Newcastle City Council faces huge funding cuts over the next few years. Nick Forbes, the Council leader, has been talking about this extensively over the past few months. Unfortunately, I think some have lost confidence in his arguments because of his decision to repeatedly push an obviously biased presentation of the statistics.
Hurray, then, for my local MP, Catherine McKinnell, who earlier this week delivered this impassioned speech in the House of Commons. She refused to be drawn into partisan Tory-bashing and mud-slinging. She didn’t suggest that funding cuts were entirely avoidable or unnecessary. Unlike others, she didn’t sink to making dubious accusations about increasing funding in the Tory heartland to win votes.
Instead, Catherine McKinnell gave a factual account of the situation, a passionate description of the effect the funding cuts will have, and set out a reasonable justification for her view that the funding settlement has been unfair. Whether she’s right or wrong, it was a model of brilliant representation of her constituency rather than endless parroting of a standard set of party lines. This week, I’m really proud that she is my MP.