Both Bridgwater and West Somerset Branches of the Labour Party have now held their Annual General Meetings and there’s a lot of new faces at the top table, reflecting the upsurge in membership and activism across the constituency. The AGM of the Constituency will be held in Bridgwater on Wednesday 16th May when delegates will elect CLP officers and the Conference delegate.
In Bridgwater the Branch officers are;-
Chair: Glen Burrows
Secretary: Gary Tucker
Membership Sec: Mick Lerry
Treasurer: Margaret Layton
Vice Chair: Julie Cordiner + Linda Hyde
Press & Publicity: Brian Smedley
TU Liaison: Glenn Cane
Auditors: J Taylor & A Glassford
GMC Exec Ctte : Karen Heywood & Leigh Redman
All of the above are delegates to the GMC as well as: K Pearce, T Roth, M Duggan, L Gibson,A Borman,L Leavy,A Moore,L Tucker,T Heywood, S Trent, I Hubble,J Hubble,J Taylor
Town Labour Group Observers:- Liam Tucker, Mick Duggan
District Labour Group Observers:-Sadie Trent, Karen Haywood
In West Somerset the line up is;-
Chair: Maureen Smith
Secretary: Kathrine See
Vice chair Membership: Andy Mountford
Treasurer: Paul Meagher
Vice Chair: Pete Murphy
Equalities Officer: Paul Booker
Women’s Officer: Lucy Naylor
Fund raising Lead: John Thwaites
Minutes Secretary: Bridget O’Brien
All of the above are delegates to the GMC as well as: Jill Walmsley, Andy Lewis, John Bryant, Susan Calvo and Phil Rattray and Tim Woods
As the thaw sets in and Spring bursts forth so do we. There’s lots of things for Labour members to get their teeth into this March and April and here’s some of them.
On Monday 5th March any aspiring Town (or District) councillors are welcome to join the Bridgwater Town Council Labour Group for our pre-council meeting and observe the roles, discussions and policy making that is part and parcel of being a Labour Town Councillor. The meeting will start at 7.30 but observers are invited to attend at 7pm to have a broad overview of and introduction to the role. The meeting will be held at the John Turner Room, above the Town Hall Office. Interested parties are then invited to observe the Town Council meeting at the Town Hall (Charter Hall) on Thursday 8th March 7.30pm.
Labour controls Bridgwater Town Council 14.1.1 and we will be seeking to field a full slate of 16 candidates in 2019. There will be a similar opportunity to take part in a District Labour Group event.
At last night’s Branch Meeting, Town Council Leader Brian Smedley talked about the need for people to put themselves forward as Labour Candidates for future elections and made the (enclosed) film.
County Elections were held in 2017 and are not scheduled again until 2021. There MIGHT of course be by-elections.
District Elections were scheduled for 2019-which is now next year. Labour lost seats in 2015 due to the rise of UKIP splitting the vote-even in Bridgwater. We need to regain those seats and to take Sedgemoor we need to build campaigns and nurture candidates in the outlying wards. There could of course also be by-elections. Continue reading “Calling all (potential) Councillors”
I would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and to thank you all for the hard work and dedication you have made to our branch and to the Labour movement in general.
This year has been an eventful year from the astonishing General Election result nationally to our branch becoming more active than ever at a local level. It certainly has been exciting times and I think that 2018 will continue this trend. Will Theresa May call yet another snap election with disastrous consequences for her and her party and who will be the next member of her cabinet to quit? These are all puzzles which I’m sure will slowly unravel as time goes on. Continue reading “To members and supporters of the Labour Party in Bridgwater and District Branch at Christmas”
Soon be Christmas….but not before our Bridgwater Branch Labour Party Christmas Social which will be held at the BRIDGWATER ARTS CENTRE (Castle street Bridgwater) on Saturday 16th December – doors open from 7pm.
What to expect?
Well, it’s a free event in the bar area – but under 18s also welcome. We’ll be having a ‘Socialist Video Jukebox’ which means we’ll have a projector, laptop , screen and sound system rigged up so people can suggest clips to play through the evening.
The event is free but people are welcome to bring food to share and raffle prizes to raffle.
Social Media is a way of life for people these days and also therefore for our members. Bridgwater Labour Party operates many social media sites on Facebook, Twitter, Slack etc and our members will react with them and so it is important that everybody observes our code of conduct in a comradely manner. This is laid out in full below. At last weeks GMC meeting it was agreed that Labour Admins had the right to remove postings that were against the party’s interests or felt to be inappropriate and/or offensive. Please have a read.
National Executive Committee Statement
A starting point for all our actions as members of a party and a movement is to treat all people with dignity and respect. This applies to all our dealings with people, offline and online.
The Labour Party has a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment and will take all complaints of this nature extremely seriously.Should you experience any behaviour that you feel amounts to sexual harassment either towards yourself or another member we strongly encourage you to report it to us as soon as you can.
What is sexual harassment?
Sexual harassment is a form of sex discrimination. It takes place when someone is subjected to unwelcome and unwanted sexual behaviour or other conduct related to their gender.
Harassment is defined by law in the Equality Act 2010 as ‘unwanted conduct related to a relevant protected characteristic, which has the purpose or effect of violating an individual’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that individual’. In the case of sexual harassment the relevant protected characteristic is ‘sex’.
Behaviour that constitutes sexual harassment includes:
Unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature, this may be either physical or verbal,
Inappropriate or suggestive remarks or verbal sexual advances,
Indecent comments, jokes or innuendos relating to a person’s looks or private life,
Unwanted physical contact such as hugging, kissing or inappropriate touching,
Requests for sexual favours,
The display or circulation of pornography or indecent images.
Often, this kind of behaviour may be brushed off by the harasser as ‘banter’ or harmless flirting. It is important to remember that the impact the behaviour had on you is the most important factor, it is not so relevant whether the individual intended to cause offence, but rather that offence was caused by the conduct.
Labour seemed to have won a significant victory when more than £2million in funding was restored to adult education services in Somerset. But how much of a victory was it really? As the dust settles after the battle, the future of community based adult education looks far from secure.
This year I was lucky enough to go to Conference as a delegate.
Arriving at lunch time I was able to pick up my delegate information and vote in the priorities ballot. This is a really important part of being a delegate as we vote for those themes picked up in motions put forward by CLPs, and by Unions and associate bodies (known as Affiliates), that we wish to debate on the floor of conference. The top 4 chosen by CLP delegates and the top 4 selected by Affiliates go forward. There were 13 subject groupings (themes) to select from.
Taking into account what was already on the agenda for conference, NEC and manifesto statements I voted for Housing; Rail; NHS and Social Care. Because there are a number of motions within each subject area, the CAC (Conference Arrangements Committee) has the task of boiling them all down to one. This is known as ‘compositing’ and the motions then become a composite motion. The result is a single motion text that takes in all the key points for the numerous individual motions.
I spoke recently to a young man who had applied, unsuccessfully, for 32 jobs since leaving college. Many of these, of course, were jobs he was forced to apply for, to fulfil his Claimant Commitment, whether or not he had relevant experience or wanted the job, otherwise his benefits would have been sanctioned.