Branch Political Officers Report for Branch Committee Meeting 24th January 2017
CWU Eastern Region Chair
At the Branch Committee at its November meeting gave me the branch nomination to stand for the position of Eastern Regional chair, at the Regional meeting last Friday I was elected unopposed to the position, I would like to thank the branch for the nomination.
CWU Eastern Region Political Committee
The next meeting of the Political committee will take place on Friday 17th February which will be the AGM, I have held the position of Chair to this committee for three years and seek the branch nomination to stand for re- election.
Eastern Region Labour Party Regional Board
This was the AGM for the Regional Board, and took place on Saturday 3rd December 2016, which I attended on behalf of the CWU Eastern Region, following nominations the following were re-elected Chair Eileen Davison, Vice Chairs Vaughan West, and Judi Billing.
The Regional Director Cameron Scott in his report said that following a reshuffle at regional office a new regional communications officer had been appointed Brad Marshall had taken up his position that week.
A UKIP Councillor Jack Parsons in Clacton had defected to Labour, quoting the new UKIP leader and his policies on NHS privatisation as the reason, County Council selections winnable seats candidates would be selected by Christmas and the remainder by the end of February.
Peterborough & Cambridgeshire Mayoral elections, the short list had been drawn up which was made up of 6 candidates, interviews would take place the following week to whittle that down to 2, then a member’s ballot in January with the winner announced in February.
Regional conference Report Back
This year’s conference was a record year for delegates attending with 40 CLP’s (double last year) sending a total of 250 delegates, which was 30 up on last year’s total, it was agreed that all CLP’s should send delegates.
The lack of stalls was raised the board to consider this for next year, and the meal was also raised, along with the hotel bar closing early.
Resolutions carried at the conference that need auctioning
Fire and Rescue Cuts, it was agreed with the FBU delegate in attendance that the motion would be sent to National Policy Forum, Shadow Cabinet, County Councillors, and the Leaders of Labour groups.
Orgreave this is to be sent to all CLP Secretaries, in the region to get behind the campaign and a copy to be sent to Shadow Home Secretary.
Selective Education, this is to be sent to the National Policy Forum, Labour Leadership, Shadow Education Minister, and all the Teaching unions.
CWU Crown Office Campaign, it was agreed that Kelvin Hopkins would write the submission on behalf of the regional board, as he lead the debate in parliament the week before.
It was agreed that communications between the CLP’s and Trade Unions need to be better, therefore.
A speaker’s guide is to be published and circulated, by regional office
A Trade Union Contact list is to be published, by regional office
The regional board needs to be better engaged with TULO
Better training for CLP’s is needed.
Meeting dates, it was agreed to alternate the meeting between Saturdays and Sundays this year so that the Jewish Labour Group can attend meetings the dates for 2017 are
Sunday 5th March, Saturday 3rd June, Sunday 3rd September and Saturday 2nd December.
South East Region TUC, Regional Council (SERTUC)
The last meeting of SERTUC was held on Saturday 14th January, which I attended on behalf of the CWU with Paul Moffat, CWU Regional Secretary, I will briefly cover off the main points of the meeting as the written report we received is over 50 pages long.
We received a detailed speech by Mick Whelan ASLEF General Secretary, to update us on the Southern Rail dispute.
Save the Equality and Human Rights Commission PCS and Unite members working in the Commission took their 4th day of industrial action on 18th January, against job cuts. I have attached a handout which explains the dispute and what the commission does.
The Commission agreed to make cuts of 25%, after the government already cut its budget by 70% since 2010, resulting in
The loss of over 300 experienced staff
Slashing specialist staff who support victims of discrimination
Outsourcing its public helpline to G4S and closing its conciliation and grants programme
It is time once again to affiliate to the CLP’s within the branch, last year we paid £10 per CLP except for Peterborough which was £50, as it is the largest within the branch and very active. I would recommend that we pay the same again this year, about payment we had a small number of CLP’s who did not cash their cheques this year. With this in mind I have contacted the Midland Region Labour Party and I have been given an up to date list of CLP treasurers, which I have passed onto the Branch Treasurer, I am waiting on the same from the Eastern Labour.
Labour Leaders visit to Peterborough
On Tuesday 10th January Jeremy Corbyn visited Peterborough to make a key note speech, at Paston Farm community centre, as spaces were limited it was by invite only for party members and Trade Unions, I received and invite and attended on behalf of the branch.
Jeremy spoke about Labours plan for Brexit, and Social Housing.
TULO Parliamentary Candidate Training
The CWU are looking to put eight people for training to become MP’s, if anyone is interested please let me know and I will forward names to Regional Secretary, closing date for applications end January.
Labours Mayoral Candidate for Cambridgeshire & Peterborough
As previously reported to this committee, combined authorities are being setup to allow groups of councils to work together to make decisions across council boundaries. In Cambridgeshire & Peterborough this includes Peterborough City Council, Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Huntingdonshire District Council, East Cambridgeshire DC, South Cambridgeshire DC and Cambridge City Council.
Labour held a selection process which saw six candidates nominated, this was whittled down to two following an interview these being Fiona Onasanya a councillor in Kings Hedges for the last 3 ½ years and Kevin Price three term councillor and deputy leader of Cambridge City Council.
Labour Party members in the above areas should have received their ballot papers to select the candidate that will stand for mayor, ballot closes Friday 3rd February.
Once the candidate is selected we as a branch will need to offer funding to the successful candidate to their campaign.
Peterborough Trades Union Council (PTUC)
PTUC have been actively involved in the campaign to save the residents of St Michael’s Gate in the city from eviction from their homes by the property firm Steff & Phillips. Peterborough City Council (PCC) have sold the 74 houses on St Micheals Gate to Steff & Phillips. In return Steff & Phillips have started the eviction process making whole families homeless, they are then charging PCC, £3 million over the next 3 years to use the properties as overnight accommodation for the homeless.
The annual PTUC, Tom Browning public meeting was held on Thursday 24th November, which was well attended by Trade Unionists and members of the public, who heard speakers talk about Axe the Housing Act, St Micheals Gate, NHS, Young Members and Trade Unions, The Junior Doctors dispute and the CWU Crown Office campaign.
PTUC’s Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 23rd February at Unite the Unions offices in Church Walk.
International Working Women’s Day event, PTUC are again holding an event at Peterborough Town Hall on Saturday 4th March, followed by a social event in the Ostrich in North Street, where three all-female bands are playing and the Ostrich has arranged a beer festival for the event.
Recommendation that we re- affiliate to PTUC along with Kings Lynn & District and Wisbech, March & District.
Recommendation that this report be agreed
Branch Political Officer
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