Mayor Fires Starting Pistol for Elections saying “Change is Coming”

Tuesday, 19 March 20191 Reply
Diogo Rodrigues, Mayor of Bridgwater, says “Change is Coming”

Bridgwater’s young Mayor Diogo Rodrigues has launched a call to arms for the local elections set for May 2nd this year with an attack on Tory controlled Somerset and Sedgemoor Councils and Bridgwater and West Somersets Tory MP, saying ‘Change is Coming’. Cllr Rodrigues, who represents Labour in Bridgwater’s Dunwear ward, which spans the Sydenham and Bridge estates,is also winding up his terms of office which has seen the role of Mayor massively opened up into the community with regularly podcasts and web interviews, youth grants and awards, with international work promoting Bridgwater far and wide.

Continue reading “Mayor Fires Starting Pistol for Elections saying “Change is Coming””

Bridgwater Town Council Passes Climate Change Emergency Motion

Friday, 15 March 20192 Replies
Bridgwater to play it’s part in tackling climate change

Local authorities across the country have been passing motions alerting people to the climate emergency announced by the UN recently and this week saw Labour controlled Bridgwater Town Council add it;s weight to that number. A motion proposed by Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour Victoria) and Cllr Kathy Pearce (Labour Westover) was unanimously carried and called for the council to recognise the scale of the emergency, produce a strategy to deal with it on a local level and to work with partners to face the challenge. Somerset County passed a similar motion last week and Sedgemoor District debates one next week.

Mick Lerry proposed Climate Change motion


Cllr Mick Lerry said “We need this motion passed by as many councils as possible and as many organisations as possible. We all have to reduce our carbon footprint and aim to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. This is a climate emergency , measures have to be introduced and we mustn’t be complacent.  It makes sense to work across Somerset on this issue, working with the County Council and the other Districts and with other local partners and the community. If one young Swedish student can put the case so well directly to World leaders then we all have to respond to that.” Continue reading “Bridgwater Town Council Passes Climate Change Emergency Motion”

EDF Accommodation Block ‘Will Ease Pressure on Housing’

Sunday, 24 February 2019Leave a reply
EDF accommodation block finally opened

The new EDF Sedgemoor Campus on Bridgwater’s Bath Road has finally opened and will accommodate some 986 Hinkley point workers offering them £25 a night deals. The former cellophane site was opened by Tory MP Ian liddell-Grainger and will feature some 29 accommodation blocks and will operate under the title HOST. More information can be found here.  Meanwhile the development has raised hopes that there will now be a lessening of pressure on the local housing market and the towns increasingly over-populated streets and homes in multiple-occupation.

mick lerry
Sedgemoor Labour Leader Mick Lerry

Labour leader on Sedgemoor, Cllr Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria)  said: “The Sedgemoor Campus has now been officially opened and already over 100 workers are using the facility and extra accommodation at the site, will be available soon. This will mean that many local people, not involved in the Hinkley C project will not have to compete with EDF workers for accommodation. At £25 a night with the availability of 24-hour service of food, plus bars and a gym make it an attractive offer.”

What is also impressive is the fact that 25% of the workforce at the campus is from the Sydenham area, meaning that many local people are benefitting from employment and I spoke to other workers who either live in Bridgwater or close to Bridgwater”, said Mick

“The Sedgemoor campus also offers opportunity for workers to train and increase their qualifications, either with designed courses or under the UnionLearn banner, which will make it attractive to those workers employed by the contractors”, said Mick

Campaign to End the ‘Academisation of our Schools’

Monday, 18 February 2019
Anti Academies Alliance campaigners in Bridgwater

Labour Party members and supporters heard Jean Roberts, member of the Anti-Academies Alliance (AAA)and the National Education Union (NEU) , explain why the AAA is committed to the ending the academisation of our schools.The meeting was held on Saturday 16th February, at the GWRSA Club in Bridgwater, and those present drew up a plan of action to campaign in Somerset for an education service where all schools are democratic, inclusive, comprehensive, progressive and fully funded.

Continue reading “Campaign to End the ‘Academisation of our Schools’”

Bridgwater Labour Leaders issue reminder “Tories are Real Enemy”

Monday, 18 February 2019

Bridgwater Labour Leaders have united in expressing disappointment at the public departure today  of 7 anti-Corbyn MPs and have issued a call for unity and to concentrate on the fight against the conservatives. The 7 MPs have cited Labour’s position on Brexit, the Corbyn Leadership and anti-semitism as their reasons but have been criticised as a ‘Blairite tribute act’ and with a ‘poor record of voting for socialist causes in parliament’ by the left media. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnel has called on them to stand down and face by-elections and UNITE secretary Len McCluskey reminded them that their increased majorities at the last election were due to the socialist manifesto of the labour party and ‘not their personal charisma’. Here in Bridgwater the Party has been quick to unite and rally its forces.

