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On Monday evening there was a Labour Party meeting at The Boileroom, Guildford’s popular independent music venue. The evening was both social and educational and the focus was on understanding how the Boileroom acts as a hub for community activity.

Lydia Stockbridge went through some of the many organisations that the Boileroom support and then representatives from Voluntary Action South West, Guildford Action and Rosamund Community Garden talked about their activities and what further support they needed.

Everyone then participated in a shared supper and jointly explored ways of getting more involved with our local communities.

Community activity in Guildford

On Monday evening there was a Labour Party meeting at The Boileroom, Guildford’s popular independent music venue. The evening was both social and educational and the focus was on understanding...

On Wednesday 25th January, an all-members meeting of Guildford Labour Party focused on the prison system.

The discussion was led by Brian Creese and we were delighted to welcome two guests, Hollie Smith who works for St Mungos at HMP Bronzefield and Alison Drew, who works for St Giles Trust at HMP Send.

Members heard how the number of prisoners almost doubled between 1994 and 2010, and that since the Coalition came into office prison officer numbers have been cut by a fifth.

This has led to normal prison services being largely suspended, with little education or other ‘purposeful activity’ currently taking place across the system.

The meeting also heard about the rise in assaults, self-harm events and the record number of suicides in prisons. In this context it is little surprise that prisons are failing to rehabilitate prisoners.  

All the speakers agreed that short sentences, those of three months or less achieve little at enormous cost, and should be replaced by better and more effective community sentences and restorative justice processes.

It was also agreed that it is not just the number of prison officer which is a concern but their quality, and far better training needs to be provided.

Prisons and probation under pressure

On Wednesday 25th January, an all-members meeting of Guildford Labour Party focused on the prison system. The discussion was led by Brian Creese and we were delighted to welcome two...

Conservative-run Surrey County Council plans to request a 15% raise in our council tax to fund social care. This will be put to a referendum vote on the 4th of May.

This is the wrong approach.

Social care must be integrated with the National Health Service to provide a more effective approach to social care and must be funded centrally.

Guildford Labour cannot support the Conservative’s outdated view on social care and it cannot support asking our residents to pay for it.

Furthermore, the audacious request of the Conservative-run Council to raise Council Tax by 15% is designed to mask the Council’s financial mismanagement and failed approach to social care. They want to make Surrey residents pay for their gross failure to manage the Council’s finances and to get a good deal out of the Government. They want to hide their incompetence and financial mismanagement behind a referendum so that they can blame the people who voted against such a rise for the cut in services when it is their own party that cut them in the first place.

The Conservatives cannot be trusted with our Council tax anymore. They have been cutting services throughout the county during their time in office whilst ensuring they remain financially well off personally; using public money to award themselves 60% salary rises.

Now they are asking our residents to pay more.

This cannot continue. The council tax is an outdated, regressive tax with the least well off paying relatively more than the well off. Yet again they are putting the burden on those that can least afford it.

This is why Guildford Labour will campaign against the 15% tax rise.

At the May 4th elections, we need to change our Council. We ask our Surrey residents to vote No to the tax increase and to vote Labour as the only party that can stand up for Surrey residents and ensure we have a competently run Surrey County Council that takes a progressive stance on social care.

No to the 15% Council Tax Hike, Yes to Integrated, Centrally Funded Social Care

Conservative-run Surrey County Council plans to request a 15% raise in our council tax to fund social care. This will be put to a referendum vote on the 4th of...

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