Lancaster Labour Party

The Boundary Commission has published its initial proposals. Lancaster & Fleetwood is split three ways: urban Lancaster to join with Skerton, Morecambe and Heysham, Fleetwood to join with North Blackpool, rural areas to North Lancashire.

Lanc__Fleetwood.PNG  Our MP, Cat Smith,says

"These proposals to redraw constituency boundaries are unfair, undemocratic and unacceptable as they are based on an out-of-date version of the electoral register with nearly two million voters missing. Any constitutional changes, including the make-up of parliamentary constituencies, should be done fairly with everyone given a voice. This is not what the Tories have done. By pressing ahead with proposals despite two million people having been left out of the review, the Tories have revealed the truth about their plan to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600: it is designed for their own political advantage rather than do what is in the best interests of the country.

Suggestions that this is being done to “cut the cost of politics” are a red herring. The claimed saving of £12 million is dwarfed by the £34 million cost of the 260 extra Peers David Cameron appointed to the Lords. And at the same time the Tories have overseen a huge increase in the bill for politically appointed Special Advisers, totalling £45.8m since 2010.

 


The Tories must stop trying to stack the deck in their favour and allow the Boundary Commission to take into account the millions who registered in the run-up to the May elections and the EU referendum. That is the way to ensure the public have the right level of representation. The Tories should pause, look again and proceed only with changes which are agreed consensually, when it can be guaranteed that no elector will lose out."

CLP New Boundaries

The Boundary Commission has published its initial proposals. Lancaster & Fleetwood is split three ways: urban Lancaster to join with Skerton, Morecambe and Heysham, Fleetwood to join with North Blackpool,...

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Booksale on 17th September

This has been sent to our email list of members - if you didn't find it, please check your junk mail in case it got there; if it never came, please contact the Branch secretary (address at end) giving your email address. You can download the newsletter here, or just continue reading. As a member, we hope you will be interested in joining the CLP Facebook Group for its news and discussion, and look at the Branch Facebook page.

 

 

LANCASTER AND DISTRICT LABOUR PARTY SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER

Scotforth Hall, 47 Scotforth Road, Lancaster LA1 4SA

 

Dear Member

 

The summer is drawing to a close and the children are back at school. We’ve experienced  an exciting Rio Olympics, certainly hugely successful for the UK, and the football season is back. Nationally, Labour’s leadership contest dominates the headlines, but there’s a lot happening within the Party locally. Here are a few of the things we need to think about.

 

A new Tory regime, but the same cuts

The new Tory government at Westminster has serious implications for us locally through the relentless cuts being imposed on both Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council. These cuts are the reason why care services, libraries, museums closing, bus services and countryside facilities are all under threat.  Meanwhile our local Labour Councillors are endeavouring to save as many services they can and to protect the most vulnerable people from the worst effects of this austerity.

 

If you want to find out about what the City and County council do and the difficult decisions having to be made, visit the council websites: www.lancaster.gov.uk and

www.lancashire.gov.uk. Council meeting agendas and reports are fully explained.

 

Lancashire County Council Elections 2017

Selection of Labour's candidates for Lancaster South East, Lancaster East and Lancaster Central

Shortlisting: Wednesday 14 September, Friends' Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TX from 7:30pm

Selections: Wednesday 21 September, Upper Priory Hall, Castle Hill, Lancaster, LA1 1YN from 7:30pm

 

Elections for Lancashire County Council will take place on 4 May 2017, and it is essential that Labour holds its existing seats and wins new ones.  We will be choosing our candidates for the three Lancashire County Council divisions in urban Lancaster during September.  Those divisions cover all of urban Lancaster south of the Lune, plus Thurnham and Cockerham parishes. We'll be selecting Labour candidates in our rural areas later in the year. All members of the party who have been members since 22 January 2016 (this date has been set by the Lancashire Labour Local Campaign Forum) and who are not in arrears with their membership payments are entitled to participate.

 

For each of these three divisions, there will be a shortlisting meeting on Wednesday 14 September followed by a selection meeting on Wednesday 21 September. Eligible members can attend either or both of these meetings. Please attend the correct meeting for the division you live in - please note that the boundaries for county council divisions are due to change significantly next year, and we'll be working from the new boundaries.

 

What's a shortlisting meeting?   This is your chance to draw up a shortlist of potential candidates, from the full list of everyone interested in standing for Labour in Lancashire.

 

What's a selection meeting?   This is your chance to hear the shortlisted candidates speak, ask them questions and choose which one should be our candidate.

 

When should I attend?  

Wed 14 Sep, 7:30pm, Friends' Meeting House - shortlisting meeting for Lancaster South East

Wed 14 Sep, 8:00pm, Friends' Meeting House - shortlisting meeting for Lancaster East

Wed 14 Sep, 8:30pm, Friends' Meeting House - shortlisting meeting for Lancaster Central

 

Wed 21 Sep, 7:30pm, Upper Priory Hall - selection meeting for Lancaster South East

Wed 21 Sep, 8:10pm, Upper Priory Hall - selection meeting for Lancaster East

Wed 21 Sep, 8:50pm, Upper Priory Hall - selection meeting for Lancaster Central

 

Which division am I in?

-    Bulk Ward is in Lancaster East;

-    Castle Ward is split between Lancaster Central (those who vote at the Boys' Club or the Friends' Meeting House) and Lancaster East (those who vote at St Thomas's);

-    Ellel Ward is split between Lancaster Central (those in Cockerham and Thurnham parishes) and Lancaster Rural East (everyone else);

-    John O'Gaunt Ward is split between Lancaster East (those who vote at the cathedral, the grammar school or Bowerham Road school) and Lancaster South East (those who vote at the United Reform Church or Moorside school);

-    Lower Lune Valley is in Lancaster Rural East;

-    Marsh Ward is in Lancaster Central;

-    Scotforth East Ward is in Lancaster South East;

-    Scotforth West Ward is split between Lancaster Central (those who vote at the Methodist Church, Rowley Court Masonic Hall or at St Thomas's) and Lancaster South East (those who vote at St Paul's Parish Hall or Bowerham Road school);

-    University & Scotforth Rural Ward is in Lancaster South East.

