General Election 8 June

 

Labour’s manifesto includes these fully costed pledges:

♦ £6 billion a year extra for the NHS
♦ £3 billion a year for schools
♦ Abolition of university tuition fees
♦ Building 100,000 new council houses a year, alongside 100,000 affordable homes
♦ Taking the railways, Royal Mail, and eventually energy companies back into public ownership
♦ Energy price caps
♦ Rent controls
♦ £250bn of investment into national infrastructure
♦ A ban on fracking

 

General Election FAQs: labour.org.uk/pages/general-election-2017-need-to-know

 

Our Labour Candidate for West Dorset – Lee Rhodes

Lee says “I grew up in Tottenham, north London and left school at the age of 17. I worked in various factory jobs until the recession of the early nineties which led to a spell of unemployment. I took this opportunity to re-skill. Office work followed until in 1997 I started working in accountancy. I have worked in this sector ever since, becoming an Accounting Technician.”

“I joined the Labour party in 2010 after the General Election and formation of the coalition government. I have supported many Labour campaigns in the past 7 years. I stood in local elections twice for Labour in the Dorchester West ward, in both 2011 and 2015 when I narrowly missed being elected. I am also a member of the GMB union and a supporter of their role in improving working people’s lives. I feel strongly about social justice and want to see a better, more equal society. I would love to see free, quality adult education made available. This would allow working people to improve their own lives in life long learning.”

 

Council Elections 4 May – Our Candidates

Phyllida Culpin – Bridport (Dorset County Council)

Phyllida’s background is in social housing, and until recently she worked in South Somerset. She believes that people deserve the opportunity to achieve the best for themselves and their families. Phyllida lives in Pymore and is committed to supporting Bridport’s economy which means bringing more jobs that pay well to the area, improving public transport so that people can get to college, work, and get out to enjoy themselves, and providing low cost housing. Phyllida uses local shops wherever she can and volunteers on a regular basis for conservation projects. She will Stand Up for the people of Bridport.

 

Bill Mellish – Bridport (DCC)

Bill Mellish was born in Lewisham, South London. He is a retired senior C.I.D. officer with the Met. having served on the Flying Squad and at New Scotland Yard. He retired after 32 years service and went on to be a governor at a boy’s comprehensive from which he received a long service award for his contribution to education.

Bill grew up on the same council estate as the famous boxer Henry Cooper. Bill’s uncle was Bob Mellish the Labour MP. Since moving to Bridport four years ago he has been an active fund raiser for Cupboard Love and other charities, he enjoys playing golf and skittles locally.

 

Mark Gage – Beaminster (DCC)

Mark says “The most important things that hold a rural community together and are education and transport. Should you elect me, I will work to give you back your bus services and ensure that they are regular and affordable. I will also work to resist the reintroduction of grammar schools and ensure that the funding for education for all of our children, no matter what their circumstances, is improved. A key part of this will be to refund our youth centres. These are things that the Conservatives working with the Liberal Democrats have taken away from you; voting Labour will return them.”

 

Joy Everington – Marshwood Vale (DCC)

Joy has been a resident of Marshwood for 35 years.

Supporting publicly-funded:

EDUCATION – NO to new grammar schools
TRANSPORT – Enable the young and elderly to get about
SOCIAL CARE – We may all need it some day
Retired public servant and formerly local Registrar of Births, Deaths & Marriages.
Upper Marshwood Vale Parish Councillor for 15 years. Currently Secretary & Treasurer of Dorset Federation of Horticultural Societies, supporting member clubs in Dorset & neighbouring counties. Long-standing charity shop volunteer.
“As your County Councillor I would bring my considerable life skills to the complex problems now facing our County”.

 

Nick Boothroyd – Bridport South Ward (Bridport Town Council)

A professional musician and teacher, Nick made his home in West Dorset over 25 years ago. His children grew up here and attended local schools. Four years ago he moved to Bridport and has since put down deep roots. Nick believes the key issues facing us in Bridport are affordable homes, better jobs and opportunities for our young people, our Health Service and transport links. Nick says “If elected I will defend public services, challenge vested interests and do all I can to make Bridport a better place to live and work”.