Bridgwater Town Council Leader Brian Smedley “Fight is against the Tories”

Leader of Labour controlled Bridgwater town Council Cllr Brian Smedley (Bridgwater, Westover) said “It’s disappointing that people elected on a labour ticket, by labour voters and with labour helpers and aided by campaign funds raised by labour supporters and members should take this step to undermine the party when the real enemy is the Tories.  However, history is against them. When the Gang of 4 set up the SDP in the early 80’s because the party was ‘getting too socialist’ they claimed to be a ‘new cross-party alternative’. Just one tory joined them and then they themselves joined with the Lib Dems. A coalition disaster in the waiting. The only thing they achieved was to keep the Tories in throughout the 1980’s. The British public and quite frankly the labour voters and members who put them there in the first place deserve better than this. The fight is against the Tories and we won’t be diverted from that. If Tories now join them, well, it shows they weren’t that anti-tory in the first place…”” Continue reading “Bridgwater Labour Leaders issue reminder “Tories are Real Enemy””

Mayor ‘Takes a Stand’ Against MP

Tuesday, 12 February 2019
Diogo meets students at Bridgwater’s Blake school

The recent actions of Bridgwater and West Somerset  MP, Ian Liddell Grainger, has left Mayor of Bridgwater, Cllr Diogo Rodrigues, somewhat flabbergasted and disappointed. As the town’s ‘first citizen’  the Mayor now feels he needs to ‘take a stand’ against the ‘unfriendly and narrow actions’ of our MP.

Diogo writes “As the Mayor of our wonderful town I have had the pleasure of meeting so many people, organisations and volunteers who keep our communities going strong, who work tirelessly and passionately to make Bridgwater a better place in which to live and visit. I have collaborated with many of these groups and individuals to promote the work they do, and ultimately to promote our diverse town. And I think it’s fair to say that it has worked. We have truly put Bridgwater firmly on the map. From Bridgwater to Bristol and beyond, people are hearing and talking about our town, our communities, our volunteers and all that we have to offer. Our sense of community awareness, community engagement and the pride in our town is on the rise.

Now, all our work over the last few months will not go in vain. Continue reading “Mayor ‘Takes a Stand’ Against MP”

Bridgwater and Taunton College Strike Back

Thursday, 31 January 2019
ucu strike
UCU strike gains popular support

On Tuesday 29th and Wednesday 30th of January UCU staff members at all 3 campuses of Bridgwater and Taunton college left their classrooms, picked up the placards and made some noise. For the first time in over a decade the college staff voted to take part in industrial action over poor pay and lack of pay rise in the past 10 years.

BTC joined 12 other FE institutes across the country fighting for fair pay. Many staff members feel that they were actually earning more money 10 years ago, as with no pay rise and rising inflation staff have loss money. This is a salary that is low to start with, as school teachers on average earn over £7000 more per year then FE college lecturers. Continue reading “Bridgwater and Taunton College Strike Back”

Education on the Frontline as Labour takes to the Streets

Saturday, 26 January 2019
gary tucker
Labour Branch Secretary Gary Tucker at todays protest

Bridgwater Labour Party took to the streets today protesting about the state of Education under the Tories with their school cuts , teacher shortages and declining standards. And the protest is timely, because this week sees Trades unionists at Bridgwater & Taunton College from the Trade Union UCU out on strike for the first time in 11 years while later in the month the Labour Party will be holding a public meeting on Education at the Railway Club in Bridgwater.

Gary Tucker, Labour Branch Secretary, said “When it fails, it isn’t just the individual that is held back, but all of us. When we invest in people to develop their skills and capabilities, we all benefit from a stronger economy and society. At a time when working lives and the skills our economy needs are changing rapidly, governments have the responsibility to make lifelong learning a reality by giving everyone the opportunity to access education throughout their lives.To meet this responsibility, Labour will create a unified National Education Service (NES) for England to move towards cradle-to-grave learning that is free at the point of use. The NES will be built on the principle that ‘Every Child – and Adult Matters’ and will incorporate all forms of education, from early years through to adult education.” Continue reading “Education on the Frontline as Labour takes to the Streets”

‘Build Council Homes for the Future’ says Sedgemoor Labour Leader

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Mick west quay
Cllr Mick Lerry puts the case for council housing

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”,

Need for Social Houses today

Many of the houses provided by Housing Associations at the moment are affordable houses, which means that the rent is set at 80% of the housing rental market. Some Council Houses have their rent set at 60% of the market rent and are often referred to as Social Houses. Continue reading “‘Build Council Homes for the Future’ says Sedgemoor Labour Leader”

Bridgwater and Wells Labour Joins Forces

Saturday, 5 January 2019
labour members
Bridgwater and Wells Labour activists out canvassing in Mendip District

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”