 

If you live in rural Wyre - you're either in Wyre Rural Central or Wyre Rural East.

 

Local Campaigning

Throughout the summer local campaigning has been taking place, and this will intensify during the autumn once County Council candidates have been identified.  Regular doorknocking is crucial to listen to local people’s concerns and to convince them to support us at District, County and national elections.  Ward Newsletters are being prepared, copied and distributed by our teams of deliverers.

 

If you wish to join one of our doorknocking sessions, go online to

www.lancasterandfleetwoodlabour.org/events, or call Anna Lee directly on 07500 877364.  The residents are usually friendly, even when they do not agree with us, and all first-time canvassers go round with an old hand until they feel confident to proceed by themselves.  We go round as a team, and keep together as we campaign.  Some specific dates in early September are mentioned in the Diary at the end of this newsletter, but more will be announced on the website in due course.

 

If you wish to write for, help duplicate and fold, or to distribute one of our Ward leaflets, please contact John Whitehead at j.whitehead263@btinternet.com, or call him on 01524 389967.  He will put you in contact with such activity in your Ward, or even help you start something up.

 

For those who would like to take a role in organising and leading the campaign for the County Council elections next May, there will be a meeting to discuss building our campaign team on Wednesday, 7 September at 6.00 pm at the Toll House Inn at Penny Street Bridge.

 

Branch Meetings

Two Branch meetings are scheduled for the Autumn.  On 26 October, there will be a business meeting to review regular activities within the Branch, including a featured discussion on Housing Policy.  On 30 November there will be a policy meeting devoted to Higher Education policy, from the point of view of students and of residents in a city with two thriving universities.  Both of these meetings will take place at 7.30 at the Gregson. 

 

On 9 December, at 7.30, there will be a Fish Fry Day at Scotforth Hall.  This is an opportunity to enjoy the award-winning fare from Hodgson’s Chippy, to meet other members and chat, to participate in another mind-bending quiz, and to raise funds for the Branch’s election campaign fund.

 

Booksale at the Cornerstone Café

Following the success of an earlier venture, there will be another booksale at the Cornerstone Café from 11.00 to 3.00 on Saturday 17 September.  All proceeds will go to the Branch Election Fund to support our campaigns in the County Council elections.  Why not come along to browse, buy and listen to readings throughout the day?

 

Gardening at Scotforth Hall

As a break from political campaigning, why not come and join us tidying up the garden of Scotforth Labour Hall?  We have had two good goes at this during the summer, and now need to do a final session before the winter.  We will meet at 11.00 on 17 September and work for a couple of hours.  After the session, we will be able to give anyone who wishes a lift down to the Cornerstone Café to look in on the booksale (see item above) and maybe grab some lunch.  Equipment will be provided, but please bring any of your favourite tools too.  It helps our local reputation for our own premises to look good, and this is an opportunity to meet fellow members in a rather different setting.  After the If you are able to come, please let Nick Moule know: nickbaggie2010@hotmail.co.uk  or Tel: 01524 68998.

 

Clarion House, Newchurch in Pendle

On a lighter note. Occasionally, it is refreshing to reflect on what the values of the Labour movement stand for. If you fancy an adventure out on a Sunday to East Lancashire it’s really worth visiting Clarion House run by Nelson and Colne CLP. Clarion Houses were built as non-profit making co-operatives with any excess money used in spreading the word of socialism.

Clarion House on the edge of Pendle Hill is open every Sunday and some Bank holidays and is one of the few remaining Clarion Houses now left. The “Clarion” is situated in its own grounds, with a magnificent view to the North deep in the heart of “Pendle Witch” country. Roughlee, Barley, Read and the historic towns of Colne, Whalley and Clitheroe are all within walking distance. Can be difficult to find, but details are on their web site: www.clarionhouse.org.uk.

Pints (and mugs) of the celebrated Clarion Tea are on sale as are a variety of other beverages and confectionery. You can even wash down your own packed lunch with a drink provided by Nelson and Colne CLP.

Just visiting listening and talking to some of the Labour stalwarts puts life in perspective. It’s just great for cyclists, walkers and families and in the colder months there’s an open fire.

 

Branch Executive

Cathy Jamieson unfortunately has had to tender her resignation due to personal and work commitments. The Branch expresses our thanks to Cathy for her services. We will be reporting arrangements for changes to the Executive at our next Branch meeting.

 

Diary for Autumn 2016

Date

Time

Location

Activity

  7 September

  6.00

Toll House Inn

Building our campaign team for County elections

11 September

10.30

Scotforth Hall

Printing, Folding and Stuffing*

11 September

  2.30

Cockerham

Canvassing*

12 September

  6.00

Lancaster E

Canvassing*

14 September

  7.30

Friends’ Meeting House

Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster SE

 

  8.00

Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster E

 

  8.30

Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster C

17 September

11.00 – 3.00

Cornerstone Café

Booksale for Branch Election funds

17 September

11.00

Scotforth Hall

Gardening Working Party

21 September

  7.30

Upper Priory Hall

Selection of candidate for Lancaster SE

 

  8.10

Selection of candidate for Lancaster E

 

  8.50

Selection of candidate for Lancaster C

26 October

  7.30

The Gregson

Branch Business Meeting – including a discussion of Housing Policy

30 November

  7.30

The Gregson

Branch Policy Meeting: Higher Education

  9 December

  7.30

Scotforth Hall

Fish Fry Day

 

*Contact Anna Lee by email (anna@annalee.org.uk) or phone (07500 877364) if you wish to join any of these sessions.

