Blog

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Now the dust has started to settle, I wanted to take an opportunity to say a really huge thank you to everyone involved in the KCC campaign which seems like a long time ago.

What a campaign!

I hadn't anticipated becoming the default campaign manager. It's not usually the done thing to let a candidate also be the campaign manager. But needs must and being a veteran campaigner it was no hardship to put these skills into use. Plus I was no longer working full time.  So for once I had 'time' always a rare thing, which was good because I needed to master contact creator! As a trade unionist organising is second nature. It has served me well securing TDC & now KCC for Labour.

I had wanted to try for the KCC seat for a longtime. Not because I'm a careerist but because I believe in public duty and in the fairness and scrutiny that being a councillor can leverage for people. I also believe in local politics. More so now than ever.

So I started early by fundraising. A 'pie and a pint' social evening , the 'art auction' and the 'seasonal socialist soirée' for Christmas. This meant sufficient funds - £0000's to run a campaign and meet some office running costs. Although we ran the campaign on a tight budget.

I organised the Election Academy to help build up our supporter base and develop real skills and liaised with other CLPs for support throughout the campaign. Over the same period, working for the GMB as a part time organiser, assisting people with workplace and community issues we 'bumped out' a significant amount of positive press prior to the start of the short campaign.

Jenny Matterface and a few others started to campaign in Ramsgate town centre for 12 weeks over last summer with a petition with a strong call to action for Hunt 'to stop crushing the NHS'. Over 2000 people signed. We have been delayed from handing this to Jeremy Hunt due to purdah. We then held a 'Sleep out Saturday' to highlight the housing crisis and the dire plight of the local housing crisis.

So in effect we had created a good springboard to launch the KCC campaign from.

We had over 80 volunteers - a significant percentage of which were new to the campaigning arena and not all were Labour members. Many have continued to campaign and be politically active. We also had the ever committed and hard working party stalwarts, who bring so much knowledge, tenacity and a steading hand. Our brand new Agent Kaz Peet, throw herself into the role and was also a powerful and energetic campaigner.

In just over 14 weeks we deployed 38,000 'assets' ( leaflets, 'we called to see you cards' etc ) across the 7 wards that form the Ramsgate division. I wrote more than a thousand handwritten cards. We knocked more 6,000 doors. Shoe leather always pays off!

We managed to invite all new members to a coffee morning, which helped to build new volunteers. We also managed, with a real push to write to Labours 700 postal voters. This really helped secure those votes.

In addition we undertook analysis to allow HNH ( Hope Not Hate ) to deliver 3 targeted leaflets to key UKIP areas. That had a marked impact on the UKIP vote no doubt contributing to the win.

Various constituencies came to assist Dulwich and Norwood, including Helen Hayes MP not only came down to ably assist our GOTV, but also organised a solid telephone canvass from their constituency office on polling day.

Vince Maple and Naushabah Khan, both regional board members pitched in as well as the GMB and Unison. Never under estimate a team approach!!

So much has changed since then. I honestly feel we are experiencing a political and social 'sea change' in Ramsgate. It's a Labour town and we must keep fighting to ensure we have Labour representatives at all levels.

My heartfelt thanks to all involved!

A message from Cllr Karen Constantine

Now the dust has started to settle, I wanted to take an opportunity to say a really huge thank you to everyone involved in the KCC campaign which seems like a long time ago.What a campaign!I hadn't anticipated becoming the default campaign manager. It's not usually the done thing to let a candidate also be the campaign manager. But needs must and being a veteran campaigner it was no hardship to put these skills into use. Plus I was no longer working full time.  So for once I had 'time' always a rare thing, which was good because I needed to master contact creator! As a trade unionist organising is second nature. It has served me well securing TDC & now KCC for Labour.I had wanted to try for the KCC seat for a longtime. Not because I'm a careerist but because I believe in public duty and in the fairness and scrutiny that being a councillor can leverage for people. I also believe in local politics. More so now than ever.So I started early by fundraising. A 'pie and a pint' social evening , the 'art auction' and the 'seasonal socialist soirée' for Christmas. This meant sufficient funds - £0000's to run a campaign and meet some office running costs. Although we ran the campaign on a tight budget.I organised the Election Academy to help build up our supporter base and develop real skills and liaised with other CLPs for support throughout the campaign. Over the same period, working for the GMB as a part time organiser, assisting people with workplace and community issues we 'bumped out' a significant amount of positive press prior to the start of the short campaign.Jenny Matterface and a few others started to campaign in Ramsgate town centre for 12 weeks over last summer...

Our councillors, Karen Constantine and Barry Lewis are leading the battle re concerns over services at East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.

Read all about it here.

OUr Labour Kent County Councillors take a lead over local NHS concerns

Our councillors, Karen Constantine and Barry Lewis are leading the battle re concerns over services at East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Read all about it here.

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The dust is still settling from one of the most historic election nights in British history

Confounding the polls, the mainstream press, opposition parties and even some within Labour itself, Labour under Jeremy Corbyn proved every bit electable.  With seats considered in jeopardy seeing Labour MPs increase their share of the votes, with constituencies across the country taken for Labour and with some amazingly improbable wins in places like Canterbury and Kensington and Chelsea, Labour showed decisively that its platform is one that the public are more than willing to get behind.

With a minority government propped up only by the DUP, Jeremy Corbyn has indicated that Labour are more than ready to step up to government at any stage.

In South Thanet, our candidate Raushan was unsuccessful on this occasion despite a hard fought campaign that saw many new to politics rallying to hers and Labour's cause.  The atmosphere in the final weeks in South Thanet were positively exuberant with door knockers reporting really positive responses from residents, with barely a Conservative or UKIP poster or canvasser to be seen and with many events rallying people to join in and support the Labour campaign.

One of the most visible signs of support were the regular messages on Ramsgate main sands that urged first that people register to vote and eventually asked them to vote Labour.

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This time it wasn't to be but, like everywhere else across the country, South Thanet has seen new members join in the last week.

If you want to be part of the movement that is going to help form the next Labour government, join us now!

Our heartfelt congratulations to Rosie Duffield who overturned a massive Conservative majority in Canterbury in a seat that has been held by the Tories for over 100 years.  What an amazing achievement.

Find our more about Rosie here and follow her on Twitter @RosieDuffield1

Let noone say that young people can't make a difference or that they are apathetic.  In a city with three universities, it was the registering and voting of so many young people that impacted the result in such a massive way.  Find out why young voters think that it was time for change here.

Labour ready for government after shock election and hung parliament

The dust is still settling from one of the most historic election nights in British history Confounding the polls, the mainstream press, opposition parties and even some within Labour itself, Labour under Jeremy Corbyn proved every bit electable.  With seats considered in jeopardy seeing Labour MPs increase their share of the votes, with constituencies across the country taken for Labour and with some amazingly improbable wins in places like Canterbury and Kensington and Chelsea, Labour showed decisively that its platform is one that the public are more than willing to get behind. With a minority government propped up only by the DUP, Jeremy Corbyn has indicated that Labour are more than ready to step up to government at any stage. In South Thanet, our candidate Raushan was unsuccessful on this occasion despite a hard fought campaign that saw many new to politics rallying to hers and Labour's cause.  The atmosphere in the final weeks in South Thanet were positively exuberant with door knockers reporting really positive responses from residents, with barely a Conservative or UKIP poster or canvasser to be seen and with many events rallying people to join in and support the Labour campaign. One of the most visible signs of support were the regular messages on Ramsgate main sands that urged first that people register to vote and eventually asked them to vote Labour. This time it wasn't to be but, like everywhere else across the country, South Thanet has seen new members join in the last week. If you want to be part of the movement that is going to help form the next Labour government, join us now! Our heartfelt congratulations to Rosie Duffield who overturned a massive Conservative majority in Canterbury in a seat that has been held by the Tories for over 100 years....

