We need more women involved in the local party

As your Women’s Officer it is part of my responsibility to continue encouraging gender equality in the CLP as well as encourage sisters to be more active in the party whether that’s coming out campaigning, attending branch and CLP meetings or standing for positions. We have seen a significant improvement in local women’s involvement in the party but there is always more we can do. 

Over the next few weeks branches, forums and affiliated groups will be holding an Annual General Meeting. This is an opportunity to:
1)  elect branch/forum officers
2) elect your delegates to the General Committee (basically the local party) 
3) nominate officers for West Ham Constituency Party. 
All positions are up for elections. If you haven’t been notified of your AGM yet please let me know and I can put you in touch with the secretary.
 
Branch/Forum  Officer Positions
There are four positions and at least two of the officers shall be women. There is no reason why job share can’t be introduced if you have caring responsibilities.
  • Branch Chair
  • Branch Vice-Chair- in West Ham Ward we had two lovely female members job share this position 
  • Branch Secretary
  • Branch Treasurer
  • Branch Organiser – for organising campaigning and leafletting sessions. This is going to be a key position in helping us retain our Labour majority in Newham council

General Committee Delegate (GC) Positions:

The GC plans and coordinates our local Labour activity and meets on the 4th Thursday of the month. All party members are welcome to attend, but only delegates are able to vote on issues put to the GC.

The Secretary is automatically a delegate, plus one man and one woman per 25 members or part thereof.

Executive Committee Delegate (EC) Positions:

One position amongst GC delegates

Nominations for West Ham West Ham CLP position

  • CLP Chair
  • CLP Vice Chair of Campaigns
  • CLP Vice Chair of Membership
  • CLP Secretary 
  • CLP Treasurer
  • CLP Women’s Officer  
  • Community Involvement Coordinator 
  • Trade Union Liaison Coordinator 
  • Political Education & Training Coordinator 
  • Equalities Coordinator 
  • Fund Raising Coordinator 
  • Information Technology Coordinator 
  • Local Campaign Forum delegates (10 positions) 

Forum/Affiliated Groups to the CLP

All Forums and Affiliated groups will follow a similar election as above. Holding an election for:

Forum Officer positions

Two GC delegates and one EC delegate

Nominating members to West Ham CLP positions

  • West Ham Women’s Forum – AGM to be held Monday 6th March, 7:45pm, 306 Stratford High Street. 
  • West Ham Youth Forum- AGM (pencilled in for) Thursday 16th February 6pm, 306 Stratford High Street.
  • Trade Unions– Please contact either your local trade union officer or  Kim Silvers the Trade Union Liaison for more information.

Socialist Affiliated Groups 

  • Fabians– Rohit Dasgupta, Secretary to announce AGM date.
  • Christians on the Left– Clive Furness, Secretary to announce AGM date.

In Sisterhood,

Seyi

West Ham Women’s Officer.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Top 10 tips for Labour Women interested in standing as a councillor

West Women’s Forum really want to continue encouraging as many women to apply to stand as a local Councillor in the 2018 elections. The selection process will start sometime this year so we’ve penciled in a training and information day for those that are interested. Please save the afternoon of Sunday 26th February in your diaries, children are welcome! I’ve set up a Facebook group support group, please join here.
For the meantime for those interested or thinking about applying to be a councillor. Cllr Rachel Tripp and I have put together some advice and things you should consider.
1) Get active in the party- whenever there’s a date to go out campaigning stick it in your diary, attend branch and General Committee meetings (observers at our General Committee meeting are welcome!)
2) If you can’t make campaigning or meeting dates see if there is anything you can do. Julianne, CLP Vice-Chair of Campaigns and Communications regularly sends out campaigning dates, email her back to see what else you can do, maybe phone canvass or leafleting in your own time. You can also email the chair of your branch too.
In 2013 I was working in Brussels so I couldn’t make a lot of meetings, I volunteered to set up and manage my branch’s social media account to help me stay involved and advertise key dates and news.
3) Make sure Julianne’s fantastic emails are not going to your junk mail!
4) Have a think about getting on social media? Twitter? Facebook?
5) Coffees dates!  Don’t be afraid to ask your local branch chair or local Councillors for coffee! Ask questions and network.
6) It might be a bit embarrassing to put yourself forward but we need people like you! We really do! And there is nothing wrong with saying you’re interested in standing then changing your mind.
7) Find out more about what Newham council does. www.newham.gov.uk is a good place to start. A lot of council meetings are public too!
8) “Ask her”: Think of someone you think would be a good Councillor and invite them along to the training day on 26th February and to the Facebook group. The overall aim is to get as many female councillor candidates as possible, help pay this encouragement forward.
9) Find yourself a cheerleader, it could be a partner or a loved one. For many of the 2014 crew it was our fantastic MP Lyn Brown that cheered us on. I know a lot of the current councillors would gladly be your cheerleader.

Save Our Statue

We passed two motions at West Ham GC tonight.

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The Champions statue – in Boleyn. Where the champions played.

Boleyn Statue

We have seen the moving and loss of West Ham United from Boleyn ground and its move to Stratford Olympic stadium.

The Bobby More statue, on the cross roads of the old West Ham and East Ham should remain as part of our local history, so visitors and local folk can continue to see where the famous man and others played, and we call on Newham Council to protect it where it is.

After a string of passionate speeches about celebrating our heritage the motion was passed unanimously (although with an abstention).

Cycle Lanes

Where cycle highways/Lanes exist primary legislation should be put in place so that, providing it is safe to do so, all cyclists should mandatorily use all available cycle lanes . Where ever they exist, these should be used for the safety of themselves and all other road users.
We call upon West Ham CLP to lobby parliament to this end to have it enshrined in law.

