Great response from Labour members and supporters at the gates of the Third Energy fracking site today, 11th October 2017. From 8.30 over a hundred gathered during the morning to show our continued and growing opposition to fracking here or anywhere. David Yellen, Chair of the Constituency Party, applauded the bravery and commitment of the Protectors for their peaceful but determined struggle to stop fracking at Kirby Misperton. He pledged continued support of the local labour party. ‘The gas must stay in the ground’, he said, and welcomed and thanked all who attended including delegations from Scarborough, York, Mirfield, Selby and East Yorkshire constituency parties.
Alan visited the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp on Saturday 13th May to meet the anti fracking campaigners and show his support for their stand against fracking and to attest his own strong opposition to fracking.
You can view our anti-fracking poster
Jeremy Corbyn came to York on 10th May as part of the launch of the Party’s 2017 General Election campaign. He was greated by a large and wildly enthusiastic crowd which filled and overflowed from St Helen’s Square. His passionate and vigorous speech outlined Labours proposals for a radical socialist alternative not just to the austerity of Theresa May but to the establishment norms of the last 30 years. He was so mobbed by supporters that it took fifteen minutes to move the 100 yards from the platform to the car which was waiting to take him to the sixth rally of the day and 38th of the campaign launch.
Find out what our Party is saying on policy direct from the Party itself, not through the filter of the BBC and the rest of the media. We publish new statements on different subjects every day and you can read them for yourself HERE.
Linda talks about the International Women’s day lunch, speaking out about Donald Trump’s global gag on family planning, Volkswagen ‘dieselgate’ and other issues. To read the bulletin go to: http://www.lindamcavanmep.org.uk
Rachael Maskell, Labour Party MP for York Central, was at Kirby Misperton Protection Camp on Saturday 4 March with Thirsk and Malton Labour Party to meet and support the campaigners. She spent over an hour at the Camp talking to anti fracking campaigners and went on to look at the fracking site.
The Protection Camp was established just before Christmas with the aim of demonstrating continued opposition to fracking by Third Energy at Kirby Misperton and to take peaceful and legal action to prevent it. Local people support the Camp and provide food, water, fuel, bathroom and laundry services for the residents. The camp is well organised with an equipped kitchen, a common lounge, art and crafts tent and a broadcasting studio. Since being set up it has had a constant stream of visitors from near and far coming to show their support and bring supplies.Rachael Maskell
“Kirby Misperton is on the front line in the national fight against fracking. There were almost 4,000 local objections to the planning application, over 99% of all respondents, all of whom were completely ignored. If politicians do not listen to the voices of local residents, then they are left with no choice but to take direct action and protect their environment, and then have their say at the ballot box come the election.”Local resident Eddie Thornton quit his job and moved into the camp when the local community failed to stop fracking in the courts. He said:
‘”For the last 3 years my community has tried everything within the normal system to stop fracking, but our voices have been ignored. So now we have no other option but to engage in a sustained campaign of peaceful, non-violent direct action to let central government know this district is not for fracking.”Thirsk and Malton Anti-Fracking Campaigner, Mick Johnston says:
“Thirsk and Malton Labour Party has been campaigning against fracking since it was first proposed in Ryedale. We stand with the Kirby Misperton Protection Camp and applaud its commitment to the environment and its ethical campaign pledge. What they are doing is for all Ryedale residents who oppose fracking. We need to invest in renewable and community based energy sources and not the harmful burning of more fossil fuels. It’s great to see Rachael Maskell here as a member of parliament. It is a disgrace that our own MP has not only ignored the wishes of the majority of Ryedale people by supporting fracking but is doing his best to smoothe the way for fracking companies with his Parliamentary Group. The latest twist is that the Government are right now scheming to remove the protection from fracking that they previously gave to National Parks.
Notes for editor
For Rachael Maskell contact: Rachael.email@example.com 01904 623713 www.rachaelmaskell.com @RachaelMaskell
Pictures of Rachael Maskell with members of the camp, supporters including members of the Thirsk and Malton Labour Party
The Thirsk and Malton Labour Party continue to work with a range of people and organisations to campaign against fracking in the constituency. Our Chair and Secretary recently visited the Protection Camp at Kirby Misperton as the pictures on our Home Page show.
There is a lot of action taking place across the country as you will from the Frack Free Ryedale ‘February Racking News’
We have also added a link to a new website – Frack Free United – a network of residents and campaign groups who are united in protecting our countryside and communities from the threat of fracking, strengthening and building a progressive alliance from all walks of life and working together to oppose fracking – not only in our local area, but across the UK.
They will also have a feature in advance of the local council elections on 4th May 2017 so you can see which of your candidates are opposed to fracking
13 February 2017
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; 0172385004
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.
Moved by the plight of the growing refugee situation around the world, Thirsk and Malton Labour Party organized an amazing evening of entertainment and speeches, which raised over £2,400 for 3 Refugee Charities.
The packed room at Pickering Memorial Hall on Wednesday 16th November was initially entertained by the local singing group Concordia. Next, Rob Lawrie, a charity worker from Leeds, who tried to rescue a refugee child, explained to the audience about the plight of refugees and unaccompanied asylum seekers in the now cleared Jungle in Calais as well as centres in Greece. The final act of the evening was the internationally acclaimed Sarah Jane Morris and Antonio Forcione who were just breath taking, such an honour to have them play in Pickering. They had added this date to their European Tour especially for us.
With ticket sales, refreshments and a rafle, the Thirsk and Malton Labour Party managed to raise over £2400. This will be divided between 3 Refugee Charities; HelpRefugees , Rob Lawrie’s charity and Khora making sure we help these forgotten people.
On behalf of the constituency party, I would like to thank all of those people who entertained and informed us about refugees as well as those people who came along and shared in the evening, organized the event, sold tickets, sold refreshments, hosted our entertainers and provided the sound equipment.
Chair of the Thirsk and Malton Labour Party
2016 has been quite a year. A large portion of my work was focused on the EU referendum, but there were many other issues in both the European Parliament and here at home. You can read about some of them in my 2016 Annual Report here. Thank you for all your support in what was a difficult year. I would like to think 2017 could be a better political year, but with Trump etc, it feels like another roller coaster. We have two important by-elections coming up in Stoke and Copeland, so the fightback starts now.
With best wishes
Linda McAvan MEP
Yorkshire and the Humber
Conference started with the announcement of the result of the leadership election. The overwhelming vote in favour of the continued leadership of Jeremy Corbyn was enthusiastically received. It set the tone for the rest of Conference which was one of unity and determination to come together to fight the Tories. This was expressed in speech after speech in Conference over the following four days and was clamorously applauded by delegates and visitors, who were essentially telling the PLP to put the recent divisions behind them and get on with their job.
The quality of speeches from the platform was excellent, to my surprise I have to admit. There were no weak speeches, there were many impassioned speeches and the insight and policy content were generally substantial. In spite of the unprecedented difficulties of the period leading up to Conference the Shadow Cabinet came across very strongly and presented a comprehensive set of policies with some new and radical proposals which were warmly welcomed by Conference. These included:-
Legislation and international agreements to close tax havens and end tax abuse. Shift the tax burden from those who earn wages and salaries to those who hold wealth. £250 billion infrastructure investment programme Create 200 local energy companies and 1,000 energy co-operatives. New Childcare Taskforce, to transform early years provision for every family. Every academy and free school to be accountable to their local communities. Bring back Educational Maintenance Allowance, maintenance grants for low and middle income students and student nurse bursaries. An ethical policy on arms sales. Take the global leadership role on nuclear disarmament Halt and reverse the tide of privatisation and marketisation of our NHS. Repeal the Health and Social Care Act No more PFI in the NHS A million new homes over the next Parliament with half social housing. Scrap Tory ‘Pay-to-Stay’ policy and suspend the Right to Buy. Block TTIP, TISA and CETA, create international trade partnership called Just Trade.. An integrated national transport network which should be publicly owned. Scrap the Work Capability Assessment and punitive benefit sanctions. And much, much more. It’s worth looking through the comprehensive summary. Also worth saying that the speakers as a whole were very well balanced in terms of gender, age and ethnic groups.
Fracking. Although we were not able to get our anti fracking resolution onto the agenda I managed to make a speech against fracking which was well received, we leafletted the delegates and held a successful anti-fracking fringe meeting. We were rewarded by one of the surprise policy announcements which was that a future Labour government would ban fracking completely.
Jeremy Corbyn was extremely impressive making two major speeches, speaking at every regional meeting as well as some fringe meetings. His main speeches together with those of Tom Watson, Iain McNicol and Sadiq Khan are reproduced separately.
Summary. Conference was genuinely uplifting. The policy platform gave us more positive substance to campaign on than we have had for some time and the mood at the end was of determination to unite and win the next General Election, which some believe could be next year. Morale of delegates was high. Conference ended with the launch of a campaign against new grammar schools which has already had some success. Note also that the new Shadow Cabinet, announced in October, has been expanded by nine including John Healey, Nia Griffith and Keir Starmer.
See Mick Johnston’s speech to Conference on Fracking by clicking the following link and running forward 1 hour and 17 minutes.