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The team effort that proves there are no no go areas for Labour.


Ahead of the Morecambe North By-Election on the 15th February, Labour candidate Darren Clifford talks about the campaign and the issues that have been discussed on the doorstep

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Saint Francis of Assisi once said “Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you’re doing the impossible”. That could pretty much sum up the campaign for Morecambe North in this Lancashire County Council by-election. In a normal year in a normal election the seat would be solidly and incontrovertibly Tory, but nothing about this by-election is normal.

It was called because of the resignation of previous Conservative County Councillor Tony Jones who had left the Tory group at County after 32 years of service because of the scandal surrounding the leader and some of the more bizarre decisions that have been made in local government in recent times. This isn’t just the catalyst of the campaign but it is also the context, and it is inescapable on the door step.

In the last month there has not been a street we haven’t walked down, there are in fact some driveways in the division that are the length of some of the streets where I’ve campaigned previously, that is the literal and proverbial hill we’ve had to climb.

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But like most campaigns it’s been made a whole lot easier because of the team effort. We’ve had help from all around Lancashire, neighbouring constituencies and even colleagues from Manchester have come to lend their support. Often in the pouring rain and driving wind, we are by the sea after all, some hardy souls have been out most days either delivering leaflets or listening to residents on the doorstep.

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It should come as no surprise that the things that concern our residents are the same things that concern us, but the one issue that is a constant is the state of the roads. Lancashire’s roads and the epidemic of potholes is constantly brought up and no kind of protest to the contrary from the Tory controlled County Council will convince people otherwise, in fact they’ve recently decided that any pothole that isn’t a minimum of 300mm wide and 150mm deep will NOT be a priority. I’m no engineer, but that doesn’t sound like a pothole it sounds like a trench. Then, to add insult to injury, at last weeks County Council meeting, there were more holes found in the policy than in Lancashire's roads and the policy has been withdrawn to be redrafted!

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There are lots of other issues too, including ones that aren’t the responsibility of the County Council. But our residents don’t make the distinction between who does and doesn’t provide services, they’d just like the place they live to be decent. So we make a note and make sure their concerns are passed on.

They are though, rightly exasperated, when they hear that bus timetables are being taken out of bus stops, so we have to guess when the bus is coming. Or that emotional support for children in care is being cut. Or a reduction in the funding for learning difficulties, when getting a young person statemented so they can get the help they need is difficult enough. Or a £45m cut to social care, reduction in funding for library books when the county council are opening libraries, and the list goes on.

It wouldn’t be so bad if that wasn’t all being done with the backdrop of the senior management team having been relieved of command at enormous legal expense, an interim director being paid £1125 a day (yes you read that correctly) and the Leader of the Council presently waiting to answer bail conditions.

This is all why this is no ordinary election and as a result Labour activists have been receiving a much more favourable response than the Tories would like. It may be close, but we won a Lancaster District City Council by-election by 2 votes last year in a seat we’d never won before so we know what that feels like. A defeat for the Tory candidate would send a strong message to County Hall that the people of Lancashire have had enough and would be nothing short of a cataclysmic blow for their chances in future elections and especially the marginal parliamentary seat.

 

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Thursday 15th February may just be a very important day in history.

Morecambe North By-Election - 15th February

The team effort that proves there are no no go areas for Labour. Ahead of the Morecambe North By-Election on the 15th February, Labour candidate Darren Clifford talks about the...

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If you are an LGBT+ Labour member in the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency and looking to get more involved in the work of the local CLP, then we need an LGBT+ Officer on our Exec team. It’s an important role and one we’d love to be able to fill during LGBT+ History month. 

Morecambe has a long and varied history with the LGBT+ Community, The Campaign for Homosexual Equality (CHE) held its first national conference on the now demolished Central Pier in Morecambe back in 1973.


The LGBT+ Officer is the local representative of LGBT+ members within the CLP, and works to ensure that LGBT+ members are fully involved in the work of the local party, as well as taking a leading role in making sure that the campaigning work of the
constituency reaches out and engages with LGBT+ voters.

