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New Members Party InviteThe Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.

We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.

If you agree with us, why not join the #LibDemFightback today.

  • Julie Porksen and Baroness Maddock at GP Power, Amble
    Article: Apr 28, 2015
    By RMC
    Porksen welcomes Amble jobs boost
    Energy efficiency expert Baroness Diana Maddock and Liberal Democrat candidate Julie Porksen have visited the new GP Power site in Amble which has attracted £20 million in investment and will create up to 30 jobs by the end of 2015.

    Ian Lewis and Richard Telfer have set up GP Power which is taking over a site on the Coquet Industrial Estate. New equipment will be on site any day now to begin processing biomass pellets for the renewable energy sector. The second stage of the investment will involve installing a Combined Heat and Power system which will generate additional electricity for the plant, with surplus energy being fed back in to the National Grid.

    Julie Porksen has been working to bring jobs to Amble and said:

    "This is an exciting project and I look forward to seeing this business grow. The prospect of 30 skilled jobs being created here in Amble is fantastic.

    "The plant will also use locally grown wood so will support the forestry workers in Northumberland as well."

    Baroness Maddock, who is the President of the Sustainable Energy Association, added

    "Julie Porksen and I were delighted to meet Ian Lewis and Richard Telfer who are setting up this new business, which promises to bring work to Amble as well as contributing to Northumberland's growing renewable energy sector. I look forward to working with Ian and Richard in the future."

    Ian Lewis, founder and director of GP Power Ltd, said: "It was a pleasure to welcome Baroness Maddock and Julie to the site. Our project at Amble has been a long time in planning but we hope to move very quickly now to start the recruitment process, to commission the plant and accelerate to full production by the end of the year."
  • Article: Apr 24, 2015
    By RMC
    Senior Lib Dem MP Tim Farron, chair of All Party Parliamentary Hill Farming Group, visiting Berwick to back Julie's Countryside Charter campaign
    Julie Pörksen, Lib Dem candidate for Berwick, will welcome senior Lib Dem MP Tim Farron to North Northumberland on Thursday 30th April on a visit to back her campaign and support her calls for a Countryside Charter.
    Mr Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale in Cumbria is currently the party's foreign affairs spokesperson, but has a close interest in rural issues as the MP for an area including much of the Lake District, and is the chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Hill Farming where he has gained particular credit from upland farmers for promoting their interests.
    Whilst some farmers are reporting a good crop of lambs, decent farmgate prices and profitability do not necessarily follow. Recent figures from the Farm Business Income Survey have found that hill farmers only earn an average of £14,500 (from a low of just £5,000 in 2010) - a salary that includes recompense, capital in business, and working hours contributed by the family.
    Tim Farron says: "I'm pleased to be visiting Northumberland with Julie, who I know will make a fantastic MP. Sir Alan Beith was well respected in Parliament for his support for Northumberland farmers and the rural economy, and I learnt much from him as a new MP. It's great to be able to return that favour by coming to back Julie's efforts to support upland farmers in Northumberland. I very much look forward to her becoming a member of the All Party Parliamentary Hill Farming Group after May 7th. "
    Julie says "I am delighted Tim is visiting to support my campaign. He is a tremendous campaigner and is a hugely popular figure in his constituency. I'm particularly pleased he will be joining me to discuss how he's worked to support upland farming in Cumbria as an MP.
    "Hill farmers do extremely important work to sustain both our rural economy and our beautiful Northumbrian landscape, and I want to ensure that the Countryside Charter helps as many local farmers and farm businesses as possible. In particular, I am concerned that local farmers need additional help to access broadband to ensure that they are able to take advantage of the RPA's digital payment systems."
    ENDS
  • Article: Apr 23, 2015
    By RMC
    Liberal Democrat Julie Pö​rksen announces £250 Carer's Bonus for 1390 carers in Berwick constituency and 53,000 carers across the North East
    Liberal Democrats will give 1390 carers in Berwick constituency (and more than 53,000 carers across the North East) a £250 'Carer's Bonus' for looking after loved ones who are older, disabled or seriously ill.
  • Julie Wall
    Article: Apr 21, 2015
    Julie Pörksen launches Countryside Charter to boost Northumberland's rural communities, including plans to review access to local transport
    Julie Pörksen, Lib Dem candidate for the Berwick constituency, an agricultural economist and daughter of a sheep farmer is today helping to launch the "Countryside Charter" - a package of national Liberal Democrat policy proposals to help the countryside and allow the rural economy to thrive.
  • Article: Apr 21, 2015
    Lib Dems: North East regional devolution too important to leave to Labour​
    A North East Liberal Democrat delegation including regional party chair Ian Jones, Lord Shipley, and Berwick candidate Julie Pörksen attended this morning's regional devolution event organised by the Journal for regional businesses, local politicians and academics held at Gosforth Park Hotel this morning.
    Debate covered emerging issues relating to devolution, including a focus on the structure and role of regional devolution and transport investment.
    Lib Dems have long been strongly committed to greater regional development and want to see more progress on achieving a cross party voice to achieve best for the North East, amid concerns that the Labour-dominated North East Combined Authority does not yet have sufficient input from other parties.
    In particular, Lib Dems want to see a continued focus on the importance of securing full dualling of the A1 to Berwick and the Border, and guarantees that any new devolution structures will not be one-party closed shops.
    On the question of regional transport investment priorities, Liberal Democrats are continuing to press for full dualling of the A1, although Professor Jonathan Blackie, visiting professor at Northumbria University commented that the A1 in Northumberland was the least used trunk road in country so would need a strong strategic case as the business case would not see the rest of the A1 dualled.
    Julie Pörksen commented:
    "Whatever the future for devolution in the North East, we need a system which is fairer and more democratic than the one we have now.​
    "Lib Dems believe that the future of regional devolution in the North East is too important to trust Labour alone with. There needs to be a stronger cross-party consensus and greater scope for input from other parties: we are already aware of tensions within the existing NECA arrangements arising from mistrust between the Labour leaders of the constituent local authorities.
    I welcome the widespread support for full dualling of the A1 to Berwick expressed during the debate on North East devolution and look forward to working with leaders of North East local authorities to achieve full dualling in the future.
    "There remain many unanswered questions regarding devolution, much of the discussion is on structure and another layer of political power, the tangible benefits for business and people are as yet unclear.
    I am particularly concerned with the provision of services on a regional level where rural areas could lose out. Given that a major regional public service provider, the North East Ambulance Service recently acknowledged that one size does not fit all and has agreed to look separately at service provision in rural Northumberland and Durham - my biggest question and concern is how can we make sure rural areas are fully represented and properly 'serviced' in a regional structure for North East devolution?"
  • Article: Apr 21, 2015

