T&MCLP News Bulletin #28

Conference Report Back Meeting 20th October

Hope you enjoyed the daily reports from Annual Conference that Mark White sent. Conference was brilliant, extremely positive, and your delegates Mark and myself can’t wait to tell you about it. You can watch the Conference Hall events online, you can read full text of  all key speeches e.g. Jeremy Corbyn. But there is much more to Conference and you can’t fully ‘get it’ without being there or talking to people who were. So please come to this feedback meeting and ask any and all questions. Our Contemporary Motion on Climate Change was not selected for debate but we did win a Reference Back of the National Policy Forum Report on Climate Change which gives us a chance to push for a nationally led campaign against fracking.

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Our position on leaving the EU was the one carried unanimously by Conference but the motion we were supporting on Re-selection was defeated. (Kind of). The Report Back Meeting is 11.00am to 1.00pm Saturday 20th October at The Friends Meeting House, 19 Castlegate, Pickering, YO18 7AX.  Includes a report on the Thirsk By-election campaign, lessons learned for 2019 Council Elections, nominations for the National Constitution Committee, update on Parliamentary Selection  and affiliation to Labour Coast and Country.

Thirsk By-election Result.

Congratulations to Trish Beadle our candidate, Mark White our Agent and all who came and did some work including  York and Richmond CLPs. This was the first full canvas attempted by our Constituency for some time, the first using Contact Creator and the first time we contested Thirsk since 2007. It was a snap election. The Branch did a great job in organising an intensive campaign in a very short timescale. Trish came second with 25% of the vote, in the circumstances a great achievement and improvement on the 19% we got back in 2007.  Just contesting the seat after so long is a big milestone and while it remains a very Tory area the result gives us something solid to build on for next May.

Parliamentary Selection – York Outer

Region has invited applications for parliamentary candidate for York Outer. It is a women only shortlist. Any woman from our Constituency can apply. To do so get application form and details direct from secretary@yorklabour.org.uk Deadline for applications: Sunday 14 October at 12 noon. Let me know if you do.

Parliamentary Selection – Us

Our own selection remains suspended by the NEC pending outcome of the Boundaries Commission Review. The risk of a Snap General Election is higher than ever. We would much prefer a local candidate so it is essential that a few of our members are prepared to step forward at very short notice. Please let me know ASAP if you might consider this.                 

National Constitution Committee Nominations.

The Party has invited nominations for the National Constitution Committee. It’s open to any member but you need nomination from the Constituency endorsed by a Constituency General Meeting. If you are interested you must let me know ASAP so it can be dealt with at our SGM on 20th October.

Best wishes,
Mick Johnston,
Secretary of Thirsk & Malton Constituency Labour Party

 

T&MCLP News Bulletin #27

Help us win Thirsk By-election. Act Now!!

The Vale of York Branch is working flat out to score a historic victory over the Tories in the Thirsk by-election on October 4th. Most households in the ward have been leafletted and the campaign now continues with knocking on doors. This is the critical phase where we identify potential voters who we can get to the polling booth on October 4th. Council by-elections have notoriously low turnouts and with Tory voters not exactly highly motivated at the moment a big turnout from Labour voters would win it. Every voter canvassed gets us nearer to winning.

65_800x800.jpgIt is in the interests of all Thirsk and Malton members that we win Thirsk but only two members from outside of the Vale of York Branch have been along to campaign so far. Now that the focus is on door knocking we need more members involved if we are to get to the whole electorate. Look at the dates in the calender straight away and please put at least one in your diary. (Details attached). With just over two weeks to go you must act now to make a difference. We also need volunteers on election day to do a stint taking number at the polling stations. Call Mark White 07831 306795, Phil Smith 07789 513791

Monday Sept 17th
@ 18:00: Door knocking in Hambleton East – meet outside ATS Tyres on Long Street, Thirsk
Wednesday Sept 19th 
@ 18:00: Door knocking in Hambleton East – meet at junction of Dowber Way, St Mary’s Walk and Herriott Way Thirsk
Saturday Sept 22nd 
@ 10:00 : Street stall in Thirsk market square
Thursday Sept 27th 
@18:00: Door knocking in Hambleton East – meeting place to be confirmed
Sunday Sept 30th 
@ 18:00: Door knocking in Carlton Minniott – meet outside the Vale of York pub on Carlton Road
Monday Oct 1st 
@at 18:00 : Door knocking in Norby – meet at the Black Swan, Northallerton Road
Tuesday Oct 2nd 
@ 18:00 : Door knocking – Location to be confirmed
Wednesday Oct 3rd 
@ 18:00: Door knocking – Location to be confirmed
Thursday Oct 4th – Election Day
@10:00 – 22:00: Get Out The Vote – meet at 6A, Saxty Way, Sowerby

Crisis at Broadacres Housing Association.