Chair’s Report

Apologies for not getting out a report earlier, but have had a bad dose of the dreaded lurgy and retired to my bed. However, better late than never. However, the curry night was again a success, even though there was some panic in the kitchen as the caterer’s van had broken down and we were desperately looking around for some rice. However, all ended well, and I am sure people passing the WI Hall wondered what was happening given the cheering and booing emanating from the hall.

However, the next few months are going to be busy ones as we lead up to the local Dorset County Council elections. As agreed at the last Branch meeting, three groups are in place that will produce leaflets covering housing, the local economy and public transport. However, we still require an Agent for the Bridport election given that it is generally agreed that we will only run paper candidates for Beaminster and the Marshwood Vale. Given this position we will be asking for a volunteer to act as our Agent at the next Branch meeting on the 18th January. We will also be able to discuss the content of the leaflets provided by the three groups, as well as amending or adding to them as necessary. We must also discuss as to how we leaflet the wards concerned, especially Bridport. This again will require volunteers to leaflet at least in their own street, as well as looking for weekend campaigning in areas we traditionally look for support. Also at the next Branch meeting we will be looking for volunteers to stand in the Beaminster and Marshwood wards.

Leafleting is of course crucial in Bridport given the hold the Lib Dems have over the Town and increasingly the Greens. Whilst of course as a Branch we have nearly 600 members, the Labour Party standing in the country is still well behind the Tories and we must make a real effort locally if we are to succeed in winning seats on the DCC. We also as a Party face a Parliamentary by-election in the North West, on which in my opinion much will depend how successful we are locally.

Also UNITE Community Union are organising a Public Meeting in Bridport Town Hall to discuss the future or otherwise of the NHS. This will be held on the evening of Wednesday 8th of February. At present the start time is not fixed, but it will be an evening meeting and more detail will be made available when a time is finalised. However, it is essential that as many members as possible attend. Also members along with UNITE Community Union had a presence in Bucky Doo Square on Monday 9th January demonstrating against the proposed cuts in Dorset NHS.

Whilst we have been making every attempt to make Branch Meetings more interesting, the Branch Meeting on the 18th will be mainly a business one in which we plan and put forward candidates for the coming Local Elections. As said previously, we now have nearly 600 members, and if even half that number turn out to leaflet in the coming local elections, we can cover the whole of Bridport quite easily. Looking forward to seeing you all on the 18th January, 7pm the WI Hall.

Richard

A simplified general structure of the Labour Party policy-making machine

Chair’s report – The Labour Party policy-making machine – A simplified general structure.

 

Members———-Branch———-Branch Officers.

Constituency Party (CLP)——–Officers/Executive Committee/From Branches.

Regional Labour Party—–Full time Officers/elected members.

Regional and National Policy Forums.

National Executive Committee (NEC)—-consists of General Sec and full-time officers plus elected members and trade unions. Oversees Annual Conference policies between Annual Conference.

Annual Conference—–Policy making body—-for a week?

The Parliamentary Party (PLP).

Also involved—fringe groups such as Momentum and CDLP. Also an innumerable number of Labour Party Friends groups, and Trade Unions.

The House of Lords.

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Role of Party MPs

In opposition—–should MPs simply follow Party policy as defined by Annual Conference if a given political situation changes? If not, how do we strengthen the relationship between Branches, CLPs and the general membership?

If in power—–Role of Cabinet. Cabinet members faced by senior civil servants and advisers. Also House of Lords. How should they deal?

When in power as is clear from past experience, the Cabinet does not always follow Party policy and on many occasions has ignored both MPs as well as Annual Conference policy. How do we counter such a situation if decisions are intended to come from below?

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As I have said before at branch meetings, politics is very much the organisation of conflict, and even more so today within the Labour Party. But at its root for change is our Leader’s political perception of changing the way that we ‘do’ politics in the Labour Party. The question that flows from such a position is, how will it be achieved? It will certainly not be easy, and if members are to achieve a greater say what changes will be required in the way Labour Party policy is not only arrived at, but carried through? In facing up to such a question we must firstly look as to how the Party is organised at present, and the roles played by the different structures that exist in today’s Labour Party.

For example, at a local level we have the membership. They attend their local Branch which has its own elected officers. Then there is the local Constituency Party organisation, again with officers elected by the branches, which in turn is overseen by a Regional Office of the Labour Party. The Regional Office is staffed by full-time officers and elected members. Its role is to ensure that the rules of the Party are upheld, and deal with any issues within Regional Branches that may arise, as well as overseeing any nominations for individual members who wish to stand as either an MP or Councillor. Also at a local level we have fringe groupings such as Momentum, and affiliated Trade Unions who add pressure to arrive at Party policy, both locally and nationally.

