Sue Foster’s Labour Conference Diary

Conference Diary  by Huntingdon CLP’s SUE FOSTER


for well-designed version!)

sue with kristi nicholls at podium Lab Conf 2017

Sue with Kristi Nicholls on ITV News at Ten

Day ONE – The Women’s Conference

The sun came out to herald the start, or rather, the pre-start, to conference.

The hall was packed to the rafters.
Unfortunately, thanks to Southern Rail, I missed the first speech from Dawn Butler, the New Shadow minister for Women and Equalities.

(But see Dawn’s speech at )

Next up was Jeremy himself.  He roused the hall with his speech, pointing out that the PLP is now  made up of 45% women and that if parliament was all women only, Labour would be in power.

He spoke about the Jo Cox Leadership which was helping young women to be part of a training programme to prepare them for a career in parliament.

A later speaker, Rosie Duffield, was one of the products of  this wonderful  programme.
A common theme throughout the day, was how Brexit would impact women in terms of job protection, worker rights and the environment.

Jeremy also criticised the unacceptable abuse that many MPs suffer and how Conservative policies, in particular austerity,  are hurting women.
He also pointed out that a staggering 86% of the cuts impact on women.

Finally, education, which should inspire our young women and encourage them to study engineering and science, still dominated by men.
The case of WASPI women will be taken forward as a votable motion by Labour.   These women have seen changes to their pensionable age with insufficient notice.  Many are now in poverty.

Emily Thornbury, Shadow Foreign Secretary, was next up.  She once again lifted the hall with her powerful words.

Stating that the election marked the biggest increase in the Labour vote since 1945.
She also despaired of a Government, who 16 months on from the EU referendum, still had no plan for Brexit.

It’s now 102 years since the first woman MP and, stated, Emily,  women ARE continuing to make a difference in Parliament and make their presence felt..

Stella Creasey has won the right for Northern. Irish women to have access to free abortion and Liz McKinnon has stopped the government providing training for the army in Burma.

But, sadly, she added, it is the case that millions of women are still not voting –  which is particularly distressing because many are either trapped in low paid jobs or  are carers for ageing parents and are most in need of having a “voice.”

Emily ‘s parting comment was that ‘humanity must surmount poverty and war.”

In a break out session, a McStriker explained how an environment of bullying and long shifts without breaks had brought about strike action.

She was passionate, eloquent and certainly deserves better.
Jeremy, Emily, Tom Watson, John McDonnell and many others, dropped in on various regional reception in the evening.

See also

Sue’s Conference Diary

Day 2

From Huntingdon CLP’s Sue Foster in Brighton

Started the day with an excellent speech from Shadow Home
Secretary, Diane Abbott:

She told delegates how since the Tories came to power, we have
lost 20,000 police officers.

Labour will start to redress this by recruiting 10,000 new officers.

On Grenfell Tower she told of the shame that only a handful of
permanent homes for survivors have been found – while 2,000
properties remain empty in Kensington and Chelsea.

Labour will add 3,000 extra fire fighters and the Fire Brigade will be
the leading agency to approve for and safety standards.

Labour will launch a full inquiry into the so-called “Battle of
Orgreave during the miner’s strike in June 1984.

During the clashes between police and miners over 55 strikers
were arrested and prosecuted for rioting.

Despite claims of police provocation and violence, no police were
charged for their actions.

Last October Home secretary Amber Rudd said there’d be no
Orgreave inquiry – Diane Abbott has pledged Labour WILL launch

Labour will guarantee the rights of EU nationals living in the UK.

Labour will also review refugee rights and accommodation, she

The afternoon session included speakers in the subject of austerity
and communities.

Councils in Islington, Tyneside and Stockport are taking back
control of running their own public services.

The next Labour government will rebuild our public services and
put people first.

Labour’s general secretary Ian McNichol delivered a rousing upbeat
speech to delegates.

We won 41% of the vote in the June election – an increase of 9
points since 2015.

Labour enjoyed a net gain of 30 seats, mostly gained from the

We now have the highest proportion of women MPs in Labour’s

We enjoyed 1.2m shares on Facebook and 29m unique users

But, he insisted, the campaign continues and we remain on
election standby.

Over the summer, Jeremy Corbyn completed his 50 seat tour of
the UK, targeting the most vulnerable Tory seats.

Our party now numbers 570,000 members and we are the largest
political party in Europe.

Labour is now mortgage free, debt free and loan free.

Over the past few months Labour has enjoyed some major
successes over the government – forcing several big policy Uturns.

We have prevented May’s government from introducing the
dementia tax, withdrawing the winter fuel allowance and legalising
fox hunting, to name but a few.

Labour has received £4m in donations from its members and
supporters.   This was on top of union donations.

Iain McNichol also said Labour will scrap the public sector pay

13m people voted Labour in the June election!

We are on our way to number 10!

Sue Foster

Women’s Officer

Huntingdon CLP

Sue’s Conference Diary

Day 3

From Huntingdon CLP’s Sue Foster in Brighton.

I have been bowled over by the buzz, atmosphere and camaraderie around

Everyone is united behind Jeremy Corbyn in the goal of winning the next

And the weather’s been brilliant too.

After two superb days I wondered if things could get even better – I needn’t
have worried. They did.

The day started with International Affairs and Brexit as the opening theme.