This is a great resource on how to be an effective LBGT+ Officer

If you are interested, please contact us or come along to the next CLP monthly meeting

LGBT+ Officer for Morecambe and Lunesdale CLP

If you are an LGBT+ Labour member in the Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency and looking to get more involved in the work of the local CLP, then we need an...

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Last week was so busy, we've had to split the news round up into 2 sections. In Part 1 of our round up report, we covered the election of our new PPC, Lizzi Collinge, the election of the vacant slots on our CLP Exec and the visit by Shadow Minister for Health, Jonathan Ashworth to speak at a joint event in Lancaster organised with Lancaster and Fleetwood CLP.

In Part 2, we will cover the Morecambe Bay Foodbank AGM, the launch of a new campaign to clean up the back alleyways in Morecambe, the first of our Community Conversations in Silverdale (there was alot of cake!) and all the work going on with the canvassing for the Morecambe North By-Election on the 15th February.

 


Morecambe Bay Foodbank AGM

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The Morecambe Bay Foodbank AGM was held on Wednesday, in St Barnabas Church. This was the first official event that saw Lizzi attend in her new role as PPC, as well as her other hat as a Lancashire County Councillor.

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A number of other councillors from across the political spectrum also attended, including the Mayors of both Lancaster and Carnforth.

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The Foodbank has been in action for 6 years and gives out 4 TONS of food every month to needy families. Each family has to be referred with a voucher to get food.

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Attendee's also heard from Guest Speaker Morecambe Bay Primary school Head, Siobhan Collingwood talking about the impact of Child poverty in Morecambe. Siobhan has recently written a moving article for tes.com about the impact of the ITV Granada report just before Christmas.


Cleaning up Morecambe's Back Streets and Alleyway's

With her usual irrepressible enthusiasm and energy, well known local Town, City and County Councillor Margaret Pattinson has launched a new campaign to make the back streets and alleyways of Morecambe beautiful.

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Margaret has formed a new group on Facebook and has teamed up with Morecambe Bloomers to get the town full of flowers and spaces to enjoy.

You can see the news article she did with BBC Radio Lancashire at the link below.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/uk-england-lancashire-42831427/transforming-lancashire-s-alleys-into-communal-gardens


Community Conversations - Silverdale

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We had a great day in Silverdale at the first of our Community Conversations. Lizzi opened the day and welcomed everyone.

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We were joined by our Disability Officer and Campaigner Jean Withers, who talked about some of the many problems and issues that disabled people face in their every day lives.

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Local GP Dr David Wrigley also joined us to discuss changes in the NHS and social care and to discuss some of the challenges ahead.

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Finally Cheryl Barrett, Vice Chair of the Co-Operative Party spoke about Fair Care and how a co-operative approach could make a big difference to budgets and communities.

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All the speakers were fantastic and the feedback we received from residents was extremely positive, comments such as "more of this please" and "very informative" were received. Of course, the day was helped along by the vast amount of wonderful cakes and biscuits donated by members. It all went down very well and what was left over was donated to West End Impact.


Morecambe North By-Election

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On the 15th February 2018, the Morecambe North By-Election will be held. Morecambe North covers the Bare and Bolton-Le-Sands areas of the town. Our candidate, Darren Clifford and his team have been out busy canvassing over the last couple of weekends. Even the terrible weather hasn't stopped them.

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They've been getting a really postive response on the doorstep, people are keen to discuss their worries and concerns with the team. This is a highly winnable seat.

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Darren still needs help with door knocking, leaflet drops and phone canvassing.  The next round of door knocking sessions is taking place on Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th of February.  Details can be found in his Facebook group: Darren Clifford for Morecambe North


There is always something happening around the Constituency involving Labour Members. We want to celebrate that. Please let us know and we can include you in the next news round up.

It's been a busy week in Morecambe and Lunesdale CLP (Part 2)

Last week was so busy, we've had to split the news round up into 2 sections. In Part 1 of our round up report, we covered the election of our...

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