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    June 2014    

Election breakthrough

Ilyas Raja and Anneliese Dodds

Winners together: Ilyas Raja and Anneliese Dodds campaigning together in Woking at the start of the election campaign.




Massive congratulations to everyone for the Maybury & Sheerwater result in the polls, a fine victory. We finally have a foothold! Ten years of frustrated attempts to win council seats battling against electoral fraud, and seven years without any Labour representation at all, have come to an end in Woking.

Mohammed Ilyas Raja stormed home to win Maybury and Sheerwater. With 1208 votes, he comfortably beat the 955 achieved by his nearest rival, Tory Nadeem Ali Zaffar, and notched up nearly five times the 255 votes cast in favour of the LibDem candidate. UKIP came third with 428. The turnout was over 41%, well above the average for the borough, and the result ends the centre-right monopoly in the council.

Ilyas has an ambitious programme as a councillor, but has the ability to carry it out and eight years' previous experience as a councillor to draw on. Among other aims, he intends to campaign for a living wage; to ensure that Sheerwater residents get their say in the Regeneration Scheme; to call the Council to account for failing to ensure developers build 50% affordable homes within mixed developments; and to fight excessive rents and force landlords to give tenancy contracts. You can read or download the election leaflets we delivered to every house here.

The balance on the council is now: Tories 23; LibDems 11; Labour 1; Ind 1.

The Labour team at the count

Ilyas and election agent Liz Evans (centre) with some of the Labour team after the count.

In Maybury and Sheerwater we have come from 3rd place with 11% of the vote in 2010 to 1st place with 43%, a staggering leap forwards. Well done, Paul (Brown), for increasing the vote in Goldsworth East, which the Lib Dems lost to the Tories. Compared with 2010, when these seats were last fought, we have pretty much doubled our share of votes across the borough (2010 was the nadir, a general election year where we suffered heavy losses).

We are still lying third, just above UKIP, who have done well – had they stood a candidate in Horsell West they would have beaten us. The Tories were down very slightly, the Lib Dems down significantly and behind UKIP in nearly all of the 12 wards. Where are they picking up votes?

In the Euro elections, Labour candidate Anneliese Dodds won a seat as a South-East England MEP, inheriting the legacy of former Labour MEP Peter Skinner, who has stood down after 20 years in the European Parliament. However, the loss of our very strong Labour candidate John Howarth was a great disappointment, and was due to the election of four UKIP MEPs.

Dates for your diary

All at Owen House unless otherwise shown

June 4th (Wednesday), 8pm
Executive Committee. Open to all supporters but the Chair's permission is required to speak.

June 11th (Wednesday), 7.30pm. Open Policy Forum - All welcome

The National Policy Forum is open for ideas, and amendments to all areas of policy are under scrutiny before finally going into the manifesto for the General Election.

Our strategy group will lead the discussion and put forward their views on the strengths or weaknesses in those policy areas most important for Woking, then facilitate the discussion in four separate groups.

The papers will be sent to the Executive a week before, but anyone can ring Tom Crisp (07971 805884) or Tom Willis (07810 558625) for email copies. Please do your best to read the four policy papers in advance. They are not long!!

June 12th (Thursday), 7.00 for 7.30pm
SW Surrey CLP Summer Dinner. Speaker Andrew Gwynne MP, Shadow Health Minister. Princess Royal, Guildford Rd, Runfold, Farnham, GU10 1NX. For tickets (£30) and menu: j.anniballi@o2.co.uk / 01252 721127

June 21st (Saturday), 10.30am. Please note time
Surrey Labour Party. A short AGM will be followed by speakers on Education and an open discussion. There will also be a twenty-minute presentation by the International Liberty Association on the Iranian government-in-exile at Camp Liberty on the outskirts of Baghdad.

July 2nd (Wednesday), 8pm
Executive Committee.

July 30th (Wednesday), 8pm
Executive Committee (TBC).

  Woking Labour Constituency Party, Owen House, Heathside Crescent, Woking, Surrey GU21 7AG.
Web: www.wokinglabour.org
Chair: Paul Blagbrough (chair@wokinglabour.org)
Secretary: Tom Crisp (secretary@wokinglabour.org)