Fiona Colley – your candidate in the General Election

The Labour candidate for Woking in the General Election on June 8th is Fiona Colley.

Fiona oversees one of London’s largest local authorities budgets at a time of extreme government funding cuts. She prioritises delivering high-quality public services, supporting economic growth and improving the local neighbourhood, all whilst keeping Southwark’s council tax more than £500 a year lower than the Tories manage in Woking.

Fiona studied Economics at Cambridge and later undertook further part-time study and gained an MSc in Finance from Birkbeck College, London.

Fiona previously worked as an investment manager with responsibility for a number of pension and retail investment funds and also as a Transport Policy researcher. She has also served as chair of two small charities and is a non-executive director of a Business Improvement District.

Fiona is 42 and lives in South London with her husband David and son Tommy.

Fiona writes:

When Theresa May called the General Election I knew I needed to take the chance to represent Woking.

My parents have lived in Woking for 20 years and over the last couple of years I’ve seen first hand how the Conservative cuts have been damaging the health and social care services here. My Mum was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease in 2015 and whilst I have nothing but praise for the nurses, doctors and care workers we’ve met, they are overstretched and things are getting worse.

The care workers sent to help her were paid a pittance on zero hours contracts with no job security. At the hospital every nurse we met was agency rather than permanent. And this year the cuts even hit the day services at Woking Hospice.

It is vulnerable elderly and disabled people who are suffering as a result of these cuts and I’m standing in this election to speak up for them.

People haven’t forgotten that the LibDems were in coalition with the Tories, that’s why they dropped to third in Woking at the last general election. At this election in Woking it’s a choice between a Tory MP who serves the interests of the few or a Labour MP fighting for better public services and an economy that works for the many.

Want to help Fiona? See the list of canvassing and leafleting opportunities

Woking Labour moves out

We have now moved out of our Woking offices and meeting hall behind the station. Owen House, Heathside Crescent, our home for almost half a century, is now going to be demolished, after which the site will become part of the St Dunstan’s redevelopment. Equipment and furniture has been stored in three places temporarily until a permanent home can be found. Thanks go to Tom, Sabir, Sharaz, Liz, Ilyas and Paul who boxed up and carried everything out. The old lady will be missed.

Until further notice, meetings will be held in the Lounge at the United Reform Church, on the corner of White Rose Lane and Heathside Road. See calendar for next meetings.
Continue reading “Woking Labour moves out”

Disappointing result in SCC election

In one of the hardest fought campaigns in recent memory, our candidate for Woking North in the Surrey County Council election, Mohammed Sakhawat Khan, gained 1666 votes but lost by 247. The seat was one of many potential Labour seats lost across the country, an outcome mainly of the UKIP vote merging with the Tory vote.

Thank you to Sakhawat for leading from the front so well, and also to our other stalwart candidates in the seven County seats.

Labour Conference

The annual Labour Party Conference takes place this year in Brighton from September 24th-27th. Papers can be downloaded from the National Policy Forum web page.

If you would like to be the Conference 2017 delegate for Woking CLP please contact our Chair, Sabir Hussain, on 07887 553716 as soon as possible. The closing date is June 23rd. The conference fee is free and some contribution towards accommodation can be made from constituency funds. It is advisable to find somewhere to stay early as the best cheap ones go quickly. Lists can be obtained from the Conference Arrangements Committee.

May 4th is Election Day

May 4th is Election Day. Don’t forget to vote for your Labour Surrey County Councillor – there are seven candidates, one for each of the seven Woking divisions. Polls open 7am–10pm.

The committee room will be open from 11.00am at Owen House on May 4th and continue until 9.45pm. The Get-Out-The-Vote begins at 11.30am so if you can make the early shift please collect a list of Labour supporters to be knocked up in good time before that and have a coffee before you go. Hot refreshments will arrive at 1.00pm for when the first wave gets back. We continue to collect slips until close of play at 9.45pm.

If you would like to come to the verification of the votes and count at H.G Wells on Friday May 5th (10am–3pm approx) you can attend as a counting agent. If there are more than 5 people coming for Woking North they can be listed as coming for another Woking division so theoretically there could be 34 people supporting him. Let’s have a good turn-out.

All current Woking Borough Councillors and Surrey County Councillors will be invited to attend individually, and therefore do not need to be included in our counting agent allocations.

Our Election Agent Liz Evans needs to know the names and addresses of all the counting agents each candidate would like to appoint by Tuesday 25th April at the latest, so that the proper accreditation can be sent out: agents will not be admitted to the count without it. Please email details to her ASAP at elizabeth2evans@msn.com so that they can be forwarded to WBC by the deadline of 5pm on April 26th.

Please note there are no meetings in April. Come and join us on the campaign trail instead! Call the elections hotline on 07906 697180.

Could you be a Councillor?

Woking Council is currently looking ahead to the 2018 Borough elections, and advertising their annual ‘Could you be a Councillor?’ event.