In terms of building National Labour Party policy, it requires in the first instance for a local branch to put together a branch proposition which is then discussed at a Constituency Party (CLP) meeting prior to Annual Conference. A vote is then taken by those attending the CLP meeting and a decision arrived at. The CLP proposition then goes forward for consideration to the Labour Party Annual Conference. But there is also a process whereby an individual Branch can make its position known on a particular issue by writing directly to the NEC. The present system allows for an individual Branch to make its feelings known, but it is difficult if not impossible to know if such an action has any effect on a given policy outcome. Of course this is not the end of the policy making process. Branches and CLPs must accept that policy decisions are also taken at both National and Regional Policy Forums whose decisions may run counter to a particular Constituency Party or Branch position.

And so through this process, individual members are distanced from any final policy decision. The question posed is, if decisions in the future are driven from below, how can local members be more directly involved in policy decisions? It also asks the question, does a CLP have a role in the future? And what is the role of the CLP?  What is the role of the Branch? What is the role of the Regional Party? I doubt if these questions have even been addressed by the Party given its complexity and challenging nature. However, as I hope I have made clear, the above is a simplification of the policy making process.

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But what when the Party is in power?  Here if we are to consider changes that directly involve the general membership and of Branches, how will they organise? That will by definition place under the microscope as to how the PLP functions in Westminster as well as the role of the Cabinet. When in opposition the main role of the Shadow Cabinet and the PLP is fairly straight forward. Their role is to challenge the presiding Government, and look to either defeat, amend or change Government policy. But when in power, we are faced with the traditional roles of both Government and Cabinet. From an historical standpoint, it is not unknown for example that a Cabinet both ignores Party policy as well as its PLP.

As to the House of Lords, its demise has been discussed since the beginning of the 20th century, but it is still there. Do we need a Second House, and if yes, should it be an elected body based on proportional representation to ensure it has the authority to challenge policies passed in the House of Commons?

Above are just a few ramblings of the Branch Chair. Its intent is to open up a debate as to how the Party organises and sets policies in the 21st century. Any comments or opinions gratefully received, as if we are to achieve a more open and honest approach to political decisions, members really need to enter into the debate in order that in the first instance the Branch can have a position. We also have to show that a new form of political engagement is the way forward. Given recent Branch debates, the Bridport and District Labour Party could be at the forefront of that debate.

Some interesting reading as to the forms of political organisation we have been subjected to, as well as the economic challenges we face in today’s global economy.

The Iron Law of Oligarchy——Michels.

Elitist theory    Mosca and Pareto.   Geraint Parry

A Brief History of Neoliberalism       David Harvey

Richard Nicholls

Chair’s Report

Chair’s Report 26th July

As members will all be aware, the National Executive Committee (NEC) deemed that branch meetings should be suspended until the result of the leadership election is announced. As I understand it, there are still some branches ignoring the NEC ruling and convening meetings, but to what effect? I ask this as any resolutions passed will have no standing. It was for this very reason that I, along with Nick our Branch Secretary, pre-empted the NEC decision by calling a special branch meeting, allowing members to express their views regarding not only any support or opposition for the present leader, but any issues they thought relevant. It also allowed for resolutions to be debated before the NEC came to its final decision, and placed them on record.

We are now of course in the ridiculous situation whereby not only is the election of the leadership of the Party in the hands of the judges, but members who have been disenfranchised following another NEC decision, are also challenging that decision in the High Court. Here, given the nature of our legal system, and I speak as a trade unionist who has personal experience of such legal proceedings, the Party as a political body could in the worst case scenario be either destroyed, or split. Also, as legal proceedings are often long drawn out, it could mean that no decision on the leadership could be announced in September at the Labour Party Annual Conference in Liverpool. This especially so if the disenfranchised members win their case. That could well mean that the ballot was illegal and would need to be re-run.