In 1993 Tory controlled Hambleton Council gave all its council housing to Broadacres Housing Association. The Association has now been slammed by the Government regulator, the Homes and Communities Agency as being Non Compliant with governance standards. ‘The provider does not meet our governance requirements. There are issues of serious regulatory concern and in agreement with us the provider is working to improve its position.’ This arises from concern that liabilities of Broadacres’ speculative businesses could spill over to threaten the council housing that Hambleton Council gave it. Voters may want to know what Hambleton Council are going to do to protect the tenants of the houses that they gave away.

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Are You Coming to Conference?  

If you are coming to Annual Conference in Liverpool for a few days you may like to get in touch there with your delegates, Mark White & Mick Johnston, or with other Thirsk and Malton members who may be there as visitors. If so you can do this through our Conference WhatsApp group. Just let me know and give me your mobile number and I will add you to the group. We are hoping to give you daily reports from Conference but you can watch the whole of Conference LiveOnline                         

Farewell Gathering for Jill Knight.

Friends of Martin and Jill Knight are invited to a farewell gathering for Jill on Saturday 22 September, 2.00 to 5.00 at the Worsley Arms, Hovingham. Please let Martin know if you will be attending: 01653 628977.

Best wishes, Mick Johnston, Constituency Secretary.

Bulletin 27 2018-09-17

T&MCLP News Bulletin #26

5th. September  2018

Thirsk By-election 4th October 2018

We have a great chance to take a seat on Hambleton District Council from the Tories.  Our candidate Trish Beadle stood as an Independent in the 2015 District Council election and polled 778 votes without any support; a testament to how well known and respected she is in the ward. The Tory in second place polled 1,423 votes. Combining Trish’s popularity with our ability to get numbers out on the streets supporting her we definitely can win.  As a result of the campaigning that Vale of York Branch have been doing over the last two months we already have  100 Labour promises.

The Branch has created a campaign plan for the next four weeks, culminating in all day Election Day effort to get out the vote. In a by-election, when turnouts tend to be low, this will be crucial. The plan starts with a door knocking session on 5th September starting 6.00 and meeting up at Blytheway Stores, 10 Sutton Rd, Thirsk YO7 1DJ. This is followed by two or three leafletting and door knocking sessions every week up to 4th October. The full campaign programme is attached with contacts for each event. This is a well organised campaign being run by a keen local team. With your help we can win this one, which would be a huge step forward in giving voters proper representation and raising the profile of the Party across the Constituency.  Every member should do their best to get to at least one of the campaign events. If you haven’t campaigned before the Team will look after you and pair you with an experienced campaigner. This is also a wonderful opportunity to get experience of campaigning ahead of the 2019 Council elections when we will be contesting a large number of seats. Call Mark White  07831 306795, Phil Smith           07789 513791 or Trish Beadle   07526 435103 for further information.

Conference Mandating Decisions

Annual Conference. The mandating meeting on 1st September was well attended with 30 members present. Following a high quality and thorough debate the following decisions were made mandating the delegates:

On leaving the EU. A motion supporting the Party’s current policy of opposing any deal which does not meet Keir Starmer’s six tests and working for an early General Election with a manifesto commitment to a people’s vote on any new deal negotiated by an incoming Labour Government. Carried 16 For, 9 Against, 5 Abstensions.

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Climate Change & Fracking. Motion calling for national campaign against fracking. Carried unanimously.

Motion for Conference. Climate change & fracking was chosen by 22 For, 3 Against, 5 Abstensions.

Democracy Review. The proposals were supported unanimously.

Rule Changes. The change making parliamentary reselections automatic was supported. 10 For, 9 Against.

