Bridgwater Branch Labour Party

Social Media, Comradely Behaviour and Complaints Procedure

Wednesday, 28 March 20182 Replies
“Calm down, calm ,down calm down”

It’s a funny old world when comrades fighting together for the same ends should end up squabbling in public and especially on this awful ‘social media’ that they have these days. This week it’s been quite bad all things considered. So the  Combined CLP & Bridgwater Branch Execs met today and drew up a Code of Conduct and a Complaints Procedure.

For the Labour Party Policy on Social Media click here.

Now if that’s not clear enough – ie PLEASE treat each other with respect and debate in a comradely fashion we have clarified the role of the 3 Facebook Sites we administer. Please understand and observe this. Continue reading “Social Media, Comradely Behaviour and Complaints Procedure”

Labour Friends of Bangladesh Launches Branch in Somerset

Sunday, 25 March 2018Leave a reply
Gary Tucker and Abdullah Faruk talk politics at the Labour Friends of Bangladesh launch

Bangladesh is the 8th most populous country in the world, predominantly Muslim, and historically part of the British Empire from 1757-1947 when it became  part of Pakistan and from who it gained independence after a bloody struggle in 1971.  There are some 450,000 Bengalis in the UK today (0.7% of the population)  and 95% of them are Labour voters. So it was with this background that a ‘Labour Friends of Bangladesh’ was formed from among the 300  strong Bangladeshi community in Somerset, with a launch meeting at the Spice Club Restaurant in Bridgwater.

40 people attended the event, drawn 50-50 from the local Bengali community and the  Bridgwater and Taunton Labour Parties and were welcomed to the popular Eastover restaurant by President Karim Mia who introduced his committee.

Labour Leader of Bridgwater Town Council, Cllr Brian Smedley, introduced the Labour members saying “Bridgwater is a Labour town with 14 out of 16 Labour councillors and we are also the main opposition on Sedgemoor District Council. Internationalism is at the core of Labour values and ‘Friends groups’ such as this are crucial to developing that ethos and bringing it to the heart of our communities”. He explained that most of the work of Labour parties is done at branch level and introduced several key activists. Continue reading “Labour Friends of Bangladesh Launches Branch in Somerset”

Bridgwater and West Somerset Branch AGMs

Friday, 16 March 20182 Replies
branch officers
Branch officers for 2018

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
Nominations to GMC Bridgwater West Somerset
Chair Gary Tucker
Sec Brian Smedley
Treasurer Tony Heywood
Vice Chair membership Mick Lerry
Vice Chair x
Press Brian Smedley
Women’s Chelsea Chadwick
Equalities Diogo Rodrigues
Youth Gemma Shanahan
TULO Glen Burrows
Exec 1 Karen Haywood X
Exec 2 Leigh Redman X
Conference Chelsea Chadwick

Labour Spring

Saturday, 3 March 2018Leave a reply
Meltdown approaches

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.

Councillor Training

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.

Let us know here or for more information watch the video. Continue reading “Labour Spring”

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”