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Labour's candidate for South Thanet, Raushan Ara, speaks out on education

Our children are our future. We need to invest in their education to develop their skills and abilities so that we can benefit as a society and to enable them to adapt to a rapidly changing world. An educated population empowers the whole community to realise their potential.

No one should be put off educating themselves due to lack of money and fear of crippling debts. At present, graduates are leaving higher education with debts upwards of £40,000 to £50,000 on their shoulders. We cannot allow this situation to continue as they can’t move forward with their lives while they owe so much.

The country suffers from a shortage of highly skilled professionals putting further strain on the NHS and education.

What does Labour plan to do?

  • Labour plans to implement an NES ( National Education Service) that will allow people to access education from cradle to grave.
  • Labour will fund 30 hours childcare and open more sure start centres to give the youngest children the best start in life.
  • School lunches will be provided for all primary school children regardless of background. Schools will be properly funded and the cap on teacher’s pay will be removed so that highly skilled people will be attracted to the profession. This will address staff shortages that lead to super-sized classes.
  • SATS tests will be abolished in favour of an enrichment curriculum that will grow the whole child and build self-confidence and allow ‘children to be children.’
  • Labour will replace the plethora of options for students such as Free Schools, Academies and Grammars with a comprehensive system that will cater for a student’s strengths across the board.

Children should be given the same opportunities from an early age. Not everyone can afford to tutor their children to pass entrance tests and children develop at different stages.

Every child is unique; therefore every school should cater not only for the brightest but those with additional needs.  Children should have the opportunity to be taught together where possible in local schools. This encourages an open and tolerant society.

Students in further education should have access to grants so that they can afford to carry on with vocational studies.

Apprenticeships should provide a living wage and small businesses should have subsidies so that they can train young people. £440 million will be invested in apprenticeships.

University students will be freed from the burden of debts so that they can pursue their professional careers no matter what their background is.

Throughout their educational career students will have access to mental health support to enable them to deal with the stresses they may encounter.

We are living in the 6th richest country in the world we can afford to provide opportunities for all. Labour will provide a good quality of life, education and opportunity ‘for the many not the few’.

 

Investing in the future of the many, not the few - what Labour will do in education

Labour's candidate for South Thanet, Raushan Ara, speaks out on education Our children are our future. We need to invest in their education to develop their skills and abilities so that we can benefit as a society and to enable them to adapt to a rapidly changing world. An educated population empowers the whole community to realise their potential. No one should be put off educating themselves due to lack of money and fear of crippling debts. At present, graduates are leaving higher education with debts upwards of £40,000 to £50,000 on their shoulders. We cannot allow this situation to continue as they can’t move forward with their lives while they owe so much. The country suffers from a shortage of highly skilled professionals putting further strain on the NHS and education. What does Labour plan to do? Labour plans to implement an NES ( National Education Service) that will allow people to access education from cradle to grave. Labour will fund 30 hours childcare and open more sure start centres to give the youngest children the best start in life. School lunches will be provided for all primary school children regardless of background. Schools will be properly funded and the cap on teacher’s pay will be removed so that highly skilled people will be attracted to the profession. This will address staff shortages that lead to super-sized classes. SATS tests will be abolished in favour of an enrichment curriculum that will grow the whole child and build self-confidence and allow ‘children to be children.’ Labour will replace the plethora of options for students such as Free Schools, Academies and Grammars with a comprehensive system that will cater for a student’s strengths across the board. Children should be given the same opportunities from an early age. Not everyone can afford... Read more

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My message to you

I want to be an MP because I believe I can make a difference to improve people's lives and parliament is the place that can achieve that. I am standing for Labour because they are the party that will truly help all people.

