On 25th March Southampton Labour MP Alan Whitehead will be speaking at Unity House, Bridgwater at 1-2pm for a question and answer session. All members are invited..
Womens officer Chelsea Chadwick said”MP Alan Whitehead will be visiting us for a social event and to do some campaigning afterwards for county council candidate and Bridgwater & West Somerset Young Labour chair Diogo Rodrigues in his Bridgwater East ward. We have invited members from Taunton and Bristol to come along so hopefully it should be a great event in Bridgwater!“
We are very pleased to welcome Jon Lansman and Gary Tucker to talk to us so that we can learn from the success of Momentum and be more effective in taking the Labour message into our communities.
The meeting is open to all.
Jon founded Momentum, was the leader of Jeremy Corbyn’s election campaign, and is the editor of website “Left Futures”. Jon will talk about how Momentum has been so successful in motivating its membership.
Gary is one of the founders of Momentum Somerset and a recent re-joiner of the Labour Party after being disaffected with it during the Blair Years and the decision to go to war with Iraq. As well as working as an activist in his local CLP in Bridgwater where he is the newly elected branch secretary, he works online to engage Labour supporters and members through email campaigns and Social Media.
With the County Council elections in May, Labour has got off to a flying start by delivering our newspaper,laying out our position and introducing our candidates. We have set out a timetable of dates to deliver in each area and where to meet and we now really do need the support of ALL of our vast army of new members and supporters to get out there and help us on whichever days they can.
At this weeks Bridgwater & West Somerset GMC meeting it was agreed to call on members to get involved right now in building the party and pushing the Labour message locally. There are several key events which we need your support at.
Saturday 4th February– Bridgwater Labour Youth are holding a launch event in Unity House and Bristol MP Kerry McCarthy will be speaking. The meeting will start at 12.00 and will be held in the Dance Studio on the first floor. Although the meeting is designed to launch the youth group we ask as many members as possible to come along to support the event.
Bridgwater & West Somerset Youth and Student Officer Diogo Rodrigues (also a Bridgwater Town Councillor and a candidate for the Somerset Council elections, has chaired a meeting to establish a Young Labour group in the Constituency. Diogo says “It was great to see young people passionate about the Labour Party and full of great ideas. The committee has been set up so now we can really move forward and think of great ways to get more young people actively involved in the party and campaign on issues that really matter to them. We would really encourage any young member (ages 14-26) to come along and be a part of this exciting new group.”
The group has set up a Facebook site and young members from across the County within that age range are invited to sign up to it and to support the events.
The first Bridgwater Branch meeting of the New Year has seen a major policy discussion on a Transport Strategy plus the launch of a series of action days to step up Labour’s campaigning profile in the area.
On Saturday 14th January members are welcome to come to Unity House at 1030 to meet County Council candidates and help us draw up our County Election Strategy and pick out what we want to use from the newly published Manifesto and what other local issues we want to concentrate on. Anyone who wishes to contribute is welcome.
At 1200 on the same day our Youth & Student officer Cllr Diogo Rodrigues will be holding a meeting for Labour Youth. Diogo will be planning future activities including an official launch on February 4th with MP Kerry McCarthy. Anyone interested is welcome to drop in to Unity House and get involved.
On Saturday 21st January Bridgwater Labour Party will be taking part in the National Campaign Day on the subject of the NHS and Social Care.This will take place on the Cornhill, Bridgwater from 11am to 1pm. All welcome to join us.
On Monday 23rd January Labour members are urged to attend the Anti-Fracking film presentation (‘Groundswell Rising’) at the Victoria Park Centre (7pm) and seek common ground with anti fracking activists to launch a major campaign in the area.
The next Bridgwater Branch meeting will be on Wednesday 8th February when the key policy subject will be Energy (7.30 Unity House)
Seasonal greetings to everyone out there. Especially our many new members and supporters who have yet to become members or who just want to help build Labour in the years ahead.
Next year is the Somerset County Council elections and we have now selected our 7 candidates for the Bridgwater area.
Bridgwater South LEIGH REDMAN
Bridgwater North & Central DAVE LOVERIDGE
Bridgwater West TONY HEYWARD
Bridgwater East & Bawdrip DIOGO RODRIGUES
North Petherton JANE GRENFELL
Huntspill CHELSEA CHADWICK
Cannington PHIL KING
Campaigning will start in January 2017. Until then there’s a couple of Labour social events where everyone has the chance to get to meet each other, the candidates, the sitting councillors, members, friends and so on.
THURSDAY 15TH DECEMBER;–
The Labour Party Social at the BRIDGWATER ARTS CENTRE. This is a Free event and will start at 7.30 with a brief introduction to what’s going on in the party locally and nationally and followed by a fun general knowledge quiz by Brian Smedley. The bar will be open and nibbles will be available. Please feel welcome to just turn up and bring Labour leaning friends along with you
MONDAY 19TH DECEMBER:–
The SPICE CLUB Indian restaurant in Eastover,run by Labour Party member Karim Miah, has offered us a Banquet evening (£10 a head – includes poppadums, starters,main meal, rice or bread) for as many members as can turn up. Banquet will be served at 6pm. So if you are interested please contact us by Monday 12th on firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat.
