Lancaster Newsletter Sept 2016

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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: and 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, 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, 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:  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:

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





  7 September


Toll House Inn

Building our campaign team for County elections

11 September


Scotforth Hall

Printing, Folding and Stuffing*

11 September




12 September


Lancaster E


14 September


Friends’ Meeting House

Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster SE



Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster E



Shortlisting of candidate for Lancaster C

17 September

11.00 – 3.00

Cornerstone Café

Booksale for Branch Election funds

17 September


Scotforth Hall

Gardening Working Party

21 September


Upper Priory Hall

Selection of candidate for Lancaster SE



Selection of candidate for Lancaster E



Selection of candidate for Lancaster C

26 October


The Gregson

Branch Business Meeting – including a discussion of Housing Policy

30 November


The Gregson

Branch Policy Meeting: Higher Education

  9 December


Scotforth Hall

Fish Fry Day


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





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   01524-68998


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