This year, the event has been brought forward to be held on Saturday June 10 at 11.30am in the Skylight Room at Christ Church, Jubilee Square, Woking. If you would like to go, please contact the Council’s Election Officer Charlotte Griffiths on Charlotte.Griffiths@woking.gov.uk.

Members and Supporters evening and debate on Human Rights after Brexit

June 14th 7.30pm, United Reform Church, White Rose Lane (three minutes’ walk from Owen House).
“We need our human rights, and we need our Labour Party to robustly defend them. That’s why the Labour Campaign for Human Rights is so essential.” Sadiq Khan

Whilst still home secretary, Theresa May repeatedly voiced her dislike for the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) and she recently declared that the UK should leave the ECHR, even if the UK voted to remain within the European Union. The ECHR currently provides articles relating to rights and freedoms such as the right to life, prohibition of torture, the prohibition of slavery and forced labour, the right to a fair trial, no punishment without law, and the right to respect for private and family life.

In the confusion of the UK leaving the European Union, it would be easy for the Labour Party to concentrate its efforts solely on other important areas such as immigration and NHS staffing, and neglect the potential impact that leaving the ECHR could have on our country. It is essential that this does not happen. Come along on June 14th and join the debate led by the Labour Campaign for Human Rights.

Annual General Meeting and Debate

AGM and Debate, Wednesday March 22nd 7.30pm. Bar 7.00pm.
Interested in finding out what Woking Labour has been up to over the past twelve months? All members are invited to the Woking Labour 2017 AGM, where our Chair Sabir Hussain and members of the Executive Committee will give an update of the past year’s activities.

The AGM is the opportunity for any Labour member to stand for the Executive. You just need to introduce yourself and say briefly why you would like to stand for a particular position, then secure a proposer and seconder from the meeting, and a vote in favour. New talent is very welcome. Bring your ideas and come and help us build a strong organisation that will continue to strengthen Labour’s voice and the Labour vote in Woking!

After the debate, Woking Labour’s Trade Union Liaison Organiser Dan Conquer will lead a debate on how we can work with local trade union branches. Bring your local knowledge. Do you know any current employment practices which would not survive close scrutiny and could provide opportunities for joint working? Are there issues you think we should be supporting?

The CLP has a number of affiliated trade union branches and now that the rule change in March 2015 enables trade union members to be individually affiliated to local Labour Parties, they are able to become a valuable part of the local support for Labour. To be an effective political force within Woking we need to be seen to be relevant and have more of a public profile on the streets and in the press. This would also give people a good reason to join Labour and to vote for Labour too.

March Against Racism –
Saturday March 18th

A national demonstration and global day of action marking UN anti-racism day will take place in London on Saturday March 18th. Assemble at 12 noon, Portland Place, London, W1A 1AA. (Bakerloo line from Waterloo, but for more transport info see www.standuptoracism.org.uk/transport.) To join the Woking CLP contingent going with our banner call Gary Griffiths on 07771 331302 and leave your phone number. The demonstration is organised by Stand Up To Racism and supported by TUC, Unison, Unite, NUT, CWU, Aslef, PCS etc.

May’s government is keeping the question of immigration at the centre of British politics and continues to scapegoat migrants, refugees and Muslims. We saw a spike in racist attacks after the EU Referendum. There is a growing support for the far right across much of Europe – while refugees are being abandoned to destitution, drowning and exploitation.

But at the same time a progressive movement is growing – with huge, inspiring global Women’s Marches, the Black Lives Matter movement, and many acts of solidarity with refugees. Together we can turn back the tide of racism. Let’s make this year’s anti-racism day demonstrations the biggest yet.

Mohammed Sakhawat Khan

Mohammed Sakhawat Khan
Mohammed Sakhawat Khan on a visit to the new Woking hospice.
Your Labour candidate for Woking North
Mohammed Sakhawat Khan is the Labour candidate for Woking North, the Surrey County Council seat covering both Maybury & Sheerwater and Horsell East & Woodham. “I feel very honoured to have been selected to represent Woking North for Labour,” he says. “I am an aeronautical engineer employed since 1990 as a Technical Manager by British Airways at Heathrow Airport. As a family, we have lived in Woking since 1971 and I have been an active member of the Labour Party for 14 years. In 2005 I stood as a councillor for Maybury & Sheerwater, narrowly losing to the Conservative candidate.”

Sakhawat helped to set up the Surrey Police Independent Advisory Group and remained a member for 8 years, giving training and advice to police officers on positive ways of engaging with the diverse communities within Surrey. Recently he joined the fundraising committee for the Woking & Sam Beare Hospice in Goldsworth Park, which opens soon and will be the best in England. In his spare time he helps a charity in the Maybury Centre which gives general advice to underprivileged groups in central Woking.

High on Sakhawat’s list of priorities are the two developments in Sheerwater and at Martyrs Lane, both of which are presenting major challenges. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with him on 07713 881709 or at mohdkhan777@hotmail.com, or to come to our Saturday surgeries for residents.