News and updates from Labour in Winchester.

Winchester Labour members held a successful campaigning session in the city centre last Saturday 25th February, raising awareness about child poverty and collecting the views of the public with a "ball in the box" poll.

With 3.9 million children now living in poverty, two thirds of whom are in working households, it's not surprising that this issue affects people in Winchester too, with the city the third most expensive place to live after London and Oxford.

The poll conducted in Middle Brook Street put housing at the top of the list of concerns for locals. Affordable housing for the younger generation was one issue. There were also tales of hardship, including damp living conditions impacting on health and long waits for council housing.

Janet Berry, former Labour councillor, said: "It's when you stop and talk to people about their situations that you realise the impact of poverty in Winchester. We met one young couple who have been told they may have a three-year wait for a council flat before they can settle down and bring up their baby together as a family".

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Labour Take Campaign Against Poverty to Town Centre

Winchester Labour members held a successful campaigning session in the city centre last Saturday 25th February, raising awareness about child poverty and collecting the views of the public with a...

Winchester Labour were proud to join in the Hampshire Pride Parade through the centre of Winchester on Saturday 25th January.  Party Secretary Andy Adams said 'It has been great to see Hampshire Pride grow since they were founded in 2015.  We were delighted to be the only political party locally to join in the parade through Winchester along with a number of our affiliated trades unions; it is also great to see all parts of Hampshire joining in to support the #pridehantswide' campaign, spreading an important message of diversity and celebrating the best of the LGBT+ community across the county.  Congratulations to the organisers on all their hard work'.

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Labour Proud to Support Hampshire Pride Day

Winchester Labour were proud to join in the Hampshire Pride Parade through the centre of Winchester on Saturday 25th January.  Party Secretary Andy Adams said 'It has been great to...

Winchester Labour are calling for A Breath of Fresh Air and supporting the campaign for a new clean air act to ensure that everyone can breathe fresh, clean safe air.

In its 2016 local election manifesto, Labour urged Winchester City Council to commit to making Winchester one of the greenest cities in England.  This includes taking action on the quality of air that we breathe in the city.

The city  has a long standing problem with air pollution.  Recent research carried out for the city council showed that there are 3 hot spots in particular where air quality needs to be improved  - in St George's Street, Romsey Road and Chesil Street.

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St. Georges Street is one of a number of city centre hot-spots for air pollution.

Labour Support Call for Clean Air Act

Winchester Labour are calling for A Breath of Fresh Air and supporting the campaign for a new clean air act to ensure that everyone can breathe fresh, clean safe air.... Read more

Winchester Labour are strongly campaigning for a Remain vote in the upcoming referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.  Members are working as part of Labour In for Britain as well as with the cross-party Britain Stronger in Europe to encourage local voters to back Britain as a leader in Europe.

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Vice-Chair Andy Adams said 'It is clear that Winchester, Hampshire and Britain are better off in the European Union.  We face many challenges but our MEP Anneliese Dodds works hard to ensure that the EU works for our region and that we take the lead in ensuring that is responsive to our needs.  Thousands of jobs in our county are linked to our EU membership and leaving would put so much in jeapordy.  Those campaigning for Brexit believe that leaving the EU will solve so many problems when in reality it will solve none.  By an overwhelming majority our local members are supporting a Remain vote.'

You can find our more about Labour's campaign at the Labour In for Britain website and on the local benefits of EU membership on our MEP Anneliese Dodds' blog.  The Britain Stronger in Europe also contains further information on the reasons the EU strengthens the UK economy and our rights.

Local campaigning will be posted on the Winchester Labour Events page and Britain Stronger In Europe, or contact info@winchesterlabour.org.uk to get involved.

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Winchester Labour Campaigning to Remain in EU

Winchester Labour are strongly campaigning for a Remain vote in the upcoming referendum on Britain's membership of the European Union.  Members are working as part of Labour In for Britain...

Labour have confirmed a full slate of candidates for the upcoming Winchester City Council elections on 5th May.  Only the Conservatives and Labour are contesting all 45 seats in the all-out elections.

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Labour Confirm Full Slate of Candidates

Labour have confirmed a full slate of candidates for the upcoming Winchester City Council elections on 5th May.  Only the Conservatives and Labour are contesting all 45 seats in the... Read more

Karen Barratt, former Councillor and St. Paul and Labour candidate for the ward in the upcoming election, writing on her support for the NUT strike at sixth form colleges including Peter Symonds in her own ward.

A few days ago, I stood on a picket line outside Peter Symonds College in Winchester. I’m not a teacher but my sons and grandson went there and I did A-levels as a mature student. So there I was, with badge and banner in solidarity with NUT members, part of a national strike against further funding cuts to sixth form colleges. Cuts which will impact courses, increase group sizes and limit opportunities for students. In worse case scenarios, colleges are facing mergers or closure. Under the Coalition, funding per student had already been slashed by 14% and the EMA (educational maintenance allowance),which helped poorer 16-year olds carry on to A-level, scrapped. Those who made it to university were rewarded with a huge increase in tuition fees. The Government’s onslaught on the young continues with the imminent closure of Sure Start centres throughout Hampshire. Even babes in arms, are picking up the tab for the Conservatives illconsidered austerity policies.

