Bridgwater Branch Labour Party

Calling all (potential) Councillors

Thursday, 11 January 20181 Reply
Town Leader Smedley and District Group Leader Lerry at the last election count.

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”

To members and supporters of the Labour Party in Bridgwater and District Branch at Christmas

Friday, 22 December 2017Leave a reply
Festive Secretary

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”

Labour Party Christmas Social Saturday 16th December at Bridgwater Arts Centre

Tuesday, 12 December 2017Leave a reply

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.

Be there or be Rhomboid.

Labour Party Policy on Social Media

Monday, 11 December 2017Leave a reply
Sometimes Social Media can get a bit out of hand…

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.

Everyone should feel able to take part in discussion about our party, country and world. We want to maximise this debate, including critical discussion, as long as it does not result in the exclusion of others. Continue reading “Labour Party Policy on Social Media”

Labour Party Policy on Sexual Harassment

Thursday, 2 November 2017Leave a reply

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.

Continue reading “Labour Party Policy on Sexual Harassment”

THIS IS WHAT I THINK: “Adult Education Faces an Uncertain Future Despite Funding U-turn” By Andy Lewis

Sunday, 15 October 2017Leave a reply

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.

To recap: Somerset Skills and Learning says it needs £3.4 million to run adult education classes. It was shocked in September when the education and skills funding agency awarded it just £110,000. Classes were postponed and there was an angry outcry from Labour and others. And at the end of September, the grant was upped to about £2.5 million and SS&L said classes would be back on. Continue reading “THIS IS WHAT I THINK: “Adult Education Faces an Uncertain Future Despite Funding U-turn” By Andy Lewis”

Jane Grenfell “Labour Party Conference Report 2017”

Tuesday, 3 October 20173 Replies
Jane Grenfell -Conference delegate”

Labour Party Conference September 2017

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.

The Affiliates (including the Unions) selected Grenfell Tower, Public Sector pay; Workers’ Rights and Growth and Investment. Continue reading “Jane Grenfell “Labour Party Conference Report 2017””

THIS IS WHAT i THINK:- No 3 “You’ve never had it so bad” by Glen Burrows

Sunday, 1 October 20173 Replies

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.

It made me think hard about the impact on the mental health of young people of so much rejection and disappointment so early in life. Coupled with the desperate lack of affordable housing and the scandal of low-wage and zero hours contracts, it is not surprising that levels of mental ill-health and suicide are rising among young people. Continue reading “THIS IS WHAT i THINK:- No 3 “You’ve never had it so bad” by Glen Burrows”

September Campaigning

Friday, 29 September 20171 Reply
Bridgwater & West Somerset ‘Young Labour’ campaigning at Bridgwater College Freshers week

We have had a lot of meetings recently and members I’ve been speaking to are keen to get out and about again and do some of the activities we’ve planned.  I don’t know about you, but I certainly want to get back to the buzz we achieved around the General Election.

Well, let’s get to it.  First things first- here’s the main news from the Consituency Labour Party/ General Management Committee’s meeting the other day which affects us all:
  • Our motion on being a co-signatory to a letter to urge NEC to allow us to pick our Parliamentary candidate immediately was agreed
  • Our motion compelling the National Labour Party to provide national leaflets in electronic format was agreed
  • Unity House (ground floor level) may be used by members free of charge: branch to decide whether to take up this offer for activities
  • Tony Heywood elected CLP Treasurer
  • Conference Delegate Jane Grenfell to use her discretion to vote on issues and report back to members on her decisions due to there being no agenda to discuss from the Conference Arrangements Committee.
Students at Bridgwater College visiting the Labour stall

Now, this week, I’d imagine you’ll be glued to the TV watching the unfolding events in Brighton at the party conference and towards the end of the week, you surely will be attending the Bridgwater Fair.  This is why we only have two short events on this week.  Hope you can make it and here they are:

Continue reading “September Campaigning”

Bridgwater and West Somerset GMC September 2017

Friday, 22 September 2017Leave a reply
Tony Heywood elected as CLP Treasurer

At this weeks General Management Committee  meeting for Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour Party the following decisions were made.

Tony Heywood (nominated by Bridgwater Branch) was elected unanimously as the CLP Treasurer following the resignation of Hadrian Speight

Future of Unity House   It was agreed that the premises ctte should make an application   to the Labour Party for a financial settlement resulting in the sale of Unity House and that in the light of that should investigate and cost all options from having a permanent base in Bridgwater to having an office, storage space, a café/bookshop, meeting space or just to continue meeting wherever as needed It was further agreed to take up the offer to meet on the ground floor of Unity House free of charge until such a time as we eventually lost the place. Branches and other party bodies could also consider this option. Continue reading “Bridgwater and West Somerset GMC September 2017”