In October, Ludlow Labour developed into five branches – Ludlow & Clee, Craven Arms & Church Stretton, Bishops Castle, Clun & Chirbury. Joining Bridgnorth & Highley and Broseley & Much Wenlock, Labour is representing hard-to-reach rural spots, alongside our market towns. All branches can put forward motions within Ludlow CLP, empowering members old and new.
Bishop's Castle, Clun and Chirbury branch launch was held at The Happy Bap in Bishop's Castle
As Labour support rises throughout Shropshire, we expect more activity in this huge geographical area. Meanwhile, Julia Buckley, our Parliamentary Spokesperson, is attracting attention from the Shadow Cabinet and the media.
Julia Buckley & Tarlochen Singh-Mohr, with Jeremy Corbyn's team at conference.
Last week saw the launch meeting of the Bishops Castle, Clun and Chirbury branch, at The Happy Bap, below the 250 year old Town Hall. The Happy Bap, an independently-owned glass-fronted café, opened especially for the evening. Tapas, local juices and ales accompanied Bowie, Beatles and disco tunes at a party welcoming the public, after the branch meeting.
The recent impact of Ludlow Labour campaigning for three closed rural Midwife-Led units has been felt by everyone worried about the health and economic progress of all who live here. A Clun mother said, “Of the political parties, I've only seen Labour at the MLU ‘co-design’ workshops – you guys are the most outspoken and committed.”
Clinking glasses and debating local issues
As might have been expected from one of our feistiest rural branches, Members at the launch of Bishops Castle, Clun & Chirbury Labour, were keen to challenge how cuts take place in Shropshire. Of particular concern is Bishops Castle Community Hospital, currently closed but due to reopen on 1st November. There were grim accounts of hour-long waits for ambulances and the lack of effective local emergency care. “Scrutinising the mechanisms of The Sustainabilty and Transformation Plan – the STP – behind the closures and future of our services, is a priority,” said Janet Cobb, Secretary of the branch, an experienced ex-nurse.
Soma Ghosh, Chair of BCCC, with Char Watson, Bridgnorth & CLP media Member.
Manda Scott, Vice-Chair of BCCC and Ludlow Labour Campaigns Co-ordinator.
Soma Ghosh, Chair of Bishops Castle, Clun and Chirbury branch, said, “We’ll investigate, report and campaign on unclear processes shutting down vital services. We’ll also talk constructively to the authorities. Julia Buckley’s recent radio interview on Radio Shropshire, explaining a budgetary and structural plan for better use of our Midwife Led Units, is an example of helping the whole of a young family’s life, from birth to 5 years, while providing more work for health staff. If you shut down a rural Minor Injuries Unit, a minor injury could become major – how do you justify that? Better use of our buildings, rather than selling them off, that’s the kind of thing we need to consider. ”
“The energy in that café was electrifying,” said Tony Pinches, Vice Chair (Membership) of the CLP. “Years ago, there were modest numbers and a couple of biscuits. Now our local Labour movement feels unstoppable!”