    Conservatives plans for A1 and A69 tolls in Northumberland were blocked by Lib Dems in government

    The Conservatives planned to charge motorists £120 a year to use the A1 through Northumberland, it has been revealed. The plan, which would have covered large swathes of the country's roads, was blocked by Liberal Democrats in government, led by the Transport Minister at the time, Norman Baker.

  • Stan Collins & Gita Gordon
    Article: Apr 16, 2015

    Lib Dem parliamentary candidates Gita Gordon and Stan Collins took a break from meeting people in their
    constituencies South Shields and Jarrow to do a bit of essential
    shopping in Pelaw.

    They bought a trolley-full of groceries and still got 25p change from
    the £15.86 per week which Lib Dems are now saving standard rate taxpayers.

    Stan said, "Ordinary people would be much worse off if Lib Dems had not
    been in government. We forced through lower tax for most taxpayers. A
    tax cut which David Cameron said was impossible in the 2010 leaders'
    debates.

    "For pensioners, taxpayers, parents and children, Lib Dem policies have
    been delivered which make a real improvement to their lives and life
    chances. I'm in no mood to apologise for what we couldn't get done.
    Give us more MPs and we'll make an even better difference to people's
    lives."

  • Article: Apr 2, 2015
    By RMC

    Above: Dr Nick Cott on Gosforth High Street

    NEWCASTLE CENTRAL LIB DEM CANDIDATE NICK COTT WELCOMES HIGH STREET PLANNING CHANGE AND U TURN OVER OFFICE CONVERSION

    Newcastle Central Lib Dem candidate Dr Nick Cott has welcomed a new announcement that will enable councils to keep a lid on the numbers of payday loan companies or betting shops allowed to open.
  • Article: Apr 2, 2015

    North East Liberal Democrats have expressed concern at the lack of action on the part of Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Vera Baird in response to a letter enquiring whether Ms Baird is willing to implement a review of Northumbria Police's policy of non-disclosure of Freemason membership on the part of its officers.

  • Dr Wendy Taylor
    Article: Apr 2, 2015
    By RMC

    Flood Free Homes

    Cllr Dr Wendy Taylor, Liberal Democrat candidate for Newcastle East is supporting the campaign for Flood Free Homes which was launched earlier this year . The campaign has been launched by the Association of British Insurers, supported by Friends of the Earth, Know Your Flood Risk, National Flood Forum, the Property Care Association's Flood Protection Group and the BRE Centre for Resilience. The aim of the campaign is to raise the issue of long term flood defence investment and land and water management.