Full wordings will be placed on the website.

Women’s Conference. A small but enthusiastic group discussed the topics on the agenda for Women’s Conference and agreed to cast our votes for Social Care and Social Security to be discussed at Conference.

Also highlighted the need to get more women involved in the branches and on the Constituency Exec and agreed to consider what could be done to achieve this. The Women’s Officer Rosie Adam said that she would like each branch to appoint a Women’s Officer. Agreed to hold a Conference report back meeting.

Best wishes, Mick Johnston, Constituency Secretary.

Bulletin 26 2018-09-05

Mandate Your Conference Delegates

1st September 2018

Your delegates to Labour Party Conference, Mark White and Mick Johnston, are committed to representing your views as well as we possibly can. Conference may be difficult this year with a number of potentially divisive issues, the most obvious being antisemitism and the EU although other very important issues will be on the agenda. Please help us by coming to this Special General Meeeting to debate and vote to determine this Constituency’s policies.

You can, if you wish, submit proposals for a ‘Contemporary Motion’ to Conference but note that the criteria for these (attached) are very tight. If you would like to put forward any motions for debate at this meeting, whether a possible Conference Contemporary Motion or to establish Constituency policy on a Conference issue you must get the wording with proposer and seconder to Mick no later than Monday 27th August.

Late Motions will not be accepted but amendments to anything on the agenda may be put forward for debate at the meeting. Mick will circulate an agenda with any motions received prior to the meeting and will send out the National Policy Forum Annual Report and any other relevant stuff as soon as Mick gets it.

The meeting is from 11.00am to 1.00pm at Ryedale Community and Leisure Centre, Bowling Lane, Off Scarborough Road, Norton, YO17 8EG.

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Link to: CLP Events Archive

New: Members Chat Group

We have set up a private Members only Yammer group that allows CLP members to chat, organize and engage in friendly discussion.

This is walled off from the outside world and so is private, shared only with invited Thirsk and Malton Labour Party members. Our Membership Secretary Bryan has been sending out invitation from the Yammer group for you to join.

If you wish to ignore the invitation, please feel free to do so, but if you would like to take part, it’s is free to do so and you will be welcomed into this on-line community by like-minded souls.

Please note that by accepting the invitation, as a minimum your email address will be visible to other Yammer members, so no-one is anonymous. You may share as much or as little personal information that you desire…

The benefit, on top of purely being yet another communication tools, is in building a team, a sense of community, a virtual clubhouse, but also helping us get more organized for the next election.. The messages are not lost in the mass of everyday emails, you can drop in and take part in the conversations as you wish.

The participants are real verified people, so there are no anonymous trolls or fake news, and the CLP will not tolerate abuse, racism or sexism.

Yammer is accessed via this link: Thirsk and Malton Yammer

If you would like to take part and have not yet recieved an invitation, please email Bryan at membership@thirskandmaltonlabour.uk

Your invitation once sent will look like:

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If you follow the link you will be a taken to a log in Page:

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Fill in what details you wish to share (minumum of Name and a date you can remember) and then choose your groups:

Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.42.17.pngLoad a picture or avatar:

Screen Shot 2018-07-29 at 12.45.11.pngAnd you are in, it’s as easy as that….

Remember it’s a private group for members only, nothng is shared on the internet or with any organization in engaged in psychological warfare against the UK.

NEC; Reports and Elections

The National Executive Committee is a crucially important body for the Party which is why the annual elections to it are of such interest. It has 41 members only nine of whom are directly elected by ordinary Party members; i.e. us. Your Constituency Exec Committee received many requests for nominations but decided to nominate the CLPD slate (attached) as it unequivocally supports Jeremy Corbyn and the current manifesto and is most closely aligned with the policies this constituency has supported in recent years.

To have maximum impact it is important to support candidates who have compatible policies and being on a slate ensures this. Voting will begin soon. Use your vote.  Reports on the last NEC meeting are attached

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Stop Press; Parliamentary Selection. At the weekend the North Yorkshire County Labour Party agreed to support our call to the NEC for consultation on the selection in the event of a snap election.

