Political engagement is a very important aspect of our Campaign. Informing our policy- and decision-makers about our ‘asks, wants and needs’ is vital. Its their support that can bring about the sea change needed to plough the way for a liveable Newcastle with cycling designed in. So, thanks for everyone who wrote to Nick Brown MP this month!
Newcastle splits into three parliamentary constituencies. Earlier on this month we asked our members in the Newcastle East constituency of Nick Brown MP to write to him. A parliamentary debate on cycling was to take place and there were two simple questions that we wanted clear and simple answers to: Will you attend, and can you ask these key questions at the debate, about budgets and expertise? It’s a real shame that Nick managed to circumvent the answer to both but instead gave a weasely worded account of his apparent past attempts to make Newcastle more accessible and that he would “follow” the debate.
Nick, you forgot to answer the questions!
Luckily for the future of political engagement, the other two Newcastle MPs, Chi Onwurah MP (Newcastle Central) and Catherine McKinnell MP (Newcastle North) were able to provide useful replies: they said they would make oral and written representation through different parliamentary channels instead, as they could not attend the parliamentary debate itself due to other commitments. Both Catherine and Chi have a good track record of speaking up for cycling, cycle safety and a sustained budget for cycling infrastructure, design and maintenance. For an example click here.
Maybe Nick can look to his colleagues. If you are asked a question by your constituents, please answer it.