I was in Chopwell again today campaigning. It is true of a lot of parts of the constituency that they feel separate from Gateshead, the local authority. I live just over the Stanley Burn where in Prudhoe there has always been a tradition of a local parish council, of which I am a member. As one of the two senior councillors in Prudhoe my Town Councillor colleagues often use it to give me hell but local government is alive and well. I really think that, for the communities in Blaydon who are furthest away from the centre (I'm thinking of Birtley, Chopwell and Rowlands Gill for example) local people could do with more local representation than just a few Gateshead councillors.
This isn't a party political issue and in other communities in the community, such as Blackhall Mill, this has been achieved through a really strong community association. In Birtley I am aware the Town Council folded. But I think that local communities should try to look at how they can get together and help turn their communities around. A good start of course would be to elect good Liberal Democrat councillors to Gateshead Council on May 6th!