Rosie Duffield addressing the meeting
Rosie Duffield, Labour MP for Canterbury, was our guest at the 2018 Labour Constituency Gala Fundraising Dinner held on February 2 at the Hempstead House Hotel, Sittingbourne. The dinner was attended by members and supporters from Sittingbourne and Sheppey and from neighbouring constituencies as well. Rosie treated us to a fine, impassioned speech on her own trials and tribulations in becoming Kent’s only Labour MP last year and the steps we might take to emulate her success. She then took questions from the floor. Thanks to Rosie and her Fiancé Michael for attending, to all who helped organise the event and to Hempstead House Hotel for the lovely venue and meal.
Diners getting ready to enjoy the evening
Rosie with Local Councillors Roger Truelove, Tony Winckless and Ghlin Whelan and CLP Chair Simon Clark and Vice Chair Georgina Jessiman
KCC are considering a study to cut £4M off the Bus subsidies budget. This could decimate services around Sittingbourne and the vilages. You can protest by signing the Petition here: http://chn.ge/2ihMk6K
Councillors Truelove and Whelan
Local Labour Councillors have been doing so for some time but the public also need to protest if they genuinely want affordable housing – an article by Kay Murphy
Swale News Extra has reported more than once on developers reducing the number of affordable houses they build. They can do this using a legal loophole after planning permission has been granted. Based on the number of affordable houses they’ve given in the planning application, developers can later submit a viability assessment that argues it’s no longer financially viable to build that number and arguing for a reduction. Consultants are willing to help developers, advertising for example, ‘a good track record for securing reductions’ (in the number of affordable homes to be built) ‘including removing the requirement altogether’. The financial figures ‘proving’ the developers’ case are covered by commercial confidentiality so can’t usually be made public.
The battle for affordable housing isn’t being fought on an even playing field when developers are able to use viability assessments to maximise their profits by reducing the number of homes they build.
With so many developers wanting to build in Swale’ the public needs to be aware of what’s happening and start protesting. Viability assessments should be open to public scrutiny. The tide is turning, communities are beginning to take action – and some are winning.
Tony out canvassing with team members yesterday
Tony Winckless has been elected as Councillor to the Milton Regis ward of Swale Borough Council. Tony took 54% of the vote on a 23.4% turnout to leave his nearest rival, Kane Blackwell, 318 votes behind. The full result was:
Milton Regis by-election result:
Tony Winckless (Lab) 573 (53.8%)
Kane Roy Blackwell (Con) 255 (23.9%)
Richard Palmer (UKIP) 151 (14.2%)
Tony Clark (Lib Dem) 86 (8.1%)
Labour gain from UKIP
Congratulations, Tony, and a huge thanks to all who helped in making this campaign such a huge success!
Labour have selected MIKE ROLFE, a member of the local party who lives on the Isle of Sheppey, to contest the Sittingbourne and Sheppey constituency on June 8th.
Mr Rolfe is National Chair of the Prison Officers association and has experience of speaking on behalf of Prison Officers on television.
The local party Chairman, Simon Clark was informed of the NEC decision on Sunday evening. He says ” It is good news that we have a local candidate who knows our local issues. The whole party will be getting behind him.”
Labour General Election Candidate Mike Rolfe