After lots of debate about whether this could be mandatory and noting the many inadequate cycle lanes and courtesy between all road users, GC passed this motion (although with quite a few abstentions).

Silvertown Tunnel discussion

by Dr Rohit K Dasgupta

On 19th January, Canning Town South Labour Party Ward hosted a ‘Silvertown Tunnel Information Meeting’.

The meeting was in response to knowing what the council’s position is on this very important issue which threatens quality of air and transport in the local area. Three speakers- Cllr Ken Clark, Dean Armond and Robbie Gordon presented on the issue from various perspectives.

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Cllr Rokhsana Fiaz asking a question at Silvertown Tunnel debate

 

Cllr Clark said that whilst the council had not outrightly rejected the proposals, they were not endorsing it either. This came for some criticism and the councillors present argued that a motion would be raised at the Council labour group. Mr Armond on the other hand explained this would put a great deal of pressure on the local roads which are already struggling to cope with the increased traffic and finally Mr Gordon who represents the No to Silvertown Tunnel Campaign explained that it has been very difficult to engage our elected representatives in the London Assembly such as Val Shawcross and it was imperative that they listened to and engaged with the concerns of the local people.

The final date for the public consultation regarding the tunnel is the 11th of April and all local members are being urged to submit their opinions to TFL.

Also present in the meeting were several councillors, our GLA member (who has agreed to help set up a meeting with Val Shawcross AM) and our MP, Lyn Brown.

This will be the first of many meeting that Canning Town South hopes to organise with Custom House and Canning Town North on local issues specific to this area.

For more information on this please get in touch with Dr Rohit K Dasgupta, Chair of Canning Town South Branch.

Posters of Protest

West Ham members together with Lyn Brown MP headed to William Morris gallery in Waltham Forest on Saturday to visit the Posters of Protest exhibition.

The group met at Stratford International station with some cycling to the gallery and others taking the bus. After a look around the exhibition some members stayed for lunch. Some photos below…

 

 

 

 

Silvertown Tunnel

After a really good debate on air pollution, regeneration and transport, West Ham GC voted in favour of this motion, with an amendment about air quality, proposed by Forest Gate South branch.

This Branch/GC notes that;

1.  TfL have consulted on building a 4 lane tunnel at Silvertown next to, and in addition to, The Blackwall Tunnel, which the former Mayor Johnson said will double road capacity across the Thames at this point and help ease congestion.

2.  It is widely acknowledged that you cannot build your way out of congestion and that a more appropriate strategy would be to improve conditions for walking and cycling as well as make public transport more affordable.

3.  The additional road capacity would lead to a significant increase in motor traffic in Newham (particularly in Canning Town) and significantly worsen air quality in this borough.

4.  Newham and London already suffer from poor air quality and building this tunnel is totally incompatible with Newham and London meeting their air quality targets.

Therefore this branch/GC calls upon Newham Council to reverse its position on the Silvertown Tunnel and call upon Mayor Sadiq Khan to cancel the project.

Further, this branch/GC urges Newham Council and the Mayor of London to investigate alternatives such as continuing the A406 south beyond the A13 and across the Thames east of the Woolwich Ferry.

Christmas Quiz time!

It’s our festive fixture –  the Xmas Social and Quiz with our Quiz Masters Dianne and Conor. 7.30pm (for 8pm start), Friday 9 December, Vicarage Lane Centre, E15 4HW.

Come along and meet fellow West Ham members. No need to come as a team but do bring some food to share.xmas-quiz-2016

Conference delegate report

by Mumtaz Khan

Having had the opportunity and I am delighted to have the experience to attend the Labour party conference as a delegate from Westham CLP. I recommend those who have not had the experience to attend conference to attend next year.  As a delegate I was privileged to all the events, including the leaders announcement, the main exhibition hall where the conference speech took place, voting rights and to all the fringes.

Although the entire experience of attending conference was a grate experience. My attention was drawn to Yvette Cooper, Chair of Labour’s refugee taskforce. Her speech on child refugees was very emotional and moving, a subject very close to heart. I have worked with young asylum minors since 2003.  Asylum seeking minors fleeing war and persecution across the world. However, the situation is now at crises point.

Recent figures shows over 21 million refugees fleeing conflict and persecution across the world. At least 3.5 million are children.

The immigration Act was amended to commit Britain to providing homes for some of the unaccompanied child refugee who has arrived in Europe before 31st March, now stranded in Calais. In May 2016,  Lord Dubs Amended to allow unaccompanied children to be offered safe refuge in the UK was passed. Lord Dubs received assurance from HM Government that a number of children from Calais Camp would be welcomed and provided for in the UK.

In September 2016 more than 380 children were still in the Calais Camp.

Previous eviction at the camp by France Authorities has led to vulnerable young children going missing. Yvette in her speech share the story of the 14-year-old Afghan boy who died few weeks ago trying to climb on to the roof of a lorry near Calais was understood to have a brother in UK, and thus the right to live there.

Now that the new government has had time to settle in after the EU referendum vote there really is no excuse for ay further delay.

Teresa May and Amber Rudd should be taking immediate action. I have no words to describe the frustration towards this current government.

Our priority is to protect the best interest of children who are in need of our help, I need not remind the public of this sad and painful anniversary, when we remember a tiny Syrian boy lying drowned on a Turkish beach. A death that shook the world.  However, lessons are still not learnt.

We need ministers to take immediate action to take the stranded children in Calais to safety as the winter months are now approaching.

UK has a legal obligation to these children, but more to point this country has a moral obligation.

Mumtaz Khan

Stratford and New Town member and West Ham delegate to conference