 

 

Regards

 

Nick Moule, Lancaster Labour Party Branch Secretary

7 September 2016

 

Chair: John Whitehead. Vice Chair: Sue Clark. Treasurer: James Groves. Secretary: Nick Moule, 4 Sulyard Street, Lancaster LA1 1PX   nickbaggie2010@hotmail.co.uk   01524-68998

 

Lancaster Newsletter Sept 2016

This has been sent to our email list of members - if you didn't find it, please check your junk mail in case it got there; if it never came,...

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For those not present at the special general meeting of Lancaster & Fleetwood CLP held on Friday 22 July 2016, in Lancaster Methodist Church, here's a summary of the outcome. The members eligible to participate and vote were all current CLP members who had been Labour Party members continuously since joining before 13 January 2016, excluding those in arrears on their membership subs but including those who had recently paid up their arrears. The rules for such meetings as set out by NEC were followed. Prior to the formal proceedings there was informal discussion while people had an opportunity to read the two candidates' official statements.

Total eligible members – 778; Eligible members present – 101; Turnout - 13.0%

In the chair: Alison Love

Tellers: Billy Glasgow, James Groves, Erica Lewis, Cat Smith and Tom Sweeney

Contributions heard from: Josh Brandwood, Brian Stephenson, Peter Stephenson, Joel Evans, Romy Clark, Jonathan Maher, Rob Devey, Ian Barker, Sue McCormick, Allen Knott, Tom Sweeney, Alistair Sinclair, Bob Clark, Evelyn Stephenson, John Chell, Cathy Hornby and Jeremy Bateman

Votes cast:

Jeremy Corbyn - 71

Owen Smith - 30

Spoilt - 0

Jeremy Corbyn was duly nominated for the leadership. As we stressed at the meeting, when it comes to the actual election, members are free to vote for whichever candidate they wish! 

When we have a list of other CLP nominations we will give a link here.

Currently the New Statesman has a list they are updating ....

CLP Nomination Meeting

For those not present at the special general meeting of Lancaster & Fleetwood CLP held on Friday 22 July 2016, in Lancaster Methodist Church, here's a summary of the outcome....

Three for three! Amazing night for the Labour team in Lancaster on 5th May!

 

 

 Lizzi Collinge for Lancaster East was elected to Lancashire County Council with 50% of the votes on a 32% turnout.

 In the city council by-elections, Oscar Tynne held John O'Gaunt ward and John Reynolds gained Carnforth and Millhead, each with over 40% of the votes on 34% turnouts.

 And Clive Grunshaw was re-elected as Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire with 56% of the final votes on a 29% turnout.

 Congratulations to all four!

 

Full Details:

Lancashire County Council - Lancaster East division

Lizzi Collinge (Lab) 1758 ; elected with 50% of votes

Tim Hamilton-Cox (Green) 1408

Robin Long (LD) 231

Steve Metcalfe (TUSC) 60

Spoilt 49.   Votes cast 3606, turnout 32%

Lancaster City Council - John O'Gaunt ward

Kieran Cooke (Con) 221

Bethany Frost (LD) 85

Niall Semple (UKIP) 112

Paul Stubbins (Green) 650

Oscar Thynne (Lab) 857 ; elected with 44% of votes

Spoilt 16.   Votes cast 1941, turnout 34%

Lancaster City Council - Carnforth & Millhead ward

John Bassinder (Con) 671

Phil Dunster (LD) 74

Robert Gillespie (UKIP) 134

John Reynolds (Lab) 702 ; elected with 43% of votes

Cait Sinclair (Green) 49

Spoilt 7.  Votes cast 1637, turnout 34%

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire                                                

                                     First Count      Second Count

James Barker     (UKIP)   49,987  

Clive Grunshaw (Lab)     132,261        152,714

Andy Pratt          (Con)     96,746         118,941

Graham Roach  (LD)        23,164  

Spoilt papers 9,697. Turnout 29%             

 

 

Elections Results May 2016

Three for three! Amazing night for the Labour team in Lancaster on 5th May!      Lizzi Collinge for Lancaster East was elected to Lancashire County Council with 50% of...

Are you registered to vote? Details how to...

Clive Grunshaw is running for re-election as Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire,

 Clive_Grunshaw_PCC.jpg

and two by-elections to replace Labour Councillor Richard Newman-Thompson who died in February: Lizzi Collinge for Lancaster East on Lancashire County Council

Lizzie_Collinge_LCC.jpg

and Oscar Thynne for John O’Gaunt on Lancaster City Council. The links are to their Facebook pages, where details of campaigns can be found.

 Oscar_Thynne_LCC.jpg

Elections are coming on 5th May!

Are you registered to vote? Details how to... Clive Grunshaw is running for re-election as Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire,   and two by-elections to replace Labour Councillor Richard...

WARM TRIBUTES TO  COUNCILLOR

 richard-newman-thompson.pngA large congregation heard warm tributes to the life of Lancaster city and Lancashire county councillor Richard Newman-Thompson at his civic funeral at Lancaster Priory on February 29 2016.

His best friend, Ray Hill, said Councillor Newman-Thompson was a man of immense personal courage and total and absolute loyalty, who was always there to be relied on.

He was decent, clean-living and hard-working and never let a political or philosophical disagreement influence his view of a person.

Both men were Labour Party colleagues and Heysham High School governors at the same time.

Leader of Lancaster City Council Councillor Eileen Blamire, Councillor Newman-Thompson's John o'Gaunt Ward colleague, described him as intelligent, dedicated, committed, wise, totally reliable and, above all, caring.

He cared passionately about health and, as Cabinet member for finance, did a magnificent job in preparing the council's budget, she said.

“Colleagues and friends are devastated by his death,” said Councillor Blamire. “I personally owe him a great debt. He made a difference to any life he touched.”

The Vicar of Lancaster, the Rev Chris Newlands, spoke of Councillor Newman-Thompson's passion, energy, commitment and self-sacrifice for the good of others.

The service was attended by the Mayor of Lancaster, Councillor Jon Barry; the MP for Lancaster, Cat Smith; and the Chairman of Lancashire County Council, County Councillor Margaret Brindle.

