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Corbyn effect is rekindling political interest

Somerton and Frome Constituency Labour Party again held its monthly meeting in the Cheese and Grain on 24th October.

Locally as well as nationally the ‘Corbyn effect’  with its emphasis on a more polite and kinder way of dealing with issues, seems to have re-kindled an interest in politics, and as with September’s meeting, attendance was high. In fact membership throughout the constituency has risen by several hundreds.

The meeting was chaired by former Parliamentary candidate David Oakensen,  and following a report on the National Party Conference a lively debate on a range of issues followed.

Subjects discussed were varied, but the main debate was on the governments plans for changes to Working Tax Credits, which it was agreed, will impact millions of working families, many in the Somerton and Frome area, and it was proposed unanimously to add voice to the Labour leaderships opposition to the cuts.

Locally there is a threat to funding received by childrens centres, a scheme set up by Labour in office and now under threat from both local and national governments withdrawal of money. Particular reference was made to offering support in this struggle to the centre which serves Keyford and the Mount.

Other issues raised were relevant to young people, student loans and debt, shortage of affordable housing, apprenticeships and the minimum wage. Members noted the massive long term cost to taxpayers and bill payers of Hinkley Point C, whilst at the same time government is cutting help for green energy projects.

Conservative statements on the economy were called into question, particularly the now mythical charge, often repeated, that the banking crisis was caused by Labour (when most economists now accept Labour averted a major catastrophe); Mr Osborne’s assertion he is paying down our debt, when it has risen substantially and the role of the mainstream media in these inaccuracies.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it was noted that changes to voter registration could leave many young people living away from home, unable to vote through changes being brought in by the government on 1st December 2015. Members offered to share details of registration events webpages, and to assist at these. Registration may be done online at gov.uk/register-to-vote.

To end CLP Secretary Julia Gray, announced that the new Somerton and Frome CLP page has opened on Facebook together with a Twitter account. Members both new and long serving were urged to engage in this media, to share ideas for a fairer Britain.

The next CLP meeting will be in November at a venue and date to be announced. Members and prospective members are welcome to attend.

Steve Wakefield, Acting Press, for CLP