Labour Steps Up Campaign in Bridgwater for the New Year

New CLP Secretary Kathy Pearce calls for action.

2024 will be election year and Bridgwater has a new constituency which local members believe they can win. At the first AGM of the new Bridgwater constituency Labour Party the many members present were put on a full election footing. New Westover councillor Tim Mander, property portfolio holder at Town Council, is the new Chair. Town & County councillor Kathy Pearce is the new Secretary. Town Councillor and Deputy Mayor Jacqui Solomon is the Treasurer , while Town Council Leader Brian Smedley is Vice-Chair/Membership/Campaigns officer.  Also on the Exec are two job shares -Gemma Shanahan and Megan Boucher as Women’s officers and Leigh Redman & Kate Pearce as Trades Union Liaison. Over to them…

New CLP Chairman Tim Mander

The newly elected constituency Chair Cllr Tim Mander rallied the troops “The new constituency offers Labour a realistic opportunity to take this new seat. The latest Electoral calculus predictions show Labour neck and neck with the Tories on 35% with the Lib Dem’s trailing way behind on 18% so it’s clear the only way to beat the Tories is by voting Labour. The Tories for far too long have taken this seat for granted and once again have parachuted in a knight of the shire with little or no connection to the constituency. They really are taking the electorate for mugs.  I am pleased to say that the local Labour Party has a strong united and committed team determined to put in the hard yards to promote the Labour case and fight for every. With the added interest in this seat the nomination for parliamentary candidate has been reopened but I am hopeful we will have a candidate in place by the end of January to help super boost our campaign”

Mayor’s message ‘Vote Labour’

“Country needs a Labour Government” Mayor Mick Lerry

BridgwaterTown Council is Labour and Mayor of Bridgwater Cllr Mick Lerry also had a stirring message “For many people Christmas is a time of festive celebration and an end to the old year. For many they have listened to the news that Liz Truss has given honours to wealthy Tory donors while many people have struggled to make ends meet. For 2024 I say Election, Election and Election, the country needs a new Labour Government to end the mess and mismanagement of the present Tory government. At the moment the present Government struggles to deliver their targets and their supporters are now being investigated for fraud and bribery. Meanwhile Bridgwater Town Council has to take on assets and services from the Somerset Council, who cannot balance the budget for 2024/25. The local economy has benefitted from the Hinkley C development and local businesses have grasped opportunities to be part of the supply chain. This local growth has also increased the demand for house building to make sure that local people are not displaced. The news that the Gravity site will be used for a new gigafactory to manufacture batteries for electric vehicles and storage, will provide new green jobs for many of the students in schools and colleges. This will mean an expansion in training and education to support this developing workforce. The Labour party welcomes this development as it will lead to more employment and higher wages for the future. It will also provide a new supply chain for local businesses in Bridgwater as well”. 

County Leader ‘Get Our Message Out’

County Labour Leader Leigh Redman at the recent Union demo

Bridgwater has a strong Labour influence on Somerset County Council with 4 of our 5 county members coming from the town. Group leader Cllr Leigh Redman said “Somerset council is in a financial mess but your elected representatives on Somerset Council are working hard to influence as many decisions as possible by limiting the impacts of cuts. We work hard behind the scenes to make Labours voice heard but  our open messaging is clear. Somerset council are in this position because of the Conservatives. 13 years of national cuts coupled with a similar number of years of poor management from a tory cabinet. As leader of the Labour group on Somerset being part of the new constituency really is exciting, in the next few months we must work to get to know the electorate getting our message out, I look forward to working with the CLP executive to build a better Bridgwater and get a Labour MP for the new constituency.”

Strength through Unity says Women’s Officer

Megan Boucher- ‘Call for Unity’

Labour members fought 2 by elections in the weeks before Christmas. Candidate for Fairfax East, Meg Boucher, is now Women’s Officer for the new constituency. She commented “Strength comes from unity . Working together has always been a focus of the Local Labour group. Our community deserves better and as we move into 2024 and a new constituency, we are hopeful we can deliver that change. Labour are committed to taking action to end violence against women and girls. As part of Keir Starmer’s mission to take back our streets, Labour has committed to halve the level of violence against women and girls within a decade. We know this will not be easy, and we need a deep focus on early prevention of violence.  We’ll be fighting to ensure the needs of women in our community women are equally visible during the general election campaign. “

‘We Can Win’ says Town Leader

Town Council Leader Brian Smedley ‘Labour can win’

Bridgwater Town Council leader Brian Smedley welcomed the new changes and the renewed confidence in victory for 2024 “Bridgwater is Labour and the new Constituency should be Labour. We know the national party has limited resources and wants to concentrate them in other parts of the country so we also know that this means we have to win this ourselves. And we can do this. The LibDems are a poor 3rd and voting for them will just take precious votes away from beating the Tories. To win this we need all hands on deck, an end to reluctant voting and people need to realise their vote is crucial now more than ever.”

At the AGM new officers were elected to key positions and meetings have already been held to plan the 2024 election campaign starting with the selection of a parliamentary candidate during January.

The New Bridgwater Constituency Officers 2024

Chair Tim Mander
Secretary Kathy Pearce
Treasurer Jacqui Solomon
Vice Chair/ Membership Brian Smedley
Women’s Officers Megan Boucher & Gemma Shanahan
Trades Union Officers Leigh Redman & Kate Pearce

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