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Bridgnorth & Highley Labour Party are hosting a free, informal event to help shape local politics for young people at Low Town Community Hall in Bridgnorth on the morning of Saturday 7th April.

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You don’t need to be a Labour Party Member, just aged between 14 and 26 years old and bring your own ideas and share them with us! What do you think needs doing for you and your community? What would you like the local Labour Party to do for you?

Make sure your voice gets heard and come along for 30 mins to 1 hour or more. Listen to speakers; participate in debate. Share your thoughts in an informal workshop, with snacks and refreshments between 9.30am and 11am.

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Youth Summit in Bridgnorth

Bridgnorth & Highley Labour Party are hosting a free, informal event to help shape local politics for young people at Low Town Community Hall in Bridgnorth on the morning of...

Come and be inspired, entertained and motivated with Labour at:

LABOUR LIVE

Labour Live is coming to White Hart Lane Rec this summer! On Saturday 16 June we’re hosting a brand new one-day festival of music, art and politics that brings together our incredible movement.

What you can look forward to: loads of great bands, speakers from across literature and politics, campaign training, food and drink, kids' entertainment – and hopefully a bit of sunshine too.

So if you’re a Labour supporter looking to meet other supporters, a music buff looking for an affordable summer festival, or a family looking for a great day out: we’ve got you covered.

Keep checking back for more information and the latest line-up announcements. We can’t wait to see you there!

https://action.labour.org.uk/page/content/labour-live-main/

Politics, Music and Art... Whats not to love?

Come and be inspired, entertained and motivated with Labour at: LABOUR LIVE Labour Live is coming to White Hart Lane Rec this summer! On Saturday 16 June we’re hosting a...

The Department of Transport is considering Government reforms to community transport, including fixed-route buses, mobility scooters, door-to-door transport, lift-giving by volunteer car drivers, Dial-a-Ride and Dial-a-Bus. The independent Community Transport Association calls many of the Government’s proposals “unclear and unworkable”, while Labour and Co-Op MP Mark Wilkes has asked, “has the Government sided with the bus barons?”

Many of us in rural areas were cut off by the recent snowfall. But Shropshire faces £5 million in cuts to Highway maintenance and £556, 000 from the home-to-school budget. All 8 Labour Councillors voted against these cuts. Here, Michelle Wilkes, from Ditton Priors, describes the impact of the loss of transport on her community:

michelle-transport_500.jpgI live in Ditton Priors. We have one small local store, a pub and doctors’ surgery. Until 2013, we could travel to the market towns of Ludlow or Bridgnorth for employment, education, shopping, health appointments, opticians, leisure and further transport links. A bus service, Monday to Saturday, ran several times a day. In 2013 this was axed.

The elderly, young people and those on low wages have been worst hit. As a non- driver, I relied on bus travel to maintain employment. But without a car, I can’t access employment, training or the job centre. My daughter could not attend after-school clubs, GCSE revision sessions, or take part in her Duke of Edinburgh award.

Young people in our area must now attend a 'designated sixth form'. With no independent means of travelling to any other college or apprenticeship, choice and opportunity for young people have gone.

School holidays are spent at home. My children can’t meet friends or use the library, leisure centre and cinema. I worry about their socialising and safe mental health as their only means of maintaining friendships is through social media.

When axing the bus in our village, we were promised a 'safety net service' by Shropshire Council, for essential travel, like hospital appointments.

In November 2015, I could not attend my screening test for cancer as there was no available community transport in either Bridgnorth or Broseley. The 'safety net service' does not work and is too costly to the service user. In December, I had three hospital appointments... using community cars this would have cost £70.00. Pensioners are not exempt from such charges. There are no concessions, no bus pass.

I’ve written to Shropshire Council and MP Phillip Dunne, highlighting the impact of transport cuts, but to no avail.

An elderly man in our locality used the bus service to get a hot meal in Bridgnorth, everyday. He did not cook at home and survived his last days eating baby food, before dying alone. He lived some distance from the doctors’ surgery and I imagine could not pay for a community car to visit his GP.

There clearly is a 'gap in provision' for rural lives. Without access to a car we are trapped in the village, living restricted, lonely lives.
By Michelle Wilkes

 

Lack of transport is ruining rural lives

The Department of Transport is considering Government reforms to community transport, including fixed-route buses, mobility scooters, door-to-door transport, lift-giving by volunteer car drivers, Dial-a-Ride and Dial-a-Bus. The independent Community Transport...

Several Members of Ludlow Labour represented us at the Rally Against Austerity in West Bromwich, organised by our friends in the West Midlands Labour Party. After the lack of major ideas in this Budget and the damaging austerity policy stubbornly pushed by this Government, it was an uplifting evening of togetherness.

