Wednesday, 27 April 2011


It's either a sign of renewed confidence that the Conservatives are out and about canvassing and leafletting everywhere in these last final days of the election or else it's an indication that they are more fearful than ever of losing. Originally concerned about a loss of about 10 seats the fear now amongst Sedgemoor's Tories is a loss of 15-20 seats and with them total control of Sedgemoor District Council.

Labour's main battleground is Bridgwater where the new issue of BRIDGWATER ROSE has hit the streets.  Coming through a letterbox near you over the next few days, the Labour paper goes straight for the Tory jugular with a hard hitting attack on Tory policies that have the potential to devastate Bridgwater - the demolition of the Splash swimming pool, the disposal of the Brewery field, the sale of Northgate to Tesco, the Tory Government cutbacks and  the Lib Dem treachery  are all prominent issues with the public during recent canvassing. Labour's campaign is clearly striking a chord with the Bridgwater public.

Kayleigh "Young people are angry"
 Youth is at the forefront of Labour's campaign with their Youth & Student officer Kayleigh Ashworth featuring prominently on the frontpage  calling for a fightback by young people by voting Labour.

Kayleigh says "Labour needs to take all 15 of  the seats in Bridgwater to teach the Tories a lesson and to have a chance of getting them out of power in Sedgemoor. People have to have the belief that they can do this. They mustn't sit at home and leave it to others or think that their vote doesn't matter or that it won't change anything. This time it really can. People are so angry with the Conservatives for how they've treated Bridgwater and young people especially are really angry with the LibDems for their lies about tuition fees and for putting the Tories back in power. "

Katherine Putnam "Youth in action on the Quantocks"
 And it's young people that are the key to Labours success or otherwise in Sedgemoor.

 If Labour takes the 15 Bridgwater seats then the 3 Highbridge seats where the Liberals are fighting amongst themselves and then regains the  2 Woolavington/Puriton seats, it will be Labours hard working young candidates in the seats adjoining Bridgwater who will be key.

Alex Desmond "Picking up support in Petherton"

Candidates like Alex Desmond in North Petherton (3 seats) and Katherine Putnam in Quantocks (2 seats). That makes up the 25 seats Labour needs to take control -they have 8 days to go.

Alex says "The clear factor in this election is the collapse of the Lib Dem vote. Mainly young people who voted for the first time in the General Election last year only to see themselves let down and lied to by Nick Clegg in his bid for power at any price. Now it will be young people that lead the fightback. Who will show they can't be taken for granted. Young people who voted LibDem last time round need to vote Labour on May 5th - that's the only way we can hit Clegg AND Cameron with one single blow!"

Monday, 25 April 2011


International Workers Day will be celebrated this year at the Unity Club on the evening of Sunday 1st May in the run up to the local elections on May 5th. Everyone is welcome to attend the event which is being sponsored by Bridgwater Trades Council and includes 4 Labour Party candidates on the panel.
The key event of the day starts at 7pm when local Historian DAVE CHAPPLE recalls the days of Labour control in the Borough with his illustrated talk - "Fred Phillips & the Red Borough of Bridgwater 1952-1974" .
At 8pm there will be a  discussion on the May 5th Elections featuring Cllr Brian Smedley (Chairman Sedgemoor Labour Party-candidate Westover) Leigh Redman (FBU -candidate for Dunwear) Ricky Hopkins (Unite-Candidate for Highbridge) Glen Burrows (RMT' / Bridgwater senior citizens forum) Ian Tucker (Bridgwater Forward-candidate for Dunwear) and  George Goodenough (GMB).
The event will be Chaired by Vicky Nash (NUT) At 9pm Music with the Red Shadow Sound System playing rock'n'roll, pop, motown, reggae and blues.

