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

Be a County Councillor for Woking!

Would you like to represent Woking as a councillor on Surrey County Council?

Woking Labour needs good candidates to come forward for the elections next May so that voters in all seven Surrey districts of Woking will have a Labour candidate to vote for. Why not consider standing? Now is your chance – talent of this sort should not stay hidden! Surrey makes decisions on children’s services; youth activities; LA schools admissions; road maintenance, safety, speed limits and parking. Contact Liz Evans on 07906 697180 for details [information updated 08/11/16].

The SCC Local Committee meets four times a year in the Woking council chamber and anyone can ask questions. Just call 01483 518095 / 518093 to find out how.

Conference calling

Labour Party Conference, Liverpool, September 25-28
This year the Woking delegate at the Party Conference is required to be a woman, so if you would like to attend representing Woking CLP, please contact our Secretary Ian Greatorex for a set of forms on 07733 008585 or The completed forms must be in by the closing date of June 24, and will need to be validated by Ian. The delegate entry fee is paid for you by the party, but the train or travel cost to Liverpool is payable by the delegate. Woking CLP may, however, contribute towards the costs of accommodation.

Woking Labour Policy Forum

Thursday June 2nd 7.30pm at Owen House. Bar open 7.00pm

Members and supporters are invited to take part in a discussion of the important issues for Labour in Woking. Help us to raise Labour’s profile in Woking and support our three Labour councillors with your ideas.
To narrow it down, the EC strategy group has defined four specific areas of housing, transport, low wages and police funding as particularly relevant and in which we could be actively involved locally. Each area will be introduced and the discussion led by a member. You can read about current Labour policy here, and the Labour is Listening project also provides a great way to make your own voice heard.

A submission will be agreed and sent from the meeting to the National Policy Forum and will contribute to the formation of Labour policy for debate at Conference in September.


Labour wins Canalside

Labour Councillors Mohammad Ali, M. Ilyas Raja and Tahir Aziz
Labour Councillors Mohammad Ali, M. Ilyas Raja and Tahir Aziz

The three Labour candidates for the new ward of Canalside gained a decisive victory in last week’s elections. Tahir Aziz, M. Ilyas Raja and Mohammad Ali were all elected Councillors by a comfortable margin of almost 200 votes over the opposition. Tahir and Ilyas both served as Councillors for Maybury and Sheerwater in the previous term, but Ali’s success represents a well-deserved reward for tenacity. He first stood for election in 2011, losing by 46 votes, and then again in 2012, when he missed the target by a wafer-thin margin of 16 votes. On both occasions the election was won by the corrupt LibDem candidate Mohammed Bashir, and Ali’s suspicion that there had been electoral fraud in both years prompted him to embark on a long-running High Court action to uncover the truth. The following year Judge Richard Mawrey QC found that there had been electoral fraud and overturned the election. See the judge’s executive summary of his judgment.

We are grateful to everyone who helped in achieving this result, from the candidates and their teams to all those voters who showed their support where it most counts – at the ballot box.

As Ali said “I am delighted by our success, which I also see as a verdict by Canalside residents on the Conservative-led Council’s plans – plans that mainly ignore the concerns of the local residents. We shall endeavour to do our best and stand up for our long-neglected ward.”

Canalside results

Woking Borough elections May 5 2016
AZIZ TahirLabour Party1106
ALI MohammadLabour Party1071
RAJA Mohammad IlyasLabour Party1060
MARCUS Paula JaneConservative Party868
PROVOST Matthew HowardConservative Party829
SCOTT Colin PatrickConservative Party807
ROE David SimonUK Independence Party383
SQUIRE Judith DianaUK Independence Party332
WHALE Rebecca ElisabethLiberal Democrats300
DAVIES GarethLiberal Democrats279
DYKES Christopher David CalvinGreen Party281
JOHNS Norman GrenvilleLiberal Democrats230
Some of the Woking Labour team at the count
Some of the Woking Labour team at the count

Curry Night & In/Out debate on the EU

Surrey Labour invite you to the EU Referendum Debate

Thursday, 21st April at Owen House

Hove & Portslade MP Peter Kyle
Hove & Portslade Labour  MP Peter Kyle

Hove & Portslade MP Peter Kyle will lead an In/Out debate on the EU membership at Woking Labour’s Owen House HQ on April 21st. Organised by Surrey Labour Party, the meeting will be chaired by our County Councillor, Robert Evans, and all Surrey Labour constituency parties are invited and all viewpoints are welcome.

Howard Kaye, Labour Police & Crime Commissioner candidate for Surrey, will be introducing himself for about 10-15 minutes before the main debate starts.

The evening will also be a fundraiser for next year’s Surrey County elections because it is vital that we put in the maximum effort to get Robert Evans re-elected in Stanwell and possibly get some more Labour SCC councillors elsewhere. With this in mind, the debate will be preceded by a curry meal, with a choice of chicken or vegetable curry together with vegetables, naan and rice at a cost of just £15 (£10 students). It is important that we know how many are coming for the curry so please pay by bank transfer to the Co-op Bank (sort code 08-90-35, account no 58128484), or send a cheque payable to the Surrey County Labour Party to Liz Evans at Moor End, Horsell Rise, Woking, Surrey GU21 4BD. If you’re paying by bank transfer, please put “EU” and your surname in the details field, eg “EU Scott”. Please pay by the 18th April so that we can place the order with the restaurant.

The bar will open at 7pm with a view to starting the meal at 7.15pm. If you don’t want any food but would still like to be involved in the debate, you can arrive at 8pm.

All members and supporters are welcome. Let’s have a good turnout from Woking!