CLP Hustings Result

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Jul 152015
 
From Chris Johnson, Chair of Witney CLP

At the Hustings last night, members present voted to nominate Yvette Cooper for party leader (Jeremy Corbyn was a not too distant second) and Stella Creasy for deputy leader (Tom Watson was a very close second).  We used the single transferable vote system to determine the winners.

Our thanks to those who spoke on behalf of the candidates: Andrew Smith MP (for Yvette Cooper and Ben Bradshaw); Ken Livingstone (for Jeremy Corbyn); Parmjit Dhanda (for Andy Burnham); Laura Price (for Stella Creasy); and Duncan Enright (for Liz Kendall and Tom Watson) – all of whom were delegated by the respective campaign teams; and to Judith Wardle (Caroline Flint) and Geoff Saul (Angela Eagle) – who we approached locally to present campaign material.  Over 60 members and supporters came, asked probing questions, and contributed to a stimulating and informative debate.

Members may want to take the views of those at the meeting into account when they vote – but of course it remains for members to make their own decision who to vote for in the ballot.

Laura Wins Again!

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Jun 282015
 
From Chris Johnson, Chair of Witney CLP
Laura Price - Picture: Ric Mellis

Laura Price – Picture: Ric Mellis

Many congratulations to Laura Price, who on Thursday was elected as Labour Councillor for South Ward on Witney Town Council, coming second in the poll for three seats, and gaining from the Conservatives.  Laura is already County Councillor for that Division, and will now join Duncan Enright to make a formidable team, representing the people of Witney, and Labour, on this all too Tory-dominated, inward-looking and complacent Town Council.

Our congratulations too to our candidates Mel Jones and Stephen Parkinson, who despite not being elected to the other two vacant places polled extremely well – indeed they came within only 30 votes of the third placed Conservative.  You can see the results in detail here: http://www.westoxon.gov.uk/media/1220719/Witney-Town-Council-South-Ward-Result-25-June-2015.pdf .

Many thanks to all those from across the constituency who helped achieve this result – leafleting, knocking on doors, phoning to encourage Labour supporters to go out to vote, providing a presence for Labour at the polling stations – and to our candidates. After all the efforts for the May elections, it is a tribute that members and candidates were able to find the energy for this short but intensive campaign. It’s great to be winning in Witney!

Brian Hodgson Memorial Walk, 2015

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Jun 222015
 

The 2015 Annual Brian Hodgson Memorial Walk took place on Sunday 21st June, starting from the top of Tower Hill, Witney, visiting Minster Lovell Hall (pictured below) and finishing at The Lamb in Crawley for a very welcome sandwich lunch.

2015_Hodgson_Walk

For new members – Brian Hodgson was a much loved and respected Chair of the CLP who died some years ago. He was also very active in many left wing  causes nationally, and a chair of the Ramblers Association.

Witney Town Council – Election for South Ward

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Jun 172015
 

This election, due to be held on 7th May, was postponed because of the death of one of the nominated candidates, and will now be held on Thursday 25th June.

We have an excellent team of local candidates: Stephen Parkinson, Cllr Laura Price and Mel Jones, standing for the three seats available.  We have a good chance of gaining one or more seats on the council, which would make a big difference to the influence we can have through our existing Town Councillor, Duncan Enright.

Pictures by Ric Mellis

Bloody, but unbowed

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May 112015
 

Members of the CLP assembled yesterday at the home of Chris and Jane Johnson for a celebration – not of victory, alas, but nevertheless a celebration – of the hard work put in over the last months by all members; of the good fight fought by the Town and District Council candidates; and of Duncan Enright’s increase of 3,000 in the parliamentary vote.

Duncan was inspiring and upbeat as always, and the general mood was one of determination to do all we can to mitigate the hardship that will be imposed on the most vulnerable members of our society over the next five years.

Post-election blues

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May 092015
 
A message from Chris Johnson, Chair of Witney CLP, to all members and supporters

There is no escaping the bitterness of our election defeat on Thursday – not least because the scale of it was so unexpected. Shed a tear for Ed Miliband, who grew in stature through his time as leader, and during the campaign, and would have made an excellent PM. And shed one too for our country – when we return to government, we will face an enormous task of rebuilding a decent society for all our citizens, and re-establishing an honourable place for us in the world in partnership with other countries.