Saturday, 23 April 2011


Reg Winslow in Sydenham Fairfax
One of the strangest campaign claims in an evermore desperate LibDem campaign is "vote for us or you'll let the Tories in"....followed by "Winning here!"...or now simply, in the best Charlie Sheen style.."Winning!". The Lib Dems have now apparently lost 2million voters since the election last year due to their broken pledges and duplicity....and of course, due to their 'letting the tories back into government". Lib Dem claims locally are now met with derision. Of course this is not enough, and Labour is having to step up their campaigning in seats that are now marginals in order to fill the vacuum left by the vacuous Lib Dems.
In Fairfax it's a straight Labour-Tory battle. Former Sedgemoor Enivironmental officer Reg Winslow is out on the doorsteps working hard to get the message across that people mustn't be tempted to waste their votes on the lone 'paper' libdem candidate as every vote counts in the struggle to oust the 3 Bower Tories and make Bridgwater a Tory-Free Zone. Reg is well known as a hard working and community sprited individual who is determined to put his years of Local Goverment experience at the service of the people he hopes to represent. "The message on the doorstep has been really positive " said Reg "Clearly people are angry about the loss of the Splash but also what the Tories are doing Nationally. This wasn't what people voted for. And people are so dissilusioned with the LibDems that this time they're voting Labour to send the 3 key messages - we don;t like what the Tories are doing, we don't trust the libdems and we're better off with Labour."

                         It's time for a change
Jenny Baines in King's Isle

In the moorland seat of King's Isle, taking in Weston Zoyland, Middlezoy, Chedzoy and Bawdrip, the tories have ruled the roost almost forever. This time the spotlight is on energetic local teacher Jenny Baines from Middlezoy and her running mate Liz Leavy, whose mum Kathy Phelps, was the Headteacher at Weston Zoyland for many years. 

Jenny , pictured with her husband Andy, says "Everywhere I go the thing people say to me is 'it's time for a change. That's what we aim to give them here in King's Isle!"

Jenny Baines has lived in Middlezoy for 14 years and has been closely involved with various village organisations including the playgroup, the Middlezoy Community Project and the PTFA. Most recently Jenny was governor at Middlezoy Primary School, acting as the Chair of Governors until April 2009. During this time she was closely involved in the federation of Middlezoy and Othery Schools which has successfully built closer links between the two villages. Jenny , the workplace rep for the Association of Teachers and Lecturers says “I am standing for the Kings Isle because I value deeply the vibrant and active community in this part of Sedgemoor. I am proud to live in an area full of active volunteers but am deeply concerned that the proposed cuts in rural transport and support to villages and communities will mean less support for the residents of Kings Isle."

Lib Dem delusion

The worse case of LibDem delusion is Highbridge where their embattled leader Joe Leach is fighting for his political life. Highbridge has long been Sedgemoors most marginal seat swinging between Labour, Tory and Lib Dem sometimes with single figure votes in it. 

Ricky Hopkins - Labour Highbridge
Last time round the LibDems took all three seats  - yet within a month their leader Danny Titcombe, left them for the Tories leaving Leach to pick up the pieces. This time round 2 long serving Liberals -Mike Mansfield and Chris Williams, are standing AGAINST Leach and the official libdem candidates - disilusioned with his 'leadership' and with the National links with the Tories. Labour candidate Ricky Hopkins, says "This means the marginal LibDem vote is already splintered beyond repair, so when they claim that not voting LibDem will let the Tories in no-one believes them. It's really desperate and Leach knows he's on the way out. On the doorsteps people are coming straight back to Labour - and in fact it's obvious to anyone that to keep the Tories out of Highbridge people need to vote solely for the 3 Labour candidates".

Standing with Ricky Hopkins in Highbridge are local community worker Linda Davis and former Parliamentary candidate Andy Merryfield.


Wednesday, 20 April 2011


Trevor & Bert in Woolavington
If Labour is to break the Tory majority on Sedgemoor District Council they must re-take seats like PURITON & WOOLAVINGTON. Previously 2 seperate wards until the boundaries commission threw them together this year,the seats are a challenge for all the parties. Currently both seats are held by the Tories but for 20 years until the by-election last september, Woolavington was solid Labour whilst Puriton had in the past fluctuated between Tory and Liberal. This time round the battle is a straight forward fight between the Tories and Labour.

