‘Virus Tourism’ Hits Exmoor

Sunday, 22 March 20203 Replies
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Sunlight streaming into Dulverton (pic Vicky Nuttall)

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s family home of Exmoor is experiencing a “tourism” boom after the Prime Minister announced that schools were closing on Friday. Exmoor National Park has experienced a huge influx of people since the announcement was made. As well as second homers returning for the “duration of the virus”, holiday cottages and caravan parks are filling up with long term bookings. One holiday cottage was booked over the phone for three months with the family travelling down from London immediately and arriving at 3am! The Caravan Club Site in Dulverton is currently full to the brim. Lucy Naylor of West Somerset Labour looks at what can be done.

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Labour calls for by-election as former Mayor joins Tories

Tuesday, 10 March 20205 Replies
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Diogo Rodrigues -from Labour to Independent to Tory in 9 months flat

Bridgwater and Sedgemoor Labour Groups have called for a by-election following the announcement by former Labour councillor Diogo Rodrigues that he is joining the Conservatives. Diogo was elected as a Labour councillor last May. Two months later he declared himself an “independent”. Now he has jumped ship once more. He has justified his decision praising the Sedgemoor Tories as running “one of the most efficient councils in the country,” a view unlikely to chime with most people’s experience, and certainly not the experience of voters who elected him for Labour.

This is a  contradiction of many of his previous statements. When Diogo decided to end his campaign to get himself elected an independent MP in November 2019, he said: “Bridgwater & West Somerset desperately needs change, and desperately deserves a representative in Parliament who will give them a voice. The best chance of giving people back their voice is by replacing [Bridgwater Tory MP] Ian-Liddell Grainger.” Continue reading “Labour calls for by-election as former Mayor joins Tories”

Wells CLP Launches ‘Save Our Community Services’ Campaign

Monday, 9 March 20202 Replies
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Kama McKenzie, Wells CLP Womens Officer, urging people to join campaign

After attending the “Fit For My Future” consultation at Glastonbury Library on 29th February, the attendees agreed they wanted to come together to organise against the proposals. Wells CLP Women’s Officer Kama McKenzie said “The entire group was against the closure of St Andrews Ward in Wells. We were told that at present the public consultation is 50/50 for and against. People did not believe that our local community wanted the ward to close or indeed any future proposals threatening the future of our local community hospitals and Minor Injury Units. We agreed to set up a group as a platform to share ideas and ways in which we can come together as a community to ensure we save our local services; to prevent areas in the county being pitched against one another.” A  Facebook group has been set up and also an online petition.

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Sedgemoor Budget -Labour responds

Thursday, 20 February 2020
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Labour Leader Brian Smedley gives his verdict on the Sedgemoor budget

Today Sedgemoor District Council set its budget with no cuts to public services despite continued reductions in grant from central Government and members of all parties also voted to approve a Council Tax  set of £5 per year on a Band D property amounting to 9p a week. After  Council Leader Duncan McGinty (Con, E Polden) finished, Opposition leader Cllr Brian Smedley (Bridgwater Westover, Labour) stood up and gave his groups response saying In the circumstances, this is a good budget. But lets look at those circumstances. This council has only been in place for some 8 months, the country is just 2 months into a new Tory Government and just 2 weeks into the unchartered waters of Brexit. It’s no wonder the Leader of Council looked nervous presenting this budget at this time. But it’s early days. With a horrible Tory Government in Westminster and an incompetant Tory administration at County, there’s a lot of pressure on Tory Sedgemoor to maintain services. So if they have done then we will support them, but at the same time hold them to account and see how they’ve got on this time next year” Continue reading “Sedgemoor Budget -Labour responds”

Wells CLP back Long Bailey and Rayner for Labour Leadership

Saturday, 8 February 2020
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Rebecca Long Bailey, leader choice for Wells CLP

Wells CLP has backed Rebecca Long Bailey for Labour Leader and Angela Rayner for Deputy.

In her statement Rebecca said

“Like all Labour members, I am devastated we lost the election. After a decade of Conservative government we face entrenched inequality, 4 million children growing up in poverty, a climate emergency and an emboldened far right.

We had a chance to help turn back the tide, but we failed. The starting point in the leadership election is to be honest and self-critical about why and then look forward and forge our path to power.

We lost trust with voters – over Brexit, over antisemitism, over a lack of unity in our party and because we failed to set out a convincing narrative for what we would do in government.

We have to learn the lessons of this but we can’t despair. We have another round of elections in May and the escalating crises we face mean that building a winning vision of a socialist future has never been so urgent.

My vision is one of a democratic, aspirational and decarbonised society that hands wealth and power back to ordinary people. I believe we can build a green, democratic future that bridges the deep divides in our electoral coalition.

