Weston Labour Party are calling on comrades across the South West for help in their campaign to protest A&E Closure in their town. A statement today read “Bridgwater, Wells ,North Somerset, and of all Constituencies fighting the cuts to our NHS imposed by this Conservative Government. What happens to one of us today will surely happen to another tomorrow.”

Weston General Hospital A&E Overnight Closure

The statement continued “As you must be aware we have lost our A&E provision at Weston General Hospital between 10pm and 8am. Though the announcement carried the term ‘temporary’ we have it from a significantly reliable source that it will be closed overnight for at least a year and that the A&E model will be restructured before it is reopened with a different type of provision. This affects all constituencies relying on Weston General Hospital directly. It affects other constituencies indirectly. Bristol and Taunton for example will take the extra load in their already understaffed hospitals leading to longer queues and exhausted staff. The knock on effect has our service suffering a domino effect across the region and across the country with each area hospital placing extra load

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Autumn Campaign

Weston Labour Party has several activities lined up  in early September to protest this closure.

September 2nd – 10am – 2.30pm. They plan to petition for the re-opening of Weston General A&E overnight service in Weston town centre, based at their gazebo.

September 4th – 8.30pm. They will hold a candlelit vigil outside Weston General Hospital to commemorate 2 months of Closure. This will happen every month until they have overnight provision reinstated.

September 5th – 9am. They will hold a protest outside Weston General Hospital because the Trust Board members turn up for their 10am meeting.

There are also plans to hold public meetings during September and October .

Annie Higgs, Secretary, Weston-super-Mare CLP said “I’m giving you this information on behalf of our CLP because you are also affected and we want you to come and join us in our actions. Can you please let your members, friends and neighbours know that every person who joins us is welcome. We need all the people, members and none members we can muster to fight this.  We have to let the people of our constituencies know what’s happening to their NHS provision. Thank you in advance for your support.”

Unpublished Letter to North Somerset Times:

Dear Editor,
I write in response to the discussion about the lack of housing and the extent to which immigration has contributed to a shortage. Of course there is a housing shortage, but this is because of the failure of this Tory government and the previous one to build sufficient houses. The Tories have forced austerity on local authorities and families, something North Somerset Council has complained about, and social housing starts have been far too low; that is the problem. To blame the shortage on immigrants when we have so few in our area is the worst kind of xenophobia.
Of course, the need for more houses is based on the fact that people are living longer and that more people move into the area than leave it. That’s British people moving into the area.
North Somerset has 3,500 people on its housing waiting list, but only a small number of immigrants from the EU and other countries, most of whom live in the private rented sector. Of those: 96.7% speak English as their first language and only 0.1% don’t speak English; the three largest groups are Polish, German and Irish; 94% of people in North Somerset were born in the UK; when asked, British people think that the UK Muslim population is 24%, when, in fact, it is 5% nationally and 1% in the south west; we are more likely to be treated in hospital by a migrant than we are to meet one in the waiting room; and 29 million tourists came to the UK last year, many to our region, and this number will surely decrease if we become known for not wanting foreigners here?
These are just a few of the facts gleaned from the latest census, but you can find more facts, by visiting www.tuc.org.uk/mswmigrantsmyths
Of course, if Liam Fox MP has his way, we will come out of the EU. He has failed to explain what will happen in the next couple of years if we do. I think leaving the EU would be a decision  which would cause economic problems for most of us and the possible breakup of the UK.
Yours sincerely,
Paul Dunn

We support local groups who seek to improve the state of Local Democracy in North Somerset.

Press Release 22/03/2016
Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve

CALL FOR RESIGNATION OF CLLR NIGEL ASHTON AS DIRECTOR OF PORT MARINE MANAGEMENT LTD

Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve (FoPWNR) have called for an internal and external inquiry into the actions of Cllr Nigel Ashton. The assessment should determine if he should remain involved in Port Marine Management Limited. In a letter addressed to PMML, the group highlight actions by Cllr Ashton which seem to be abuse of power and position. FoPWNR Spokesperson Jeremy Ludlow says: “His immediate disqualification as chairman should be considered.”

Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve (PWNR) is a nationally important site that was established to offset major development in Portishead, North Somerset. The reserve used a pioneering solution of fees levied on the new properties to pay an annual levy (it was £54 for 2015), which covers the maintenance of the reserve; this commitment, in perpetuity, is written into the deeds of these properties. Avon Wildlife Trust (AWT) was approved by all parties, including North Somerset Council, to manage the reserve, and it was originally agreed that AWT would take over ownership of this land once the development was complete and reserve infrastructure fully in place. At that point, the direct interests of both Council and Developer in the reserve site would cease. The company set to collect and administer the fees was Port Marine Management Ltd (PMML).

On the 10th April 2015, Nigel Ashton – leader of North Somerset Council and Chairman of PMML – sent out a letter to levy-paying residents, proposing a complete and fundamental change to this plan: the abolition of the levy funding mechanism, and transfer of full control of the reserve to North Somerset Council. The contents of this letter were apparently not agreed by the rest of the PMML board, and were a total contradiction and breach of statements of intent made at the last company AGM (18th September 2014).

