We have got to win the “battle of ideas” in housing policy.
UNISON Labour link is sponsoring the launch of a London Branch of the Labour Housing Group which will contribute towards campaigning and developing policy particularly for London. In March there was a well attended meeting of our branch Labour Link members at the House of Commons. The keynote Speaker was the then Housing minister John Healey MP (see main photo). Clive Efford MP, National Officer Mike Short and our own regional officer Colin Inniss also spoke. Striking members from Notting Hill Housing Association also met and lobbied John. During the industrial action Labour Link was able to arrange access for striking members to lobby local Labour MPs Karen Buck, Glenda Jackson and Sadiq Khan.
Last year all UNISON Labour link member’s received a ballot paper to vote for the New leader of the Labour Party and in London who should be the Labour candidate for Mayor. UNISON nationally and regionally voted overwhelmingly to nominate Ed Miliband MP to be the Party leader. During the election itself UNISON members’ votes helped make the vital difference to ensure that he was selected. In London we nominated Ken Livingstone to be the candidate and he also won the candidacy. The next elections in London will be the GLA elections in 2012.
I am planning another Branch Labour Link meeting later this year and I will invite members of the Labour Party shadow Housing team as speakers. In the meanwhile if any branch members are individual members of the Labour Party, local Councillors, resident reps or sit in whatever capacity on Housing Association Boards then please let me know.
If anyone is interesting in finding out more about joining the fight back against the Coalition and Boris and how to join the Labour Party, the LHG or becoming a UNISON delegate to your local Party then also please contact me".
(above is my contribution as UNISON HAB Labour Link officer to our branch annual report - see my Secretary report here)