Monday, May 30, 2022
Love it - Hat tip @LondonNurse2015
"The Labour Party's 'new theme song' entitled 'Let's Go With Labour' released ahead of the 1964 general election. The 45 rpm disc says the lyrics are by Dave Carey from an idea by Bessie Braddock".
Sunday, May 29, 2022
Saturday, May 28, 2022
We met at Newham Dockside building at 11pm. We had a briefing on the purpose of the count and how to make sure that we treat everyone with respect and dignity, while being aware of our personal safety.
After the briefing we split into our teams and talked about how we would visit all our allocated sites and made sure we had the right instructions, directions, keys, touches etc.
There were 5 "count" teams and also staff left in Newham Dockside to make hourly safety check calls and deal with any issues that may come up. We had to start the "count" at midnight and be back to Newham Dockside at 3AM at the latest.
My team was led by Ali who is a Newham outreach worker. We also had Martina, who is a civil servant with the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, who have been supporting our bi monthly counts and myself.
Our first stop was at a Council tower block where there had been reports of people sleeping "rough" nearby . I had been here before but had never seen anyone. This time to our surprise, we were asked to come into the block and speak to 3 young men, who were sleeping in a disused store room inside the block. They wanted help and assistance. They were very polite, wearing dressing gowns and gave us their names and telephone numbers in order for outreach workers to contact them.
We then walked through some parks but did not see anyone (but were challenged by a Police patrol as we were unlocking a gate to get in).
There was one scene we came across, which was to me rather upsetting. 3 men were fast asleep on a pavement wrapped together outside a building next to a busy main road sharing one blanket. While it was not as cold and wet as the last count in March (where I saw no-one sleeping on the streets) I could not imagine myself sleeping at this site. I hope the early morning outreach workers (who start at 5am) and will be tasked to speak to them, will be able to help them find more suitable accommodation.
We finished relatively early and went back to Dockside to report our findings.
Thursday, May 26, 2022
Wednesday, May 25, 2022
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
UNISON SGE elections - Online ballot ends 5pm tomorrow - Wednesday 25 May (Vote to save our Union from Sexist Bullies & Ultra Left Extremism!)
Ballot closes tomorrow 25 May at 5pm for online votes (UNISON members also had the choice of a postal vote which I suspect is now too late so they should search their emails for online ballot papers from CES)
This morning a UNISON member rang me for advice on who to vote for in the London Local Government seat and I recommended Sonya but also see below for other recommendations.
Check out OneUNISON website for further details of your "cost of living" UNISON champions.
London Local Government: Sonya Howard.
East Midlands Local Government: Jess and Richard
West Midlands Local Government: Ash
Yorkshire & Humberside: Ken & Helen
Eastern Local Government: Neil, Angie & Sue
South East Local Government: Sarah
Northern Community: Malcolm & Clare
London Health: Julie and Anette
East Midlands Health: Lynn & Roz
Northern Health: Maria, Paul & TanyaNorth West Health: Wendy & Liz
Cymru Wales Health: Sharon & Sarah
South West Health: Alison & Shawn
Yorkshire & Humberside Health: Katie, Philippa & Dave
Please share and ring friends and colleagues (not using unison branch resources or information of course) and remind them to vote before 5pm tomorrow!!!
I was elected unopposed for the Greater London Community General SGE seat.
Monday, May 23, 2022
Pathfinder walk in Kent, North Downs. For a "Green Walk" is was quite demanding with lots of ups and downs. The views were wonderful. No good public transport links apparent I am afraid.
This was during my "recovery" weekend after the local Council elections on May 5.
I will post more pictures on Facebook and link.
Sunday, May 22, 2022
Support the Kirklees 15 - Believe Women (& Men) who report bullying and harassment & give them Justice
"On behalf of the Kirklees 15, we are fundraising to help us build awareness of our campaign for justice in our Union, Unison. We are made up of Unison members and branch employed staff past and present.
Our Complaints of bullying and harassment against the Branch Secretary of Kirklees Unison were made 2.5 years ago, the Union dragged their feet in investigating our complaints, but the investigating officer did recommend the case moved to a hearing. The NEC of Unison have met on March 15th, 2022, and summarily dismissed all our complaints without any basis or reason why.
This is in our opinion a dreadful abuse of power and corruption, totally ignoring everyone of us who have actually suffered horrendous sexism and misogyny over a number of years. The Hearings must be carried out, and we are appealing to all Unison members to support our cause.
The Funds will be used to help support our colleagues attending Local and National Delegate Conference, in accommodation and travel fees, for leaflets and materials to be produced to put our case. Also, funds for any future legal case".
Saturday, May 21, 2022
Friday, May 20, 2022
It is a definite honour to be elected to serve our residents - and in the next 4 years we need to earn this trust.
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
London UNISON AGM - Angela Rayner MP; Nordic model, Ukraine Ambulance aid, General Secretary Christina McAnea & election results (forces of light & reason returned as elected lay Convenor team)
I was really pleased at the attendance (about 130 delegates I think) since we were worried that people would not travel into central London.
Our keynote speaker was deputy leader of the Labour Party and former UNISON activist Angela Rayner, who gave a barnstorming speech attacking the Tories and on how much she owed to UNISON and the wider Labour movement, for supporting her from being a 16 year old single mum social care worker into a union activist then becoming a MP.
Angela had a fantastic reception from the AGM and she stayed for the following debate on an emergency motion on "Sexism & Misogyny". There was some brilliant speakers on this motion which was passed unanimously but some breathtakingly hypocritical contributions from hard left extremists, who spoke in favour of the motion, at the same time they support someone sacked from their job for bullying and harassing 14 female UNISON members??? I am so glad that we did not invite anyone from the current UNISON "Presidential" team to speak.
Our regional secretary, Tracey Dalling, gave her report and answered questions from the floor. She is off at the end of the month to take up her new position as regional secretary for Scotland and will be missed. Our London loss is Scotland's gain.
I gave my finance convenor report (and the diversity report since the convenor Cynthia was unable to attend). We had a briefing by long standing member, Jackie Lewis on ending the UNISON support for the "Nordic model" for sex workers followed by a motion which was passed.
There was a fantastic (and at times emotional) report by the secretary of UNION London Ambulance Service, Eddie Brand on their 1200 mile drive to the Polish/Ukraine boarder to deliver 10 ambulances, medical equipment and humanitarian supplies to their fellow trade unionists in Ukraine. I am so proud of this act of solidarity.
Our final speaker was our general secretary, Christiana McAnea, who told it as it is - why we need to get rid of Boris Johnson, why we need an alternative government and how we can help bring this about by demonstrating at the TUC demo then rally on Saturday June 18.
The final agenda item was the announcement that Yvonne Green had been re-elected as Regional Convenor. Which meant that Yvonne, Conroy, myself, Cynthia and Clara were all re-elected as London Regional Council officers for the next year.
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
Hat tip Rachel here.
"It's now May the 17th and I feel like I am only now emerging properly from the post-election haze and back into something like normal life again. The last few weeks before an election are always busy with campaigning but this year's campaign was particularly short for various reasons.
Campaigning for an election is surprisingly fun. But it's also very physical work, with lots of walking around, carrying bags of leaflets, and a fair bit of tramping up and down stairs.
So Sasha das Gupta and I were tired but happy by the time it came to the count, the results were announced, and we were re-elected as Labour & Co operative councillors for Forest Gate North.
I'd like to thank everyone who voted for us. Being re-elected is a privilege, and not one that either of us takes for granted. We have knocked on almost every single door in the ward over the past few months and spoken to many people, and we'll keep on doing so during our term of four years. Big thanks also to those local Labour members who helped with campaigning, to our opponents, to the Council officers who worked hard to make the election work, including counting all those votes, and especially to all the residents who offered support and encouragement.
In the meantime, there is plenty to do. The problems with recycling collections seem to have abated for the moment, but the situation with so many missed collections was really not up to scratch at all, and is being taken extremely serious by everyone. Turn out was low across Newham (and elsewhere) and we need to keep on working hard to show how important local government is, and to encourage people to have their voices heard.
It is a smaller ward this time, with part of the old Forest Gate North having been carved off to create the new ward of Maryland. So we are now a two councillor ward, shortly to briefly be a one councillor ward when Sasha takes some time away from the role to adjust to another new role, of being a mother! During this time I'll post online about who is available and when, and will draw on support from colleagues as needed to make sure residents aren't left without representation.
This map shows the new ward and its boundaries. Some of you reading this may see that you were previously part of Forest Gate North but now you are not. If that's the case then it's been a pleasure representing you (and you can naturally carry on reading the blog!).
For those still within the reduced ward, I'll carry on working as hard as I can to promote everything about Forest Gate North that is so brilliant, to improve those things that aren't, and to help those who need it."
Full election results for all the wards are online here:
Monday, May 16, 2022
Willis Road Platinum Jubilee Street Party - Sunday 5 June 2-5pm (& West Ham Community Forum 17 May 2022)
Sunday, May 15, 2022
Thursday, May 12, 2022
I have no idea where this banner is now? Anyone know?
The Art and Ideology of the Trade Union Emblem, 1850–1925
Wednesday, May 11, 2022
Tuesday, May 10, 2022
I was really pleased to have received notification last week that I had also been elected unopposed as the UNISON Greater London Regional Finance Convenor (and therefore a Regional Council officer).
Our UNISON regional AGM is on 18 May 2022 10-1pm which is being held in the Holiday Inn in Bloomsbury.
All UNISON branches in London are entitled to send delegates. While there are important regional committee elections, reports and motions to be debated, our present London Convenor, Yvonne Green (branch secretary of Croydon Local Government branch) is being challenged for re-election.
Please ensure that your branch registers delegates to re-elect Yvonne Green as our Regional Convenor (and support other sensible and pragmatic candidates).
Monday, May 09, 2022
After election day (Thursday), the "count" (Friday) and my Councillor surgery (Saturday morning) Gill and I went off for a last minute weekend break. We had not been to this part of the Kent coast before and did not quite realise how close it was to the Nuclear power stations (see picture) but had a marvellous and relaxing recovery weekend.
Check out Facebook for more pictures of Dungeness and later walks on the North Downs and Kent Weald.
Friday, May 06, 2022
After a long day yesterday, Charlene, John Whitworth and myself were re-elected as Labour Councillors to Newham Council.
A huge honour and privilege. Many thanks to residents for voting for us so overwhelmingly and to ward activists for helping our campaign. The nearest opponent got 558 votes.
Hat tip video to my new Labour Councillor colleague Thelma Rose & Muzibur Rahman Jashim for videos.
My first surgery is tomorrow at 10am in Stratford Library
Election results for West Ham Ward
West Ham: Labour win all three seats. John Gray: 1,758 Charlene McLean: 1,626 John Whitworth: 1,458
Thursday, May 05, 2022
Wednesday, May 04, 2022
"Political leaders of all parties will be watching nervously to see how well their candidates do in this week’s local elections.
Results often show how happy or unhappy people are with their local politicians and the local services they’re getting. But it’s also a big reflection on how satisfied voters are with national party leaders.
For Boris Johnson, this Thursday will be a referendum on his time in office as prime minister and could trigger a leadership challenge.
Reports suggest he could lose as many as 550 council seats – which would be the Tories’ worst local election results since the 1990s.
Voting for a party endorses their actions and policies, and quite rightly, many voters won’t stand by them after the ‘partygate’ scandal and as the cost of living crisis continues.
When you use your vote, remember you’re voting for the politicians you want in charge of your local area, for the future of the services you rely on every day, and for the sort of society you want for yourself, your family, and friends.
Political decisions made in council chambers will affect the services available for vulnerable children, elderly relatives, families in need, and how well kept your local libraries, swimming pools, parks, and streets are.
Workers delivering these services do a great job for our communities. I know this because many of them are our UNISON members, but direction and budgets are set by the politicians.
These elections are so important because UNISON members use services – just like the rest of the public – but they also deliver them. After a decade of cuts to local authorities, our members know the challenges faced by councils.
When you use your vote, remember you’re also sending a message to those at the very top. If the cost of living crisis and ‘partygate’ aren’t enough for you, then just take a look at this morning’s news – the prime minister is planning for housing association tenants to buy their homes at a discount.
The legacy of the Thatcher government policy on right to buy depleted housing stock, while abolition of right to buy in Scotland and Wales has meant public authorities have been better able to meet local housing need.
His new plans will surely only fuel the housing crisis with fewer homes available at social rent.
Many of you are already out campaigning for the Labour Party to win council seats in England, Scotland, and Wales, but there are also elections in the Northern Ireland legislative assembly.
No matter where you are, you can vote against the Tories. Hit them in the ballot box with a clear message that we don’t trust them to run this country, we don’t trust them with our public services, and they have themselves to blame for the cost of living crisis".
Tuesday, May 03, 2022
Monday, May 02, 2022
We have done this short 3.5 mile circular Pathfinder walk a couple of times before but this time we decided to making it longer by tracking the peninsular coast for longer. The weather was pretty good, so this helped.
The "Great Orme" is the massive headland to the left of the Llandudno, the beautiful Victorian seaside resort. You can get a tramway, bus or a cable car to the top (the cable car was not working when we went) or walk or drive up. It is pretty steep.
There is a private toll road (see main picture cost I think £3.50? but free to walk) where you can take a drive around the Great Orme coast but we started the walk next to the visitors centre at the Country Park & tramway station (bit of a scary drive up).
There are superb views from the get go (assuming good weather). We wandered off the suggested route to take in the views to the south then dropped down past the Bronze age mines (must visit one day) to cross the tramways and make our way uphill to the north and enjoyed the views of Llandudno and the pier.
Next we followed a high coastal path to reach the isolated St Tudno church, which was founded in the 6th century. I am not religious but the views were spectacular and you could sense that this had long been a special place.
Next a little climb (during which we saw some of the Great Orme famous wild Goats) we had a bracing walk alongside a long sheep wall to the visitor centre. The views on the way of the Conwy Estuary and Snowdonia were fabulous.
After the walk, I did not have my traditional pint in a local pub but we changed in the visitor centre toilets and went for a meal with our niece, Holly, her partner Mike and their smashing family in Llandudno. A lovely end to a lovely day.
Check out other photos on my Facebook page
Sunday, May 01, 2022
Vote Malcolm Gray & Clare Penny-Evans for UNISON Northern Region Community SGE Elections (Housing Associations and Voluntary Sector)
Check out the new members website https://www.oneunison.org/ to give them your views on the "Cost of Living Crisis" campaign and find out more about these elections which are being held across UNISON.
Personally, I think Malcolm and Claire will make a great team representing Community workers in Northern Region and campaigning on this huge issue.
While I do not work in Northern region and therefore cannot vote for Malcolm and Clare, since people who aren't even UNISON members, are actively campaigning for their opponents, then I think I can give my opinion (for what it is worth).
See historic example of what UNISON predecessor UNION & Labour Councils can do for their workforce) Newham Labour Labour Unions @LondonLabour #MayDay Labour History Group
"West Ham's Labour Council which ran West Ham Mental Hospital (Goodmayes) and Whipps Cross Hospital in London. In 1933 it awarded nursing staff (and all hospital and Council staff) leave on May Day (or an extra day)" Hat tip @LondonNurse2016