News

Labour supporters campaigning in Sidley

In response to the announcement of a snap general election to be held on Thursday, 8th June we've started a crowdfunding page to help finance our general election campaign in Bexhill & Battle.

Our target is to raise £3,000 between now and the election. If you donate via our crowdfunding page, your contribution is added directly to the CLP's election fund.

We know there are many other calls for donations out there at the moment in the wake of the election having been called, but this fund has a huge impact on our ability to fight a strong campaign on the ground where you live.

If you want Labour to be a strong, visible presence in Bexhill and Battle in the run-up to June 8th, this is the fund you should contribute to.

Click here to donate to our fund


Any donations over the value of £500, please contact us first (chair@bexhillandbattlelabour.org.uk). All donations over £500 (in cash or in kind) must be from permissible donors and all donations of over £1500 (in cash or in kind) from a single source in a calendar year must be reported to the Electoral Commission, so please reach out to us before proceeding with your donation.

We're crowdfunding our election campaign

In response to the announcement of a snap general election to be held on Thursday, 8th June we've started a crowdfunding page to help finance our general election campaign in...

Please sign the Bexhill Labour Party’s petition (below) calling on Rother District Council to establish a community based Town Council for Bexhill.

The Labour Party is campaigning for Bexhill to have its own Town Council so that residents can have a greater say in how Bexhill is run. Rother District Council is far too remote with a majority of councillors representing rural wards with issues that are different to that of a seaside town like Bexhill. We believe that power should be exercised at the lowest practical level - close to the people who are affected by decisions. A Town Council, based in the community would restore civic pride and build on the strength of Bexhill’s vibrant voluntary sector.

You can read more about Bexhill Labour Party’s proposals here.

Sign our petition for a Bexhill Town Council

Please sign the Bexhill Labour Party’s petition (below) calling on Rother District Council to establish a community based Town Council for Bexhill. The Labour Party is campaigning for Bexhill to...

 Labour party members supporting the proposed Bexhill town council

Bexhill Labour Party have responded to Rother’s Community Governance Review with a resounding vote in favour of reintroducing a Town Council for Bexhill. Handing in their detailed plan to Rother District Council offices in Bexhill, party members argue that Bexhill lost out when its council was abolished in 1974 and that the current arrangements are remote and do not command loyalty from residents.

Vice Chairman of the Bexhill and Battle Constituency Party Christine Bayliss said “who actually tells people they live in Rother? I’m a Bexhillian and very proud of my town”. Bexhill Branch Chair and Candidate for Bexhill East Conor Hill said “A lot of development is taking place in our area and it’s important that local people get to make decisions about how the effects are mitigated”.

The key proposals in Labour’s response are:

  • Reintroduction of a Town Council to restore civic pride and build on the strength of Bexhill’s vibrant voluntary community.
  • Locate the Town Council offices in an empty shop or office in the Town Centre as a cost effective solution to bringing governance closer to local people.
  • Rotate council meetings around the town so that local communities in Little Common, Sidley and Pebsham can access local democracy.

A town council should start by looking after services currently paid for by Bexhill’s special expenses (Parks, Recreation Grounds, allotments) and draw up a Neighbourhood Plan to set high development standards for house builders.

Pictured with Labour Party members are three prospective Labour Party candidates for May’s County Council elections:

Andy Batsford (Bexhill North) “As someone born and bread in Sidley I know how badly let down the residents of Sidley and North Bexhill feel by the current out of touch Tory Councillors”.

Richard Sage (Bexhill South) “Parking is a big issue in Bexhill South. A Town Council could stand-up to a County Council more intent on cutting funding than providing services communities need ”

Sam Coleman (Bexhill West) “Because of Tory cuts, services for young people are non existent in Bexhill. If a Town Council had support from the community – it could press the County Council to do much more”

If you want to access Bexhill’s response to the Community Governance Review please download the document from this link https://goo.gl/zTDqZh

Resounding Thumbs Up For A Bexhill Town Council From Labour

  Bexhill Labour Party have responded to Rother’s Community Governance Review with a resounding vote in favour of reintroducing a Town Council for Bexhill. Handing in their detailed plan to...

East Sussex County Council

On Tuesday February 7th the Tory-led and UKIP-supported East Sussex County Council passed a budget that included both a 4.99% increase in council tax rate and a £17 million package of cuts in 2017/18 and then another £21.5m in 2018/19 which will further damage local services and lead to a loss of an estimated 200-250 council jobs.

The Tory budget was opposed by the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups on the council who each put forward their own amended budget to reduce and restore some of these cuts - and both of which were predictably defeated by their Tories and their UKIP and Independent allies.

The Labour amendment moved by Cllr Trevor Webb was supported by 9 councillors: the 6 Labour councillors present, one of the only two - out of six - UKIP councillors (Ian Buchanan) who turned up for the meeting and 2 Independent councillors (Ruth O'Keefe from Lewes and Stephen Shing from Willingdon).

Our amendment was opposed by all 21 Conservatives, the only other UKIP councillor present (Philip Howson - who distinguished himself in the debate by a lengthy denunciation of the immigrants who are apparently to blame for the budget crisis) and both of the Independent councillors from Bexhill (Stuart Earl and Charles Clark) - while the 9 Lib Dems present all abstained.

The Lib Dem amendment which was rather more modest in reducing cuts than the Labour one was supported by the 9 Lib Dems, by all 6 Labour councillors and Independent Cllr O'Keefe - and was again voted down by all 21 Tories plus both UKIPers and the two Bexhill Independents.

The Tory budget was then passed by 25 votes to 15 - the 25 being again the 21 Tories, both UKIPers (although Cllr Buchanan had earlier voted with Labour on their amendment when it came to the last hurdle he for some unfathomable reason sided with the Tories) and both of the Bexhill Independents.

So on top of all cuts made in previous years another £38.5m is to be cut from East Sussex services over the next two years.

But it was not the Tories (who only have 21 seats of the 49 and are thus a minority administration) alone who made this possible, but also the UKIP councillors who either voted with them or just didn't turn up at all - and the two Independents from Bexhill Stuart Earl and Charles Clark who voted yet again with the Tories.

The full 18 page list of cuts is detailed at https://democracy.eastsussex.gov.uk/mgConvert2PDF.aspx?ID=12765 and includes:

  •  £1.3 million to be taken from adult social care services for carer support, services for the homeless and at risk of homelessness and substance misuse programmes
  • £655,000 cut from older people day services and support for people with learning disabilities living in the community 
  • £17.3m cut from ESCC's contribution to the East Sussex Better Together programme which will have major impacts on adult social care
  • £2.9m in savings from merging services with Surrey - which will cost jobs at both councils and further diminish direct democratic accountability for service delivery.  
  • £8.7m cut from a wide range of children's services 
  • £3.2m cut from communities and transport budget mainly impacting our libraries. 

The impact of these cuts - mostly driven as even East Sussex Tories will admit by ever greater reductions in the grants to local councils made by over the last 7 years by David Cameron's and Theresa May's governments - will be very significant and will fall by definition on the most vulnerable members of our community.

On May 4th East Sussex county council elections are held where we can respond by voting against the Tories, their UKIP allies and those Independent councillors like Stuart Earl and Charles Clark who side with the Tories when it comes to cutting vital local services - and we will do everything we can to ensure Labour candidates stand in every division and to help return Labour councillors not just from Hastings (where all 7 Labour members on current council were elected from) but from divisions like Bexhill North which have in the not so remote past also elected Labour county councillors.

East Sussex County Council Budget Report: Tories and their council allies make another £38.5 million cuts to our services

On Tuesday February 7th the Tory-led and UKIP-supported East Sussex County Council passed a budget that included both a 4.99% increase in council tax rate and a £17 million package...

Labour campaigned in last year's referendum to remain in the European Union — and nearly two-thirds of Labour voters voted to remain.

As we all know, the result was a vote to leave.

We are not a party for the 48% or the 52%, but for everyone. We have an important role to play in bringing the country together and getting the best possible deal from Brexit.

Labour respects the will of the British people. But we do not respect the will of a Tory government that is threatening to relegate Britain to a bargain basement tax haven.

That's why we will vote to trigger Article 50 in the European Union Withdrawal Bill — but also will use every means at our disposal to make sure jobs, living standards, workers' rights and environmental protections are protected in the negotiations that follow.

So Labour has tabled a series of amendments to the Bill to ensure there is meaningful parliamentary scrutiny at every stage and a vote on the final deal.

We have also tabled an amendment to build in the broad principles we need to get the best outcome for our country — including tariff-free access to the single market and an anti-tax haven amendment to make sure the Prime Minister does not use Brexit as an excuse to duck out of tackling tax avoidance and evasion.

And we will support amendments to ensure the Tories don't yet again attack people's rights at work.

This is a difficult moment for our party. We campaigned to remain, but we have to accept the democratic result.

We will be reaching out to our friends and allies in the European socialist and progressive parties to help secure an agreement that strengthens cooperation and solidarity across Europe.

We must remember that what unites us is far stronger than what divides us: our commitment to defend our NHS, to campaign against the Tories' cuts to schools and social care — and our determination to build a country in which no one and no community is left behind.

We will vote for Article 50, but we will not be giving the Tories a blank cheque on their damaging agenda for Brexit — or any of their other failures.

Best wishes,

Jeremy Corbyn MP
Leader of the Labour Party

Letter from Jeremy Corbyn about our approach to Brexit

Labour campaigned in last year's referendum to remain in the European Union — and nearly two-thirds of Labour voters voted to remain. As we all know, the result was a...

The Red Cross being called in to help in our hospitals is just the latest staggering example of how the NHS is now being pushed to breaking point

Jonathan Ashworth MP, Labour’s Shadow Health Secretary, commenting on the Red Cross being called in to help our hospitals, said:

"The Red Cross being called in to help in our hospitals is just the latest staggering example of how the NHS is now being pushed to breaking point. For the Red Cross to brand the situation a ‘humanitarian crisis’ should be a badge of shame for government ministers."

"This winter we are seeing a third of hospitals reporting they need urgent help to cope with the numbers of patients coming through the doors, A&Es have had to turn patients away more than 140 times in December because they couldn’t cope and several hospitals have admitted they couldn’t offer patients comprehensive care. More patients are languishing on trolleys and in ambulance queues. Meanwhile hospitals have been desperately pleading on Twitter for patients to stay away from A&E."

"The stark reality is the NHS is facing a crisis this winter and in need of urgent help from Ministers. It’s time Theresa May urgently faced up to her responsibilities and abandoned her policy of systematically underfunding our NHS."

The NHS is being pushed to breaking point

The Red Cross being called in to help in our hospitals is just the latest staggering example of how the NHS is now being pushed to breaking pointJonathan Ashworth MP,...

he NHS under the Tories is in intensive care and another winter crisis is looming. The Tories have deliberately underfunded and understaffed the NHS, making it much harder to see a GP but it doesn't have to be like this. 

This Saturday 26 November, thousands of Labour Party members up and down the country, will be out campaigning at events like the one we have in Battle high street, on front of the old Post Office and it will be great to have you there as well. 

Come and join us! There will be plenty of materials including leaflets and stickers to hand out and to tell the public that it is this Conservative government that is bringing down the NHS.

Full event details

NHS Action Day

he NHS under the Tories is in intensive care and another winter crisis is looming. The Tories have deliberately underfunded and understaffed the NHS, making it much harder to see...

The CLP's womens forum are organising a poetry evening on Friday, November 25th.

Click here for more details.

Womens' Forum to hold poetry evening

The CLP's womens forum are organising a poetry evening on Friday, November 25th. Click here for more details.

Sara Watson
Bexhill Collington candidate Sara Watson

The Labour Party candidate standing in the Bexhill Collington by-election says she wants to give “ordinary people” a voice on the local council.

Sara Watson, 48, is standing for Jeremy Corbyn’s party in the election on October 27 for the vacant seat on Rother District Council.

The former hairdresser, who has lived in the town, was selected by the Labour Party to fight the seat, which was held by independent councillor Tony Mansi.

Ms Watson, who has a 21-year-old son, said she intends to raise the profile of the Party in the town and campaign on issues that have a direct effect on people who live in Bexhill.

She said: “I’m delighted to have been selected by the Labour Party and it is a real honour to stand as a candidate.

“I believe that the things Jeremy Corbyn stands for make sense, and the more people actually listen to his arguments the more people come over to his way of thinking.

“The Labour Party stands for protecting the ordinary people and for too long issues that have a direct impact on people’s lives such as transport, housing, the NHS and local facilities have just been forgotten.

“Austerity is not working and the effects are being felt by people all across the town as they struggle to make ends meet.”

Ms Watson, who said her love of politics was forged debating issues with her Conservative-supporting family while watching BBC’s Question Time, has helped raise thousands of pounds for local charities.

She said: “I am anxious to make sure that the Council safeguards the future of all our local parks and green spaces, because children and their families should have high-quality outside space they can enjoy for free.

“The transport situation in the town is terrible; everybody can see the shambles that a privatised railway has become.

“I will fight to ensure funding for the NHS in Bexhill is maintained and that the hospital’s future is guaranteed.”

Ms Watson, who was brought up in Eastbourne, and attended Ratton School, currently works on a project to help the homeless in the local area.

She said: “I am also a passionate believer in renewable energy and believe that is the way forward for the future and that fracking should not be allowed.”

Roger McCarthy, Secretary of the Bexhill and Battle branch of the Labour Party, said: “I’m delighted that Sara is fighting this ward for us.

“She is a superb candidate, full of enthusiasm, passionate about the issues that affect local people and is a real credit to the Party.”

You can email Sara at sara.watson@bexhillandbattlelabour.org.uk

Sara Watson selected as Bexhill Collington By-Election Candidate

Bexhill Collington candidate Sara Watson The Labour Party candidate standing in the Bexhill Collington by-election says she wants to give “ordinary people” a voice on the local council. Sara Watson,...

Antonia Berelson
Darwell candidate Antonia Berelson

Hospice nurse Antonia Berelson has been selected by the Labour Party to fight the Darwell by-election for a seat on Rother Council.

The 40-year-old mother of three plans to campaign strongly against “the creeping privatisation” of the NHS as well as issues close to the hearts of the electorate in the villages of Netherfield, Burwash, Dallington, Mountfield and Brightling.

Antonia, who works at St Michael’s Hospice, in St Leonards, and lives in Battle, said: “I am extremely worried about the future of the NHS.

“Everything is slowly being privatised. Patients can see what is happening and staff are slowly being stretched more and more and being put under extra strain.

“The NHS is being deliberately under resourced by this Government and I feel it is my duty to protest about what is going on.”

Antonia joined the Labour Party after the General Election in 2015 when she said she felt “so depressed at the result that I just had to do something”.

She says residents in the Darwell ward have already contacted her with their concerns which include poor public transport, a lack of local amenities, the high cost of rented accommodation and little council house provision.

“We need to start building more homes, particularly decent quality council houses where people are not at the mercy of private landlords and extortionate rents.

“People are also very concerned about the lack of social mobility and we need better schools and more opportunities for young people.

“I also believe that mental health should be put on a par with physical well-being and funded on a equal basis as it is such a crucial issue.”

Roger McCarthy, secretary of the Bexhill and Battle Labour Party, said: “Our party has had an injection of enthusiastic supporters who are passionate about providing a fairer society – and Antonia epitomises that spirit.

“It is terrific that the residents of the Darwell ward have such a top rate Labour candidate to vote for when they go to the polls.”

The Darwell by-election is being held on October 27 for the seat on Rother District Council.

You can email Antonia at antonia.berelson@bexhillandbattlelabour.org.uk

Antonia Berelson selected as Darwell By-Election Candidate

Darwell candidate Antonia Berelson Hospice nurse Antonia Berelson has been selected by the Labour Party to fight the Darwell by-election for a seat on Rother Council. The 40-year-old mother of...

The Labour Party will place cookies on your computer to help us make this website better.

Please read this to review the updates about which cookies we use and what information we collect on our site.

To find out more about these cookies, see our privacy notice. Use of this site confirms your acceptance of these cookies.