Thursday, 19 December 2013

Labour Shadow Department for Energy and Climate Change visit Hinkley C site and Bridgwater College.

Caroline Flint MP, Cllr Mick Lerry-Bridgwater PPC,
Tom Greatrex MP,  Claire Moody-Labour SW Euro Candidate,
Neil Guild-Taunton PPC
Caroline Flint MP and Tom Greatrex MP visited Hinkley C and the Energy and Skills Centre at Bridgwater College, on Tuesday 17th December. The aim of the visit was a fact finding tour, to establish the full impact of the Energy infrastructure project. The team were impressed with the developments at Bridgwater College and how local people could obtain training and skills to move into the Energy industry.

Mick discusses the issues with Tom Greatrex MP
Mick Lerry, leader of Sedgemoor Labour group and PPC for Bridgwater and West Somerset, said: "Members of the Labour Group were able to discuss the implications of the construction stage of Hinkley C and how it was important to avoid "boom and bust". We were able to explain the importance of Community Benefit during the construction stage of the power station. Highlighting the fact that Bridgwater and surrounding area should be recognised as an Enterprise or Business Zone, able to retain all the business rates to invest back into the local economy".

Both MPs were interested in the proposals put forward by the Labour Group and another meeting will be scheduled in early 2014 to discuss the matter further.

 Cllr. Mick Lerry
Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset.

Leader of the Labour Group on SDC.

Mobile 07775 905080

Monday, 16 December 2013


Labour Leader Ed Miliband and Bridgwater PPC
Mick Lerry call for new homes.
Mick Lerry, Labour Parliamentary candidate for Bridgwater & West Somerset, has called on the Government to take action to make home ownership a realistic aspiration for working people and rents more affordable by building much needed homes.

According to independent experts, under the current Government we are building less than half the homes a year we need to meet demand. The gap between the number of homes we build each year and what we need is unprecedented at over 100,000 each year.

A housing shortage, combined with the cost of living crisis – with falling wages and rising bills – is making rents increasingly expensive and putting home homeownership out of reach for millions of working people.

Back in 1997 it took an average family just three years to save for a proper deposit on a home but today it takes 22 years. Private sector rents are now at the highest level ever recorded.

One Nation Labour has plans to increase the supply of new homes in England above 200,000 a year by the end of the next Parliament. To ensure plans are in place on day one of a Labour Government, Ed Miliband today, Monday 16th December 2013, launched a Housing Commission chaired by Sir Michael Lyons has been launched to draw up a road map for delivering this ambition.

Mick Lerry, said:

“The security of knowing you can afford to live in your home is the cornerstone of a strong society. It’s a basic aspiration that working people want for themselves and their children – one that should be open to everyone.

“Many people in Bridgwater and West Somerset are facing a cost of living crisis and are struggling with housing costs. By getting Britain building again a Labour Government will help tackle ever-spiralling private rents and will make home ownership an achievable dream once more for those that are currently priced out.”

 Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“David Cameron is presiding over the lowest levels of homes built in peacetime since the 1920s and already families are suffering from some of the worst housing shortages for a generation. This is now part of a cost-of-living crisis for millions of people for whom the dream of home ownership is fading into the distance.

“At this time of year, when family is so important, there are parents who fear their children will never get a place of their own. And there are millions of young people who fear they may never be able to get on the housing ladder; never able to invite their parents round for Christmas dinner.  

 “If families are to prosper and our country is to succeed, Britain needs new homes.”

Saturday, 14 December 2013


Bridgwater PPC Mick Lerry
"Labour will deliver fairer
prices "
Many households will be going into debt this winter because of the increasing cost of energy. Even where energy companies have reduced the price, because of the withdrawal of the Green levy, the increase in energy is still above inflation. Many people in rural areas have limited options for fuel, many of which lack mains gas. The Green levy helps to make efficient use of fuel, which is particularly important for countryside communities and residents on low incomes.

At the same time a committee of MPs has accused ministers of "shifting the goalposts" to reduce the number of households in England classed as in fuel poverty. The definition of fuel poverty would be changed by amendments to the Energy Bill so that 2.4 million were classed as fuel poor rather than 3.2 million.

Labour candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset , Mick Lerry said: "The government plans to reduce energy bills by an average of £50 a year in an effort to offset rising costs, is not enough. Labour’s energy price freeze is needed. Labour's price freeze would save money for 27 million households and 2.4 million businesses and our plans to reset the market will deliver fairer prices in the future”.

"Ian Liddell-Grainger MP needs to represent the community by asking the Government to sort out the Energy market to protect people from fuel and financial poverty."

Cllr Mick Lerry, Leader of the Labour Group on SDC and Labour Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Bridgwater and West Somerset.


Tel: 07775 905080

Thursday, 28 November 2013


Cllr Mick Lerry-Labour PPC for
Bridgwater & West Somerset
Bridgwater and West Somerset Labour Party has chosen a leading councillor, Mick Lerry, as its candidate for the General Election expected in 2015.
Councillor Lerry has lived in the constituency since 1976. He was a teacher for 22 years at the Blake School in Bridgwater and served on the national executive of the National Union of Teachers. He represents the Victoria ward on Sedgemoor District Council and Bridgwater Town Council, and is leader of the Sedgemoor Labour group.
Speaking after his selection by local Labour members Mick said:

“I look forward to the challenge of being Labour’s candidate in Bridgwater and West Somerset. I will be highlighting the need for growth in the local and national economy, taking regard of energy infrastructure. We must provide well paid jobs at the living wage or above, and abolish the mis-use of zero hours contracts.

“I am very concerned about youth unemployment, and the need to make sure that women are not at the front line of the cost of living crisis.

“I know many constituents - especially the elderly - will welcome Labour’s policy of a freeze on energy bills.  And I strongly support Labour’s promise to remove the bedroom tax, which has increased the cost of living for vulnerable people.”


Mick on an NUT demo
As a union representative, Mick was involved in negotiations and consultations with secretaries of state and other ministers, promoting education and the role of teachers in England and Wales. In his present role with Sedgemoor Council, he heads a group of 13 Labour councillors. He has held meetings with shadow cabinet members to ensure a community benefit from the construction of the Hinkley C power station. Mick is a director of Homes in Sedgemoor and is on the board of Victoria Park Community Centre.


The Sedgemoor District Labour Group Chair Cllr Kath Pearce, who was the Parliamentary candidate last time round, welcomed Mick's selection. "The co-alition government's policies have disproportionately affected those on low income who are struggling to pay their bills whilst brushing the scandal of the bankers' bonuses under the carpet.  They have fragmented the education system and are doing the same with the NHS.  Advances made under Labour to invest in "green" energy generation have been completely undermined by this government.  We will have an opportunity at the next election to vote for a new Labour Leader who has shown his determination to stand up for hard pressed families by commitments to the Living Wage and by bringing the giant energy companies to account.  In this constituency, we are fortunate to have Mick as our candidate, with his wealth of experience, both in the Trade Union movement and as Leader of the Sedgemoor District Labour Party.  I, along with many others, will be campaigning hard for Mick to win in this constituency and urge anyone who wants better opportunities locally to join us."  

Mick Lerry -candidate best placed
to unseat Liddel-Grainger
Secretary of the Sedgemoor District Labour group, Cllr Brian Smedley , said "We have had Tory MPs here since the 1950's and Labour has often managed to run them a close second. In recent years the Lib dems have taken that position on occasion and still failed to beat them. No-one now can see the Tory coalition partners as a genuine alternative and that vote will collapse - but people are desperate to get rid of Ian Liddel-Grainger. We have the advantage of knowing that the election will be in May 2015 and we have until then to build the campaign to make sure people realise that Mick Lerry is the only chance we have to do that in this constituency."


