Branch Political Officers Report for Branch Committee Meeting 20th October 2015
Firstly my apologies for not submitting a report to the September meeting this was due to me having two weeks leave, but I hope to bring you up to date with everything that has happened since my last report.
Labour Leadership Elections
You will all know that Jeremy Corbyn has been elected as the new Leader of the Party, when he first put his name forward to stand he only just got enough nominations from MP’s, and was the rank outsider to win. But win he did with 59.5 % of the votes cast.
Deputy Leadership Elections
Tom Watson was elected as Deputy Leader with 50.7 % of the vote after 3 rounds of voting.
I have enclosed a copy of the breakdown of the voting for both elections for your information.
National Policy Forum Results
Labour Party members had the chance to vote for who sits on the National Policy Forum in their own area, in the East I’m pleased to say that Jo Rust was elected along with Alex Mayer and Sandy Martin.
Jo is a good friend of this branch, as Secretary of Kings Lynn Trades Council and Secretary of North West Norfolk CLP and not forgetting her day job as Regional Organiser for Unison in the Eastern Region.
Again I have enclosed the results for the Eastern Region for your information.
Labour Party Eastern Region Conference
The Conference takes place this year in Stevenage on Friday 13th – Sunday 15th November, I will be attending this on behalf of the CWU Eastern Region in my role of Regional Political Chair. No release is required as it starts on Friday evening and the Region will be paying for the delegation.
I will report back to the committee and the membership on my return.
Labour Party Membership
Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn membership to the Party has risen by 150,000, with people who left the Party coming back, and many others joining. We have had members of the branch re-join and re-join the political levey. The membership now stands at over 330,000.
If you wish to join the party please go to labour.org and follow the link.
The Peoples Post Campaign
I attended the Rally in Manchester on Monday 5th October on behalf of the branch, I have circulated a report, and I have to say that this was the best rally I’ve attended on behalf of the CWU.
On Saturday 3rd October, the branch had a stall in the Cathedral Square in Peterborough, although this was part of the Black History month celebrations I used it as a chance to hand out Peoples Post leaflets, which were well received by members of the public.
One alarming thing was that I had a member approach me and ask what the campaign was about, which got me thinking about our communications and are members reading notice boards and letters that are sent to them by the branch and Headquarters.
Having spoken to the branch secretary about this she contacted Headquarters and we have received 2,000 leaflet’s which will be inserted into the diaries.
Since the rally the Government have sold off their remaining stake in the company to their friends in the city for £591 million.
Peterborough Trades Council
I have no report from the last PTUC meeting as I was on leave and could not attend; the next meeting is on Thursday 15th October, I will give a verbal update to the committee.
Peterborough Labour Party
Although it’s only a few months since we were out on the streets asking people for their votes, we need to get out again as a by election has been called in West ward to replace the Tory councillor who moved to the Falkland Islands earlier this year. This is an important election as the Tories are just a handful of seats away from regaining control of Peterborough City Council.
Mohammed Sabir is the Labour Candidate
Since the election of Jeremy Corbyn the CLP has gained just over 400 new members
North East Cambs CLP
On Wednesday 23rd September, the Wisbech branch of North East Cambs Labour Party held it’s AGM at the Rosmini Centre in Wisbech. During the meeting, branch members elected their new officers for the next 12 months. It was pleasing to use this opportunity to welcome
new members to the branch.
Labour veteran, Roger Ward, stood for re-election as the Chair of the Wisbech Branch and won with 100% of the member’s support. Kathy Dougall gave up her 12 month stint as branch secretary, and Dean Reeves was elected to this position. Alan Dougall, also in position for the last 12 months, was re-elected as branch treasurer.
In addition to this, the branch also made nominations of their members to the CLP for it’s upcoming AGM. The branch nominated new Wisbech secretary, Dean Reeves, as chair of the CLP; and outgoing Wisbech secretary, Kathy Dougall, as secretary of the CLP. In addition to this, the branch decided it would continue to support Ann Purt as CLP treasurer by formally nominating her, whilst also nominating current Youth and Education Officer, James Lowery, to the position of Vice Chair Campaigns Coordinator of the CLP.
We were joined, at the meeting, by new members from different areas of the constituency so that they could watch the process of an AGM, ready for the CLP’s AGM on October 14th. It was brilliant that these new members were also considering taking up positions in their local branches following this meeting.
Thank you to all of those members involved in this democratic process. We are looking forward to working with everybody, and a special thank you to those incoming and outgoing branch officers, who always go above and beyond the call of duty.
The CLP has also gained 100 new members
CWU Eastern Region Political Committee
The last Regional Political Committee was weld on the 11th September 2015. Matters arising from the minutes of the previous meeting were the Eastern No 4 Branch Secretary’s Local Council election bid and the support from the committee for Mark to stand again for the local council in the next round of elections.
Daniel Zeichner was congratulated on his election to MP for Cambridge and the work he has done post this. The Regional Secretary Paul Moffat has spoken to Daniel regarding becoming a CWU supported MP Daniel has agreed to this.
Topics of discussion at the Political Committee were as follows: General Election and the raise in Labour Party members’ in the region. 9k new membership of the party in the East of England and 9k affiliated members. This is predicted to go up post the Leadership Elections.
East of England Regional Director Cameron Scott will be invited to the next political committee. David Jeremy will be standing down through retirement leading to new positions being filled within the party. 2x Organisers, 1x Administrator, Press Officer cooped to London for Mayoral Elections.
The issue of members not receiving leadership election ballot papers in the region was discussed by the committee with senior activist not receiving papers! Across the Branches there were issues with no ballot papers and the committee will seek answers as to why this has happened? The committee felt that there should not have been affiliated members as this was designed to block TU votes.
Reports were given by all Branches on political activity within the Branch and geography, a TULO report was given to committee covering TULO Officers within the CLP’s, the regional director working closely with unions, information sharing regarding data and membership of the party. There will be a TULO meeting prior to the start of the Labour Party Regional Conference 2015 on the 13-15 November 2015.
Chris Webb was guest speaker at the meeting and gave the committee a full and rounded overview of the Peoples Post to date and the activities in Manchester 2015. Chris also gave a background of himself and social media, the CWU campaigns strategy and that we will be addressing the fact that members and activists have become disenfranchised with past campaigns. The committee thanked Chris for his full and useful contribution to meeting.
I have finally moved into the 21st century and joined Facebook and Twitter, this will help me keep in touch and up to date with events.
Please follow me on Twitter Andy Beeby @beeby_andy or on Facebook.
Branch Political Officer
16th October 2015