Map showing Gosforth Council wards

Local Elections 2024

Map showing Gosforth Council wards

Elections for Newcastle City Council are due to be held on 2 May 2024. This blog looks at what Labour have delivered in the last year and what they and other political parties are promising in their local election manifestos.

There will be no Council election in 2025, so the next election after this will be in 2026 when all Councillors will be up for re-election with new ward boundaries. There will be a consultation on the new boundaries between July and September this year.

While SPACE for Gosforth is focused on transport and the environment, manifestos can cover the full range of Council services including social care, schools, waste, planning and public health. We have included links below where we have them, so you can find what parties are proposing in these other areas.

Did Labour deliver in 2023?

The Labour Party have led Newcastle City Council since 2011, with current leader Nick Kemp taking over from Nick Forbes in 2022.

Last year the Labour Party committed to make “streets and neighbourhoods cleaner and greener”, support “safe, active travel by improving walking/wheeling and cycling routes” and publish “a new plan for walking and cycling”.

They also committed in March 2023 that the next phase of Gosforth High Street would look at improvements for walking and cycling, and that they would be “developing ideas to share in the coming months”.

We and local Councillors have asked what is happening on Gosforth High Street but are still none the wiser. Nor have we received a response to our concerns over the safety of the new layout and a near trebling of injuries recorded since the bus lane was installed. The new plan for walking and cycling is also still to be published.

Three schemes to make streets cleaner and greener and support walking and cycling at Fenham, Jesmond and Heaton have been removed. In all three cases further proposals have been promised, but none yet offered.

The roll out of new school streets has been been stopped, and applications for play streets are still “paused“.

On the other hand, they have confirmed that the Five Admirals trial in Gosforth and school streets at Hotspur and Grange First will be made permanent, and have started work on Northumberland Street and the Queen Victoria Road cycle lane. Although work is just starting now, the plan to install a permanent cycle lane on Queen Victoria Road was announced three years ago in 2021.

Following SPACE for Gosforth’s campaign, Newcastle City Council applied for and received new traffic enforcement powers to improve safety at the Christon Road / Gosforth High Street junction though this has not been implemented yet.

We are also still waiting on updates for what Newcastle City Council will do:

  • to the ongoing school street trials at Ravenswood and Chillingham Road Primary school.
  • with the £3m funding previously allocated for the West Road in April 2023 to address traffic safety issues.
  • with the output from the 2022 Youth Climate Summit, the outcomes of which included asks from the youth participants to “reduce car travel by building more cycle lanes” and creating a ‘Green Zone’ in the city centre widening “bike routes and lanes within this zone”.
  • to decarbonise transport in the city to meet the 2030 deadline, which they have recommitted to in their 2024 manifesto. According to the December 2023 Priority Climate Actions Update, plans for a citywide low carbon transport vision (T1), additional school streets initiatives (T7) and schemes to reduce dominance of cars in the city by reallocating road space (T9), are all ‘progressing well towards completion’, but we have seen little evidence to back up these claims.

Overall, it is hard to avoid the impression that Newcastle Labour is walking backward on their claimed ambition of cleaner, greener streets. It doesn’t help that the transport section of the Council website seems not to have been updated for months, though still not as bad as Newcastle Labour’s own website where the homepage just says ‘page not found’.

2024 Local Election Manifestos

Labour Party

The Labour Party, with 47 of 78 Councillors, currently runs Newcastle City Council.

Labour’s 2024 local election manifesto, which we obtained by email, says they want “a great city which is the best place to grow up” and will “protect the things you have told us are most important to you”. They don’t clarify what these things might be or if they include protecting children’s ability to travel safely in their local area.

Amongst their priorities for 2024/25 are “Progress with the delivery of £7.7million funded Active Travel Network upgrades” and “More motorbike and cycle cages for safe parking”.

They also say they will be “Continuing to act on the climate emergency to achieve our target of net zero ambitions by 2030.” We presume (hope!) this is a typo and they mean net zero emissions. Given 43% of the time available to meet this target has now passed, they will need to get a move on.

Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats are the official opposition in Newcastle with 22 of 78 Councillors. In the last year they have supported the low traffic neighbourhood trials in Gosforth and Heaton, but opposed the one in Jesmond.

Newcastle Liberal Democrats have published their City Council Election May 2024 – Manifesto. The only “top ten” priority specifically relating to transport is fixing “run-down roads and broken pavements”.

Under the title “Leadership of Place” they say they “will get the City moving, so that everyone can get to where they need to… creating an accessible, green City for all, so everyone can travel how they want to travel.”

To improve the environment they say “the City needs to support more active and sustainable transport” and that they too will create a plan “setting out a clear route to the future of City transport.”

Their previous commitment to a workplace parking levy has been dropped from the manifesto.

The Liberal Democrats haven’t mentioned Gosforth High Street in this year’s manifesto, but this is what they said last year.


The Conservatives currently have no Councillors in Newcastle, though they regularly come second to the Liberal Democrats in Gosforth Ward.

We’ve had no response to our email and there is no local manifesto on the Newcastle Conservative’s website. Their local leaflets highlight the Labour Council’s success in filling the potholes they have reported.

Meanwhile, the Conservative UK government has cut funding for active travel, withdrawn guidance for Councils to make streets safer, delayed the ban on new petrol and diesel cars from 2030 to 2035, argued against low traffic neighbourhoods that they previously promoted despite their own research report saying twice as many residents supported schemes as opposed it, and introduced a new “plan for drivers” partly based on conspiracy theories.

National polling suggests the Conservatives could be on course for their worst election result ever, with only 16% of people trusting them most “to manage and improve the transport system” and only 13% trusting them to “protect the environment”.

If you want to report a pothole yourself you can do that on the Council website.

Green Party

The Green Party currently has no Councillors in Newcastle.

Newcastle Green Party has updated its Greenprint for Newcastle for the 2024 elections. They say they will “prioritise improvements to public transport, improve air quality and fully commit to an active travel infrastructure which enables people to walk and cycle safely.”

Specific proposals include:

  • Reducing traffic “by shortening distances to access everyday necessities.”
  • Low Traffic Neighbourhoods (LTNs) and School Streets to
    encourage more parents and children to walk and cycle to and from school;
  • Reintroduction of trams, “a city centre electric shuttle service to support those with mobility issues” and a workplace parking levy.
  • Expanding car club provision and new park and ride facilities.
  • Sustainable logistics including cargo bikes
  • Safe cycle storage across the city and cycling routes, especially in student areas.

North East Party

The North East Party who are standing in Gosforth ward, currently has no Councillors in Newcastle.

Their transport priorities for Newcastle (link to Facebook) are:

  1. The Party endorses Jamie Driscoll’s transport plans for public transport etc.
  2. The Party is committed to the removal of the Central motorway, replacing it with a tree lined boulevard.
  3. The building of a bridge to link Newcastle/Gateshead, as planned in the 1970s, by Byker.
  4. A £2.5m High street improvement plan, to improve pedestrian access, bus access, regeneration of the Central Park. This would make Gosforth a must visit hub for shopping, recreation and entertainment.
  5. The implementation of LTNs and Road safety measures – taking a holistic view, with full community consultation.

No other parties or independents have put candidates forward for election in the four Gosforth Council wards.

More information about the Local Election and candidates can be found on the Council website.