This weekend Labour Party members from across Somerset paraded their red flags through the city of Wells in celebration of International Workers Day as countless thousands did around the globe. The Chair of Wells Labour Party, John Fones,addressed the gathering from the bandstand with a rousing speech which we include in full here.
Did we lose – yes.But “Are we downhearted? No?”
After the local elections this week in Mendip and Sedgemoor, should Labour members be mourning and should we be downhearted? We should be sad that that voters chose to show their dissatisfaction with national politics and the Brexit fiasco by voting for people who will do little to turn the tide for ordinary people like you and me. Continue reading “Somerset Celebrates International Workers Day in Wells”
Bridgwater’s former Mayor, Diogo Rodrigues, has been voted in as the Leader of Sedgemoor District Labour Group by his fellow Councillors following the District Council elections of May 2nd which saw Labour increase its numbers to 12 seats and the Tories crash down from 35 to 28 but still retaining control in a night where all other Somerset Districts saw them evicted from the seats of power. The decision will mean that Diogo will become the Leader of the Opposition on Sedgemoor District Council.
As results come in it’s clear that the Lib Dems have regained the ground that they lost following their disastrous results after the 2011-2015 coalition with the Conservatives taking councils such as BATH & NORTH EAST SOMERSET and SOMERSET WEST & TAUNTON and MENDIP from the Conservatives and COTSWOLD & NORTH DEVON from NOC. Meanwhile Labour has held it’s key South West Councils of EXETER, PLYMOUTH and BRIDGWATER.
In Exeter Labour dropped 1 seat and the Tories dropped 2 while the Lib Dems gained 1 the Greens gained 1 and Independents gained 1. Labour retain control 29 Lab 6 Con 2 Libdem 1 Green 1 Ind
In Plymouth Labour kept control and gained 1 seat from the Tories. Labour 31 Con 25 Ind 1.
in Somerset West & Taunton the Lib Dems took control from the Tories gaining 19 seats while the Tories lost 31 and UKIP lost 1. Inds gained 10 and Labour gained 1 while the Greens gained 2 leaving a council composed Libdem 30 IND 14 CON 10 LAB 3 GREEN 2
In Bath & North East Somerset the Lib Dems gained control from the Tories climbing 23 seats while Labour and IND both gained 1 each and the Greens dropped 1 making a council of Lib Dem 37 CON 9 LAB 7 IND 6
In Sedgemoor the Tories clung on but Labour held the town of Bridgwater and made gains across the District council reducing the Tory majority there to just 8 votes.
Bridgwater has remained a lone Labour stronghold in the West of England between Bristol and Exeter proudly flying the red flag from its Town hall. After the hard fought town elections the final score was Labour 12 Tories 4. Although the Tories naturally regained their 2 seats in their Wyndham heartlands (they didn;t stand there last time so opposition parties made a temporary grab) but 2 ever-so-close battles saw narrow Tory wins. In Fairfax Labour councillor Alex Glassford lost to Tory Mike Cresswell by just 1 vote while in Dunwear South Labour’s Gary Tucker was defeated by Tory Suria Aujla by just 7.
As Tories collapsed across the country and across the county they managed to cling on here in Sedgemoor but with a heavily reduced majority. Labour regained 2 seats in Bridgwater with new candidates Hilary Bruce. knocking out out Tory Chairman Mike Cresswell from his Fairfax ward, and Alexia Bartlett, kicking out UKIP from Dunwear. Also new on the District scene is former Mayor Diogo Rodrigues who won the top placed seat in Dunwear.
Across Somerset Lib Dems have been making gains, increasing their hold on South Somerset, gaining Mendip where there was also a strong showing from the Greens and taking the newly formed Somerset district of Somerset West and Taunton. In Sedgemoor the Tories clung on but with a reduced majority as both Labour and Lib Dems made inroads into their vote.
In an election marked by Tory candidates hiding at home for fear their voters might spot them and an angry electorate often composing essays about Brexit on their ballot papers rather than voting with them the Lib Dems filled the void (with their own void) and where there was a historic Labour presence the reds marched on. Continue reading “Tory ‘no show’ in Poll collapse across County”