We are entering an intense electioneering campaign to win back control of the council and there will be huge calls on all our members for help with leafleting, canvassing, door knocking and phone banking.
Polling day is the 3rd May so please keep free the weekend before polling day, if you can, to help us get out the vote. As you can tell from our visits by Rebecca Long Bailey, Margaret Greenwood, we are being supported by the Labour Party as a target area. That does show the importance of winning local elections and ensuring we send a strong message out to the country that the Conservatives damaging policies are not working with or for the people.
However, I want to add that this is not all about electioneering. My opinion is that how we, as Labour members, act all year round, working in and helping our communities, speaks louder than any leaflet. I am very proud of many of our members who work hard volunteering in foodbanks, running charities, setting up organisations like Period Power, all with no expectation of thanks or publicity. However, I would very much welcome all of you to let us know what you do, and be willing to share and educate us.
Community campaigning and support is the way forward and if that means standing in shrubs litter-picking for an hour, contributing to thermal socks for the homeless or whatever you can do, please join in with our community activities or ask us to help support you. Newcastle faces huge challenges in the coming year, not least of which is the roll out of universal credit in December, just a few weeks before Christmas. I put a motion in at the Council to ask that we write to the Government to ask that for the Universal Credit to be halted and fixed. The Tories reneged on this and couldn’t answer my questions in the latest council meeting regarding budget plans and planned support to residents.
Finally, and of course it wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention Bradwell Hospital, please note the fight has not been won. The wards are due for closure and despite attending many meetings I am still very concerned for the future of our local community hospital. I am asking if anyone would like to help continue the local campaign, please get in touch. We cannot rest on this issue because once lost we will not get it back.
Chair of Newcastle-under-Lyme Constituency Labour Party