South Downs Labour News

With a General Election turnout of just over 73% as well as District election votes to verify before the main count could begin, the night of May 7th proved a very long night indeed, as the votes were counted for both Arundel & South Downs and Horsham constituencies, at Christs Hospital sports hall, Horsham.

Although it had not been a great night for Labour in general, when the final count was announced at 7.50am on Friday May 8th, it became clear that Christopher Wellbelove's campaign in Arundel & South Downs had resulted in significant improvement for us, and Labour in the area.

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Christopher and TeamWellbelove had worked hard during the campaign, concentrating on meeting as many voters as possible in the weeks leading up to the election. This including holding street stalls in all major towns and villages in the constituency, leafleting and door knocking. The strategy paid off, with Christopher increasing our vote from last time by a third, which equates to an increase of +2.6% share of the vote.

In his speech, Christopher thanked the voters of Arundel & South Downs whom had voted for him. In addition, he thanked the extensive number of members and supporters who had given up their time to help with our campaign.

Follow this link to hear Christopher Welbelove's speech of thanks : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFtU0Vmgvvo

Christopher Wellbelove Campaign Results in Increased Vote.

With a General Election turnout of just over 73% as well as District election votes to verify before the main count could begin, the night of May 7th proved a...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The ‘Future of Our Planet’ Question Time style debate at Steyning Grammar School on April 21st, once again proved to be the highlight of the Parliamentary hustings season. Amongst the 300 attendees were a large number of 6th form students, who proved to be engaged, animated and knowledgeable about politics and the environment.

 

The event was expertly chaired by Steyning resident Robin Hart, Programme Director at Wilton Park Conference Centre and featured Christopher Wellbelove and the other candidates, Isabel Thurston (Green), Shweta Kapadia (Lib Dem), Peter Grace (Ukip) and Nick Herbert (Con).

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Whilst Christopher expressed his views on sustainability and the environment, the audience met with surprise when Peter Grace said that Ukip did not believe that climate change existed, adding that 30,000 scientists agreed. Christopher responded, talking directly to the young people in crowd by adding, ‘Find out for yourselves, Google it, 30,000 scientists debunked’, meeting with widespread applause.

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The discussions afterwards agreed that Christopher (& Isabel) had spoken the most sense, with Christopher gaining a great many admirers amongst the audience. All in all an excellently organised, well attended and enjoyable event.

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Check out this link for a full video of the event : http://bitly.com/SteyningQTvideo

Steyning 10:10 Future of Our Planet hustings

                  The ‘Future of Our Planet’ Question Time style debate at Steyning Grammar School on April 21st, once again proved to be...

A Labour County Councillor was the only one to vote against cutting the number of council staff employed to maintain the county's Highways and the closure of the Highways depot for the north of the county at a recent meeting, as the Tory leadership pushed through their plans for the transformation of the Highways and Transport service at West Sussex County Council.

 The Tory leadership at the county council's Environmental and Community Services Select Committee outlined a further £1.3 million of cuts to its Highways staffing budget on Wednesday, as well as plans to sell off its Highways depots at Broadbridge Heath and Midhurst to private developers.

The cuts in current numbers of county council staff will be the equivalent of reducing all Highways employees by one fifth. The Highways depot at Broadbridge Heath, which serves as the office for all highways issues in the northern part of the county, which includes Crawley, Horsham and Mid Sussex, will be closed and the land sold off to housing developers.  This means that the nearest remaining depots will be in Drayton, near Chichester, Clapham, near Worthing and Hurstpierpoint.

 The closure and sale of Broadbridge Heath is likely to be as soon as April, with the intention to use part of the profits made from the sale of the land to fund a central "super depot" which the county council claim will effectively serve the entire county. The proposed super depot is not due be built for at least two years, during which time residents affected in the north of the county will have to put up with interim arrangements, where staff and equipment will either be based at the remaining depots, or the council claims, remaining staff may be able to hot-desk if there are spaces at council offices.

 Labour County Councillor Michael Jones expressed deep concern, noting that the council employees trade union, UNISON had written to councillors highlighting employees' concerns that the changes could damage the council's ability to meet its legal obligations on highways standards. Speaking against the proposals at the meeting, Cllr Jones said, "There's been a large response from staff and most of it is worried and concerned about the practical implications.  Does this not give you cause to re-think whether this should go ahead?  I'm very unhappy with the proposed 'interim arrangements'."How will highways inspections retain the highest priority, we'll have no defence to legal action against the council?  What about concerns from staff that multi-functional officers will compromise safety and customer service?"