A packed conference hall heard Tom Watson, John McDonnell, Cat Hobbs, Faiza Shaheen and Jeremy Corbyn outlining why we won't stand for the government's economic failure. They put forward Labour's plans to build an economy that works for everyone.

We particularly warmed to this speech by Cat Hobbs, founder and director of 'We Own It'. Watch and we think you'll see why public services are probably the best, most wonderful, noble, civilised thing that humans ever invented. Vital services - water, energy, rail, NHS and education - should surely be dedicated to improve the lives of our communities and future generations, not the shareholders of private companies.

"Our schools and hospitals, our public transport, our water and energy, they're not optional extras, they're no consumer products, and they're not market opportunities... We built them, we paid for them, we use them - we should all own them” - Cat Hobbs.

Watch, enjoy and join us!

West Midlands Labour Rally Against Austerity in West Bromwich

Several Members of Ludlow Labour represented us at the Rally Against Austerity in West Bromwich, organised by our friends in the West Midlands Labour Party. After the lack of major...

There is much to concern us over the failings of this week’s Budget. Campaigners and Ludlow Labour have been particularly focused on our NHS crisis, as winter falls. Yet, as Simon Stevens, CEO of the NHS anticipated, “the budget for the NHS is well short of what is currently needed”. The effect on our Minor Injury Units, DAART services and in-patient community beds may be harsh, as the Clinical Consulting Group scrabble for financial savings. Our own MP, Phillip Dunne, is a Health Minister who has voted for these cuts.

However, the authorities are meeting with serious local resistance. This year, we have seen a surge in local passion to fight for decent hospital care. Access to community hospitals and Minor Injury Units can be a matter of life or death for a population scattered over a huge rural area, with roads that can become impassable in winter. Community Hospitals with services "under review" are Whitchurch, Oswestry, Bridgnorth and Ludlow. We hope these services will be improved - however, Bishops Castle hospital was recently mysteriously closed and reopened, following protest. It is not yet clear that all community hospitals will remain open with full services.

Recently, we joined other campaigners under the banner of ‘Save Ludlow Hospital’. Labour were working alongside: The League of a Friends of LCH, Ludlow Town Council, Defend our NHS, Save Ludlow Maternity Unit, Ludlow GPs, Lib Dem Members and local citizens. A Ludlow Labour Member explains: “We confirmed the urgency of the situation and within two weeks we had scheduled a public meeting (ensuring Phillip Dunne could attend).”

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As budget fails community hospitals and our NHS, we fight back!

There is much to concern us over the failings of this week’s Budget. Campaigners and Ludlow Labour have been particularly focused on our NHS crisis, as winter falls. Yet, as... Read more

Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party has met with members of the local Ludlow Labour Party, over drastic cuts to Shropshire’s health services.

Tarlochen Singh-Mohr and Sean Fernyhough, Chair and Secretary of Ludlow Labour, with Mark Kirby seized their chance to meet Mr. Watson at the Labour regional office in West Bromwich, to ask him to help save Shropshire’s plummeting services.

Sean, Tarlochen and Mark Meeting Tom Watson

NHS spending across Shropshire is being cut by £135 million per year. Following the closure and promised reopening of 3 of our 5 maternity units, Minor Injuries and GP services are “under review” by the Clinical Consulting Group (CCG). Minor Injury Units may be reduced from 4 to 2. Community hospitals face closure, despite the CCG’s data proposing to close Ludlow hospital being criticised as “misleading and biased” by doctors from two local Ludlow surgeries.

Broseley town Councillor Singh-Mohr told Mr. Watson, “Many people living in rural Shropshire are anxious about the funding of both general practice and local pharmacies. Patients are being told it is increasingly difficult to provide the services everyone wants.” He described the crisis engulfing our A&E units at Shrewsbury and Telford, alongside a creeping move towards privitisation.

Mr. Watson agreed that the problem of Shropshire’s cuts must be raised in Westminster: “we are applying all the pressure we can on the government to provide proper funding. We will constantly raise these concerns.” Mr. Watson will visit the Ludlow constituency in the New Year look at how to shine a spotlight for our services in Westminster. In the meantime, the West Midlands Regional Health team will work with Ludlow Labour Party members to protect and develop services, ramping up campaigns, alongside Shropshire locals.

Deputy Leader of Labour Party focuses on Shropshire’s health crisis

Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party has met with members of the local Ludlow Labour Party, over drastic cuts to Shropshire’s health services. Tarlochen Singh-Mohr and Sean Fernyhough,... Read more

Ludlow CLP have been fighting the drastic cuts to our Health Services, alongside campaigners in Shropshire. Our CLP Women's Officer and rural health activist, Tess Finch-Lees, made sure our voice was heard, when Jon Ashworth, Shadow Secretrary of State for Health, recently visited Telford CLP and invited questions from the floor...