However in writing this short report, I would like to thank all members for the way they have conducted themselves at this difficult time. Members hold strong views on the matters in hand, and they have presented their arguments and concerns in a comradely way. This approach was very much in evidence at our recent specially convened Branch Meeting. 82 members attended but no-one was shouted down, and everyone who wanted to speak was allowed to make their position clear. For this as Chair I would like to thank members for their approach to the meeting, especially as I approached it with some trepidation given the strong feelings held by all those attending.

What the future holds for the Party is of course still unclear, but given the resolve shown by members in the Bridport and District Labour Party, I am sure we will persevere.

Richard Nicholls

Branch Organisation Update

The new leadership has been around for several months now and is continuing in its attempts looking for a new approach to politics. This has been made more complex in that with a huge increase in membership, not only has the National Party had to look at its own organisation, but the way in which local branches function have been put under the microscope. For example, how do we use the new technologies that are available? How are branch meetings organised? How do we involve more directly the local community? How do we campaign? How do we involve young members?

Here, as a Branch, we have made some inroads, but trying to put change in place, especially with an ever increasing membership base will always be a difficult task, but it is something that must be carried through. But progress is being made in that not only does the Branch now have all the officer posts filled, but members are now increasingly engaged in this debate. For example we have now identified the three issues that branch members feel are the ones we need to campaign on locally. Those being, Affordable Housing, Youth Services and Public Transport. Here, in order to pursue these three issues, we are looking to set up three groups of interested members to not only make recommendations to the Branch as to how we pursue these policies, but also produce pamphlets that can be used in getting our ideas into the public arena. In this way, it is hoped that not only will the Branch become more directly involved with the local community, but also begin the process of developing a branch manifesto that we can put to good effect at forthcoming local elections.

There is also the continuing debate as to how branch meetings are organised. The format has been subjected to some minor changes, but the debate continues. From my position as Chair, a number of issues have to be taken into consideration. Firstly, branch meetings as per the rule book are business meetings, and there are certain matters that must be open for discussion. There is also a time element to be taken into consideration and as to how we fit in all the business required. For example, it was past practice to have an invited guest speaker at the end of a branch meeting However, given time restraints, it was felt by a number of members that not enough time was given to question the speaker. To this end we now have the guest speaker at the beginning of a meeting, and that aspect seems to have worked to everyone’s satisfaction.

However, this is a matter still under debate, and in my opinion will require us to look very carefully as to the role of a branch meeting, and how policies flow from it. In this respect, the campaign groups could be a crucial element of any new approach to branch structure reorganisation. They would meet before branch meetings, and it would be for those groups to put forward motions for debate and present their ideas for the content of pamphlets to be distributed locally. In this way not only would we have a process in which policies came from the ‘bottom up’, but would also allow the Branch to formulate a branch manifesto for forthcoming elections. In this way, it would allow for branch meetings to be open to change.

We must also look for change in terms of bringing more young people into the decision making process. They have in many respects a completely new approach to life, and their views must increasingly be taken in to account. We are lucky that we have a Youth Officer, but as to be expected, they inevitably in my experience, are soon off to university, and we must try to ensure we have the numbers of young people available to fill the post. We also have a Woman’s Officer, and I have invited a member of BRIDFEM to address the Branch at a future meeting. At present, women trade unionists constitute 52% of trade union membership, but still have to struggle to be paid the going rate for a job. They also work in the care industry; note I say Industry, which are among the lowest paid jobs in this country. So we must look in our branch manifesto for policies that reflect the plight of not only women working in ‘care’ industry, but to those thousands of single and widowed women surviving on little or no pension.

Overall, these are exciting times, and there are many challenges we face in terms of the reorganisation of the Branch and National Party. I am aware of these issues, as when a member of the CWU Union Executive I was given the role of reorganising and merging trade union branches. This was no easy matter, as individual branch traditions and branch policies and political leanings varied, as one would expect. The same difficulties now also face not only the Branch, but the Party in general. However, if we are to bring about change that allows for a difference as to how we make policy, and to how we organise as a Branch, it will take time, and would simply ask for patience as we move forward.

Richard Nicholls

Labour Party reviews

Your Britain

Your Britain is Labour’s online home of policy development and ideas, where you can take part in our open and democratic policy-making process, Agenda 2020. Whether you’re a Labour Party member or not, we want to hear your ideas on how the next Labour government should tackle the challenges our country faces, and build a more equal and prosperous Britain.

