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

YEAR END PARTY and PIZZA PASTA & POLITICS

Pizza, pasta and politicsCome and celebrate the passing of this extraordinary year in the best of company with your choice of pizza or pasta (including veggie) and delicious home cooking by our resident chefs. Our after-dinner speaker will be political psychologist Dai Williams, on “Surviving and Thriving in Troubled Times”. The focus will be on the key events of 2016 and how to make sense of what lies between now and the 2020 general election. This unusual slant on contemporary politics will give a chance to explore how we are affected both as a party and as individuals, and for open discussion on managing change.

Tickets are just £15, or £10 for under-25s and those on benefits. Time is short, so please book ASAP and by December 13th at the latest. You can pay by internet bank transfer to the Unity Trust Bank, sort code 60-83-01, account no 20132521, putting as reference your surname plus PPP (eg SmithPPP), or send a cheque payable to the Woking Labour Party at Moor End, Horsell Rise, Woking, Surrey GU21 4BD.

Thursday December 15th. Bar open 6.30pm. Food served 7.00pm.

Dai Williams is a Chartered Occupational Psychologist who began his career in construction in the 1960s before joining Shell to work in personnel in the UK and Canada. He studied psychology in Swansea and Birkbeck (London) with interests in industrial relations, staff development and international recruitment.

In 1997 New Labour’s election landslide stirred Dai’s interest in career crisis and change for politicians – for Tony Blair and the Cabinet, the peace process in Northern Ireland, and for leaders across the international community.

This is the 30th anniversary of Eos, the independent career counselling service that Dai set up in 1986. He specialises in support for career development, crisis and change for individuals, communities and organisations, often in periods of “transition”. He worked with self-help groups for the unemployed in the early ’90s and tracked psychological effects of the recession.

Dinner with Gareth Thomas MP

All members are invited to the Surrey Labour Party 2016 dinner with speaker Gareth Thomas MP on Monday November 28th at Owen House, followed by a short Surrey Labour Party AGM.

Gareth ThomasGareth Thomas (right) is the Labour and Co-operative MP for Harrow West, first elected in 1997. He is Shadow Minister for Local Government and has been Chair of the Co-operative Party since 2000.


6:30pm Doors and bar open
7:00pm Asian sit-down meal
8:00pm Gareth Thomas MP
9:00pm AGM with a report from Robert Evans, SCC Councillor for Stanwell and Stanwell Moor.

The meal is a chicken and/or vegetable curry together with vegetables, naan and rice. It will cost £15 (£10 concessions). It is important that we know how many are coming for the meal so please pay by internet transfer, by 26th November at the latest, to the Co-op Bank, sort code 08-90-35, account no 58128484. Put SLP and your surname (eg SLP Scott) in the details field. Alternatively send a cheque, also to arrive by the 26th November, so that we can place the order with the restaurant. If you don’t want the meal, you are welcome to come later for the talk at 8.00 and the AGM at 9.00.

Woking Labour – back in business!

Woking Labour’s first general meeting since June took place on October 26th with a well-attended get-together for members and supporters. Because of issues surrounding the leadership election, ‘business’ meetings had been banned over the summer except for events such as fundraisers or, as in our case, the celebration of the election of our three Canalside councillors on May 5th.

The agenda had included a Hustings to select a candidate for the Surrey County Council elections on May 5th next year. The Hustings itself was cancelled because there was only one candidate to be considered, Mohammed Sakhawat Khan, and Labour Party rules state that under such circumstances it is not necessary to hold a card vote, provided that the Executive Committee proposes and seconds the candidate.

Sakhawat was also strongly endorsed by Councillors Mohammad Ali, Tahir Aziz and Ilyas Raja, who felt that he would make a valuable addition to the team in Woking. As a result, he has now been confirmed as our candidate to represent Labour in the Surrey County Council seat of Woking North in 2017.

Sakhawat then introduced himself and spoke to the meeting about important issues for the campaign. He is already known to many of us as a previous Chair of the party in 2006 and candidate in the 2005 Borough elections for Maybury and Sheerwater.

The meeting provided a good opportunity to broaden and strengthen the Executive Committee. Some valuable offers of help have come in following the resignation of four members of the EC including, sadly, the Chair Barry Faulkner, who resigned in August due to personal and work factors. In his letter to the EC, Barry regretted that he had been unable to devote the time necessary to the role of CLP and that it was most unlikely that this would change for the better in the future.

It is also with regret that Ian Greatorex has decided he is unable to continue as Secretary and Agent due to pressure of work. The EC is immensely grateful for his time and energy in helping us through what has been a difficult year.

It is hoped to resolve the vacant positions at the AGM, which has now been scheduled for February 15th. In the interim, the Exec will be meeting on Wednesday November 16th to elect an Acting Chair, Acting Secretary and Acting Agent to tide us over. Any member interested in taking on any of these challenge, please contact Liz Evans on 07906 697180.

The EC has proposed a number of other members for co-option onto the Committee, subject to ratification at the AGM:

Peter Ford : Executive Committee. Previous councillor for Old Woking and CLP Chair in 2004.
Sabir Hussain : Executive Committee. Woking Parliamentary Candidate at 2004 General Election.
Gary Griffiths : Executive Committee
Dan Conquer : Trade Union Liaison Organiser
Keith Pullen : Skills and Housing Organiser
Will Sellers : Ward Organiser for a key seat
Dom Tweed : Campaigns Organiser and Joint Youth Organiser
Conor Bakhuizen : Joint Youth Organiser

The AGM is the opportunity for anyone else too to stand for the Executive. Even if there isn’t a job going vacant, help is needed with policy and forward plans. It simply needs a proposer and seconder and to be agreed by the meeting.

Finally, a proposal to hold regular monthly meetings was agreed by an enthusiastic majority. To be called Members and Supporters Evenings, they will take place on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm whenever possible, starting in January. Each will feature a speaker on a topic of special interest.

The EU referendum

As the British people absorb the result of the EU referendum, it is worth noting that Woking overall voted to remain in the EU, while the UK as a whole chose to leave. We respect everybody’s views in this complex issue and will continue working to highlight and campaign for the issues affecting the people of Woking and its surrounding areas.

There will no doubt be many challenges ahead for working people, their families and communities. We must all pull together to face those challenges. We have heard that David Cameron is to resign and we know the markets have reacted badly and the pound has fallen significantly. Our goal must be to protect and secure the rights afforded to us by Europe and to stand firm against any attempt to undermine those hard won rights.

Jo Cox MP

Jo Cox MP
Jo Cox MP
Woking Labour stands with all who care about democracy and humanity in mourning the loss of our sister Jo Cox MP. We remember her life’s work which was committed to those core values. Jo was an ardent defender of human rights and an internationalist, to her, humanity saw no borders. Today we mourn her loss but tomorrow we will continue her quest to try our best to develop a world which values every human being, a world which sees no colour, a world free from destitution and a world which challenges bigotry. We send condolences to the family of Jo Cox MP and to her friends at this dreadful time and we hope they find some solace in the love and solidarity of millions in our nation who have shown their support.
Barry Faulkner, Chair, Woking Labour