I want to:

  • Bring employment to the area that allows people to earn a decent living.
  • See empty buildings brought back into use to house our growing number of homeless people.
  • Help legislate to provide secure tenancies to alleviate the housing crises.

Economic factors

There are lots of small businesses in the area that provide employment. They need support to survive in what may be an economically turbulent time. A financial incentive to pay a living wage would also be a priority.


The Manston and the Pleasurama sites need to be brought into productive use in a way that will provide employment and regeneration opportunities for local people. We need to ensure that whatever option is chosen by the people of Thanet has been properly audited to ensure the infrastructure and funding is in place prior to making a decision. I do not wish to make any promises it will not be possible to implement.

Unemployment rates in South Thanet are particularly high. As already stated I would like to support the many small businesses that provide employment in South Thanet by increasing the threshold of the VAT rate that small businesses need to pay and providing support to enterprises to pay a living wage. 

Our tourist industry provides many jobs. We need to promote our many beautiful beaches and amenities to increase the numbers of visitors to our towns.

Music events and festivals

I am proud that during the summer months there is an event or festival in South Thanet almost every weekend. Music helps to break down barriers and brings the community together. TDC impose 14 weeks notice for events. This puts people who want to put community events on under a lot of stress and makes the process very complicated. I would like to make it easier for organizers to put on events that promote harmony and bring visitors to the area.

Housing and Homelessness

This is an issue that I care deeply about. It is upsetting to see so many homeless people on our streets when there are nearly 3000 empty properties in the area. These could be brought back in to use to house families and the homeless. I would also like to use ex commercial properties to provide a drop-in centre where homeless people can find support to get off the street.

The National Health Service

In line with the Labour Party manifesto, I would like to ensure that we do not fall into the trap of playing a numbers game with immigration statistics that could further put our precious NHS at risk. We need to retain our highly skilled immigrant workers such as doctors and nurses who are the backbone of the NHS. The NHS and support services need to be properly funded. No one chooses to be ill or disabled. It is up to us as a society to look after our vulnerable members. The best way to do this is through providing the funds that the NHS needs.

At a local level, I would like to see drop-in health centres (as campaigned for by Colin Postgate) which could help alleviate the crises in GP services and ensure everyone has access to health care when needed.

Europe

A democratic decision has been made which we must adhere to. We need to ensure that we protect the rights of EU citizens residing here and British citizens living in the EU. This will take skilled negotiation which has the interests of British workers as a central concern.


Live Exports from the Port of Ramsgate.

This unnecessary and cruel practice should be stopped as soon as possible. I believe that the highest standards of animal welfare should be adhered to in all industries that involve the use or trade of live animals. I am against all blood sports including fox hunting and also the unnecessary culling of wild animals.


I am a mother to a son with special needs and have helped other families to access the support services that they need.
As a small business owner I am aware of the vital role that such enterprises play in the economy of South Thanet and also how it can be a struggle to survive in a fluctuating market.  I have experience of fund raising for homeless people and organsations such as Mencap, The Salvation Army, Scouts and Beavers and various Ramsgate events. This experience has given me an insight into the needs and ambitions of local people.

 

Raushan Ara

 

Message from our candidate, Raushan Ara

  My message to you I want to be an MP because I believe I can make a difference to improve people's lives and parliament is the place that can achieve that. I am standing for Labour because they are the party that will truly help all people. I want to: Bring employment to the area that allows people to earn a decent living. See empty buildings brought back into use to house our growing number of homeless people. Help legislate to provide secure tenancies to alleviate the housing crises. Economic factors There are lots of small businesses in the area that provide employment. They need support to survive in what may be an economically turbulent time. A financial incentive to pay a living wage would also be a priority. The Manston and the Pleasurama sites need to be brought into productive use in a way that will provide employment and regeneration opportunities for local people. We need to ensure that whatever option is chosen by the people of Thanet has been properly audited to ensure the infrastructure and funding is in place prior to making a decision. I do not wish to make any promises it will not be possible to implement. Unemployment rates in South Thanet are particularly high. As already stated I would like to support the many small businesses that provide employment in South Thanet by increasing the threshold of the VAT rate that small businesses need to pay and providing support to enterprises to pay a living wage.  Our tourist industry provides many jobs. We need to promote our many beautiful beaches and amenities to increase the numbers of visitors to our towns. Music events and festivals I am proud that during the summer months there is an event or festival in South Thanet almost...

