John Appleby to fight North of Tyne Mayor contest for the Lib Dems

Dr John Appleby has been selected as the prospective candidate for the election of a Mayor of the new North of Tyne Combined Authority in May.

He has lived in the North-East for over thirty years, and now lives in Whitley Bay, where he enjoys walking on the ever-changing beach with his wife, Janet. 

He was formerly Head of Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University, responsible for over 1000 staff and students, a budget of £14 million, strategy and safety. He continues to be a popular teacher of maths for engineering students.

John served as a Lib Dem councillor in Newcastle from 2004 until 2007, representing Woolsington ward and taking an interest in transport, education, scrutiny and audit.  He has subsequently stood for Parliament, in local elections, and as mayoral candidate in North Tyneside.

He also has experience as a trustee of several local charities and as a school governor, and has been a union branch president, also serving on local and national church committees.

He said:

I am delighted to be selected to stand for this important new position, In an over-centralised country, devolution to regions is a welcome step towards putting decisions in the hands of those most affected by them.

The area North of the Tyne, as well as the part of Northumberland south of the Tyne, contains some of the friendliest people, the most beautiful countryside, and the most fertile source of energy and ideas anywhere in the UK – the industrial revolution owed much to the entrepreneurs and people of our area.  This new Authority will allow us to coordinate our aims and activity, to develop our local strengths, and to work with central government and international partners to help this area prosper in every way.

The experience of recent devolution arrangements in the region has not yet resulted in dramatic transformation in our region’s fortunes. There is a risk that the new Authority will continue to be more of the same, with council leaders deciding things between them with little public enthusiasm or engagement.  I will be campaigning to ensure that the new Mayoral Authority is more than that and does far more to engage and involve all the North of Tyne’s citizens. Our region and our country needs an alternative to the failed two-party political establishment, and it needs a sustainable economy and society which offers opportunity, prosperity and wellbeing for everyone.

As your Mayor, I shall make every effort to help people to work together for the well-being of this area: education, environment, health, opportunity and sustainable prosperity. I hope you will vote for me so I can represent you from May 2019. I will put the interests of the North of Tyne’s citizens before the interests of the local political elite.



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  • Martin Land 21st Dec '18 - 6:34pm

    Sounds like a good candidate. I assume the loss of a seat where we failed to even put up a candidate explains the absence of a by election report this week?

  • marcstevens 21st Dec '18 - 9:21pm

    Yes I was wondering why there was no report on the council by elections. There were 2 good Lib Dem holds in South Lakeland and Cumbria and over on Conservative Home they think Tim Farron will retain his seat. I can’t understand why the party did not field a candidate in Charnwood Anstey so it went to the tories by default.

    The party really needs a strategy in the North to win new seats. There are so many issues such as poor transport connectivity, fracking and local elections are not about the EU referendum.

    Congratulations to the successful candidates, it must be such an honour to be a Lib Dem councillor, it’s always what I’ve wanted to be in life but I live in an area where only Labour ever gets in, but they do have good councillors.

  • @marcstevens. what area is that? I totally understand what it is like to live in an area where one party dominates. But there are so many examples where we have managed to break through in areas like that with good solid ALDC campaigning. Often the voters are delighted to see another option, and if you target properly and fight hard on the issues you can do it. In my experience, the hardest bit is often finding a candidate who really wants to be a councillor. But it sounds like you don’t have that problem!
    Sorry, I don’t know anything about your history. I imagine you already know all this. But if not I would urge you to go and talk to ALDC. If a LibDem wants to be a councillor as much as you do, I genuinely believe there’s no reason why it can’t happen – no matter where you are. And that’s not wishful thinking; it’s based on the reality of what has been done in so many supposed Labour strongholds.

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