proudly past the Lord Mayor and up Northumberland Street.

It was touching to see the intense concentration on the faces of the young scouts and cadets as they kept to the strict beat of the military march and sobering to see the sombre faces of the veterans as they passed.

The crowds also reflected the city in all its diversity. I watched a young Goth with bright red lipstick and black leather trousers applauding the passing platoons and an elderly pensioner in a wheel chair smiling at the young scouts.

In a week when Newcastle City Council that £90million in cuts to the city’s services will be required because of the Governments disproportionate and unfair slashing of central grants, it was reassuring to see how we come together  to pay tribute to those who so deserve it . We have very difficult times ahead of us as a city and  we will need to work together to make sure that those who most need our support, continue to receive it.

Shadow Ministerial Role

I launched  One Nation Innovation  framework summary and  held three roundtables to debate various themes, with more to come .

I supported ERR Bill two days of third reading from the front bench though and briefed colleagues on Growth and Infrastructure Bill regarding changes to Broadband rollout infrastructure.

I commissioned research from  HoC Library to demonstrate how the  Government is breaking its promise on science spend

Backbench  Role

I launched my  campaign  to improve housing in Newcastle focusing on getting more empty properties in the private sector back into use:

I responded to the Wonga sponsorship deal with critical comment and am working with Movement for Change and Stella Creasey to campaign for payday loan regulation.

I took part in Royal Society scientific pairing week, so Dr David Kavanagh from Centre for Life (and the Freeman) shadowed me in Parliament for a week. I will spend an afternoon in his lab in Newcastle.

I spoke or intervened fourteen times in the house on Scientific Research and the badger Cull (twice), Rural Broadband, Floods in Newcastle, cycling safety, Multiple Learning Difficulties (School Provision) Prevention of Social Housing Fraud Bill and housing in Newcastle, East Coast Main Line Privatisation, Parliamentary Boundary Review and Lib Dem funding, Armed Forces Reserves, Affordable Housing, Local Government Finance Bill (on 1NE), Multiannual Financial Framework(PM’s negotiating skills) and Mathematics Teaching

I met Michael Fallon and Philip Dunne re BAE site, received some assurances re training and possibility of Enterprise Zone extension.


I continue to receive a huge volume of letters, emails and phone calls, over  2000  per week.  I will be recruiting spring intern for Parliamentary office.


  • Meetings & Visits included Norma Redfearn Mayoral Fundraiser, NE Feminists, Peter Marsh, Praxis Unico, P3id:STEM, Alcatel Lucent, French Department of HE & Research, Parti Socialiste  National Secretary for Universities & Research), Monique Bolotin-Fukuhara, Blakelaw 165 Open Meeting with Yvette Cooper, Steve Evans on Superconnected Cities, Benwell & Scotswood Ward Meeting, Archibold Primary School, Lennox Ward Roycroft Unit, CBI North East Annual Dinner, Unite re INEX, Macmillan Coffee Morning, Nissan, Mark Edward, Stagecoach, Mariana Mazzucato, Open University, Ads, Phonepay, Institute of Physics, Institute of Engineering Technology, Balance, Newcastle Mental Health Day, Royal African Society, Hadrian School, Asda Benwell for Tickled Pink,  NE Feminists, Talk Talk, O2, Aphaia Ltd, British Airways, Ella Richie (on Moorbank Botanic Garden), TUC Woman’s Leadership Summer School, Biology Week, BAE, Intellect, Tom Gunner, Scientists for Labour, Anne Frank Exhibition City Library, TUC March for a future that works, Discovery Networks, Federation of Small Businesses, Stephen Mosley, UK Feminista, Fabians, Jon Cruddas, Northumbria University, Ed Vaizey, Albion Ventures, Online UK, Michael Fallon and Philip Dunne re BAE, Parliamentary Diwali reception, Peter Ingram, Arthritis Research, NECC and Accenture Newcastle, John Lee, Nigel Todd, Tom Levitt, Mike Symon Australian Labour MP,  International Chamber of Commerce, IPVA, Global Witness Oil Campaign, Santander Breakthrough Program, WEA, Waitrose, Pacreatic Cancer Research, Radio Independent Group, Ward Hadaway Corporate Insolvency, Newcastle Gateshead Initiative, McAfee


  • Speaking engagements  included: Dods/Fujitsu Transforming Business, Transforming Communities, Chemical Industries: Is Europe Damaging future of Britain’s science industries, reform roundtable seminar to advance thinking on life sciences & the busienss environment in the UK, Visa Future of Payments, Labourleft The Only Way is Ethics Business Ethics, Science Council The Appliance of Science: growth, jobs and improved public services, Labour Business Forum, Global Poverty Campaign Great North Run, Martin Luther King event Claudia Jones Memorial Lecture, Science & Engineering & maths session Newcastle Labour Women, Christian Aid Tax Panel Tax Justice Bus, London Patent Summit, Next Gen 12 Conference, World School Milk Day Bridgewater School, remier League Enterprise Challenge semi-final , WERS AGM, Akwa Ibom Awards and Gala Night, British Cleaning Council, Launched African Commission for Local Government Improvement, Chaired Pictfor Parliament Internet Day, North East Postgraduate Conference, Medact Newcastle, Research Funding & Research Careers Roundtables, Google Campus Innovation Roundtable, Breakthrough Breast Cancer’s Westminster Fly-In Reception

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