On Your Britain, you can find consultation documents published by Labour’s National Policy Forum and its Policy Commissions, make submissions with your own policy ideas and get feedback from your representatives on the National Policy Forum, and join the discussion by commenting on other people’s ideas.

For more information on how to use Your Britain and help shape Labour policy, click here

Policy-Making Review

Developing a winning policy platform means involving as many people as possible. It requires a policy-making process which is inclusive, open and democratic. We need to reach out to engage members and the wider public in instigating, contributing to and leading the formulation of policy.

Angela Eagle MP is leading this review into how we can best reform the National Policy Forum (NPF) and policy-making process so we can once more earn the right to serve the British people in government.

Defence Policy Review

Emily Thornberry, Shadow Defence Secretary has published her terms of reference for Labour’s defence policy review, asking individual members and local parties to send submissions before 30 April 2016.

Emily points to the changed nature of security threats facing Britain today, and asks “What role should Britain play in building a world that is more peaceful, more just and safer?”

Her key question on Trident is: Will renewal of Britain’s nuclear capability aid us in protecting Britain’s security and pursuing the values that guide our foreign and defence policy?

 

Chair’s Report

Our new Party Leader has only been in place for weeks, but changes are already showing themselves within the Party. As Karen our Treasurer indicated, in the South West, Labour Party membership had grown by 150%. This figure is reflected in the Bridport and District Branch as membership is now in excess of 350 members. Also what is apparent for those attending the last three Branch meeting, the new members politically are not only well versed, but they bring a deal of experience along with them. In this respect it has been a pleasure to chair the last three meetings, as the majority of those attending have not only contributed, but have put forward differing views as to how we go forward as a Branch.

Also, given the experience shown by many new members, we must as a Branch consider as to how they can contribute over the coming months. I did make the point at the last Branch meeting that we needed to change the way in which the Party organised itself, and that we must in my opinion include the way in which the Branch operates. Here the Branch AGM will be held in March, and we need to discuss before that meeting, any shortcomings that new members feel should be addressed. In this respect, we have already had some suggestions which we will circulate to our membership for their consideration. At a National level, it is also being suggested that between Annual Conferences, all policy issues should be put to a ballot of the general membership by electronic ballot. A revolutionary concept.

Of the last three meetings, the first was really an introduction exercise for new members and for the present Branch Officers to introduce themselves. The second, and very well attended meeting, gave a platform for Green Town Councillor’s, and the debate was open and positive. The third meeting, given it debated Party organisation, was to say the least dry, but it was necessary if we are to change the way in which policy is arrived at. However, it was positive in that we agreed as a Branch to contact Tom Watson MP and request a meeting either in Bridport or the House of Commons to discuss our position on the reorganisation of the Party structure. My understanding is that Billy Bragg met Tom for a coffee in London, and we await a reply from the Deputy Leader. It was also raised at the last Branch Meeting that the Branch becomes more involved in local issues such as housing and public transport. To this end it has been suggested that Branch members attend the Democratic half hour of the Town Council to raise such matters, and in doing so not only give us a political platform, but show we have a real interest in to what is happening in Bridport and the surrounding area.

However, we still have a way to go, and we must ensure that the momentum, (no pun intended,) is not only maintained, but built upon. With this in mind we must not forget the social side to the Branch and we have organised a Curry Night on Monday the 14th December in the British Legion Hall, Victoria Grove commencing at 7pm. The intent is to not only raise funds for the Branch and entertain members, but for members to get to know each other in a more informal setting. I do hope as many as possible can attend. In this respect, if we are to develop as a campaigning Party in the area, we will need the funds not only to produce leaflets, but given the size of the Branch, possibly hire transport to get members to demonstrations in the South West and London.

Overall, I am confident that we now have both the political experience and commitment of the membership to make the next 12 months both interesting and proactive in terms of local issues.