Contact:  Mick Lerry:   07775 905080


Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Labour Group welcomes Government announcement on Community Benefit for Hinkley C

SDC Labour leader Mick Lerry 'welcomes
community benefit announcement'
The Labour Group on SDC today welcomed the Department for Energy and Climate Change’s announcement  on Community Benefit for the operational period of Hinkley C, as the community should be rewarded for hosting a nuclear power station.
Labour leader Cllr Mick Lerry said "The Labour Group have lobbied Caroline Flint, Shadow Secretary of State for DECC, and she asked about Community Benefit when the announcement was made on the building of Hinkley C However the Labour Group  also wants Community Benefit to be given to the community and Bridgwater during the construction stage of Hinkley C and for the extension of the existing Nuclear Power Stations, where the operation stage has been extended".

The proposals will see the local communities around Hinkley Point C compensated at a rate of £1,000 per Megawatt for the entire operation of the plant. With Hinkley Point C expected to be in operation for 40 years, this could amount to £128 million in funding. The money could be used for a range of local projects for those who will not see any direct and tangible benefits themselves, such as facilities for the elderly and measures to address fuel poverty.

 The Labour Group has been playing a key role on SDC as part of cross party  campaigning on community benefit contributions for five years, negotiating with Ministers, MPs and civil servants and consistently raising this issue in Parliament, and the Council is delighted to see all this hard work come to fruition.

A Sedgemoor spokesperson said "This announcement will mean the local community will be justly compensated for hosting what is a major national infrastructure project, required in order to meet a national need, but where the impacts are felt locally. This represents a fair settlement for the community affected and ensures consistency with similar forms of community benefit for onshore wind and shale gas."



Thursday, 4 July 2013

Bridgwater Post Strike - Labour councillors urge support

Dave Chapple CWU
Bridgwater Postal workers have started a series of strikes. The Bridgwater Mercury, apart from giving Forum space to the usual bevy of self important right wing web stalkers, produced a report described as 'misleading' by Shop Steward Dave Chapple. Here he responds to that misinformation in a letter to the editor.
As the CWU shop steward at Bridgwater Royal Mail Delivery Office I would like to clarify some of the issues arising from last week's 'Mercury' report on our successful strike ballot, and, in particular, the misleading statement made by Royal Mail's Rhys Jones that they have "tried hard to engage with the CWU locally."
We value the excellent relationship we have with the public we serve.
We are also proud to work for one of this country's oldest and last remaining public services.
This is why local people need to understand why we have been driven to enact our last-resort democratic right to strike.
In Bridgwater's Friarn Street depot, bullying by far too many overpaid managers, cuts to full-time duties, refusal to honour signed agreements and promises, have triggered our decision to strike.
The £800 mentioned is the only issue that actually concerns money, and is not the crucial issue at stake: however, we ARE owed it!
As to "engaging with the CWU locally" and, hopefully, agreeing with us a way to prevent these strikes, well, Royal Mail have known about this impressive ballot result for 15 days now, and they STILL haven't yet bothered to meet with the union!  
Most of us get up at 5am or before to walk or cycle ten to fifteen miles a day doing a job we love, and we want to carry on doing that, but Somerset people do need to know THE hidden background fact: Royal Mail is being run down to privatised ruin!
So if you see us about before the strike days, speak to us, and we can tell you the truth. 
Labour councillors urge support
Kath Pearce & Brian Smedley ,Labour councillors for Bridgwaters Westover ward, where the sorting office is based have urged Party members  to support the Postal Workers and to show solidarity by joining them on the picket line.
Bridgwater South County Councillor Leigh Redman (left) said "Solidarity to the Bridgwater Posties expressing their right to strike today, it is a shame the management have left them with no choice!"

Friday, 22 March 2013

Labour Group calls on Council to condemn Bedroom Tax

Labour councillors are calling on Sedgemoor District Council to condemn the unfair Bedroom tax which will hit people in Sedgemoor.  

Labour group leader Cllr Mick Lerry (Bridgwater Victoria) says "Labour councillors have tabled a motion at the Council meeting on Wednesday 27th March which  condemns David Cameron’s unfair Bedroom tax, and  which highlights how vulnerable people are being hit and calling on the council to examine the measures they are putting in place to support local people."

Bedroom Tax Motion

Labour leader Mick Lerry "Unfair tax"
"The Government will cut housing benefit for people with a spare room in their social or council let home, despite the DWP impact assessment acknowledging that there is a shortage of smaller properties for tenants to move to. Instead, the Government expects families to pay extra rather than move house. This will not solve under occupancy, but will hit low income working families, disabled people, and families of soldiers who are serving their country. If families are made homeless or pushed into expensive private rented accommodation the policy could cost more than it saves. Sedgemoor District Council, in the implementation of the bedroom tax; will use discretionary payments to make sure that families and people are not made homeless or forced into debt, because of the bedroom tax." 

The Meeting of Sedgemoor District Council will start at 2.30 on Wednesday 27th March and will be held at Bridgwater House, King's Square. Members of the public are also able to speak on any item on the agenda for 3 minutes  but must give  2 working days notice of their intention to Democratic Services team leader Andrew Melhuish (01278 435332)

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Happy Mother's Day

 To all of the Mums out there I hope you have had a happy day and have been spoilt be it breakfast in bed or in my case a big bunch of  Daffodils.  It's great to be appreciated for doing a good job. What a shame Mr Cameron doesn't agree.
From next month new mothers will see a change to matenity benefit.Instead of it keeping up with inflation the benefit will be frozen at 1 per cent.  Inflation is currently 2.7 per cent.   This is part of a three year cap on benefits.  Once again families are being hurt and the wrong people are being hit. The governments argument is that tax allowances have increased for those on low incomes. But what if you are out of work? When times are hard are our children really the ones that should be targetted? Where is the commitment to end child poverty?
We need more women in politics to protect our loved ones. Only 32 per cent of councillors Nationally are women and in parliament men outnumber women by 4 to 1.  When you come to vote on the 2 May think who will represent your views on families in Somerset.

Barbara O'Connor
Labour Candidate for Bridgwater East & Bawdrip
Somerset County Council Elections

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

"You and I will never agree on the morality of this!" Says Westover councillor as Rickards robustly defends Tesco Fee Payment

Following the revelations last December that Sedgemoor's chief Executive Kerry Rickards had authorised the payment of £20,200 worth of fees towards Tesco's planned development on Bridgwater's Brewery Field in a deal arranged with Somerset County Council, the man in the hotseat finally faced his critics at his own councils Corporate Scrutiny Committee this Monday (4th February 2013).

Committee Chairman Cllr Brian Smedley (Labour,Bridgwater Westover) allowed members of the Public and Councillors to directly question the Chief Executive and then opened up the meeting to members of the Scrutiny Committee.

'the Council simply rolled over'

Cllr Julian Taylor (Labour, Bridgwater Eastover) asked 'What went so wrong with the negotiations with Tesco that things had to be resolved in this way? This is the first time that Sedgemoor has paid or reduced a planning fee and it looks like this was either a considered decision over a long period of time or that the Council has simply rolled over and given in to a major multinational."

'you and I will never agree on the morality of this'
"You chose to subsidise a company that is making
£39billion of pre tax profits!" Cllr Pearce

Cllr Kathy Pearce (Labour, Bridgwater Westover) said "Why wasn't Council fully informed of the facts of the matter when members first asked these questions at Full Council on 24th October and why did it have to take over a month for us to unearth these facts through subsequent  investigations? The moral issue here is that Somerset County Council are making big cuts  - some 45million pounds worth , and yet you chose to subsidise a company that is making 39billion pounds pre tax profits. It seems that you and I will never agree on the morality of this."

'Tesco....promise loads then forget about it'

Cllr Ian Tucker (Labour, Bridgwater Dunwear) said "This idea to pay the fees was clearly instigated by Kerry Rickards and you were under no obligation to. It seems you are so afraid of losing the Tesco deal yet the reality is that their record shows they promise loads and then forget about it once the deal is done."

'Only carrying out council policy'

Kerry Rickards defended his position saying that he was "Only carrying out Council policy." He explained that "The previous decision of Council was to dispose of the Northgate site to Tesco Stores ltd" and that "The planning application had been received on 26 September 2012, but in october an impasse was reached regarding the calculation of the planning fee concerning the definition of the undercroft parking area, and in order to resolve this stalemate"  and in pursuance of council policy he  had intervened  to solve this and "had the authority to make this decision". He said this decision had been ".. taken in 3 seconds during a 5 minute conversation with Kevin Nacey at Somerset County".

"Are Sedgemoor actively pursuing Tesco for recovery?"

Cllr Mick Lerry (Labour, Bridgwater Victoria) pointed to a letter between Labour County Councillor Dave Loveridge (Bridgwater North & Central) which had been circulated and which asked Somerset County directly if the deal "..required Tesco to reimburse them at some point."  To which SCC had replied "SCC fully expects to have its contribution returned if SDC is succesful in obtaining further fees from Tesco." Cllr Lerry asked "So is there an agreement to reimburse Somerset and are Sedgemoor actively pursuing Tesco for recovery of the full ammount?"

'Never say never'

Mr Rickards replied "In the unlikely event that this is offered, Somerset will be reimbursed, but we are not actively pursuing this . However, never say never."

'like pulling teeth'
"Tesco have avoided paying a £20,200 planning fee"
Chairman Brian Smedley

The Committee 'noted' the report. After the meeting the chairman Cllr Smedley said "There doesn't seem to be an issue that Mr Rickards has not acted within his rights in this matter. The question remains about the morality of that action. Whether at this time SDC or SCC should be seen to be caving in to a powerful multinational and effectively subsidising its planning bid when this isn't the norm for other local developers. The other issue for us is clearly the tooth-pulling nature of trying to get these facts out of them. The fact remains at the end of the day that as a result of this decision , Tesco have avoided paying a £20,200 planning application fee and had their application registered with the help of public funds."

Thursday, 31 January 2013

SEDGEMOOR APPROVES COUNCIL TAX SCHEME "Regressive Tax on Working Age Residents" say Labour

Mick Lerry rises to put the Labour position
Sedgemoor  has become the final District Council within Somerset to  agree how they will deal with the  Coalition Governments new  Localisation of Council Tax plan.  Under the Legislation, Councils are faced with National support cutbacks of 10% whilst  being compelled to  put the burden onto benefit claimants.

Labour Leader Cllr Mick Lerry (Lab,Victoria)  branded the Legislation "a regressive tax on working age residents on low incomes" and moved a Labour ammendment to this effect. Sadly this was only supported by Labour members and the 2 Highbridge independents.

"There could be some issues with collection"

Sedgemoors Finance officer Alison Turner said Sedgemoor had consulted widely on the changes  and in particular had listened to it's Community Scrutiny Committee chaired by Labour's Cllr Julian Taylor (Lab,Eastover) which had argued for the maximum possible support to offset the potentially devastating effect of the changes. Mrs Turner admitted "there could be some issues with collection".

Sedgemoor voted to set the support at 85% - in line with South Somerset & West Somerset -where Labour councillors had recently fought to lift the Tory proposal from 70%- and a better deal than in Taunton Deane and Mendip where the figure was set at 80%.

"Regressive tax on working people"

Cllr Lerry said  "This is yet another tax  on people and it's sad that we find ourselves in this situation. We will support the 15% position in the circumstances because it's fair, cost neutral and won't put additional pressures on other precepting authorities - particularly Bridgwater Town Council which would suffer unduly from a poorer settlement. We have fought to put in place a  hardship policy and we accept there will be a higher proportion of uncollected tax . We have also taken special measures to protect  child maintenance. But this scheme is a regressive tax on working people on low incomes and it will not help put people back into work."
Cllr Baker- ex Liberal , now Tory, but will his guilt now take
him elsewhere? Cllr Williams 'has a chat'.

"Guilty intervention"

Cllr David Baker (Con,Wyndham) made a sudden break with his bewildered colleagues outlining exactly why the tax was unfair and how it would hit people on low incomes and proposed a further ammendment to take funds from reserves to reduce the payment to 8.5%. He was seconded by independent Chris Williams (Ind,Highbridge) but found no further support.

Cllr Mick Lerry said "Cllr Baker doesn't see that this will still  have to be dealt with in a years time . It's no good just stamping your feet and saying 'No'. This has a knock on effect to the other precepting authorities. If people don't like this then they need to vote out the Government at the next election."

Cllr  Mark Healey (Con, Puriton) leapt to his feet saying "The SDC position is more than fair and when I hear Cllr Baker I wonder if I might as well just give up working and get a divorce and I'd be better off! And to listen to Cllr Lerry anyone would think there was an election coming up!".

Cllr Healy is a Candidate for  the County Council elections in May.

The Lib Dem benches. 100% empty.
"Appallingly poorly attended meeting"

Cllr Brian Smedley (Lab. Westover)  commented afterwards "The meeting was appallingly poorly attended and I wonder if a lot of this was due to the Monitoring officers well publicised advice that members in receipt of benefit weren't able to take part or vote in the meeting. This was a depressing affair and Labour supported the fairest option available which also protected Bridgwater towns position . It was odd to see Cllr Baker suddenly get a social conscience, but I suspect his position was more one of guilt at what his party was doing and knowing full well he wouldn't get his  ammendment passed. It was also not a surprise to see the Lib Dem benches totally empty again, despite them winning the Highbridge by-election last week as I thought they might have something to say and make an impact with their new councillor. But that was probably just wishful thinking."

Thursday, 24 January 2013


Lib Dems -Munt, Groves & Co await the result
The hard fought Sedgemoor District Council By-Election for the Highbridge & Burnham Marine ward has ended with the Lib Dems clinging onto their seat after a massive effort including visits from top brass party leaders , their sitting MP Tessa Munt and party members from across the county on the day. 

The result was as follows

HELEN GROVES     (Liberal Democrat)  379 (30.4%)
BILL HANCOCK       (Conservative)          288 (23.10%) 
SALLY WILLIAMS    (Independent)           253 (20.35%)
RICKY HOLCOMBE (Labour)                    249 (20.03%)
PURPLE WATKINS  (Independent)             68 (5.47%)

The election was fought on a bright but chilly January day becoming increasingly colder as the evening wore on. The turnout was 22% and it got dark and cold quite early on. And icy.

Lib Dems drop 7%

Labour-Tremendous presence from across Somerset
The Lib Dems - extremely well organised - had even managed to book a room in the building  next door to the main Polling station, in fact within feet, where they set up computers, printers and operated their main committee room running off the same wifi as the Council election officers.

 A massive multi leaflet  campaign scaring voters into voting LibDem to 'stop the Tories getting in' -which is essentially the 'Ashdown factor in action' proved as hard a nut to crack as it had elsewhere in Somerset where this rot has set in.

Desperate to distance themselves from the poisonous Lib Dems nationally, the Groves campaign tried to position itself as 'local' and painfully 'non political'-despite the incredible hypocrisy inherent in that blandishment. In the end they polled 30% - a drop of some 7% from the result last time round of their resigned former leader Joe Leach, who wasn't very much in evidence at the Polling stations. But then he's gone into banking.

'Labour-Independent' anti Clegg vote combined could have swung it

Labour, who had the best physical presence on the day with members from all over the county dropping in to help, was nevertheless unable to crack this malaise. However, a key feature of the election was the presence of the 'independent' local (ex libdem) candidate-whose supporters had been fighting their former chums since the last District election in 2011. Both Labour and the Independent-anti-libdem polled 20% each, a devastating split-vote blow when added together that 40% worth of anti-Clegg votes could have kicked out the Lib Dems and created a sensation in Highbridge.

Labour candidate, former coal miner Ricky Holcombe (left) , praised his supporters saying "The best result ever is our solidarity and determination to win for Labour in 2013.  County Council election here we come!"

Hard core Tories -a solid rock of complacent smugness

The scariest result was the Tory vote. The Highbridge demographics have changed since it was a safe Labour seat back in the early 80's and since then a residual Tory core vote has managed to score relatively high without doing much work. With no presence at all on the day the Tories came in second with 23% of the vote, although down on the district election, still a  kick in the teeth that there's still a hard core of self centredly complacent voters happy to back Cameron and spit on the hardships of the working class.

Purple has a nice car

There was a 5th candidate. Purple Watkins (right & purple)  picked up 68 votes, 5% of the total, which is good for a composite colour. He had nice blond and purple hair and quite a cool pink car. not to mention the bondage style trousers and new romanticesque cowboy boots. One Lib Dem said "He shouldn't be allowed to stand if he don't take this seriously."   And he should know.....

Purple's (pink) car
Sedgemoor Labour Group secretary Cllr Brian Smedley said "It's a shame we couldn't take advantage of the Lib Dems divisions in Highbridge but at the end of the day that division worked in their favour. To win places like Highbridge the Labour vote has to regain confidence in itself and it's ability to win. Good organisation and Unity from the Labour camp all over the County is a positive sign for the future and this trial run puts us in a good position for the County elections in May."

Saturday, 12 January 2013


Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg today 'drops in' to try to save his beleagured parties chances in the Highbridge by-election caused by the sudden resignation of Sedgemoor Lib Dem leader Joe Leach.  Clegg and Wells MP Tessa Munt (who covers Highbridge as part of her constituency) both voted with the Tories this week to get through the Welfare Benefits Bill . Some of their party voted against and some abstained -but not these 2! So committed are they to supporting their disastrous and unpopular coalition with the Conservatives.


Labour candidate in the by-election, Ricky Holcombe says "For many years Highbridge was a safe, solid and stable Labour seat on Sedgemoor and crucial to the party which otherwise was largely Bridgwater based. Since the Lib Dem/SDP  came on the scene and confused people with their ultimately broken promises the seat has become the most marginal in the District swinging backwards and forward between all the parties. The Lib Dems took it last time but immediatly split into  2 as no sooner had they put the Tories into Government with their coalition causing massive loss of support, that got worse when Clegg and his MPs broke their pre-election promise not to raise Tuition fees. Now they're even attacking peoples benefits while leaving Millionaires alone! That's what voting Lib Dem has meant to the people of Highbridge."


Highbridge is Sedgemoor's key Marginal-anyone could win.
Clegg and Munt will drop into the neglected ward only to find the 'official'  Lib Dem candidate attempting to claim she "Isn't political", the Independent liberal claiming she "isn't political", the Tory candidate (who recently left the Lib Dems ) claiming he "isn't political". Ricky says, "The problem is that the solutions are political and on Sedgemoor the Tories run the show, like they do on the County and in Government-and with Lib Dem political support. Today they'll be bringing Munt, Laws,Heath and Browne to Highbridge -all of the 4 Somerset LibDem MPs. ALL of these voted with the Tories last week- they didn't have the guts to vote against or even the decency to abstain. "

Labour's Ricky Holcombe (right) , who has had upwards of 30 people out on the doorsteps helping him so far on the campaign, adds "In Westminster and in Sedgemoor Labour are the opposition. On Sedgemoor there's 13 Labour councillors already and with the Lib Dem leaders resignation they're now down to just 1. They made no impact anyway and their attendance record has been poor. On the other hand Labour is making all the running on Sedgemoor. We're united, we're winning by-elections and Highbridge needs to send a message to these Lib Dems -of whatever label - that enough is enough!"

Campaign hotline 07717467720