Local Labour candidates, Bert Vessier who lives in Woolavington and Trevor Hazelgrove from the Polden village of Catcott, have been getting the message out across the ward that if people want to get rid of the Tories they have to vote Labour on May 5th. Trevor says "There is a clear anti Tory majority here which has been diluted in the past by the LibDems splitting the vote . This time round they've given up the ghost but have left in place a single 'spoiler' candidate -who in fact lives in Burnham. This means we have to work even harder to point out to people that a libdem vote is a wasted vote here."

Bertrand Vessier

"..the Issues facing Woolavington.."

 Bert Vessier has lived in Sedgemoor  for 13 years and is passionate about his adopted home village. Out and about with a team of helpers he was finding people very keen to talk about the issues facing Woolavington. Bert - who did his French National service as a Gendarme, has seen his fair share of crime first hand and is very concerned about the running down of Police and Community Support by the ConDem government. He says "Now is a worrying time, the Tory led Sedgemoor District Council has just voted in a raft of cuts which we believe will impact negatively on the communities surrounding Bridgwater. Thoses cuts are unfair and target the more vulnerable people in our community."

"Don't allow the LibDems to split the vote and let the Tories back in.." 
Trevor Hazelgrove lives in the Polden village of Catcott and has wide experience of management in business, community groups and the public sector. A former councillor in Frome, he is currently Chairman of the VISTA organisation and is involved in numerous community & professional groups including the Chartered Management Institute, the William Temple Foundation and Farleigh College (Autism & Aspergers syndrome advisory group). A former Parish Priest and industrial chaplain for 15 years in London, Trevor has a proven track record of hands-on community work including considerable fund raising experience.  
Trevor Hazelgrove

Trevor says "We have to win Puriton & Woolavington to take Sedgemoor  which is why we've been out leafletting, camvassing and meeting people the length and breadth of the ward. Thats From Cossington to Woolavington to Puriton to Dunball. The important message is that we CAN win here and we MUST. The LibDems have split the vote here in the past and let the Tories take the seat but this time they've just put a token presence of a single candidate in a crucial 2-member Marginal ward -so the key message here is Vote Labour here and kicking out the Tories here means we can take Sedgemoor District Council too. It's THAT important!" 

Monday, 18 April 2011


Alexia Bartlett and helpers in Ashcott,East Polden
Tory leader Duncan McGinty's 'safe' East Polden ward was awash with Labour red tonight as local candidate Alexia Bartlett hit the campaign trail with her team of supporters determined to wrest the seat from the Conservatives.

Alexia, a mother of two , lives in Ashcott and decided to run for Sedgemoor District Council in order to encourage people to make a stand against Tory policies. "I'm standing here in East Polden because i believe people need a change from the Conservatives who think they can take this place for granted."

Working as a teacher at Richard Huish College Alexia is deeply concerned about what the Tories and their LibDem allies are doing Nationally to future generations of young people. " I have been appalled  by the 100% cuts to the Arts by the County Tories and believe the measure of a society can be judged by it's support for the Arts and Culture. I am angry that the Tories Nationally are imposing swingeing cutbacks everywhere that affect the most vulnerable."

"...a complacent and arrogant set of Tories .."

Knocking on doors and chatting to people in their gardens Alexia was bouyant " I am dissapointed at the lack of foresight by the Tory run District council as they cutback on leisure provision in the Bridgwater area and fail to consult the people. This is the sign of a complacent and arrogant set of Tories who take people for granted. I am especially annoyed at the LibDems for letting this happen and going back on their wor over tuition fees and almost everything else they fooled people with in order to gain a fingertip on power ."

Alexia explaining the geography of Ashcott to her Chairman
 Sedgemoor District Labour Party Chairman, Brian Smedley, said the response on the doorsteps of Ashcott had been very positive. "People were happy to see a local person standing up to the Tories. Theres actually a lot of hostility to the Conservatives here and Alexia's work will be focused on mobilising that . "

"Uniting the Anti Tory vote"

"The problem Alexia will have will be shepherding that anti-Tory sentiment  because both LibDems and Greens are also standing in East Polden which could split the vote. The fact is that  the LibDem vote iss collapsing and people want to punish them for supporting the Tories so voting for them is yet again a wasted vote and therefore to make their vote count, people  need to get behind the Labour candidate and turn out on May 5th and vote for Alexia as the best way to do this!"

The East Polden ward is based on the villages of Ashcott, Greinton, Shapwick and Moorlinch and with 1,719 voters is one of the smallest Sedgemoor wards.



Sydenham Fairfax & Dunwear wards United
The new boundary changes have divided up the old Sydenham ward of Bridgwater right down the middle. North of the Rollercoaster and including Bower Manor it;s FAIRFAX , whilst south  and including Bridge estate it's Dunwear. But this hasn't detered Labour from keeping Sydenham on the map! Graham Granter (Fairfax) and Ian Tucker (Dunwear) were joined on the Sydenham campaign trail today by Labour group leader Kathy Pearce to get the Labour message across that Bridgwater needs Labour Councillors to represent it.

Focus on Fairfax

The Fairfax (North Sydenham ) ward strecthes from the shops on Parkway to the Bath road, bounded by the Railway in the west and the Town Boundary in the east. Graham Granter, who has represented Sydenham for 8 years as a Town & District councillor says "My ward now includes the Bower manor estate which returned 3 Tories last time so we've got a battle on our hands ! However, we're out on the doorsteps and the response has been good. We know the Tories are worried and we know they're unpopular because of the Splash closure. But we need to get the word across that people must turn out an vote on the day and make sure it;s for Labour."

Reg Winslow (Fairfax)
Graham has been joined by two new candidates. Reg Winslow worked for Sedgemoor until his retirement this year in the Environment and Clean Surroundings department and now that he's free of the shackles of Local Government has come out square behind the Labour Campaign and is determined to get onto the Council and get things done properly.  His role as a Contracts Officer primarily involved waste collection, street cleaning and Town centre work. The latter included working with Bridgwater Town Centre Managers. He was also instrumental in implementing and managing improvements carried out to the paved area outside Parkway shops, which had been neglected and fallen into disrepair.
Reg says “My role with Sedgemoor Council has always been front line, dealing directly with customers and Councillors, ensuring and achieving good service delivery to residents. I have built good working relationships with many colleagues  in various departments during my time with Sedgemoor Council and would This should prove useful in my role as a Councillor .  I would see my primary role as acting for and on behalf of residents and to represent residents’ interests.”

Alex Glassford (Fairfax)
 Graham's second new partner on Sydenham Fairfax ward is Alex Glassford who was born in Scotland yet has lived in Bridgwater for nearly 30 years, the last 18 of them on the  Sydenham Clarks estate. He worked for the NHS for 10 years in management and as a general manager at Paragon laundry in Bridgwater for 14 years. Alex has also been engaged in voluntary work as a school bus driver for disabled children. He was Treasurer of the Railway club for 6 years and ran his own business for the past 5. He has been the chairman of the GWRSA (Exeter area) for the past 8 years. Alex says "Because I've been in Bridgwater for so long I'd like to contribute something back into the community and to help people out where I can. I'm a passionate believer in public services and i'm appalled when I see the Tories cutting back on everything"

Tories on the way out

The Tories are so certain that sitting councillor Mike Cresswell will lose his  seat that they have dropped him as proposed SDC Chairman for next year while his partner in crime ,David Hall, is suffering equal bouts of unpopularity as he is on the Somerset County ruling Tory executive which has cut funding through swathes of Community services . The third Tory candidate in Fairfax, Peter Lowe, achieved notoriety recently when he was the only solitary person at the 200 strong Bridgwater town meeting to vote in favour of Tescos.

Saturday, 16 April 2011


 Labour candidate for the new South Sydenham ward of  Dunwear, Ian Tucker, spoke this week at the final Town Council meeting  - a body on which he hopes to be a key member after may 5th. Ian, who is standing in Dunwear alongside popular  FBU man Leigh Redman, has been a leading critic of Sedgemoor Tories and their handling of the Sedgemoor Splash closure and the Tesco's bid and has spoken at most Council meetings including the final SDC one where he accused Tory councillors of being  "Sheep".

