On Wednesday 22nd November I attended an informative, interesting and enjoyable local Party Policy Party Forum at Warndon Community Centre hosted by Joy Squires and organised by Bev Morris, Adrian Gregson and Chris Cawthorne.
A variety of lively and engaging discussions were held around several tables, covering a number of different topics broadly relating to the Manifesto. I personally decided to get involved with discussions on homelessness, the NHS, social care, mental health and education - areas which interest me the most and where I have some personal and professional experience. I would've taken part in more but alas we only had 2 hours which included a break and refreshments. Other areas of general discussion included pensions and benefits, community safety and cohesion, environment, tourism, emissions, parking, business, a fairer deal at work and creating a more equal society. Other issues within the remit of the City Council were also discussed.
We spoke about local campaigning for the year ahead and issues which matter to Worcester people. I became so involved and focused on our group discussions that, as usual, I forgot to write any post-it notes for the flip charts! My usual scrambling towards the end to fill the flip charts on the wall then ensued. During these challenging times we managed to consider some workable, realistic and positive ways of responding to local areas of need such as whether private landlords ought to have licenses, building more social housing, mental health awareness in schools amongst teachers and young people, promotion of adult education via the libraries and information service, improving public transport, providing hubs of IT support for those forced to migrate onto Universal Credit and areas where we should be focusing our campaigning efforts.
The atmosphere was one of quiet optimism and enthusiasm - even after the Tories predictably dire, repetitive and uninspired Budget announcements during the day. I urge all Members to attend these Policy Forum sessions in future and I hope that you will find them to be as encouraging, sociable and inspiring as I did.
Last night Worcester CLP at their general meeting, nominated Yasmine Dar from Manchester Gorton CLP, Gurinder Singh Josan from Warley CLP and Rachel Garnham from Mid Bedfordshire CLP for the three new places on Labour’s NEC.
It was great to be part of the team on the Labour Party stall at the Worcester University Freshers Event on Tues 19th Sept
Thank you to all who contributed to making this a very successful event.
It was lovely to meet so many lively and engaging young people. 24 of whom signed up for membership of the labour party.
If you missed your chance to join us then you can sign up here
And now for the Photos.
West Mercia Fire Governance Consultation
John Campion the Conservative Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia is proposing to take on the roles of our two local Fire Authorities, Claiming this will significantly improve local police and fire services and save the taxpayer £4m a year without impacting frontline services.
The Commissioner is consulting our communities and partners on these proposals and wants to hear from as many people as possible before the closing date on the 11th of September. Click this link to see information regarding the plans, the reasons behind them and to take part in the consultation.
The Gorse Hill & Warndon Campaign is continuing apace with 3 sessions this week. On Saturday we were in Portesfield Road & surrounding area, on Monday we were at Cherwell Court & on Wednesday we were in Warndon Green & Glenridding Close, across those 3 days we had 50 or so Labour promise & mostly had a great reception from voters.
We will be out again this Saturday & again during next week. Good Luck to the Super Saturdayer’s hope your campaigning goes well, let’s hope for another dry & bright day J
Another lovely sunny morning in Warndon, thanks to everyone who came along - Roger Berry, Ella Young, Jo Hodges, Alan & Elaine Williams, Phil Jackson & Margaret Wills, also to Simon who is once again holding the camera. The Labour Party vote Ceri Stalker for Gorse Hill & Warndon 4th May 2017.
Your Labour City Cabinet is getting close to the highlight of the municipal year as the Council will decide its Budget on 21st February.
This year there has been extensive consultation and discussion amongst councillors of all parties as we all struggle with the serious financial climate which sees us having to deliver services from next year for £19m instead of £21m. The proposals currently put forward by officers to achieve this include a mixture of improved ways of working, new technology and reducing the city council’s staff by about 25. Our aim, through managing vacancies and restructuring staff, is to avoid compulsory redundancies.
You may also have read that from May the city council will abandon its Cabinet/Leader structure and revert to a Committee system of governance. This was brought about as a result of Green councillors backing a Conservative motion to Council. This means that each committee will have an in-built Conservative majority, though it is as yet unclear who may be Leader or Chairs of the various committees in question.
Alongside these intense negotiations, the Labour-led city council has continued to focus on bringing jobs and investment to Worcester and supporting schemes to develop a skilled workforce. We have implemented a new Tourism Strategy and have backed the Worcester 10k for a further three years, with the addition of a wheelchair 10k and a Worcester half marathon. We have opened the new pool and gym facility at Perdiswell (it really is a great and exciting new building if you have not been to check it out). We have invested resources in work around entrenched rough sleepers, have supported the building of social housing and have resisted Tory pressure to make the poorest and most vulnerable pay 20% of their council tax bill.
As Leader of a Labour council, it was also a great pleasure to welcome Diane Abbott MP to Worcester as part of the Party's NHS campaign - Worcestershire Health service is facing some real problems and has again hit the national headlines with restrictions to be imposed on operations for hip and knee replacements.
Finally, the dreadful outcome of the Ofsted Inspection of the County Council's Children’s Services ( a rating of Inadequate) comes as no surprise, especially after the shenanigans over the transfer of staff to Babcock. Your city council has a corporate parenting role even though it is not the social services authority, and so we are keeping a close eye on developments at County Hall and are making sure our own safeguarding procedures are fit for purpose.
Hello Everyone, I just wanted to say a big thank you to everyone who helped deliver my last batch of leaflets around Gorse Hill & Warndon, they're all delivered now & I really appreciate the help & support!