Labour candidate for the Bridgwater East and Bawdrip ward in the forthcoming County Council elections, Cllr Diogo Rodrigues, has hit out at what he see’s as an ‘uncaring Conservative County Council and an uncaring Conservative Government’ saying “Our local Adult Social Care system is a total mess, it is one big storm headed in the wrong direction and causing so much destruction on its way.”
Diogo says “I feel for our hardworking carers because they are put under so much pressure to do the work but there just isn’t enough carers out there, largely down to lack of funding – those under too much pressure are leaving and then it’s just one big horrid circle. There is no excuse not to offer contracted hours to our carers – when so many are leaving because of the pressures of the job there must be guaranteed hours they can rely on to give them some financial stability and security – these are our friends and neighbors in our town!”Continue reading “‘Adult Social Care System in a total mess’ says Labour Candidate”
Labour candidate for Chard South, Melissa Whittaker-Mather, today slammed a controversial UKIP leaflet recently delivered to some homes in Chard.
“I have been contacted by a number of women telling me that they are disgusted with this leaflet. In it UKIP claim that “positive discrimination” has led to 75% of doctors in training being women. A quick fact check revealed that this is simply incorrect. The NHS employers organisation says that the true figure is currently 53%, so just a little over half of trainee doctors are women.
“The UKIP leaflet also asks “do we need women doctors?” This is an attack on the work of local women GPs working in our surgeries in Chard. Many women would feel more comfortable with a woman GP, and that’s across the whole spectrum of medical issues. It’s saddening in this day and age that anyone would imply that women doctors are somehow second class. This is a reckless expression of old-fashioned prejudice. The answer to the question do we need more women doctors is a resounding “YES” and Chard would suffer without them. In Chard there are 17 doctors in 3 surgeries, and of these 9 are women. I doubt any of their patients would prefer they weren’t there.”
Cllr Diogo Rodrigues,Labour’s candidate for the Bridgwater East and Bawdrip ward in the forthcoming Somerset County Council elections, introduced Alan Whitehead MP, Shadow minister for Energy and Climate Change, to Labour members this Saturday at their Unity House base in Bridgwater. The Southampton MP used the opportunity to address an audience in an area soon to have a third nuclear power station to outline Labour’s emergy policy.
The Somerset Labour Party launched it’s County Council election Campaign last Friday (24th May), with candidates in all 55 seats. The powerhouse of that bid to have a controlling influence at County Hall is here in Bridgwater where Labour runs the Town Council with 14 out of 16 seats and has the majority of district Council seats, 10 out of 14, and 2 of the 4 county councillors.
Town Council leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Labour,Westover) says “In fact Labour has been out leafletting and canvassing for weeks and the message on the doorsteps is that people want the Tories out and don’t trust the Lib Dems who put them in power in the first place and were the joint architects of the austerity which is causing so much harm at the moment. The things people want to talk about are jobs, hospitals, housing and transport. The Lib Dems were wiped out in this area years ago and currently have just one town, one district and no county councillors. UKIP are past their sell-by date. Now the referendum issue is history so are they. Their 2 district councillors struggle to think of anything to say at council and so usually don’t. To break the Tory hold on county and to stop people thinking they have to vote LibDem to do that people need to have confidence and vote Labour to bring about the real change needed.”Continue reading “Bridgwater Leads Labour Bid for Control at County”
Today in Taunton the Labour Party launched its campaign for the Somerset County Council elections to be held in May. The Labour Party will be fielding candidates in all 55 county council divisions being contested in the elections.
Labour councillors, candidates and activists were joined outside County Hall by Daniel Zeichner MP, Shadow Minister for Transport.
Addressing candidates and activists Daniel Zeichner slammed cuts to bus services in Somerset being made by the Council. He quoted figures from the Campaign for Better Transport showing that funding for buses would be cut by over £600,000, almost one fifth this year (19%), with ten routes axed or reduced. He pointed out that it’s no use having a bus pass if there is no bus to use it on:
“We all know it’s time for a change here in County Hall, and in May voters in Somerset will have choice in the Labour Party of a clear, credible alternative. Today, we are setting out Labour’s priorities for Somerset, which include a sound and sustainable transport policy, with investment in bus services, and a promise to end the chaotic and expensive delivery of major highway projects and roadworks in the County. A Labour Government will ensure local councils like Somerset have real power over local bus services, and that money currently going to shareholders in private bus companies will instead be used to improve services. And we will be providing more help for young people to get to school and college, with a concessionary fare scheme for young people. I’m confident that over the coming weeks, as our Labour candidates and activists pound the streets and talk to people right across the County, voters will see that these priorities represent the right choice for Somerset.”