Shadow foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry opened with the following battle
cry: “..if we stand united as a party, and if we stand on a radical manifesto,
there is absolutely no seat we can’t win…….”

She said there were there priorities since the Brexit referendum: Jobs, Jobs
and Jobs.

Emily went on to speak passionately about the tragic conflicts and human
rights issues around the world, from Venezuela to Syria.

She told delegates in a packed hall: “ In these dangerous times, our leaders
need to stand up for human rights and international  treaties and work with
the UN for peace.

“(Defence Secretary ) Michael Fallon has signed a deal to increase our cooperation
with the military in Saudi Arabia, whose actions in the Yemen
utter misery and loss of life.

“A Labour government will reform the way decisions  are made on the export
of arms, with clear rules and tests based on independent advice.”

Next up was (Shadow Minister for Brexit) Keir Starmer who in a hard-hitting
opening statement claimed the government was “.. too weak and divided to

“While they argue amongst themselves, our jobs, mortgages and futures are
at stake.

“David Cameron gambled the future of our country to try to unite his party,
Boris (Johnson) then went on to stand in front of a bus with the biggest lie
plastered across it (£350m for the NHS) .

“Theresa May is now more interested in saving her own skin, than the
interests of this country.

“Labour respects the result of the referendum but we are also an
internationalist party which values co-operation and solidarity.

“ We want to protect human and worker rights, the environment and social

“Labour put forward the idea of a transition period during which we would
remain in the Customs Union and Single Market.

“ An idea which Theresa May then put forward as her own.  She has no
further answers as to how we should now proceed.

“The Labour approach is a flexible one. We need to consider whether we
negotiate a new trade deal or remain in a type of single market.

“Ultimately, a Labour government will act in the interests of the country.”

The inimitable veteran MP Dennis Skinner was up next reminding us that
there are many Tory big names with a majority of under 3k, including
(Education Secretary) Justine Greening, Iain Duncan Smith, (Home
Secretary) Amber Rudd, Remainer Anna Soubrey and Zak Goldsmith.

To huge applause he insisted: “We need fairer distribution of rail investment.
For every £10-£20 invested in the south east, pennies are spent elsewhere.

Dennis recalled the post war Nye Bevan government which was elected in
post war days when our country was on its knees.

But Dennis recalled: “We still found the money to launch a programme of
council house building and, of course, the NHS.

“How did they do this?  The same way in which every business wishing to
expand does: By borrowing the money.

“That is what the private sector does and this is what we need to do to
improve our infrastructure and services.

“When Tesco wishes to expand it doesn’t go to the Tesco safe – it borrows
the money from someone else’s safe. It borrows … and that is what we have
to do.

“And every day when those people poke cameras into our faces and ask
‘Where’s the money coming from/‘ .. “We should tell them: ‘We’re going to
borrow it.’”

The final speaker of the morning was (Shadow Chancellor) John McDonnell.
His first observation was that 12 months ago, Labour was 24 points behind
in the polls.

He added: “We are now entering a new era, a fourth industrial revolution.
The jobs that remain could be exploitative, dangerous and degrading, or the
they could be secure, fulfilling and meaningful.

“We can remain a low wage, zero hour contracts economy or we can help to
shape a different world.

“Labour will establish a Strategic investment board to co-ordinate the
promotion of investment, employment and wages.

“We will no longer have disparity between London and the rest of the

“Decision making will be devolved to regional development banks and the
metro mayors.”

He revealed how a Labour government will:

– Build crossroad for the north

– Extend HS2 to Scotland

– Deliver funding for Midlands Connect

– Electrify tail lines from Cornwall to London

– Decarbonise our economy with a publicly owned energy supply based on
alternative energy sources

-Commit to building projects such as the Swansea Tidal Lagoon.

-Support local entrepreneurs, co-operatives and small businesses .

-Bring back ownership and control of utilities and key services , including
rail, energy and Royal Mail.

– Demand that the rights of EU citizens living in the UK are fully protected.

– Commission a review of the scale, causes and responses to the debt left by
the Tory govt, when a Labour government is installed.

-Scrap the public sector pay cap.

– Introduce the £10 living wage

– Restore basic employment.

He stated: “ This Tory government has borrowed more than any Labour
government ever has and yet FTSE 100 Chief executive s are paid 160 times
more than the average worker.

“Labour will not sign any more PFI schemes, which have seen profits going
to companies in tax havens.”

Sue, concluded her Day 3 Diary, as John McDonnell did, with the following
quote from Bobby Kennedy:

“The gross national product does not allow for the health if our children, the
quality of their education or the joy of their play.  It does not include the
beauty of our poetry.”

Sue Foster

Woman’s Officer

Huntingdon CLP

in Brighton.

Sue’s Conference diary

Day 4

from Huntingdon CLP’s Sue Foster in Brighton


One of the things that has most impressed me about my first conference is
the great enthusiasm and passion shown by delegates going up to the
podium to speak.

The final morning’s debating saw various motions put forward – ranging from
housing, Grenfell Tower and a Young Labour constitution.

Members of the Firefighters’ union spoke with passion and anger about the
horrific conditions the firefighters faced at Grenfell and how the Fire services
need to be at the heart of fire standards and safety issues.

On the issues a rail safety, an Aslef representative stated that some trains are
now running with only a driver to take responsibility for the hundreds of
people on a train, including, the elderly, the disabled and women with

He told delegates: “Train companies are putting profit before safety and

“We are in a situation where many European state railways hold the franchise
to operate some of our lines, but perversely, the UK has no state railway

“Fares are rising annually above inflation.  We must take back our railways.”

First up from the shadow cabinet to speak was Rebecca Long-Bailey,
Shadow Secretary for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Rebecca is one of the rising stars among our many women Labour MPs.

From a struggling working class family, she saw, at first hand, the
devastation caused by Thatcher’s divisive policies.

She said: “|Since then, Britain has never recovered, both in terms of jobs and
prosperity but also opportunities equally available throughout our country.

“We now have the most regionally imbalanced economy in Europe, with
40% of our economic output coming from London and the South East.

“ There is a worrying trend towards short term or zero hours contracts and
low paid and insecure jobs.

“We need to reverse this and establish new industries such as those who will
tackle climate change by providing energy from low carbon or renewable

“ Labour’s target Is to acheive 60% of energy from such resources .
“We are on the brink of the next industrial revolution.   The rise of Artificial
Intelligence could be a threat to jobs , but a Labour government would
protect worker rights to stop exploitation and create and an innovative
approach to industrial manufacturing.

“  Ideas conceived in Britain will be manufactured and delivered here.

“The fourth industrial revolution is here. A Labour government will
create a society with more potential than ever before…..for the many,
not the few.”
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Raynor reminded conference of the
Tories warning of a coalition of chaos before the election ….now they have
that, with Theresa May leading it.

She told delegates: “The Tories wanted to open new grammar schools but
have thankfully abandoned this in the face of opposition.

“A Labour government will create a national education service, supporting
the British people from cradle to grave, starting with Sure Start where Labour
will give £500 million each year.

“There will be free, high quality care available for every 2-4 year old.

‘Teachers will be paid a decent wage, as well as teaching assistants and
support staff.”

She pledged to allocate funds to end the scandal of period poverty in
schools and added: “£8bn will be invested into new school  buildings.

“Additional funding will be provided to ensure that our schools are safe and
free from flammable cladding.

“£1billion will be invested in further education.

“Knowledge belongs to the many, not just the few.

“We have got the government running.   Now let’s get running the
From Sue Foster

Wednesday September 27

Final thoughts – inspired, united and ready

As many delegates were proud to announce, when making their address, this is my first conference.  Young, old, veterans, first timers, students, grandparents, disabled, northerners, southerners, Scots, Welsh, N. Irish..Momentum and Progress…all packing Brighton conference centre to the rafters.  All determined, all enthused and all united around the common cause: to implement the best Labour manifesto since 1945 under the leadership and government of Jeremy Corbyn
Even the sun shone down on us, giving the promenade an almost Cote d’Azur sparkle.  The thriving beach bars and restaurants provided the perfect vibrant backdrop to the hope and excitement in the conference centre.  But in case we got carried away, a stark reminder of the size of the task ahead was only too vivid.  The number of homelessness in Brighton second only to that of London, juxtapositioning , once again, the many versus the few.
The party speakers, from all sides of the party, were passionate, and Yes, united in their support for Jeremy.  Divisions of the past have gone, many quipping that the party needs to.make progress with momentum.
The party is now debt free, mortgage free, loan free, funded by you and me, members, supporters and affiliates.   Honest money spent wisely, member talent used to create relevant social media campaigns resonating with all, enthusiasm and energy all too visible knocking on doors and campaigning in our towns in all weathers.  As Jeremy said, there were 2 stars in this election campaign: the manifesto and us, members, supporters and affiliates…i would say there were a few more, not least JC himself.
We have come a long way in the last couple of years.  The journey has not always been easy but we have almost arrived.  We are ready and waiting.
Today, I wondered whether it may have been a bit of a bubble.  I traded my car in for a cleaner model today.  The sales manager asked if I had delayed collection due to holidays.   When I told him that I had been at the Labour Party conference, a smile crept across his face.  He sat down a told me that he had a policeman friend who earned £22k per year.  He could barely pay the rent and put food on the table for his family, what Theresa May would call the ‘just about managing.  The sales manager said that someone who was protecting us and keeping us safe deserved better…that conference was no bubble, that was hope,determination and the start of a new exciting era. Let’s bring it on.
Jeremy Corbyn's speech

Jeremy Corbyn’s speech

Don’t lose your right to vote!

Text saying 'don't lose your vote - make sure you're on the electoral register' and a picture of a piece of paper with a big X on itHuntingdonshire’s electors are being asked to complete their annual Electoral Registration Household Enquiry Form.

Forms have been delivered to all properties across the county over the past few days – and the local Registration Office is encouraging everyone to make sure that the details on their form are correct.

They say that, even if there are no changes to the household, this needs to be confirmed.

To make sure you are able to have your say at any elections held next year, simply check the form when it arrives and respond as soon as you can.

What is it?

Each year Huntingdonshire District Council’s election department carries out an annual canvass of all residents in the district to make sure the revised electoral register, which is published on 1 December 2017, is as accurate as possible.

A Household Enquiry form is sent to all properties in the district.

It is NOT a registration form – it lists all current registered electors and asks residents to confirm or change the information for the property on the electoral register.

Residents are legally required to respond to the form, even if everyone in the household is already registered to vote and no changes need to be made.

Elections have been very much in the news over recent months and the General Election in June demonstrated how important it is to have an up to date Register of Electors available at all times.

Across Great Britain, 96% of people who have been at their property for more than 16 years will be registered, compared to 27% of people who have lived at an address for less than one year.

If you’ve moved house recently then make sure you apply to register to vote at

What Do You Do?

You should respond as soon as possible, in one of the following ways:
• fill in the online form or
• call 0800 197 9871 or
• text NO CHANGE followed by your security codes to 80212 or
• complete and sign the form and return it using the pre-paid envelope.

Your security code is printed on the form. You will need this when complete the form online or by phone.

New electors aged 16 or over

If any new electors aged 16 or over are added to the Household Enquiry form they will receive a separate Invitation to Register form by email or post. This form looks similar to the Household Enquiry form but is pink.

When registering you can also apply to vote by post or by proxy.

More information is at

Hustings last night and tonight, St Neots then St Ives

We had a fantstic hustings last night with Nik giving brilliant and passionate contributions on the NHS, St Neots needs, schools, housing and the economy. Absurd Trump style climate change denial from UKIP plus migrant nonsense. Mealymouthed Labour lite from green and libdem. Then Nik’s amazing Corbyn support story raised the roof.

We are very pleased that at last Huntingdonshire has managed to organise a hustings for the General Election. In previous years there has been a chance to debate on BBC Radio, Local TV, Huntingdon Community Radio, as well as in person at places like Huntingdonshire regional College. This time none of these has managed any debate at all, and so it has been left to the churches and the trade unions to step in. Sadly the NUT and Churches Together in Huntingdon and Godmanchester initiatives fell through, but St Neots had a hustings with four of the five candidates last night at 7pm and St Ives has a hustings with all five of them tonight at 7.30pm. Come with badges, posters and rosettes to support Dr Nik.

Venue: Tonight Friday St Ives Methodist Church 7.30pm.


How to vote for the first time or by post

Dr Nik

Nik’s leaflet

Poll cards will be sent to eligible electors in early May. The deadline to be registered as an elector to enable you to vote in the forthcoming UK Parliamentary election is Monday 22 May 2017.

Postal votes

If you would like to apply for a postal vote, you can:

Completed forms must be returned to Huntingdon District Council before 5pm on Tuesday 23 May 2017.


Electoral Services, Pathfinder House, St Mary’s Street, Huntingdon, PE29 3TN

Proxy votes

If you cannot attend the polling station, you can apply for a proxy vote – this means nominating another person to go to the polling station and vote on your behalf. To apply for a proxy vote you can:

Nik Johnson confirmed as Labour candidate for Huntingdonshire MP

 Dr Nik Johnson has been selected as Labour’s candidate for the Huntingdon constituency to stand in this June’s general election

He is an NHS children’s doctor at Hinchingbrooke Hospital and the Oaktree Centre in Huntingdon

Dr Nik stood as a Labour candidate for the Huntingdon seat at the 2015 general election, finishing second and taking a big chunk out of the Conservative majority.

But he is confident he can do even better this time.
Dr Nik who lives in the area with his family, has worked tirelessly for the “Hands off Hinchingbrooke” campaign and is chair of Huntingdon CLP.
Speaking after his selection, Dr Nik said: “I’ve lived and worked in the Huntingdon area for the past dozen years and I am proud to be Labour’s candidate for June’s general election.

“I am privileged to have a job which places me right at the heart of the local community, allowing me to meet, help and support people from all walks of life.

“This Conservative government has overseen the biggest cuts to our public services in a generation. 

“The NHS and social care is in crisis, our schools are struggling under the weight of the budget cuts and cuts to police budgets are putting our safety at risk.
“This general election is a simple choice between a Labour Party that stands up for all the people of Huntingdon  – or a Conservative Party that only looks after the privileged few.”

Patrick Kadewere, district councillor for Huntingdon North, said:  “I welcome the selection of Dr Nik Johnson. I have worked with him for five years on local causes dear to both of us and I know he will do an excellent job representing us in the House of Commons.”

May 4th, then June 8th

We are meeting at the Medway Centre on Monday 24th April at 7.30pm – the usual place and time for our monthly meetings – but this is a highly unusual event. It is a double campaign planning meeting.

There are two election dates to plan for.

We have the chance to elect Labour candidates for the County Council and the new Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor on May 4th. Many postal voters have already made their choice.

Then we have a general election on June 8th. We will know the name of our candidate by May 2nd. That gives us no breathing space at all as we go from a local to a national perspective.

So if you can, come to the meeting and put in your ideas, or if you can help in any way at all, please email us and join us in the fight for Labour.

Our county council candidates for May 4th – please support us

Huntingdonshire Labour County Council Candidates 2017

Huntingdon North and Hartford

Nik Johnson

Originally from Northumberland, at 18 years old, I left home to train to be a doctor  in London.  Huntingdonshire has been my family home for almost 10 years, and as well as my place of work, it is also  the focus of my day to day life. I believe passionately in the idea of public service. As a local children’s doctor at Hinchingbrooke hospital, I am privileged to have a job which places me right at the heart of the local community, allowing me to meet, help and support people from all walks of life.

I am motivated to stand as a Labour party candidate to combat the cuts to council services and fight for a fair deal for the people of Huntingdon North and Hartford.

St Neots The Eatons

Rob Gardiner

I served as a nurse in our NHS for 40 years, also then working  as a shop steward for Unison. In both roles I acted as an advocate for individuals and families experiencing crises in their lives.

Since retiring I have worked as a volunteer in various settings. In Food Bank; as patient representative in local surgery; as member of group helping with transport to hospital appointments.

Why Labour? To oppose privatisation of the NHS. To say No to academisation. To defend access to social housing and affordable homes. To support people confronting cuts in social care and benefits.

Huntingdon West

Patrick Kadewere

Before I was elected, community complaints in Huntingdon were not taken seriously. The issues included dangerous footpaths, bad lighting, potholes, badly-maintained bridges, anti-social behaviour including speeding, and drugs. I believe I have succeeded in getting things done about all these problems on behalf of the community. I listen, involve you in making decisions and report back. I will always fight for a fair deal from the County Council for people living in Huntingdon West. I will campaign against cuts that make any reductions in the police coverage. The strong community ties that I have helped to foster in the area with “Unity in the Community” should be continued and strengthened to include all residents of the North Ward.

St Neots East and Gransden


Steve Hinchley

I am standing for election to make a difference for St Neots East & Gransden over the next four years.  My family and I have lived on Loves Farm, St Neots for the past six years – enjoying the wonderful sense of community that has been fostered.  We have one child at the Round House Primary Academy and another to follow (if there is a place available). With this in mind, I am particularly concerned about the future of schools funding in Cambridgeshire.  Indeed, the challenge of securing improvement in public services, whilst the Government focuses on Brexit, is something I am passionate about.

St Neots Eynesbury

Sam Wakeford

A long-time Labour activist born and bred in Cambridgeshire, with a background in education policy, and now a trade union official working with the NHS across the East of England. I am privileged to work alongside health professionals who give their all to serving our community, and I believe passionately in protecting their ability to do so and defending our public services. I am convinced that Eynesbury can gain from having a dedicated Labour voice speaking up for Labour values on the County Council, which has so much power over our local education, transport, public health and social care.

St Ives South and Needingworth


John Watson

I have lived in the Huntingdonshire and St. Ives area since moving from London in 1980. In Cambridge I worked for a well known academic publisher and printer until retiring  in 2009. St. Ives is a delightful town and, I would, if elected hope to both maintain and improve council Services and facilities. This government is shackled to austerity policies and the damage caused to front line is on-going. We need further investment in the area to improve life for all.

St Ives North and Wyton

Sam Feeney

I grew up in St Ives in the early 1980s and moved back 7 years ago. Much has changed in that time, though thankfully we have not lost our town’s charm and our wonderful nature walks along the river and around the fields and hedgerows. Some of that change has been welcome – the town is increasingly diverse and is. Some of that change has been challenging for many – roads! Some has even been disastrous for a significant minority of us – high rents, little social housing. 1 in 10 children in relatively affluent St Ives now live in poverty. In some postcodes it is nearly 17%. We now have a food bank, staffed by dedicated volunteers. But much of that poverty and struggle is hidden behind closed doors; invisible and clouded in stigma and shame,

We are a generous town but we also need a change from it being taken for granted that St Ives is a Tory town. We need to elect a team of Labour county councillors prepared to stand up, value and defend all the services that most of us need at some point in our lives. I have worked across the public and voluntary sectors for over 25 years, and currently work as a young people’s counsellor and mental health worker with Centre 33 in Huntingdonshire. I feel passionately about creating the best opportunities for people, young and old, to live with dignity and respect; without the fear of slipping through the net. I invite you to join us in creating that change which really will make all the difference in such challenging times.

Huntingdon South and Godmanchester

Samuel Sweek

I am standing as councillor for Huntingdon South and Godmanchester because I want to address the issues that matter most to the people of the town. Brought up in Huntingdon myself and now bringing up a young family in Godmanchester, I believe I know what people want and need from the County Council. And as a Parliamentary adviser to a popular charity I have been able to work with well-known politicians to bring defibrillators to schools around the country. I can achieve similar success on a range of local issues.

I believe that unity and team work are two of the greatest attributes we can possess as a community and as councillor I will work toward building the strongest and most equitable society, particularly in these times and with our expanding population. I want to be a fresh face on the council and I believe I can be part of a change to make this a stronger community.

St Neots Priory Park

Christine Green

I am a newly-co-opted town councillor, standing for County for the first time. I care passionately about Labour’s core values – fairness, equality and compassion – and would seek to be guided by these.  I share your concerns about the expansion of St Neots and its effects on services especially our doctors’ surgeries, the social care system, and our traffic problems. It is important that you can communicate with me easily and I promise to listen, and sincerely represent you. I am not interested in power struggles and grandstanding’, but believe in collaborative working whenever possible, and in being open to the merits of views that differ to my own.

The Hemingfords and Fenstanton

Rob Leach

Ten years resident of Hilton I stood for the district council in Fenstanton in 2015  and secured second place for Labour for the first time in many years. I believe in supporting all the residents of the Hemingfords and Fenstanton in securing affordable homes, decent services, transport and health care and resisting the increasingly negative effects of austerity policies on everyday life. Having brought up three children in Cambridgeshire and engaged with education, health and social services I am keen to improve these as well as street lighting, roads and public spaces while increasing police presence and other contributors to community security.

Brampton and Buckden

Sue Foster

I have lived in Brampton since 2000 and feel like I have never lived anywhere else.

Having grown up in the 60’s and 70’s in the outskirts of London where opportunities and aspirations were lacking, politics have always been important to me.

A teacher once told me that politics is at the centre of our lives, it plays a critical role in everything: health, education, security, environment, employment, well being.  Since then, I began to take an interest in how political decisions not only impacted my life, but more importantly, society as a whole.

As a Labour Party candidate, I believe in a compassionate, fair and more equal society for all, protecting and investing in our local services and listening to the residents of Buckden and Brampton.


Nik’s County Council Campaign launched

Nik has launched his campaign to be County Councillor for Huntingdon North and Hartford with this leaflet and this letter to postal voters. Come and join us as we leaflet Hartford over the next few days – only four weeks to go to polling day.


Dear Resident,

County Council Elections 4th May 2017

As a postal voter, I know you take your right to vote very seriously. So I hope you’ll allow me to explain why I’m standing for election as a County Councillor for your new electoral district of Huntingdon North and Hartford — and why I believe you should cast your vote for me.

Two years ago, during the last General Election, I stood as the Labour Party candidate for Huntingdon, and finished in a respectable second place. But as I campaigned in that national election, I also learned a great deal about what local issues matter to residents in Huntingdon North and Hartford, and what changes could make a genuine difference to people’s lives. As a Labour and Cooperative County Councillor, I can help you to achieve those changes.

I have a  strong personal attachment to Huntingdon North and Hartford, and to the public services you rely on—my ‘day job’ is as an NHS children’s’ doctor, with my time divided between the Oaktree Centre and Hinchingbrooke Hospital. And when not at work, I’m often at the Medway Centre, where, amongst other things, you’ll find me chairing local Labour Party meetings, and you might see me out and about with Labour district councillors Patrick Kadewere and Leedo George, as we campaign hard to improve the lives of local people.

During last year’s campaigning, it was in Huntingdon North and Hartford where the Labour team received our warmest welcomes and our most enthusiastic support. The Labour vote has increased here in both 2015 and 2016, and I hope the recent changes in the Labour Party will see that vote grow stronger still. Across the country, Labour has been re-energised by a welcome new drive for principled, straight-talking, honest, democratic, socialist politics. Massive numbers of people who had previously not considered the Labour party — many of whom had rarely even considered voting— have joined the party. I’m proud to have been part of this change, which, in turn, has led to resurgence in the fortunes of our local Huntingdon Labour Party.

But the only way to make sure all this energy and enthusiasm delivers real change is by casting your vote for Labour, starting with a vote for me at the Council elections on 4thMay 2017.Why do I want to be your Huntingdon North and Hartford County Councillor?

If the last year has taught us something, it is that absolutely anything can happen when it comes to elections, referendums and the potential for unexpected results.

I want to be part of a local populist movement for meaningful political change, starting right here in Huntingdon. I am campaigning for honest politics, where those who seek to represent others are seen to be acting in the best interests of all they represent, not just a select few.

I am asking for your help to elect me as the Councillor who can begin to challenge the complacency at the heart of the County Council. I will not compromise on my belief in justice and fairness for all, but believe that I can achieve a better deal for the people of Huntingdon North and Hartford. I want people to be sure that when they vote for me they know what they are getting: a dedicated healthcare professional who sees, on a daily basis, the mounting evidence of an increasingly divided society, in which care, compassion and cooperation are increasingly being lost in the way we provide public services. I want to make a real difference—not to keep putting sticking plasters over the problems.

It is my pledge that, with your support, I will not waiver in my commitment to social justice for everyone in the constituency.  I will always strive to deliver the highest quality services, whether it is in education, transport, local business development, housing or social care, without prejudice and with dedication to all.

I hope you’ll forgive the relatively impersonal nature of this letter — it’s not my usual style! So please do get in touch if you want to know more. I will aim to reply as soon as possible, and to answer any of your questions. Thank You


Nik Johnson



More Huntingdon jobs go to the wall in the local community!

News that Waitrose is shortly to close in Huntingdon bringing the loss of 104 more full-time jobs in a area and community already suffering from the Tory cuts and their austerity measures. As well as these people being thrown out of work, the knock on effect on the wider community is another blow in an area neglected by their local MP and government distant in Westminster.

Labour is campaigning to elect a Labour Mayor for the area to ensure that the promised investment brings real benefits to the our local people.

Labour’s Mayoral candidate announced!

NEWS FROM LABOUR: Kevin Price selected as Labour’s candidate for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayor.

Kevin Price has been selected as the Labour Party candidate to contest the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mayoral election on 4 May 2017.

Kevin Price, who is a Cambridge City councillor and Deputy Leader of the Council, was selected after Labour Party members across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough backed him in a ballot.

As Deputy Leader, Kevin Price played a key role in negotiating the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Devolution Deal. He led on securing a landmark housing grant in the Deal for £100 million for housing associations across the whole deal area and £70 million for new council homes in Cambridge- the only devolution deal to include funding for new council homes.  

Cllr Kevin Price commented:

“I am very grateful to Labour members across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough who have put their trust in me to fight the Mayoral election in May. 


“Decisions taken in Westminster have failed our region and I look forward to making the case that, under Labour, we can do a far better job of running it ourselves.


“It doesn’t have to be a choice between growth and prosperity for some whilst others are left behind, and under a Labour Mayor it won’t be. Tackling poverty and inequality goes hand in hand with sharing Cambridge’s growth across the whole area, tackling the housing affordability crisis and delivering far better road, rail and bus services for all.”

Biographical details for Kevin Price: 

1.   Kevin is the Deputy Leader of Cambridge City Council and their Executive Councillor for Housing. He is on his second current term of office as a Labour city councillor in King’s Hedges ward in the north of the City. 

2.   As Deputy Leader with a key role in negotiating the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Devolution Deal, he led on securing a landmark housing grant in the Deal for £100,000,000 for housing associations across the whole deal area and £70,000,000 for new council homes in Cambridge – the only devolution deal to include funding for new council homes.

3.   Outside of politics, Kevin has worked as a porter at Clare College, Cambridge since 2006. He started work in the print trade and has been a member of Unite the Union since 1974. In his spare time he is a keen photographer and likes to walk.  He has three children, two grandchildren and lives with his partner in Cambridge.


For more information contact Claire King on 07833 616575 or

Join the Women’s Equality Party’s march in London on 21st January

The first update for 2017 is from the Women’s Equality Party, who are encouraging everyone to join them at the rally in London on 21st January, joining tens of thousands of other women all across the world, all marching in unity to show their opposition to Trump.

We start the year as we mean to go as a key partner to the Women’s March on London, taking place on Saturday 21 January. Join us at the march to unite and stand together for the dignity and equality of all peoples, for the safety and health of our planet and for the strength of our vibrant and diverse communities.

Join the Women’s March on London >>

Happy New Year to you all!

And here’s to an exciting, challenging and hopefully ultimately rewarding 2o17.

We have a packed meeting planned for this next one, the first of the new year, to be held on 16th January and look forward to seeing as many of you as possible there:

Huntingdon Labour Party draft Agenda – Monday 16th January 2017

  1. Apologies –
  2. Minutes Agreed from Last Meeting – 19th December 2016
  3. Speakers –  Fiona Onasanya and Kevin Price – Mayoral Role
  4. Speaker – Heather Cook from Waspi
  5. Jo Fisher – Womens Conference
  6. Discussion groups – issues specific to St Ives, St Neots and Huntingdon – updates
  7. New Map of Wards – CCC Election
  8. Raffle/Comfort break
  9. Councillor Reports – Patrick/Leedo
  10. Hands off Hinchingbrooke – update Rob Gardiner
  11. Any Other Business –
  12. Next Meeting – Monday  20th February 2017 at 7.30pm


UPDATE: Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayoral Hustings

Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayoral Hustings

The process to select the Cambridgeshire & Peterborough Mayoral Labour candidate is underway, with the process due to be finished by 3 February 2017.  As you know, Nik Johnson was recently nominated as our CLP candidate and we’d encourage as many of you as possible to come along, to show support and a friendly face for him at this event.

Labour East will be hosting these candidate hustings on Tuesday 10 January from 19:00 – 20:30 at The Meadows Community Centre, Cambridge (click this link for directions). 

This will give us along with fellow Cambridgeshire & Peterborough members the chance to hear from Nik (as well as the other shortlisted candidates) and to ask any questions you may have. Spaces are limited, so let’s get our supporters along!

RSVP online by clicking here and filling out your details. 

URGENT: nomination meeting for Labour mayoral candidate for Cambs & Peterborough 8th Dec.

Eligible members have last night been invited to meet at The Hunts Forum which is in The Maple Centre, 6 Oak Dr, Huntingdon PE29 7HN at 8pm for the shortlisting meeting to decide upon our Labour candidate for election next year for the post of mayor for Cambridge & Peterborough.

We are aware of three candidates currently:

Samuel SWEEK

We have candidate statements from two of these people and will circulate the third one as soon as it’s received. NOTE: Candidates are not allowed to attend the nomination meeting.

The attached documents should be self-explanatory but please feel free to email back with any questions you may have about the meeting or the process.


Huntingdon & area CLP group

Agenda Mayor

CLP secretary to eligible members:

Candidate statement: SWEEK

Candidate statement: JOHNSON

Come & help us leaflet on Saturday for the NHS Day of Action

Can we get you out into your towns to help in this national campaign running across the entire country?

Under the Tories our NHS is underfunded and understaffed. Millions languish on waiting lists or are forced to wait hours in A&E. One in four patients have to wait a week or more to see or speak to a GP or nurse or don’t get an appointment at all. This simply isn’t good enough.

The NHS is our party’s proudest creation. We created it to care for us all – but now it’s time for us to care for the NHS.

This Saturday, thousands of Labour supporters will be joining one of hundreds of events across Britain.

St Ives members – meeting outside the pound shop, leafleting from 12 to 2pm.

St Neots people – meet outside the United Reform Church from 12 – 2pm.

Huntingdon people – meet at the water feature opposite East entrance of Boots from 12 – 2pm.

Anna Hayward will have the St Neots leaflets, Annie and Phil Sly the St Ives ones, and Rob Leach will turn up at Huntingdon on Saturday with the final 667.