Ian spoke as follows "As you will all be aware a public meeting took place on the 28th March to debate the sale of the Northgate site to Tesco.The meeting was advertised as a public one, open to all ,both for or against Tesco. The turn out of 190 I considered very good. Apart from council members and people who reside outside the town boundaries, who could not vote, a show of hands resulted in only one person voting for Tesco ."

Ian Tucker "Overwhelming vote"

"Overwhelming vote at Public meeting"

"At the subsequent full council meeting two days later, Cllr Preece (Tory Dunwear)  stated that I claimed I was speaking on behalf of all the people in Bridgwater. I wish to make it perfectly clear that this was not the case and I was speaking for the majority of people in Bridgwater. Considering the overwhelming vote at the public meeting against Tesco I feel this has been proved."

"Cllr Preece also quoted the Mayor, who, at the public meeting stated that when times are hard then council's have no option than to sell assets when they have to raise money. I agree, but Bridgwater is no ordinary town, it is fast becoming a boom town and is already bucking the national trend and growing in prosperity. Not my words but those of Sedgmoor's Chief Executive. Therefore I do not agree that we have to sell assets to raise money and finance amenities such as a swimming pool."

"..selling of Northgate is an Opportunity lost.."
"It is wrong to say that the new swimming pool is costing the taxpayer nothing as Cllr's Slocombe and Baker state in their election leaflet. The selling of Northgate is an opportunity lost, an asset that the people of Bridgwater will not now have. Also there is the small matter of up to £400K per year running costs which Sedgemoor have said they will pay. "

"There is a great deal of suspicion about the way Sedgemoor have conducted negotiations with regard to the whole process of shutting the Splash to the present situation. I still await a response to my emails sent on the 6th April to the Leader and monitoring Officer asking
1. Why have they not pursued Tesco for leisure facilities
2. Why are they withholding important information to opposition councillors regarding conditions of sale?
3. Why do they still refuse recordings at meetings against central government directives?
4. Has the council investigated the effect large supermarkets have had on other towns"

"..Council taking a massive risk"
"The recent Country file programme on BBC TV highlighted two towns, Yeovil and Totnes. Thea Platt from the Council for the Protection of Rural England looked at both towns in detail. She concluded that in the case of Yeovil the supermarkets, there are 3 large ones including a Tesco Extra, had driven the small trader out leaving only two butchers and a baker. On visiting Yeovil however I did find a town far different from Bridgwater, as it had large stores, such as M&S and British Home stores all along the high street. This made the high street much more vibrant.  Totnes however is a much smaller town with a good tourist trade and only one medium sized supermarket. The supermarket helped in this town as people came to it from surrounding areas, could not get everything in it and therefore walked up the high street. "

Leigh Redman "disgraceful council"

 "Now look at Bridgwater, already 5 supermarkets and a town centre without any large chain stores. I feel the council are taking a massive risk on both the future of the High Street and Angel Place by allowing this development. And I therefore call on this council to support the no to Tesco vote."

Although Town Clerk Alan Hurford advised the meeting that because the meeting fell within the 'Purdah' period just before an election, the motion should be defered to the first Town Council meeting after the Election, Ian said he was not detered  as this "set a marker for the new Council to be judged on".

Ian's running mate in Dunwear, Leigh Redman, also attacked Sedgemoors record.“I was opposed to the disgraceful way the council allowed the demolition of the Splash and I want to fight to help build Bridgwater back to its previous best. Big business should be bringing good things to the local community not forcing the destruction of them! "


Cllr Bill Monteith

This week, Bridgwater Town Council held it’s final meeting before the Local Elections on May 5th. Outgoing Mayor ,Cllr Bill Monteith , one of the two members for the Eastover ward of the town, spoke afterwards of his pride in the Labour Controlled authority.

"...a decent place to live and work..."

“I care passionately about this Town. That's why I would urge anyone who feels the same way to VOTE LABOUR on May 5th. I know, as a member of Labour's Town Council Team that we are the ONLY realistic chance of the Town surviving as a decent place to live and work. The Tory candidates will have you believe that they are a viable alternative. They are NOT! They belong to the same local Tory party who closed ranks and supported Sedgemoor's decisions to close the Town Hall, The Splash, The Blake Museum and all of the other things that make up the soul of our Town.”

"...a safe future..."

“ Under Labour's guidance the Town Council has ensured that we have now got a safe future for the Town hall and all of the cultural partners who use it."

"We have saved the Blake Museum and preserved the heritage of the Town's past for future generations.  We pay for our Parks, Cemeteries, Street Cleaning and all of the other things that Sedgemoor wanted to slash. We have consistently fought for the Town, whilst the Tory's on the Town Council have simply fallen in to line with their Sedgemoor counterparts. A Tory Controlled Town Council would merely become an extension of Sedgemoor and we all know what they have done for Bridgwater!”

"..believe in the town.."

“Do not be fooled by their glossy spin. They have done NOTHING for Bridgwater. Only a Labour Town Council can stave off the worst excesses of this morally corrupt bunch. If you believe in the Town as much as I do then there is clearly only one choice on May 5th.  Vote Labour.”

“Bridgwater is a town steeped in History. A vote for anyone other than Labour means that a decent Bridgwater will be consigned to History.”

Labour are standing candidates in ALL town wards.
Currently the balance is 10 Labour 6 Conservative.

*Denotes sitting Town Councillor

Eastover;- Dave Loveridge* & Bill Monteith*
Westover;- Steve Austen, Pat Parker* & Brian Smedley
Hamp;- Adrian Moore & John Turner*
Victoria;- Mick Lerry & Ken Richards*
Dunwear (South Sydenham);- Leigh Redman & Ian Tucker
Fairfax (North Sydenham) Alex Glassford, Graham Granter* & Pat Morley
Wyndham;- Adrian Downes* & Jim Munn*

Friday, 15 April 2011

On the Victoria Trail with Mick and Ken

Mick Lerry & Ken Richards out in Bridgwater Victoria
Mick Lerry and Ken Richards have been leafleting on the Labour Campaign Trail in Victoria Ward. From Kendale Road to Ramblers Way and Saltlands to Sorrento, there has been a positive reception for the two Labour candidates. Mick and Ken are seen here on the last stage of the leafleting of Victoria Ward. Not one person has said no to the Labour Leaflet. Many constituents welcome the message from Labour on Town Centre regeneration, quality jobs, protecting public spaces, proper community payback and the restoration of public services.
Mick says: "Often constituents have outlined their concerns about the direction of both the National Government and Tory controlled Sedgemoor District Council. The recent proposals for the NHS will have an impact on health services at a local level. This is not the time to pause, listen and reflect. The Government should invest more in the NHS and change direction. Also more investment is needed for the public spaces in Victoria Ward".
Ken says: "The people of Victoria ward are not interested in experiments with their public services at a National and Local level, any consultation must be based on the needs of the people in Victoria".

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Labour highly visible in the Berrow Ward

Rob & Sam out and about in Berrow

Rob Kail-Dyke (and his able assistant Sam Kail-Dyke, age 10) were out early this morning, leafleting in Berrow. They were dressed to be noticed in matching hi-viz jackets and Labour rosettes. Rob said, “it’s great to have an opportunity to represent the Berrow ward in the forthcoming local elections. The reaction on the doorstep has been really positive and local people seem to be really glad to have a proper choice (i.e. a real alternative to the Tories and Lib-Dems) at long last. So far we’ve managed to leaflet around a third of the houses in Berrow and we expect to have covered the whole of the ward by the end of the week.”

Monday, 11 April 2011

YOUTH AGAINST THE SQUIREARCHY- Labour advances in the Tory Heartlands

Katherine Putnam making an impact in the Quantock ward
 "If Labours going to have a chance of winning control of Sedgemoor we have to take on the Tories in the seats they've taken for granted in the past" Said Labours youngest candidate, Katherine Putnam, out canvassing in Spaxton, the centre of her Quantocks ward. But this prospect holds no fear for Fiddington girl Katherine who was brought up and went to school in the area.

"I love these hills" said Katherine, as she handed out leaflets in Spaxton High Street "I love Nature. It's a place that should be preserved forever and not destroyed by such developments as Hinkley Point!"

Shaun O Byrne on the campaign trail
 Shaun O Byrne, Labours other candidate in the two member ward, and who was out and about in his home village of Nether Stowey, said "The Tories are annoyed that we even dared to stand  in this ward - but we live here and we care about the place! I did 110 leaflets today. it took me 1 hour and 40 minutes because of the long driveways and crossing fields  but it was well worth it because people are happy to see us. I got several definites, a few posters up and lost 1 kilo in weight!"

Katherine said "Labour is now the party to vote for in Quantocks ward. We've caught the Tories on the backfoot and the LibDems are just putting in a token last minute presence with a single solitary paper candidate. I;m urging people not to waste their anti-Tory vote on them- no-one believes them anymore anyway"

LibDems - Losing here

"Vote Labour this time"
 Katherines words ring true on the day that the Lib Dem leader of Liverpool City Council has pleaded with Clegg to quit the Coalition predicting hundreds upon hundreds of Libdem Council seat losses on May 5th.

It certainly seemed to have a resonance with the voters   Ben, from Spaxton, spoke to us as Katherine and her helpers moved on to the next village   "I'll be voting for Katherine this time. we need someone with a bit of youth and vitality about them. I believe her when she says she understands the importance of preserving the countryside , the bus services, the local schools and the like. She got my vote!"

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Labour Strikes a Chord in North Petherton

Alex Desmond out leafletting in North Petherton
Canvassing in the North Petherton ward got under way early on Saturday morning. Voters are now receiving Labour's leaflet which introduces the candidates and talks about the urgent need for a change in Sedgemoor.

Labour received a warm welcome in Wilstock village, where local residents are deeply concerned about the proposed Bridgwater Gateway development.  Labour candidate and Stockmoor resident  Alex Desmond (24) who has been on the doorsteps from dawn till dusk said "There is a strong feeling among local residents that the current Conservative councillors are ignoring the communities of Stockmoor and Wilstock by supporting the application. "

Stockmoor resident , Steve , was not impressed by one of  his Tory Councillors who he approached with their concerns , saying that " she simply didn't seem to listen to us".  A group of local people are also calling for a Northern Bypass rather than a lorry park in Stockmoor village. So far EDF are refusing to include a Northern Bypass in their proposals and the Tories are not fighting the case for a new road. Local resident Dave said that "we shouldn't be building on greenbelt land."

Sedgemoor Labour Chair Brian Smedley arrives

On Sunday, a team of Labour campaigners hit North Petherton itself. Alex says "With three candidates standing for Labour and only one Lib Dem,it;s clear that Labour are now the main opposition in North Petherton. " One local resident in Portman Road remarked he wanted a change - "I've had enough of the Tories and many of us in North Petherton are going to support the Labour candidates this time".

The surge of support in previously Tory-dominated areas like North Petherton shows that voters are no longer happy with the status quo. Local people in North Petherton have realised that the ruling Tory party is over-complacent and simply ignores them. With seats like North Petherton now in play, current predictions show that Labour could be poised to take control of Sedgemoor next month.


Labour are standing 3 local Candidates in North Petherton - Marion Denham, Alex Desmond and John Hesketh

Marion Denham.

Marion Denham

Marion retired after 25 years as a Sedgemoor Lifeline officer working with elderly and disabled people in the North Petherton Area. She is Sedgemoor born and bred and has lived in North Petherton for 31 years. Marion has grown up children and grand children locally. Although retired, she remains committed to supporting elderly people as a volunteer. She is also a volunteer at the North Petherton Community Primary School and served 4 years on North Petherton Town Council.

Marion is very aware of the impact of the ConLib Coalition and Sedgemoor Tory Cuts. She is also very concerned about the lack of consultation by the council on the EDF proposals for Hinkley Point and how this will affect North Petherton.

Marion says “I want to serve all the people in North Petherton and the surrounding communities. When elected I will always be available to come and visit and discuss any issues. Please support me on the 5th May.”

Alex Desmond

Alex Desmond

Alex lives with his family on the Stockmoor estate in the North Petherton ward and currently works in Taunton. He went to Chilton Trinity School and Bridgwater College before studying in Exeter. He has a degree in German and History.
Alex has strong links to the local community, spending  time volunteering at Somerset Bridge Primary School . Alex’s interests include cooking and travelling.