Who is on the NEC? Find out more about our National Executive Committee and its members

National Policy Forum 2018 Consultation

The Party has launched a review of its manifesto policies with an invitation to all members to submit their views online. Useful summaries of existing policies are followed by questions to encourage responses. They covers every possible subject. You can respond individually but it would be useful if Branches could organise discussions of selected topics and perhaps make Branch submissions as well. The documents are all online. Deadline for response is 24th June. All documents and the response form are Online.

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Labour’s July Executive – NEC Meeting July 17th 2018

Peter Willsman writes: 

This NEC meeting was dominated by a very lengthy, very informed and very thoughtful discussion regarding the antisemitism Code of Conduct. In my 37 years on and off national committees, I can hardly remember a more sensitive and thoughtful debate.  Almost every NEC member provided contributions.  There was no attempt at point scoring and every participant spoke frankly and sincerely.

Leaders Report

Jeremy took us through the fraught goings-on in Parliament.  The Tories have their backs to the wall and we are getting very close to winning some crucial votes.  Our Whips Office is on top form and the PLP is very determined to expose the many weaknesses of this incompetent and heartless Government.

Jeremy then reported on the trade union annual congresses that he had attended and spoken at.  On every occasion he had stressed the key policies, especially ending austerity and returning rail and key utilities to public ownership.  Jeremy emphasized that his plan was to attend as many trade union conferences as he could.

Jeremy highlighted the success of the Durham Miners’ Gala and confirmed that he would soon be speaking at the Tolpuddle Rally.

Jeremy then took the NEC through the many efforts that he and our Party to increase the links between the Labour Party and our sister, Socialist, Social-Democratic and Labour Parties.   Jeremy introduced a detailed document prepared for the NEC by our International Section.  He thanked our Officers present for all their hard work in putting the Paper together.  Jeremy emphasized that with many political changes around the world, we need to keep our link arrangements to sister parties under constant review – he gave the NEC a rousing report of the tremendous success of AMLO in Mexico.

Jeremy highlighted some of the recommendations in the Paper which were endorsed.  In particular:

  • If the UK leaves the European Union in March 2019, we must prioritize keeping a close relationship with the Party of European Socialists.
  • To create a new linked party status, perhaps initially restricted to observers to our Annual Conference together with informal discussion between Labour and the named linked party.
  • To identify those countries where there are gaps in our engagement and no formal sister party links.

Deputy Leaders Report

Tom was on the phone and only able to give a brief report.  He took the NEC through the plans that are being put together to ensure that all the staff working in Europe will be guaranteed a position as a full-time staffer.

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Local Government Report

The Chair, on behalf of the NEC, warmly congratulated Alice Perry and Nick Forbes for being elected unopposed to the NEC as the two local government reps.

Nick then introduced the Local Govt Report document which had been circulated to the NEC.  In particular, this highlighted the serious funding threat to the whole social care system and the abject failure of the Government to address the increasingly dire situation.  Nick informed the NEC that the LGA are preparing a paper on the social care crisis that will be endorsed by both Labour and the Conservatives.  Jeremy welcomed this initiative by the LGA and stressed the need to protect and value all care workers, giving special attention to those care workers who have been carrying out this vital work for years without having many or any initial qualifications.

Finally, Nick stressed the severe funding crisis that local govt is suffering.  It has been estimated that between now and 2025, there will be a local govt funding shortfall of some £7.8 billion.

EPLP Leader’s Report

Richard Corbett MEP introduced his written report which had been circulated.   Richard highlighted the approval by the MEP’s of new EU laws on the posting of workers that bring in the principle of equal pay for equal work in the same location.  Richard emphasized that in the UK this revision of the Posted Workers Directive is particularly important for the construction industry.

I raised the very serious issue of the international tariff war now being waged between the US and China.   In the 1920’s and 30’s a similar trade war was a key factor in the Great Depression.  As in the 20’s and 30’s the tit for tat tariff war, which Trump is provoking, would threaten the existing structure of international capitalism.

General Secretary’s Report

* Labour Party Code of Conduct in Relation to Anti-semitism Issues

The NEC Working Group – Antisemitism, had presented a full report to the Organization Committee on 3rd July.  The accompanying documents at the Org Ctte had set out a wide range of important recommendations.  These included a NEC Code of Conduct  – Antisemitism, which had been improved nem con by the Org Committe.

Jennie gave a very comprehensive introduction concerning all the work that the staff had undertaken on this issue over many weeks.  Jennie stressed that it was obligatory upon us that we agree a way forward that is fair and just and totally defensible.  Jennie emphasized that it was essential that we sit down with all of the Jewish groups and identify their concerns.  These can then be addressed in a fair and just manner.  The specific details of the concerns are not that clear since most of the criticisms are presented in very broad-brush terms.  The NEC then discussed at length and in a very thoughtful and concerned manner the points raised in the documents and by Jennie.  It was agreed that we need to keep the whole matter under constant review and clear the backlog of cases without delay.  A special meeting of the Disputes Panel, that will last a whole day, was agreed so that all remaining cases could be progressed.  It was pointed out that due to the very small size of the NCC, there are always inevitable delays in getting 3-person panels up and running for each case (NB The Democracy Review will address this problem by recommending a significant increase in the size of the NCC).  During the discussion, I drew to attention to the letter by 68 Rabbis in that morning’s Guardian.   The Rabbis stated that “antisemitism within sections of the Labour Party has become so severe and widespread that we must speak”.  I pointed out that no evidence whatsoever has ever been produced by anyone to give any credibility to this rather wild assertion.  I added that we have been told that there is a backlog of some 70 cases that need to be considered.  Our Party has over 500,000 members and to portray 70 out of 500,000 as “severe/widespread” would be generally considered to be somewhat of an exaggeration.  I would like to add here that in The Guardian of July 18th, the facts were yet again in error.  The Guardian reports that “Pete Willsman at the NEC asked for a show of hands of who believed that there was antisemitism in the Labour Party”.  In fact, what I ACTUALLY said was, “Hands up those who have seen antisemitism in our Party, since, in over 50 years I never have myself”.  Other speakers highlighted the fact that there is certainly a problem with Islamophobia in the Tory Party (as constantly highlighted by the constant complaints by Lady Warsi – see below).  But of course, not only the are the Tory Party doing little if anything about it but the Tory lapdogs in the press and media deliberately ignore it.

Our Party, with Jennie taking the lead, will keep the whole issue including the Code of Conduct under constant review.  There is a total commitment on the part of the NEC to constructive dialogue, to talk through all the issues of concern and reach a concensus that is generally acceptable.  Everyone present vehemently hoped that the Jewish groups would respond positively to our desire to a thorough dialogue.  If the groups declined to engage in any dialogue that would be very negative and unhelpful.  To simply use the press and media as a megaphone to continue to make rather wild assertions that have no evidential basis is not the way forward.

* Democracy Review Update

The Chair apologized to Katy Clark for the long wait before we reached this very important item and added that everyone in the room will appreciate that we need to find a fair and just way forward with the Jewish groups.

Katy then presented a very large pack of documents covering 22 issues of democracy reform.  Both Jeremy and Katy congratulated all of the staff putting all of these papers together.  There have been something like 12,000 responses and every single one of them was given individual attention.  Katy confirmed that the recommendations largely followed the weight of the opinions in the submissions.   The NEC was given some 3 weeks to make amendments to the recommendations and then during September a very wide range of rule changes will be drawn up, in some cases various alternatives will be prepared.  Before Annual Conference the NEC will decide which of the rule changes will be timetabled for debate and decision by our Sovereign Body.   In the debate that followed, I congratulated Katy for the awesome quality of the proposals in the review.  During my 37 years on and off national committees there have been more reviews than I have had hot dinners but this is streets ahead of any others.

Obviously, the recommendations have not yet been finalised but the following are some of the most noteworthy:

* The election of leader and deputy leader.  It is proposed that the minimum number of nominations required would be:

10% of the PLP and EPLP Or 10% of CLPs plus 5% of the PLP and EPLP Or 10% of trade unions which comprise at least 10% of the affiliated membership from at least 3 trade unions plus 5% of the PLP and EPLP.

* NEC – Scottish and Welsh Conferences to decide how Scottish and Welsh Labour Party NEC places are elected; Creation of a Disability Place on the NEC.

* Members Rights – A new set of Rights for Members should be enshrined in the Rule Book.  Enforcement of requirement to be a trade union member for candidates.

* Annual Conference – Remove “contemporary” from “contemporary motions”; Large affiliates entitled to additional motion; Constitutional amendments to be debated the year they are submitted; Reform of CAC – additional representation for Disabled, BAME and LGBT+ members.

* Women – Women’s Conference entitled to send 2 motions and a constitutional amendment to Annual Conference; A new National Women’s Committee will be elected; Voting entitlement at Women’s Conference to reflect Annual Conference; Regional, Scottish and Welsh Labour Party Women’s Conferences will be able to send a motion and potential constitutional amendment to Annual Women’s Conference.

* Young Labour – Young Labour Conference will be able to send 2 motions and one potential constitutional amendment to Annual Conference and to Annual Women’s Conference; each region will organise an Annual Young Labour Conference.

* Black Asian and Minority Ethnic Members – Annual national BAME Conference with voting entitlement to mirror Annual Conference; each region asked to organise Regional BAME Conference; newly elected National and Regional BAME Committees.

* Disabled Members – Annual Disabled Members Conference with voting entitlement to mirror Annual Conference; National Disabled Members Committee.

* Local Parties – Reducing quorum for All Member CLP meetings; Default branch and CLP rules set out in Rule Book; Easier to move from All Member CLP structure to General Committee structure and vice-versa.

* Local Government – LGCs reestablished in place of LCFs with 75% CLP and branch and 25% affiliate representation; All Member LGCs allowed where they currently already function as  All Member LCFs; each LGC required to have an Annual Conference for all members to discuss local government matters; similar process to Clause V where the manifesto will be agreed by the LGC and the Labour Group; affiliated trade unions able to add to local government panel using same criteria as LGC; 50% of Cabinet and Committee Chair posts in Labour run local authorities to be held by women; campaign to allow all women shortlists for Metro-Mayor selections.

* Regions – Creation of new Regional Executive Committees; Annual policy making Regional Conferences where motions on national and regional matters can be debated.

Postcript

Tory Party Riddled With Islamophobia – Lifting the Lid on the Tory Cesspit

* A 42-page dossier of abusive material from the Conservative Debating Forum, a 2,700 strong Facebook group, has been collected by the Red Roar blog.  Several sitting Tory MPs, as well as dozens of Tory councillors, were members of the closed group…a spokesman for the group said “we cannot control the words of individual members in a forum of this size”.  – Michael Savage, The Observer, 10 June.  Re the last point – of course, when JC makes exactly the same valid point, he is criticised by the Tory media for failing to exercise control of his members.

* The former Tory parliamentary candidate Shazia Awan joined Labour because she believed the Tories have “a notion that Islam is not compatible with British values”.  The Guardian 27 June

* “Nearly 3 years since I raised these issues with the then Tory Chairman, a year after submitting a 6 page dossier to the party and nearly a year after I wrote to the prime minister, we now have a string of voices adding to the chorus of concern.  The Muslim Council of Britain has called for an inquiry; the Times published a leader urging the party to “set Muslim minds at rest”; and Lord Sheikh warned that bigotry was a matter of grave concern, yet absolutely nothing tangible has happened.  There should be a forensic wide-ranging and transparent inquiry into Islamophobia in the party.  The process should be published, those who are found wanting should be published , those who are found wanting should be publicly named and membership withdrawn.” – Lady Warsi, former co-chairman of the Conservative Party – The Guardian 4 July

AGM Elects Officers for 2018/19

This year’s AGM was a great success. Starting with a riveting and highly instructive talk on the Brexit fiasco by Richard Corbett, our MEP, followed by in depth discussion with many members getting involved. The meeting adopted a Constitution and Plan and most Officer and Co-ordinator positions were filled.

Lindsay Dade, Helen Harrop and Julia Chapman did not stand for re-election. Many thanks to both for all their work since the 2017 AGM, a period during which the Party came on by leaps and bounds. We are delighted to welcome new officers Bryan Barrett from Malton and Norton Branch and Guy Cooper from Vale of York Branch.

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We still need the following :- Campaign Organiser, Youth Co-ordinator, Trade Union Liaison Co-ordinator and to meet the Party’s gender balance requirements all need to be women.

Please mail mick.johnston@thirskandmaltonlabour.com if you are interested in any of these.