Welcome to the July edition of our Monthly Bulletin that provides you with news of what is going on within the Caerphilly Constituency Labour Party.
Owen Smith MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales
Please note in your dairies that the newly appointed Shadow Secretary of State for Wales has accepted our invitation to speak at our GC Meeting on Friday, 14 September, starting at 6:30pm at our normal meeting place of the Council Chambers of the Caerphilly County Borough Council offices at Ty Penallta, Ystrad Mynach. All members are welcome to attend.
Check List of Broken Promises by the Con-Dem Government
A useful suggestion was put forward at our last GC meeting that the Party should produce campaigning material along the lines of the pledge cards we used in earlier elections to highlight the long and shameful list of broken promises of the current Con-Dem Govt. Since most of the mass media barely highlights these issues, itwill be us that has to remind the voters of these broken promises and we believe such cards will be useful materials for our canvassers when we are knocking doors and speaking directly to our local electorate.
Gwent Police Commissioner Elections
In November 2012 we will have elections for this post and all the main political parties will be putting forward candidates. Our last GC heard the two Labour contenders speak, and we then decided that the Caerphilly CLP would support Hamish Sandison from Monmouth.
After all party members from Gwent received ballot papers Hamish was selected as the Labour Party candidate.
Our September GC Meeting will discuss how we campaign for this new position that will control the budget of the disbanded Police Authority structures.
Reading Groups to Debate Policy Forum Topics
At our last General Committee meeting held on Friday, 8th June we agreed to try a new approach to the business of debating and considering the Policy Forum documents that will form the basis of the Labour Party Manifesto for the next General Election in 2015.
Since we are unable to give serious and detailed examination and debate within the current structure of our normal GC meetings because we have to receive reports and a question and answer session for our MP, AM and the Leader of the Caerphilly County Borough Council, and consider any urgent correspondence, there is little time left to devote to debates on Policy Forum subjects.
All members will have received, either via e-mail or by post, an invitation to participate in discussing various subjects that will in time be included in the Labour Party’s General Election manifesto.
Many members have responded and have chosen one or more of the items that will be
debated, but it’s not too late if you haven’t yet declared an interest. All you have to do is
either write, e-mail or telephone me to express your interest, the papers for your subject
choice will be either sent to you or made available at the meeting itself.
I have now secured a venue for the meetings and I list below the dates and times for each
of the 6 subjects that will be debated.
All the Reading Group Meetings will be held in the BTM Council Offices, Newport Road,
Bedwas, CF83 8YB. The building also houses the constituency offices of our MP, Wayne
David, and is next to the Parklands Nursing Home. If you require directions please do not
hesitate to contact me.
Below are the date, time and subject for the meetings:
Sat 7 July 10-30am-12noon Britain In The World
Sat 14 July 10-30am–12noon Crime & Justice
Sat 21 July 10-30am-12noon Education & Skills
Sat 28 July 10-30am-12noon Health
Sat 4 Aug 10-30am-12noon Prosperity at Work
Sat 11 Aug 10-30am-12noon Sustainable Communities
The Fundraising Committee have been very busy arranging new and exciting events to raise funds for the CLP.
The first event that is taking place is a quiz and karaoke night being held on Saturday
28 July at 7pm at Llanbradach Bowls Club, High Street, Llanbradach. ‘Let’s get
Back, after popular demand, is our Pony and Pizza Race Night which is taking place on
Thursday 20 September at 7pm at Ystrad Mynach Sports & Social Club, Penallta
Road Ystrad Mynach. Why not come along and join us for an evening of races and have a flutter?!
If you would like any further information about the events above or if you have any fundraising ideas, please contact Lisa Jones on 07811 104389.
A message from Jeff Cuthbert AM
Jobs Growth Wales Helps to Tackle Youth Unemployment
As you all know, in addition to my role as the AM for the Caerphilly constituency, I’m also the Deputy Minister for Skills in the Welsh Government. We’re all aware how severely 16 to 24 year olds have been affected by the recession and how unemployment rates among this group has soared to unprecedented levels in recent years.
This blight on our society was firmly on my mind when I announced the Jobs Growth Wales programme in April, which is a £75 million scheme to create 12,000 jobs over the next three years. The programme will create 4,000 new job opportunities for young people this year and caters for young people who are job-ready but cannot find employment. Participants will be paid at or above the National Minimum Wage for a minimum of 25 hours per week.
Jobs Growth Wales will also help Welsh businesses to expand because the scheme requires that the jobs are newly created posts. It’s then hoped that employers will make the posts permanent in the future and keep the new recruits on. The majority of jobs will be generated within the private sector, although there will also be some created in the voluntary sector. It is also being used as an opportunity to target particular areas of the Welsh economy, specifically graduates, micro-businesses and the green jobs market.
This programme provides a fantastic opportunity for young people to build their confidence and experience at a time when the jobs market is tough. The Welsh Government will work with all employers and young people involved to do our very best to ensure there is a place for everyone, be it full time work with the current employer, an apprenticeship or a full time job with another employer. I look forward to seeing this scheme develop and progress.
Jobs Growth Wales places are being managed by Careers Wales and more information can be found on their website, www.careerswales.com.
A message from Wayne David MP
The Saga of Farepak
A few months before Christmas in 2006 Farepak, the company which specialised in Christmas food hampers, gifts and high street shopping vouchers, went into administration. About 70,000 people did not receive their hampers for Christmas, even though they had been putting money aside for a number of months.
Often, it was less well-off people who lost out and many of them were people from the South Wales Valleys, including the Rhymney Valley. Most Farepak savers had no inkling that anything was wrong with the company and they continued to pay £1 million right up to the company’s collapse.
Eventually, after a lot of hard lobbying and toing and froing, the savers were given compensation. However, they received just 15p for every £1 they had saved. Celebrities and supermarkets rallied around to help the Farepak victims but, overall, this did little more than soften the blow that many hard-pressed people were feeling just before Christmas.
The current Business Secretary, Vince Cable, recently brought a court case against the former directors of Farepak attempting to ban them from the business world. However the case collapsed, because of a series of errors in how it was presented.
During the case the High Court Judge made a significant point about the actions of the bankers of HBOS. Although HBOS did not break the law, the Judge made clear that they were fully aware of Farepak’s problems and that they could have saved Farepak if they had pumped-in just £3 - £5million in cash.Moreover, the bank knew full-well that as the company moved to administration, the money paid in by savers would go to the bank rather than towards their hampers.
There are many lessons to be learnt from this sorry saga, which hit so many people in this
area so very hard. Yet again, the case has highlighted how our banks have been allowed to behave in a totally anti-social manner. Often, people seem to think that banking is an issue of interest only to businessmen and the City of London; the case of Farepak shows that the way the banks behave ultimately affects us all, albeit in different ways.