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"On 8 November, Telford CLP hosted an evening with Jon Ashworth, shadow secretary of state for health, which I had the pleasure of attending. Having given an informal talk, Jon opened up questions to the floor. I asked about his plans for implementing the motions passed at conference in Brighton. Specifically with regard to the NHS reinstatement bill, the rejection of the Five Year Forward View (FYFV) and working with Labour councils to give them clear direction in order to block Tory Sustainability and Transformation Plans (AKA, Slash, Trash & Privatise).

I impressed upon Jon, that those of us holding the front line against savage Tory cuts to our NHS, are in dire need of reinforcements from him and that implementing policy agreed at conference was a matter of urgency. The NHS is running out of time and is crying out for the party that created it, to save it.

Jon agreed that the new policy would have to be implemented but didn’t outline any concrete plans for doing so. In a one on one conversation afterwards, I also asked Jon if he would sign up to the #NHS takeback pledge. He said he needed to talk with the leaders’ office and health campaigners before committing. I offered to expedite a meeting with leading academic Allyson Pollock, if that would help. He declined the offer but kindly agreed to continue the conversation with me via email, which I look forward to doing. Watch this space for further developments!"

Insider's Report on an evening with Jon Ashworth

Ludlow CLP have been fighting the drastic cuts to our Health Services, alongside campaigners in Shropshire. Our CLP Women's Officer and rural health activist, Tess Finch-Lees, made sure our voice...

Australia took an important step, on 15th November, for LGBTQ rights globally; in the Same-Sex Marriage postal survey in Australia, 61.6% voted Yes while 38.4% voted No.

However, the fight for equality in Australia does not end; in fact, this was probably the easiest part of the process. Several conservative political groups seek to protect religious freedoms within any Act legalising same-sex marriage. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s target of passing the Act by Christmas looks unrealistic.

The objectors are likely to demand legal protection for businesses who refuse to serve LGBTQ customers, and for the right of parents to remove their children from classes if the content is inconsistent with a ‘relevant belief’.

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While the UK has achieved more than Australia in LGBTQ equality, we have further to go. Labour championed abolishing the infamous Section 28 and equalised the age of consent. But we must make LGBTQ hate crimes aggravated offences, change the wording in laws protecting LGBTQ people, from ‘gender assignment’ to ‘gender identity’ and ensure that sex and relationships education is LGBTQ inclusive. PrEP drugs should be readily available, to prevent people from developing HIV after being exposed to the virus.

Ludlow Labour are committed to supporting LGBTQ communities across Shropshire. Our friends at the newly formed Telford LGBT (Twitter @Telfordlgbt), said, “The result was good to see but was a referendum necessary? Very sad that almost 40% are still against equality. Equality law should be like any other, decided by elected representatives – otherwise, why have governments?”

More UK LGBT rights needed, as Australia votes for Same-Sex Marriage.

Australia took an important step, on 15th November, for LGBTQ rights globally; in the Same-Sex Marriage postal survey in Australia, 61.6% voted Yes while 38.4% voted No. However, the fight...

The Head of Midwifery at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH), Sarah Jamieson "Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry MLUs will re-open with the same level of service as before .. we are preparing the staffing rotas, wards and beds in preparation for the first shift at 8am on 1st January 2018"
This is excellent news for families and midwives alike all across Shropshire.
SaTH has recruited 20 additional midwives and has conceded that the cuts to their budget has made it impossible to deliver the service we needed. They have now prioritised services to rural areas first, and will need to re-negotiate their budget later. "Common Sense has prevailed! Rural Health Matters”. This is a brilliant result, thanks to every single person who has been involved in the campaigns for our Midwife-Led Units (MLUs) in Ludlow, Oswestry and Bridgnorth.

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Ann Rochelle and Julia Buckley during the Bridgnorth Maternity Unit protest earlier this year

GOOD NEWS - Maternity Units set for re-open 1st Jan!

The Head of Midwifery at Shrewsbury & Telford Hospital Trust (SaTH), Sarah Jamieson "Bridgnorth, Ludlow and Oswestry MLUs will re-open with the same level of service as before .. we... Read more

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.

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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.

Ludlow Labour Launches Three New Branches

In October, Ludlow Labour developed into five branches – Ludlow & Clee, Craven Arms & Church Stretton, Bishops Castle, Clun & Chirbury. Joining Bridgnorth & Highley and Broseley & Much... Read more

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