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Private renter? Make your voice heard!

Our thanks to Councillor Tracey M Hill for this guest blog:

Around one in three homes in Brighton and Hove is privately rented.  Private rented housing is more likely to be in poor condition than other types of housing.  The Labour-led Council’s proposed new licensing scheme will require landlords to register the homes they rent with the council, make properties available for inspection and provide evidence that they are offering a proper tenancy and keeping homes safe and well maintained.

We are proposing extending the current HMO licensing so that it is citywide.  Selective licensing is proposed in 12 wards across the city.  In these wards, all private rented homes would need a licence.  (There are some exceptions such as owner occupied homes – see this link for details.)

A good home for every family

With a possible 27,000 homes to register, this is a large-scale proposal which will make a difference to thousands of people.  Landlord groups are already mobilising their members against our plans.  It’s important that the voices of private renting tenants are heard.  Please respond to the consultation and share this link to encourage others.  The deadline for responses is September 10th.

Please join me to hand out leaflets at Brighton station from 7.30am on Tuesday 1st August, Wednesday 9th August, Thursday 17th August and Monday 21st August.  Let me know you’re coming.  If you can you help on other dates, I’m hoping Labour Branches will organise street stalls.  Any ideas or offers for publicity are welcome.

Tracey M Hill, Labour Councillor for Hollingdean & Stanmer

JC

One Last Push!

Theresa May performed one of her many U-turns by calling a snap General Election in the belief that she could consolidate her power – but now she is running away, refusing to face Jeremy Corbyn, as Labour rises in the opinion polls.

There is everything to play for in the final days of this election campaign, and I am writing – as Chair of the Constituency – to all members to ask for your help with our campaign in Brighton Pavilion. Having seen the courage of our Leader, Jeremy Corbyn in taking forward a positive campaign in the face of disgraceful attacks, I have never been more proud to be a Party member.

While the Party has today suspended national campaigning following the appalling attack at London Bridge, appropriate local campaigning is continuing.  Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the dreadful events in London, as well as all those who helped at the scene and are continuing to work hard in our NHS and emergency and public services.

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The country faces a clear choice between the Tories and Labour. I know that some members have been helping in Kemptown and in Hove where we are in tight marginal races with the Tories. In an election which is all about who forms the national Government we of course want to ensure that effort is maximised in marginal constituencies.

We are also campaigning in Brighton Pavilion, a seat which Labour held from 1997 to 2010, in support of our excellent candidate Solomon Curtis.

Countering Misinformation

It is very disappointing that, rather than concentrate on political arguments, the Green Party’s candidate has publicised in such a misleading way a single opinion poll suggesting that the Tories could claim second place in Pavilion. This is a deliberate and dishonest attempt to scare voters attracted to Labour’s positive socialist programme into voting “tactically” for the Green Party’s candidate.

This is against the overwhelming weight of evidence which shows that the Tories have no chance of winning in Pavilion. The Tory vote has been falling continuously since 1997 – the only parties that can possibly win in Brighton Pavilion are Labour or the Greens.

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There is no “progressive alliance” argument for voting Green in Brighton Pavilion, where Labour is rightly offering our many voters and supporters the chance to vote directly in support of Labour policies, our manifesto, our Leader and our candidate.

The only way for Labour supporters to support Labour in Brighton Pavilion is to vote for the Labour candidate. There is no risk that the Conservative candidate could win in Brighton Pavilion.

Gaining Momentum

With very limited resources we have already been running an effective and high-profile campaign in support of our excellent candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Solomon Curtis. Our street stalls and leaflets have reached thousands of local people.

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Solomon has asked me to thank all those who have been helping – and to point out that we are finding more and more former Green voters coming over to Labour. This corresponds with polling evidence nationally which suggests that as many as 50% of former Green voters will be supporting Labour in this election.

In the final days of the campaign we have an opportunity to maximise support for Labour’s manifesto and Labour’s Leader – by supporting Labour’s candidate in Brighton Pavilion. Every vote which puts a Labour MP in Parliament will strengthen the hand of Jeremy Corbyn after the election – particularly if there is a hung Parliament.

How you can help

Here are the ways in which you can help our campaign in Brighton Pavilion:

· If you don’t already have a Labour poster in your window put one up now (you can get one from 179 Preston Road if you don’t have one);

· Make a donation to our constituency campaign;

· Book the day off on Thursday 8 June to work for the Labour Party on polling day – there will be leafletting to do morning and evening and opportunities to work as a teller at polling stations;

· Call Brighton Pavilion Labour Party on 01273 544047 (or email me at chair@pavilionlabour.org.uk) to offer your help on polling day or before;

· Call into the Election Campaign office inside the Unison building at 179 Preston Road BN1 6AG from 10am onwards on any day from now until Thursday – meet at the office at any time until 6pm today to collect leaflets;

· We particularly need help to get leaflets out in Patcham – so there will be a big push to leaflet in Patcham over the next couple of days;

· Come to a briefing ahead of polling day, at the Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, from 7pm on Tuesday 6 June (or come along when you have finished canvassing).

office help

Whatever you can do to help Labour in the days before the General Election will be valuable and important – please do all you can to support our Party.

Yours in solidarity,

Jon Rogers

Chair, Pavilion Labour

 

 

 

 

Every Vote Matters – Vote Labour!

Pavilion Labour Chair, Jon Rogers, writes to members and supporters: I have just spent a week off work in order to work for The Labour Party, under its best Leader in my lifetime, campaigning for a manifesto in which any socialist can believe – and for our candidate in Brighton Pavilion, Solomon Curtis.

Knocking on doors around Brighton, or standing at a street stall at the Clock Tower, I can feel the force of the hope which our Party, with our current Leader and policies, can inspire in the people for – and by – whom our Party was made.

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Jon Rogers convincing another voter to support Labour on 8 June 2017

 

Thanks to the hundreds of thousands who have rallied to support a socialist Leader for the Labour Party, politics in this country offers people a real choice for the first time in a generation.

manifestoLabour’s 2017 manifesto is no more than a modest social democratic programme, but it offers a real improvement to the lives of our people, as we have not for decades.

 The arrogance of the Tories offers the prospect of an outcome rather different from the one for which they were hoping. I know many comrades are watching the movement in the opinion polls with hope.

However, this is not a time to be a spectator. Philosophers interpret the world. The point is to change it. The question is always “what is to be done”?

If, like me, you are a socialist in Britain then the next few days are some of the most important in your life. Now is the time to say, without equivocation, to everyone you know that they should vote Labour (whoever the candidate).

More than that, now is the time to take any time you can off work, to volunteer your effort to your local Labour Party (whoever the candidate) in order to leaflet, knock on doors and stand on street stalls.  Whatever you can do to convince people to vote Labour…

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These young voters are excited about voting Labour for Jeremy Corbyn

If you cannot take time off work then use all the free time you can to push out the message of the Labour Party under a socialist Leader – a message which we know will not be communicated honestly through the mainstream media.

 

Where you can you should focus your activity on marginal seats where the outcome will make a difference to who governs us a fortnight from now – however it is also true that every Labour vote will be a vote for our manifesto for change and our socialist Leader.

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Young voters have been especially won over to Labour by Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership and policies

 

Neither the Chartists nor the Suffragettes were wrong to think that it mattered that we should have the right to vote.

Every vote matters and, whatever the outcome of this election in terms of a Parliamentary majority, each vote cast for Labour under our socialist Leader, fighting on this manifesto, strengthens our forces for the struggles ahead.

Please comrades also engage fully in our Labour Party so that you are in the right place to engage in those struggles. Power concedes nothing without a fight, and that is as true within our movement as it is in the wider society. To win a fight you have to be in it.

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Labour Party members distributing leaflets and vote Labour posters at Brighton’s Clock Tower

 

The Tories offer us a future as a declining, xenophobic “Little England” selling off our few remaining assets in order to be a low-wage tax haven off the coast of Europe – against this Labour, under the leadership of a socialist internationalist, offers a defence of social welfare and workers’ rights and interests.

Thanks to the many thousands who have fought for Jeremy Corbyn to be and remain our Leader (not for a personality cult but for the policies he supports), the Labour Party has now found a purpose we had lost. Labour today offers a real alternative in the interests of the working class.

There is nothing you can do in the next week and a half that is more important than maximising the Labour vote. In Brighton Pavilion that means working for our candidate, Solomon Curtis.

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Solomon Curtis talking to voters in central Brighton

 

Jon Rogers

Chair, Pavilion Labour

30 May 2017

A message from Solomon Curtis

I am honoured to have been chosen as your Labour candidate for Brighton Pavilion – a seat that as recently as 2010 was held by Labour.

Progressive Alliance

No doubt you have learned from the media that the Greens proposed a so-called progressive alliance in Brighton, and suggestions have been made that Labour stand aside in Pavilion.

But I have to tell you that no formal approach has been made by the Green Party in the city and their candidate for Pavilion, Caroline Lucas, said at a meeting in which I took part, that she was not asking Labour to stand aside in Pavilion.

A progressive alliance is about stopping the Tories – and the Tories will not win in Pavilion.  By electing a Labour MP, this constituency’s voice will be best heard.  Only Labour can form an alternative government to the Tories.

We, the members, have chosen a party leader in Jeremy Corbyn who presents a radical alternative programme for government.  This is our opportunity to turn that radical programme into reality.  But we can only do that if we have enough Labour MPs to form a government.

The nominations have been submitted. I now want to focus on the real issues in this election – the ones that really matter to voters.

 

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Solomon Curtis speaking to Pavilion Labour members, 10 May 2017

 

About me

As a 20 year-old final year BA Politics undergraduate at Sussex University, I know the enormous disadvantages facing young people, particularly in Brighton. Education cuts, job insecurity, low wages, unemployment, high rents, the impossibility of getting on the housing ladder, plus crippling tuition fees and student loans to name but a few.

Brighton prides itself in its rich diversity.  But parliament does not represent that diversity.  By helping me become your MP, we will go at least some way towards redressing that balance.

This is the most important election in a generation

I will be an MP for all the people of Pavilion. I also want to see an NHS and social care service that is there when we need it most, so that people do not have to live in fear of old age or infirmity.

Brighton has many people who commute every day to work, or travel for leisure and other reasons.  We have been badly let down by our railway service in recent years.  Those who rely on the trains are reporting jobs lost, families under strain, while businesses in Brighton are suffering.  This cannot go on.  The railways will be brought back into public ownership by a Labour government, where rail will serve the people not the profiteers.

I also want to see a Brighton that has a clean, pleasant and sustainable environment, where we care for our city, including its plant and wildlife.  And let me be clear, I am firmly opposed to bringing back fox hunting which Labour banned in 2004!

 

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Solomon campaigning against the Tories’ £13m cuts to Brighton & Hove schools’ budgets

 

How you can help

You can simply put up a vote Labour poster in your window. Please contact your local branch or the Labour Party office in Dorset Street for these.

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We would love your help in this campaign. You can find out when we are canvassing and holding street stalls on the What’s On page . Precise location details will not be given but you can contact your local branch for those.  I will be getting to as many of these events as I can and will be delighted if you can come along too.  Please let me know if you would like to join in by emailing solomon@pavilionlabour.org.uk

You can also help by donating either via my Crowdpac here or direct to Brighton Pavilion Labour Party here.  There are also other ways to donate.

So I hope you will support me in any way you can.  If you would like to know more or get involved, please contact our campaign team: elections@pavilionlabour.org.uk or follow my campaign on twitter or Facebook.

And remember, for a Labour Government nationally, vote for a Labour MP locally on June 8.  In Brighton Pavilion vote Solomon Curtis, in Brighton Kemptown vote Lloyd Russell-Moyle, in Hove & Portslade vote Peter Kyle on June 8.

Bhelm members best

Solomon Curtis

Labour Candidate for MP, Brighton Pavilion

#BeTheChange

 

 

 

Welcome Solomon Curtis

Brighton Pavilion Labour Party regrets that, for personal reasons, Michelle Thew has withdrawn as our candidate in the forthcoming General Election.

Michelle has passed on her apologies to Labour voters, members and supporters, and confirmed that our campaign for Labour nationwide and across Brighton & Hove’s three parliamentary seats including Pavilion, continues to have her full support as a Labour Party member.
solomon curtisThis afternoon, in accordance with the special procedures agreed for selecting candidates for this snap General Election, our Party’s National Executive Committee (the NEC) has chosen Solomon Curtis as Labour’s candidate in Brighton Pavilion.  Solomon stood for Labour in the Wealden constituency in 2015, where he increased the Labour vote in unpromising territory.
With hundreds of thousands of people registering to vote, and tens of thousands joining Labour since the election was called, we must all commit to the goal of a Labour, rather than a Conservative, Government. ‎ Our campaigning in Pavilion is very much part of a wider local and national campaign with this overriding priority.
Vote Labour
Labour members can meet Solomon Curtis at a special “meet the candidates” rally at the Brighthelm Centre, North Road, Brighton  BN1 1YD on Wednesday 10 May from 7.30pm and join-in campaigning with Solomon throughout the town centre on Saturday 13 May, starting with a campaigners’ briefing at the Friends’ Meeting House at 10.30am.
Solomon looks forward to meeting everyone during the campaign or you can email any questions to solomon@pavilionlabour.org.uk
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Michelle Thew

Michelle Thew headshotUPDATE, 8 May 2015 : Brighton Pavilion Labour Party regrets that, for personal reasons, Michelle Thew has withdrawn as Labour’s candidate for Brighton Pavilion in the June 2017 General Election.  Michelle has passed on her apologies to Labour voters, members and supporters, and confirmed that our campaign for Labour nationwide and across Brighton & Hove’s three parliamentary seats including Pavilion, continues to have her full support as a Labour Party member.

Pavilion Labour Chair, Jon Rogers, said: “Labour Party members in Brighton Pavilion will do all we can to work for a Labour Government to replace the brutal and vicious Government of Theresa May.”

Chief Executive of a prominent international charity, Michelle, from Hove, has a long career leading national and international voluntary organisations.  Labour members in Brighton Pavilion wish her every success in the future.

Vote Labour on Thursday 8 June! 

Michelle said “People want to vote for a party that can form a government, with a candidate who can represent their interests in government – and, in Brighton Pavilion, that is a Labour candidate.”

 

“As a local resident and a commuter myself, I know that our train service is one of the top concerns of local people.  The outgoing Government has turned a blind eye as passengers, including me, have been left high and dry by delays, cancellations and a poor excuse for a service.

A Labour Government will have a clear plan to end the chaos, bringing our railways into public ownership, keeping fares down and ensuring our railway is run in the interests of people and our environment.”

Vote Labour on Thursday 8 June. 

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For a Labour Victory!

Theresa May has called a snap General Election in the hope of securing a majority in Parliament for a reactionary programme of social division and a catastrophic “hard Brexit” – but we have an opportunity to trip her up and change the direction of our country for the better by voting Labour.  (Register by 22 May to vote in the General Election on 8 June.  It only takes a couple of minutes to register online with your National Insurance number and you can still register even without an NIC number – it just takes a little longer.)

Under the leadership of Jeremy Corbyn, our Party has already unveiled a series of popular and progressive policies, including the ten pound minimum wage and free school meals for all primary schoolchildren, as well as support for small businesses, carers, pensioners, and our high streets, while investing to reduce inequality, introducing a maximum 20-1 pay ratio, and ensuring that big companies will pay fair taxes.  In the coming weeks we also need to make the British people realise that another Tory Government will destroy our National Health Service as well as comprehensive education.

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Our most important task is to offer our people hope and to warn people that they can eliminate the dread of another Tory Government by voting Labour.  Labour has the policies which will make a fairer society – and a response to last year’s EU Referendum which would stop the United Kingdom becoming the bargain basement tax haven of which the Tories dream.

Labour stands for equality and social justice at home and for peace and internationalism abroad.  Our policies are in the interests of the overwhelming majority of the people of this country.  Our mass membership will now unite in campaigning for these policies – and deny Theresa May the majority she is seeking.

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Our goal is a Labour Government implementing socialist policies – our immediate objective must be to defend every Labour seat and defeat as many Tories as possible, focusing on Labour-Tory marginals.  In Brighton Pavilion we will know who our candidate is by Wednesday 3 May – and we have already begun our campaign.

This is the most important General Election in a generation and the choice facing our country could not be clearer.  On the one hand the most reactionary Tory Government in living memory – and on the other a Labour Party offering a clear, coherent socialist alternative.

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Labour stands for a fairer society that cares for all and an economy that works for all.

It is time for us all to step up to the challenge before us: 

Vote Labour on Thursday 8 June! 

Vote Labour

You can get involved in our General Election campaign in various ways:

  • Make a donation – email Amanda for details via treasurer@pavilionlabour.org.uk or download our standing order form here
  • Put up a Vote Labour poster and let us know if you would like a larger Vote Labour board for your garden. 
  • Deliver leaflets to your street or block of flats, or help us bundle leaflets ready for delivery.
  • Come out campaigning with us, either when we go door-to-door or when we run street stalls, or talk to people by phone when we run phone banks.
  • Volunteer to help on election day, 8 June.

To find out more about our General Election campaign in Brighton Pavilion constituency, phone 01273 550121 or drop by our constituency offices at 11 Dorset Street, Brighton BN2 8WA, anytime from 10am – 6pm, Monday – Friday. 

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An Ethical Foreign Policy

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The statement from our LeaderJeremy Corbyn, concerning the US bombing of Syria was a measured and appropriate response which refused to join those cheerleading for the US military action.

The six year old civil war in Syria has caused untold misery and Emily Thornberry, Labour’s Shadow Foreign Secretary, was right at the weekend to say that “Anything we do needs to be seen in terms of how we bring this war to an end faster”.

 

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The UN Refugees Agency is accepting donations to help Syrian refugees www.unhcr.org.uk 

In these circumstances the bellicose grandstanding of Boris Johnson, pulling out of a visit to Moscow as a gesture, shows that Theresa May’s Tory Government has nothing constructive to offer towards peace in the Middle East.

 

On the contrary, Theresa May, as Emily Thornberry has pointed out in the Guardianhas been off to Saudi Arabia to drum up interest in the products of our arms trade – already being used in the civil war in Yemen.

Labour Party members can participate in the National Policy Forum’s current consultation on our International policies – and those of us who are impressed by a Party leadership which stands out against action that escalates conflict will be particularly keen to do so before that consultation ends on 31 May 2017.

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Save Pavilion from oblivion!

At Pavilion Labour’s March meeting (our ‘GC’) there was some discussion about the proposals for the future boundaries of Parliamentary constituencies in Brighton and Hove. These proposals were subject to consultation last year when Party organisation in the City was suspended.  Now we are in the third week of a four week period in which all the comments made in that first phase of consultation have been published and can now themselves be commented upon.

The Boundary Commission is compelled to come up with proposals which achieve an overall reduction in the number of MPs to 600, and are required to keep all proposed parliamentary constituencies within a tightly defined number of voters (based not upon the most recent electoral register but upon a fixed point in the past). The initial proposals for Brighton and Hove create a constituency merging some of the current Brighton Kemp Town constituency with wards eastwards along the coast as far as Seaford. That proposal has invited a well-reasoned counter proposal from Councillor Lloyd Russell-Moyle arguing that the social and cultural links between Brighton and Lewes make that a more appropriate connection.  (See also herehere, here and here for Lloyd’s full submission.)

The proposals for the remainder of the City are among the most controversial in our Region. Hove is to lose Hove Park ward, but gain Regency and St Peter’s & North Laine wards from Pavilion, to become a new constituency called “Central Brighton and Hove” stretching along the coast from Portslade to the Pavilion and including the City Centre as far up Ditchling Road as the Round Hill. The bulk of what is currently Brighton Pavilion constituency, together with Hove Park to the west and Woodingdean and Moulsecoomb & Bevendean wards to the east, becomes a new “North Brighton” constituency.  These Boundary Commission’s proposals can be explored online.

