Sedgemoor Labour Group Leader Cllr Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria) has been out and about campaigning for local authorities to build more council homes and last week spoke on BBC TVs ‘Daily Politics’ show making the case that changes in Government policy should be the catalyst to start building once more.
Cllr Mick Lerry said: ‘In the last Government budget statement, it was announced that the borrowing cap on the Council’s Housing Revenue Account had been removed. What does this mean for Councils, well they can now start to borrow money again to build more houses. The Government has set an annual Housing target of 3 thousand new homes, which it cannot meet, so the Government has decided to release funding for Councils to provide the extra housing needed”,
In May last year, Wells CLP had the audacity to launch a May Day Rally in ‘the heart of the Tory Beast’. This unusual move attracted different Trades Unions and other Labour branches into the city which has flitted between Conservative and Liberal Democrat in recent years.
Fast forward to a freezing cold January Saturday morning in 2019, as twenty-four Labour activists turned up to Wells, to learn how to persuade people to change their minds on the blue-yellow usual choice and change to red. They learned to convince people to vote for Labour as part of ongoing campaigning but most importantly in preparation for this May’s local elections. In a city, which ex-MP Tessa Munt seems to consider her personal fiefdom, there are signs that the winds are changin. Continue reading “Bridgwater and Wells Labour Joins Forces”
Bridgwater Branch Labour Party will be holding a public meeting on Saturday 16th February from 2-4pm at the GWRSA (Railway) Club on Wellington Road, Bridgwater under the title “LET’S TAKE BACK OUR SCHOOLS!” The speaker will be Professor Richard Hatcher from Birmingham City University and Anti-Academies Alliance.
Branch Chair Glen Burrows says “England is the only country in the UK which is handing over schools to unaccountable organisations, often against the wishes of parents, teachers and communities. We are constantly hearing about academy bosses making dodgy money from our children’s education. 81% of us believe in public ownership of our schools. So how do we take them back? Education isn’t something to be bought and sold. Let’s take back our schools.”
Bridgwater Labour members were out this morning at Bridgwater’s Railway Station to campaign and draw attention to the national 3.2% rise in rail fares which came into effect today.Commuters were handed a newspaper style leaflet drawing attention to the fact:
That some commuters are paying over £2,850 more to travel to work than in 2010.
The highest increase was on a Virgin Trains season ticket between Birmingham and London Euston which has risen by £2,874 since 2010 and now costs £10,902.
The biggest percentage increase identified was between Thame Bridge Parkway near Walsall and Nuneaton, where the cost of an annual season ticket will have risen by 54 per cent since 2010.
In Theresa May’s own constituency the cost of an annual season ticket from Maidenhead to London Paddington has risen by £831 since 2010.
Average fares have risen nearly three times faster than wages.
Somerset’s extravagant Tories keep hitting the news this week. First it was Sedgemoor Tories giving themselves higher pay rises than their staff and now it’s County Tories allocating new spend on their offices while 100 of their staff face redundancy. Labour Councillors have been quick to condemn ‘Tory priorities’ as ‘wrong priorities’.
Sedgemoor Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry(Bridgwater,Victoria) said: “Many residents in Bridgwater and the 79 Families affected in Sedgemoor will be wondering why is the Somerset County Council reducing GetSet Level 2 services, at a time when there is extra funding and why is 10 million be spent on a building. This surely must be a Council who is out of touch with the needs of young people, families and communities. In terms of the GetSet consultation the Council has agreed that out of the number of Parenting support groups on offer 4 will be cut in Sydenham, Hamp and Highbridge. SCC admits that private providers, the Health Service, Sedgemoor District Council and Community Centres, will run other Support Groups. For example at the Victoria Park Community Centre, Bridgwater, support is offered to young people in Dance, Digital Inclusion, Young Mothers and Babies, which is provided by the Health service, the pre school Dance provider and a combination of Sedgemoor District Council, EDF and the Community Centre. During a previous consultation with SCC there was an indication that GetSet level 2 activities could be introduced at the Victoria Park Community Centre, this option will now be cut”Continue reading “Tory Priorities are ‘Wrong Priorities’”
Campaigners including, Labour councillors, Yeovil Trade Council and members of the public protested outside Yeovil Crown Post Office collecting signatures against the closure of the town’s main Post Office and distributing leaflets to raise awareness of the threat to local jobs and services. The Post Office plans to close Crown Office and relocate to WHSmith. The Communication Workers Union, which represents the staff in Yeovil Crown Post Office, ran a street stall from 11:00 am outside the Post Office on 1st December for several hours with a petition and postcards.
Terry LedlieArea CWU rep said: “Yeovil Crown Post Office is an essential part of the local economy. It’s a valuable asset to the town and is relied upon by local residents and businesses as well as people who collect their pensions and benefits here. The staff in Yeovil Crown Post Office are well-trained and have a wealth of experience between them which could be lost under the company’s plans to close this office and move the roles into WHSmith.”
