Tag Archives: redcar

Redcar Liberal Democrat Councillor Chris Abbott has died

Really sad news from the North East today. Chris Abbott, long-term Liberal Democrat Councillor from Redcar, has died suddenly.

The photo of him here is taken from his Twitter profile. 

From Gazette Live:

A prominent figure in local Liberal Democrat politics for more than 40 years, he represented Newcomen ward, in Redcar , where he lived.

The 66-year-old lifelong Leeds fan and electrician was also chairman of Yorkshire Ridings Society.

Paying tribute, Josh Mason, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Liberal Democrat group, said: “Chris was a bastion of local democracy and a lifelong liberal, whose knowledge, passion and dedicated community work, have been an inspiration to us all.

“Redcar and Cleveland Council will be a lesser place without his principled values, commitment and tireless efforts for local people.

On behalf of Redcar Liberal Democrats, I offer sincere condolences to Chris’ family and to all who knew him, as we mourn together, the loss of a dear friend

Chris was one of the stalwarts of the early online Lib Dem Conferencing system, Cix and his blog was a brilliant mix of local news and commentary.

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LibLink: Ian Swales on why he is standing down from Parliament

Photo by Keith Edkins - 640px-Ian_Swales_at_Sheffield_2011Ian Swales has been explaining to the Telegraph why he is standing down as MP for Redcar.

There are two types of MP, there are those that retire at the election they turn pension age, like me, and there are those that stay here until forever, and I’m one of the former. It was never my intention to take on a full time, full-on job again at this stage.

He tells the story about how he campaigned from an apparently hopeless position 19,000 votes behind Labour, reducing the difference to 12,000 in 2005 and moving into second place. Five years later he achieved the biggest swing since WW2 winning the seat with a majority of 3000.

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Trouble and strife for Labour in Redcar

In 2010, Liberal Democrat Ian Swales won the Redcar seat with a swing of 22% from Labour. He announced last July that he was standing down and in September local Councillor Josh Mason was selected to defend his 5200 majority.

It seems that while the Liberal Democrats in Redcar are working hard to elect Josh, all is not so well in the Labour camp where local leaders have been likened to North Korea and a neighbouring Labour MP has taken to using Freedom of Information legislation to find out what his party’s council is doing.

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Josh Mason selected for Redcar

Josh Mason RedcarRedcar Liberal Democrats have selected their local party Chair and Deputy Leader of their council group Josh Mason to fight the seat at the General Election. Current Liberal Democrat MP Ian Swales announced in July that he was standing down.

From Ian Swales’ website:

Local man Josh, who is chair of the party, has worked very closely with Ian for the past 4 years supporting his campaigns for jobs, on flooding, against intrusive wind turbines, saving post offices and for better use of Redcar Hospital. Josh also sits on the board of Coast and Country Housing, is a local school governor, and represents Redcar’s Zetland Ward as deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats on Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Josh has spent the last four years campaigning hard against council waste. He has led calls to freeze council tax for the last three years and called for George Dunning’s resignation. Josh strongly opposed the council’s Draft Local Plan and has repeatedly campaigned for action to be taken on TunedIn, the council’s failing new youth facility.

Ian Swales described 26 year old Josh as “an outstanding talent of the next generation.” He has represented Zetland ward on the Council since 2011 and  is currently the spokesperson on culture, leisure and tourism.

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In other news…

Good news on human rights:

Lib Dems thwart Tory hopes of human rights convention withdrawal
Decision will infuriate Tory rightwingers unhappy at what they believe is Strasbourg judges’ interference in UK rights

Chris Rennard writes in The Guardian:

Those seeking a fairer voting system may be rather more dismayed if the Guardian is correct that there are difficulties getting Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg working together in support of the referendum. Political rivalry over other issues should not prevent all supporters of reform from campaigning for a cause on which they agree. Lessons should be learned from the Scottish referendum in 1997

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Nick Clegg visits rescued Redcar steelworks

Nick Clegg has been visiting Redcar, welcoming the deal to save its steelworks:

Last week Redcar owners, Tata and Thai buyers, SSI announced a deal which will safeguard 700 existing jobs at the huge site in Teesside. Nick Clegg said that the deal will also employ a further 800 new people and may see another 1,000 jobs created in the wider local economy.

He said: “It’s a great thumbs up for Teesside and the North East, for the steel industry and the UK. It’s a breath of fresh air at a time of difficult news about the British economy. I would

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Clegg makes bold pitch for northern working class

So reports The Times:

Nick Clegg mounted his most sustained assault on the Labour heartlands yesterday with a journey from Burnley to Redcar in which he pitched the Liberal Democrats as the party of the northern working class.

It was a bold thrust from a Westminster School old boy at the head of a party that has thrived in more prosperous parts, and he seemed to recognise the scale of the task as he made his appeal in a church in Burnley. “I understand that for some people it feels like almost a betrayal not to vote Labour but to start investing

Posted in General Election | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments
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