Wish and Westbourne AGM: Statements from candidates
The AGM of Wish and Westbourne Branch Labour Party is on Wednesday, November 1
Candidates: Chair — Sophie Cook; Vice-chair (Campaigns) — Sheila Hall; Secretary — Giorgio Finella; Treasurer — Diane Mitchell; Additional ward organiser — Eamonn Custance.
[Names in bold would be ex officio members of the Local Campaign Forum, whose inaugural meeting is expected on Sunday, November 26.]
Below are their statements of candidates favoured by local members and supporters of Momentum Brighton and Hove:
Sophie Cook — Chair
I was the Labour PPC for East Worthing & Shoreham in GE2017 narrowly missing out on being elected despite increasing the Labour vote by 114% and achieving a 19.8% swing.
I am regularly asked to speak at Labour events and CLPs throughout the country about the campaign as well as delivering speeches at Anti-DUP rallies, the Unite Mixed Fleet pickets at Heathrow, the Fabian Society Conference, The World Transformed and the TUC.
As a writer I have been asked to contribute to a number of political publications including columns for Prospect and Left Foot Forward.
I am a proud trade unionist and see us all as part of a wider Labour and Trade Union movement.
As a branch Wish & Westbourne needs to campaign on the issues that make a real difference to people’s lives, housing, education and protecting the NHS as well as working towards the resolution of the Southern Rail fiasco.
We need to appeal to voters for whom the self-serving policies of the Tories have meant less opportunity not more and for whom the uncertain future of Brexit has led to very real fears about their children’s futures.
We must work together to achieve a majority Labour government supportive of our democratically elected leader, Jeremy Corbyn, and fully committed to the manifesto, because together anything is possible.
Sheila Day — Vice-chair (Campaigns)
I am self-nominating for position of vice chair/campaigns Wish and Westbourne.
We need a strong team to campaign on National and local issues such as the NHS Education, Housing and benefit cuts.
We need to be more outward looking and innovative in how we both attract people to join the party and motivate them to be active.
As vice chair/campaigns officer I will be looking to work with the team of officers and with members to best ensure maximum possible opportunities for participation.
People are dying as a direct result of Tory policy and winter is coming-for real. UC will mean even more people on our streets and we need a strong and effective left LCFs to challenge the Tories, hold them to account and work toward electing a Corbyn led Government for the many not the few. It is already too late for some and criminally will be for others.
I have held office in the party in the past, serving on many committees and community groups. I have also served on the National Labour Women’s Committee.
I bring strong skills and commitment to this role and practical knowledge in that I work with those affected by benefit cuts. We need to bring the Tories down now and I hope to and would be honoured to play an effective role in ensuring that this happens.
Giorgio Finella — Secretary
I’m asking for your support for the post of secretary for Wish and Westbourne branch of the Labour Party.
I support the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn and the best manifesto in my lifetime.
I believe our branch has issues we need to address comrade representation and inclusiveness.
We’d all like to see an increase in member participation.
I want us to understand what Labour members want from political affiliation and identify what issues they are interested in.
Let’s investigate different venues and or day / times of meetings to increase participation.
I’d like us to consider using a crèche and or paying for childminding.
Taking advantage of new media allowing comrades to see what happens at meetings without physical attendance.
I’m looking for the secretary to address these issues and if you do too please take the time to vote for me. Thank you for listening to me.Diane Mitchell — Treasurer
Treasurer — Diane Mitchell
I am self-nominating for the post of Treasurer because I believe I have the skills, experience, political conviction and commitment to the Labour Party, Jeremy Corbyn and the Manifesto, to make a success of the post. The Treasurer can, and should, play a key role in fundraising as well as the strategic use of the funds to ensure that the Branch is pro-active in campaigning as well as enabling all members to play an active part.
I work for the Town & Country Planning Association, a social justice charity concerned with housing and a key contributor to the current Labour Party Housing Policy. I have over a decade of experience developing and delivering European projects as the financial and project manager of budgets of between 250,000–3 million euros; I ran my own consultancy for 20 years and I have been Treasurer of two voluntary groups.
Eamonn Custance — Additional ward organiser
The left has won the mandate to lead the party. We have 600 members waiting for the party to treat them with respect and approach them with ideas, activities, enthusiasm and a genuine desire to facilitate their political activity and development on their terms in ways that suit them. Across the city we are turning local parties from boring but necessary monthly meetings into hubs of activity and solidarity you can be proud to be a member of. I would like to work with you in Wish and Westbourne to make it happen.