Friday, 19 January 2018

Holocaust Memorial Day

27th January is Holocaust Memorial Day, a day to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi persecution and in the subsequent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur. On Holocaust Memorial Day we honour the survivors of these regimes. The day is particularly significant because 27th January marks the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. It is so important that we never forget the atrocities of genocides of the past. Thousands of people will come together at activities across the UK on 27th January to remember the past and consider how we can challenge hatred and create a better future. Activities will be taking place all over the country, and you can find out more about how you can mark the day here-

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Heralding the formation of The Pele Trust

I was pleased to be able to celebrate the formation of the Pele Trust with the six participating Head Teachers. The Trust will is made up of Ponteland High School, Ponteland Primary School, Richard Coates CofE School, Darras Hall Primary School, Belsay Primary School and Heddon St Andrew's CofE Primary School. The Pele Trust brings together six good and outstanding schools in the Ponteland area that have chosen to join together to share their experience and expertise with the aim of further improving educational outcomes for young people in the area. I wish everyone involved the very best for the future. 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Driving the North forwards

Transport for the North has unveiled new and long-awaited plans to overhaul road and railway transport across the north of England. The plans include creating a new rail network called Northern Powerhouse Rail that will aim to cut journey times, particularly east to west across the North. 1.3 million people will live within an hour's train journey of at least four major northern cities and 39% of businesses will be within a 90-minute train journey of four or more major northern cities, according to the new proposals. The train network will be fully integrated with HS2, and new lines will be built along with upgrades to existing lines. Key improvements will also be made to roads, and the proposals could help create 850,000 jobs and boost the economy by £100bn.

A public consultation on the plans will run until 17th April, and a final version is due to be submitted for ministerial consideration later this year. Modern and efficient transport is vital to drive economic growth in the North, as well as to provide a good quality service for local residents. The government is committed to transforming transport in the North and has already committed £13bn, and I welcome these plans.