At todays meeting of Sedgemoor District Council the ruling Tory group voted to agree a remuneration package for next years councillor allowances that will see Executive council members gain more than 30% increase from £6,717.00 in 2018-19 to a massive £9,136.00 for 2019-20, in a year that saw their staff wages rise by just 2%. Labour members, plus the solitary Lib Dem, voted against this increase while the 2 Kippers supported the Tories
Sedgemoor Labour Group Leader Cllr Mick Lerry(Labour, Victoria) questioned the wisdom of these increases and also raised questions about the adjustments to their Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) which were agreed at the same meeting including making note of £150,000.00 saving due to in-year staff restructuring, which saw senior managers workload increase considerably following some roles being absorbed, noting that the justification for executive increase allowances was ‘to reflect increased workloads and levels of responsibility’, a point that Labour also asked to be clarified.
Labour votes Against
Cllr Leigh Redman (Labour, Dunwear) said “In these times of austerity, on one hand we make our staff do more for less, while on the other hand senior councillors award themselves massive pay increases. This is not a time for such an increase, if their workload has increased by this much then it should be evidenced. Regardless what the independent remuneration committee suggests, as councillors we can amend the proposal, I voted against this proposal and was supported by my colleagues. Every one of the Tory ruling group that were present voted for the rise!”
Cllr Brian Smedley(Labour, Westover) said “At the start of this item the preamble clearly said the Basic Allowance should be 2% to keep it in line with the staff pay award. The Labour group unanimously took that position. What on earth message does this send to the Councils workers!”
Tory Chancellor Philip Hammond faced strong criticism from Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn for delivering a ‘broken promise budget’ saying that eight years of austerity has ‘damaged our economy’ and ‘delayed the recovery’ and that it had not ‘undone the damage done by the squeeze on spending”. Here in Somerset Local Labour Leaders joined in the attack calling it a budget for the rich which gives nothing to hard pressed communities.
Sedgemoor Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria) said “Austerity is not over and the Budget presented by the Chancellor yesterday was more about BREXIT than helping people locally. If Austerity was over then where was the money to reverse the recent cuts by Somerset County Council for services such as GetSet to support your parents and children. For Local Government there will have to be a further wait until the Spending Review in 2019. The increased funding for Universal Credit did not go far enough, there should have also been a suspension of the migration to the new benefit system, to make sure that recipients were not forced into debt. For many local people receiving Universal Benefit, they are already in work and still finding it hard to meet everyday living. The increase in the Living Wage is still not keeping up with the cost of living and should have been moved to £10 per hour, if working people were really going to be released from the benefit system. Phillip Hammond reminded everyone that if there was a no deal BREXIT then there would have to be a further budget early in 2019, which would lead to further Austerity for years to come, while the Britain recovered from the economic shock.”Continue reading “Labour Attacks Sham ‘Austerity is Over’ Budget”
Don’t be fooled into Voting for the Liberal Democrats that have not only failed the students but have failed to stop the decline of Yeovil, what has happened to bus services? Do you agree with the obsession with traffic lights in our Town? whether it’s a Tory run County Council or a Liberal Democrat District Council both parties have failed you. So says Terry Ledlie Chairman of Yeovil CLP.
Next May you as a voter will have the opportunity to Vote for a Labour Councillor. Please see below what a Labour Councillor will stand for.
-Improved Public Transport.
-Affordable housing that is secure for all.
-Passionate about protecting the NHS.
Still unsure on whether to Vote Labour?
– Liberal Democrats have twice failed to beat the Tories in the last General Elections, they just can’t win here?
-The current Council needs a fresh approach, not the current Two party system that is failing our Town.
As a voter in the constituency you deserve better from your current Elected representatives. Don’t forget to Vote Labour and Demand better for not only your self but the wider community of Yeovil Constituency. It’s time to get tough and hold people to account. Yeovil is a typical working class Town that has grown in recent years but growth should not just be about building Houses, it should also be about putting in place jobs,transport,schools and health care that are required when the population increases due to housing development.
Labour rebuilt Britain in 1945 and now only Labour have the solution to rebuild in 2018 onward.
Recommendations for the future of Somerset’s Libraries Service have finally been unveiled today with the ultimate decision expected to be made next month (5 November) but Labour leaders have warned of future cuts and point the finger squarely at the Tories for failing to balance budgets.
A detailed report was published online, which sets out how Somerset’s Libraries Service would continue to be delivered across the County. It recommends that 19 existing library buildings be retained by Somerset County Council. For the remaining 15 library buildings, Somerset County Council would seek to develop ‘Community Library Partnerships’ (CLPs) where communities would support library buildings in partnership with the County Council