Welcome to edition 96 of eFocus. In this edition we look at the recent local elections, enjoy the activities at the May Fayre, and highlight a series of events happening over the next few days. Please feel free to forward to anyone who may find the information useful.
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The early hours after the general election may have been a dismal time for the Liberal Democrats nationally but here in the Whickham area, we scored some great successes. Chris Ord was re-elected in Whickham North and Swalwell and Jonathan Wallace in Whickham South and Sunniside. In what was both a triumph and a disappointment, Kevin McClurey came within 23 votes of taking Dunston Hill and Whickham East from Labour.

"It is a great privilege to be elected as your councillor," said Cllr Chris Ord. "Thank you to everyone who voted Lib Dem in the local elections. People have put their faith in us to represent them on Gateshead Council and we won't let them down."

Kevin McClurey said, "In Dunston Hill and Whickham East we cut Labour's majority from 78 to 23. We've already spoken to over 23 people who voted Conservative, UKIP and Green in the local elections who now regret doing so as they let Labour in by the back door."

Lib Dem Leader of the Opposition in Gateshead, Cllr Jonathan Wallace, was re-elected with the biggest vote he has received in the 9 times he has been elected for Whickham South and Sunniside.

"Thank you to everyone who voted for me," said Jonathan. "Across Gateshead as a whole, no seats changed hands, despite Labour claims they would win all our wards. This is an area that remains a battle between Lib Dems and Labour. The Conservatives, UKIP and Greens came nowhere near winning any council seats.

"Labour have 55 out of 66 seats and would love to build a one party state with no opposition at all. We have stopped them achieving that aim. The task for us as Liberal Democrats over the next few years is to build up a stronger presence on Gateshead Council to ensure the voices of residents are heard in the Civic Centre corridors of power."
Sun shines on Chase Park May Fayre
May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 6
Congratulations to Friends of Chase Park for organising the May Fayre last Saturday, 16th May. Last year the event was rained off. This time it was touch and go with the weather but in the end, the rain stayed away! A great day was had by all.
May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 5
May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 4
May Fayre Chase Park Whickham May 15 3
Your flower beds need you!
Planting Up Whickham August 14 (33)
Planting Up Whickham will be working on Church Green, Whickham, this Sunday, 24th May. The group is made up of volunteers who want to ensure the Village continues to have great floral displays now that Gateshead Council has stopped looking after the flowerbeds.

The group needs more residents to join in with their activities. If you would like to give a hand on Sunday, pop along at 10am. You will be made very welcome.
Marley Hill Community Pub
Marley Hill Community Centre Apr 14
The community pub at Marley Hill Community Centre will be open this Saturday, 23rd May, from 5pm to 10pm. The kitchen will also be open for snacks and light meals. Play equipment will be set up in the main hall for kids.

All welcome.
Plant Pamper Day at Whickham Library Garden
Whickham Library Garden Mosaics unveiling Jun 10 18
Friends of Whickham Library Garden are holding a coffee and gardening morning on Thursday 28th May, 10am to 12pm. They will be removing the spring bedding flowers and replacing them with plants for the summer. Everyone welcome to join in.

Want to have a go at growing a supersize, possibly even world record breaking, sunflower? At Whickham Library Garden, on Saturday 30th May (10.30am-11.30am), you can plant a sunflower seed for 50p and hopefully it can grow tall enough to be a world beater. Everyone is invited to pop in and plant a seed.
Join the Liberal Democrats
One of the unexpected outcomes of the defeat of the Lib Dems at the general election has been the surge in membership of the party. People are joining because they want to ensure there remains a liberal voice in British politics. If you are a Lib Dem supporter and would like to join, please click on this link.

You can join for as little as £1 a month and if you sign up before 3rd June, you will be able to vote in the leadership election.
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