It is almost exactly five years since I was elected and first had the privilege and honour of serving as MP for Newcastle upon Tyne Central. We are now coming to the end of this Parliament, when I stop being an MP and become, once again, the Labour Party candidate. The focus in these last few weeks has been on the election, the budget and final policy pledges. The Chancellor did not focus on the North East in his budget – he spent much more time talking about Agincourt and the Leader of the Opposition’s kitchen. As I said in my budget speech, his idea of Northern stops at Manchester.
The Chancellor did claim that the country was benefitting from his ‘Long Term Economic Plan’. But the Govt have not succeeded in eradicating the deficit as they promised to do, although that was supposedly the reason for the harsh cuts we have had to endure. Because the deficit is still so high, like Pinochio’s nose the Long Term Plan just gets longer and longer. The Tories’ plan is failing because they choose to prioritise helping a few at the top.
Closer to home McDonalds decided to ignore the views of the fast majority of residents in Blakelaw and Kenton and appeal against the decision of Newcastle City Council Planning Committee not to grant them planning permission to build a two story drive thru McDonalds opposite my old school, Kenton, and two minutes away from the existing one in Kingston Park. A petition www.mcdonaldspetition.co.uk has been set up and I have worked to support the residents including presenting a version of the petition to Parliament.
Shadow Ministerial Role
• Visited Bristol to discuss smart cities and digital democracy.
• Worked with Shadow Treasury team to produce digital government contribution to Labour’s zero based budget review.
• Worked with Shadow Health team to determine that EU Procurement Directive which Tories have transposed into UK law in a way which undermines Government ability to consider social value and further marketises the NHS.
• I spoke from the frontbench on 24 March 2015 in response to a statement on Cyber-security
Backbench and Constituency Role
• I met with the Chief Executive of London’s Tech City and local digital businesses at Sunderland Software City to discuss how the North East can become a leader in specific areas of the digital economy including data and back office.
• I celebrated International Woman’s Day with a number of speeches and events across the constituency including at Westgate Community College and a hustings at Northumbria. I also went as far away as Durham University, as well as hosting a young woman from Excelsior to shadow me in Parliament.
• On 25th March I asked BIS questions on job insecurity and CityLink
• On 24th March I presented a petition regarding Planning permission for McDonald’s in Kenton (Newcastle) and on 20th March another Petition on Body Image Altering Software
• On 20 March 2015 I spoke in the Budget Resolutions and Economic Situation debate on North East Growth.
• On 19 March 2015 I asked the DECC Secretary of State on this Government’s record on Climate Change and on 12 March 2015 I asked DEFRA about progress on Climate Change. The same day I asked about rural broadband before intervening in the Westminster Hall debate on Violence against Women. On 9 March 2015 I questioned the DWP minister on the treatment of benefit claimants especially woman,
• Louis Wigston is working in Westminster office as a living wage intern part time till dissolution.
• A lot of preparatory work needed for dissolution when I will effectively cease to be an MP the office will carry on with urgent casework.
Meeting, Visits & Speaking Engagements:
• Meetings and visits, Change.org, Google, Mission Orientated Finance Launch, SET for Britain, BVCA, Sunderland Software City, Institute for Government, Nissan, NIACE, North East Combined Authority, Archbishops’ Secretary for Appointments, Axelle Lemaire, Fenham DIYStreets, Outsourcery Procurement Breakfast, Cabinet Office, Premier League, UConATT, Civil Nuclear Police Federation, Ugadi Festival, Vhils, FSB, Hoops for Health Final Awards, Rachael Maughan Estate, Holocaust Memorial Commemoration Newcastle, John Vine CBE QPM, Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, BT and Openreach, North of England Commissioning Support (NECS) Specialist Mental Health Services in Gateshead and Newcastle Consultation, St Michaels School, PPDG, Tech City, Crisis, UnLtd, ADS, YHN, Galexy Quick Reads, Discovery Tour, Atkinson Road Nursery School, Blackberry, Public Services Transformation Dinner, Posters in Parliament, Virgin Stagecoach Transition Team, Ofcom, Big Society Capital, Sage Gateshead, Renewable UK, Transferwise, Ratesetter, Centrica Social Enterprise, Skill Mill, Samsung Code Club, Vamos, Arts Council, Deciding together how to spend the Mental Health Pound, Dance City, Ground breaking McCarthy & Stone Specialist Assisted Living, Kenton development, NewcastleGateshead Initiative, Cruddas Park Bingo, Blakelaw Bingo, Slatyford Tenants Association, North East Counselling Association, NE1 BID, , IET, Paris Labour, Deputy British Ambassador and Political Attache Paris, 5 News, Tata, Guardian, Africa Channel, Adecco Gender Agenda Launch, Professor Yossi Shain, Arriva, Expedia, Metal Molders, Hollywood Monster, Oesophageal Cancer Centre RVI, Digital Catapult, EE Roundtable on Digital Inclusion, BQ Live dinner debate with Gerard Grech, CEO of TechCity UK, Northumbria University Space Centre.
• Speaking engagements: Time to Act (Climate Change), This Girl Can Newcastle Celebration, Westgate Community Centre, Northern Correspondent North East & Devolution event, Excelsior Y7, Greening Wingrove and the Private Property Market, Unison, Radio Society Science Week Convention, Public Sector IT Summit on Cyber Security, Tinder Foundation Report, ODI Connect, Northumbria Police Recruitment Event, Trinity Academy, Management Consultants Association Year of Digital Lunch, Bridgewater Primary School Parliamentary visit, Bangladeshi Catering Assoc