 

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It’s quite a change!  As you can see when the existing Brighton Pavilion constituency (coloured pink) is contrasted with the proposed new constituencies for Brighton, Hove & Seaford

 

There were different views about these proposals at our GC meeting, and there is no official Labour Party position on the proposals. However individual Party members are quite entitled to express opinions, as Lloyd Russell-Moyle has done in respect of the East Brighton proposals. Pavilion member Neil Harding has also made a reasoned counter-proposal which attempts to achieve the number of voters required by the Boundary Commission without moving so many wards around, and retaining a Pavilion constituency more understandable to us locals.  (Including Regency and St Peters & North Laine and without Hove Park, but with Moulsecoomb & Bevendean (from Kemp Town) and Brunswick & Adelaide (from Hove) and minus Withdean.)

Speaking purely personally, and declaring an interest as a committed Brightonian and Regency member, I think that crossing the boundary between Brighton and Hove to construct one or more constituencies fails to respect the very different identities of the two towns – and the fact that the Boundary Commissioners have proposed doing so is in fact simply a consequence of their previous decision not to have any constituencies cross the arbitrary administrative boundary between East and West Sussex. If that unnecessary restriction is abandoned (as the Boundary Commissioners propose doing for another seat at the Sussex/Kent border), Hove can be extended westwards along the coast in order to meet the target numbers which the Government has set for the boundary review.

Eastbrook ward
For parliamentary constituencies to respect the historic boundary between Brighton and Hove only needs Eastbrook ward to be moved out of East Worthing & Shoreham constituency and into Hove

For parliamentary constituencies to respect the historic boundary between Brighton and Hove only needs Eastbrook ward to be moved out of East Worthing & Shoreham constituency and into Hove

If you take as a starting point Neil Harding’s submission to the Boundary Commissioners, but respect the Brighton/Hove boundary by putting Withdean back in Pavilion and returning Brunswick and Adelaide to Hove, the revised Pavilion seat remains within the permitted range of sizes for constituencies of between 71,031 – 78,507 voters.

Hove constituency then becomes too small but this can be remedied by moving neighbouring Eastbrook Ward from East Worthing and Shoreham constituency into Hove. This has the knock on consequence of needing to move Central Ward from Worthing West constituency into East Worthing and Shoreham (which might then perhaps need to be renamed) and Beach Ward from Bognor Regis and Littlehampton constituency  into Worthing West (which I think means taking a fair bit of Littlehampton out of “Bognor Regis and Littlehampton”). Happily by the time you get as far as Littlehampton the dominos stop falling along the coast, as Bognor Regis is big enough to stand on its own feet!

Since I cannot imagine we anticipate Labour victories in either the Bognor or Worthing constituencies in the immediate future I cannot really see any Party interest opposed to anyone making these suggestions, albeit they can only be made as comments on submissions already made.

 

Central ward West Worthing
Central ward appears to more properly belong in East Worthing & Shoreham than in Worthing West

 

 

From a democratic point of view our GC was unable to adopt a view, formally, since there was no clear position put to the GC for it to vote for or against, other than that information would be circulated and Labour members urged to comment before the second consultation ends on 27 March.  Thus I do not think that the Executive has sufficient authority to submit anything on behalf of Brighton Pavilion Labour Party.  It is a consequence of the regrettable suspension of the Party organisation in the City last year that we do not now have time to formulate a policy agreed by Labour Party members at constituency level. Democracy takes time and, without a genuinely democratic process of decision-making, the new leadership of our local Party is not inclined to snatch for itself the authority to speak on behalf of thousands of local Party members.

So it is just my view that the historic boundary between our towns of Brighton and Hove should continue to be the boundary between our parliamentary constituencies. I shall express my view – and I hope that you will express yours, whether you agree with me or not.

 

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Hurry! You only have until 27 March 2017 to respond to comments in the Boundary  Review’s second consultation

 

Since the Boundary Commissioners have faced a lot of pressure to keep Hove separate from Brighton it is conceivable that they might be influenced to adopt the proposal set out above, as it is the only way to keep a boundary between two constituencies along the boundary between Brighton and Hove. Eastbrook ward is a Labour/Tory marginal held by Labour in 2016. It has one Labour and one Tory Councillor so its inclusion in Hove would not be detrimental to the interests of the Labour Party as far as I can see.

