View this email in your browser

Hello <<First Name>> <<Last Name>>

This is the 67th edition of e-Focus, bringing you the latest information from the Low Fell Focus Team. It includes:

  • Travel chaos anticipated in central Gateshead 
  • Well done Low Fell's volunteer gardeners
  • Low Fell traders condemn Council's removal of on-street parking
  • Calls for major housing shake-up in Gateshead
  • Cornavirus survey - your views wanted
  • Join us
We hope you are finding these updates useful. Let us know if there's anything you would like to see included in our next edition.

Also, a big welcome if you are getting e-Focus for the first time having signed up to our website, or opted into receiving e-Focus via one of our petitions, a survey etc. 

We send these e-newsletters to almost 1,000 local people, but there are many more who are not on our mailing list. Please feel free to forward this email on to friends and neighbours, who can add themselves to the list at  

Please remember that we are here to help you. Our details, including our home phone numbers, can be found here
Best wishes,
Ron Beadle, Susan Craig, and Daniel Duggan
Councillors, Low Fell Lib Dem Focus Team

P.S. If you are on Facebook, and would like to follow us, our page is here
Travel chaos anticipated in central Gateshead

Without consulting residents, Gateshead Council has decided to make a series of changes around Gateshead town centre that will impact many Low Fell residents. 

Work has already started (see photo above, taken today) and these changes include:

  • the closure of the northbound section of the Gateshead flyover to make it cycle only

  • the creation of new cycle routes in the Oakwellgate area and on the approaches to the Tyne Bridge

  • the removal of all traffic except for buses, cyclists and pedestrians from a section of Askew Road where it joins the Tyne Bridge

  • the elimination of buses and other traffic from the historic Bridges Quarter except for access and deliveries

The Council say the measures are temporary.  We are currently making enquires with the Council as to the financial cost of these measures. 

Speaking to the Chronicle newspaper, Low Fell Councillor Daniel Duggan, said: “We need more space for safe cycling and walking. However, simply closing roads to vehicles could simply move traffic congestion onto the main roads such as Durham Road, the Felling Bypass and the A1.

“Far from creating safe cycling routes, outside the centre of Gateshead, the plans could result in greater pollution, more congestion and greater dangers to cyclists.

“We need to take more vehicles off our roads and an effective way to do this is to set up park and ride schemes throughout Gateshead. These should form a key part of the Council’s plans to expand cycling and make our roads safer.

“Without park and ride, the council’s strategy could fail. And we could be left with utter chaos around the Tyne Bridge with tailbacks causing gridlock.”

You can read more about this in the Chronicle and on the BBC news website

We are also encouraging residents to give their views to Labour's Cabinet Member for Transport at the Council. His details can be found here.

Well done to Low Fell's volunteer gardeners
The flowers along Durham Road, planted by the Low Fell volunteer gardeners, look great. Well done to the volunteer gardeners!

Susan Craig, Chair of the Low Fell Forum, a group the volunteer gardeners are part of, said "We really appreciate the excellent work the volunteer gardeners do. People regularly say how wonderful the flowers look".  

If you would like to support the work of the volunteer gardeners visit here
Low Fell traders condemn Council's removal of on-street parking
Low Fell traders have criticised the Council's removal of on-street parking on Durham Road in an article published in the Chronicle and have highlighted the financial cost they have suffered since the measures were implemented. You can read it here.

We have spoken to a number of businesses on the Fell who have told us they may have to close. We have contacted businesses on Durham Road and have asked them to send us details of the financial impact on them since the Council introduced the measures and many have agreed to do this. Once we have this information we will present it to the Council. 
Calls for major housing shake-up in Gateshead
Liberal Democrats in Gateshead are calling for a radical shift of power in the way council housing is run in the borough.

Proposals for a mutual organisation would see tenants and staff taking on the running of the housing stock. But the Lib Dem proposals are at odds with Labour-run Gateshead Council’s plans to take back direct control of the borough’s 20,000 council houses.

The Labour-run authority’s plans to scrap the Gateshead Housing Company will see the return of responsibility for managing and maintaining the housing stock to direct Council control. 

Ron Beadle said, “It is crucial that the Council devolves powers to local residents and communities and does not horde power for itself. A mutual, co-owned by both tenants and employees, would ensure that tenants and employees had real power, promote individual responsibility, and strengthen community spirit. 

“Tenants, and not the Council, know what is best for their own homes and communities. Housing mutuals works successfully elsewhere, such as in Rochdale, and have high satisfaction ratings.

“Gateshead Council’s top down approach needs to be ditched so that tenants can be empowered to have real control over their homes.

Daniel Duggan, said “A number of years ago the Council supported our Liberal Democrat motion endorsing mutuals and cooperatives. It is therefore disappointing to see that Labour bosses at the Civic Centre are proposing to bring housing back under their own control and deny tenants the chance to have real power over the management of their homes.

“They should rethink their proposals and introduce a housing mutual in Gateshead.” 

Over the summer the Council is consulting with its tenants on their proposal to bring back their housing into the Council.

You can read more about this on the Chronicle website here
Still time to complete our survey about coronavirus

Thank you to all the residents who have completed our survey about cornavirus and what the response should be going forward. If you have not already done so, please complete the survey by visiting here

Councillor Susan Craig said "We have had a great response so far but still want to hear from more residents. It will only take a few minutes and will really help us focus on the things that matter to you so please do complete the survey". 

Join us
The new Liberal Democrat Leader will be chosen by members over the Summer. The Party now has over 100,000 members with record numbers in Gateshead and Low Fell.  If you are a party supporter there really is no better time to join than now and you can become a member form as little as £1 a month.  To join visit here

Alternatively you can register as a supporter for free here.

If you would like to know more please contact Daniel, Susan or Ron.
Copyright © 2020 Gateshead Liberal Democrats, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp