Welcome to the January edition of our monthly bulletin providing you with the news of what is going on within the Caerphilly Constituency Labour Party.
Secretary’s Report: Bryn Hollywell
We are all aware that the next few weeks until the general election on Thursday 7 May are absolutely crucial if we want to rid ourselves of the Tory-led Government. Everyone knows that it will be a close call and we cannot be complacent, even in our ‘safe’ Caerphilly seat. I would urge all Party members to get involved in whatever capacity or activity they feel comfortable with.
Our MP, Wayne, has appointed me as the Campaign Co-ordinator, and I have listed below various activities members can undertake, I would be grateful if you could respond to me with your choice(s), and I will ensure that you will be involved in the activity.
We are canvassing on each Saturday morning within the Caerphilly constituency, but as we are officially linked to our key target seat of Cardiff North, you will have a choice when we are due to assist them on alternative Saturdays, of choosing either Cardiff North or Caerphilly. My weekly email to all members on Saturday morning canvassing will detail the activity for the forthcoming Saturday.
Our Campaign Committee has been formed and all of our 6 Ward Parties (detailed below) are represented on this Committee. However, if you wish to be a member and wish to contribute to our discussions, please do not hesitate to contact me; there is no restriction on numbers and we would welcome your input. Our meetings take place at 2pm on a Sunday at the BTM Council Offices, Newport Road, Bedwas, and I will advertise future meetings in advance.
The 6 Branches are:
- Aber Valley/Penyrheol & Trecenydd/Llanbradach
- Bargoed & Gilfach
- Bedwas, Trethomas & Machen (BTM)
- Castell (covering Morgan Jones, St Martins and St James)
- Hengoed (covering St Cattwg, Hengoed & Ystrad Mynach)
Activities you may wish to participate in are:
- Canvassing (knocking doors and speaking to Voters)
- Delivering Leaflets within your area
- Helping with delivering Garden sized Posters for Voters who have agreed to display a Poster.
- Help in stuffing envelopes with Wayne’s Election Address on a selected Saturday morning at our AM, Jeff Cuthbert’s offices in Bargoed, for all registered Postal Voters. These will then be delivered when the Royal Mail has given us a date for when the freepost of all candidates’ election addresses are being delivered.
- Telephone canvassing (we will provide a script)
- On election day helping those Labour Voters who will have difficulty in getting to their Polling Station: (we are covered by car insurance by the National Labour Party if you notify us with your car details)
- Agreeing to put up a Labour poster in your front window
Article from Wayne David MP:
Labour – Making our communities safer
During the last general election campaign, David Cameron promised that he would protect the frontline in public services. But as a direct result of his Government’s cuts there are now 16,000 fewer police officers.
And the cuts to policing budgets are set to continue. A few weeks ago Home Office Ministers confirmed that during the course of this year, police budgets will fall by £300 million.
But with falling police budgets and fewer officers on the beat, even I was a little surprised when the other day the Home Secretary said that victims should report their crime online to help cut the number of 999 calls.
Of course, additional online access to the police is a good thing, but not if it has come about to hide the fact that the police do not have the capacity to support victims and deal with serious crimes.
This underlines this Government’s complacent attitude to crime. Violent crime is on the up (an increase of 16% last year) and they have neglected neighbourhood policing.
Under this Home Secretary too many criminals have been able to ‘get away with it’. It is on her watch that the powers that police and councils need to keep communities safe have been weakened. She has also made it harder for the police to use DNA evidence to prevent and solve crime, and she scrapped ASBOs.
Labour wants to do things differently; to restore confidence in our police and criminal justice system.
Labour will put visible neighbourhood policing back in its rightful place – at the heart of our communities. Labour will introduce a Local Policing Commitment that gives a guaranteed minimum level of neighbourhood policing, so people have confidence to report crime and confidence that criminals will not escape justice.
Labour will create a justice system with witnesses and victims at its heart. Labour will introduce the country’s first ever Victims’ Law to give victims of crime new entitlements to minimum standards of service, as well as the ability to hold those services to account when standards are not met.
And Labour will scrap Police and Crime Commissioners. This Tory-led Government wasted millions of pounds creating them, but just 15.1% of the public voted for them. Instead Labour will put the savings back into frontline policing.
We all know that crime wrecks lives, destroys families and undermines communities, and it is often the poorest communities or the most vulnerable who are hardest hit. That is why it is so important that after May’s general election we get a government that will return to the core principles of neighbourhood policing – and that will only happen under Labour.
Article from Jeff Cuthbert AM:
Happy New Year – Help is at Hand
A Happy New Year to you all and I hope you are all enjoying 2015 so far. January can often be a tough month for many people, especially with the on-going squeeze on living standards that we are seeing across the United Kingdom. The average household in the UK is now £1,600 worse off in real terms than they were when David Cameron came to power in May 2010. Due to this austerity-induced squeeze, many people will have turned to credit cards to help them buy Christmas presents and some, unfortunately, will have had to turn to payday lenders. These lenders can charge enormous interest rates and it is always important to read the small print.
A fairer alternative for residents of the Caerphilly constituency are credit unions. Credit unions are financial co-operatives owned and managed by the members who use them. They offer a convenient way to save and the opportunity to access low interest loans. Many will also provide budgeting advice. We have two credit unions in the Caerphilly constituency: Smart Money which is based in Caerphilly town itself; and the Bargoed, Aberbargoed and Gilfach Credit Union which is based further up the Rhymney Valley and serves the communities of those names. Credit unions have their roots in co-operatives and mutualism and share much of the ethos of the Labour movement. I would urge you to join one if doing so is possible.
It has been a relatively mild winter so far, but with utility costs going up we all need to keep an eye on our fuel bills. Nobody should go cold this winter and Nest is the Welsh Government’s fuel poverty scheme. It helps to tackle fuel poverty in households by making homes more energy-efficient. If you have concerns about the cost of heating your home this winter you can call 0808 808 2244.
Of course another way of reducing fuel bills is by saving energy. For free, independent and local energy advice, visit the Energy Saving Trust at www.energysavingtrust.org.uk or call 0800 512 012.
If you are struggling to pay your electricity or gas bill, I would advise you to contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. The Home Heat Helpline will also give advice on reduced or 'social' tariffs which offer customers more affordable prices for their gas and electricity, call 0800 33 66 99 or visit www.homeheathelpline.org.uk.
If you know of any friends or neighbours living in your community who may be struggling with their utility bills this winter, then please point them in the direction of the assistance available above – you could be making a crucial difference to them.
On the political front, it was fantastic to see Labour win a seat on Caerphilly Town Council during a by-election the week before Christmas, with our candidate, Shayne Cook, winning a seat in the Tonyfelin ward from Plaid Cymru. Shayne will make a fantastic town councillor and his victory is a tribute to the all the hard work and campaigning done by local members. We’ve certainly shown Plaid that they cannot take Caerphilly town for granted and we need to build on this for the future.
We all know what are main goal is for 2015 – getting Wayne David re-elected as Labour MP for Caerphilly. It’s clear that the general election campaign has already started, with less than 100 days to go. Let’s make sure we kick the Tories out!