Labour's manifesto promises a real difference to any living in poverty

What is Labour saying will be done to help all in poverty?

  • Scrapping the Bedroom Tax immediately
  • Scrapping the Sanctions regime
  •  Reinstating Housing Benefit for unemployed 18-21 year olds
  • Scrapping cuts to Bereavement benefits
  • Increasing the Work element of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 per week
  • Ending the 6 week delay in paying out to new Universal Credit (UC) claimants
  • Ending the ‘rape clause’ for mothers claiming UC for more than 2 children 
  • Replacing the Work Capability and Personal Independent Payment  (PIP) assessments with a humane and personalised service
  • Ending the constant reassessments for people with severe long term conditions
  • Keeping the pensionable age at 66
  • Building a large volume of council and housing association homes – at least 100,000 a year, at truly affordable rents.
  • New private tenancies will be for 3 years, with limits on rent rises
  • Keeping tax and National Insurance payments as they are unless you are pretty well off.
  • Increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour, for everyone aged 18 or over
  • Giving more money to local authorities, protecting libraries, post offices, pubs and local shops

Of course, many/most of these policies will provide benefits to us all - the many.  

WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?????????

Living in poverty? Here's why a vote for Labour makes a difference

Labour's manifesto promises a real difference to any living in poverty What is Labour saying will be done to help all in poverty? Scrapping the Bedroom Tax immediately Scrapping the Sanctions regime  Reinstating Housing Benefit for unemployed 18-21 year olds Scrapping cuts to Bereavement benefits Increasing the Work element of Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) by £30 per week Ending the 6 week delay in paying out to new Universal Credit (UC) claimants Ending the ‘rape clause’ for mothers claiming UC for more than 2 children  Replacing the Work Capability and Personal Independent Payment  (PIP) assessments with a humane and personalised service Ending the constant reassessments for people with severe long term conditions Keeping the pensionable age at 66 Building a large volume of council and housing association homes – at least 100,000 a year, at truly affordable rents. New private tenancies will be for 3 years, with limits on rent rises Keeping tax and National Insurance payments as they are unless you are pretty well off. Increasing the minimum wage to £10 an hour, for everyone aged 18 or over Giving more money to local authorities, protecting libraries, post offices, pubs and local shops Of course, many/most of these policies will provide benefits to us all - the many.   WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE?????????

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'In Place of Fear' is a project by a local artist who is interviewing Thanet residents.  She is exploring the reasons why they are voting Labour at this election. Interviewing a wide cross section of people, most of whom are new to politics and not party members, she is asking them about what has drawn them to become involved at this election and why voting Labour is so important. More people than ever, in modern times, are engaging with the Labour Party. 'In Place of Fear' will have a new 'story' with a illustration every day between now and the election on June 8th. 

If you are interested in finding out more, look for In Place of Fear on Facebook and follow @inplaceoffear on Twitter.

In Place of Fear project by local artist looks at why people are voting Labour

'In Place of Fear' is a project by a local artist who is interviewing Thanet residents.  She is exploring the reasons why they are voting Labour at this election. Interviewing a wide cross section of people, most of whom are new to politics and not party members, she is asking them about what has drawn them to become involved at this election and why voting Labour is so important. More people than ever, in modern times, are engaging with the Labour Party. 'In Place of Fear' will have a new 'story' with a illustration every day between now and the election on June 8th.  If you are interested in finding out more, look for In Place of Fear on Facebook and follow @inplaceoffear on Twitter.

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