There are several key events in December for Labour members to note.
On Tuesday December 6th we will be choosing our county council candidates for the wards of Petherton, Huntspill and Cannington. Any member who lives in those wards is invited to come to UNITY HOUSE at 7pm on that day when the candidates will be interviewed and selected. Members are reminded that ANY member of the Bridgwater labour Party is eligible to put themselves forward for selection BUT you must be approved as a candidate in advance so if you are interested please complete an application form and return it before the 6th. Please send an email to Brian Smedley at email@example.com. We are especially keen to have people who live in the relevent areas as candidates (Click on links to find the boundaries). All these seats are Tory held seats at the moment but ALL have boundaries with Bridgwater where we have elected members. A strong candidate could make a dent in the Tory heartlands, at least build for future local elections and at most even win the seats with strong campaign.
On Thursday 15th December we will be holding a Christmas Labour Social evening at the Bridgwater Arts Centre. Members and friends are welcome to turn up and join in. We will hold a fun christmas quiz and members can get to meet each other and our agreed candidates for next years elections.
There will be a bar at the art centre and the branch will supply ‘nibbles’. Doors will be open from 7pm. Quiz from 8pm
Our NHS event on Saturday seems to have been a great success. As a follow on there is a demonstration planned at County Hall next Wednesday morning against the reintroduction of grammar schools. County Councillor Leigh Redman is putting a motion on grammar schools to the council meeting on Wednesday (30 Nov). Members are asked to try to support the event
The meeting starts at 1000hrs Leigh says “Robin Head from the NUT has arranged for a number of teachers to be in front of County Hall and to come in to the meeting to support, I was wondering if there would be anyone interested in a show of support for the half hour before the meeting, I have got a couple of the ‘Education not segregation’ (below) Labour party boards, I will arrange for a couple photographers to add to the publicity.Can you let me know if anyone will be there so that I can arrange to pass the boards and press” Leigh can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org
Tues 6 Dec ;– There will be a Town Transport Forum at 4pm at Bridgwater Town Hall. This will include a reportback from Chair Moira Brown about negotiations with County about bus cutbacks and plans for a countywide transport forum. The Forum is delegate based but observers are welcome to attend or to request delegate status.
Wed 7 Dec:– Sedgemoors Corporate Scrutiny ctte will be looking at the new plans for rubbish collection and considering the move to 3 weekly collections and increased recycling (2.30pm). The chair is Labour’s Brian Smedey and members of the public are welcome to attend and can contribute if they contact SDC democratic services in advance of the meeting
Thurs 8 Dec;– Will be the December meeting of Labour run Bridgwater Town Council (7.30pm) . Plans for the Town budget for 2017-18 will be outlined at this meeting.
At Tonight’s well attended Bridgwater Labour Branch meeting we agreed several actions, campaigns and strategies to boost the presence of our growing party in the area.
COUNTY COUNCIL ELECTIONS
In 2017 we will be fighting the Somerset County Council elections and the Bridgwater area is one of our key target seats. We have already selected candidates for the 4 seats in Bridgwater Town but now we need to select our candidates for the 3 outlying wards
-North Petherton (including Stockmoor)
-Huntspill (Woolavington & Puriton)
-Cannington (including Wembdon and Quantocks)
Please contact us NOW if you are willing to put yourself forward as a candidate. email@example.com
There will be a selection meeting for candidates on Tuesday 6th December at Unity House where members who live in those wards can interview and choose their candidates (tbc)
NHS DAY OF ACTION
Branch agreed to stage a visible presence in Bridgwater Town Centre in support of the party’s ‘Day of Action’ on Saturday 26th November by the Blake Statue. Anyone who can join in please turn up between 11 and 1. The theme will be saving the NHS.
EDUCATION NOT SEGREGATION
On Wednesday 30th November Labour County Group Leader Leigh Redman (Bridgwater South) is putting a motion to County challenging Tory plans on Grammar schools. Branch agreed an action would be to mount a demonstration at County Hall Taunton (10am) in support of this.
POLICY MAKING ON THE AGENDA
Branch agreed to include regular discussions on Policy at future meetings which we could develop as motions and submit to the National Party.
January – Mick Lerry & Linda Barnet would do ‘Energy’ and Jane Grenfell and Glen Burrows would do ‘Transport’
February -Julian Taylor would do ‘Flooding’ and Barry Leathwood would do ‘the Rural Economy’
March-would be the Branch AGM
Brian Smedley and Jane Grenfell were given authority to set up a special meeting in January to look at ‘Fracking’.
It was agreed to have a Christmas social event at the Art Centre including a quiz and featuring the newly elected County Council candidates. Date is provisionally the 15th December