We believe the letter has no legal validity, since it had not been approved by the other directors of Port Marine Management Limited and that Cllr Ashton’s actions make him unfit to continue in his role as chairman of Port Marine Management Limited:

• Conflict of interest
• Breach of trust
• Failure to gain approval from other directors of Port Marine Management Limited
• Failure to convene an extraordinary general meeting, or indeed any general meeting, despite repeated requests by Chris Giles and Arthur Terry, the other two directors of the company
• Failure to account for his actions and decision making to levy payers

We believe that Ashton’s actions not only conflict with the rules set out by Companies House, but that he is also at odds with the codes of conduct set out for Councillors.

Thus we feel the arrangement suggested by Cllr Ashton in his letter of 10th April 2015 is voidable as per the Companies Act 2006 (Part 10, Chapter 4, Provision 195), and we suggest that the remaining directors of Port Marine Management Limited meet to discuss an agreeable way forward.

Supporting documents including minutes and the details of our formal complaints to Port Marine Management and North Somerset Council about Cllr Ashton’s actions are available on request. Please use the contact details below.

Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve
22/03/2016

__________________

About Friends of Portbury Wharf Nature Reserve

FoPWNR is made up levy paying residents and North Somerset Council tax payers concerned over the handling of matters relating to the future of the Reserve. We can be found at:
http://www.friendsofpwnr.com/

https://www.facebook.com/savePWNR/

https://twitter.com/friendsofpwnr

friendspwnr@gmail.com

For more information, please feel free to contact us via any of the above

There’s Still time to have your say on the area’s future

Residents in North Somerset are being urged to have their say about future local housing, employment and transport provision.

The West of England’s four councils – North Somerset, Bristol City, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset – are carrying out a major public consultation to help shape the Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study being developed for the area.

Cllr Elfan Ap Rees, North Somerset Council’s executive member for strategic planning, highways, transport and housing and economic development, who also chairs the West of England Planning, Housing and Communities Board, is urging residents to take the opportunity to give their views.The council has organised more drop-in consultation events for next week, giving local residents the chance to assess the options and help determine infrastructure for future generations.

These will take place at:

Nailsea Library on Tuesday 12 January from 10am-midday

Town Hall, Weston-super-Mare on Thursday 14 January from 10am-midday.

There will also be one at Weston College on Friday 15 January to get the views of students.

The West of England is growing and economically successful. The area is worth around £26bn a year to the UK economy and forecasting shows that at least 80,000 more jobs are anticipated by 2036.An estimated 85,000 new homes are needed in the West of England area over the next 20 years. With 56,000 currently planned or approved, options on where a further 29,000 homes could be built are being explored.

Cllr Ap Rees said: “I know many residents are concerned how North Somerset can meet the consequent demand for homes and transport infrastructure without infringing on the green belt and other sensitive areas of the district, but if the region is to remain successful it is vital to have those jobs with homes and transport in the right place to accommodate future growth in a sustainable way.”

If you are unable to get to one of next week’s consultation events there are a number of other ways you can have your say. You can get involved by:

visiting the website www.jointplanningwofe.org.uk

which has more information about the options and the various ways you can leave your views emailing comments or enquiries to comment@jointplanningwofe.org.uk

writing to

West of England Joint Planning Consultation,

c/o South Gloucestershire Council, PO Box 299, Corporate Research and Consultation Team, Civic Centre, High Street, Kingswood, Bristol, BS15 ODR

following a dedicated Twitter feed @WEjointplanning

and joining the discussion using the hashtag #WEbuildourfuture.

The consultation runs until Friday 29 January

Public Meeting Update…. we’ve some photos from the event…

Employment Debate; Claire Moody, Jon Dunn & Greg
Employment Debate; Clare Moody, Jon Dunn & Greg Chambers
Greg Chambers on Labour Party policy
Greg Chambers on Labour Party policy
Clare Moody presenting
Clare Moody – Labour MEP for the South West and Gibraltar
Jon Dunn presenting the view from Unison
Jon Dunn presenting the view from Unison

This country depends on its workers for its future prosperity. We must ensure that people who work are rewarded fairly and protected within the workplace. Setting the right balance between market freedoms and essential rights for employees will always be a tough task, especially when markets change and economic uncertainty is widespread. The Labour Party is focusing hard on getting this balance right and ensuring a strong economic recovery for this country that benefits all of us.

At North Somerset Labour Party we have organised a series of Public Meetings with a panel of experts giving short presentations on their specialist area followed by an opportunity both to ask questions and challenge the panel on these key topics. In February it was ‘Protecting an NHS’ at Clevedon, this month we will be at Gordano School in Portishead to discuss Employment. So if you’re concerned about low wages, zero hours contracts or the burden of legislation, then please come along to hear what our speakers have to say, ask some questions or just listen to the debate.

Public Meeting Poster