Councillor Newman-Thompson died of cancer at home on February 22 aged 53. Donations in his memory are going to St John's Hospice.

 

Tributes To Richard Newman-Thompson

WARM TRIBUTES TO  COUNCILLOR  A large congregation heard warm tributes to the life of Lancaster city and Lancashire county councillor Richard Newman-Thompson at his civic funeral at Lancaster Priory on...

How We Are Represented: Democratic Reforms?

A discussion document from the Lancaster Branch of the Labour Party, February 2016 This is presented here in order to generate further discussion amongst Labour Party members.  It presents the...

Labour_IN2.pngLabour will campaign for Britain to stay in Europe in the referendum that the prime minister has called for June, regardless of Cameron’s overblown tinkering, says Jeremy Corbyn. That’s not because we don’t think the EU needs reform – far from it.  Labour will be running a positive campaign for the real change we need: to unite opposition to austerity and build a Europe of sustainable growth, jobs and social justice. That can only be achieved by working with allies who share our aims across the continent. We want a social Europe of decent jobs and equality for all. Being part of Europe has brought Britain investment, jobs and protection for workers, consumers and the environment. We are convinced that the EU is a vital framework for European trade and international cooperation in the 21st century, and that a vote to remain in Europe is in the best interest of our people.

Cat Smith writes: A British exit from the EU would have a seriously detrimental impact on the free movement of people; trade union and human rights; environmental protection; international cooperation; and a host of other vital issues. While the EU is in need of a democratic reform, an exit at the current time would boost right-wing movements and parties and hurt ordinary people in the UK. European politics has been dominated by neoliberal thinking for far too long – as recent events in Greece brutally demonstrate. But changing this means working to strengthen anti-austerity movements across all of Europe – not walking away. Our campaign will put the case for staying in the EU independently of Cameron and big business, opposing any part of a “renegotiation” that attacks workers’, migrants’ or human rights. We will combine campaigning for an in vote with arguing for an alternative economic model, maintaining European citizens’ rights to live and work across the EU, and for far-reaching democratic reforms of European institutions.

Britain is better off in Europe. It is clear that being in the European Union brings us jobs, growth and investment. The EU has helped to secure workers’ rights and make consumers better off too. That’s why Labour is In for Britain - declares Alan Johnson, chair of the Labour In for Britain Campaign.

For more facts (and myth-busting) about the impact of the EU on Britain

Labour In for Britain

Another Europe Is Possible

 

 

It's time to make the progressive case for staying in the EU

Labour will campaign for Britain to stay in Europe in the referendum that the prime minister has called for June, regardless of Cameron’s overblown tinkering, says Jeremy Corbyn. That’s not...

Because of Government cuts to local councils - 44% cut in our budget in real terms since 2010 - your Lancashire County Council are being forced to cut local services by over £262million. The council's reluctant responses to this problem the government has imposed on them include:

-cut bus services
-reduce bin collections
-closing libraries and museums

But that's just the start...

Have your say... (consultation on Lancashire County website)


Councillor Newman-Thompson, Labour cabinet member for finance, said:

“These vicious Tory Government cuts will inevitably mean we will be unable to continue to provide all the services and do all the things our residents would like us to do.
“They are unnecessary, and the Tories have used the global financial and Eurozone crises as a cover for their ideologically driven attacks on the public sector.
“We had already had a 44% cut in our budget in real terms since 2010 under the Tory-led Government.

The provisional figures for Lancashire were published in January and showed a further £303.3m reduction in central government support for the county council over the period 2016/17 to 2019/20.

County Councillor David Borrow, Deputy Leader of the County Council and Cabinet Member for Finance said:


"We have been lobbying central government very hard to try to secure more money for Lancashire. The finalised figures reveal that while some councils have been given more money, particularly county councils in the south, Lancashire's position is no better off."


"This leaves the county council in a very difficult financial position, unprecedented in its severity, and makes it very difficult to maintain the services that people rely on.


"Even before this final announcement, we knew that the council will not have sufficient financial resources to meet its statutory obligations by April 2018, based on current spending levels and demand for services. Over the next two years, the council will need to rely heavily on spending its reserves in order to balance its budget, and that money can only be spent once.

Lancashire services slashed by £262million

Because of Government cuts to local councils - 44% cut in our budget in real terms since 2010 - your Lancashire County Council are being forced to cut local services...

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   Lancashire County Council –

   What it does

   Why Campaign

This is based on a talk about LCC at a recent Lancaster Branch meeting, given by Michael Tomlinson, LCC member for Leyland Central.

LCC is responsible for these Services ……

  • Adult Social Care – Older people, Vulnerable Adults, Learning Disabilities
  • Children’s Social Care- Fostering & Adoption, Children in Care, Youth Offending, Special Educational Needs & Disabilities
  • Schools - Support and Advice on School Improvement, School Places, School Transport, Outdoor Education
  • Public Health- Health Visitors, School Nurses, WPEH (Wellbeing, Protection & Early Help service)
  • Highways & Transport Policy
  • Library Service
  • Waste Disposal
  • Economic Development-Jobs, Skills, Growth

But not responsible for these Services ……

  • Waste Collection
  • Leisure
  • Parks & Playgrounds
  • Planning
  • Environmental Health/Enforcement
  • Litter & Dog Fouling
  • Buses & Trains
  • Motorways!

Where LCC spends money:

  • Adult Services                  £317,674,000
  • Children’s Services           £119,421,000
  • Community Services                  £134,239,000
  • Public Health                   £28,860,000
  • Development                             £35,574,000
  • Others                                      £77,252,000

Total                £713,020,000

 

The Challenge Ahead

  • Currently spending over £100m a year more than we get in
  • Funding from Central Government is falling (down by £153,000,000 from 2011/12 to 2016/17) and will soon go
  • Demand for Adult Services and Children’s Services is growing
  • Predicted to run out of money by end of 2019/20
  • At the same time the local Health Service is predicted to be around £800 million adrift of the funding it needs by 2020

Why campaign & vote for Labour in LCC?

