Home / Labour conference 2017 – report

Labour party conference 2017It was a real honour and privilege to be able to attend Labour 17 on behalf of the CLP. Thank you

Arrived for Conference on Monday 25th September in time for the debate on Brexit; speakers included Emily Thornberry, Shadow Foreign secretary and Kier Starmer.  Labour has a united Brexit team unlike the Tories. Key points:

Number one priority is jobs and Britain’s economy post Brexit

Committed to NATO, 2% spend on defence.

Policy announcement on wholesale reform of export British made arms

Internationalism & co-operation

Unilateral protection of EU citizen’s rights

Protect human rights

Environmental protection

Fairness, equality and social justice; values will not be abandoned but instead will drive everything they do

Agreed position: transitional arrangement on same terms as now i.e. remains in customs union and single market. No deal is not an option. Will remain flexible in negotiations, it’s the eventual outcome that is important – not for political gain but for national interests

Economy: Cap on credit card debt

Public sector pay and the Pay up Now campaign, speakers Len McClusky and Dave Prentice. Clear commitment to renationalise the NHS. Commitment made to support any strike action necessary

Tuesday 26thSeptember:

Discussions and concerns raised over the suspensions of party members by the NEC during Jeremy Corbyn’s Leadership campaigns

Treasurers Report: From £25M debt 10years ago now debt free. Finances are ‘strong and stable’

All donations for campaigning are used for campaigning and nothing else

Priority to protect financial reserves

General election trust fund has been set up

TU Act: Will affect party finances. Priority to repeal the act

Financial donations from the many: £4million – Small amounts from lots of people. Reminder for members any donation however small is valuable to Labours campaigns. Be proud to play your part

Concerns raised about CLP funding many unable to support local candidates or send delegates to conference. CLP funding will increase from £1.56 a member to £2.50

Constituency Development Fund also available

Business and Economy: Rebecca Long-Bailey, Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Continued backing for £10 minimum wage

Discussion around ‘rise of the robots’ (4th industrial revolution) and threat of rising poverty and inequality under the Tories with increased exploitation. Labour will ensure we can enjoy the benefits

Restore workers and union rights including collective bargaining

Labours Industrial Agenda will eclipse Roosevelt’s New Deal in the history books

Joined up strategies – education, industry & manufacturing at the forefront. Get Britain manufacturing again, with workers having a stake alongside business

Report Launch: Alternative Models of Ownership

Emergency Motion to discuss Bombardier

Tony Burke UNITE

Worrying major attack by US aerospace on grounds of unfair competition. Future of company under threat. Biggest private sector employer in NI

Education:

Discussion on student debt, discriminating against the poor, students are held to ransom. Use to engage the young and join Labour

Alan Davis Labour Education Minister in Wales

Provide 12 million free breakfasts in Wales, out of term lunch clubs, have new school building projects with no PFI and No privatisation – Labour are delivering in Wales, introducing a maintenance grant for higher education

TU Act repealed in Wales

Labour values are working in Wales, it’s called Socialism

Discussion on 11+ and Grammar Schools

Speaker Jo Smith from maidenhead CLP – opposition of Grammar Schools, entrenching privilege and disadvantage from 10 years old

Angela Raynor Shadow secretary of State for Education

Setting up a National Education Service, supporting everyone from cradle to grave. Historic draft charter for the national Education Service

Politics change lives – make sure it’s for the better

Since 2012 £437 million has been cut from Sure Start. Labour promise to invest £500M/year directly to Sure Start to reverse these cuts – providing a fair chance for every child

Cuts to schools of 88% in real terms under Tory government

The National Education Service will out teachers at its heart and they will be paid properly. Support staff will be rewarded fairly

Re-emphasised the end of the public sector pay cap

Investment promises:

£10m end poverty in schools

£8b new school buildings

£13bon exisitn school estate

End free school funding

Install sprinklers, remove asbestos

£1b on FE

NES won’t stop at 18, includes FE, workplace education – benefiting employees and employers and society as a whole

Naomi Klein Guest International Speaker

Labour is an inspiration to people around the world

Things can change for the better; things we have lost have not gone for good

The challenge is to raise the expectations of the public – they don’t have to accept what’s happened – get back those who have stopped voting and show we can make a positive difference. Neoliberalism has waged war on ordinary people and many are now unable to imagine a better place – Until Now. Be proud to be Labour, be proud to be a Socialist party

Health:

Jonathon Ashworth Shadow Secretary of State for Health

Renewed commitment to NHS, free at the point of care for everyone

The current crisis is a Tory manufactured crisis due to underfunding and mismanagement

£45b allocated to NHS plus an additional £0.5b emergency winter fund

Bring back nurse bursaries

Scrap the pay cap

EU nationals will have their rights secured; they are part of our society

Reinstate the Sec states powers to be responsible for the NHS

Stop the unsustainable STPs and ACS

The privatisation of ambulance service is a threat to public; many subcontract the work and don’t even have any ambulances

Invest in Public Health – tackle the cause of ill health. There will be an all-out assault on the causes of ill health. Health visitors, school nurses, NHS dentists, ban on junk food advertising, investment in mental health services and drug & alcohol abuse services

£43m has been slashed from alcohol and drug addiction services this year alone. This impacts on entire families. 2 million children grow up with a alcohol dependant parent. Will introduce the first ever national strategy for children of drug abusers and alcoholics

Discussion on health rationing, pushing people to private insurers and private health. The internal market in the NHS must be removed

Tom Watson Deputy Leader speech

Very supportive of JC

Compulsory levy on gambling firms to be introduced to fund gambling support services

Review gambling addiction and treatment on the NHS

Housing

Will invest in council house building

All policies are joined up: education to support employment, manufacturing and business, which provides a stable economy, reduces poverty, improves health, homes, public services and support

Overall a very positive, supportive and cohesive conference, we need to be ready for the next GE, we need to fight as many seats as possible we have to persuade people change can happen and we can make it happen.

Deborah Foster

Deborah Foster - Trade Unions Liaison Officer for Windsor CLP