Woking Labour has been in the media spotlight over the past few days as a result of allegations made against our vice chair Vicki Kirby. The matter has been discussed in the Labour Party at a national level and as a result the National Chair of the party, Ian McNicol, has suspended Ms Kirby pending a full investigation. At this point we feel as a local party it would be inappropriate to comment further as we do not wish to interfere with any ongoing investigation or prejudice the outcome.
Anneliese Dodds, MEP for the South East, writes:
We now know the date of the referendum on whether the UK should continue to be a member of the EU – June 23rd. I’m going to be campaigning to keep us in the EU – but I need your help too. Lots of Constituency Labour Parties have started appointing ‘Euro Champions’ or ‘Referendum Officers’ who will coordinate the Labour campaign to keep the UK in the EU in their area, but we’re still looking for people to help in some constituencies. If you don’t know who your Euro Champion is, or would like to become one, please ask your CLP Chair for more information. If becoming a Euro Champion is too much of a commitment but you would like to join our European Taskforce to be kept in touch with the campaign, please visit www.thebestforbritain.uk/
You can read my report for February 2016 here. PS: you can keep up to date on my work as your Labour MEP, both here in the South East and in the European Parliament, via my website, Facebook page and by following me on Twitter. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The group Save our Services in Surrey (SOSiS) have been active for several years now and represent a range of political parties and ideas on the left of the spectrum. The thing that ties these diverse individuals together is a desire to fight for our public services in the county and an understanding that austerity is an ideologically-driven agenda that is wholly unnecessary.
Woking Labour Chair Barry Faulkner and newly elected vice chair Vicki Kirby have been attending meetings of the group in a personal capacity with a view towards building broad-based campaigns against austerity and attacks on council services.
On February 11th Barry (above, standing) spoke as part of a panel at a SOSiS meeting in Staines discussing “Corbynmania: keeping up the momentum”. The meeting was well attended by over 40 local people, and other speakers included Sean Hoyle, President of the RMT Union, and a junior doctor from St Peter’s Hospital.
A wide range of groups were in attendance, including Momentum disabled members, the Socialist Party, the Greens, Plane Stupid environmental campaigners and a Labour PPC. All those in attendance recognised the things they had in common and though there were also issues dividing individuals, everyone agreed to get behind the Labour leadership where possible, especially when it came to fighting attacks on the NHS and other essential public services.
We may come at issues from slightly different angles politically, but there is more that unites us than divides us. The entire meeting gave a rousing ovation to Holly, the junior doctor who spoke, and the justice of the doctors’ cause was universally accepted.
SOSiS will continue to campaign on issues of importance to Surrey residents, such as the “Justice for Zane” campaign seeking answers to the death of seven-year-old Zane Gbangbola in his family home in Chertsey in 2014.
The borough elections and Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner elections are on May 5th this year, so from now on please just turn up at Owen House on the days and times shown in the events calendar on the right of this page to join in with some canvassing.
In addition Owen House is open every Tuesday and Wednesday 6.30-8.30pm for telephone canvassing. Again, just turn up! Ringfence a couple of hours each week to help raise Labour’s profile in our key seats. The personal touch wins the votes every time. “One to one” reaches all those Labour voters the best. If you have not done it before, it is an enjoyable exercise and you will have plenty of help.
With elections coming up in May, why not consider standing? We need candidates who will speak up for their residents and who are, as they say, “people who like people”. Talent or potential talent of this sort should not stay hidden. As the best way to raise the Labour vote is always to talk to people one to one we need to get our candidates out there and TALKING!
Get in touch with our Secretary Ian Greatorex at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as you can and ask any questions you may have.
Jonathan Lord has consistently voted for reducing housing benefit by way of the bedroom tax; against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices; against paying some benefits for those unable to work due to illness or disability. Check out his voting record on They Work For You.
Woking Labour were in the town centre on Saturday talking to people about the Housing and Planning Bill which is in the process of travelling through the House of Lords.
This is a devastating bill that will mark the beginning of the end of social housing, and push families into severe poverty. It does nothing to secure the future of families or ease the housing crisis.
Many people stopped to talk to us about their situations, and all said the same: they are struggling with extremely high rents, or unable to move out of their parents’ house at all, having to raise their young children in crowded conditions.
We desperately need more council homes, and controls on rent. While this government is trying to reduce welfare spending, the huge unregulated rents landlords are charging force people into needing Housing Benefit to top up their earnings. This bill will only increase this need, by raising rents to unaffordable levels. The selling of the ‘high value’ public owned housing stock, and passing the revenue from the sale straight back to central government instead of staying in the borough, will only squeeze our local budget further.
Local Authorities are facing increasing cuts to their budgets and unable to provide crucial services to its residents. Now, more than ever, we need to keep our council houses safe, to provide secure homes tuat people can actually afford.
Please contact us if you would like to join us, or pop by and let us know how you feel.