  • Labour is currently the largest group, but is a minority administration, generally supported by the LibDems
  • We have....introduced the Living Wage for LCC employees, signed the Ethical Care Charter, delivered the Heysham Link, helped create over 4,500 jobs and apprenticeships, have 95% of primary schools rated ‘Good’ or ‘Outstanding’
  • We will….Continue to stand up for those who are most vulnerable, grow Lancaster’s economy even further, look to support green energy schemes, invest in school buildings

Click for details of Campaigning Events

 

LCC - What it does, Why campaign

   Lancashire County Council –    What it does    Why Campaign This is based on a talk about LCC at a recent Lancaster Branch meeting, given by Michael Tomlinson, LCC member for...

Cat.jpg

Cat writes about the Tory ministers and their plans to trial the use of requiring ID in polling stations.

While Labour supports measures to tackle electoral fraud, requiring voters to produce specific forms of photo ID risks denying millions of electors a vote. The Electoral Commission in 2016 reported that 3.5 million electors – 7.5 percent of the electorate – would have no acceptable piece of photo ID (passport or driving licence are the likely requirements). We must not underestimate the significance of this. By introducing strict identification laws, there is a risk of disenfranchising disadvantaged and vulnerable groups, those already most excluded from the political process.

There is also no evidence to suggest that electoral fraud is widespread in the UK. A total of 665 cases of alleged voter fraud and complaints about elections last year, out of a total of 51.4 million votes cast in all electoral contests in that period. That is only 1 case for every 77,000 votes cast, and of the 665 cases, only 130 related to voting offences! The Electoral Reform Society dismissed the voter ID trails as “a sledgehammer to crack a nut” and urged the government to “think very carefully before introducing barriers to voting. Local Authorities have also started to challenge the Government.

When questioned on this, Chris Skidmore, minister for the constitution, admitted that voter fraud was not a significant issue. The minister argued that the trials were more about tackling the perception of electoral fraud and installing confidence in our electoral system. Apparently despite the risk of reducing voter particpation!

Read the full article on LabourList

 

The young and vulnerable are at risk of being cut out of democracy

Cat writes about the Tory ministers and their plans to trial the use of requiring ID in polling stations. While Labour supports measures to tackle electoral fraud, requiring voters to...

our_nhs_demo.JPG

Health Campaigns Together has called a national demonstration in London on 4th March . Lancaster branch has been working with other local activists and organised a coach to the NHS march in London (see below). The time has come to demonstrate the breadth and depth of support for the NHS and anger and opposition to the destructiveness of Tory policies. The Royal College of Nursing and the BMA have both now joined the growing list of local and regional organisations involved.

Our National Health Service is at breaking point. On the backdrop of gross underfunding, private companies are taking on more contracts, breaking up more of the NHS. The value of NHS staff salaries has reduced by 14% since 2010 and there are now 25,000 nursing and 3,500 midwifery vacancies in NHS England alone.  By March the “winter crisis” will not be over and the savage cuts in the so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans will start to be evident. Theresa May’s demands for yet more austerity in the NHS represent a real risk to the safety of patients and the service.

The NHS is the single greatest achievement of working class people in Britain. We cannot allow it to be undermined and ultimately destroyed. We must march together, sending a clear message to the government; “the NHS will last as long as there are folk with the faith to fight for it.”  This could be a massive demonstration, bringing together the growing number of community campaigns with the trade union movement. 

The NHS is held in great affection and people fear its destruction.  The Tories are weak on this issue and we must ensure that we have a massive demonstration that will help to focus the discontent in this country.  Please come on the march if you can. The coach to London will be picking up at Carnforth, Lancaster and probably Preston. We have a few places left on the coach.  If you want to book a seat, please contact Deborah Finn on 07709 546280 or finnble@gmail.com  Seats are £20 for a return ticket.

 

NHS Demo 4 March

Health Campaigns Together has called a national demonstration in London on 4th March . Lancaster branch has been working with other local activists and organised a coach to the NHS...

UK-EU_flags.jpgThe main media don't often present Labour policy clearly, so here below is the official release on the Article 50 Bill amendments. 

Regarding the three line whip, as Cat Smith has said, it is essential that the main opposition party has a clear position on triggering Brexit. Follow this link to her statement after the Supreme Court ruling, setting out her position.

This link goes to the Parliament page with all the Bill documents, including all amendments.

Labour tables targeted amendments to Article 50 Bill

Today Labour has tabled a number of targeted amendments to the Article 50 Bill (the European Union [Notification of Withdrawal] Bill).

The amendments seek to improve the process, and would ensure Parliament is able to hold the Government to account throughout the Brexit negotiations.

Labour is also tabling an anti-tax haven amendment to ensure the Prime Minister doesn’t use Brexit to weaken Britain’s laws concerning tax avoidance and evasion.

Labour will also support two amendments drafted by Melanie Onn MP which would protect workers’ rights and ensure there is no drop in employment protection after the UK leaves the EU.

Labour’s amendments will:

i)                    Allow a meaningful vote in Parliament on the final Brexit deal. Labour’s amendment would ensure that the House of Commons has the first say on any proposed deal and that the consent of Parliament would be required before the deal is referred to the European Council and Parliament.

ii)                  Establish a number of key principles the Government must seek to negotiate during the process, including protecting workers’ rights, securing full tariff and impediment free access to the Single Market.

iii)                Ensure there is robust and regular Parliamentary scrutiny by requiring the Secretary of State to report to the House at least every two months on the progress being made on negotiations throughout the Brexit process

iv)                Guarantee legal rights for EU nationals living in the UK. Labour has repeatedly called for the Government to take this step, and this amendment would ensure EU citizens’ rights are not part of the Brexit negotiations.

v)                  Require the Government to consult regularly with the governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland throughout Brexit negotiations. Labour’s amendment would put the Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) on a statutory footing and require the UK Government to consult the JMC at least every two months.

vi)                Require the Government to publish impact assessments conducted since the referendum of any new proposed trading relationship with the EU. This amendment seeks to ensure there is much greater clarity on the likely impact  of the Government’s decision to exit the Single Market and seek  new relationship with the Customs Union

vii)              Ensure the Government must seek to retain all existing EU tax avoidance and evasion measures post-Brexit

Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, said:

“Labour will seek to amend the Article 50 Bill to prevent the Government using Brexit to turn Britain into a bargain basement tax haven off the coast of Europe. Our country can do much better than that.