Glastonbury and Street County Council Election Candidates Emma King and Jane Ratcliffle met Glastonbury Festival’s Michael Eavis in Pilton to discuss the May election.
Michael, who is a long-time member of the Labour Party and stood as a candidate for Labour in the 1997 General Election, wished the two candidates all the best and thanked them for their work in the local community and for standing in the election for Labour. The election will take place on May the 4th 2017 and to be allowed to vote you must be registered on the electoral roll by midnight on Thursday 13 April. To register go to www.gov.uk/register-to-vote.
On Monday 20th March Yeovil CLP was delighted to welcome many members from across Somerset and Dorset to their open meeting “Energising Labour in the South West: learning from Momentum”.
Martin Menear of the Momentum National Coordinating Group and Momentum Somerset Founder Gary Tucker (who is also Labour Bridgwater’s newly-elected Branch Secretary) gave speeches detailing what Momentum is about and the successes achieved right here in Somerset. Martin spoke about what Momentum is and is not whilst also answering questions about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. Gary spoke about Momentum Somerset’s achievements in empowering members to become more active, particularly through social media and email campaigns.
This week the Tory budget was described by Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn as showing “utter complacency” over the state of the economy and “ignoring the needs of workers”. He said Philip Hammond “..failed to understand the reality of life for millions of people and the crisis facing public services” .
The Labour response to the budget will hardly be heard in the press or on the TV and so Labour activists everywhere took to the streets of their towns today to spread the message themselves.
In Bridgwater a stall was set up at the Cornhill. Newly elected Labour branch secretary Gary Tucker said “It was a very organised, productive day of action. Many people stopped by for a chat, took leaflets and signed the petition. Just by listening to fed-up voters it became clear that the Tories’ failed ‘long-term plan’ is deeply affecting everyone- employed, retired, students and now particularly the self-employed. Bridgwater residents told us the Tories are not on the side of working people. The Tories lied here and they’ll keep on lying! The Tories are not on the side of working people at all. We raised awareness of how working people deserve better than a failing Tory economy. We particularly wanted to chat to self-employed people who now will have to pay more in National Insurance due to the rise. These people today felt particularly let down because this was a key election pledge and the Tories have broken this pledge. ”
Labour Branch Chair Jane Grenfell said “ Today we were addressing the Tory party’s abysmal economic record. Working people here in Bridgwater are overworked, undervalued and increasingly overdrawn under the government’s long term economic plan. The plan seems to be more Tory Austerity, regardless of the evidence that it just doesn’t work. Government borrowing is going up every year despite the cuts to public services. It’s not a plan it’s an attack on working people. The Tories have even turned on the self-employed entrepreneurs they so frequently rely on for economic growth.The reaction from the people of Bridgwater was very positive, at one point they were tugging leaflets out of my hand! Interestingly several people asked about how to vote. If you have not registered to vote in the County Council elections on 4th May, you still have time. Just visit aboutmyvote.co.uk. “
As Labour attacked the chancellor for not giving more money to the NHS the Tory front bench simply sat back and laughed.
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn described Theresa May’s first Budget as “utterly complacent about the state of our economy ahead of Brexit”…. “ complacent about the crisis across our public services” and “..entirely out of touch with the reality of life for many millions of people in this country.” Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell added “While doing nothing to solve the crisis in the NHS, in social care or in schools — the Tories have continued with massive tax giveaways for those at the top.” The Labour position nationally is that the Tory budget lacked ambition and fairness for our country. Here in Bridgwater we’re fighting an election campaign -so what did local Labour have to say?
A protest march took place on Thursday (2nd March 2017) morning as parens and students from North Petherton took part in a ‘Big Walk’ to oppose Somerset County Council plans to remove school transport. Following an assessment of the route from the town to Robert Blake Science College in Hamp as “safe” the County Council has withdrawn the free service book bus service. Labour County Candidates Jane Grenfell (North Petherton) and Chelsea Chadwick (Huntspill) joined them and experienced at first hand how UNsafe the route actually is.