Where the old and sick are concerned it’s the same story of cuts in services. No longer a safety net for the vulnerable from cradle to grave. Disabled people are seeing their benefits reduced. Workers on minimum wage struggle to pay their bills. Social housing is disappearing and private rents are out of control. Even the professionals are being driven to take action. Recently I supported the striking junior doctors in Winchester. The same wet and windy day I attended a demo with other trade unionists at Southampton Job Centre against benefits sanctions. So more strikes, more pickets to come! No wonder the Government wants to legislate trades unions out of existence. 

Cradle to grave? Karen Barratt on NUT Strike

Karen Barratt, former Councillor and St. Paul and Labour candidate for the ward in the upcoming election, writing on her support for the NUT strike at sixth form colleges including...

The Labour team in St. Paul ward have called for better engagement from Peter Symonds College over plans for a new arts centre on the Fulflood site.

 

Karen Barratt, former City Councillor and Labour Candidate for St. Paul Ward said -

'As a former member of Winchester City Council's Planning Committee, I never ceased to be amazed at the regularity with which large institutions or developers alienate the community by failing to communicate or consult at an early stage. We do not know all the details of the latest arts centre plans but it seems clear that Peter Symonds has managed to antagonise a large number of residents who are normally supportive of the college.'

'It really is unacceptable that contact with the principal and vice-principal is proving so difficult. The main bone of contention seems to be the proposed location of the arts centre on the edge of the site. With any new build, traffic and access is likely to be a cause for concern and these days the potential for flooding caused by water run-off must also be looked at when green space is built on. The college should organise a public meeting where some of the residents' concerns could be discussed and reassurances given.'

Labour Calls for Better Engagement Over Peter Symonds Plans

The Labour team in St. Paul ward have called for better engagement from Peter Symonds College over plans for a new arts centre on the Fulflood site.   Karen Barratt,... Read more

Winchester Labour are keeping up the fight for quality redevelopment of Silver Hill as promised, in the face of a damning independent report on the City Council's management of the scheme that concluded that the Council acted unlawfully and calls for an overhaul of procedures.  At a meeting on Wednesday night Labour Councillor's proposed that the Council's Overview & Scrutiny Committee accept the report but this was defeated by the majority Tory group.

 

Patrick Davies, former City Councillor and St. Luke ward candidate called for more transparency saying 'the secretive "reference group" of decision-making councillors and officers has causes much of the problems; the council needs to get back to meeting in public."

 

Karen Barratt, also a previous Councillor and Labour candidate for St. Paul Ward added "I don't want to get into accusations of corruption. There is a more insidious problem, it's a cosiness that develops, an arrogance where anybody outside members and officers is somehow not worth listening to."

 

Andrew Adams, Party Vice-Chair and candidate for St. Luke summarised Labour's position as follows -

'Over 6 months ago in June 2015 at a full Council meeting, the Labour group, together with a minority of other councillors, voted in favour of terminating the development agreement. Our concerns included the extent of the commitment to build a new bus station and affordable housing in the scheme.  The aim must be to provide a town centre that serves the needs of Winchester and all of its residents, and which all residents feel part of and proud of. This development is at the heart of our historic city and the end result must be a scheme that substantially improves the social, economic and environmental well-being of the area, and is fit for residents now and for generations to come.'  

 

This scheme has been marred by mis-management and bungling from the outset by both Conservative and Lib-Dem Councils.  Labour will continue to fight for the best possible scheme for Silver Hill that meets the needs and aspirations of the people of Winchester.  In their local election manifesto Labour are calling for a total rethink on how the council approaches major schemes and an urgent strategy for consultation so that everyone can feel that their views matter.

 

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Labour Keeps Up the Fight on Silver Hill

Winchester Labour are keeping up the fight for quality redevelopment of Silver Hill as promised, in the face of a damning independent report on the City Council's management of the...

Winchester Labour has expressed concern at plans to reduce fire service coverage in the City. At their meeting on Thursday members received a briefing from City Councillors Janet Berry and Clive Gosling, who himself served as a Retained Firefighter, along with one of his former colleagues.

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Labour Express Concerns Over Fire Service Cuts

Winchester Labour has expressed concern at plans to reduce fire service coverage in the City. At their meeting on Thursday members received a briefing from City Councillors Janet Berry and... Read more

Following the severe flooding in Winchester in 2014, which seriously affected parts of St. John & All Saints Ward, local Labour Councillors have taken an active part in a Council review of this event. This looked at what happened then and how it can be prevented in the future.



The Council worked with Hampshire County Council and the Environment Agency to come up with a set of measures to protect properties from flooding in Water Lane.

- A small brickwork wall along Water Lane.
- Measures to stop water from the river overflowing on to the northern part of Water Lane where there are railings
- Amending the highway drainage to stop water backing up from the river on to Water Lane.

This work is now close to being completed.

Water Lane Flood Work Close to Completion

Following the severe flooding in Winchester in 2014, which seriously affected parts of St. John & All Saints Ward, local Labour Councillors have taken an active part in a Council...

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