“We respect the will of the British people, but not the will of this Tory government to impose fewer rights at work and worse public services, while the largest corporations pay even less tax.

“Labour will ensure that the British people, through Parliament, have genuine accountability and oversight over the Brexit negotiations because no one voted to give Prime Minister Theresa May a free hand over our future.”

Keir Starmer, Shadow Secretary of State for Exiting the EU, said:

“Now that Parliament has the right to trigger Article 50, we need to ensure there is proper grip and accountability built into the process.

“Labour’s amendments will also seek to ensure the Prime Minister secures the best deal for the whole country – including tariff and impediment free access to the Single Market and that there is no drop in workers’ rights.

“Labour’s amendments will significantly improve the Government’s Bill – in particular by ensuring the House of Commons has the first say on the final Brexit deal and that there are regular opportunities to hold the Government to account.

“Labour’s amendments will also seek to ensure the Prime Minister secures the best deal for the whole country – including tariff and impediment free access to the Single Market and that there is no drop in workers’ rights. We will also vigorously oppose any plans to reduce powers to tackle tax avoidance or evasion’.

“The Article 50 Bill will be the start, not the end of the Brexit process and Labour will hold the Government to account all the way”

Melanie Onn MP, who has tabled two amendments with Frontbench support on workers’ rights said:

“The Tories can’t be allowed to use Brexit as an excuse to water-down people’s rights at work.

“That’s why I am introducing amendments to protect in British law all workers’ rights which originate from the EU, including maternity pay, equal rights for agency and part-time workers, and the working time directive.

“The British people voted to leave the EU, but I don’t think anyone was voting for more insecure contracts or a less safe workplace.”

Labour Amendments to Article 50 Bill

The main media don't often present Labour policy clearly, so here below is the official release on the Article 50 Bill amendments.  Regarding the three line whip, as Cat Smith...

The Boundary Commission has published its initial proposals. Lancaster & Fleetwood is split three ways: urban Lancaster to join with Skerton, Morecambe and Heysham, Fleetwood to join with North Blackpool, rural areas to North Lancashire.

Lanc__Fleetwood.PNG  Our MP, Cat Smith,says

"These proposals to redraw constituency boundaries are unfair, undemocratic and unacceptable as they are based on an out-of-date version of the electoral register with nearly two million voters missing. Any constitutional changes, including the make-up of parliamentary constituencies, should be done fairly with everyone given a voice. This is not what the Tories have done. By pressing ahead with proposals despite two million people having been left out of the review, the Tories have revealed the truth about their plan to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600: it is designed for their own political advantage rather than do what is in the best interests of the country.

Suggestions that this is being done to “cut the cost of politics” are a red herring. The claimed saving of £12 million is dwarfed by the £34 million cost of the 260 extra Peers David Cameron appointed to the Lords. And at the same time the Tories have overseen a huge increase in the bill for politically appointed Special Advisers, totalling £45.8m since 2010.

 


The Tories must stop trying to stack the deck in their favour and allow the Boundary Commission to take into account the millions who registered in the run-up to the May elections and the EU referendum. That is the way to ensure the public have the right level of representation. The Tories should pause, look again and proceed only with changes which are agreed consensually, when it can be guaranteed that no elector will lose out."

CLP New Boundaries

The Boundary Commission has published its initial proposals. Lancaster & Fleetwood is split three ways: urban Lancaster to join with Skerton, Morecambe and Heysham, Fleetwood to join with North Blackpool,...

Booksale_Flyer_PDF-page-001.jpg

Booksale on 17th September

This has been sent to our email list of members - if you didn't find it, please check your junk mail in case it got there; if it never came, please contact the Branch secretary (address at end) giving your email address. You can download the newsletter here, or just continue reading. As a member, we hope you will be interested in joining the CLP Facebook Group for its news and discussion, and look at the Branch Facebook page.

 

 

LANCASTER AND DISTRICT LABOUR PARTY SEPTEMBER NEWSLETTER

Scotforth Hall, 47 Scotforth Road, Lancaster LA1 4SA

 

Dear Member

 

The summer is drawing to a close and the children are back at school. We’ve experienced  an exciting Rio Olympics, certainly hugely successful for the UK, and the football season is back. Nationally, Labour’s leadership contest dominates the headlines, but there’s a lot happening within the Party locally. Here are a few of the things we need to think about.

 

A new Tory regime, but the same cuts

The new Tory government at Westminster has serious implications for us locally through the relentless cuts being imposed on both Lancaster City Council and Lancashire County Council. These cuts are the reason why care services, libraries, museums closing, bus services and countryside facilities are all under threat.  Meanwhile our local Labour Councillors are endeavouring to save as many services they can and to protect the most vulnerable people from the worst effects of this austerity.

 

If you want to find out about what the City and County council do and the difficult decisions having to be made, visit the council websites: www.lancaster.gov.uk and

www.lancashire.gov.uk. Council meeting agendas and reports are fully explained.

 

Lancashire County Council Elections 2017

Selection of Labour's candidates for Lancaster South East, Lancaster East and Lancaster Central

Shortlisting: Wednesday 14 September, Friends' Meeting House, Meeting House Lane, Lancaster, LA1 1TX from 7:30pm

Selections: Wednesday 21 September, Upper Priory Hall, Castle Hill, Lancaster, LA1 1YN from 7:30pm

 

Elections for Lancashire County Council will take place on 4 May 2017, and it is essential that Labour holds its existing seats and wins new ones.  We will be choosing our candidates for the three Lancashire County Council divisions in urban Lancaster during September.  Those divisions cover all of urban Lancaster south of the Lune, plus Thurnham and Cockerham parishes. We'll be selecting Labour candidates in our rural areas later in the year. All members of the party who have been members since 22 January 2016 (this date has been set by the Lancashire Labour Local Campaign Forum) and who are not in arrears with their membership payments are entitled to participate.