Meanwhile we face the task of rebuilding our party and programme. Our analysis of the problems we need to tackle – growing inequality, a capitalism that seems to focus only on the short term  to the benefit of a few, an unbalanced economy, a narrow minded view of our place in the world – is surely right. We need to create a new programme from this that the party can unite behind.

Locally, we have some cause for satisfaction. Duncan’s campaign increased our vote by a third, and drew wide admiration. We came a good second in all of our district target seats, and we retained our places on Witney and Chippy Town Councils. But the high turnout meant we lost our district seat in Chippy, despite a well organised and hard working campaign. We have  an excellent base from which to build.

So – a warm thank you to all who worked so hard for us: to Duncan and our target seat candidates who made such a great effort; to those who stood in other wards so everyone had the chance to vote Labour; to those who knocked on doors and helped deliver leaflets; to our tellers on the polling stations, our funders and fund raisers. You all worked harder than ever before. Thank you.

Best wishes,

Chris

Cameron’s Coup

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Apr 272015
 

toynbee-walkerPolly Toynbee and David Walker at the Chippy Literary Festival.

Many of you will remember that Polly Toynbee visited the constituency last year and spent the day with Duncan Enright hearing about local issues.  Some of the material she gathered then features in her book “Cameron’s Coup”.  Together with co-author David Walker talked about this at the Chippy Literary Festival on the 26th April, as well as having a photoshoot with Duncan – see gallery below.

The book can be purchased online from the Book Depository: http://bit.ly/1Gf23HI.

 

Witney Street Stall

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Apr 252015
 

With less than two weeks to go before the election, volunteers were out in force to support Witney Labour parliamentary candidate Duncan Enright canvassing in Witney Market Square.

Pictures: ©Ric Mellis Productions 2015

Click/tap thumbnail picture to see the full image.

Witney NHS Rally

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Mar 282015
 

Members of Witney CLP braved the wet and windy weather to attend a rally in support of the NHS which took place on Church Green, Witney.  There were also representatives from Unison, NHA (National Health Action) and KONP (Keep Our NHS Public).

There were speeches from three of the parliamentary candidates for Witney: Clive Peedell (NHA), Chris Tompson (Independent), and of course Duncan Enright, who made the point that the NHS came into being through an act of political will. and that only an act of political will would save it.

Neil Kinnock attacks the “Downton Abbey economics” of the coalition government in a visit to Witney.

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Mar 162015
 

Neil Kinnock gave a rousing talk to members and supporters of Witney Constituency Labour Party in a packed village hall at Leafield on Thursday 12 March — and started by refusing to be called Lord Kinnock. “It sounds like the name of a local pub”, he complained.

Neil Kinnock

Neil Kinnock addresses Witney CLP

Neil” tackled the Conservative claims against Labour head-on. Labour did not “trash” the economy, he insisted. Gordon Brown really had “saved the world” when the banking crisis broke in 2008.

The ATMs would have closed down within hours,” he said, “small and medium businesses would have gone to the wall immediately and bigger business would have followed before long” if Brown and Alastair Darling had not intervened promptly.

Their injection of funds to save the banks prevented total meltdown, kept Britain’s AAA rating, and persuaded other countries to follow our lead. That is why the deficit rose so sharply but recovery had actually begun by 2010, only to be reversed by George Osborne’s cuts.

On inequality, Neil described what we have now as “living in Downton Abbey land”: The last time 1% of top earners took 14% of incomes was in 1914.

He described Ed Miliband as a calm, serious thinker, not someone who seeks headlines. Some of Ed’s key ideas are now accepted wisdom: such as the need to control energy companies, opposition to “predatory capitalism”, and the wisdom of not going to war in Syria.

Laura_Duncan_Neil_500

Neil in conversation with Laura Price and Duncan Enright

Leafield Village Hall rang with laughter and applause as Neil combined wit and serious concern in a lively hour-long-speech, after his audience had enjoyed home-cooked food prepared and served by local Labour officials.

Neil gave his personal endorsement to Duncan Enright as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Witney, urging everyone to get out and vote.

Remember that people fought for our right to vote,” he concluded,” “and the percentage of the vote for each party will set the tone for the next five years.”