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)