Alex says “I believe that decisions made in the next few years will be crucial for the future of North Petherton. As an active member of the local Labour party I am therefore keen to make sure that local people’s voices about new developments at Junction 24 are heard and will fight hard for the survival of local services in the town.”

John Hesketh
John Hesketh has lived in North Petherton for 27 years. Originally from the Midlands he is married with two grown up children.  He has been an active member of the North Petherton Town Council for the last eight years.

John Hesketh

John works as a representative for a Somerset Company and is well known to the licensed trade throughout the West Country. John also runs a shop in Bridgwater. John has been a supporter of the Community Centre and the newt Beer festival.

John says “The Tories have ignored places like Sedgemoor for years. County has not only failed to repair our roads for years, now they are cutting village rural buses and have refused to upgrade the zebra crossing at the Post Office. Our Library is more than just a library; it is criminal that the Tories are determined to get rid of it. The Town Council is trying to keep the Library going.  I am determined to fight  these wicked Coalition cuts.”

Friday, 8 April 2011


  1. The Battle for Sedgemoor is underway
The  Labour Party today launched it’s campaign to try to take control of Sedgemoor District Council from the Conservatives. Labour, currently the main opposition, are fielding 34 candidates across the District . Victories in 25 seats will bring them to power.
The current balance of power in Sedgemoor is 37 Conservative 10 Labour 3 LibDem but Labour expects to gain from the collapse of the Lib Dem vote across the Country –particularly in the South West, where people are increasingly disillusioned with their broken promises and their coalition with the Conservatives.
Condems heading for a wipe out??
Sedgemoor Labour Chairman Cllr Brian Smedley , speaking at the launch meeting at Unity House on Thursday night said “Labour is going into this election with a 6% lead over the Tories in the Polls Nationally while the LibDems have sunk to below 10%. They are even standing against each other in their last shaky stronghold of Burnham & Highbridge and are pretty much finished as a credible alternative whilst  we have strong Labour candidates in the key seats expecting to make gains at their expense. However, the main fight is against the Tories who are not only taking the country back to the 1980’s but have treated Sedgemoor like Feudal Landlords in recent years and who are especially despised in Bridgwater where they have demolished a popular town centre leisure facility, the Sedgemoor Splash, and plan to sell public open space to a Supermarket giant and destroy the town centre.”
  Labour expects to sweep the board in Bridgwater where they currently have 10 seats and to regain seats lost in recent years in Highbridge and Woolavington plus make new gains in wards adjoining Bridgwater such as King’s isle, East Polden, Quantocks and North Petherton.

Kathy Pearce out leafletting in Westover
Sedgemoor Labour group leader Cllr Kathy Pearce, who was the first candidate off the mark leafletting , early  Friday morning in her Westover ward, said “Tory unpopularity and LibDem ineffectiveness could lead, we calculate, to 15 Labour gains across the District so we are taking the fight to the Tories and standing in wards where they aren’t expecting us  such as The Quantock Hills which will face major disruption from the proposed Hinkley Point development and East Polden where even  the Tory leader Duncan McGinty can’t feel safe!”
At the  launch event at Unity House on April 7th the 34 Labour candidates unveiled their manifesto which will be going out to households across Sedgemoor  during the next week.
"People have the chance on May 5th to break the Tory stranglehold on Sedgemoor by voting Labour."
A Labour Sedgemoor would;-
Guarantee GENUINE CONSULTATION with the Community
Make Bridgwater TOWN CENTRE REGENERATION a priority

"Getting the message out"

Put QUALITY JOBS at the top of our agenda
Improve the Environment and PROTECT PUBLIC OPEN SPACE
Encourage and develop AFFORDABLE HOUSING alternatives, especially family homes suitable for children and with play spaces . 
Ensure the LEISURE FACILITIES that people want are in the place where they can really contribute to regeneration
Demand a PROPER COMMUNITY PAYBACK from Big Developers to ensure genuine investment into the area.
Reduce waste in 'TOP HEAVY' SEDGEMOOR rather than the cuts falling on frontline services.