Bridgwater Branch Labour Party held it’s last AGM before launching itself into an election year that kicks off with the Euros on May 22nd 2014 and culminates with the General Election and the Town and District Elections on May 7th 2015.
The Bridgwater Labour Party, meeting at it’s Unity House base in the town’s Dampiet Street, elected a team of experienced members to see them through this crucial year. First to be elected was Cllr Kathy Pearce (Westover) as Chair. Kathy was the Parliamentary candidate in the 2010 election and a former leader of the Sedgemoor Labour group. She will also take on the role of Election Agent for the 2015 campaign.
Vice-Chairs were next up for election and adding extra gravitas was Cllr John Turner (Hamp), leader of the Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council , a veteran of the ‘red borough’ days, a former Mayor and former Parliamentary candidate in 1987, who stressed the need for an early start to the combined election campaigns and called for an immediate opening of a ‘panel of candidates’ to encourage people to come forward for consideration for the seats to be fought.
Second vice chair and combining the role with membership secretary, is now Cllr Mick Lerry. Mick is not only a Town and District councillor for Bridgwater Victoria, but also the leader of the Sedgemoor District Labour Group and the Parliamentary candidate for the Bridgwater and West Somerset Constituency for 2015. Mick called on Labour councillors in their wards to take a lead in co-ordinating the members and supporters in their wards to build the campaign at all levels.
The crucial backbone of any organisation is it’s administrative team and the hard working Tre Bullock was unanimously supported as branch secretary whilst town, district and county councillor Leigh Redman (Dunwear) was re-elected as treasurer.
Getting the Labour message out there locally was the next target and identifying Youth, women and trade unions as key groups for special attention, the party tasked members with key roles in building support in these areas. Leigh Redman, with his strong Trade Union background in the FBU and Unite and membership of the Bridgwater Trades Council was elected Trade Union Liaison officer, Oliver Barrat, the parties youngest candidate in last year’s county elections, was elected as Youth and Student officer and Tre Bullock, the branch secretary, was elected as Women’s officer.
Pulling all this together and thrusting it into the eye of the public and media was the job given to Cllr Brian Smedley (Westover) as Press and Publicity officer. Brian who was personal friends with Nelson Mandela, starred in the movie ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ and once dated all 5 of the Spice Girls, was considered ideal for the job.