Labour Lives : No 3 JOHN TURNER

Sunday, 1 October 2017

For more than 50 years John Turner has been a towering figure in Labour politics in Bridgwater.He has a street named after him, a room in the Town Hall named after him, he’s a ‘Freeman of the Town’, a former Mayor, a former Borough Councillor, Sedgemoor District Councillor and still a Town Councillor, an ex-Trades Union leader, an ex-Magistrate and , probably most important to him, an ex-Matelot.

John Turner was first elected to Bridgwater Borough Council in 1961, continued onto its successor councils Sedgemoor District (1974) and Bridgwater Town (2003). Throughout this time he never lost an election and for most of it he was the Leader. Continue reading “Labour Lives : No 3 JOHN TURNER”

Saved! Adult education classes to start as funding is restored after Labour campaign

Sunday, 1 October 2017
County Labour Leader Leigh Redman “Campigning against the cuts”

Labour’s campaign to save adult education in Somerset has won a significant victory. The government has found millions of pounds more for SS&L (Somerset Skills and Learning). Classes due to start this term will now go ahead.

 SS&L is to receive about £2.5 million. That’s 75 per cent of the money it says it needs and a massive improvement on the £110,000 it was told it would be getting. SS&L said: “Some funding has been allocated, although not the full amount we bid for. It does allow us to move forward however. Good news!” Continue reading “Saved! Adult education classes to start as funding is restored after Labour campaign”

A dossier of incompetence – Labour says MP is not fit to be in Parliament

Wednesday, 27 September 2017
Ian Liddell Grainger doesn’t have a terribly good record of making an impact..

Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour Party today reveals a devastating dossier of incompetence by the Conservative MP Ian Liddell-Grainger. In the short time since the 2017 election, he has repeated a pattern of bluster, rudeness and untruthfulness which has become all too familiar to his constituents. Labour says it’s time for this  political dinosaur  to go.

Time after time, Liddell-Grainger  has failed to help constituents faced with problems – or has made things worse with alarmist and unsubstantiated interventions.  Labour has compiled a dossier of recent examples: Continue reading “A dossier of incompetence – Labour says MP is not fit to be in Parliament”

Boxworks Proposals :’Good Idea,Wrong location’ says Frome Labour

Tuesday, 19 September 2017
How the plans indicate the Boxworks proposals will look

The local Labour Party stand with the people of Frome in their opposition to the siting of the Frome Boxworks proposal. This is a scheme generated by Mendip District Council to place twenty giant shipping containers in the Market Yard car park, which they own. The containers are to be converted, Shoreditch-style, into starter offices and managed by Gavin Eddy of Forward Space, who has a similar scheme up and running in Bristol.

Continue reading “Boxworks Proposals :’Good Idea,Wrong location’ says Frome Labour”

The Fight for Adult Education goes on

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

A demonstration and petition on Monday gave local people the chance to have their voices heard on the Governments devastating cuts to Adult Education in Somerset.

West Somerset Labour collected signatures for what will form part of a county wide petition to the  Government. Somerset Skills and learning has lost a whopping 97% of its funding and its future is really hanging in the balance. Continue reading “The Fight for Adult Education goes on”

Young Labour seek solution for local people in West Somerset Resort

Sunday, 17 September 2017

West Somerset Young Labour is working to re-establish access for locals to the Butlins cinema.

The Minehead holiday resort recently announced that it would no longer be able to allow local residents to use their cinema. The decision was apparently taken over security fears with the heightened terror alert. Butlins state that they need to be able to identify who is on site at any one time and therefore non-paying guests would no longer be able to use the cinema.

Tavey See (Youth and Student Officer for West Somerset Labour) says “This is a terrible blow for the young people of the area who have no means of reliable transport to visit the cinema in larger towns”. Continue reading “Young Labour seek solution for local people in West Somerset Resort”

Where was Ian? Tory MP absent from key meetings on Somerset adult education

Friday, 15 September 2017
The Somerset delegation and no ILG (even ‘airbrushed’ in…)

People in Bridgwater and West Somerset are demanding to know why their MP Ian Liddell-Grainger was absent from two crucial meetings in response to a massive cut in the budget for adult education.

 The budget for classes run by Somerset Skills and Learning (SS&L) has been slashed from £3.4 million to just £110,000 and hundreds of classes across the county have been postponed. Labour says this is a result of government cuts and of SS&L being hived off from the county council by the Conservative administration at County Hall. Continue reading “Where was Ian? Tory MP absent from key meetings on Somerset adult education”

Labour Town Council Passes ‘Budget for Youth’

Thursday, 14 September 2017
Cllr Diogo Rodrigues, youth spokesperson for Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council

In this years finance budget,Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council ring-fenced £7,000 for youth spending. Cllr Diogo Rodrigues (Labour,Dunwear North), as lead member for youth, started a consultation with youth organisations, youth leaders and young people to get a better understanding of the youth provision in the town. At tonight’s Town Council meeting the BTC Youth Grant scheme was launched and criteria agreed.

Cllr Rodrigues, who is also the Youth & Student officer for the Bridgwater and West Somerset CLP,  introduced the budget proposals saying “The council set up a Youth Working Party tasked with detailing how the £7,000 youth budget would best be spent. We are now proud to put forward a youth grant system for this financial year, with the application process open immediately and a maximum of £500 available for each successful organisation. Applicants will have to meet criteria as set out in the application and will also be required to report back on the success of the project which funds have been used for. Continue reading “Labour Town Council Passes ‘Budget for Youth’”

North Worle victory shows nowhere off-limits for a Labour Party on the up

Wednesday, 13 September 2017
Bridgwater and Weston Labour members working together to win in Worle

Once, a lot of Labour members would’ve looked at a place like Worle and thought ‘not a chance’.

Solidly Tory for decades, it’s always somewhere Labour has struggled to make headway, despite strong challenges from excellent candidates.

But now that’s all changing. Around the country, we’re seeing Labour campaigning hard, outperforming expectations, and winning seats that have been Tory or Liberal for generations – and the West Country is no exception. Continue reading “North Worle victory shows nowhere off-limits for a Labour Party on the up”

Revealed – how Tory policy brought chaos to adult learning in Somerset

Friday, 8 September 2017
“..a terrible blow to this community ” Katherine See (West Somerset Labour)

You couldn’t make it up – that’s the devastating verdict from a further education expert on the chaos that has left Somerset Skills and Learning fighting for its life.

 Full details of the fiasco that stopped  classes  across the county are revealed  in the latest issue of FE Week – a respected further education newspaper.  It  makes clear that the Conservative policy of outsourcing council services is behind an “outrageous result for Somerset.”

FE Week reveals:

  • The funding for adult education services from Somerset Skills and Learning (SS&L) was cut from £3.4 million to just £111,000 even though SS&L is rated “good” by Ofsted
  • SS&L scored 525 out of 600 in its evaluation, but now faces a “catastrophic” reduction in its money
  • Other training providers which didn’t even bid for money were given grants of millions of pounds.
  • And crucially: If SS&L had stayed part of Somerset County Council its budget would not have been cut at all

Chief executive Susie Simon-Norris said funding had been withdrawn virtually overnight with no warning. She told FE Week: “We were encouraged by the government to leave Somerset County Council (in 2015) to become a community interest company and now it seems we’re being penalised for that decision.” Continue reading “Revealed – how Tory policy brought chaos to adult learning in Somerset”