May 4th is Election Day

May 4th is Election Day. Don’t forget to vote for your Labour Surrey County Councillor. Polls open 7am–10pm.

You can register to vote until April 13th and can apply onine at www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. If you are away and cannot get to the poll, call the WBC Election office on 01493 745215 for a postal vote application form which must be returned by 5pm, April 18th. Proxy votes can also be obtained by anyone who is too ill or infirm, or whose occupation, service or employment means they cannot go to the polling station themselves. The deadline for proxy vote applications is 5pm on April 4th.

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

Members and Supporters evening and debate on Human Rights after Brexit

May 17th 7.30pm, Owen House. Bar open 7.00pm.

“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.

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.

Launch of Labour’s Surrey Elections Campaign

Surrey Labour’s campaign for the county elections in May is to be launched on March 9th at Owen House.

All members and supporters are invited to the launch and a celebratory dinner to boost our funds for the campaign. Guest of honour will be Teresa Pearce MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.

Teresa Pearce, MP for Erith & Thamesmead and Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Teresa was elected in 2010 and re-elected with an increased majority in 2015 as MP for Erith & Thamesmead. She is a member of the GMB union and served on a number of Select Committees including Work and Pensions, Treasury and Public Accounts before she was appointed to serve in her present role.

Dinner will be at 7.30pm and be a delicious choice of freshly baked pizzas (including veggie) with salads, and trifle or fresh fruit for afters. Tickets are £15 (£10 if under 25 or on benefits). It is important that we know how many are coming, so please pay by internet transfer by March 8th at the latest, to the Co-op bank, sort code 08-90-35, account no 58128484, or you can send a cheque payable to Surrey Labour Party c/o SLP Treasurer, Moor End, Horsell Rise, Woking, GU21 4BD. Bar from 6.30pm.

With only two months left to go before the Surrey elections on May 4th we are already out canvassing and delivering, so any help you can give from now on will be hugely appreciated. Or why not join the telephone canvass at Owen House every Tuesday 6.30–8.30pm? Just ring the Elections hotline on 07906 697180.

We aim to field Labour candidates for all seven of the Surrey County Council seats in Woking. If you would like to be considered, please call Liz Evans on 07906 697180.

February 15th meeting postponed

The Members and Supporters Evening scheduled for February 15th has been postponed and will now take place on Wednesday, February 22nd, at 7.30pm, at Owen House. The debate this month will be on the rise of non-unionised precarious low wage employment, extortionate private rents, stats on local rough sleeping and Woking’s ‘solution’ to the lack of social housing.
Cllr Tahir Aziz will lead on the above, exposing the rise in common minimum wage scams, unpaid time worked in social care and the bogus self-employment status of Uber delivery, followed by Q&A.
The latest TUC survey on the huge gap in salaries between the rich and the poor shows that in 2010 the average FTSE 100 boss earned 89 times the full-time salary of a UK worker. By 2015 this had risen to 123 times and average wage levels are still way down in real terms on the pre-crash level. For the self-employed, typical earnings are lower than 20 years ago, according to the Resolution Foundation think tank.
The Annual General Meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 22nd at Owen House. Further details will be posted nearer the time.

Mick Cash guest speaker at New Year Dinner

New Year Dinner on January 27th at the Cricketers, Horsell – a convivial evening was enjoyed with Mick Cash, general secretary of the RMT, who is fighting the Tory assault on workers’ rights and to protect safety on the railways for passengers. Mick is flanked by Mohammed Sakhawat Khan, Labour candidate for Woking North in the Surrey County Council elections in May, and Councillor Tahir Aziz.
It has emerged that the National Audit Office is investigating alleged malpractice by Govia Thameslink, the umbrella company owning Southern Rail. Also Southern Rail itself could now be temporarily nationalised to deal with the appalling level of service, and the government is looking at alternative ways to award franchises as they come up for renewal as the present system is delivering poor service standards. Let’s hope they are all nationalised.

ELECTION SPECIAL

Surrey County Council elections will take place on May 4th this year across the borough.
We have seven candidates standing in each of the seven district seats. Please look out for our Campaign Organiser Will Sellers’ emails to all members with details of the next canvassing meet-up points and also telephone canvassing from Owen House. And do make sure you are registered to vote! You can do it easily online.

If you want to win it you have to be in it!! Give some time to helping us from now on. Every hour helps.

New guidance documents from Labour

The Labour Party has issued some new guidance documents on the safeguarding of young people and two additional notes which deal with the general behaviour of party members and the use of social media. They are designed to ensure the Labour Party is a safe and welcoming place for all our members and supporters, where the contribution of all is valued and the abuse of anyone is unacceptable.

Copies can be downloaded from this site:

Members’ Pledge
Safeguarding Code of Conduct
Labour Social Media Policy
Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy