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Nov
2014
Thursday 27th
posted by Morning Star in Features


London Labour Party delegates will assemble this Sunday, November 30, for the region’s biennial meeting at Hammersmith town hall.

Delegates from affiliated trade unions and constituency Labour parties will be keen to have their say on the vital topics prioritised for debate: the cost of living crisis and the future of London’s NHS. 

Delegates may, however, wish to ask why a number of serious submissions on London’s housing and the NHS in London have been ruled “out of order” and not printed. 

The wide-ranging “cost of living” motion on the agenda contains many important points from submissions by the GMB, Unison and Unite. 

These include a demand for a substantial house-building — and job-creating — programme in London, to include significant social provision. 

Other demands include the living wage, an improved education service, better terms and conditions for staff and recognition of the key role of facility time in enabling trade union representatives to carry out their duties in the workplace.

The “future of health in London” motion includes what may be a controversial clause calling on the mayor of London and the Health Secretary to establish a health commissioner for London, although it unambiguously expresses its “vehement” opposition to privatisation, cuts and closures of major accident and emergency departments. 

Not currently on the agenda is the demand — from a ruled-out motion — for “a moratorium on closures or reductions in NHS services unless/until the communities affected have agreed that such changes are acceptable.” 

Such a safeguard might well be very helpful. 

Following the successful second reading of Clive Efford’s National Health Service (Amended Duties and Powers) Bill last Friday, however, it is clearly now time for all of us to step up still further our campaigning against the Tories’ shut-it-and-flog-it policies.

Emergency motions may also be expected, such on the shocking sale to the US of the New Era Estate in Hoxton and also on the procedure for selecting Labour’s candidate for the mayoral elections. Delegates may well wish such topics to be considered. 

Platform contributions from shadow cabinet members Harriet Harman and Sadiq Khan have definitely been timetabled. Time has also been allocated for a question time with as yet unnamed MPs, MEPs, assembly members and councillors.

There will in addition be what looks like a lively fringe meeting to discuss the wider progressive agenda required to take us forward. Speakers will include Diane Abbott MP, Lucy Anderson MEP and Jim Kelly, chair of Unite London and eastern region. 

The meeting will be chaired by National Policy Forum member Sam Gurney and will take place when the main conference breaks for lunch at 12.45pm in the Holiday Inn Express (Room 4), 124 King Street, London W6. All members of the labour movement will be welcome.

Francis Prideaux




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