However, the Boundary Commissioners may still refuse proposals which cross the boundary between East and West Sussex.  In that case a constituency based in Hove will have to include wards from Brighton in order to reach the required number of voters. Our challenge within the Labour Parties of Brighton and Hove is to ensure that robustly democratic campaigning branches exist throughout the City so that whatever configuration is eventually chosen we can continue to campaign for socialism – and win!

You can visit the website of the Boundary Review and comment on any and all of the proposals which have been made in the first phase of consultation. I shall be returning to Neil Harding’s proposal and clicking the add comment icon there to insert my suggestion outlined above.  You must also do so by Monday 27 March to have your views included.  Don’t hesitate!

Email chair@pavilionlabour.org.uk with any queries or a copy of your submission.  I strongly urge you to act now.  Let’s save Pavilion from oblivion!

jon-rogers-lrc2-cropJon Rogers

Chair, Pavilion Labour

18 March 2017

Whose NHS? Our NHS!

After 250,000 people marched through London to stop the Tories killing the NHS, Pavilion Labour Executive member Ian McIsaac reflects on his experience of the massive Our NHS Demo of 4 March 2017.
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Labour’s John McDonnell MP and Unite’s Len McCluskey led the Our NHS march
This was always going to be great!  I knew that when we boarded the train at Preston Park to find standing room only as it was jam-packed with those from Brighton going up for the march.
It was even better when we stopped at Gatwick and were joined by air passengers transiting to London who were absolutely bewildered by a packed trainload of noisy and enthused left-wingers practising protest songs with the assistance of a loud hailer… It was amazing.
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Fishersgate Labour supporters went to tell May to stop Tory attacks on our NHS and schools

After alighting at St Pancras it was again jam-packed all around us with people from all over the country making their way to the assembly point in Tavistock Square.  The noise, the banners, the immense crowds but, most importantly, the camaraderie and common cause of all there made the strength of unity all-encompassing.

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John McDonnell MP mixing freely with the crowd before the march left Tavistock Square
Such a sight, the march commenced at 1pm, the numbers were so immense we did not begin to move for about a hour! As we turned into the long straight approach towards Trafalgar Square all that could be seen was the marchers stretching from one end to the other, the front of the march being well on the way to Parliament Square and out of sight.
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Pavilion Labour members Derek & Phil, part of Withdean Branch’s contingent on the march
It was a day when the many voices of protest joined up in one great shout of anger, the mantra “Whose NHS?… OUR NHS” bellowed forth over and over again in the tens of thousands.  People stood up to say “we value our NHS” and, again, junior doctors were at the forefront of those fighting wholescale privatisation of our NHS.
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Massive banner of SABS – Sussex and Brighton Students – Save The NHS Group
If May, Hunt and the rest of the Conservative Party, their supporters and donors, did not hear it then perhaps a visit to their private Harley Street clinics would be in order to have their hearing checked!
Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn, Labour Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and all the other speakers at the rally in Parliament Square certainly had no doubt.  Their speeches encompassed the current deliberate destruction of the NHS by the Tories, using open privatisation, underfunding, neglect and, as always, the blinkered vision which defines the Conservative obsession with profit, the free market and the Tory abhorrence of all things public.
A truly great day and one in which Brighton, Hove and Portslade were all represented by so many members from our three constituency Labour Parties: Brighton Pavilion, Brighton Kemptown and Hove & Portslade.  We were all there to help save our NHS from the Tories.
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Ian McIsaac (Pavilion Labour) marching with Hove Labour Secretary James Ellis
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Hove & Portslade Labour’s Vice-Chair Kate Knight, with Chair Anne Pissaridou
The Labour Party founded the NHS, and we will not allow the callous,  uncaring, false hope, elitist, Establishment-supporting Conservative Party to fail it, nor destroy it.  The hundreds of thousands on the march yesterday are also the voice of countless millions of others who were there in spirit.
The message was loud and clear:
OUR NHS is NOT FOR SALE!
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Clear message to May’s Health Secretary, that Tory Hunt
Ian McIsaac, 5 March 2017