 

For each of these three divisions, there will be a shortlisting meeting on Wednesday 14 September followed by a selection meeting on Wednesday 21 September. Eligible members can attend either or both of these meetings. Please attend the correct meeting for the division you live in - please note that the boundaries for county council divisions are due to change significantly next year, and we'll be working from the new boundaries.

 

What's a shortlisting meeting?   This is your chance to draw up a shortlist of potential candidates, from the full list of everyone interested in standing for Labour in Lancashire.

 

What's a selection meeting?   This is your chance to hear the shortlisted candidates speak, ask them questions and choose which one should be our candidate.

 

When should I attend?  

Wed 14 Sep, 7:30pm, Friends' Meeting House - shortlisting meeting for Lancaster South East

Wed 14 Sep, 8:00pm, Friends' Meeting House - shortlisting meeting for Lancaster East

Wed 14 Sep, 8:30pm, Friends' Meeting House - shortlisting meeting for Lancaster Central

 

Wed 21 Sep, 7:30pm, Upper Priory Hall - selection meeting for Lancaster South East

Wed 21 Sep, 8:10pm, Upper Priory Hall - selection meeting for Lancaster East

Wed 21 Sep, 8:50pm, Upper Priory Hall - selection meeting for Lancaster Central

 

Which division am I in?

-    Bulk Ward is in Lancaster East;

-    Castle Ward is split between Lancaster Central (those who vote at the Boys' Club or the Friends' Meeting House) and Lancaster East (those who vote at St Thomas's);

-    Ellel Ward is split between Lancaster Central (those in Cockerham and Thurnham parishes) and Lancaster Rural East (everyone else);

-    John O'Gaunt Ward is split between Lancaster East (those who vote at the cathedral, the grammar school or Bowerham Road school) and Lancaster South East (those who vote at the United Reform Church or Moorside school);

-    Lower Lune Valley is in Lancaster Rural East;

-    Marsh Ward is in Lancaster Central;

-    Scotforth East Ward is in Lancaster South East;

-    Scotforth West Ward is split between Lancaster Central (those who vote at the Methodist Church, Rowley Court Masonic Hall or at St Thomas's) and Lancaster South East (those who vote at St Paul's Parish Hall or Bowerham Road school);

-    University & Scotforth Rural Ward is in Lancaster South East.

 

If you live in rural Wyre - you're either in Wyre Rural Central or Wyre Rural East.

 

Local Campaigning

Throughout the summer local campaigning has been taking place, and this will intensify during the autumn once County Council candidates have been identified.  Regular doorknocking is crucial to listen to local people’s concerns and to convince them to support us at District, County and national elections.  Ward Newsletters are being prepared, copied and distributed by our teams of deliverers.

 

If you wish to join one of our doorknocking sessions, go online to

www.lancasterandfleetwoodlabour.org/events, or call Anna Lee directly on 07500 877364.  The residents are usually friendly, even when they do not agree with us, and all first-time canvassers go round with an old hand until they feel confident to proceed by themselves.  We go round as a team, and keep together as we campaign.  Some specific dates in early September are mentioned in the Diary at the end of this newsletter, but more will be announced on the website in due course.

 

If you wish to write for, help duplicate and fold, or to distribute one of our Ward leaflets, please contact John Whitehead at j.whitehead263@btinternet.com, or call him on 01524 389967.  He will put you in contact with such activity in your Ward, or even help you start something up.

 

For those who would like to take a role in organising and leading the campaign for the County Council elections next May, there will be a meeting to discuss building our campaign team on Wednesday, 7 September at 6.00 pm at the Toll House Inn at Penny Street Bridge.

 

Branch Meetings

Two Branch meetings are scheduled for the Autumn.  On 26 October, there will be a business meeting to review regular activities within the Branch, including a featured discussion on Housing Policy.  On 30 November there will be a policy meeting devoted to Higher Education policy, from the point of view of students and of residents in a city with two thriving universities.  Both of these meetings will take place at 7.30 at the Gregson. 

 

On 9 December, at 7.30, there will be a Fish Fry Day at Scotforth Hall.  This is an opportunity to enjoy the award-winning fare from Hodgson’s Chippy, to meet other members and chat, to participate in another mind-bending quiz, and to raise funds for the Branch’s election campaign fund.

 

Booksale at the Cornerstone Café

Following the success of an earlier venture, there will be another booksale at the Cornerstone Café from 11.00 to 3.00 on Saturday 17 September.  All proceeds will go to the Branch Election Fund to support our campaigns in the County Council elections.  Why not come along to browse, buy and listen to readings throughout the day?

 

Gardening at Scotforth Hall

As a break from political campaigning, why not come and join us tidying up the garden of Scotforth Labour Hall?  We have had two good goes at this during the summer, and now need to do a final session before the winter.  We will meet at 11.00 on 17 September and work for a couple of hours.  After the session, we will be able to give anyone who wishes a lift down to the Cornerstone Café to look in on the booksale (see item above) and maybe grab some lunch.  Equipment will be provided, but please bring any of your favourite tools too.  It helps our local reputation for our own premises to look good, and this is an opportunity to meet fellow members in a rather different setting.  After the If you are able to come, please let Nick Moule know: nickbaggie2010@hotmail.co.uk  or Tel: 01524 68998.

 

Clarion House, Newchurch in Pendle

On a lighter note. Occasionally, it is refreshing to reflect on what the values of the Labour movement stand for. If you fancy an adventure out on a Sunday to East Lancashire it’s really worth visiting Clarion House run by Nelson and Colne CLP. Clarion Houses were built as non-profit making co-operatives with any excess money used in spreading the word of socialism.

