Hi everyone

We’ll start this View from a Chair with a call out for volunteers to come door-to-door canvassing in Alnwick on Saturday 28th January 2023. We’re meeting in Morrisons car park at 10.30am and expect to be testing the strength of the Labour vote in the town for a couple of hours. If you want to come along email me ASAP. My contact details are at the end of this email.

I’d also like to flag our next all-members meeting at 7pm on the Thursday 2nd of February, 2023, at  St Michael’ s Church Hall, Bailiffgate, Alnwick NE66 1NP.

Our special guest speaker is  Jamie Driscoll, the Mayor of the North of Tyne, who will be talking about the recent expanded devolution deal and answering your questions.

Non-members are welcome to attend to hear Jamie discuss how we can improve the region for residents so feel free to bring friends along.

Jamie, recently featured in the Guardian, was a Labour & Cooperative councillor in Monument ward, Newcastle city centre, before running for Mayor. Jamie was elected Metro Mayor of North of Tyne on 3rd May 2019.

Visit our CLP website to read Jamie’s blog about devolution.

We’re lining up future guests at events in the first half of 2023 and we’ll let you know who is appearing as and when people are confirmed.

Future planned sessions will include a Q&A with Neil Bradley, Director of Adult Social Services at Northumberland County Council, a training session about how to engage with members of the armed forces community on the doorstep, and general and local election campaigning.

We also want to host a political debate evening in the Spring and would like to throw the subject matter (or resolution) open to you. The debate will follow the same format as a council chamber or in the House of Commons with supporters and opposers discussing the resolution prior to having a vote to see who wins.

Get in touch if you have any ideas for a resolution.

A formal debate usually involves three groups: one supporting a resolution (affirmative team), one opposing the resolution (opposing team), and those who are judging the quality of the evidence and arguments and the performance in the debate.

One question on everyone’s lips is about our Parliamentary candidate for the next general election. Who will it be? Unfortunately, we have to wait until the new boundary changes are confirmed later this year before this can be decided.

However, this wait does not apply to local town and county councillors. We’re always after activists to send for election and one of our goals is to win back control of the Northumberland County Council.

Northumberland Labour leader, councillor Scott Dickinson, MBE, has represented  Druridge Bay and wider Northumberland as a country councillor since 2013.

He’s really keen for the others to follow in his footsteps and wants to hear from anyone interested in becoming a councillor. Get in touch with Scott direct at scott@scottdickinson.net.

Our CLP youth officer, James Jobson, was out and about in Berwick on Saturday morning chatting to young people about their views on politics.

Jamie will be sending out his own email to you this week to invite young people to complete a survey he has compiled.

The link is here.  James wants as many young people aged 30 or under to complete the short questionnaire. It only takes a couple of minutes but it will help give us an idea about what challenges concern young people the most.

You don’t have to be a member or a supporter. Share the survey link and help spread the word because we want to truly reflect what you want a Labour Party to achieve in North Northumberland.

Anyone under the age of 30 who wants to see a Labour government replace the Tories can get in touch with our youth officer James Jobson via email at jamesjjobson@gmail.com.

Finally, I had my first session on the Jo Cox Women in Leadership Programme earlier this month. I am looking forward to the personal and political development programme for passionate and experienced women members who are ready to lead.

Reading that back, it sounds a huge responsibility and it is. We are continuing Jo’s fight as champions of women in leadership roles. One of my roles is to encourage other women in the region to battle like Jo.

I’ll be feeding back about my progress over the coming month on my personal website at www.catherinepreston.co.uk.

If you have any questions or want to contribute to the Labour Party in any way, contact either myself or Robert Coombes, our CLP secretary, by email. We will always try and get back to you within 24 hours. Robert’s email is robert.coombes@outlook.com. Mine is cpreston7@icloud.com.


Catherine Preston


Berwick upon Tweed Constituency Labour Party


January 2023   



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