Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

About the Seat

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

About the Seat

Article excerpt

Population: Around 70,000

Electorate: 57,093

Special features: Some of Northumberland's most beautiful and ugliest countryside.

Coastline and castles. Opencast coal sites have brought jobs but led to arguments about dirt and disruption.

Recovery of farming industry after foot and mouth is continuing, tourism is growing. Campaigners want the whole of the A1 road dualled.

Other issues include the loss of Ellington Colliery, the need for better rural transport and the need for affordable homes to stop the drift from country villages.

2001 Result: Liberal Democrat 18,651, Conservative 10,193, Labour 6,435, UK Independence 1,029. Lib Dem majority 8,458 (23%)

NAME: Alan Beith

PARTY: Liberal Democrat

AGE: 62 (on polling day)

BORN: Poynton, Cheshire

EDUCATION: King's School, Macclesfield, Oxford University

Political career: Elected MP for Berwick in 1973, deputy party leader 1992 to 2002, chairman of the Constitutional Affairs Committee and a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

OCCUPATION: MP. Former politics lecturer

HOME: Berwick

FAMILY: Married

I'M FIGHTING for health services. Labour dreamed up a scheme for out-of-hours doctors but it doesn't work in a vast rural area like ours.

We need a fully-trained and experienced doctor on duty at nights and weekends in Alnwick and Berwick infirmaries. I'm fighting Labour's plans to severely restrict house-building, which will hit families where house prices have risen and there is less social housing. Things are done better in Scotland where Liberal Democrats are in government as Ministers. Personal care for the elderly is free. Students don't pay tuition or top-up fees. I'm fighting for these benefits here.

NAME: Mike Elliott

PARTY: Conservative

AGE: 49

BORN: Rothbury

EDUCATION: Various schools in Scotland

POLITICAL CAREER: Elected to Northumberland County Council 1989 and remained a member until standing down this year. …

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