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Are you a woman born in the 1950s?  Are you aware of the changes to the state pension that could leave you seriously disadvantaged?

Changes to the state pension were speeded up by this Government in 2011 and there is a huge lack of awareness about what this means for women.  This means that many women have been unable to plan.  It means many women will be entering older age in serious poverty.

Craig Mackinlay is meeting women, their partners, friends, families, to discuss this matter this Saturday.

The meeting will be held on Saturday, May 21, between 10am – 11:30am at Ramsgate Football Club Function Room, Price's Avenue, Ramsgate.

If you would like to attend contact Craig Mackinlay's office on 01843 603242 or at Craig.Mackinlay.MP@Parliament.uk

 If you want to know more about WASPI (the Women Against State Pension Inequality campaign) to their Facebook page

The campaign is demanding that the government make fair, transitional arrangements for those women affected.  Find the petition here.

 

Your Labour councillors will be present at this meeting and want to present the case forcefully and comprehensively.  If you would like your thoughts, your experiences, your fears represented at that meeting but you are not able to attend in person, get in touch with us.

Cllr Karen Constantine

Cllr Susan Kennedy

 We will be calling on Craig MacKinlay to Understand that the lack of proper notice for women amounts to unfairness and inequity. 

We will be asking him to call upon the Government to 
1. introduce a taper which will allow women adequate time to make provision & to be able to avoid poverty in older age. 
2. To mount an effective campaign to notify those women affected by this change. 
3. To highlight the specific impact on women, their families and spouses. This unfair policy will further exacerbate  and compound women's poverty especially where they are trapped in low paid, part time hours and insecure work. 
The local Labour Party has passed a motion to this end & Cllr Constantine will be calling upon Thanet District Council to mount a campaign to alert local women. 

Women Against State Pension Inequality Meet Craig Mackinlay, MP for South Thanet

Are you a woman born in the 1950s?  Are you aware of the changes to the state pension that could leave you seriously disadvantaged? Changes to the state pension were...

If you were to ask me what is the most crucial issue that involves me and some other councillors the answer is simple –HOUSING and the housing crisis here in Thanet and nationally.

We are told that what has been described as ‘the perfect storm’ is approaching that will make the current situation look like no more than a training exercise if the Housing Bill passes through parliament.

What is happening? Well, you may have seen more people camping out in Broadstairs and other Thanet towns with their sleeping bags and bin bags of possessions. They have nowhere else to go.

 Visit Gateway Plus any day of the week and you will a stream of desperate people often with children in tow seeking help with housing and often, whilst the staff do their best, there is nothing the excellent staff can do for them except maybe offer them their train fares north or maybe they will accept the only temporary accommodation probably in Rochester or Folkestone or in one of the two hotels used in Cliftonville. I have been dealing with a family that will have to uproot their children and move away leaving schools, jobs and family behind just to get somewhere affordable to live.

 You have a job here and children in school? Do you move away or take something that means you and the family are in one room in Cliftonville with no cooking facilities or laundry facilities so you wash the children’s school uniform in the bathroom basin? You live on cheap takeaways and may even have to buy drinking water.

You are single, no dependents? Sorry, we can’t help you as the government tells us you don’t warrant any help.

Housing associations are selling off houses to fund their new developments. Councils will be told to sell off their premier properties to fund the extended right to buy schemes.

Social engineering or good business?  Ask the people I deal with and the answer will be clear. Why are single people with complex issues being told there is nothing that can be done for them? Why do allow this situation? Simply, because the law allows it and we have no funds to help or social housing available to offer. GAP may be able to offer you a meal or some clean clothes or advice but they cannot house you. You can have free chiropody as your feet are most important when you spend your days walking.

Forget Manston/Stone Hill Park or any other local controversy. This is the most serious issue we face here.

 Last week there was a tent city in Trinity Square gardens, Margate, by the Korean War memorial. People evicted through the ‘no fault’ evictions allowed are in various locations round Thanet, discreetly camping in our parks and church yards hoping not to get moved on. With the better weather at least they won’t freeze.

 I have been to county court to try to stop families being evicted but judges have to follow the law and allow landlords to claim back their property. Some families with a Section 21 notice would rather not to go to court to fight an eviction because they lack the confidence to argue their own case and they can’t afford a lawyer. Their landlord probably can so they win.

 

What are we doing about this situation? Are you prepared to campaign on the housing crisis and put pressure on our MPs to act? Any other suggestions let me know and perhaps we can find a solution that doesn’t mean we simply walk by on the other side.

 

Jenny Matterface

A personal view on the housing crisis from Cllr Jenny Matterface

If you were to ask me what is the most crucial issue that involves me and some other councillors the answer is simple –HOUSING and the housing crisis here in...

Two carefully and enthusiastically organised campaigns in for the Sandwich and Reculver by-elections have seen Labour winning new voters and sending a clear message that in these supposedly 'unwinnable' seats, Labour is gaining ground.

Sara Trillo lost by only 33 votes in the Sandwich election.  Voters on the doorstep spoke of years of complacency and were amazed that a candidate had 'bothered' to come and listen to their views.   Labour is fighting this cynicism in politics and working to listen to and speak with residents.  What was clear in Sandwich was the desire expressed by many for a fresh voice on the council.

Sara has expressed her sincere thanks to all activists who came and supported her campaign, members from across the constituency who aimed to ensure a really solid Labour presence in this previously rock solid Conservative ward.

In Reculver too, a really sound campaign was organised with very real benefits as can be seen from Herne Bay Labour's comments below.

A message from Herne Bay Labour:

Herne Bay Labour and Simon Warley would like to give a huge thanks to everyone from South Thanet who helped out with the Reculver By-Election campaign. Your help was much appreciated.

We ran an excellent campaign with almost 30 volunteers helping at different times in a ward in which Labour had never campaigned in before. We were more visible than any of the other parties and lots of new members got involved. We did covered the ward with 2 rounds of leaflets, canvassed the entire ward and doorstepped throughout Polling day.

Unfortunately it was not enough this time and the votes cast were;
Conservative: 451
UKIP: 303
Labour: 251
Liberal Democrats: 91

UKIP still have some strength in East Kent and the anti-Tory vote continues to be split.

However, we believe that the experience and enthusiasm generated amongst Herne Bay members and the way the 3 CLPs of North Thanet, South Thanet and Canterbury & Whitstable worked together will serve us all well in the County Council elections next year.

Herne Bay Labour

Labour makes real inroads in both Sandwich and Reculver

Two carefully and enthusiastically organised campaigns in for the Sandwich and Reculver by-elections have seen Labour winning new voters and sending a clear message that in these supposedly 'unwinnable' seats,...

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