Richard Nicholls (Chair)

Resolutions submitted to Labour South West Regional Conference

Organisation/CLP – Unison
Subject – Trade Union Bill

Conference believes the Conservative government’s Trade Union Bill demonstrates a clear intent to silence the voice of working people through a transparently partisan attack on trade unions and their historic link with the Labour party, regardless of the evidence and in contempt of conventions on party funding.
Conference condemns the attacks on unions’ political funds as a shabby attempt to undermine their public campaigning voice and the traditional relationship between many unions and Labour.
Conference believes that the right to strike is under threat and draconian measures seeking the names of pickets and restrictions on social media usage are a fundamental attack on human rights and on the right of protest for all citizens in a civil society.
Conference is concerned that allowing the use of agency workers to break strike action will lead to untrained staff carrying out work, potentially leading to unsafe workplaces and services. Conference notes that many councils and NHS Trusts in the South West already over rely on agency workers due to an inability to recruit staff – In 2014 NHS Trusts in the South West spent £59 million on agency workers, up from £12 million in 2010.
32 NHS Trusts (17 from the South West) have recently written to Matthew Hancock MP, Cabinet Office Minister and Paymaster General, to voice their concerns regards the compulsory ending of Check-Off arrangements and the wider negative consequences of this Bill at a time of extreme pressure for the NHS. They recognise that facility time arrangements for local union reps and the deductions of subscriptions through payroll are rightly matters between employers and unions and are the basis for good industrial relations.
Conference agrees with these Trusts that it is counter-productive for the government to stop or restrict these arrangements.
Conference calls on the Labour party in the South West of England to:
1) Work with the trade unions to campaign against the Bill;
2) Request that Labour party members lobby their local councillors and MPs;
3) Request that Labour groups on councils oppose the measures in the Bill and promote the value of good local industrial relations.

Organisation/CLP – South West Wiltshire
Subject – Housing

In view of the housing crisis in the South West, some form of surcharge should be levied on empty and second homes; this surcharge should be specifically put toward Local Authority building programs aimed at providing affordable social and affordable local housing for rent.

Owners of second homes should pay full Council Tax rather than the current 50% rate. The existing planning laws which allow the building of more second home should be amended to discourage the building of more while the housing crisis exists.

Empty private homes which are unoccupied for longer than 3 months should have a local surcharge applied.

Organisation/CLP – Central Devon CLP
Subject – Austerity

Central Devon residents are disproportionately affected by austerity. The Labour Party is the natural alternative in rural areas and we must encourage more residents to approach us:

Central Devon Concerns –

Housing – house prices are high and wages are low, so families are leaving their communities. The Government’s Right to Buy further diminishes social housing stock and new home-to-buy does not help low income families. This will have long-term negative effects for future generations.

Employment – job cuts (cross sector) have reduced household incomes. The lack of housing limits access to employment. Cuts to bus services (plus costly tickets and unreliability) severely affect the ability to work. The economic benefits of tourism are jeopardised by the effects of cuts to Rangers and infrastructure at Dartmoor National Park.

Broadband – reliable broadband is rarely available across Central Devon. This means:
1. Businesses cannot compete
2. Educational attainment is lower
3. Correct healthcare is harder to access
4. Social groups are difficult to contact
5. Accessing essential services (e.g. banking) is limited

Health – Health inequalities are compounded by local hospital closures, shrinking budgets, CCGs in debt and GP shortages.

Communities – All these issues prevent Central Devon’s communities from fully contributing to economic growth, from forging strong networks and gaining access to essential services and opportunities.
The difficulties go beyond farming; Central Devon has escalating social, physical and economic isolation for all its residents. It’s the Labour Party’s determination to help by making our progressive practices and views available and relevant to all.

Organisation/CLP – Taunton CLP
Subject – Tax Credits

This conference deplores the government’s relentless attack on our social security system, which is an attack on the well being of the majority of the UK population who rely on it at some time in their lives, an attack that none of our five Somerset MPs opposed.

In particular conference condemns the cruelty and deception perpetrated by this government through the rhetoric of their ‘national living wage’ and the lie that this will replace tax credits on which so many households in the South West rely to make ends meet.

We support the view that tax-credits should not be used by unscrupulous employers to bolster their profits. We are also aware that many small and medium-size enterprise employers in the region provide jobs in a context of tight profit margins, making it extremely difficult to offer wages adequate to cover the South West’s crippling housing, energy and other essential costs.

We challenge the government to genuinely address the problem of in-work poverty by
a. Adopting the standard National Living Wage as defined by the Living Wage Foundation
b. To require all employers to substantiate claims that this is unaffordable
c. To adopt Labour’s plan to provide genuine support to SME employers to pay their employees a genuine living wage and
d. To adjust tax credits only as and when individuals’ wages increase or decrease.