Here’s Jeremy’s video message on the importance of this campaign — hope to see you all there!

Hunts DC vote not to support the Hinchingbrooke hospital takeover!

We are delighted to report that your local councillors voted against this proposal and wrote the attached letter to the Chairman of Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust, Alan Burns.

Letter to Mr Burns HDC-response-to-the-merger-proposal

And here are details of the discussion that preceded this:




Members were informed that following the consideration of Full Business Case for the merger of the Trusts running Hinchingbrooke and Peterborough and Stamford Hospitals by the Cabinet at its meeting on 20th October 2016, the Panel had been asked to convene a Task and Finish Group to undertake a critical analysis of the Full Business Case, in order to formulate a proposal to the Cabinet as to whether the Council should support the Merger and its suggested response.

The Chairman proposed, and the Panel agreed, that a Task and Finish Group would not be convened and that Members would draw conclusions and send a draft letter to the Chairman of the Hinchingbrooke Health Care NHS Trust. The Chairman added that the Panel had three options: support the merger (either fully or reluctantly), do not support the merger or do not support the merger but register no objections.

The Chairman opened the debate by stating that following the special meeting on 12th October 2016, he could not support the merger but he could not object to it either as there is no other plan on the table.

One Member suggested that the Council should reject the merger as the Trusts do not have an alternative in the scenario that the merger fails. In addition, the Chief Executive of Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust, Lance McCarthy, did not commit to the preservation of services at the Hinchingbrooke site.

A Member stated that they believe the Panel should not be dealing with the issue as a Council response should come from the Cabinet and signed by the Executive Leader of the Council. The Executive Councillor for Environment, Street Scene and Operations responded that the Cabinet believes that the Panel should take ownership of the issue as they had heard from Lance McCarthy twice and had received the evidence to make a judgement.

 The point was raised that Members were informed that the merger is to overcome financial difficulties as well as making the Trust a more attractive proposition for consultants when recruiting. It was suggested that senior staff could be appointed through a staff sharing arrangement and the contract written in a way that would guarantee the consultant hours at Hinchingbrooke. In regards to the finances the income from health campus would go to the merged Trust and Hinchingbrooke would not fully benefit from the income.

 The Panel noted that the merged Trust’s Council of Governors would have a ‘greater influence’ from the north of the area. The Panel were uncomfortable with the idea that the interests of Hinchingbrooke could be overlooked as there is a potential for the north to ‘outvote’ Huntingdonshire. Members fear that this would affect all residents but particularly those who depend on Hinchingbrooke.

A Member suggested that the Panel should not make decisions on the clinical sustainability of Hinchingbrooke but focus on the governance arrangements. The Member added that the Council shouldn’t support the acquisition without the governance of Hinchingbrooke being protected. The Panel,


1)      that the acquisition cannot be supported by Huntingdonshire District Council due to the absence of sufficient balance in the governance arrangements in protecting the interests of the residents of Huntingdonshire, and

2)      that a letter is written to the Chairman of Hinchingbrooke Healthcare NHS Trust, Alan Burns, explaining why the Council cannot support the acquisition and explain other concerns expressed by the Panel.



Fri 11 Nov, 12 noon, Central Library, Join Daniel Zeichner MP to stop the Tory library book cuts

The Conservative County Council want to cut £325,000 from the budget for library books. We think that’s outrageous.

A protest outside Cambridge’s central library is planned for this Friday.

Please meet this Friday 11 November at 12 noon outside the Central Library, Grand Arcade.

Please come along for a campaign photo and bring your favourite book which we’re going to #wavetosave.

We will be joined by Daniel Zeichner MP and local councillors. Join the facebook event here 

Already hundreds of local people have signed a petition. If you haven’t signed yet, please do so at:

Thank you,

Cambridge Labour Party

How can we help the homeless in Huntingdon?

We’re meeting at 7.30pm tomorrow, Tuesday at The Falcon in Huntingdon. Please come along and see how we as a CLP can help these vulnerable people.

  1. Greetings & a quick round up since CLP meeting
  2. Introduce Karen Dunn founder of the Facebook Group “Helping Huntingdon Homeless and surrounding areas” who has kindly agreed to tell us what her group are doing already & see how we can assist.
  3. Suggested aims:  a. find out what is currently being done for the homeless so don’t duplicate effort? b. how can we help to expand this effort locally? c. how do we encourage the rest of the community to come together and help & stop any discrimination against or stigmatising of the homeless?
  4.  Resources: local council, Salvation Army, Coneygate Court, Godmanchester food bank. Any other you’re aware of?
  5. Away from London/Cambridge, so orgs. such as Crisis, Shelter etc aren’t represented — are there smaller, more local groups we don’t know about that we can reach out to and maybe offer help?
  6. Facebook “Huntingdon Living” page shows photos of tents for homeless on Castle Mound.
  7. What are the rangers doing (paid for by local business out of Huntingdon First Group who target “anti-social behaviour” as we heard reports that they hassle & move vulnerable along, try to get them out of High St. Do they then further involve police leading to fines, courts etc? How can this be stopped (if true)?
  8. Can we document empty houses & properties & ask the council why these are not being used?
  9. Online resources:

Helping Huntingdon Homeless, Facebook:

Huntingdon Living, Facebook:

Coneygate Court:

Salvation Army:

Local council:

Streets Kitchen: