Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bill Jacobs in the House

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Bill Jacobs in the House

Article excerpt

Byline: By Bill Jacobs

Transport Secretary Alastair Darling found his statement to the House Of Commons yesterday on his plans for the future of Britain's roads and rail system upstaged by MPs concerned about Go North East's plans to slash bus services on Tyneside.

Blaydon's John McWilliam branded the changes a move to No Go North East.

And Tyne Bridge MP David Clelland said he was deeply alarmed at the cutbacks and intended to meet Mr Darling as soon as possible on the issue.

Both MPs are to meet the management of the company to discuss the effects of the cutbacks.

Mr Clelland said: "Mr Darling indicated his support for increasing bus services, so I intend to raise this matter with him in person in terms of what is happening to local bus services in my constituency and in Blaydon.

"We are talking about pretty devastating cuts which need to be prevented."

Mr McWilliam said: "I have been deluged with complaints about the cutbacks in bus services in the North East proposed by Go North East.

"It seems to me the company wants to become No Go North East or even Stop North East."

PRIME Minister Tony Blair may have forgotten Newcastle East and Wallsend MP Nick Brown's contribution when he was Agriculture Minister.

He was unceremoniously shunted out of the Cabinet and then out of government by the Prime Minister following the foot-and-mouth crisis.

Many in Westminster consider his shifting from Government chief whip was more to do with his close friendship with Mr Blair's rival for the Labour leadership, Chancellor Gordon Brown, than his ability in the job.

However, senior Italian academic Paolo De Castro, a former adviser to the Italian government, disagrees.

In a book called Towards a New European Agriculture, dedicated to the abolition of the Common Agricultural Policy, often derided for benefiting French, Italian and Greek farmers more than British ones, his praise for "Newcastle Brown" is extravagant. …

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