This is how a party for working people would promote self-reliance and self-respect.

Organisation/CLP – Co-operative Party
Subject – Navitus Bay Offshore Wind Park

Conference regrets and opposes the Government’s decision not to proceed with the Navitus Bay offshore wind park, between Bournemouth and the Isle of Wight.

Had this been approved, Dorset would have been playing its part in supplying innovative sustainable energy that would have reduced the country’s reliance on fossil fuels.

We believe the creation of jobs, work and prestige would also have had a great benefit for the Dorset community plus worthwhile employment for the local workforce and economic environment.

The loss of this vital initiative will be felt for many years.

Therefore, Conference calls on Labour and Co-operative Party MPs to request the Government to reconsider their decision regarding the Navitus Bay scheme.

Organisation/CLP – Bristol West CLP
Subject – Fracking

As part of Bristol’s Green City 2015, Bristol West requests that action be taken to urge the Mayor to make Bristol a Frack-Free City and urge all surrounding Local Authorities in the South West to follow suit.

Following the U-turn by the Government on the protection of Britain’s environment and Labour’s commitment to stop shale gas extraction going ahead until there is a system of robust regulation and comprehensive inspection, there are still genuine and legitimate environmental concerns over shale gas.
We request Labour South West to publicise this widely and include it in our portfolio of green and environmental policies for the Region

Organisation/CLP – USDAW
Subject – Sunday Trading

This conference condemns the decision to include proposals that will lead to the extension of Sunday trading in the Cities & Local Government Devolution Bill at second reading on 14th October 2015 as a betrayal of a pre-election commitment by David Cameron whose office wrote in April that “we have no current plans to relax the Sunday Trading laws”.

Conference recognises the overwhelming evidence that longer Sunday opening by large stores will not lead to increased spending or more jobs, instead causing closures of smaller stores which are relied on by communities, especially people who do not have a car.

Conference notes that respondents from the South West to USDAW’s survey of staff in large stores were overwhelmingly against extending Sunday Trading, with many already under pressure to work more Sundays than they wish.

Conference further notes that retail is the second largest sector in the South West with the proposals depriving the 253,600 people working in retail of precious family time and also that longer Sunday opening hours will lead to more staff in transport, distribution, catering and security being required to work on Sundays.

Conference acknowledges that over half of council Chief Executives recognise that their council will be pressured to allow longer Sunday opening if neighbouring authorities do so.

Conference therefore calls on Labour MPs and Councillors in the South West to reject the Government’s proposal for devolution of Sunday opening hours as ‘fake devolution’ which will lead to longer Sunday opening, thus harming families and communities.

Organisation/CLP – GMB Wales and South West
Subject – Voter Registration and its impact on Parliamentary boundaries

The GMB/This conference condemns the gerrymandering that is taking place by this Tory Government, with regards to the changes being made to the way individuals register to vote, and the unacceptable way that these changes will be used to reduce the number of Parliamentary Constituencies across the South West.

It is clear that these changes have one objective and one objective only, and that is to carve up the Parliamentary seats to reduce the opportunities for opposition parties including the Labour Party, to win overall control of Parliament in the future.

This is an affront to our basic principles of social justice and fairness and we as a Party, working with like-minded groups across the South West, should make the general public aware of this sleight of hand, and campaign to stop this anti-democratic practice from taking place. We should also campaign to get members of the public to check that they are on the register, to get them to register to vote, and to vote Labour in next May’s Elections.

Organisation/CLP – SERA
Subject – Transport

Conference resolves that the national budget for Public Transport must be increased to provide more effective, efficient and affordable public transport in the UK and recognises the benefit to the economy through reduction of the cost of congestion (£4.3B in 2012), the benefit to society giving more social inclusion and better public health with CO2 and NO emissions reduced.

The current budget is one of the lowest in the EU in one of the most densely populate countries. An increased budget would also provide for public ownership of the rail network and services.

Organisation/CLP – GMB Southern
Subject – Bus Companies

GMB -This Conference deplores the actions taken by bus companies in the South West in cancelling some bus routes, especially in the rural areas where a bus is often the only means of transport for many pensioners and disabled who are bus pass holders. Conference asks the South West Labour Party to do all in its power to halt the demise in services to many communities in the South West.

Total – 10 Resolutions Submitted