The Tory and UKIP members of the Select Committee all voted to support the proposals, while the sole Lib Dem member of the committee abstained.  Cllr Jones, the sole Labour councillor on the committee was the only councillor present who voted to reject the proposals. Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Jones added, "This is going to be a disaster, as far as roads in West Sussex are concerned.  It's next to impossible for councillors and residents to get effective action on many of the problems with our roads now, never mind how bad this is likely to become after this latest 'reorganisation' by the Tories. "The fact that the official bases for our local highways teams are going to be moved so far away from the places they are supposed to serve, is yet another obstacle being put in place to delay the repairs and improvements the county's highways regularly need. The county council already suffers from a poor reputation with residents for its record on insufficient spending on our roads.  This just looks like it is going to make a bad situation even worse.  The last thing we can afford is to lose more experienced staff."

Speaking after the meeting, County Labour Group Leader Sue Mullins agreed with Cllr Jones' objections, adding,"This has been rushed through.  I'm far from convinced that the county council will be able to serve residents effectively from one super depot.  The county is a large place - there's no doubt this could stop the council getting through to areas needing action."

Labour condemns West Sussex Highways cuts as Tory led Council votes to close depot and slash staff

A Labour County Councillor was the only one to vote against cutting the number of council staff employed to maintain the county's Highways and the closure of the Highways depot...

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With just six months to go before the General Election, members and supporters joined forces at Arundel & South Downs CLP Quiz Night Fundraiser at Sussex Produce in Steyning on November 18th. The event, which was well attended by members from all parts of the constituency was enjoyed by all and exceeded fundraising expectations.

Seven teams battled it out for almost two hours amid an atmosphere of jovial competitive rivalry. Congratulations to the 'Whizz Kids' team from our Hurst & Hassocks branch, who eventually emerged victorious. All in all, a fun evening, and all in a good cause.

South Downs Labour would like to thank our quizmaster John Gilbert for hosting the evening free of charge.

Quiz Night fundraiser is a huge success

  With just six months to go before the General Election, members and supporters joined forces at Arundel & South Downs CLP Quiz Night Fundraiser at Sussex Produce in Steyning...

Arundel & South Downs Constituency Labour Party are pleased to invite applicants for the role of our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the next General Election. Applicants should send a CV and short statement of intention to: southdownslabour@gmail.com

Our PPC Selection Timetable is:

Closing Date For Applications : Thursday 5th February 2015

Interviews / Short Listing Meeting: Thursday 12th February 2015

Hustings & PPC Selection Meeting: Thursday 26th February 2015

The Hustings & PPC Selection Meeting will be held at Adastra Hall, Keymer Road, Hassocks, BN6 8QH, West Sussex on Thursday 26th February 2015 at 7.30pm prompt. All CLP members welcome.

PPC Selection Timetable

Arundel & South Downs Constituency Labour Party are pleased to invite applicants for the role of our Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the next General Election. Applicants should send a...

We are pleased to announce that Frank Dobson, the former Minister for Health will be speaking at a public meeting at Adastra Hall,  Hassocks on Wednesday 29th October at 7.30pm.

The meeting, organised by our Hassocks & Hurstpierpoint branch, will be chaired by Parliamentary candidate for Brighton Pavillion Purna Sen, and in addition to keynote speaker Frank Dobson, also features  former MP for Crawley and longtime NHS nurse, Laura Moffatt.

The meeting is designed to open awareness to changes and privatisation within the NHS that are likely to have long term consequences in both funding and running for the general public.

The meeting is free and open to all members of the public. All welcome.

Wednesday 29th October at 7.30pm

Adastra Hall, Keymer Road, Hassocks, West Sussex.

Come and meet Frank Dobson at our 'Defend Our NHS' Public Meeting

We are pleased to announce that Frank Dobson, the former Minister for Health will be speaking at a public meeting at Adastra Hall,  Hassocks on Wednesday 29th October at 7.30pm.The...

We are holding a fun Quiz Night fundraiser on Tuesday 18th November. The good bit is that it is open to anyone, members or not, so long as you pre -register!

The event will take place at Sussex Produce, 88 High St, Steyning, West Sussex BN44 3RD. at 7.30 (for 8pm start), and the cost is £10 per person. A fully licenced bar will be available from 7.30.

We are inviting attendees to pre-register by November 8th.

Please register by email at :  southdownslabour@gmail.com

 

South Downs Labour Quiz Night

We are holding a fun Quiz Night fundraiser on Tuesday 18th November. The good bit is that it is open to anyone, members or not, so long as you pre...

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