Clarion House on the edge of Pendle Hill is open every Sunday and some Bank holidays and is one of the few remaining Clarion Houses now left. The “Clarion” is situated in its own grounds, with a magnificent view to the North deep in the heart of “Pendle Witch” country. Roughlee, Barley, Read and the historic towns of Colne, Whalley and Clitheroe are all within walking distance. Can be difficult to find, but details are on their web site: www.clarionhouse.org.uk.

Pints (and mugs) of the celebrated Clarion Tea are on sale as are a variety of other beverages and confectionery. You can even wash down your own packed lunch with a drink provided by Nelson and Colne CLP.

Just visiting listening and talking to some of the Labour stalwarts puts life in perspective. It’s just great for cyclists, walkers and families and in the colder months there’s an open fire.

 

Branch Executive

Cathy Jamieson unfortunately has had to tender her resignation due to personal and work commitments. The Branch expresses our thanks to Cathy for her services. We will be reporting arrangements for changes to the Executive at our next Branch meeting.

 

Diary for Autumn 2016

Date

Time

Location

Activity

  7 September

  6.00

Toll House Inn

Building our campaign team for County elections

11 September

10.30

Scotforth Hall

Printing, Folding and Stuffing*

11 September

  2.30

Cockerham

Canvassing*

12 September

  6.00

Lancaster E

Canvassing*

14 September

  7.30

Friends’ Meeting House

Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster SE

 

  8.00

Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster E

 

  8.30

Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster C

17 September

11.00 – 3.00

Cornerstone Café

Booksale for Branch Election funds

17 September

11.00

Scotforth Hall

Gardening Working Party

21 September

  7.30

Upper Priory Hall

Selection of candidate for Lancaster SE

 

  8.10

Selection of candidate for Lancaster E

 

  8.50

Selection of candidate for Lancaster C

26 October

  7.30

The Gregson

Branch Business Meeting – including a discussion of Housing Policy

30 November

  7.30

The Gregson

Branch Policy Meeting: Higher Education

  9 December

  7.30

Scotforth Hall

Fish Fry Day

 

*Contact Anna Lee by email (anna@annalee.org.uk) or phone (07500 877364) if you wish to join any of these sessions.

 

 

Regards

 

Nick Moule, Lancaster Labour Party Branch Secretary

7 September 2016

 

Chair: John Whitehead. Vice Chair: Sue Clark. Treasurer: James Groves. Secretary: Nick Moule, 4 Sulyard Street, Lancaster LA1 1PX   nickbaggie2010@hotmail.co.uk   01524-68998

 

Lancaster Newsletter Sept 2016

This has been sent to our email list of members - if you didn't find it, please check your junk mail in case it got there; if it never came,...

quiz_night.jpg

Fleetwood Festive Lights committee have tasked me to inform you all of a quiz night on Thursday 29th September, 8pm start. In the ballroom of the North Euston Hotel, it promises a great night out. Grand Quiz Night

'Stephensons Rocket' being a regular team from us, I'm hoping they are coming this time? The cost is £30 for a team of six. All funds raised go towards 'Lighting up Fleetwood' for Christmas.

Contact Julie Dalton on 01253 777639 or daltonjulie1@gmail.com

Looking forward to seeing you all soon,

   Mary Stirzaker

Grand Quiz Night

Fleetwood Festive Lights committee have tasked me to inform you all of a quiz night on Thursday 29th September, 8pm start. In the ballroom of the North Euston Hotel, it...

We_are_Labour.PNG

For those not present at the special general meeting of Lancaster & Fleetwood CLP held on Friday 22 July 2016, in Lancaster Methodist Church, here's a summary of the outcome. The members eligible to participate and vote were all current CLP members who had been Labour Party members continuously since joining before 13 January 2016, excluding those in arrears on their membership subs but including those who had recently paid up their arrears. The rules for such meetings as set out by NEC were followed. Prior to the formal proceedings there was informal discussion while people had an opportunity to read the two candidates' official statements.

Total eligible members – 778; Eligible members present – 101; Turnout - 13.0%

In the chair: Alison Love

Tellers: Billy Glasgow, James Groves, Erica Lewis, Cat Smith and Tom Sweeney

Contributions heard from: Josh Brandwood, Brian Stephenson, Peter Stephenson, Joel Evans, Romy Clark, Jonathan Maher, Rob Devey, Ian Barker, Sue McCormick, Allen Knott, Tom Sweeney, Alistair Sinclair, Bob Clark, Evelyn Stephenson, John Chell, Cathy Hornby and Jeremy Bateman

Votes cast:

Jeremy Corbyn - 71

Owen Smith - 30

Spoilt - 0

Jeremy Corbyn was duly nominated for the leadership. As we stressed at the meeting, when it comes to the actual election, members are free to vote for whichever candidate they wish! 

When we have a list of other CLP nominations we will give a link here.

Currently the New Statesman has a list they are updating ....

CLP Nomination Meeting

For those not present at the special general meeting of Lancaster & Fleetwood CLP held on Friday 22 July 2016, in Lancaster Methodist Church, here's a summary of the outcome....

"There may be trouble ahead; but while there's moonlight and music and love and romance, let's face the music and dance"!

 The Lancaster Branch are holding a Ceilidh on 15th July start 7.30 pm at the Gregson Centre Moor Lane to raise funds for the Branch and to give us a much needed happy evening after the latest painful setbacks.

Tickets are £10 each and we are having a "Jacob's Join" supper: just bring a plate of food and we all share!     A good Socialist practice!

Dancing will be to the renowned local band "Northern Frisk"

Tickets from Sue Clark : sueclark86@gmail.com or 63669.

 northern_frisk.jpg

 

July Ceilidh

"There may be trouble ahead; but while there's moonlight and music and love and romance, let's face the music and dance"!  The Lancaster Branch are holding a Ceilidh on 15th...

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