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.
It 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.
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.
On Saturday the 3rd August, the CLP was delighted to welcome Andy McDonald, Shadow Secretary for Transport. Despite near perfect North Yorkshire weather, 40 members and visitors crowded into the Helmsley Arts Centre. For Andy this was a return visit to his honeymoon town, but he showed no sign of sentiment as he presented an incisive account of Westminster life and the challenges of dealing with our Tory adversaries. Preparing ourselves for the next general election was a key topic – and the CLP is being encouraged to work with neighbouring constituencies to maximize the impact of a Labour vote.
In the second half of the meeting, small groups discussed priority topics : Rural Deprivation, Peoples Vote, Health and Social Care for Older People, Rail Transport, Bus Transport, Engaging Young People and Housing. Each group presented their policy wish list in a sentence, and (Westminster please take note) there was a strong consensus in the room. We want young people engaged in politics; a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal; an equitable, not for profit health and social care system; integrated (UK) state run transport and fair rents for all.
Andy’s visit was a catalyst for a great discussion and it was heartening that many people were first attenders – maybe our ambition merely to dent the Tory majority in Thirsk and Malton at the next election should be revised upwards..
Many thanks to Chris and Nick for their hard work in organizing the event (and thanks to Jill for the photo)
The Government’s assessment that the housing market is broken is correct and is as true in Ryedale and surrounding areas as anywhere in the country. The latest Government figures for Ryedale are for 2014 and show that the average house price was £185,000, nine times the average income in the area. The result is that many local people, especially young people trying to become independent or start a family, are unable to buy their own home and face an indefinite wait for social housing. In Ryedale last year there were almost 800 families waiting for social rented housing and only 240 families housed.
The root cause of the problem, in Ryedale as nationally, is a long term failure of the market to meet people’s needs and an equally long term failure of governments to do anything about it. It’s progress that the government has finally recognised that there is a serious problem which is adversely affecting many people’s lives. However, as Jeremy Corbyn stated in his response to the white paper, the government’s proposals for mending the market are ‘feeble beyond belief’. The main thrust of the new Government policy seems to be to blame local authorities for not providing enough land, while the real problem is land owners forcing prices up and builders stockpiling land as an investment. There are no significant new initiatives for intervention to change the market.
In the past local authorities had the power and the resources to build enough houses to meet the needs not met by the private sector. The rot in the market started back in the 1970’s when Margaret Thatcher at the same time as promoting the sell-off of council houses barred local authorities from building to replace the stock sold. These policies continue to this day. And the large scale house builders continue to fail to meet the demand for houses that people on lower incomes can afford.
What is needed is a large scale programme of public sector housebuilding to increase the supply and specifically to make sure that the families that need affordable housing most get it. There is a local twist to this too because people in an area like Ryedale are in competition with people from outside the area who have the cash to buy into the market. This both pushes prices up and simultaneously denies local families access to the limited supply.
A programme of public sector house building, whether for rent or sale, would have the benefit of being able to ensure that local families got priority access to the additional houses produced.