Andy and his wife, Barbra, moved to West Somerset with their three children in the late 1990s. Following the death of his wife and his subsequent early retirement, Andy became actively involved in local life. He volunteered for the West Somerset Advice Bureau for many years along with a shorter stint at the Sedgemoor Citizen’s Advice Bureau.
In the East ward it’s a battle between 2 Tories, 2 Independents and a Lib Dem, but in the West ward The Labour Party is putting up two candidates for the two seats – Paul Turner and Gill Pettitt.
Shepton Mallet already has TWO Labour Town councillors, Chris Inchley and Deborah Towner, but Shepton Branch Labour Party have been increasingly active in local issues notably the recent campaign over the bed closures in Shepton Hospital and now regarding the library. Both Gill and Paul know the town well and Paul has been at the core of the hospital protest and the legal challenges mounted against SOMPAR.
Paul is also the Wells Rural Affairs Officer and recently organised the Rural Affairs Panel which was addressed by David Drew MP – Shadow Farming Minister. In preparation for this Paul has also visited over 50 local farms and his knowledge of this aspect of the community and Labour Policies in relation to Rural Affairs is a huge asset to the town, the community and to the Party.
Labour across the county has rallied to the cause and there were 11 canvassers out yesterday – from all 4 branches of the Wells CLP and will be canvassing there again at 10.30 next Saturday .
Gary Tucker, Bridgwater Branch Secretary, says “Despite the usual pressures of winter, this one just gone was particularly difficult for the NHS. Listening to staff who work there, this last winter was harder than usual for the service to cope. This can only be due to the terrible cuts of this disgraceful Tory government. They have deliberately under-funded the Health Service. The standard tactic of privatisation is to defund it, make it worse so that the users end up hating it so that privatisation can be justified and accepted. Add into it the legal challenge against Jeremy Hunt who is trying to by-pass Parliamentary scrutiny for his next stage of his plans- ACOs and many other things the public aren’t told about, you have a recipe for the end of the NHS as we know it. I trust my Doctor and what she says, now come and hear this doctor at the NHS event and he will reveal what is really going on. What I’ve heard so far made me want to weep.” Continue reading “London GP to speak at Bridgwater Meeting on Crisis in NHS”
Cllr Pearce, speaking at the Sedgemoor Council meeting of 21st March, said “An estimated 9 million tonnes of plastic enters our seas and oceans every year, causing immense damage to marine life and the environment, The succesful introduction of a 5p plastic bag levy in England in 2015 led to an 85% reduction in the number of plastic bags used. A ban on microbeads from most cosmetics is due to be implemented later this year. A huge proportion of the plastic entering our oceans is single-use plastic (SUP) . This is not a new problem and something has to change”
Cllr Pearces motion committed the council to ‘working with partners, suppliers and customers to develop a strategy and timetable to make Sedgemoor District Council a ‘single use plastic free’ authority, specifically the phasing out of sales and use of SUP bottles and other SUP products across all premises and events.
As Chair of the Community Scrutiny committee she was given the authority to consider a strategy and timetable for this project and to present a recommendation to Full Council in September 2018. Continue reading “Labour Motion on ‘single use plastic free Sedgemoor’ passed”
Cllr Lerry (Labour,Bridgwater Victoria) continued “In Sedgemoor there is an urgent need for rented accommodation, such as Council houses, for local people. Councils borrowing money to build Council houses, with a proper business case to pay off the loans, should be allowed to do so and it should not be seen as public debt. Borrowing to build houses was really about an investment in the community to build rented accommodation, which would eventually pay off the loan. This is the way that many developers and builders function in the housing market and Councils should be allowed to build and provide affordable homes”. Continue reading “Labour Housing Motion passed by Sedgemoor Council”
Terry said “I find this very hard to believe! Other towns like Radstock whose machines still offer free parking, will continue having to maintain their machines; so, in reality the argument of maintenance does not stack up. It would seem that councillors are using rises in car parking charges to raise revenue, apparently up to £20,000 per year. However, this will be at the expense of hard working people and these councillors forget that this move could have a negative effect on Yeovil, turning it into a mere Ghost Town. With this happening, more and more people are travelling away from Yeovil. It is time, that complacent councillors changed their approach and their willingness to manage the decline.”
Terry added “If Yeovil were to offer a scheme of free parking for the first hour then it would bring many more people to our Town and that would in turn boost the local economy”. Continue reading “Labour Councillor Attacks Yeovil Parking Charge Hike”
IfF candidate Mark Dorrington took 53% of the vote and on a reduced turnout of only 21% (down from the 61% of the 2015 election) meant the IfF vote had dropped by 4% ,which could hardly be seen as an indication of the massive community engagement promised in the new politics of the ‘Independent’ Town Council.
The Tory vote dropped by 22% and they dropped from 2nd to 3rd place while the LibDem vote continued to plummet a further 8% leaving them in last place. Continue reading “Frome By Election: 2nd Place Labour now the Alternative Voice”
Neil, who lives in Frome with his wife and their two children, is standing for the Market Ward in the Frome Town Council by-election. Neil says “Every election is a choice: you can choose more of the same or you can vote for a party with a plan for change -and that is the Labour Party.”. Continue reading “Labour Challenge ‘One-Party Rule’ in Frome”
Ken Richards was elected 10 times from 1973 until 2011 for the Bridgwater ward of Central and then later Victoria. He was Mayor of Bridgwater 5 times in 1981, 87,91,2001 and 2009. Ken was a Transport & General Workers Union organiser and worked in the Brickyards and British Cellophane. Ken passed away at Musgrove Hospital after a short illness on January 29th. He was recently a feature of ‘Labour Lives’ which can be read here.
Ken’s funeral will be at St Mary’s Church Bridgwater at 11.00 on Friday 16 February
Mick Briscombe was elected 7 times as Labour councillor for the Sydenham Ward from 1973 until 1999, losing only once in 1987 when he stood against the party along with 5 colleagues under the banner of ‘Traditional Labour’. After a 4 year absence he was back in the party and regained his Sydenham seat for Labour. Mick, born Albert Sydney, was in the AEU Union and was Mayor of Bridgwater twice in 1978 and 1994. Mick passed away on 11th February 2018.
Mick’s funeral will be on Thursday 22nd Feb 18 at 2pm in the Salvations Army Hall, Bridgwater.
Jean Whitehouse was elected twice as Labour councillor for Highbridge in 1999 and 2003. Also a popular children’s entertainer who went under the name Auntie Teapot, Jean regularly held fundraising events at her family’s Edithmead farmhouse. Jean passed away peacefully on 29th january 2018 aged 84 years .
Jean’s Service of Committal will be at Highbridge Cemetery on Friday 16th February at 11.30am to which all are welcome .