Judith Wardle posted from Parliament Square yesterday: “And some more photos from Witney CLP supporting the NHS demo today: our banner taking over the sky and also just some of the huge crowd that came together from different organisations but all focused today on trying to save the NHS.”
And Luci Ashbourne posted no less than 21 pictures to Facebook: “Proudly representing Witney Labour today at the NHS march alongside 250,000 likeminded people.” A few of her photos are shown below – visit her Facebook page to see the rest.
Members of Witney and Chipping Norton Labour Party Branches joined the thousands of NHS staff, campaigners and Trades Unionists in London today at the Health Campaigns Together march and rally in defence of the NHS.
“We took a clear message to Westminster today” said Steve Akers, Vice Chair of CNLP, “no cuts – no closures – no privatisation. NHS and Social Care are in crisis as a result of years of underfunding by coalition and Conservative Governments. The Labour Party will be calling on the Chancellor to make an emergency cash injection for NHS and Social Care in the forthcoming Budget to address this crisis made in Downing Street”
CNLP is campaigning in Chipping Norton and villages with a petition against the downgrading of services at the Horton General Hospital in Banbury and any threatened loss of maternity or other services at Chipping Norton Community Hospital.
Members are pictured with the Witney CLP banner in Parliament Square at the Rally having just listened to Leader of the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell.
For further information, please contact – Steve Akers, Vice-Chair CNLP on 07903 870695 or 01608 645692
Chipping Norton Labour Councillors and members were out petitioning again today in Chipping Norton in defence of NHS services at Chipping Norton Community Hospital and the Horton General Hospital, Banbury. Long standing Town Councillor Eve Coles and West Oxon District Councillor Geoff Saul were joined by Labour Party members from Chipping Norton, Church Enstone and Shrivenham. Over 250 people have now signed the petition to Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. “We had very strong backing from the public today” said Cllr Geoff Saul, “Chippy residents are totally opposed to the loss of any further NHS services from our town, as is threatened in the consultation documents from the CCG. There was especially strong support for keeping the Cotswold Maternity Unit at Chipping Norton Hospital”.
Pictured from L to R are:- Chipping Norton residents talking with Cllr Saul after signing the petition; Cllr Geoff Saul; Andrew Hornung; Sarah Church and Cllr Eve Coles (under gazebo).
For further information please contact:- Geoff Saul on (home) 01608 646621; (work) 01608 648022; or at ku.oc.luasyeldarbnull@sg
There was a Labour Party presence in Witney, too, where CLP Chair Chris Johnson headed a team holding a “Save Our NHS” street stall in the market square. In the pictures below he’s joined by Trevor License (candidate for Witney North and East in the coming County Council elections) and long-time member and former District Councillor Richard Kelsall.
Chipping Norton Labour Party Vice-Chair Steve Akers and members Sue Richards and Aaron Miles were in Stoke On Trent Central today joining hundreds of volunteers from all over the country to support Labour candidate Gareth Snell.
They are pictured at the LP Campaign HQ in Hanley with Mr Snell, and with Labour’s Shadow Minister for Defence and Foreign Affairs, Fabian Hamilton MP (Leeds North East), before heading out to talk to voters.
Steve Akers said, “We were proud to be in Stoke today supporting Gareth’s bid to become the next MP for this City with its fantastic industrial and cultural heritage. On the doorstep we found Labour’s passionate defence of the NHS, and our call for urgent investment to end the current crisis in the health and social care system, to be cutting through with undecided voters”.
For more information contact Steve Akers on 07903 870695 or 01608 645692
Labour held the two seats it was defending in yesterday’s council by-elections. In Failsworth East, Oldham, in spite of a 7.3 point drop, their share of the vote was 58.4 per cent. The Conservatives came second with 25.4 per cent, and UKIP third with 11.7 per cent. In St Thomas’s, Dudley, Labour held the seat with a slight increase of 3.4 points, to 60.8 per cent of the vote. UKIP came a distant second with 26.7 per cent, and the Tories third with 10.3 per cent.
To see the full results in all six wards being contested go to the LabourList website.
Members of Chipping Norton Labour Party were campaigning on Saturday 11 February in defence of NHS services at Chipping Norton Community Hospital and the Horton General Hospital, Banbury. Hundreds of residents signed the petition, which is to go to Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group.
For further information please contact:- Cllr Geoff Saul, 01608 648022,
An estimated 200 people turned out on Monday 30 January in Witney’s market square to protest against Donald Trump’s order preventing travellers from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States. The protest was organised at short notice by Patty Dohle, who later posted “What can I say? I’m blown away by the passion and solidarity I saw tonight! ”
I’m sure that amongst local members and supporters as in the party nationally there will be a range of feelings and reactions to the election of Jeremy Corbyn as our leader. Some will be enthused by the prospect of a more radical agenda for the party to pursue and put to the public, others out of sympathy with the apparent agenda, and some fearful of the effect of a shift to the left on the party’s ability to win elections – and all of us know the onslaught the overwhelmingly Tory supporting press is going to unleash. I want to argue that none of us should leap to early judgements.
I have said at previous meetings that Jeremy Corbyn’s policy positions are not extreme, but represent elements of mainstream thinking in this country. His alternative approach to reducing the deficit has support from many professional economists; his aim of encouraging British companies to focus more on the long term and less on immediate profit margins is widely shared (see much of Will Hutton’s recent output). Tackling inequality is surely common ground for us all (and even the governor of the Bank of England and the head of the IMF agree that current levels in this country are damaging and unsustainable). And bringing the railways and energy companies into some form of public ownership have wide support. There is of course room for debate about how these things can be best achieved – and I’m sure we will be having that debate, vigorously, over the coming months.
I am determined that the party locally will continue to welcome all strands of opinion within the party, and will encourage debate which is lively, and respectful of different viewpoints. Only by working together can we have any chance of limiting the damage this Conservative government is doing to our country.
If you have joined recently, whether as a member, affiliate or registered supporter – I very much hope you will stay with us, and work together on our campaigns, locally and nationally.
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.