With only a few short weeks until the General Election, your help in our campaign to re-elect Andrew Smith in Oxford East, elect Sally Copley in Oxford West & Abingdon and help in our nearest marginal Reading West is much needed and appreciated.
You can sign up to volunteer here: http://www.oxfordlabour.org.uk/volunteer
On Wednesday night, Labour's City Council budget was passed. Despite a cut in the government grant of 47% between 2010 and 2015/16, Labour have passed a wide-ranging budget which invests in our communities and strives for a fairer, greener, tolerant, more equal Oxford.
The biggest programme of council house building in a generation, with funding for nearly 1,000 new council homes, to be let as proper, social rents;
- Major investment in the regeneration of the existing Barton estate, and also central Blackbird Leys;
A free home energy audit for every council tenant, investment in the energy efficiency of our council housing stock and council buildings, and the adoption of a new, higher "Oxford Standard" for Council properties;
- Full continuation of our programme of community and voluntary sector grants, including funding for money, welfare and housing advice - earmarked for the full four years of our medium term plan;
Continuation in full of our funding of homelessness prevention work, including support for single homeless people and organisations like the Oxford Homeless Pathway, in spite of government cutbacks;
- Full continuation of council tax support for those on low incomes
- A new pavilion for Quarry, and improvements to football pitch drainage;
- Funding for the City Council contribution Western Conveyance Channel to prevent flooding, and to make a success of the Thames Water catchment study to deal with foul water in Oxford,
- Full continuation of our award-winning Youth Ambition Programme;
Continued commitment to the Oxford Living Wage for staff and contractors;
No programme of privatisation of services, and indeed support for "in-sourcing" work from outside.
Thursday 5th February is National Voter Registration Day. With only 92 days until the General Election, it's vital that everyone ensure they are registered to vote for what could be the closest General Election in a generation.
The government's changes to voter registration mean that many thousands of people, in particular students and other young people, may not be on the electoral register. If you don't have a vote, you don't have a voice.
Oxford Labour supports National Voter Registration Day, which aims to get 250,000 more people on the electoral register. Andrew Smith MP and Labour Councillors in Oxford have been helping on voter registration stalls in Oxford all of this week.
If you aren't registered to vote, you can now do so online at https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote. It only takes 5 minutes. You will need your National Insurance Number, found on your card or any payslip.
The NHS is under enormous pressure at the moment, especially since the government’s ill-judged reorganisation, which wasted £3 billion. Oxford East MP Andrew Smith is at the forefront of campaigns for our local NHS services and health workers, raising issues in Parliament and helping individual constituents.
Andrew said “The NHS is rightly a huge issue for people in Oxford. It is a key priority for me to stand up for our local services and the staff that provide them. We are lucky to have such fantastic local hospitals and healthcare facilities, but they are being stretched to the limit. GP services, community and social care are under huge pressure too. More resources for front-line care are clearly needed. Labour have shown how we can provide an additional £2.5 billion in funding for the NHS. This would mean 20,000 more
nurses, 8,000 more family doctors, 3,000 more midwives and 5,000 more care workers. Labour would also guarantee a GP appointment within 48 hours, cut waiting times at A&E and repeal the Health & Social Care Bill which allows for part-privatisation.
I will continue to work closely with local residents and health workers to get the best possible health and social care for our community.”
Sally Copley, prospective parliamentary candidate for Oxford West & Abingdon, said "I know from speaking to people across the constituency that there is real concern about our NHS that so many rely on or work in. Labour has a plan to provide the additional support our health service needs, rather than flog off bits of the NHS like the Tories and Lib Dems have done."
By-elections in Blackbird Leys and Northfield Brook wards are to be held on 27th November, one for the County Council for the whole Leys, and one City Council in each ward.
Steve Curran is your Labour candidate for the County Council. He is Oxford born and bred. He attained a teaching qualification in 1979 and for 32 years worked as a youth worker for Oxfordshire County Council. He spent several years running Blackbird Leys Youth Centre. After being made redundant in 2011 Steve has dedicated his time to working on the Leys and for the past two and a half years has been City Councillor for Northfield Brook.
Linda Smith is your Labour candidate for Blackbird Leys on the City Council. She is a mum of two who grew up on an Oxford council estate. She has worked in politics at Westminster and at a European level and has already served 12 years as a local councillor. She has the experience needed to speak up for local residents and fight for the best deal for Blackbird Leys. Her priorities for the local area include housing improvements and activities for children & young people.
Sian Taylor is your Labour candidate for Northfield Brook on the City Council. She has worked as a nurse in the NHS for over 30 years and is a Unite workplace rep. She is committed to fairness and equality, and will work hard if elected to stay in touch with local people, helping with problems and making sure their views are represented.
The deadline to register to vote in the by-elections is 5pm Tuesday 11th November, and the deadline for postal vote applications is 5pm Wednesday 12th November. Polls will be open 7am to 10pm on Thursday 27th November.
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