Local Election and General Election 2015 – Results!

As you know the Gateshead Green Party stood candidates in all 22 wards and 3 constituencies this year.

On the night of Thursday May 7th, a number of our candidates gathered at Gateshead Leisure Center for the count!

Our group of local and general candidates.

Our group of local and general candidates.

Here is how they did:

Ward Candidate No. of Votes % of Vote Ranking
Birtley Tony Dodds 178 4.7 4th
Blaydon Lynn Young 446 10.5 3rd
Bridges Katy Robinson 342 10.1 4th
Chopwell and Rowlands Gill Dave Castleton 572 11.9 3rd
Chowdene Ben Dodds 145 3.3 5th
Crawcrook and Greenside Ralf Russow 308 7.6 4th
Deckham Gary Brooks 198 5.3 5th
Dunston and Teams Andy Blanchflower 208 6.3 4th
Dunston Hill and Wickham East Mary Blanchflower 204 4.4 4th
Felling Becca Swainston 105 3.3 5th
High Fell Nicholas Boldrini 106 3.1 5th
Lamesley Rachel Eileen Shaw 168 3.8 5th
Lobley Hill and Bensham Andy Redfern 248 6.3 4th
Low Fell Ruth Grant 221 4.3 5th
Pelaw & Heworth Chris Thomas 203 5.0 4th
Ryton Crookhill and Stella Sarah McKeown 270 5.6 5th
Saltwell Rachel Mary Taylor 314 9.5 4th
Wardley and Leam Lane Stephen Watson 380 9.9 3rd
Whickham North Carol Ann Maize 117 2.7 5th
Whickham South and Sunniside Hannah Blanchflower 109 2.3 5th
Windy Nook and Whitehills James Knox 156 3.6 5th
Winlaton and High Spen Paul McNally 242 5.3 5th


Local Election and General Election 2015

Taking our message to the streets of Blaydon

Taking our message to the streets of Blaydon

For the first time The Green Party is standing in all 22 wards and all three constituencies.

We have not been able to deliver a leaflet to every house in the borough – although we wish we had the resources of the other parties, we believe it is much better to free from the ties of big business and rich benefactors. So we have delivered thousands of leaflets funded by our local members.

If we didn’t get to you, that you can read our local leaflets here:

NB You will need a PDF reader like Adobe Reader to open these.

Gateshead Greens give everyone the chance to vote green for first time


For the first time in its history, the Gateshead Green Party is offering every Gateshead resident the opportunity to vote Green – in both the Local and General Elections. As nominations closed for the May 7th election yesterday, Andy Blanchflower, Gateshead Green Party Coordinator confirmed that nominations had been accepted for all the Green Party candidates.

Andy Blanchflower commented “Last year we stood in 8 wards, but for the May 7th Elections we will have candidates in all 22 wards of Gateshead. The “Green Surge” has meant that local Party membership has increased by more than five times in the last six months.”

The candidates are local people from all backgrounds and age groups. They range from pension age down to Hannah Blanchflower who was just 20 years old this week. The Green Party is well placed to represent everyone who cares about people and cares about the world around them.

The Gateshead Green Party is also please to confirm that all Gateshead residents will be able to vote for a Green MP too. Andy Redfern is standing in Gateshead itself. In the west and south of the Borough, Paul McNally is standing in Blaydon Constituency. In the east of Gateshead, David Herbert is the Jarrow Candidate.

A full list of the local election candidate for Gateshead Borough Council follows:

Birtley – Tony Dodds

Blaydon – Lynn Young,

Bridges – Katy Robinson

Chopwell & Rowlands Gill – David Castleton

Chowdene- Ben Dodds

Crawcrook & Greenside- Ralf Russow

Deckham – Gary Brooks

Dunston & Teams – Andy Blanchflower

Dunston Hill & Whickham East – Mary Blanchflower

Felling – Rececca Swainston

High Fell – Nick Boldrini

Lamesley – Rachel Shaw

Lobley Hill & Bensham – Andy Redfern

Low Fell – Ruth Grant

Pelaw & Heworth – Chris Thomas

Ryton, Crookhill & Stella – Sarah McKeown

Saltwell – Rachel Taylor

Wardley & Leam Lane – Stephen Watson

Whickham North – Carol Maize

Whickham South & Sunniside – Hannah Blanchflower

Windy Nook & Whitehills – James Knox

Winlaton & High Spen – Paul McNally


Please contact Andy Blanchflower for further information on this story.
Mobile: 07906173139                                      Email : support@gateshead.greenparty.org.uk

Gateshead Greens remain opposed to local greenbelt destruction

Gateshead Council today voted to approve the Newcastle/Gateshead One Core Strategy – basically a 20-year land use plan that gives the green light to building on greenbelt land across the Borough. Despite widespread objections to the plan it was passed by 34 votes in favour, to 9 votes against.

The Green Party has been at forefront of the campaign to stop the plan and local activists are disappointed at the news. Local party organiser and lead local campaigner Andy Blanchflower commented:
Since November 2011 I have led the Save Dunston Hill Campaign to prevent unnecessary house building on our green belt.
We held a public meeting, leafleted thousands of local homes twice, had a stall at village summer fairs and in July 2013 presented a 4,102 signature Petition to the Council etc. etc.    At the Examination In Public last June I appeared for 14 days for up to 9 hours daily, sometimes speaking as well for other areas of Newcastle/Gateshead on behalf of Cities4People.  I have worked hundreds and hundreds of hours in defence of our countryside.
There is plenty of urban land on Tyneside for the projected population changes.  However the Planning Inspector who sat last June, has incomprehensively rejected urban Gateshead sites that the Council plan to leave empty!!  Instead he has approved 8 green belt sites all over the Borough for house building and one for industry.
The Labour Council have today sided with the rich mega property developers, rather than continue to give many Gateshead residents easy access to the open countryside.  Wild life will be destroyed, and land used for growing our food will be built upon.

Andy Redfern, prospective parliamentary candidate for Gateshead, added “It is very disappointing that only 34 of the 55 Labour members were able to attend – just a 62% attendance. I wonder how many of the missing members will claim they never supported the proposal in future years?”

Paul McNally, prospective parliamentary candidate for Blaydon, commented “This is a council decision that will directly affect the lives of thousands of Newcastle and Gateshead residents, especially those who live near the Green Belt sites. Electors are asking us about our policy on this, which is best summed up as “BROWNFIELD FIRST”. There is so much old industrial and underused land that could be used before we build on the Greenbelt.”
Please contact Andy Blanchflower for further information on this story.
Mobile: 07906173139                                      Email : support@gateshead.greenparty.org.uk

Gateshead Greens to Field Two Candidates at General Election

Monday February 16th 2015: For immediate release

The Green Party in Gateshead is pleased to announce it will be fielding candidates in the Blaydon and Gateshead constituencies in the upcoming General Election. The announcement comes at a time when Green Party membership in Gateshead, the North East and nationally, is at an all time. Characterised as a Green Surge, the Green Party at the national membership at a national level is now 48,476(1) ahead of UKIP and the Liberal Democrats.

The Gateshead Green Party announced that Andy Redfern would stand in Gateshead and Paul McNally would stand in Blaydon.

photo 4Paul McNally, the PPC for Blaydon, was born in Jarrow and has lived in the Derwent Valley area for 25 years and is a professional Architectural Technologist and Designer(2). Commenting on in candidature he said “My driving passion has always been the protection and conservation of our natural heritage, global environmental issues and animal welfare. I have campaigned over the years on many welfare and environmental issues, as the nation has been subjected to a Government with an apathetic, sinister and destructive attitude towards our environment. The Green Party, I believe, is the only ethically minded party which will uphold the essential values, compassion and genuine social responsibility required to form a moral foundation for honest Government.”

252842_10150274768119924_1915489_nAndy Redfern, the PPC for Gateshead, has lived in Gateshead for 19 years. He is former director of fair trade company Traidcraft and a co-founder of the Follingsby Park-based Ethical Superstore (3). “I am standing for the Green Party in Gateshead in 2015 because I believe that we can make a genuine difference to the lives of ordinary people. Austerity has hit people in Gateshead badly. Swingeing council cuts as central government has withheld funding mean that people pay more for less services. Access to the NHS has been made harder as waiting times and waiting lists have increased. The local transport system is now more monopolised than when it was run by local councils. Job losses have hit the area hard, and the new jobs being created are low paid with minimal job security, often on low or zero hour contacts. And for those in work, who has seen a pay rise recently?”

Andy Redfern stood as the Green Party candidate for Gateshead in 2010 and both candidates have stood in local elections for Gateshead Council in previous years.

The Gateshead Green Party co-ordinator Andy Blanchflower commented “We are delighted to be fielding candidates in both Gateshead constituencies this time. We know from our campaigning that local people want to vote green and now they can wherever in Gateshead they live”.

The recent Green Surge means that the Green Party nationally is likely to field candidates in more than 75% of the constituencies nationwide.

For further information and interviews:
Andy Blanchflower – 07906 173139

Editors notes
(1) Green Party membership at 4pm on 16th January 2015. This the combined membership of the Green Party of England and Wales, the Scottish Green Party and the Green Party of Northern Ireland.

(2) Background information on Paul McNally:
Born in Jarrow, he has lived in the Derwent Valley Area for over 25 years. He is a professional Architectural Technologist and Designer and have worked with many local Practices over the last two decades, and qualified as a teacher in the Life long learning Sector. His expertise in these areas, and the focus of his work is in sustainable construction and technologies. His career to date has been moulded with a philosophy – a belief in responsible, sustainable and environmentally conscious practice and I continue to adopt these principles within my work and teaching.

(3) Background information on Andy Redfern:
He has been involved in Green politics for 7 years in the North East of England. He stood as the Green Party candidate for Gateshead in the 2010 General Election. His passion is to fight for justice for the poor and the marginalised in the UK and around the world. He was International Director for Team Valley-based fair trade company Traidcraft plc for 8 years and a founder director of Ethical Superstore. He is an experienced online and offline campaigner, and supported the Green Party nationally in creating the http://www.canivotegreen.com/ website for the Euro Elections 2014. He is a keen supporter of sustainable transport and was a founder director of the innovative Valley Links Community Interest Company that has successfully campaigned for better transport links to and from Team Valley. He is married with five children and live in Lobley Hill, Gateshead.

(4) Contacting the Green Party in Gateshead via:

Phone: Andy Blanchflower 07906 173139
Email: support@gateshead.greenparty.org.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GatesheadGreenParty

Twitter: @gatesheadgreens

Website: http://www.gatesheadgreenparty.org.uk/

Gateshead Green Party joins call for a £10 minimum wage for all


Gateshead Green Party believes:

  • Minimum wage should be raised to Living Wage levels immediately
  • Urgent action is needed to address persistent inequality and poverty

The Gateshead Green Party has joined the Green Party nationally in calling for the statutory minimum wage to be immediately lifted to Living Wage levels and for a £10 per hour minimum wage for all by 2020.
The Green Party, the only party committed to delivering real change for the common good, believes every worker over 16 should be paid at least the minimum wage and would abolish the age-based differential rates currently in place.

Raising the minimum wage to living wage levels would benefit an estimated 5.2million people – 17% of the working population – and usher in a fairer society where fewer workers are trapped in poverty pay conditions.

The new policy pledges will appear in the Green Party’s 2015 General Election Manifesto alongside other measures designed to address persistent inequality and poverty. The Green Party is calling for a Wealth Tax on the top 1%  and company-wide pay ratios.

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party calls for a £10 an hour minimum wage for all.

Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party calls for a £10 an hour minimum wage for all.

Green Party Leader Natalie Bennett said:

“Under our plan no-one would be paid less than £10 an hour in 2020. It is a scandal that under the Coalition government the number of workers earning less than the Living Wage has risen by a staggering 50% from 3.4million in 2011 to 5.2million today. It makes a mockery of Prime Minister David Cameron’s 2010 statement that a Living Wage is ‘an idea whose time has come.’”

“The fact that the Green Party are consistently polling at some of our best numbers since 1989 goes to show that our message of the need to reshape our politics and economy to work for the common good is really hitting home.

“It is our policies such as making the minimum wage a Living Wage, a Wealth Tax on the top 1%, renationalising our railways and having a publicly owned and run NHS that are both encouraging people to join as members (5) and vote Green in growing numbers.”


Will you pledge to vote Green at the General Election?

pledge1With 12 weeks to go until the General Election, and the Greens continuing to perform better than ever in the polls, a new website has been launched to enable supporters to pledge their vote to the Green Party.

The site, which gives members details of their local candidates, as well as linking people to their nearest ‘target’ constituency, will allow thousands of new Green Party members to get involved for the first time.

The membership of the Green Party of England and Wales has increased by 214% since May 2014. Currently there are over 53,000 members.

Members and supporters can pledge their support at pledge.greenparty.org.uk

The ongoing membership surge and latest polling further calls into question Ofcom’s initial view that the Green Party is not a ‘major party’.

pledge2Andy Redfern, the Green Party candidate for Gateshead said:

“This is fantastic new tool allows everyone in country and especially in Gateshead and Blaydon to get involved with the party for the first time.

We’re going to be standing more candidates than ever at this election but, as a party without financial support from big business or vested interests, we rely on our members to spread the word about our popular policies.”

Local Elections 2014

Three reasons to vote Green

  • Only the Green Party will fight austerity and welfare cuts at home and in Europe.
  • Only the Green Party will oppose privatisation and fight for public services to be in public hands.
  • Only the Green Party will drive the transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable world we can pass on to our children.

On 22nd May 2014, you’ll be able to vote for someone to represent you on the local Gateshead Council. The Green Party is fielding its biggest field ever in Gateshead with 8 candidates standing across the borough. There is a full list of the candidates below.

We believe that voting for the Green Party will provide a fresh start for Gateshead. Gateshead Council plans to rail road local opponents to its Green Belt land grab. A vote for the Greens is a vote against those in power who are happy to see hundreds of house built on the green belt while leaving hundreds of acres of “brown field” sites as derelict wasteland.

We stood candidates in 2010, 2011 and 2012 with 40% increase across the two years. A Green vote is far from wasted. A Green vote keeps green issues centre stage and will help call the current leadership to account.

Ward Candidate
Crawcrook and Greenside Ralf RUSSOW
Deckham Gary Rutherford BROOKS
Dunston and Teams Andy BLANCHFLOWER
Dunston Hill and Whickham East Mary BLANCHFLOWER
Lobley Hill and Bensham Andy REDFERN
Ryton, Crookhill and Stella Sarah MCKEOWN
Wardley and Leam Lane Stephen WATSON
Winlaton and High Spen Paul MCNALLY

Gateshead Green Party delivers planning petition to local planners

Gateshead – April 24th – Today Stephen Watson, Green Party candidate for the Wardley and Leam Lane council seat, delivered a petition with more than 300 signatures from concerned local residents to the Gateshead Council Planning Department. The petition opposes the development of greenbelt land in the Leam Lane area for housing. Stephen Watson commented “Local people have had little chance to feedback on the Council’s plans. By taking it to peoples’ doorsteps we have allowed residents to see the extent of the clearly unwanted plans. ”

The Gateshead Green Party believes that the Council under the guidance of its Labour leadership has avoided getting feedback from local residents because it fears a backlash against its “strategic” plans. Stephen Watson commented “I am amazed at what Labour has NOT done in Gateshead. In Newcastle 115,000 homes were contacted directly about the planned changes to which areas of the city were being proposed as available for new homes – Gateshead council handed out a few leaflets in the Metrocentre and the town centre. No wonder they only received seven complaints. We have taken the information of which bits of greenbelt are being torn up on to the doorsteps of those directly affected and have received more 300 complaints – each of which will now need to be dealt with by the planning department”.

The lack of transparency on the issue has been stark. The local Labour party has continued to say that the permission is for outline approval only with little likelihood of any building work taking place. Yet this contradicts the consultation documentation which states “Leam Lane has an estimated capacity of 1201 new dwellings.” and “The phasing of this site is set to begin at the earliest possible time, (around 2014/15), because there are no significant constraints to development.” Stephen Watson said “Diggers will be ploughing up the green fields of Leam Lane with two years despite these hollow reassurances. These changes are turning our local fields into a goldmine for developers and it is local people who are set to lose out”.

For more information about the Green Party’s region wide campaign to prevent green belt land being turned into a goldmine for local developers please contact David Byrne (0191 442 1542), Green Party co-ordinator in Gateshead or Nic Best (0787 889 6292 ), press officer for the Green Party in the North East of England.

Gateshead Green Party website
NE Regional Green party website

Promoted by David Byrne on behalf of the Green Party, both of 18 Coleridge Avenue, Gateshead NE9 6EL.

Gateshead Greens announce lineup and policies for 2012 Local Elections

Gateshead Green Party today announced it is fielding three candidates in the local elections in Gateshead on 3rd May. The local party has candidates standing in Dunston Hill & Whickham East, Lobley Hill & Bensham and Wardley & Leam Lane.

David Byrne, chairperson of the Greens in Gateshead commented “We are standing in the wards most badly affected by the current Labour administration’s plan to tear up the green fields around the fringe of Gateshead. With a plan to build thousands of new houses and warehouses on greenbelt land, we will fight them at every turn. This is a policy serving the interests of developers and landowners, not the people of Gateshead. The continuation of the failed Pathfinder programme under a new name in central Gateshead is a policy of confiscating working class people’s  houses to benefit developers and shows that Labour has abandoned the people who vote for it.”.

Andy Redfern, the candidate in Lobley Hill and Bensham added “With brown field sites unused and undeveloped around the borough why are Labour planning to tear up the fields around Watergate Country Park and Whickham Highway? It’s a senseless destruction inspired by a mistaken belief that Gateshead needs growth at any cost and at any price.”

The campaign is underpinned by substantive 48-page critique of the One Core Strategy proposed by Newcastle and Gateshead councils. David Byrne said “Newcastle and Gateshead need a radical alternative. The One Core Strategy does not deliver this. The development of a local plan is the one opportunity local government has to do something about the issues facing people. The Labour Party locally like the Labour Party nationally seems to have forgotten that it is meant to represent the interests of ordinary people, not big business. Any attempt to implement this flawed plan would inflict unsustainable damage, contrary to its rhetoric about sustainability, local needs, community well-being, and quality of life.”

Andy Redfern added “A vote for the Greens is a vote to send the One Core Strategy to the recycling bin. It needs a full rethink and a more believable analysis of the challenges ahead for the area. We don’t want jam tomorrow – we need action on jobs and the environment today.”

Gateshead Greens are also appalled at the lack of consultation and continuing policy vacuum around the transport provision in the Borough. The Lobley Hill Interchange is the busiest in the area with more than 105,000 vehicle movements a day. Yet despite spending hundreds of thousands on a new bus lane in Lobley Hill, the associated Park and Ride scheme to ease congestion was cancelled by the Con\Dem coalition. A lack vision from the local Labour administration means that building roads ends up being the only response.

The full list of wards and candidates is as follows:

  • Dunston Hill & Whickham East – Mary Blanchflower
  • Lobley Hill & Bensham – Andy Redfern
  • Wardley & Leam Lane – Stephen Watson

Gateshead Greens believe that no strategy can be worthwhile unless it is based on a sound analysis and articulates an appropriate way forward, both in term s of a long-term vision and steps towards it. We believe that Gateshead could be rejuvenated by action plan based on the following key policies:

  • Invest in renewable energy generation projects, including district heating and co-generation schemes;
  • Direct funding to best standard home insulation and ‘solar roofs’;
  • Encourage ‘green collar’ jobs in fields ‘eco-industries’, alongside full blooded recycling programmes;
  • Take the ‘green scissors’ to extravagant retail, hotel & other unsustainable development projects;
  • Curb excessive executive salaries and perks, helping the low paid instead;
  • Favour buses, rail and other public transport, with the aim of a big reduction in private car use;
  • Provide a much better deal for cyclists and pedestrians;
  • Develop ‘streets for people’ and play streets through 20 mph zones & much more extensive pedestrianisation;
  • More support for local shops and for local farmer’s market, sourcing, as much as possible, foodstuffs from the region;
  • Oppose more giant supermarkets and ‘retail parks’;
  • Create more allotments & ‘rooftop gardening’ schemes;
  • Manage parks and public gardens organically;
  • Encourage more wildlife protection schemes as well as protect local trees, plus far more tree planting programmes;
  • Make decision-making more local through the use of neighbourhood budgets;
  • Create more transparency in local council decision-making;
  • Use council procurement programmes to encourage the above objectives