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In the lead up to the General Election on 12 December, we have put together five important questions to ask your candidates, four of which are based on the key issues which have emerged from our most recent research report, Canaries in the Coalmine. The final question is on climate emergency.

  1. How will you challenge the normalisation of poverty which is now a fact across Newcastle and Gateshead? Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations across the area have sprung into action to address the severe poverty issues that have emerged following ten plus years of austerity – creating food banks, clothing exchanges, and a wide range of emergency responses to support our most vulnerable people. These organisations are so busy meeting the needs of vulnerable people that there is very little resource left to challenge and campaign on this issue. How will you help?
  1. How will you ensure the North East isn’t left behind after Brexit? We already know that our region is likely to be one of the worst off after Brexit in terms of job losses and the impact on our economy. What plans do you have to help boost the local economy?
  1. Eight out of ten VCSE organisations have reported increases in demand in the last year and growing demand has been a feature of what we have all experienced for many years now. What are your plans to support local VCSE organisations and help them to deal with ever increasing demand?
  1. The retraction of the state has had a huge impact on local charities. In Newcastle and Gateshead our local authorities have lost huge proportions of their funding. This is particularly evident in social services and mental health support. What are your plans to address the crisis in mental health support for local people?
  1. What will you do to stand up for strong environmental protections and UK leadership on climate emergency?

ACEVO has just launched their election manifesto with key challenges for those elected to serve about committing to longer-term, cross-governmental plans which better support society. We will publicise details of other manifestos from key charity support organisations as we get them.

Voter registration

Nearly a quarter of a million people in the North East are not currently registered to vote. Please help us with our campaign to encourage voter registration by sharing the link where people can register www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

Connected Voice Advocacy can support people to register to vote, and they have produced a great blog which brings together the key resources available to help people with additional needs to register. Elections are for everyone – let’s help ensure that more people in our area have a voice in this election.

Local community organisations across Newcastle and Gateshead will be supporting people to register to vote, some of them with the help of Tyne and Wear Citizens. If you want to support people in your area to vote, please read our blog above for useful links and resources.