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A Wish For 2018

From Jon Rogers, our Chair

I would like to wish all our members well for the festive period – and for a good 2018!

After the traumas of 2016 internationally (Trump’s election), nationally (the referendum result and second Labour leadership election), and locally (the suspension of the city-wide Brighton, Hove & District Labour Party), 2017 has brought hope.

Locally we have spent the year rebuilding our Party structures, beginning with our Constituency Labour Party in February and concluding with the inaugural meeting of our Local Campaign Forum for Brighton and Hove in November. Throughout the year our branches have grown in experience and activism, and our frequent street stalls have kept Brighton Pavilion Labour Party in the public eye in a positive way.

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Pavilion Labour’s regular street stalls have been welcomed by residents around the constituency

Nationally, Labour under Jeremy Corbyn defied the doomsayers with a strong performance in the snap General Election. Theresa May called the election to provide a “strong and stable” Government and ended up having to bribe the Democratic Unionist Party with taxpayers’ money in order to cling to office.

We can go into the holidays with hope and optimism for the coming year – but we must also find the grit and determination which will be required to build and develop our campaign for socialism, locally and nationally.

Last week our friends and comrades in East Brighton branch chose Nancy Platts as their candidate to contest the council by-election which will be triggered when Lloyd Russell-Moyle (whose defeat of Simon Kirby in Kemptown was a local highlight of election night) resigns as a Councillor to focus on his work as a Member of Parliament.

January will therefore give us all the opportunity to travel to Whitehawk to ensure that Nancy and Labour hold Lloyd’s seat on the Council – and that will just be the beginning of a busy year of campaigning.  If you go in for New Year’s Resolutions please consider resolving to increase your campaigning activity.  You can start as soon as you like with our campaign days to Stop the Tory Train Robbery on 2nd January and to halt the rollout of Universal Credit on 13th January.

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Public ownership of rail will allow us to cap fares and invest in services, putting passengers before profit.  Join Labour’s rail campaign on 2nd January 2018

Our Local Campaign Forum will meet again in the New Year to endorse a timetable for the selection of Labour candidates to contest all the seats on Brighton and Hove City Council in May 2019.  I hope that many Party members will consider putting yourselves forward as candidates, so that we have a wide and diverse field of candidates to deliver a socialist Council for our City.

I also hope that Party members will engage with the process of making policy for Labour locally so that we develop a local manifesto which is as radical and popular as our General Election manifesto – and that we will then take our socialist message out onto the doorsteps in our thousands.

In 2017 we began to rebuild the Labour Party in Brighton Pavilion – in 2018 we need to turn outwards in order to develop and campaign for the policies which can transform our society. With our eyes fixed on the prize of a socialist Council in 2019 we also need to campaign for socialist policies in the here and now, and remain ready for a General Election which may not come until 2022 – but could come at any time.

With thanks to all the emergency, NHS, transport and leisure industry workers who will be keeping the rest of us safe, well, mobile, fed and entertained over the festive break.

Jon Rogers cropAnd with special thanks to Labour members for supporting our Party during 2017.  I look forward to meeting more of you in 2018.

Very best wishes, Jon Rogers

Chair, Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party

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AGM summary report

Delegates to the AGM of Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party (CLP) met on Wednesday 6 December 2017 to receive the annual reports of our Executive Committee (known as the ‘EC’ or ‘Exec’) elected at the previous AGM on 4 February 2017, and to elect a new Exec for the year ahead – to run our Party and administer its business in the Brighton Pavilion constituency.

The meeting thanked all members who have worked hard to re-establish our local Party structures since the CLP was reconvened in February 2017, as well as all local members and supporters who have campaigned with our Party during the year and who donate to Pavilion Labour.  The Treasurer emphasised that those donations need to keep coming in!

The AGM adopted the constitution laid before it and debated a series of constitutional amendments, all but one of which was agreed.  The AGM accepted the outgoing Officers’ Reports and the interim accounts to 31 October.  (The final accounts to the year-end, will be presented, after audit, to the March GC Meeting.)  Delegates at the AGM also warmly received and accepted the CLP Development Plan, proposed by the outgoing Executive Committee.

The constitutional changes included the creation of the two new Executive posts of BAME Officer and Youth Officer, plus the Exec has been expanded with the addition of two delegates – one each representing affiliated trades unions and the Co-operative Party.

You can find out more about each of Pavilion Labour’s 14 current Executive members here and our full Executive Committee plus our auditors for 2018 are as shown below.  NB: The two auditors also elected at the AGM are independent of the Executive and not Exec members.

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Notice of AGM

INFORMATION ABOUT THE AGM OF BRIGHTON PAVILION CLP

The AGM of Brighton Pavilion CLP will take place on the evening of Wednesday 6 December 2017 at Friends’ Meeting House, Ship Street, Brighton BN1 1AF.

Candidates and Voting

Valid and confirmed bona fide General Committee (GC) delegates in post for the AGM will be eligible to stand for election as Officers or to the Executive Committee and to vote at the CLP AGM.

NB: GC delegates elected at branch AGMs take up post with the CLP AGM.

Elections to the Executive Committee

Elections will be held for the voting members of the Executive Committee (EC), comprising:

A.  Officers:

  1. CLP Chair
  2. CLP Secretary
  3. CLP Treasurer
  4. CLP Vice-Chair
  5. CLP Vice-Chair (Membership)
  6. CLP Women’s Officer

B.  Four further Executive members

C.  One Trades Union member

NB: In addition, one delegate is appointed by the Co-operative Party (where it is affiliated to the CLP) as a voting member of the EC.

The Trades Union member of the EC will be elected from and by the trades union delegates to the GC only.

At least three of the elected Officers and a minimum of half the Executive Committee must be women.

Nominations for Sections A and B

Any branch or affiliated organisation can nominate any bona fide GC delegate as a candidate for sections A and B.

For the avoidance of doubt, nominations are not restricted to any branch or affiliate’s own delegates, but may be made from among all valid GC delegates who will be in post from December 2017 on.

Nominations for Section C

Only trades unions affiliated to Brighton Pavilion CLP can nominate candidates for section C.

Nominees for Section C must be bona fide GC delegates from trades union branches who will be in post from December 2017 on.

Auditors

The AGM will also elect two auditors for the CLP, at least one of whom must be a woman.

Other Business

The AGM will receive interim accounts and annual reports from Officers and the EC, formally adopt a constitution for Brighton Pavilion CLP and deal with any motions proposed to the AGM, plus any other urgent business of the CLP.

Deadline for Receipt of Nominations and Other Business

All nominations will close at 11am on Wednesday 22 November 2017.

Nominations and any other proposals for the AGM should be submitted to the CLP Secretary by email to secretary@pavilionlabour.org.uk by 11am on Wednesday 22 November 2017.  If an acknowledgement is not received within a reasonable period, please re-submit your original email to the CLP Secretary and copy the CLP Chair at chair@pavilionlabour.org.uk .

Late nominations and proposals will not be accepted.

Questions

Any questions about the AGM can be emailed to the CLP Secretary at secretary@pavilionlabour.org.uk or posted to:

The Secretary

Brighton Pavilion Labour Party

11 Dorset Street

Brighton

BN2 1WA

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Thornberry & Burgon speaking in Hove

The General Committee (GC) of Brighton Pavilion CLP has agreed to move the date for our Annual General Meeting (AGM) so that members will be free to attend this important fundraising event for all local Labour Party Branches across Brighton & Hove, kindly organised by our friends and neighbours in Hove and Portslade CLP.

 

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This event is ticket only and there are 500 tickets, available through the Old Market website priced at £30.

A limited number of tickets are available to low income/unemployed members for £5. Please phone Damian Wylie, (Fundraising Officer, Central Hove, Brunswick and Adelaide Branch) on 07581 504670 for details.

Peter Kyle MP and Lloyd Russell-Moyle MP will be attending, and we are very pleased to announce that Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry MP, and Shadow Secretary of State for Justice Richard Burgon MP, will be very special guests.

The evening will combine speeches, entertainment, with music from Jazz For Labour, a raffle and a special buffet supplied by The Real Patisserie.

Book your tickets now!

 

Labour members support Fair Trade – protest at Sainsbury’s 28 October

Continuing the theme of reports from October’s meeting of our General Committee (GC) – here is something we didn’t get to as we didn’t reach “any other business” – but it’s a fair bet that delegates would have been unanimous in their support if we had.

Sainsbury’s is ditching the Fairtrade mark from some of their own-brand tea and replacing it with a ‘Fairly Traded’ label.  They’ve decided to abandon Fairtrade and pilot their own scheme.

Tea farmers will no long be able to decide for themselves how to spend the money that they have earned through the Fairtrade mark.

Please come along at 2.30pm on Saturday 28th October for a photo outside the Sainsbury’s at Ann Street (just off London Road, past St Bartholomews), bringing with you a cut out of the green cup shown below, which you can print out here.  Or just bring your favourite mug!

 

Please also sign this petition to tell Sainsbury’s not to ditch Fairtrade.

Fairtrade grren mug

 

A positive debate about Brexit in Pavilion Labour

October’s meeting of the General Committee (GC) of Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party, began with a briefing on Brexit organised (very well) by two members of our Executive, Ian McIsaac and Anne Thompson.  Members split into groups to discuss various aspects of the referendum result and the European Union.

A majority of members had supported “remain” in the referendum (in line with 69% of the voters in Brighton and Hove) and were still in favour of remaining within the EU – but a sizeable minority had voted “leave” or now felt that the UK should leave the EU. Delegates with varying opinions and a range of different knowledge and understanding about the EU engaged in wide ranging and comradely discussion.

This constructive exercise set the scene for an equally comradely debate around policy motions which divided opinion on the GC, but which ended with clear policy being adopted which reflected the majority “pro-remain” position of local people and Party members.

Brighton Pavilion Labour Party understands that the national Party needs, in developing its policy, to take account of the wide range of views about the EU and “Brexit” among labour supporters across the country – but we need to reflect the views of Party members in our locality in order to play a constructive role within that process.

Enemies of the Party, and its leadership have tried, on more than one occasion to make use of the issue of “Brexit” to attack the leadership for the cautious approach which they have adopted since the outcome of the referendum.  The balanced and friendly debate between Labour Party members with different opinions at Brighton Pavilion GC demonstrates that the time when this important issue could be used mischievously to cause dissent within the Party has passed.

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Brighton & Hove residents voted strongly to remain in the EU Referendum of June 2016

This is the first resolution which was agreed, proposed by Preston Park Branch:

This CLP calls on the national Labour Party to adopt a policy of retaining membership of the Single Market through remaining in the European Economic Area (EEA) and Customs Union.  The Treasury estimate that moving from the soft Brexit of the EEA to the hard Brexit of a Canadian-type deal costs an additional £16 billion in lost tax revenue each year (equivalent to 4 pence on the basic rate of Income Tax). If we default to WTO rules, then the annual, additional tax loss may be as high as £25 billion. Existing Labour Party policy of seeking ‘access’ to the Single Market, or stressing ‘function not form’, is too risky as the UK may not be able to gain comparable benefits to Single Market membership in negotiations. The current approach risks major economic harm and cuts to public services in future years.  This CLP calls on our Chair to send this resolution to the Leader, to adopt this motion as CLP policy and to encourage CLP delegates to support the position of retaining membership of the Single Market and Customs Union in any relevant vote at Party Conference.

Schengen-Zone

And this is the second resolution, eventually agreed by 29 votes to 27 with 9 abstentions, following a lengthy debate, which was proposed by Hanover and Elm Grove Branch:

This branch notes that:

  • The Article 50 Bill passed through parliament without significant amendment committing the UK to withdrawing from the European Union
  • It is now expected to take around two years for negotiations on Britain’s exit to be completed
  • Brexit Secretary David Davis has promised parliament a final vote before the conditions of withdrawal are put to the European Parliament, although this will be a ‘take it or leave it’ choice, the alternative is likely to be to leave without a trade deal and rely on higher World Trade Organisation (WTO) tariffs.
  • The people of Brighton and Hove voted three to one in favour of remaining in the European Union.

This branch believes that:

  • Labour is an internationalist party that considers peace and prosperity in Europe is best served through membership of the European Union.
  • The outcome of the EU Referendum in June 2016 is noted. The referendum was on a broad principle with no details of what leaving the EU means.
  • False promises were made, especially about funding to the NHS. The franchise was limited with 16 and 17 year olds, who are most likely to be affected by Brexit, denied a vote.  And in normal circumstances a constitutional change would be expected to require more than a simple majority.
  • A second referendum asking whether the British people support the terms and conditions of leaving the EU should be held before it is sent to the European Parliament for ratification.
  • The status quo should prevail in event of a ‘No’ vote rather than the adoption of WTO tariffs. It should then be up to parliament whether renegotiations take place.
  • While supporting the Labour party position, as set out by Shadow Brexit Secretary Keir Starmer in his six tests before supporting the final Brexit deal, we believe that should include a firm commitment to remaining in the Single Market and to protecting the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU.

This branch therefore calls on Pavilion CLP to:

  • Adopt this motion as its submission to the Labour Policy Forum.
  • Support a campaign for a second referendum on the final terms of leaving the EU and in the event of a ‘no’ vote, stay with the status quo and revoke Article 50 rather than fall back on WTO tariffs.
  • Support Keir Starmer’s six tests, strengthening its commitment to remain in the Single Market and to protect the rights of EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens living in the EU.
EU Ref UK map3
Voting in the EU Referendum of 23 June 2016 was 52% leave (blue) to 48% remain (yellow) 

Pavilion no longer facing oblivion?

Significant changes in the proposals (for new boundaries for Parliamentary constituencies) from the Boundary Commission have been published today.

Now they propose that the parliamentary constituency of Brighton Pavilion will continue to exist (yay!), but we shall lose Regency (sob!) to a renamed “Hove and Regency” constituency while gaining Moulsecoomb & Bevendean from Kemptown, which still gets stretched out along the coast.

These revised proposals are less absurd than the last lot, but members (and branches) are still encouraged to have a good look and make representations during the last phase of the consultation between now and 11 December 2017.

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The revised boundaries for the Brighton & Hove parliamentary constituencies move Regency ward out to Hove and Moulsecoomb & Bevendean ward into Pavilion

There is no guarantee that these proposals will proceed of course, since the Tories will need the support of the Democratic Unionist Party – who are themselves waiting for revised proposals for their part of the world.

Look at the positive difference our responses have made already!  You can find the proposals online here.

We’ve saved the Pavilion. Now all we need to do is keep the historic heart of Brighton.  It seems that the Boundary Commissioners don’t realise that Regency is where Brighthelmstone began.  Perhaps we ought to tell them about our history now before it’s taken into Hove.

Map of Brighton as it was in 1779  (Nash's Guide to Brighton, 1885)

Labour will Defend Our NHS from STP attacks

October’s meeting of the General Committee (GC) of Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party agreed a motion reaffirming the policy of the local Labour Party (adopted last year by the former District Party) to oppose the so-called Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) which are being used to devastate our National Health Service and advance the privatisation of healthcare in this country.  This builds upon previously agreed policy to support other campaigns of Sussex Defend the NHS.

STPs are presented as sensible proposals to bring together health and social care (and even some within the labour movement have been taken in) – but if you want to understand the threat which STPs pose to our NHS you can read the truth from Keep Our NHS Public and Health Campaigns Together.  As expert campaigner John Lister says “an aspirational window-dressing of positive ideas camouflages the unpleasant content of STPs like a sophisticated air-freshener masking the real scent of sewage.”

A large majority of delegates at the GC caught that real scent in our nostrils and agreed that Labour representatives at every level should be doing what they can to obstruct and delay STPs (in line with the previously established policy of the Labour Party across Brighton and Hove) and that we should be consulting widely with local people in order to campaign to defend our NHS.  With a failing Tory Government on the ropes, propped up in Parliament only by a dodgy deal with the DUP, everything that we can do now to obstruct and sabotage the STP plans will make it easier for an incoming Labour Government to restore a fully funded NHS entirely within the public sector.

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Pavilion Labour’s Amanda Evans leading the early 2017 NHS march through Brighton with Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell MP and Lloyd Russell-Moyle from Kemptown Labour

This is the text of the motion which was agreed:

This Labour Party utterly condemns the Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) now being imposed upon the NHS across the country, and deplores the implementation of the STP locally.  By allowing unlimited private sector access, we believe that STP brings us much closer to US-style healthcare and is another step towards the Tories’ ultimate aim of destroying our NHS.

We note that, in April 2016, Brighton, Hove & District Labour Party resolved to “do everything we can to defend our NHS”, specifically encouraging “all Labour Party branches and members to take whatever action they can to:

  1. Protest against STP to elected representatives, the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), the Health & Wellbeing Board (HWB), and in the media.
  2. Call on the CCG and the HWB to organise public meetings on STP.
  3. Obstruct and delay the implementation of STP where in a position to do so.”

This Labour Party believes that the participation of any Labour councillor in the implementation of the STP is in direct contradiction to this agreed policy of our local Party.  Party members made it clear that, at the very least, we expected elected representatives of our Labour Party to refuse to co-operate with the STP.

This Labour Party calls on every member of the Labour Group on Brighton & Hove City Council to propose and do everything in its power to ensure that the Council:

  1. Establishes, and widely publicises, an immediate public consultation on the full implications of the STP.
  2. As part of this public consultation, makes public all proposals for any disposals of properties by the Greater Brighton Economic Board.
  3. Pending the organisation of this public consultation, immediately calls a halt to all activities related to the sale of properties and the implementation of the STP.
  4. Undertakes full impact assessments covering all aspects of the STP and its consequences locally.

This is our NHS.  As the great Nye Bevan said, if we don’t have the faith to fight for it now, it will be gone forever.  This fight requires all of us, everyone.

Bevan quote
The great Labour MP Nye Bevan, who was responsible for founding the NHS in 1948, warned that we would always have to fight to keep it.

 

 

Labour Conference will always be welcome in Brighton and Hove

October’s meeting of the General Committee (GC) of Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party overwhelmingly passed an emergency motion proposed by our Regency Branch, making clear that Labour Party Conference is welcome back to our city.  This responded to unfounded allegations to the contrary repeated at the Tory Party Conference and in Parliament.

Regency Branch includes the Brighton Centre, where our Party held its most successful Annual Conference in many years last month.  Local Party members are concerned to make clear that – contrary to stories in the Tory Press, which have been seized upon in desperation by failing “lame duck” Prime Minister Theresa May, to smear the Labour Party – the great success of Labour’s 2017 Conference was welcomed by local people in Brighton and Hove.

We hope that all Labour Party bodies locally will join us in expressing support and solidarity for our Party.

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Our 2017 Conference at the Brighton Centre showcased Labour – Western Europe’s biggest political party – united and moving forward with policies to transform Britain to benefit the many not the few

This is the text of the motion which was agreed:

We reject completely Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party Conference where she makes a desperate attempt to distract from her own party’s failings by smearing our Party Conference with unfounded allegations.

Regency Branch Labour Party and Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party are pleased to have hosted a truly inspiring and hopefully unifying Labour Party Conference last week.

As well as the lively and good-natured proceedings of Conference itself, we welcomed more than 400 wide-ranging Fringe meetings and over 200 hours of the stimulating and inspiring “The World Transformed” festival, all conducted in the spirit of inclusivity, equality and diversity that is the hallmark of our city.

As a branch and a Constituency party we see hosting Conference as both a privilege and an enhancement to the life of our beautiful city and enthusiastically anticipate the return of Conference in future years, commencing, we hope, in 2019.

Liz Davies on FMH steps
Labour Conference 2017 in Brighton was so popular that many fringe events had to run overspill events outside the main meeting, like this one at the Friends’ Meeting House

 

Labour stands with the CWU against Royal Mail

Yesterday (Saturday 14 October) our General Committee (GC) met. This was a well attended meeting with delegates representing all our seven branches and other affiliated organisations. Over the next few days we will report here from the meeting, which took a number of important decisions.

One motion, agreed unanimously, was to support postal workers in the Communication Workers Union (CWU) in their dispute with Royal Mail.

Moving the motion, Constituency Vice-Chair, Phil Clarke stressed the importance of the Labour Party standing shoulder to shoulder with trade unions fighting for workers’ rights – and, in supporting the motion, Constituency Secretary, Claire Wadey, pointed out that the CWU had supported the local Labour Party during the General Election campaign.

It is a disgrace that the laws of this country enable a judge to grant an injunction to stop a strike which has been supported overwhelmingly in a ballot of the workers in dispute – but the CWU have made clear that the dispute goes on – and the Labour Party in Brighton Pavilion will be ready to support the CWU when the strike comes.

Below is the text of the motion which was agreed:

Brighton Pavilion Constituency Labour Party wishes to unreservedly show its support to the Communication Workers Union (CWU) and its members in their dispute with Royal Mail.

The CWU has received great support from its membership, and the public alike, and this CLP declares its abhorrence to the heavy-handed approach of Royal Mail in disregarding legally binding agreements, and trying to impose working arrangements that will affect the workforce, and just as importantly, the general public.

This CLP will stand shoulder to shoulder with the CWU in the days, weeks and months ahead, until Royal Mail becomes the employer the staff deserve, and shows it has the ambition to become the service the public demand.

CWU postal workers

The Labour Party believes Royal Mail must be returned to public ownership.  Please sign here if you agree with us.