But we must democratise our party and we must embrace radical democratic reform in the country, taking power out of Westminster. In the words of the great Nye Bevan: “the purpose of getting power is to be able to give it away.”

This is my ambition – an aspirational, socialist, democratic future that can unite the country and build our path back to power.”

Somerton & Frome back Starmer and Allin Khan for Labour Leadership

Saturday, 8 February 2020
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Keir Starmer, Somerton and Fromes choice for labour leader

The Somerton and Frome CLP has backed Keir Starmer for Labour Leader and Rosena Allin Khan for Deputy.

in his statement Starmer said;

“I’ve spent my life fighting for justice, standing up for the powerless and against the powerful.

I’m now standing to be leader of the Labour Party because I believe I can help unite our movement, take on the Tories and build a better future.

When Labour is united, we can achieve anything.

The NHS, the minimum wage, the Equal Pay Act, peace in Northern Ireland: impossible dreams made possible by Labour governments.

We now need to provide an effective opposition to Boris Johnson.

We need to start winning elections again – starting with the local elections in May, building to 2024.

We won’t do that by abandoning our values or the radicalism we have rediscovered.

We are an anti-austerity party. We believe in common ownership. We want to build a more peaceful world through a human-rights based foreign policy. We must hardwire the Green New Deal into every part of our politics.

Those are the pillars on which we can build a radical agenda for the future.

Inequalities of every type – power, education, health and wealth – are now so ingrained that only a fundamental shift can address them.

Our task is to make that agenda relevant to the 2020s and 2030s: to deliver economic justice, social justice and climate justice.

That is a huge task.

This leadership contest can only be one part of it.

With your help and with all parts of the labour and trade union movement coming together, I believe we can win again. Another future is possible.”

 

Wells and Somerton-Frome CLPs still to nominate

Friday, 7 February 2020
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Thornberry,Nandy, Starmer & Long Bailey

Wells CLP and Somerton and Frome CLPs are still to make their nominations for the Labour Leadership positions. Both are meeting on Saturday 8th February.

Taunton Deane nominates Starmer and Rayner for Labour Leadership

Friday, 7 February 2020
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Keir Starmer, the choice of Taunton Deane

Taunton Deane CLP has nominated Keir Starmer for Leader and Angela Rayner for Deputy.

In his statement Keir said

“I’ve spent my life fighting for justice, standing up for the powerless and against the powerful.

I’m now standing to be leader of the Labour Party because I believe I can help unite our movement, take on the Tories and build a better future.

When Labour is united, we can achieve anything.

The NHS, the minimum wage, the Equal Pay Act, peace in Northern Ireland: impossible dreams made possible by Labour governments.

We now need to provide an effective opposition to Boris Johnson.

We need to start winning elections again – starting with the local elections in May, building to 2024.

We won’t do that by abandoning our values or the radicalism we have rediscovered.

We are an anti-austerity party. We believe in common ownership. We want to build a more peaceful world through a human-rights based foreign policy. We must hardwire the Green New Deal into every part of our politics.

Those are the pillars on which we can build a radical agenda for the future.

Inequalities of every type – power, education, health and wealth – are now so ingrained that only a fundamental shift can address them.

Our task is to make that agenda relevant to the 2020s and 2030s: to deliver economic justice, social justice and climate justice.

That is a huge task.

This leadership contest can only be one part of it.

With your help and with all parts of the labour and trade union movement coming together, I believe we can win again. Another future is possible.”

Yeovil Nominates Long Bailey and Rayner for Labour Leadership

Friday, 7 February 2020
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Rebecca Long Bailey nominated by Yeovil CLP

Yeovil Labour CLP recently held a nomination meeting to decide who they would nominate for Leader and Deputy Leader of the Labour party. At a packed-out meeting in Crewkerne Thursday 30th January 2020, Yeovil CLP Nominated  Rebecca Long-Bailey for the position of Leader and Kier Stamer came a close second. During the meeting, Angela Rayner shadow education secretary was nominated as Deputy Leader with a clear majority.

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Bridgwater & West Somerset back Starmer & Butler for Labour Leadership

Friday, 7 February 2020
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Kier Starmer the Leadership Nomination from Bridgwater and West Somerset

Literally queues of members stretched out of Bridgwater Town Hall tonight for the Leadership debate as Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour Party debated and then voted for leader and deputy leader of the Party. After a passionate hour or so of discussion with member after member standing up for 3 minutes and extolling the virtue of their favourite it became clear that it was a 2 horse race. With Emily Thornberry eliminated in the first round and Lisa Nandy in the second it was down to a Long Bailey v Starmer tussle at the top. By a margin of 5 the vote went to Keir Starmer who now becomes the official nomination from Bridgwater and West Somerset CLP.

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